D&D 4th Edition More reflections on 4e and 5e. - Page 4




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  1. #31
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    Do you think it would have worked better if you'd renamed "Sly Flourish" something like "Sneaky Stab" - and/or made it an MBA? Because Sly Flourish basically is the rogue's standard attack power if they have it.
    I would have do Sly Flourish in one of two ways. First of all, though, I would automatically let characters with substitute Dexterity for Strength when using light blades. Then I would:

    (a) Let the rogue add his Charisma modifier to all his attacks. (Or half his Charisma modifier, if that is too powerful.)

    (b) Reformat the power so the text it says something along the lines of, "Make a melee attack with a light blade. If your attack hits, you do additional damage equal to your Charisma bonus.)

    I don't think an average new or casual gamer wants to spend a lot of time "mastering" the rules of a game, especially when new to the game. The new and casual gamers I see at the club at school are interested in D&D, and want to sit, listen to a brief explanation, and begin playing.
    This is the problem with the very rules-heavy nature of 3e/4e. Most people aren't that interested in crunching the numbers the way people who discuss RPGs on the Internet are. There's a few hardcore gamers out there, but I think the majority of people are satisfied with a fighter whose main schtick is an attack roll.

    I'll give an example (and since I'm finally back to gaming after a long hiatus, I'll be giving a lot of these).

    I played SWSE (Star Wars Saga Edition) with a group of guys last night. Now, these guys are very beer-and-pretzel kind of gamers. They're mostly interested in killing droids and taking their loot. Now, SWSE doesn't offer much in the game of "special attacks" for these guys. The typical combat round involves firing a blaster or tossing a hand grenade (though there are a few more options for Jedi and some weapons offer special attacks like autofire). We were assaulting a droid factor. My character is a noble. He's bossy and has a handful of skills at his disposal, but his combat options are limited. Throughout the entire night, I resorted to a "basic attack" with my blaster. Everyone else did the same thing, and our weapons were fairly similar (most did 3d6 or 3d8 damage).

    Despite this, we all had a great time. Nobody complained about our attacks being "boring" or "samey."
    Accepting what you say as true then I don't care to accommodate the "least-common-denominator" in the least bit. If this is true then I absolutely (and implacably) hold that this is a matter of industry and will rather than genetic deficiency. We do not have a gigantic horde of genetically inferior fools walking amongst us. We very likely have a large swath of lazy (intellectually and otherwise) people amongst us as laziness, lack of industry and willingness to get away with whatever the greater cultural body lets you get away with is as fundamental to human primal programming as breathing. I'm not interesting in incentivizing or catering to poor behavior. If you cannot put forth the absurdly minimal, requisite mental exertion to learn a transparent and intuitive rule-set (that you are pro-actively, willfully, investing in as a leisure pursuit and therefore acknowledging that it is in some way important to you and further acknowledging that you are accepting the social accord of courtesy toward the others who are investing their own time), then I have no interest in being "inclusive" of your interests (and thus enabling that sort of behavior and contributing to the feedback). To be honest, I find the entitled expectations of the lazy and the parasitic to be repugnant (Full disclosure: I have a lot of close personal experience with this, and the emotional baggage that comes with it, as a former sibling, now dead from suicide after birthing 3 children and contributing nothing but misery to their lives, held me and my family hostage for 30 + years with this exact modus operandi. Beyond that, I see it at my work and other areas of my life regularly. Its absolutely destructive to the host body and punishes the "good" and "responsible" and "duty-bound".).

    There is no such thing as being "unable" to learn the concept of At-wills given the ridiculously low-bar of intellectual requirement for the mechanic. "Unwilling?" Ok. I'll accept that as the explanation. However, I won't accept that willful, poor behavior as the demographic that should be primarily catered to in the design of anything (game design or other).
    I agree with most of your eugenics.txt rant, but I'd rather play with stupid people than not play at all.

 

  • #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    I agree with most of your eugenics.txt rant, but I'd rather play with stupid people than not play at all.
    On the contrary, my "rant" was anything but "eugenics". The "eugenics" aspect was what I was disputing; eg - most/some/majority (whatever) people have an inherently low ceiling to their intellectual capacity. That I find quite controversial (and provably wrong). What is quite clear is that if you place a person alone on an island and require them to "master mundane skills or at least perform with a modicum of proficiency" toward to the end of self-sufficiency, they will generally do so (and perhaps surprise some). If you place that same person in an environment where they do not have to be self-sufficient and subsequently the locus of control of their actualization is less an internal mandate...don't be surprised if they leverage that toward lack of self-sufficiency. Humans (you, I, us) have an extraordinary capacity toward laziness and most of us have to fight this impulse daily. However, we don't have an enormous amount of Deltas walking around with an inherent, terminally low intellectual ceiling (such that they can't understand mundane concepts). That sort of talk leads to "eugenics" (German, Spartan) approaches toward the organizing of societies.

  • #33
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    I still admit to wondering if there's something in the drinking water over where you are, because wow. These stories.

    I do agree with you on Martial At-Wills versus basic attacks, and like the 5E approach a lot more than the 4E one there. Although a Warlord, really? He should know his character is all about helping others out, selfishly swinging with a sword not really a thing.

    Strikers aren't OP in the least, although if the challenge level is low I can see why you think that (if all you have to do is kill blocks of HP Tofu, the guy who cuts the most tofu looks really good). Controllers and leaders come into their own against real challenges. If you want, you can think of strikers as the cleanup crew - they're there to make sure fights don't drag on too long and kill things.

    Agree on the round-by-round, it needed to be either 'until the end of your next turn' or 'save ends' on all powers, there were too many fiddlies. The book reference worries me though. You should have power cards from CharBuilder, that makes the game a lot easier.

  • #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    I still admit to wondering if there's something in the drinking water over where you are, because wow. These stories.
    I don't get it, either. These people are mostly college students, so they're allegedly our best and brightest.

    Just kidding, college is High School Pro.

    You should have seen the group I played Pathfinder with. The DM and I had to walk everyone through leveling up with every little bit, from saving throws to attack bonus to skill points. It was maddening.
    Last edited by B.T.; Sunday, 30th September, 2012 at 10:29 PM.

  • #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    I don't get it, either. These people are mostly college students, so they're allegedly our best and brightest.

    Just kidding, college is High School Pro.

    You should have seen the group I played Pathfinder with. The DM and I had to walk everyone through leveling up with every little bit, from saving throws to attack bonus to skill points. It was maddening.
    I've gotten so used to Character Builder that I don't even care anymore. It's like "listen to the computer program, it'll take care of that for you." To be fair I can't help but wonder how much of my love of 4E is due to that, I remember some pretty epic 3E leveling up sessions.

    Software - making the DM's life easier!

  • #36
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    It's amazing to me the amount of work in a 4e sheet when doing it manually. I've seen plenty of experienced pf players or earlier ed players try to make their own toon manually in 4e, and mess it up badly.

    The builder, as annoying as it is, is virtually a necessity to get anything done, and have all your bonuses tallied properly. But that's with noobs. I could remember virtually all my powers in my head with most of my characters, and only had to use my sheet to check off which ones I'd already used. I ended up using a scrib sheet for that, or the front page of the sheet with the check boxes, rather than going through page after page in the back.

    Character sheets are like CVs, they should never be more than two pages.

  • #37
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    Meh, character sheets have never been less than two pages. They just used to cheat because they'd hide the text of the powers, maneuvers, and spells in the PHB. I mean "Fire Seed" doesn't actually tell you what the power does the way CharBuilder's power cards do.

  • #38
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    I'd mostly agree with the OP.

    There needs to be a simple "attack button" option. Everyone thinks damage is sexy. Keeping fiddly bits in your head is annoying. And while I concede that forced movement CAN be fun, for me, it's just locking me into a grid and that is something I can't enjoy that much. But for others, sure.

    It's not that they're stupid. It's about invested effort. Investing a lot of effort into pretending to be a magical gumdrop elf has quickly diminishing returns. And 4e -- though a touch better than most other editions in a few ways on this -- still asks you to invest a LOAD of effort into things.

    In comparison, I could grab World of Warcraft and become a magical gumdrop elf and get to level 3 in the time it takes to play one D&D session, all without leaving the comfort of my home.

    We all know that D&D offers a lot of stuff that a MMO doesn't, but we're also already people willing to put forth that effort. Little Sally College Student isn't already one of us mutants, so the effort required must be minimized.
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  • #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazza View Post
    Well he did say it was a throwing hammer
    Ah, that's what I missed (though I did get the elf cleric's bow).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fazza View Post
    13 on a crit with a throwing hammer seems fine.
    Yes. But then I want to know, why was the fighter readying to throw a hammer rather than (say) charge with his/her real weapon?

    A 7th level draon vs 4 6th level characters is on the cusp between an 8th and 9th level encounter - ie reasonably challenging. Having the fighter and the cleric spend actions on pretty weak ranged attacks seems like a recipe for increasing the challenge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    In other words, I agree that the damage rolls you are talking about are low, but I don't understand the 6th level PC builds that are producing them.
    The dragon was out of sight. The party was approaching across a rocky plain and were expecting the dragon to take flight. So the fighter and elf cleric each moved up to a spot where they had cover to draw the dragon out and readied ranged attacks because they assumed (rightly) that the dragon would not willingly land to fight melee build PCs on the ground.

    The fighter uses throwing hammers, with STR 20 and Weapon Focus Hammer, he gets 1d6+7 damage. The elf is a warpriest with all melee powers except Revealing Light. She uses a longbow when there is no melee option.

    Once the wizard forced the dragon on the ground the melee types jumped on it pummeled it
    "A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny." -Aesop

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