D&D 4th Edition More reflections on 4e and 5e. - Page 6




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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    The D&D Essentials Fighter sub-classes (Knight and Slayer) and the Skald from Heroes of the Feywild show much better templates for what "at-will powers" need to be for characters that use the "Making Sharp Things Go Through Soft Things That Scream and Bleed" skill to attack than anything in the 4th Edition PHB or PHB2. Their Encounter Powers fit the bill well too.

    <snip>

    Sometimes front-loading the options before you even roll dice is a pain you don't need for seemingly simple actions. It involves a bunch of extra calculating to make the optimal play. Also, being forced to make set-up choices every round leads to people screwing up order

    <snip>

    Some character classes and builds thrive on picking the right rabbit out of your hat every round. Traditionally the ones with the largest variety of bunnies in said hat are Magicians
    I like a system that doesn't make you play a wizard in order to have interesting choices to make (including the possibility of getting them wrong).

 

  • #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I like a system that doesn't make you play a wizard in order to have interesting choices to make (including the possibility of getting them wrong).
    Me too. But I also like a system that allows you to avoid analysis paralysis if that's what you want to do. I wasn't happy with the simple martial classes in Essentials until they produced the Elementalist and brought us a simple caster. And a thief who doesn't use Tactical Trick has interesting complex options and a surprising amount of versatility including such things as a climb speed. For that matter a Hunter or Scout is probably more flexible and competent out of combat than a PHB Rogue or wizard. So I don't find this criticism a fair one.

  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    I don't find this criticism a fair one.
    I'm not meaning to criticise Essentials. I'm just contesting this:

    The D&D Essentials Fighter sub-classes (Knight and Slayer) and the Skald from Heroes of the Feywild show much better templates for what "at-will powers" need to be for characters that use the "Making Sharp Things Go Through Soft Things That Scream and Bleed" skill to attack than anything in the 4th Edition PHB or PHB2. Their Encounter Powers fit the bill well too.

    That is, I don't agree that the E-classes are "much better templates" - either in their at-wills or their encounter powers - than the PHB classes for weapon-using PCs.

    That's not to say that they're worse. Just that they're not "much better". There is nothing wrong with the PHB martial classes (either on their own merits, or treated as templates for weapon-using PCs more generally).

  • #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    That is, I don't agree that the E-classes are "much better templates" - either in their at-wills or their encounter powers - than the PHB classes for weapon-using PCs.

    That's not to say that they're worse. Just that they're not "much better". There is nothing wrong with the PHB martial classes (either on their own merits, or treated as templates for weapon-using PCs more generally).
    See @Neonchameleon's post on the previous page regarding chunking in decision making. The Essentials structure is significantly superior UI/UX design not only because it allows for a lower floor of complexity when someone wants that but also because it compartmentalizes the aspects of more complex sequences better. Essentially (hah) it's a superior work-flow.

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  • #55
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    That's not to say that they're worse. Just that they're not "much better".

    One of the aspects of being much better is that 4th Ed E-classes do not all bleed into each other as O-4th Ed classes/roles do, with features you slap on and powers that suit, the 4th Ed AEDU system is as close as we've got to class-less D&D (which is great for those who want it).

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    One of the aspects of being much better is that 4th Ed E-classes do not all bleed into each other as O-4th Ed classes/roles do, with features you slap on and powers that suit, the 4th Ed AEDU system is as close as we've got to class-less D&D (which is great for those who want it).
    One reason I like 4e AEDU classes is because of how "pure" they keep classes - even with feat multiclassing.

    I don't buy the "they're all essentially the same because they all use the same power structure" meme at all; it's like saying "all wheeled motor vehicles have an engine, axles and wheels with pneumatic tyres, ergo they are basically all the same". They have a few similarities, for sure, but I'll take the Maserati or the Artic and you can have the used Nova, any time...
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  • #57
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    The "they're all the same because they use the same power structure" argument is a knee-jerk justification to a knee-jerk reaction. It's true, in a way, but not in the way they intend. It's like the "4e is WoW" canard: there is truth to it, but nerds generally have a difficult time articulating themselves due to their poor social skills, so they default to memes. (Of course, this is as much true outside of gaming circles--see any political discussion ever.)

    The problem with 4e's powers is primarily their presentation. Everything in that awful block format that makes 4e look more like Magic than it does D&D. While that might be convenient for spell cards, writing everything out in strict mechanical format is unpleasant to look at, and it leaves the mind's eye without a strong image.

    First, the powers look like a hotkey bar. It's just how it is. You've got these cards in front of you that you can "click" to use your powers.



    Secondly, there is no real distinction between magical abilities and martial abilities. 1[W] + Strength vs. 1d8 + Int? Not much in the way of difference. Sure, one might have the Weapon keyword and a range of melee while the other has Implement and 5 squares, but, in the "meat" of the power card, there's little distinction. The over-reliance on stock effects didn't help, either.

  • #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.T. View Post
    ...What I took from this session is that:
    (a) At-will powers are junk.
    Nobody understood these. I did, of course, and the gloomblade's player is smart enough to get the rules, but everyone else was very, very confused. Now, not to toot my own horn too much here, but I'm usually the smartest guy at the table. I have a head for numbers and rules. I "get" the 4e rules. In comparison to 3e, it's very easy to play. Unfortunately, it's not easy enough.
    This one is most confusing. How are they "junk" if a certain subset of players didn't "get" them? I'll agree there are different learning styles and curcvs for different people, but at-wills are pretty darned simple to wrap your head around if you try. You did it easily enough and you're used to other, "conflicting" systems.

    (b)The striker role should not exist.
    In the combat, the strikers did the majority of the work.
    This only comes up when there aren't enough encounters or they're not put together very well. With your party composition, a well-designed encounter will be very bloody but generally not deadly. There's no defender mucking up the enemies' plans and it doesn't sound like the controller is either. Enemies should be able to focus-fire the crap out of whomever they want and the Leaders popping off their heals early and often.

    It's also about attrition. The Defenders have the most surges, not just HP, and the leaders' bread & butter heals drain those. The characters getting hit more often with less of a cushion are going to run low on resources more quickly.

    In your party, those front-line strikers should be paste unless you are kicking out the power.


    (c) Round-by-round tracking sucks.
    There needs to be a set duration for powers. Either they last until the end of your next turn or the beginning of your next turn or the end of the enemy's next turn or the beginning of his next turn. Trying to figure out when powers ended was a huge pain and caused more page-flipping than the actual powers themselves.
    It's a pain, no doubt, but I do like save ends also. End of Next Turn is much simpler, but then no effect will affect a creature for anything but that set time. I think I'd prefer teh streamlining of one or the other though.


    (d) Forced movement is awesome.
    Originally, I was skeptical of forced movement and the over-reliance on the battlemat. I recant immediately. I like a good tactical challenge, and there were some really neat moments that forced movement provided in the game. My personal favorite was when the last remaining soldier fled and the druid used one of his at-wills (that couns as an MBA) to slide him back into position to provoke another attack of opportunity.
    It is a blast. Many defenders and good controllers are even better at it.
    Last edited by Herschel; Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 08:14 PM.

  • #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Little Sally College Student isn't already one of us mutants, so the effort required must be minimized.
    Should it be minimized below "Read your character." or "Remember things you've learned."? That's the problem I see with B.T.'s post about the group. Most of them didn't read their characters or retain the information from them. He had one guy get something corrected and explained, then continued to do the same wrong thing.
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  • #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Little Raven View Post
    Should it be minimized below "Read your character." or "Remember things you've learned."? That's the problem I see with B.T.'s post about the group. Most of them didn't read their characters or retain the information from them. He had one guy get something corrected and explained, then continued to do the same wrong thing.
    Ah, yes, because all things one reads have identical levels of complexity so clearly if one can read and remember the alphabet, one can also read and remember astrophysics textbooks and that's why we have a lot of seven year old astrophysicists out there, because all text has identical complexity and once you can read and remember, you're capable of reading and remembering ANYTHING.

    OR,

    There's differing levels of complexity for things, and perhaps the incentive to "have fun" isn't offering enough reward for the complexity that it is demanding the audience understand.

    Y'know, either way, really.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012 at 09:07 PM.
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