4E Speculation about "the feelz" of D&D 4th Edition - Page 7
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  1. #61

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    I think three things are really wrong with 5e: (snip)
    I would add a least two more:

    1. I cannot run a monster from its stat block alone in many cases. I have to look up spells. Nope, not going back to that.
    2. Building a new monster or NPC is only marginally less complicated than it was in 3.xE. Nope, not going back to that either.

    Both of these, of course, are the opposite of key features that make 4E such a great edition for a DM.
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  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrivener of Doom View Post


    It wasn't.

    It was a natural development of some of the earlier key conceits of D&D's design. But, yes, 5E is a throwback.



    I imagine if you had played in the Four Yorkshiremen days you would have also seen a lot of minis and maps. D&D started with wargamers. And while ToTM was common in the 80s, a lot of that had to do with the lack of relatively cheap resources to run a game: Running with a lot of minis involved a lot of costs in both money and time.
    It was indeed a mechanical departure on most levels and in some of them, massively so. There is little useful purpose served by getting into counterpoint with this I think - it is in my opinion entirely self evident.

    On your second claim - you make it clear you have to imagine what the past editions of D&D were played like back then. I don't have to use that, merely my memory, so when I look holistically at the various editions it is from long experience of playing them.

    TotM was always the most popular/played form of the game. I've played more games than I can count, been to more conventions than I can list off the cuff and been a member of various clubs with multiple games over the decades. Miniatures were only so prevalent with 4th Edition as to constitute a majority if the games run.

    I was not criticising 4th Edition as a game. I was pointing out that it was a departure and played differently as a result. To claim it was a next logical next step from 3rd Edition flies in the face of the evidence of the success of Pathfinder and the unprecedented split in the D&D gaming community that occurred - including I might say the current opinion of WotC themselves.

    If you see this differently then by all means show us the evidence - whether it be a sufficient number (by proportion to the whole) of like-for-like rules, or a indicative sample of games through the years that shows that miniatures were used as commonly as you indicate.

    In my experience, TotM was for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th by far the most common way to play the game.

    I never played in the USA - so maybe it was different there, but I remain to be convinced.
    Last edited by Caliburn101; Monday, 13th February, 2017 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #63

    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn101 View Post
    If you see this differently then by all means show us the evidence - whether it be a sufficient number (by proportion to the whole) of like-for-like rules, or a indicative sample of games through the years that shows that miniatures were used as commonly as you indicate.

    In my experience, TotM was for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th by far the most common way to play the game.
    I disagree (see my previous post above).
    3e was the edition that spelled the end for TotM in D&D.

    If you want evidence, just look at the D&D product lists for 3e:
    It gave birth to the countless sets of 'Dungeon Tiles' and the 'Fantastic Locations' poster maps. It was also the prime time for the D&D Miniatures line. During 3e we also saw the switch to the new 'delve' adventure module format, with combat encounters (and detailed battle map layouts) being described separately from the general adventure location descriptions.
    4e merely continued this trend (and improved on it).
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  4. #64

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn101 View Post
    It was indeed a mechanical departure on most levels and in some of them, massively so. There is little useful purpose served by getting into counterpoint with this I think - it is in my opinion entirely self evident. (snip)
    But it's not self-evident. You see a "mechanical departure"; I see a natural evolution of where 3.5E had taken D&D.

    (snip) On your second claim - you make it clear you have to imagine what the past editions of D&D were played like back then. I don't have to use that, merely my memory, so when I look holistically at the various editions it is from long experience of playing them. (snip)
    Nope. My mistake was assuming you lacked the same long experience that I have had, especially as it seemed you weren't looking at 4E from a holistic point-of-view. Looked at holistically, 4E was a natural evolution of D&D and where 3.5E had taken it.

    (snip) TotM was always the most popular/played form of the game. I've played more games than I can count, been to more conventions than I can list off the cuff and been a member of various clubs with multiple games over the decades. Miniatures were only so prevalent with 4th Edition as to constitute a majority if the games run. (snip)
    I wasn't disputing that TotM was always the most common; I was pointing out that it cost too much to run D&D any other way. Minis were expensive back then, and terrain was a DIY job. So TotM was a function of cost not because the rules somehow facilitated TotM play. How many arguments did those of us who played the Four Yorkshiremen editions have about locations of PCs when someone unleashed a fireball or lightning bolt?

    (snip) To claim it was a next logical next step from 3rd Edition flies in the face of the evidence of the success of Pathfinder and the unprecedented split in the D&D gaming community that occurred - including I might say the current opinion of WotC themselves. (snip)
    A natural evolution doesn't mean it has to go in only one direction. 4E was a natural evolution of 3.5E, one that took into account the massive problems associated with DM prep time and the LFQW imbalances. Pathfinder was a natural evolution in another way; small, incremental changes to provide some sort of differentiation so as to be able to sell new core books. Despite the difference in design choices made, both represented a natural evolution of the D&D ruleset.

    (snip) I never played in the USA - so maybe it was different there, but I remain to be convinced.
    No idea. I've never been there and have no intention of going there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    I disagree (see my previous post above).
    3e was the edition that spelled the end for TotM in D&D.

    If you want evidence, just look at the D&D product lists for 3e:
    It gave birth to the countless sets of 'Dungeon Tiles' and the 'Fantastic Locations' poster maps. It was also the prime time for the D&D Miniatures line. During 3e we also saw the switch to the new 'delve' adventure module format, with combat encounters (and detailed battle map layouts) being described separately from the general adventure location descriptions.
    4e merely continued this trend (and improved on it).
    Yep.

    And there's some of that natural evolution I am talking about at work.
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  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrivener of Doom View Post
    I would add a least two more:

    1. I cannot run a monster from its stat block alone in many cases. I have to look up spells. Nope, not going back to that.
    2. Building a new monster or NPC is only marginally less complicated than it was in 3.xE. Nope, not going back to that either.

    Both of these, of course, are the opposite of key features that make 4E such a great edition for a DM.
    Yeah. I'm just a co-writer on two OP adventures(IUZ8-02: Final Words in Living Greyhawk, NETH4-1: Containing Shadow) in Living Forgotten Realms) and I've made approximately $58 personally on $116 sales on dmsguild - I rewrote the caster monsters into CR chart monsters with defined spell-like abilities rather than casters.

    Which isn't yet minimum wage, but getting reasonably close...

    http://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?x...ndy%20Pearlman
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  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrivener of Doom View Post
    I wasn't disputing that TotM was always the most common; I was pointing out that it cost too much to run D&D any other way. Minis were expensive back then, and terrain was a DIY job. So TotM was a function of cost not because the rules somehow facilitated TotM play. How many arguments did those of us who played the Four Yorkshiremen editions have about locations of PCs when someone unleashed a fireball or lightning bolt?
    Or the 'hey, the fighter is next to the orc. How does the big ball of flame affect the orc and not the Fighter?' - and you'd see either the Fighter or orc getting some kind of bonus to save based on where exactly the edge might be. And then a complaint of 'well, I wouldn't have cast X if I knew I'd potentially hit the Fighter' etc...
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  7. #67

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Or the 'hey, the fighter is next to the orc. How does the big ball of flame affect the orc and not the Fighter?' - and you'd see either the Fighter or orc getting some kind of bonus to save based on where exactly the edge might be. And then a complaint of 'well, I wouldn't have cast X if I knew I'd potentially hit the Fighter' etc...
    Exactly.

    One of the things that won me over with 3E when it first released was that it recognised this was a problem by hardwiring the need for a grid and minis into the rules. (Yeah, yeah; I know I am not supposed to say that because only 4E required minis and a grid according to "conventional wisdom"....)

    And, frankly, 5E still needs both once casters start throwing AoE spells around. It's the only way to be fair to both the DM and the players... as was the case for us when we played the Four Yorkshiremen editions of D&D in the 80s.

    13th Age is different, of course. Instead of talking about TotM and then providing a system that required precise relative measurements, 13th Age actually delivered a system that works with TotM. Huzzah!

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrivener of Doom View Post
    But it's not self-evident. You see a "mechanical departure"; I see a natural evolution of where 3.5E had taken D&D.



    Nope. My mistake was assuming you lacked the same long experience that I have had, especially as it seemed you weren't looking at 4E from a holistic point-of-view. Looked at holistically, 4E was a natural evolution of D&D and where 3.5E had taken it.



    I wasn't disputing that TotM was always the most common; I was pointing out that it cost too much to run D&D any other way. Minis were expensive back then, and terrain was a DIY job. So TotM was a function of cost not because the rules somehow facilitated TotM play. How many arguments did those of us who played the Four Yorkshiremen editions have about locations of PCs when someone unleashed a fireball or lightning bolt?



    A natural evolution doesn't mean it has to go in only one direction. 4E was a natural evolution of 3.5E, one that took into account the massive problems associated with DM prep time and the LFQW imbalances. Pathfinder was a natural evolution in another way; small, incremental changes to provide some sort of differentiation so as to be able to sell new core books. Despite the difference in design choices made, both represented a natural evolution of the D&D ruleset.



    No idea. I've never been there and have no intention of going there.



    Yep.

    And there's some of that natural evolution I am talking about at work.
    Ah - I think I see the issue here.

    Your definition of 'natural evolution' is not really indicative of what you are actually saying.

    You are describing something much closer to a jump (significant unprecedented mutation) in evolution that has proven to be relatively unsuccessful insofar as it's successor was a return to previous form (albeit taking a few cherry picked concepts from 4th) and it's numbers (usually a sign of success in evolution...) were smaller than the natural evolution of 3rd at the time - Pathfinder - and it's relative performance has rapidly declined further in the face of 5th.

    If it had indeed been a 'natural evolution' it would have taken most of it's fans with it.

    I don't think your metaphor works all things considered.

    4th Edition was however a development in the franchise - that is entirely clear. Ultimately it didn't prove to be nearly as a successful one as 5th due in part to those who didn't like the newly coined mechanics being applied to 'their' game jumping ship to Pathfinder or elsewhere.

    That's because it doesn't play like the other forms of D&D. It plays like its own game, and had it been a standalone rpg would have been pretty successful as precisely that, as unburdened as it would have been with the expectations of so many people already invested in the expected mechanics of the franchise.
    Last edited by Caliburn101; Monday, 13th February, 2017 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Caliburn101 View Post
    4th Edition was however a development in the franchise - that is entirely clear. Ultimately it didn't prove to be nearly as a successful one as 5th due in part to those who didn't like the newly coined mechanics being applied to 'their' game jumping ship to Pathfinder or elsewhere.
    I think that's a hindsight 20/20 kind of view, but not actually correct. 4e had the following unforgivable problems in marketing:
    No SRD for 4e+restrictive OGL. That made it extremely difficult to write 3rd party material. That's extending even now, making it complex to clone 4e and run a Pathfinder equivalent.

    Told off Paizo without giving them a revenue stream.

    Bad initial adventures. Particularly Living Forgotten Realms with a huge oversupply of substandard material.

    Promised the moon on digital, something WotC's always bad at and should never do. Even if the murder-suicide by head of digital hadn't happened, probably would have gone wrong somehow.

    -----

    Basically, WotC placed Paizo in what they thought was a box - give up Dragon/Dungeon and sell 4e products. But instead, they gave them a ton of incentives to do 3.5 material. Even though companies could see the need for good 4e adventures, they were afraid to write them. And there was Paizo putting out 3.5 compatible material.

    Maybe they still end up going to 5e at some point. But they forced a competitor into existence who would have been happily writing adventures and crunch for them otherwise. Cut off that air supply for 3.5 and very few people leave 4e to go back.
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  10. #70

    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    I'm quite sure nothing about 4e's design was the result of 'randomness'.
    4e was mainly designed to address the (perceived?) shortcomings of 3e, an edition that had been generally well received and brought many players back to D&D (myself included) after they'd grown disenchanted with it when 2e didn't represent enough of an evolution to allow it to compete with more modern RPG systems.
    Combat in 3e was just as tactical and involved as in 4e, but while 3e combat was rather static, 4e strived to make it more dynamic. The real time it took to finish a combat didn't change much, but the in-game time changed: in 3e even high-level combat was typically over after 3-4 rounds, in 4e it could easily take twice as many rounds (or more).

    I consider 5e a continuation of 2e. It's a 'back-to-the-roots' edition for players who didn't enjoy 4e _or_ 3e. It was also important that it felt like a streamlined and less clunky game to players who had grown tired of Pathfinder (which isn't really all that different from 3e and didn't manage to get rid of any of its problems). But for me 5e didn't solve anything. It made me turn away again from D&D, looking for 'better' RPG systems.

    But I've also been spoiled by the tactical combats 4e offered. Combat in most other systems really feels dull compared to it. Fortunately, this isn't a problem if your games don't focus on combats, though.
    Well, those are overgeneralizations: all I had known was 3.x, and I liked it; much of the improvements of 5E were areas I didn't know I wanted improved or needed tweaking until I got it in my hands. 4E did not feel like a continuation of 3.x to me, as it was a jarring break from how we played it. Now, it seems many people played that heavy miniatures based tactical style in 3.x; when I said "random," I meant that in coming from a game that did XYZABC, we who focused on ZAB were surprised that a game exclusively focused on improving XY came along and excluded our style; ZAB was no longer encouraged, or left much room at the table. Whereas with 5E, the tactical level of 3.x is still available; it is not as good a tactical game, for people who like that sort of thing, as 4E; but it isn't trying to be.

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