D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 11




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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by drothgery View Post
    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).
    That's one of the things I like most about what I'm seeing with Next. With flat math, a 14 in Charisma gives you a suave Fighter, even if you don't take a social Background. A not-horrible Dexterity and a Background that grants Stealth gives you a very sneaky Fighter. It's so much easier to have a character that can do things outside of their "schtick", even if the schtickers are better at it.

    After our Rogue and Cleric got captured, my Fighter snuck past the goblin patrols (not wanting to fight alone), all the way to the back room where they were being kept, took out their guard in one silent attack with a rock, and used his key to free them. Untrained in Stealth, even.

    I'm really loving the way they handled skills.

    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.
    There's a differnece between "Everybody should be as good at everything as everybody else." and "Everybody should be good at something." Balance is important, but you have to take balance in whole, not in each individual area. If my Fighter is good at fighting, okay at stealth and bad at social stuff, but the Rogue is good at stealth, okay at social stuff and bad at fighting, then we're still balanced overall. It's okay to be bad at something, that's what you have teammates for. Doesn't mean you can't contribute, you'll just have to be smart about it.

    Now, I do believe that discussion is important here, but if your DM says they're running a social heavy game, and you play a Fighter with no Charisma or social skills, that's your fault. You can still play a Fighter, just make sure to take a social Background, or at least have a good Charisma.

    If everybody is good at everything, there's no reason to have classes or separate abilities. Or teammates. You're right, in that everybody should have options in a given situation, and not be useless. But that doesn't mean that everybody has to be equally useful in a given situation.

 

  • #102
    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?

    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.
    There are many points between fun and non-fun though. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that mechanics that sideline your character are less fun than mechanics that allow your character to meaningfully participate.

    Could we at least agree on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by DogBackward
    If everybody is good at everything, there's no reason to have classes or separate abilities. Or teammates. You're right, in that everybody should have options in a given situation, and not be useless. But that doesn't mean that everybody has to be equally useful in a given situation.
    I would agree with this. It's not that everyone is identical. It's that everyone has opportunities to participate. And, if you (the non-specific you) choose not to participate because you want to specialize somewhere else, that should be YOUR choice. Not one the mechanics dictate to you.
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  • #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBackward View Post
    There's a differnece between "Everybody should be as good at everything as everybody else." and "Everybody should be good at something." Balance is important, but you have to take balance in whole, not in each individual area.
    No, combat has to be balanced. It's too big of a part of the game, and it's the part that's life or death for the PCs. If a character sucks at combat, then why is a group that's fighting all the time bringing that character along (out of character, it's because the guy playing him is your friend, but in character it makes no sense).
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  • #104
    Quote Originally Posted by drothgery View Post
    No, combat has to be balanced. It's too big of a part of the game, and it's the part that's life or death for the PCs. If a character sucks at combat, then why is a group that's fighting all the time bringing that character along (out of character, it's because the guy playing him is your friend, but in character it makes no sense).
    I really have to disagree with this statement, unless the campaign is completely (or near-completely) combat focused. There have been many PCs in my RPG with little to no combat ability, and the party has them along to help in the areas they excel in (diplomats, sages, healers, bards, etc.). It's kind of like why the diplomats, sages, healers, bards, etc. keep the warriors along: because they're useful in the field that they excel at. The diplomat knows that the warrior isn't going to help much when he's negotiating in the warlord's court, but he'll keep him alive; the warrior knows that the diplomat won't contribute in a fight, but he'll sure get stuff done that he isn't able to.

    Now, I'm not against warriors with social skills, great knowledge, healing skills, the ability to perform, etc. But, saying that there's no logical reason to take someone along with you if they can't fight? Gotta disagree with that (again, unless the campaign is all or nearly all combat). As always, play what you like
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  • #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    There are many points between fun and non-fun though. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that mechanics that sideline your character are less fun than mechanics that allow your character to meaningfully participate.

    Could we at least agree on that?
    Yes, we can. And as many have been saying, Next allows everybody to meaningfully participate. No matter what the situation, you will always be able to contribute something. Even if you have to work harder to do so. Your Rogue can't walk up and smack the ogre? Fine, find something else to do. Hamper it with sand in the eyes or rope around the ankles. Find some terrain advantage to make use of. Lure it into a trap, or even just take cover for a round, then spring out for a backstab.

    Your Fighter isn't the best at social situations? Okay, don't try to sweet-talk the nobleman with Diplomacy. You could instead attempt to befriend his guards, gaining advantage to your Diplomacy check due to shared experiences. You could flex your muscles at the right time, using Strength/Intimidate to show how much better your party is than the other guys who are up for the contract.

    The point being that the mechanics of Next, so far, do support everybody contributing to any situation meaningfully. But some are better at that than others, and you might actually have to think about what you can do in order to do something cool.

    I would agree with this. It's not that everyone is identical. It's that everyone has opportunities to participate. And, if you (the non-specific you) choose not to participate because you want to specialize somewhere else, that should be YOUR choice. Not one the mechanics dictate to you.
    See above RE: Mechanics supporting meaningful contribution.

  • #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by drothgery View Post
    No, combat has to be balanced. It's too big of a part of the game, and it's the part that's life or death for the PCs. If a character sucks at combat, then why is a group that's fighting all the time bringing that character along (out of character, it's because the guy playing him is your friend, but in character it makes no sense).
    Like I said, there's a difference between "Balanced" and "Equally good at". The Rogue isn't as good at pure combat as the Fighter. That doesn't mean that the Rogue is useless in combat, and it doesn't mean that the Rogue will die automatically. The Rogue will need to be smart, and not rush up and try to punch the ogre in the face, yes. But this isn't a problem, in my opinion.

  • #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Mhoram View Post
    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.
    Are you using the guidelines in the DMG for scaling encounters? Of course the encounters in published modules are scaled for 5 characters of "Adventure Target" level; if you have more characters, fewer characters or different level characters you need to scale the encounters if you want the same level of challenge. It's not difficult, and with the Monster Builder it's not very time consuming, either.

    I run for a 7 player group, and I rescale every encounter in some way or another - usually just adding another monster or two. Solo party is, admittedly, an extreme case, but lowering level and minionising can generally do the trick.

    Or, as Krust says, boost the character; I'm intrigued by the idea of doubling HPs but leaving surges with the same value...
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  • #108
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    I agree with most of the points raised by the OP but 4th ed did have some problems. As someone said upthread: i would really have liked to see some real attempt to address some of these problems.

    What would 4th ed look like with i) flatter maths, ii) skill training at +3 rather than +5, iii) more interesting magic items, iv) less silly feats and class powers, v) shorter fights, vi) better realisation of rituals and skill challenges etc.

    My feeling is that WOTC just have not thought hard enough about the real problems of 4th ed and are caught up by the perceived problems of 4th ed, hence the desire to obscure 4th ed mechanics in DDN (such as healing surges with new names hit dice, etc).

    That said I do think a game which rewards a broader range of play styles is a valuable goal - I just dont think 4th is a bad foundation for this.

  • #109
    Quote Originally Posted by drothgery View Post
    If it is fun, then it'd because your group would have just as much fun doing improv theather as playing D&D,
    Given that D&D has a lot in common with improv theater, I would expect this to be the case for most people. Or to turn it around, if you wouldn't like improv theater, playing a game in which you pretend to be a fantasy character and your job is to determine and adjudicate his actions is probably not a good hobby for you.

    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.
    I would think it's the other way around; i.e. that the rules are actively discouraging fun in a balanced system. They function as a straitjacket, constraining player choice in the name of preventing choices and accompanying outcomes that aren't "fair", even if they make sense. Certainly, when going outside of D&D I find less balanced games more enjoyable. Games where my character can be quasi-godly or comically inept depending on the choices I make are fun. My last character was actually for a comedy-oriented session and was purposefully a failure.

    I would also hope that everyone playing D&D accepts that there is a certain imbalance in the rules. Wizards can grant wishes. Cleric can raise the dead. Rogues sneak around. Fighters hit things. That's never going to be 100% balanced, nor should it be. It's been balanced enough to drive the rpg market and sustain the game for several decades, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar
    There are many points between fun and non-fun though. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that mechanics that sideline your character are less fun than mechanics that allow your character to meaningfully participate.

    Could we at least agree on that?
    I don't.

    I would agree with this. It's not that everyone is identical. It's that everyone has opportunities to participate. And, if you (the non-specific you) choose not to participate because you want to specialize somewhere else, that should be YOUR choice. Not one the mechanics dictate to you.
    So you want to do away with class skills? I could see that. Or classes altogether? Other than that, I'm not really seeing how players don't have a free choice in what to play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raith5
    That said I do think a game which rewards a broader range of play styles is a valuable goal - I just dont think 4th is a bad foundation for this.
    Really?
    Last edited by Ahnehnois; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 11:29 AM.
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  • #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Given that D&D has a lot in common with improv theater, I would expect this to be the case for most people. Or to turn it around, if you wouldn't like improv theater, playing a game in which you pretend to be a fantasy character and your job is to determine and adjudicate his actions is probably not a good hobby for you.
    Which hobby are we talking about? Roleplaying Games? - then that's not what the hobby is; it's merely your (apparently) extremely narrow view of it. D&D? - then not only is that a very narrow and restricted view of what it "is", it's a specific angle that D&D has always been exceptionally poor at, compared to various other systems.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with "improv theatre in a fantasy world" as an approach to roleplaying - it's a valid and potentially fun angle on the hobby. But to claim it's the only one - and then further to suggest using D&D rules for doing it - is invalid and misleading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I would think it's the other way around; i.e. that the rules are actively discouraging fun in a balanced system. They function as a straitjacket, constraining player choice in the name of preventing choices and accompanying outcomes that aren't "fair", even if they make sense. Certainly, when going outside of D&D I find less balanced games more enjoyable. Games where my character can be quasi-godly or comically inept depending on the choices I make are fun. My last character was actually for a comedy-oriented session and was purposefully a failure.
    To say that balance is "objectively better" is, for the general case, obviously wrong. Balance, as it has been discussed here, is only better if the players are expected and expecting to be active participants in the game through the agency of their player characters. There are cases where this is not true:

    - the players may be active participants, but not (only) through the agency of their characters (suggesting things to other players or to the GM, for example, or even having a role in defining the game world and in-game action resolutions)

    - the players may not want, expect or be expected to be active participants; they might have a role for much or all of the time as simply an audience, passively observing the story as it passes by, maybe making the occasional easy or fairly obvious "decision".

    If, however, the players do want and expect to be active participants through the agency of their characters, it is definitely a good thing if their characters are given the power to have some agency at all points in the game. I.e., they should be balanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I would also hope that everyone playing D&D accepts that there is a certain imbalance in the rules. Wizards can grant wishes. Cleric can raise the dead. Rogues sneak around. Fighters hit things. That's never going to be 100% balanced, nor should it be. It's been balanced enough to drive the rpg market and sustain the game for several decades, though.
    One of the reasons I like 4e above all other editions of D&D is that this is not true (rituals being open to everyone who invests resources in them). I like 4e because it supports a game where all of the players are active participants through the agency of their characters. I think that D&D has always been a better game when this has been expected, because the central premise of going on adventures (classically, down in Dungeons) and fighting challenging monsters (including Dragons - the clue really is in the name) works best as a challenge-busting game. I am aware that there are those who have used D&D as more of an entertainment or toy, to be fiddled with and observed rather than played, but I have always found that other systems worked far better for this style of Roleplaying, hence I have no interest in something that tries to be such a thing while still using the core mechanics of D&D.
    Last edited by Balesir; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 12:00 PM.
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