D&D 4th Edition Convincing 4th Edition players to consider 5th Edition - Page 9




  1. #81
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    Hey there Lord Mhoram!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Mhoram
    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 agree the 4E books do focus on team based tactical combat and other aspects of the game don't seem to get the same share of the spotlight.

    BUT the system itself doesn't preclude those other aspects.

    Plus surely one of the goals of D&D from its inception has always been to PROMOTE TEAMWORK. So how this has become a negative (in your eyes) mystifies me.

    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).
    Why would the system itself be at fault for encounters with zero combat in them?

    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).
    I disagree with this. 4E encounters (especially official ones) are designed for 5 characters of a given level (more or less).

    5 Characters of 5th level, then a Level 5 encounter is standard. Total levels and divide by 5.

    3 characters of 3rd, 5th and 7th level, then a Level 3 encounter is standard.

    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.
    - What about treating a lone PC as a 'solo monster'?
    - What about a lone PC with NPC henchmen/allies?
    - What about a lone PC that is simply higher level than the encounters it would face as a party? Again, divide total levels by 5 and that's your base standard.

    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).
    I am missing how this is any worse with 4E?

    Surely with superior hit points at low levels; a removal of save effect game changers and the addition of healing surges a lone character is actually better equipped to face the rigours of solo adventuring in 4E?

    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).
    I'm not sure I agree with your assessment. Is team work beneficial - of course it is. Does that preclude combat with fewer or even solo PCs - I don't see how it does.

 

  • #82
    @ Everybody who is saying "But I don't want D&D Next to be like 4E", the explicit stated design goal is to unite the editions and that you should be able to play any edition of D&D Next. If you do not want D&D Next to unite the editions then complain that that should not be the design goal of D&D Next.

    There are three basic forms of criticism that matter and they should be directed at different targets.

    • The goal is not what it should be
    • This does not meet its goal
    • There are Unfortunate Consequences of the way it meets the goal

    The stated goal of D&D Next is what it is. If you don't like the goals of D&D Next and think that 4th Edition should be banished and people should be unable to get a 4e experience out of D&D Next then you're welcome to say so openly. But this means you have a fundamental problem with the stated design goals of D&D Next.



    If D&D Next is to fulfil its stated design goal, I've listed what I believe 4e players need to see and how it is currently failing at that goal. And hope that @mearls or @mudbunny read the original post. (I'm trying to work out how to send the essay to a channel that will be read).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    @ Everybody who is saying "But I don't want D&D Next to be like 4E", the explicit stated design goal is to unite the editions and that you should be able to play any edition of D&D Next. If you do not want D&D Next to unite the editions then complain that that should not be the design goal of D&D Next.

    There are three basic forms of criticism that matter and they should be directed at different targets.

    • The goal is not what it should be
    • This does not meet its goal
    • There are Unfortunate Consequences of the way it meets the goal

    The stated goal of D&D Next is what it is. If you don't like the goals of D&D Next and think that 4th Edition should be banished and people should be unable to get a 4e experience out of D&D Next then you're welcome to say so openly. But this means you have a fundamental problem with the stated design goals of D&D Next.



    If D&D Next is to fulfil its stated design goal, I've listed what I believe 4e players need to see and how it is currently failing at that goal. And hope that @mearls or @mudbunny read the original post. (I'm trying to work out how to send the essay to a channel that will be read).
    but uniting the fanbase around one edition means bringing in the pre 4e crowd as well and they have some serious issues with the way 4e does stuff. So if bringing in the 4e elements drives away the non-4e players (which I think it will) they won't meet their design goal. To accomodate 4e I really think they are going to have to focus on those modules. I mean as it is now their is almost too much 4e material in the playtest document for my taste. Anymore and I probably wont have much interest in Next. I think There was some large bones in there for the 4e crowd already (HD, one day heals, themes, daily powers for fighters).
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  • #84
    And now into the brawling.

    Quote Originally Posted by DogBackward View Post
    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 mean +2 is an automatic failure in 3rd edition.

    Do you know how many fights there are in the Caves of Chaos? Far more than six.
    Your point? 6 was where we ran out of spare hit points.

    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.
    Having just looked at the fighter sheet, only +2 damage is mentioned on there. There is a further +1 to hit and +2 damage that is never explained. And the Cleric has +1AC that is unexplained, the wizard has +1 to hit that is seemingly unexplained. But this math has been through time and again. And the +1 never mysteriously materialises.

    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.
    The trouble is that he's both too combat focussed and not good enough at combat. I called out the 2E Fighter as good for a reason. The 2E fighter (or post UA Fighter) has Weapon Specialisation. He attacks half as often again as anyone else.

    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."
    That Hold the Line and Defender are a sucky combination as part of the same package.

    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.
    And this is the part I'm calling an insult. We do improvise. We do do cool things. Some of which are right there on the sheet, some aren't, and some are uses of the things on the sheet that the designers probably never thought of (like the Death from Above from a thief).

    Implying that players of any RPG anywhere is to me an insult to all the players of that RPG.

    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.
    This from a Pathfinder player? Everyone levels up their skills and a +5 swing from training is huge.

    Two, and I have noticed this with dozens upon dozens of Encounters groups;
    Encounters is specifically designed to be Lowest Common Denominator 4e. It's intended to make sure all groups will start at the same point at the evening and end at the same point of the evening no matter where in the world they are and who is DMing.

    That's ... one way to play an RPG but certainly isn't the only way. And would bore my D&D group rigid. Taking Encounters as representative of anything other than one narrow playstyle designed to give newbies a simple foot in the door and to give people something to laugh and throw dice to is misunderstanding it.

    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?
    1: This is explicitely against the 4e Rules - see Page 42 of the DMG for details.
    2: It's the 'Bag of Sand' principle from GURPS. If sand in the eyes always worked then barbarian warriors would give up carrying swords and instead carry sand around.

    Improvisation is something you should do only under unusual circumstances. If your improvisation worked all the time it should be SOP and therefore on your character sheet. And if improvising routinely works better than sticking someone with the pointy end of the sword you are extremely skilled at wielding, why are you wielding that sword? On the other hand if it's a good improvisation it should be using the limited damage expression.

    Ah, no, you're right... I looked again, and technically you said "...escalated hit points", not "inflated".
    OK, my bad.

    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.
    Having an interesting and creative group who manage to circumvent a lot of my stat-preparation and then attack things I really don't expect them to then becomes a problem W00t! No, I don't think I'll be playing a system that makes having an interesting group into a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    but uniting the fanbase around one edition means bringing in the pre 4e crowd as well and they have some serious issues with the way 4e does stuff. So if bringing in the 4e elements drives away the non-4e players (which I think it will) they won't meet their design goal.
    Reading this, it sounds like your objection is to the design goals because you think they are impractical. You may be right, but that doesn't invalidate @Neonchameleon's point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bedrockgames View Post
    To accomodate 4e I really think they are going to have to focus on those modules. I mean as it is now their is almost too much 4e material in the playtest document for my taste. Anymore and I probably wont have much interest in Next. I think There was some large bones in there for the 4e crowd already (HD, one day heals, themes, daily powers for fighters).
    All of which, funnily enough, are absent from NC's list. FWIW, I would agree with the mismatch, in that the listed elements here are really not what I see as core requirements for a possibility of playing in 4e "style". The key elements, as NC said, are a tight, cohesive set of rules (for everything, not just tactical combat rules) and a setup that encourages and supports balanced teamwork (again - all situations, not just combat). The powers, non-magic healing, themes and such could all then be put in modules, because they would still work that way, whereas system coherence and balance won't.

    In essence, when choosing what elements to include in core to attract devotees of the various editions, I think they have either misunderstood or poorly selected the elements they chose to attract the 4e devotees. Assuming the design goal of "players will be able to play Next in their (currently) preferred style" still holds, at any rate.
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    Yep, this is a pretty good summary of why the play test killed whatever interest I might have developed in 5e. Kudos, NC!

    I find it amusing that fans of every edition say there's too much of other editions in 5e, and not enough of their own edition. My feeling that 5e's "One Edition to Rule Them All" goal is predestined for failure grows weekly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Balesir View Post
    Reading this, it sounds like your objection is to the design goals because you think they are impractical. You may be right, but that doesn't invalidate @Neonchameleon's point.

    .
    No, i agree with the design goal, i just dont think the way to implement it is to insert 4e elementa deeply into the core. The design goal is simply to unit the fanbase, this can be done in a number of ways. Anything that turns off one group or another (whether it be 4e players, 3e playes or old schoolers) is not going to achieve that design goal. My point is you appeal to those groups via modulea, because a mishmash of 4e, 3e and 1e elements is just as likely fragment the base even more as it is to unite them. My own preference is that I be given a core free of the design approach of 4e. We can debate all day what that means (and I am sure we have on other threads) but basically I don't want the stuff from 4e that really bugged me. Some of it was specific features of 4e like healing surges, the powers system, the skill challenge system, the parity, etc. Other things just have more to do with the overall design philosophy. For them to bring me to the table it is going to need to lack those things.

    That said, the playtest doc so far, while it has what I would call lots of 4e elements, is something I could play. 4e is something I don't want to play. The only thing that bothers me so far is the one day heals, hd and the martial dailies. Those can easily be houseruled out. Other than that it plays and reads well for me. Whether this is enough to bring 4e people on board i don't (that is for them to decide based on the feedback). But all I can say is if the game goes further in the direction of 4e i probably wont have much interest in it. Any further 3e or 4e style material should be modular at this stage ImO if they want to retain the interest of most pre-4e players.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    You mean +2 is an automatic failure in 3rd edition.
    Really? How often does a +2 succeed? Even at level one, a +2 to a skill check (with no training) is going to fail more often than it succeeds. At higher levels? You won't stand a chance. The guy who's focused on the skill has a bonus that is so much higher than yours that one of two things happens; he will automatically succeed at most such checks, so your +2 is not needed, or the DM will have the DC's scaled to match his bonus, which means your +2 will never succeed. With flat math, even with the highest skill bonus you can start with (+8), you still have a chance to fail even low-DC tasks. And automatic failures (DC higher than 20) are reserved for only the most difficult tasks.

    Your point? 6 was where we ran out of spare hit points.
    Ok, I'll concede that duration isn't necessarily a limiting factor. Our group played things cautious, lured single monsters out and the like, so we ended up not losing much HP.

    However, there is still the fact that the Fighter, even if you have your spell, is flat-out better at combat.

    Having just looked at the fighter sheet, only +2 damage is mentioned on there. There is a further +1 to hit and +2 damage that is never explained. And the Cleric has +1AC that is unexplained, the wizard has +1 to hit that is seemingly unexplained. But this math has been through time and again. And the +1 never mysteriously materialises.
    Sorry, you're right, that wasn't explained on the sheet; I got the two abilities mixed up. The +1 attack, +2 damage was revealed by earlier playtesters to be a "built in" class feature. Weapon Focus is going to be an option that can be chosen starting at level one, with other options able to replace it. The +1 attack and +2 damage is going to be given to all Fighters, no matter what options are chosen.

    (Nobody knows about the Cleric's AC or the Wizard's attack. Though some have speculated that Wizard's might be the "focused offensive magic" type, and gain +1 to spell attacks. But that's just speculation.)

    The trouble is that he's both too combat focussed and not good enough at combat. I called out the 2E Fighter as good for a reason. The 2E fighter (or post UA Fighter) has Weapon Specialisation. He attacks half as often again as anyone else.
    He has the highest hit points, the highest attack, the highest damage... how is that "not good enough" at combat?

    (Also, it doesn't have any bearing on the discussion, but for clarity; the phrase should be "... half again as often." Though even that's a little clunky to say...)

    That Hold the Line and Defender are a sucky combination as part of the same package.
    How so? Hold the Line protects allies that are too far away for you to use Defender on, while Defender protects the allies that are right next to you. The fact that they both use the same action means nothing, since they're both for completely different scenarios. And they fit an overall theme (hey, fancy that... "Theme") of protecting your allies. They're just two different, yet equally effective ways of doing so.

    And this is the part I'm calling an insult. We do improvise. We do do cool things. Some of which are right there on the sheet, some aren't, and some are uses of the things on the sheet that the designers probably never thought of (like the Death from Above from a thief).

    Implying that players of any RPG anywhere is to me an insult to all the players of that RPG.
    Your group may do this... but, as I said earlier, dozens that I have personally witnessed do not. I ran Encounters at a local gaming shop, with a new group of players almost weekly. It's a system issue; having a specific list of "Things you can do that are cool." makes many, if not most people look at the list to determine what they can do first, before even thinking about doing something that's not on the list.

    What edition did you start with, by the way? I did notice that the few people who tended to try to improvise more often started in earlier editions; the most common improvisers started with 1e and 2e. The problem is that many new gamers are coming straight from video games. In order for them to get into the "improvising" spirit, they need a system that actively encourages improvisation, instead of simply allowing it.

    This from a Pathfinder player? Everyone levels up their skills and a +5 swing from training is huge.
    Yes, from a Pathfinder player. And for the record, I have that exact same problem with Pathfinder. As for your second sentence... what are you trying to say? If it refers to 4e, then it sounds like you're agreeing with my issues with the skill system. If it refers to Pathfinder, then it's a +3 from training a Class Skill, not +5... and I do agree that it's still too much of a difference.

    I want to clarify something here; I'm not saying that I don't like 4e... I do. I also like Pathfinder. I like them despite their faults. But from what I've seen, Next is much closer to my ideal design goals; simple game, simple system, flat math, and so on. That's all.

    Encounters is specifically designed to be Lowest Common Denominator 4e. It's intended to make sure all groups will start at the same point at the evening and end at the same point of the evening no matter where in the world they are and who is DMing.
    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.

    The PC's could act within the adventure however they wanted. And that still doesn't say anything about the fact that people rarely bothered to try improvising. That's not an adventure issue, it's a system issue. They saw that their character sheet gave them lots of abilities, and they used those abilities because... why not? They have something from their character sheet that they can do every turn, nobody ever stopped to think of trying something else.

    And I wasn't using Encounters as an example of how play should work, I was simply mentioning that running Encounters was how I encountered so many different players. I didn't like Encounter as written very much; all the worst aspects of pre-made adventure design in one place.

    1: This is explicitely against the 4e Rules - see Page 42 of the DMG for details.
    2: It's the 'Bag of Sand' principle from GURPS. If sand in the eyes always worked then barbarian warriors would give up carrying swords and instead carry sand around.
    1: What is? Keeping improvised actions from being as good as powers? No it's not.
    2: And here you are countering your own #1 . First off, that's why improvised actions are so situational. For example, sand in the eyes; you take up your action, use a contested Dexterity check, and the target has hampered vision for one round. This applies concealment to all targets, and that's it. That's useful in many cases (if nothing else, it allows a Rogue to get hiding), but it's not always better than an attack.

    Same with pushing enemies into terrain and the like; that won't always be better than an attack, but when it's available, should always be useful.

    (Also, as you say, sand in the eyes doesn't kill the enemy, it just helps kill them. So swords are still just as important.)

    Having an interesting and creative group who manage to circumvent a lot of my stat-preparation and then attack things I really don't expect them to then becomes a problem W00t! No, I don't think I'll be playing a system that makes having an interesting group into a problem.
    It won't be any more of a problem in Next than it is in 4e. Just because a monster's abilities are in their stat block, that doesn't remove the need to know how the monster you're running works in order to run it properly. In 4e, if you haven't already looked over a monster's abilities before-hand, learned how they work and how they work together, and studied what role the monster has in combat and how it plays that role... you're going to be just as lost with that monster as you would be with a monster you haven't prepped with in Next.

    The only big difference is that you'll have the exact same problem with all of that monster's henchmen, and each of their 3-4 special abilities, whereas in Next, those henchmen won't have nearly so much baggage that comes with them; as previously mentioned, most henchmen abilities will come from their boss.

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    Hey Back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    Hey there Lord Mhoram!

    Plus surely one of the goals of D&D from its inception has always been to PROMOTE TEAMWORK. So how this has become a negative (in your eyes) mystifies me.
    Not that Teamwork is a negative but the exclusive focus on balance for teamwork makes playing other types of approach difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    Why would the system itself be at fault for encounters with zero combat in them?
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    I disagree with this. 4E encounters (especially official ones) are designed for 5 characters of a given level (more or less).
    5 Characters of 5th level, then a Level 5 encounter is standard. Total levels and divide by 5.
    3 characters of 3rd, 5th and 7th level, then a Level 3 encounter is standard.

    - What about treating a lone PC as a 'solo monster'?
    - What about a lone PC with NPC henchmen/allies?
    - What about a lone PC that is simply higher level than the encounters it would face as a party? Again, divide total levels by 5 and that's your base standard.
    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.

    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.

    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.
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