D&D 4th Edition 4e-style Roguelikes




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  1. #1
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    4e-style Roguelikes

    Hey guys, I was wondering if anybody knew of any roguelike games out there that kind of played like 4e? It seems rather easy to make one, if one approaches it from the right direction.
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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'roguelike'. Do you mean like Rogue Trader? Or where characters operate similarly to 4e rogues?

    EDIT: Nevermind, I looked it up. I wouldn't be able to say, honestly.
    Last edited by Siberys; Monday, 10th September, 2012 at 07:17 PM.
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  • #3
    I'm trying to think now how you'd represent the whole action economy of 4e in a system which usually has a very different action economy, as well as all of the other things that are very different in a traditional roguelike. Minor brainstorm incoming:

    First of all, representing the Standard/Move/Minor durations. I'm thinking something like attacking being 10 time (choosing a number large enough to give me space while still using integers), minor actions being less than 10 time (depending on how minor the action is... could have this be 5 or 2 to start with and see how things go from there), and move actions being an amount of time depending on your movement speed (probably low... 5, perhaps? 4 for fast races, 6 for dwarves). Not sure how you'd represent shifting at all, given that part of what makes roguelikes so interesting is that positioning is everything. Maybe a 10 time movement that doesn't cause OAs.

    And that's another thing that changes things. In a roguelike, you can retreat from a monster with equal speed, and it will follow you across the map. So what if instead, moving while next to a monster is slower, instead of there being special oppourtunity actions. (I realise that I have seen this idea before, in the remake of Avernum, but it's quite effective.) Immediate actions would need some similar rethinking.

    The next thing to think about is AEDU. Now, obviously, At-Wills aren't an issue, and Utility powers can be treated as their usage limit. Encounter powers are only recharged by, essentially, not being used for a while. So you could just put a large recharge timer on them (500 time feels like a good starting point). Or alternatively, have a "short rest" command that waits for a length of time, and if there are no interruptions, Encounter powers are regained. I think I prefer this option less, though, as the whole "forced rest" thing makes roguelikes boring, and is already an issue for 4e.

    Which leaves Daily powers. Now, an extended rest is something that's close to impossible to take in a dungeon, so a really long wait is out of the question. There's the obvious point that leveling up gives you the effects of an extended rest, which makes for some very interesting risk/reward decisions as you're close to a level, but how about also designing the dungeon around the floors being just enough that, afterwards, you need an extended rest, and then giving the player an extended rest between floors. Obviously, this would only work for a roguelike where you can't go back up again (or at least, can't easily go back up again). And you could make "diving for safety" a lot harder by having some sort of quest to unlock the doors down...

    I'd think about this some more, but right now, it's 8am, and I haven't gone to bed yet (oops). Hopefully I've left you some things to think about...

  • #4
    I would think that, 4e being what it is, the rogue-like would have to be party based. There would be a split between "exploration" and "battle", like in the old game Wizard's Crown. In fact, Wizard's Crown is probably a very good design for 4e rules. It was a very tactical game, with facing, hiding, using perception checks ("scan the battlefield"), etc.

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    have you tried the facebook game neverwinter nights?
    produced by WotC it is 4e like.
    I had a lot of fun playing it for a while. I even made a few dungeons: "republican Primary" and "Rocky horror"
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    Yeah, I'd second the suggestion to check out the facebook game. Fair shout out towards old SSI style games, too.

    I ended up not playing it as much as I expected to, but it was pretty nice for one of the only 4e offerings at all.

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    I guess it depends on what you want out of a "roguelike" game. Its kind of weird since a lot of its tropes seem based on the computer side of it. Like dungeon and item randomization. Its kind of like playing something Diablo-esque on the tabletop.

    You could certainly play 4e in a delve oriented style. Heck, the fact that it lends itself so easily to that style of play is one of the most common criticisms of it.

    I think there are even some random dungeon rules in one of 4e DMGs, but maybe I'm mis-remembering. Also, it seems like someone out there has to have created random item tables for 4e. It shouldn't be that hard to come up with something yourself in terms of random items. You could model it after the random item tables in 3e, where you start out rolling for type of item, then power level of item and so on, narrowing it down more and more. With AV1, AV2, and MME, there are literally hundreds of 4e items you could randomize.

    Now if by roguelike, you really mean like old school theater of the mind style dungeon crawls, then I would check out one of many D&D retro clones like Castles and Crusades or DCC. Although, none of those have 4e style mechanics.

    13th Age is the closest in terms of mechanical feel to 4e, but it assumes the players are badasses and handwaves things like gear. Magic items are also special and unique, not the fiddly collection of bonuses that 4e items tend to be. Still it has a solid foundation you could use to turn it into an old school style game that plays like 4e. It would be my choice, but again it depends on what you really want.

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    There's a game called "Avernum" out for PC, Mac and Ipad! that is very roguelike. It is quite a good game. I love 4E and I love Avernum. There is no game that can completely capture 4E, but Avernum is pretty tactical.

    For casters it uses spell points.

    For fighters, they get maneuvers, only using a maneuver causes fatigue, which requires a cooldown before the Fighter can use another maneuver.

    Link to a more detailed review which has links to actual game
    http://drakesflames.blogspot.com/201...-from-pit.html

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    There's also "Dungeons of Dredmore" that sells on Steam.
    Dungeons of Dredmor

    I couldn't take the humor.

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