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Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 03:08 PM #31
Magsman (Lvl 14)
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
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° Block Mustrum_Ridcully
I am not sure I agree with every word written, but most of it is more in the specifics. Overall I see a lot of stuff missing in D&D Next that I am not so optimistic it will appeal to me. I figure i am just gonna become a grogn4rd.
But more seriously, there is hope if the tactical modules work well. But, I must admit that I have some concerns there as well. What Mearls outlined as tactical or narrative combat modules didn't convince me, instead if seemed a return to his Iron Heroes or Book of Iron Might ideas. Those books were good and had interesting ideas. But I think 4E encounter and daily power worked much better than attack challenges. (I may give him IH's Tokens, but they are more complicated).
I am not saying their rules modules idea are not appealing to some, but they aren't appealing to me and I figure many 4E fans. So it seems like a better idea to design a 4E like module before other ideas, to make sure 4E fans still feel included.
But that's just one aspect. The monster design doesn't convince. The fact that once again we'll have to reference other rule books to figure out what our NPCs are doing is not an improvement, it's a regression.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 03:45 PM #32
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
My read on the OP is that it seems Pollyannish and close-minded. For most of those points it's difficult yet to see where 5e is "failing" on them based on the small set of rules we have, and very difficult to see why 4e has these qualities; i.e. I didn't buy most of those examples. To me it seems as if the 5e designers have catered more heavily to the 4e superfans than to anyone else, but have at least decided that the anyone else group exists, which is progress in itself.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 03:52 PM #33
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
I agree with the OP.
It all boiled down to Options.
In 4E, it was EXTREMELY EASY to build a well rounded character. My 8 year old cousin to do it.
Take a character, have it's primary ability score highest, train an exploration skill. train an social skill. Done.
No lucky stat rolls. Planned builds. Multiclassing. Variants. House rules.
So no matter what the DM did.
A level 1-10 game.
A level 5-10 game.
A level 9-15 game.
A level 20-30 game.
A level 9 one shot.
4 combat encounters a day.
7 combat encounters a day.
1 combat encounter a day.
1/3 combat, 1/3 exploration, 1/3 social
1/4 combat, 1/4 exploration, 1/2 social
No combat, 1/2 exploration, 1/2 social
All combat, No exploration, No social
You always could make a character that could point to the sheet and say "At least I can try that."
And if be some chance, purposely or accidentally, you can't point to your sheet; a fix was just 1 or 2 feats away.
You might not be the best, but you always had something that was a decent contribution*.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 03:57 PM #34
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
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- Jan 2002
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° Block Li Shenron
The biggest thing here I don't agree with is the concept of balance. Even tho once I wasn't of this opinion, today I simply disagree that all characters should have something to do and be useful in every single situation. I don't even think that every class needs to be good in combat, to me a game where the Fighter is excellent in combat, a couple of other classes are moderately useful and the rest are useless, can still be a very good RPG, and in my twisted mind probably a better RPG. Clearly, such design target would not make a good miniature combat game, so the question here is what kind of game D&D should be.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 04:11 PM #35
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Would you like me to recount the number of times (out of combat) where my character has been completely useless because I didn't have the required skills? I'm quite serious about this. I don't recall a single skill challenge that wasn't a total bore-fest for me. Why? because inevitably the skills required to complete the challenge aren't on my list of trained skills. Or, if they are on the list, someone else is better at them, and they can only be used once in the challenge.
And a lot of the time, they don't do it well. Our warlock is a better controller than our wizard, but doesn't kick out a lot of damage. Just an example.
previous point. Often 'what you're best at' is not applicable in a skill challenge. "Mental genius with a flair for knowledge? no use here buddy, we need endurance and athletics to chase the baddies across the rooftops." "Dextrous athlete? Sorry, this is a social skill challenge, go play in the corner." Worse yet, some skill challenges require input from each character, even the ones who have extremely low scores in the required skills. I do not consider this a strong point of 4E. Conceptually yes, in practice, no.
TOUGH, you have options, and you'll have to spend hours picking them each level. Or, admittedly, play an essentials character; but then how long did it take for those to turn up?
Ah, another pet peeve. Got a move that pushes your opponent? Cool, is there anything to push him into this battle? No? So... push him anyway. Yeah, that makes sense.
And seriously, what happened to open battlefields, large chambers and other normal every day places that don't involve pits, lava, patches of ice etc? I can walk around all day without seeing anything remotely like that, yet in 4E-world, they're around every corner. What's up with that?
1. In history it was armies that lined up on open battlefields, not small groups of skirmishers. And quite frankly, lining up on an open battlefield is a galactically stupid way to fight for at least one side. You're going to lose a quarter minimum of your forces. Is D&D more fun if at least one character dies every combat?
Terrain is your friend and skirmishing groups use it. That's why guerilla tactics are used so often, because a wily force using the environment can take on superior numbers or even firepower. Are monsters and brigands not going to want defensible lairs and positions? How did they live this long of not?
2. As far a features in lairs, etc. hmm, I see a desk, chair, bed, bookshelves and TV/stand from where I'm sitting and these partitions. I like to sit down, maybe even lay down, and have some places to set my stuff. I go into another room, hey look, more terrain, a sofa, love seat, end tables, drum set, sound system...hey what's that room over there, a toilet, shower, sink, around another door and there's a furnace, washer, dryer, sink, water softener.....and upstairs, oo all sorts of things, another sofa, two easy chairs and look a bunch of stuff that creates cold (fridge, freezer) and heat (cook top, oven, toaster, microwave) and another water source.....hey, a couple more of those sleeping-type areas, and office and another room with toilet, sink and even a water reservoir (tub).
I go to friends' houses, they have this stuff all over too, and so do my neighbors. Huh, apparently they like to sit down, have places to put their stuff and sleep too.
3. Ever been spelunking? Caves aren't just big, open caverns and monsters aren't going to just choose those either. See reasons above.
And has all the improvisation options available to him that any character has in 4E. [Insert page 42 argument here] Also, see my point above about basic attacks not equating to boring combat. Let the situation dictate the excitement, not the mechanics. (Actually, that's a key point of difference between playgroups. It sounds to me like you're firmly in the camp of 'mechanics must provide the fun')
Which is why character sheets are 8+ pages long!!!
Last edited by Herschel; Sunday, 1st July, 2012 at 04:16 PM.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 04:40 PM #36
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
In Game A, all classes can contribute reasonably well in all situations. They contribute in slightly different ways, perhaps, but they all contribute. Now sometimes the way they contribute starts getting a bit similar. For example, a fighter and a rogue both contribute to fights by stabbing things in slightly different ways.
Game B: Not all characters contribute equally in all situations. For example, there is a class that is the best at fighting. There is another class that has more non-combat skills than anyone else. There's a class who's whole shtick is that he's got spells that are better than anything anyone else does, but can't be used very often... and when he can't use spells, he's worse than everyone else. That's the system.
Game B is an OBJECTIVELY worse system unless the following is true:
1. The things that the various classes excel at with respect to each other are also things that take up about equal amounts of time at the gaming table.
2. The number of "events" per day is always centered around an equilibrium point where the spellcaster's ability to exceed the other classes competence is reasonably balanced with events where the spellcaster cannot exceed other classes competence because he cannot afford to use more spells.
I see no reason to think that the first is true of 5e. And the second is virtually impossible to accomplish at the gaming table, often counter to the story needs of the game, and usually shreds into tatters when the spellcaster games more spells as he levels up.
I mean "objectively" worse in the literal sense. It isn't a matter of perspective. Games have design goals, and how well they accomplish them can be objectively evaluated. For example, if I intend to design a family board game but I set up the game so that a player can have their chance of victory demolished but not actually be removed from the game, forcing them to sit at the table and numbly move pieces around for an hour with no hope of winning or advancing and with no other motivation except to stop the game from falling apart so that the other players can still have a good game... I've failed. Games that do that aren't fun for the guy who gets knocked out. They lead to bad feelings between the players, and miserable evenings. That's counter to the design goals of a family board game.
Similarly, if you have a game who's design goals are apparently to let a group of friends collectively roleplay four to five heroic fantasy characters, and relative to the time spent at the table for any given task what you really create is a game in which one heroic fantasy character is awesome, and his four henchmen kind of help out... you've failed. Objectively.
D&D needs to be Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas all matter. Not Xena, where everybody knows that in terms of screen time doing cool things, Xena > Gabriella > ... .. .. .. .. > Joxter.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 04:58 PM #37
Defender (Lvl 8)
I do want to touch on one thing that is beginning to really piss me off. Whenever someone brings up their concerns with the game thusfar, inevitably someone in the thread will counter with "it's a playtest" or "it's an alpha". Here's the thing, those of us that are concerned (in this case, 4E players) are aware of that. Stop saying it. We get it. But that doesn't change the fact that the game thusfar is raising concerns and the designers are either doing nothing to alleviate those concerns, or in the case of the Passive Perception and Action Economy posts by the designers, making those concerns worse.
The thing is, saying "it's a playtest" is a cop-out for a lack of a response to an argument. If we don't like the direction the game is headed, and the designers have shown a total lack of an attempt to alleviate those concerns, countering with "it's a playtest" downplays the severity of those concerns.
And beyond that, if we don't voice our concerns because "it's a playtest" HOW IN THE HECK IS WOTC SUPPOSED TO LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE PLAYTEST? Seriously, if we don't tell them we are concerned, they will keep chugging away in a direction that will result in us not buying. Don't you think they would want to know about things that would negatively affect their business?
Seriously, if the best counterargument you can come up with to a concern is "it's a playtest" come back when you actually cite something that might work toward alleviating the concern. Otherwise, don't bother posting, because you just posted an utter waste of space.
Mod Note: Please see my post below. ~Umbran
Last edited by CasvalRemDeikun; Sunday, 1st July, 2012 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Edited to remove language.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:04 PM #38
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Agree with Lost Soul, can't XP yet.
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:09 PM #39
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Sunday, 1st July, 2012, 05:16 PM #40
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
The OP doesn't describe everything that I think is distinctive and significant about 4e, but the playtest doesn't address those other matters either. So I share the OP's concerns abou the playtest.
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