D&D 4th Edition Playtest Update - Page 7





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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    Here's my question: why the heck isn't anyone but me clamoring for a non-Vancian cleric? We've got three arcane casters and people are still complaining that they can't cast Magic Missile exactly the way they want to, while the only guy who can heal is stuck with an even more convoluted Vancian system (and so far, zero options for getting rid of it).
    There has been rumors of a divine-heritage sorcerer that might fill the "favored soul" niche.

    Me, I want to see a cleric that's more of the "white wizard", unarmored type (I hoped the Sun domain would be that).

 

  • #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CasvalRemDeikun View Post
    If they aren't participating, they SHOULD be ignored (to a certain extent).
    That's not confirmation bias, though. Confirmation bias is tossing out data specifically because it does not support your desired result.

    Taking data from surveys only, and neglecting other sources (regardless of whether it supports your desired result or not), may yield what is called a "selection bias".

    The natures of confirmation bias and selection bias are quite different. Confirmation bias yields the results you want. Selection bias may yield what you want, or not, depending on the selection.

  • #63
    My guess is that the people willing to play the playtest are fairly representative of the range of people who would consider buying the final product. If they love paizo or 4e too much to download a free PDF of something new, how likely are they to pay $30 for a hardcover PHB?

    The whole bias argument seems moot anyway since mearls is always commenting on how "even 4e players thought xxx was too complicated." I think there's a reason the surveys keep asking your favorite edition.
    Last edited by ZombieRoboNinja; Tuesday, 25th September, 2012 at 04:47 AM. Reason: iPhone thinks "mearls" should be "meadow." I approve.

  • #64
    I just posted this over on the "Defining Traits of the D&D Classes" thread, but it seems apropos to the discussion of Vancian vs. non-Vancian magic going on here.

    ON VANCIAN MAGIC:

    I hate it. At least, I hate it as the core spell casting mechanic.

    Each fantasy setting usually has its own story about the nature of magic and how one comes to wield it. I feel the Vancian system imposes too much narrative on what should be a very generic archetype (the caster of magical spells) for fantasy settings. Players and DMs should be able to make up their own narrative about what magic is in their setting and have an underlying core mechanic that supports it.

    That said, I respect that others like Vancian magic and that taking it away from them is me accusing them of having "wrongbadfun." I also know its a D&D tradition that will never go away.

    So here is a compromise that came to me. What if this is one of those "dials" in the core rules that each DM or group can determine for themselves (like they have done with healing in the current play test)?
    SIMPLE SPELLCASTING: Use the 3E sorcerer mechanic - cast any spell you know as long as you have enough resources (i.e., spell slots) left to cast a spell of that magnitude.

    MODERATE: Use the current DDN mechanic for clerics - prepare a limited number of spells, but then use your slots to cast any you have prepared in whatever combination as long as you have slots left.

    COMPLEX: Classic Vancian Spellcasting.
    I like the idea of spell slots as the core resource because it avoids any clunky or confusing shifts in paradigm you'd get from switching back and forth between spell points or mana.

    If you wanted to really let each player have the option of setting the bar for his or her own character (and thus allow a simple and a complex caster to exist in the same campaign) you'd have to balance it out with some sort of trade off.

    I don't like the idea that there would be two casters of the same class and level knowing a different number of spells per level or having different progressions based on the casting option they use (like was done with the wizard v. sorcerer in 3E).

    Would the trade off be that as you got more restrictive, you would get additional slots, or perhaps your spells became more empowered with maybe different ranges, durations, areas of effect, or damage bonuses?

    I would think this is best for wizards, clerics, and perhaps druids so you can play your old school classes on the core spellcasting mechanic. Newer additions (warlocks, sorcerers) could still have unique mechanics.

  • #65
    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    My guess is that the people willing to play the playtest are fairly representative of the range of people who would consider buying the final product.
    Fair enough. Personally, I suspect that they've got themselves a playtest group that's irreparably skewed towards online bloggers and those who frequent online TTRPG forums.

  • #66
    Quote Originally Posted by dd.stevenson View Post
    Fair enough. Personally, I suspect that they've got themselves a playtest group that's irreparably skewed towards online bloggers and those who frequent online TTRPG forums.
    Yeah, dunno what to do about that beyond the outreach they're already doing at conventions, etc.

    I guess there's something to be said for keeping things simple for "casual" roleplayers who don't hang out on ENWorld, but I think they're doing pretty well on that front.

  • #67
    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    Yeah, dunno what to do about that beyond the outreach they're already doing at conventions, etc.

    I guess there's something to be said for keeping things simple for "casual" roleplayers who don't hang out on ENWorld, but I think they're doing pretty well on that front.
    Yeah, I really have no idea how the offline segment differs from the online one. Glad it's not my problem to solve!

  • #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    Here's the thing: if the class archetypes can be completely divorced from mechanics like that, doesn't that kind of undercut the whole concept of class-specific mechanics?
    It does undercut it. It doesn't necessarily remove it, but it does undercut it.

    The idea is just to divorce class archetypes from having to have a particular recharge rate. Other mechanics can still distinguish classes. Wizards still use spellbooks and memorize magic, they just have a choice of how much power to invest in a spell (maybe even a choice they make when they prepare it!). Fighters still use flexible, dynamic maneuvers, they just get a choice of how much "oomph" to put into them in the moment.

    But it does remove one dimension of class uniqueness. It's not a hard dimension for a given DM to add back in, but I don't think you're really wrong there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja
    I thought the whole point of backing away from AEDU was that it was more elegant to play, say, a rogue or fighter with a variety of flexible at-will powers rather than with an array of daily and encounter powers. This carries over nicely into wizards vs. sorcerers: wizards have to keep detailed lists and carefully plan their spells, since they're nerdy bookworms, while sorcerers can just keep tossing out whatever spells they know until they run out of juice.
    I personally do like that. But a lot of folks (especially folks who really liked the way wizards worked in 4e) really don't like that. And they should be allowed to opt out of that, while still being able to play a bookish academic spellcaster. I don't think there's anything inherent to the archetype of a bookish academic spellcaster that mandates that the magic be at a certain recharge rate.

    I note that nobody's talking about sorcerers memorizing spells or warlocks "needing" a bunch of daily spells. And the vast majority seem happy with CS fighters with no daily or encounter powers. So really I think this is less of a system issue and more of a specific class issue. My hope is that they release the arcane sorcerer and some "wild mage" non-Vancian spellcasting traditions it does a good enough job satisfying people who like wizards and hate Vancian casting that this issue dies down.
    Y'know, that might be enough, but it still creates the problem of people not liking the recharge rate of the archetype. I shouldn't HAVE to play a Sorcerer to get frequent magic, right?

    As it is now, Sorcerers and Warlocks both have "daily" abilities. Willpower points are daily, and so are Invocations. That's part of why I personally feel they're "too Vancian." And Wizards have at-wills, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja
    Here's my question: why the heck isn't anyone but me clamoring for a non-Vancian cleric? We've got three arcane casters and people are still complaining that they can't cast Magic Missile exactly the way they want to, while the only guy who can heal is stuck with an even more convoluted Vancian system (and so far, zero options for getting rid of it).
    I could go for a cleric who is only based on Channel Divinity, myself.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 25th September, 2012 at 07:25 PM.
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  • #69
    As it is now, Sorcerers and Warlocks both have "daily" abilities. Willpower points are daily, and so are Invocations. That's part of why I personally feel they're "too Vancian." And Wizards have at-wills, too.
    Except invocations are encounter abilities, able to be regained after a short or long rest. Notice however that we have "lesser" and "minor" invocations, arguably paving the way for "greater" invocations that are daily powers.

  • #70
    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    My guess is that the people willing to play the playtest are fairly representative of the range of people who would consider buying the final product. If they love paizo or 4e too much to download a free PDF of something new, how likely are they to pay $30 for a hardcover PHB?

    The whole bias argument seems moot anyway since mearls is always commenting on how "even 4e players thought xxx was too complicated." I think there's a reason the surveys keep asking your favorite edition.
    I agree 100% if you don't play the playtest you might as well yell at WoTC Hq "don't pay attantion to me"
    I'm with D&D...Any Edition

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