D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 8





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  1. #71
    I really don't see where you can embrace what 4e players like about it while apologizing for it at the same time. If 5E can't embrace what 4e players like about their D&D, how can it possibly succeed in "uniting the editions".

 

  • #72
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    I posted this to a Rule of Three a couple of weeks ago, in response to the third question, which dealt with the Tactical Module. I think it's topical;

    I just want people to understand me, when I say 4e-like, I /don't/ mean a heavy focus on grid-based combat. That's take-or-leave. What's important to me is that it feature consistent mechanics; that it be balanced on the player side, with no trap options or wide power disparity at any one level; and that it be very, very easy to run on the GM side, especially monsterwise. Those are what I like about 4e, and that's what I need out of an RPG.

    FWIW, what I /don't/ want is a mass of tracking issues. 3e and 4e had different tracking issues, but they were still there.
    This is what I'm concerned about, and I think it's the main thrust of the OP - when people look at 4e fans and say, "you're getting a tactical module", they're /missing the point/. I could care less about whether I have to use minis or not. I want characters to contribute equally to the story; I want the rules to be easy to use and remember; and I don't want DMing to be a chore. I get that out of 4e, and that's what I want out of 5e - but I'm not seeing it in the playtest, not yet anyway.

    Maybe it will change - I /want/ to be in on 5e, and there's still plenty of playtest to go - but so far I haven't seen anything to convince me it will.
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  • #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Siberys View Post
    snip... I don't want DMing to be a chore. I get that out of 4e, and that's what I want out of 5e - but I'm not seeing it in the playtest, not yet anyway.

    Maybe it will change - I /want/ to be in on 5e, and there's still plenty of playtest to go - but so far I haven't seen anything to convince me it will.
    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.

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    I have (unfortunately) had no opportunity to actually play the playtest; however, I'm basing that particular observation on experience with running 3e, which (at least for the initial playtest docs and the play reports I've read) seemed very similar. Reading them and other people's play reports makes it seem like they'd be plagued by many of the same issues I want to avoid. Luckily, I hear tell that monsters (a very large portion of my issues with the playtest) are going to get a lot of focus in a later version, so here's to hoping.

    What I was trying to say, though, is that 5e needs to cover those things for me to be interested in it; and either way, this is all tangential to my biggest complaint, that people are misunderstanding what "4e-like" means to myself and some others by assuming it means "hard tactical-based gameplay".
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

  • #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    But that is not what happens if the design goal is different, because the game (obviously if the design work is good, of course!) will tend to avoid focusing too long on one situation.
    Which is EXACTLY what I said, but for whatever reason, you, and basically everyone else in the thread, didn't accept.

    Now the question is this- do you think the designers of 5e have figured our what you and I have figured out? Does the playtest indicate to you that the game designers have figured this out? If spells per day scale over time, do you think the 5e designers have worked out that this has "spotlight-time" effects? And if you think they're on top of all of these things, what is your basis for that assumption?

    I posted to say that the "game A" style game had some positives, and a negative. And then I mentioned a "game B" style game that had different goals, and therefore different challenges that needed to be overcome in the design process. Now that we're finally on the page of acknowledging what I wrote, do you think those challenges are actually being addressed in 5e?

    I don't.

  • #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siberys View Post
    I have (unfortunately) had no opportunity to actually play the playtest; however, I'm basing that particular observation on experience with running 3e, which (at least for the initial playtest docs and the play reports I've read) seemed very similar. Reading them and other people's play reports makes it seem like they'd be plagued by many of the same issues I want to avoid.
    I found it to favor a playstyle much closer to 1E and nothing at all like 3E.
    I hope with strange eons even the edition war may die.

  • #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post

    Teamwork and Tactics baked in to the system

    In 4e the team is stronger than the group as individuals. Defenders can do much more damage if they have allies. Leaders, especially Warlords, revolve around teamwork, and controllers are masters of setting people up for someone else to bash - but can rarely win a fight on their own. The combat portion of the game is one of teamwork; the only people who dont directly both empower and rely on others are strikers. .

    I think overall you pegged 4E.

    The above is the specific thing I do not want to see in Next - and it is why I didn't play 4E - and in a lot of ways it defines 4E. The problem with that is that it focuses on one playstyle - team based tactical combat.

    I don't play D&D for tactical combat - I got sessions with no combat whatsoever. I also don't play D&D in a group setting (somewhat unusual in that I play alone).

    Comparing 4E and 3rd (not ed war here) - If you are in a solid group with each role covered and an extra - 4E is the strongest tactical edition. But the further you get away from that expectation - the less it works. If the party has 3 people, with a gap of 2 or 3 levels between them - that will be a huge problem (especially if you are using published adventures). Some houserules might conteract some of it, but it is virtually impossible to play a solo character in published adventures in 4E - I know I tried for about a year. I think if I played in a 4E Group, I would love the game (I liked everything but how it couldn't handle solo play). But I am/was not in a position to do that.

    In 3rd for example, you could do simple Gestalt and have 3 characters without a problem. Have a solo Gestalt character with a +2 template, and have him be a couple levels over the target of the module. This works just fine (Done it for years).

    The perfectly balanced approach to 4E makes is much harder to use the game (especially combat) outside of it's narrow focus of a team working tactically together. It looks as if Next is mellowing on that tight balance to allow many more options for players and GMs to play the appraoch they like (avoid combat at all costs by "cheating, playing odd sized parties and such).
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  • #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKyOdin View Post
    You know what? It doesn't really matter if you individually don't care for balance. This isn't about trying to convince you that balance is good, this thread is a statement that it is a critically important element for a very large section of 5E's potential customer base.

    In absence of exact figures, let's assume that half of all current potential D&D fans predominantly play 4E, while the other half generally don't like 4E and instead play games such as Pathfinder or retro-clones.
    I think you're being a bit optimistic when you suggest 4e currently represents half the fanbase.

    If one could survey every current D&D (or similar) player right now to find what they've mostly played over the last few months, at a guess I think the best you might get is a 40-50-10 split between 4e-3e*-1e** and it might even be 35-50-15.

    * - includes Pathfinder and other d20 clones
    ** - includes 0e, 2e, DCCRPG, OSRIC, and other retro-clones

    Quote Originally Posted by SKyOdin
    If this is true, then any attempt to unify the split D&D fanbase needs to appeal in equal measure to 4E fans, non-4E fans, and people who have never even played D&D before.
    Sad to say, but people who have never played are by default not (yet) part of the split. That said, they certainly cannot be ignored.

    Quote Originally Posted by SKyOdin
    Saying that you personally don't like balance is pretty meaningless in a thread that is citing what is important for literally at least half of 5E's potential playerbase.
    This statement actually makes two conflicting assumptions that - perhaps fortunately - pretty much cancel each other out; they are:

    1. balance is important to all who play 4e
    2. balance is not important to all who do not play 4e

    Neither assumption is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by SKyOdin
    Edit: Thinking about it, maybe I should clarify my position. It's okay to not like balance, but if you actually want a united fanbase and to play in the same edition with them again, you are going to need to suck it up and put up with balance in your D&D. If you don't want a united fanbase, then at least be honest about it.
    ::shrug:: I'll put up with balance in your D&D if you'll put up with imbalance (or balance defined in vastly different terms) in mine.

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  • #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    But "Sit on the fighter's head - he's a fighter and therefore shouldn't be allowed to talk" is an issue. (See, for instance, the Decker problem I outlined)
    Next has specifically acted to solve this problem. Want your fighter to be good at social stuff? Great! Take a social background and put a 14 in Charisma. You'll have a +5 Diplomacy off the bat, which is a really great bonus in a system with flat math. Don't have Diplomacy? Try it anyway, since +2 isn't an automatic failure like in most other editions.

    You know how many fights the Warpriest in the Caves of Chaos got through with one casting of Spiritual Hammer? Six.
    Do you know how many fights there are in the Caves of Chaos? Far more than six.

    You are missing one unexplained point of to hit. You also have one unexplained point of AC extra. Even bigger for being on the battle line.
    What "unexplained" to-hit? The Fighter has a class feature for +1 attack, +2 damage. That's "explained" right on the character sheet. He's also got a higher Strength.

    And the Fighter's AC is where it's supposed to be, it's the Cleric whose got an AC one point higher than it should be. And you want to even things out there, all you have to do is give the Fighter a battleaxe and heavy shield, and the Fighter's AC is now 17, just like the Cleric's should be. And he's still doing 1d10+7 damage to the Cleric's 1d10+2. Even with Crusader's Strike, you've got an average of 11 damage, compared to the Fighter's average of 12.5 (not including Slayer). So, even with your spell, you still can't match the Fighter's combat prowess. You can literally reshape reality by the will of your God, a God of War, no less... and the Fighter is still better at fighting than you.

    Working as intended, I think.
    (I will admit that I'm not a fan of hour-long spell durations in general, so I wouldn't mind that getting cut down.)

    Well you might be. I'm playing a fighter because I have a character concept in mind and fighter's the closest match.
    But the "concept" of the Fighter is "Guy who hits things." If you want to do more, then it's up to you to choose the backgrounds and themes and ability scores that allow you to do so. But complaining that the class whose sole focus is combat is too combat-focused is just silly.

    Becuase the Fighter's interrupt attacks are notably good as the entire class is built with that in mind. The second Guardian feat stands in isolation.
    What are you trying to say here, exactly? That Hold the Line isn't a good feat? It's an amazing feat; "Oh, hey, you're moving past me to get to the Wizard? No you're not, stop moving."

    Of course you don't. They just encourage it.
    So does dying. or almost dying. Or getting your ass kicked 'cuz you tried to go off on your own.

    Strawman. You can't enforce teamwork.
    That's not a strawman, that's my entire point.

    Not for design. A skeleton, yes.
    And I'd say that this is a pretty good skeleton they've got here, considering how early a playtest this is. Varying options, including the one that says "Try anything you want, and here are the DC's for it."

    [quote]It was. And, if you didn't notice, there was a recent article on maneuvers.[quote]I did notice, actually. But... what's your point here? Is this an agreement with me, or an argument. Because, as an argument, it's really not saying anything.

    You're years out of date. See the Slayer for details.
    Hmm, I started playing Pathfinder right a round Essentials, so I didn't see much of it. That's actually pretty cool. It's also making my point for me; you complain about lack of options for the Fighter, ignoring the fact that options will be included. And then point out that 4e does have a simple Fighter. So... what's your problem with Next, again? Since it's doing the same thing, really; allowing you to play a simple Fighter or a complex Fighter, your choice.

    Did you follow the linked At Will skirmish? You at least can have two distinctly different options.
    Ooh, aah... compare that to dozens of different options if you stop looking at your bloody character sheet to determine what you can do, and just look around you. Improvise, do cool things. It's okay, it's allowed, there is no programming stopping you from doing something that's not explicitly outlined in your stats.

    I know that this is possible with 4e, but there are two problems. One, it's not nearly as easy or simple as it should be. The disparity in skill levels combined with scaling math means that if you're attempting something you're not specialized in, you shouldn't bother, because the DC is too high and your skill ranks are too low.

    Two, and I have noticed this with dozens upon dozens of Encounters groups; having a list of Powers that you can use on your character sheet means that players will resort to that list to determine what they do, instead of trying to improvise. Especially when DM's seem so intent on making sure that no improvised action can match what a Power can do, so nobody's overshadowing Powers. Why bother improvising, when I have a ready-made list of things to do, all of which do more damage than the DM will let me do with an improvisation?

    I'm not sure I did that per se? Context matters.
    Ah, no, you're right... I looked again, and technically you said "...escalated hit points", not "inflated".

    and given the number of enemies in the Caves of Chaos and the escalated hit points, its grindy.
    My point stands; you complained about escalated hit points in Caves of Chaos, which is simply not true.



    Both played and DM'd. And speed of play is not the same as ease of play. It's the speed that's been praised, and it is faster. I stated specific reasons why ease wasn't so good. And why ease works in 4e - notably I have literally never needed to look something up that wasn't setting specific in over a year.
    And you think Next is difficult? Or is it just the separate spell lists you're talking about, rather than the entire thing? In which case, "ease of play" isn't an issue, "not wanting to prepare" is. First, the designers have stated that they plan to not include many spells on monsters, and rely more on special abilities that are written in the blocks. And second... if you're throwing a big, nasty monster with tons of abilities at the party... put in a little prep work. Print out its spells. You'd have the same issue in 4e if you used a monster without looking at it first, printing out a page of spells is about an extra five minutes of work.

    In addition to that, it's an issue of familiarity. I'm playing level 12 Pathfinder, and we haven't had to look up more than two or three spells in months. Because we know the system, we've reviewed our characters and know what they can do. And y'know what? We damn well look up the spell we're using before our turn comes up.

    Of course they do! However a push means you aren't attacking. It's also a glaring case of "Mother, May I?" And is literally something I tried in the playtest (pushing rats into the pit) and got no benefit out of.
    So... just attacking every turn is a problem... but not attacking every turn is also a problem? You use a push when it will be better than an attack. Like shoving someone into a pit, or a firewall. Pushing doesn't replace attacks, it complements them. Also, if pushing rats into a pit had no effect, then you have a bad DM. There's no accounting for bad DM's.

    I've seldom had trouble *shrug*
    Oh, if that's a valid response, then I've seldom had trouble keeping track of monster spell lists as a DM, therefore your argument against monsters with spell lists is invalid.

    Once more I have to ask "Did you even read my post?" And "do you play 4e?" To stop the kobold skirmishers, knock them down or pin them in place with defender abilities. Melee the artillery. Immobilise or slow and kite the Brutes. Mark, mark, and Defender Aura anything. There are plenty of ways.
    To stop skirmishers, use Hold the Line or Sleep (or one of several such abilities that aren't out yet, because you're still complaining about an alpha playtest). To stop brutes, use Defender or Ray of Frost (or one of several such abilities that aren't out yet, because you're still complaining about an alpha playtest). "Melee the artillery" isn't exactly edition specific.

    The point was that there is no different in ability to prevent enemies from using their abilities, especially considering that you haven't even seen a fraction of the abilities that will come out for such things. It's one thing to suggest to the designers that they should remember to include these things. It's another thing entirely to complain that they haven't included every possible option in a bloody alpha playtest.

    Most skirmishers are built around the principle "Do low damage unless they have combat advantage when they do high damage". So stop them flanking. Artillery is based around the principle "Do high damage at range and low in melee". Modern lurkers are based round the "Attack and be vulnerable every other turn" principle. Brutes are "High damage in melee, none or low at range".
    Again... how is this edition-specific? These statements, and the tactics that stop them, are not something you need 4e's power system to do.

  • #80
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    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.

    This I also think is going to be the designers biggest challenge. How to you make people who are looking for something that are at the opposite end of the RP spectrum both happy? I personally like what I've seen of the 5E play test quite a bit so far. I the more 4E crunch they can leave out of the core rules and put into the modules, the happier I will be.

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