D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 13




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    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, 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.
    As someone who does both improv theater and D&D, no. D&D has many things Improv Theatre doesn't - the big ones being conflict resolution and the ability to have a vision.

    Improv only really works under the principle 'Always say yes' - when someone says something about the person you are being you accept it. If you start saying 'no, I don't think I'd do that' the entire scene grinds to a halt.

    This means that the space you can explore using Improv is limited in a way D&D isn't. You're going to spiral out of control fast; with no DM and no conflict resolution the world's going to be gone. There's no possibility of D&D style 'step on up' play or even bright ideas not working other than in the Fiasco sense (Fiasco to me blurs the lines between improv and tabletop). And you shouldn't be trying to plan anyway in Improv.

    Not to say there's no 'Step on up' at all in Improv - I know groups who can improvise a 30 minute musical off a location, an event, and 5 song titles. But you do that by accepting every idea someone else on the stage throws at you and expanding on it rather than whittling it down to work out what will work with some sort of limitations. And I don't believe that an ongoing improv would be at all possible in the way you can have multi-year D&D campaigns.

    So although there are a lot of similarities, the fun you have with the two is very different.

 

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    Hey there Lord Mhoram!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Mhoram
    I'll give that a shot.
    Best of luck with it amigo.

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

    -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.
    Sounds like a cool idea, hope you have a great time with it.

    I like the multiclassing in 4E, its just so simple and removes the annoying metagaming conceit of 'characters' taking one level in this class and one level in that class just to gain some incremental bonus. Its Conan the Barbarian, not Conan the Barbarian-Fighter-Gladiator-Rogue-Weaponmaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    Hey Bedrockgames!



    I think you have hit the nail on the head.

    Its a virtually impossible task to unite the fanbase because ultimately they'll end up alienating fans of either 3rd or 4th Edition.

    You could argue that alienating fans of 4th Edition would be worse (for WotC) because the 3rd Edition fans have all jumped ship for Pathfinder.

    The only option open to WotC is to make 5th Edition CLEARLY superior to either 3rd or 4th. At the moment I don't think we have seen enough of it to make such a judgement.

    Beyond the following flaws and a few minor rules tweaks I think 4th Edition is pretty much perfect:

    1. The original GSL (now sorted albeit too late)
    2. Rules Bloat from Classes (Class design needs condensed)
    3. Higher Tiers basically the same with more math
    4. Less focus on Tactical Combat in the books, particularly adventures
    5. New ideas for books (instead of retreads and splatbooks)
    i think it would have been perfectly reasonable to just focuson their current customer base (which I have said from the beginning). No one likes being pushed aside in a drive for more customers. But if they are going to try to recapture lapsed players, continuing the 4e trajectory by making it even better simply wont work. That is definitely a good plan for retaining the 4e base. But a new and improved 4e probably wont appeal to 3e players and old schoolers.

    I actually think a better approach would have been multiple edition lines. These would still be new editions (because new is still important) but they would go in different direction. You would have a 4e style line, 3e and Ad&D style line. I personally believe this is a stronger approach than modules (and not that different from what they did with basic and AD&D before). They are already kind of doing this by having three module lines. So why anchor the mechanics to to each other when that clearly makes it harder for them to attract the different fanbases? I mean if three different groups want three different games do they really need to use the same core system?
    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/131611/Sertorius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    The problem with your idea is that it is trivial to imbalance a balanced system and very very difficult to balance an imbalanced sytem. [snip] That way is easy, the other way is almost impossible.
    I disagree.
    If we take magic versus mundane as the example to balance.
    Introduce add-on modules for
    - spell cast failure
    - casting times based on level of spell
    - spell interruption
    - attack rolls for spell missiles
    - higher level progression
    - ingredients for spells
    - no at-will pew pew magic
    - negative physical effects for overcasting (fatigue, aging...etc)

    on the otherhand for mundanes
    - additional combat manuevers
    - additional skills. themes, backgrounds, feats
    - additional attacks...etc

    I'm not saying these are the options we need to take, but they are some options. It all starts from an imbalanced system anyways. The Wheel exists, why do you want to recreate it?
    Last edited by Sadras; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  • #125
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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?


    .
    I don't think people do agree on this. Do I want a totally useless character during the entire length of the campaign? No. But i dont want a rationing of fun either. Choices should matter and there needs to be some variance in the game for me to enjoy it. This means having moments or circumstances where I am sidelined are important. I dont want to always have something meaningful to contribute (though i should always have a shot at doing something) because there will be times when it makes a heck of a lot more sense for someone else to step up. There is a fundamental divide in design philosophy here. Some peopke prefer (for lack of better terms) the Eurogame approach of keeing everyone in and giving people stuff to do each moment. That is fine and has its advantages. Others prefer the ameritrash approach, where there is substantially less baked in parity at each moment and the potential of being sidelined is a key part of keeping the game exciting. This functions on a number of levels from being sidelined by injury/death to being sidelined because you are the guy with the sword and getting across that chasm will take a bit of magic (unless you want to trek a few extra days or something). I believe this is what a lot of folks continnue to miss in these debates about fun design.
    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/131611/Sertorius

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    ° Ignore Zustiur
    Quote Originally Posted by Herschel View Post
    Actually, it does. If you're not buying, you're not their customer. Adding you to their base is the goal while maintaining their current customer base.
    On the contrary. I have bought nearly as many 4E books as I have 3E books. I am a customer. But that doesn't mean I like 4E.

    In fact, let me look at the figure here...
    Over the entire course of 3E (.0 and .5) I bought 9 books. Make it 10 if you count Pathfinder (which I don't because we're talking about WotC).
    Over the course of 4e thus far, I've bought 6 books and I'm a subscriber. Additionally I'm extremely tempted to purchase a 7th and 8th book (Dungeon Delve and MM3 respectively), even though I have no plans to run a 4E game.

    Regarding the terrain layout and use of pushes, I was commenting more on the needless complexity of combat than on the reality of open spaces. I recognize the folly of the way I wrote it. However, to clarify; I have no problem with there being 'dungeon furniture'. I just don't think there needs to be quite so many hazardous things. NC was talking about every encounter needing a feature that 'provides combat interest'. I disagree with him.

    I'll add that tactics are only available if you've got sufficient room to use them in. I can't make use of my 50 squares of greatbow range because all battles occur within a roughly 10x10 space.

    On a related point I often find myself using my push power (Thundertusk Boar Strike) for the simple reason of the extra damage, rather than from any benefit from pushing. Maybe that's poor tactics, and maybe it's just me seeing the game from a different point of view.

    As for the rest of your points, I think we'd just end up arguing and derailing the thread, so I'll drop it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust
    Beyond the following flaws and a few minor rules tweaks I think 4th Edition is pretty much perfect:

    1. The original GSL (now sorted albeit too late)
    2. Rules Bloat from Classes (Class design needs condensed)
    3. Higher Tiers basically the same with more math
    4. Less focus on Tactical Combat in the books, particularly adventures
    5. New ideas for books (instead of retreads and splatbooks)
    *shudder* I agree with your 5 points but you'd need another 20 or 30 things on that list before I'd consider it even remotely close to perfect. Starting with:
    6. Remove the math and start again from scratch
    7. Provide more alternatives to AEDU

    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames
    I actually think a better approach would have been multiple edition lines. [snip] I mean if three different groups want three different games do they really need to use the same core system?
    While I agree with you in principle, I suspect this comes back to an economic issue. Producing three separate products would take a great deal of effort and money. Producing one product which has three uses may not need as much money. Selling 1 product to 90 people, is more cost effective than selling 3 products to 100 people.

    Then there's a bigger issue. What version should a new player buy into? How on earth would he know the difference between the three and be able to make the right choice? How would her non-gamer parents know which books to buy her so that she can join in her friends game? Which product would the parents buy their kid for Christmas?

    No. One core system with 3 (or more!) branches is the far better option in my eyes.

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    error posting
    Last edited by Sadras; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 02:22 PM.

  • #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    I disagree.
    If we take magic versus mundane as the example to balance.
    Introduce add-on modules for
    - spell cast failure
    - casting times based on level of spell
    - spell interruption
    - attack rolls for spell missiles
    - level progression
    - ingredients
    - no at-will pew pew magic
    - negative physical effects for overcasting (fatigue, aging...etc)

    on the otherhand for mundanes
    - additional combat manuevers
    - additional skills. themes, backgrounds, feats
    - additional attacks...etc

    I'm not saying these are the options we need to take, but they are some options. It all starts from an imbalanced system anyways. The Wheel exists, why do you want to recreate it?
    I want to recreate the wheel because I think the game would work better if the wheel was round. And to me by saying you want an unbalanced system you are explicitely saying that you want a wheel that isn't round. I know a perfect circle is impossible - but think that the closer the better.

    As for your options, you need to polish all of those ideas and even then you're unlikely to reach balance. To add unbalance to a system you just need to do something big. Add in the 3.5 Polymorph spells - that will unbalance things in a hurry. Throw in Divine Metamagic and Persistent Spell. Again unbalance in a hurry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zustiur View Post


    While I agree with you in principle, I suspect this comes back to an economic issue. Producing three separate products would take a great deal of effort and money. Producing one product which has three uses may not need as much money. Selling 1 product to 90 people, is more cost effective than selling 3 products to 100 people.
    Provided they anticipate sales numbers for each line and budget properly I dont think it is an issue. I mean they actually do have multiple lines of games already, just not multiple D&D lines. The issue is the modular approach is going to force them to effectively have three lines (unless they dont plan to support the 4e, 3e, Ad&d modules). This really just liberates each module from the other. It is also more of a sure thing. They know there is a community of 4e players eager for an improved 4e, they know there is a community of ad&d players eager for a supported line of old school products (the osr is evidence of this). 3e is less certain because of pathfinder. This certainly has risks. But lots of companies much smaller than wotc manage multiple lines at a time.

    ]
    Then there's a bigger issue. What version should a new player buy into? How on earth would he know the difference between the three and be able to make the right choice? How would her non-gamer parents know which books to buy her so that she can join in her friends game? Which product would the parents buy their kid for Christmas?
    I think clearly labeling each edition is the way to go here. It certainly creates a bit of confusion for new players, but when i first started we had similar hurdles (d&d or ad&d for example) and managed just fine. They can always release an introductory book that offers the first few levels of each edition so people can try out the different options. D&D is usually a game people get introduced to by others, so I think in most situations kids will buy whichever one they hear about first and possibly experiment with other editions from there.

    No. One core system with 3 (or more!) branches is the far better option in my eyes.
    well, i am just thinking out loud here. Personally i like much of what I saw in the playtest doc. But the reaction from 4e fans is severe and it is clear to me that giving them what they want means I wont enjoy the end product (and vice versa i imagine). Maybe this is a bad sampling of 4e payes though. Dont know. If it isnt and this divide really is that wide, i think three seperate editions is a better approach. The more i participate in these debates the clearer it is to me that people really want three different games at this stage. Tying them together through a core system will mean compromises have to be made that could be dealbreakers for folks.
    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/131611/Sertorius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    I don't think people do agree on this. Do I want a totally useless character during the entire length of the campaign? No. But i dont want a rationing of fun either. Choices should matter and there needs to be some variance in the game for me to enjoy it. This means having moments or circumstances where I am sidelined are important. I dont want to always have something meaningful to contribute (though i should always have a shot at doing something) because there will be times when it makes a heck of a lot more sense for someone else to step up. There is a fundamental divide in design philosophy here. Some peopke prefer (for lack of better terms) the Eurogame approach of keeing everyone in and giving people stuff to do each moment. That is fine and has its advantages. Others prefer the ameritrash approach, where there is substantially less baked in parity at each moment and the potential of being sidelined is a key part of keeping the game exciting. This functions on a number of levels from being sidelined by injury/death to being sidelined because you are the guy with the sword and getting across that chasm will take a bit of magic (unless you want to trek a few extra days or something). I believe this is what a lot of folks continnue to miss in these debates about fun design.
    But, by having mechanics the will automatically sideline your character, you are baking "rationing fun" into the mechanics. Take a poster child here - 3e rogue sneak attack.

    Now, from a believability perspective, it makes perfect sense that your rogue can't sneak certain creatures. Fair enough. But, that means that there will be significant periods of time when your rogue character's effectiveness is hugely reduced - to the point where you aren't really doing much of anything - sorry, d6+2 points of damage once per round vs a CR 8 creature isn't really doing a whole lot.

    Now, you didn't choose this. You had absolutely no say in this, other than the fact that you chose to play this class. The DM decided what creatures to use and the game designers decided that you're not tall enough for this ride.

    To me, that's a poster child for mechanics that are not as good as they could be. If the rogue player chose to be less effective against certain opponents in exchange for something else, then fair enough. That's on him. But, he didn't have that choice. It was baked right into the class.

    Now, it might not come up for several sessions. No worries. But, then you have a four hour session where you have five encounters in a row with undead (for example - maybe a zombie horde is attacking). The rogue player just got benched for virtually the entire session through no choice of his own.

    How much is that "verisimitude" worth? Is it worth having someone ride the pines for four hours? To me, the answer is a resounding NO. Not being able to do a lot in a given encounter? Ok, that happens. Not a big deal. I have a character that just doesn't have the skill set to really contribute to this particular scenario. Cool, no worries. But the mechanics should never sideline players for hours on end.

    And that's what unbalanced mechanics do.
    The rules don't give the DM their authority. The consent of the players does. - Mallus

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