D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 10




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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlock View Post
    How was DMing the playtest a chore for you? Actually, for those that felt 4e was easy to DM but the playtest wasn't, I'd like to ask you that same question. Genuinely curious here, not setting you up for a silly internet argument.
    Not addressed to me - but I didn't find it as fun or engaging to run as 4e or 1e. Not that it wasn't easy - it was.

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  • #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alarian View Post
    I know it's been said a few times already, but I disagree with pretty much everything the OP wrote. All the things he says need to be in 5E are all the things that would make me not want to play it.

    Then you are presumably not a 4e player & the point of this thread, which most posters seems to have missed in their desire to snipe at the things they do not like in 4e, was how to make the new game appeal to 4e players.

    My view is that I will have to treat it as a different game altogether. 4e has that "tactical minis game with in character chat" aspect D&D always has had when I play it; other games can offer other things.

    The trouble is that "other things" I am interested in are now mostly rich settings or cool mechanics neither of which is evidence in the playtest (& the default setting was not exactly a strength of 4e either).

  • #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Mhoram
    Hey Back.
    Hello again Lord Mhoram!

    Not that Teamwork is a negative but the exclusive focus on balance for teamwork makes playing other types of approach difficult.
    I don't see how non-teamwork becomes more difficult.

    It isn't really, just that the focus of the game being so strong on combat (which I find less in earlier editions - taste) makes it seem more unsupported in the game materials. But you have a point.
    I agree with you on this matter. The 4E books are TOO combat orientated, especially adventure modules.

    Okay - but say you are playing in the module - with a solo character. How do you have that fight (with no change to what is written in the module, jsut house rules for the character) - without making the solo character so high a level that his hit bonus and AC is so high that the combat is boring.
    Well, bonuses scale slower in 4E than they do in previous editions, so this problem will be magnified in previous editions.

    Add in free multi-class, extra hero points, extra surges, and even multiple actions every round still make it difficult to come up with house rules to support that style of play. If you have some that work - let me know I'd love to try them. My 4E books (have everything up to essentials) are just sitting on my shelf unused. ---- I add in the caveat of having to use published modules for solo game play, because the GM (my wife) doesn't have time to make her own.
    What I would suggest is treat the character as a Solo monster (HP x 4, Saves +5, +1 AP) with the following caveats: firstly the PC is immune to negative conditions until reduced to 25% hp; secondly it gets two complete sets of actions each round (operating on two different initiatives: roll the first and the second is 10 lower) and lastly up the damage by about 50%.

    Then just run the same PC through typical adventures (in fairness WotC Adventure Path adventures are fairly easy if played at the appropriate level).

    I am using this specific example to illustrate a broader point.

    To play a solo character in a previous edition, in published modules, it took about 2 pages of house rules (at least in my case). You could just have the characters be a couple levels over the assumed level of the module if you had three. It's pretty easy.
    See above. Took me about one sentence.

    What I see with 4E, is that the balance, the math, the teamwork assumption, the necessity of roles, makes playing a 3 character team, in a published module, more difficult to do. And solo play through a published module, and still make it challenging (and combats not last 3 hours due to less actions, more HP and more healing as the solution) is much more difficult.
    With a solo monster design, the sweet spot is 3 times the damage of a normal monster. In the case above I have suggested +50% damage but doubling actions to achieve this tripling.

    If you wanted to play with just two PCs then I suggest treating each as an Elite Monster (x2 hp and +2 to saves; condition immunity until bloodied; double actions)

    With that as my analysis, I am saying that the balance in 4E makes it more difficult for those that want to play outside the assumption of 4E (5 character all roles filled, level balanced) much more difficult because of said careful balance. It's not that teamwork is bad, but that the game basically requires it.
    I doesn't though. I think you have built up this misconception in your head.

    I have played in groups where there was more bungling than teamwork. Just because you can have teamwork, doesn't mean a team will automatically work well together. Yet we still got through encounters.

    If you play to that structure, it works like a perfectly well oiled machine, but the further you move outside the assumptions of the game, the less well the machine works.

    I find older editions much easier to "kit-bash" to other types of play, and other approaches to combat than I do 4E. And I find the reason for that is the exact reason 4E is a perfect game in the very narrow design parameters. The balance and structure really drive play to a very focused style, and if you don't play that way, the game doesn't work for you.

    I want the core of D&DN to support as many possible play-styles as it can, so I feel a laserlike focus on balance (especially in combat) would lessen the ability of the game to do that.

    I hope that explains my point better.

    Basically I would want that laserlike focus to combat and balance in a module. Or modules that can kill it easily - to better appeal to more playstyles.

    tl;dr - the thing that makes 4E great at what it does, makes it worse than other versions for multiple approaches to the game and gameplay.
    I really think WotC should have done more to illustrate how to play 4E with parties of 2 or even just 1 lone PC. I think the Elite and Solo monster design is the template for that - with a few tweaks. Its just a shame no one from WotC integrated this into the rules.

    I still don't see how previous editions are notably superior at this, although I did play some lone PC 1E/2E games and because attack bonus caps out, it meant that you didn't have the same maths problem (after Level 16+) you get with scaling systems like 3E and 4E.

  • #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Mhoram View Post
    Hey Back.

    Okay - but say you are playing in the module - with a solo character. How do you have that fight (with no change to what is written in the module, jsut house rules for the character) - without making the solo character so high a level that his hit bonus and AC is so high that the combat is boring. Add in free multi-class, extra hero points, extra surges, and even multiple actions every round still make it difficult to come up with house rules to support that style of play. If you have some that work - let me know I'd love to try them. My 4E books (have everything up to essentials) are just sitting on my shelf unused. ---- I add in the caveat of having to use published modules for solo game play, because the GM (my wife) doesn't have time to make her own.

    I am using this specific example to illustrate a broader point.

    To play a solo character in a previous edition, in published modules, it took about 2 pages of house rules (at least in my case). You could just have the characters be a couple levels over the assumed level of the module if you had three. It's pretty easy.

    .....

    What I see with 4E, is that the balance, the math, the teamwork assumption, the necessity of roles, makes playing a 3 character team, in a published module, more difficult to do. And solo play through a published module, and still make it challenging (and combats not last 3 hours due to less actions, more HP and more healing as the solution) is much more difficult.

    .....

    What it does, makes it worse than other versions for multiple approaches to the game and gameplay.
    While 5e is supposed to be inclusive there is no way they can design for everyone & you are such a corner case that I fear you will always be a low priority. Solo chess variants would make little sense & RPGs too are much better with more people.

    I think you overstate the case for scaling for 3 players too. I found it no harder than for 3e. In some ways it was easier as I could simply minionise some of the monsters to keep numbers up & avoid solos (use elites instead). It was easier to amend the monsters on the fly, as they had strong rules that worked & I used to do this in the car on the way to our games when I knew we were going to be short of players.

    You are right with the general assessment that 4e works best within its limited design parameter.

  • #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    Hello again Lord Mhoram!


    What I would suggest is treat the character as a Solo monster (HP x 4, Saves +5, +1 AP) with the following caveats: firstly the PC is immune to negative conditions until reduced to 25% hp; secondly it gets two complete sets of actions each round (operating on two different initiatives: roll the first and the second is 10 lower) and lastly up the damage by about 50%.
    I'll give that a shot.

    I've had a character concept that works much better in 4th than other systems, and I may give that a go.

    -Tiefling Paladin, MC into Warlock - but the Warlock powers are not chosen by the charactet (by the player) and they represent his Teifling nature coming to fore, which the character thinks of as evil, but still has to use them. Great emotional dynamic to hang RPing on.
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  • #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Pickles JG View Post
    While 5e is supposed to be inclusive there is no way they can design for everyone & you are such a corner case that I fear you will always be a low priority.
    Too true.

    I game with a group every week (HERO system) and most of our gaming time is with that. The wife and I do solo gaming on the weekends - she GMs D&D (3.x/Pathfinder now - lots and lots of published adventures) and I run her in Dresden Files.


    You are right with the general assessment that 4e works best within its limited design parameter.
    Which really was my basic point.
    Other versions of D&D (and other games) handle variations from the norm a little better than 4E.
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  • #97
    Quote Originally Posted by DogBackward View Post
    No, it's designed to have everybody on the same starting point, but very few people actually bothered to try to run Encounters in that little 1 hour timeslot. I, and my fellow Encounter DM's, set aside a full 6 hour session each week, and we played it like any other adventure. If we finished one adventure in a night (rare), we started the next.
    Maybe where you play. I've played Encounters at two different shops, and in each they followed the "1 encounter per session" guideline. Usually it takes upwards of 2 hours, though, unless you have a lame session like one recently where there was no combat.

    Encounters is a marketing tool to get people to play D&D. It's meant to draw in non-traditional gamers and/or anyone who wants to spend an hour or two after work each week killing monsters and doing light RP. If I want a serious D&D campaign, I have two campaigns I play in with a few people who also play in Encounters regularly. :P

  • #98
    I wouldn't agree that 4E is bad for solo campaigns at all... I've both run and played in 4E solo campaigns, and it works just fine. The system's coherent math and easily scaled encounters makes it work very well for unusual campaigns. The game is simply more predictable in every way than other D&D editions, so non-standard campaigns are equally predictable.

    I've had much better success with solo campaigns in 4E than 3E, no question.

  • #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Herschel View Post
    So it's fun for you to sit at a table for four-12 hours while everyone else does things? Or okay if it's you doing things and others are just sitting there?

    Someone is always trying to balance the game in order for people to have fun. The difference being that DMs have had to spend a lot of needless time balancing things, things that could be taken care of by the system. Personally, I very much enjoy just coming up with the story and going and when the game is properly balanced, the game can go in any direction without marginalizing anyone. So if the social skill monkey starts diverting the adventure his way there's two paths:

    1. The fighter player can start playing on his phone or go home because the system isn't balanced.

    2. If the system is balanced the fighter's player has things to do and you don't have to try and railroad the story back to combat unless you want to hear him snore.

    It's easier to have a flexible, breathing game when you don't have to have specific things happen in a certain order. One session, it may be all combat, another it may be none and nobody can feel skipping the session is a good idea.
    Do fighter players just not know how to roleplay or something? Why are they always used as the scape goat in these scenarios?

    Why does everyone have to have something to do every second of every game? What happens when it isn't their turn in combat - do the rest of players go outside for a smoke? Even in the most skill intensive game I've ever run in D&D the fighters always felt worth while - it is just a matter of being a good DM and knowing what your players want out of a game (also finding players that you can cater to helps a lot too).

    I simply refuse to believe that an unbalanced game is instantly non-fun. I just don't buy it.
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  • #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Bovine View Post
    Do fighter players just not know how to roleplay or something? Why are they always used as the scape goat in these scenarios?
    In every edition of D&D, fighters have terrible non-combat class abilities. They aren't sneaky, aren't suave (unless the player is and the DM allows that to overrule lack of charisma and social NWPs or skills), and don't have utility abilities (non-combat spells, ranger's tracking, etc.). Even 4e sticks them with a bad class skill list and fewer trained skills than almost everyone (though at least backgrounds make your class skill list fungible).
    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Bovine View Post
    I simply refuse to believe that an unbalanced game is instantly non-fun. I just don't buy it.
    If it is fun, then it'd because your group would have just as much fun doing improv theather as playing D&D, because the rules are actively discouraging fun in an unbalanced game. Or because everyone accepts it's unbalanced and the rules acknowledge it ala Ars Magica or Buffy/Angel.
    Last edited by drothgery; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 05:40 AM. Reason: grammar
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