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Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 02:34 PM #11
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
"You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.
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Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 02:45 PM #12
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 03:01 PM #13
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
I don't have a strong preference for system as a player. Instead I have a strong preference for gaming with people that don't suck. When I run a game, then I have stronger preferences since there is more investment involved of my time.
Death is for amateurs -Charlie Sheen
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 03:32 PM #14
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
4e on the other hand goes down pretty well with players who play non-D&D RPGs as a whole (see either RPG.net or Something Awful's Traditional Games board). This is because as far as I know, no other game does what 4e does as well as 4e, and of the things 4e doesn't do there is almost always a system that will do the game better than classic versions of D&D.
For example 4e doesn't really do absolute zero to hero. But with all due respect 3e and AD&D aren't much good at it either. AD&D wizards get to cast spells that won't blow up in their face and 2e fighters? Ouch. If I want to run a zero to hero campaign, I'm going to break out Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (either 3e or at least using the 2e magic rules - although even the 1e spell point system does better than D&D). It covers the "Starting at zero in a fantasy world that hates you" much better than a system with Gygaxo-Vancian Magic.
Classic (pre-4e but especially 2e and 3e) D&D has two real advantages - the first is that people already know it, and the second is that precisely because it doesn't do anything especially well it can do well enough in a wide range of campaigns.
And to the embedded user advantage. Classic D&D is good enough for a lot of things - so once you'd passed the hurdle of learning a complex rulesset (whether or not you regard this as an example of the Sunk Costs fallacy) you could use it for other things.And I think maybe it's because the 4e / 3.x split finally put out in front of us, in the full daylight of blogs, forums, and chat rooms, something that we had maybe suspected but weren't really willing to admit to ourselves---That when it comes to D&D, rather than being "united" in our game of choice, we'd actually been demanding radically different things from E. Gary Gygax's magnum opus all along. The fact that it remained somewhat of the community's "lingua franca" for nearly 25 years is a testament to Gygax's original vision.
The amusing thing here is that Gygax himself considered class balance to be very important. And introduced a huge range of rules into D&D that are there to facilitate class balance. See, for example, the differing XP tables. Or the giving the fighters a free keep at level 9 or so when the wizards get a tower. Or even weapons doing bonus damage against large monsters and certain powerful spells having a serious danger of backlash. All things put into the game to assist with class balance. (And, not unsurprisingly, the bulk of the rules that the designers of 3.0 were kind enough to remove from the game). 1e did not, of course, go far enough so they added weapon spec to the fighter, and added Cavaliers and (ack) Barbarians.One reason the 4e / 3e split was so divisive, I think, is because when the 4e fans threw up their hands in joy and said, "FINALLY!!! CLASS BALANCE!!", all of us 3e fans went "Huh? Really? THIS is the game you wished you'd been playing for the past 25 years? Hmm. Didn't see that one coming." The concept that entire groups of players would so wholeheartedly embrace 4e's conventions seemed almost foreign to the 3.x-ers.....and the 4e-ers couldn't for the life of them figure out why the 3.x-ers couldn't see that the mechanical improvements were producing a "superior" style of game.
As a community we were forced to look across the table, across the room at our FLGS, and realize that what we assumed was a "shared D&D nationality" was more akin to groups of isolated city-states battling it out for territorial control. (I realize some of the more long-standing gamers probably came to that recognition long before 2008.)
Because Gygax considered it important, and generally did a good job complete with effectively a massive amount of playtesting, fixing things when they broke, people didn't have to worry about it so much. Gygax didn't allow Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit to happen - so the wildshaped bear with a bear companion summoning a swarm of bears to beat up the fighter was an issue that didn't arise.
As for 4e being what we'd wanted all along, perhaps, and perhaps not. It would certainly have been possible to produce a game that satisfied the D&D players who love 4e without changing quite so much - but it would still probably have made wizard and CoDzilla lovers complain because the fighters were now about on a par with them and magic took substantial nerfs. 4e went further and harder in the direction it chose than it needed to. But the GenCon audience cheered the removal of Vancian Magic with good reason. The 3.X primary spellcasters needed to be torn apart to satisfy the group that likes 4e. (For example the 3.X druid in 4e is literally three separate classes; the summoner, the nature loving healer with an animal companion, and the shapeshifter - and all are viable as classes, and the Cleric has been split into Cleric and Invoker.)
I question this assertion. Mostly because I'm not sure who D&D Next players are going to be. I don't see them being Pathfinder players - WotC is not as good as Paizo at what Paizo does. I don't see them being 4e players - WotC is busy pissing all of us off. And I don't see them being people who stuck with AD&D - no published system is going to be a match for more than a dozen years of experience. I further don't really see D&D Next as a true OSR game for various reasons. And it certainly isn't an "appeal to the Indy crowd" game or a "let's change the language used from that of tabletop wargames to that of WoW because that's what people these days know" game.
I just don't see the market segment they are aiming at.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 03:56 PM #15
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
"Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 04:33 PM #16
Lama (Lvl 13)
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I think there were two factors that changed that. One, is that those other versions ceased publication for one reason and another, and then we were given a SINGLE, actively published version of D&D to play.
Second is that we were finally given a technology that allowed us to freely and "instantly" communicate with each other rather than by mail or meeting at conventions - the internet.
It is those two developments either singly/in combination that really started the formal split among the fanbase, but the catalyst that sped up the reaction was when the publishers of that lone version of D&D began to tell us that ONLY the current version was the correct choice for anybody, and in fact the previous version was specifically the stupid choice because, well, it was CLEARLY such a bad choice and the new version with the go-faster stripes was so obviously superior.
I think the division in the fanbase was largely inevitable, but the speed of it, the form which it's taken and even the occasional vehemence of the reactions are all the result not of OUR natural choices as gamers, but of the choices that were forced upon us by game manufacturers and the ill-considered and intemperate opinions of DESIGNERS. The natural state of the hobby was initially one of openness, cooperation, and acceptance of different versions of the game, different play styles, and even different RPG's altogether. I really think that it is the publishers and designers who have created this bed of intolerance and divisiveness that they now find uncomfortable to lie in. We have come to accept and believe that X is (or can be) demonstrably superior to Y because we have been told so strenuously and repeatedly by the professionals with their names on the title page.
Not "will be" but certainly can be. I harbor the sad suspicion that may indeed have finally come to the point where there will be no 800# Gorilla of RPG's and that means that no version will ever again enjoy the dominant position in the market.
Ditto. An 800# gorilla is what DDN will have to be if it is to actually succeed in RE-uniting the community. See, they are not proposing to RE-unite the community in terms of changing our collective attitudes about what we each play, how we play it and why. They are proposing to unite us by convincing us all to play the same game, albeit with widely different "rules modules". DDN may turn a profit, but I SERIOUSLY question whether it can succeed in its goal of community unanimity by getting us all to buy and play the same game. They have a highly laudable goal but they have misidentified the actual problem and therefore the feasable solution to it.But I have a hard time seeing it really uniting the fanbase into this wonderful "Stepford Dungeon" community.
No version of D&D has an Expiration Date.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 04:48 PM #17
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 04:53 PM #18
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
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I see no reason to be hostile to one game or another.
3e & Pathfinder give you lots of options and made sure the rules parsed with a fictional reality.
4e gives you a variety of interesting tricks so that combat is fun as a game as well as as a story.
Take those two elements, make them compatible, and make them toggle-able, and you'll have a great game. Then write great adventures for it, and it can sell.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 05:22 PM #19
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Instead, we could say that big D&D was a leader in an ecology. One can argue pretty well that the existence of one major game made it *easier* for small games to get into the marketplace, rather than more difficult, by raising consciousness of both players and retailers.
Saturday, 21st July, 2012, 05:36 PM #20
Guide (Lvl 11)
This period of "we all got along" simply doesn't exist for many gamers, because the entire time we've been playing D&D has been marked by older fans dragging us into edition wars and telling us that our way of playing is bad for all kinds of reasons. I honestly can't even imagine a D&D culture where people got along and played the same game, because I've never seen it. I can't imagine getting along with people who have never once made any attempt to get along with me.
This is exactly why it is incredibly hard for me to buy into WotC's dream of creating an edition to unify fans.