What is the essence of 4E? - Page 15
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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    Heh, @Manbearcat, that was interesting. I won't quote it just because it was long and I'm lazy!

    I think the difference between Rogue 1 and Han Solo is just that one was a fun and interesting movie with interesting characters, and the other was boring, shallow, and predictable. All Han Solo did was recapitulate a bunch of action scenes which we've basically seen before. The 'Young Han' is NO different from the 'Old Han' we saw in 1977. He didn't start out differently and evolve, he just sorta was basically the same guy, just younger. There's no surprise when his girlfriend stands him up, nothing shocking about him shooting first, nothing. Its a movie that utterly takes its audience for granted and the writers couldn't even be bothered to give them the respect of a decent plot. It deserved to fail. If it hadn't had 'Star Wars' plastered on it, then it would've lasted a week in the theater and grossed $10 mil. which it richly deserved.

    My perspective on the whole 'Last Jedi' thing, as a guy who's seen all the movies and likes them but isn't 'into' the whole genre enough to care about 'canon' or whatever is that it was a perfectly fine movie. I have no idea what sort of lore it transgressed to be honest, and couldn't care less. That's probably true for the vast majority of people who watch a Star Wars movie, they come out and watch them because they're generally fun effects-filled sci-fi.

    I will note that I was struck by an article about Star Wars I saw on, IIRC, Ars Technica where the author talked about the inevitable decay of the series from Mythic Tale to simple gritty narrative. That is, when you start filling in all the details and expositing the bit characters and whatnot then the whole story goes from something akin to Hercules to something more akin to your average Manga. It could still be filled with flash and bang, but by episode 10 or so there's really not much more Epicness left. In this sense something like Star Wars is doomed to die. If the epic story was really the point then the whole thing should have ended with 'Return of the Jedi' 20 years ago.

    4e is different from 'classic' D&D in a number of ways, but I agree with you that game systems are things that really do have to evolve if they're going to continue to stay current. That is what concerns me about the way 5e seems to put a hard stop on innovation in any fundamental aspect of D&D. Where a movie series maybe should just end and acknowledge that its time to go on to another endeavor, a game system should evolve with the 'art of gaming' and changes in culture, tech, etc. because it is a participatory thing and cannot simply stand as a finished work.
    Not to derail this thread but I liked Solo. I thought it did reveal properly the motivations for Han's jaded nature. The old solo would not chase a woman or care. They can come or go. The young solo still believed in love and pursued it. Plot wise I didn't expect more than a fun romp for this type of movie. I do put it behind Rogue One but it's #4 on my all time list. Empire, New Hope, Rogue One, Solo.

    Now back to serious stuff. ;-)

    I do think one of 4e's problems was the naming of every action you could take. No one just attacked anymore. Everyone was doing some power. And due to the numerous number of them, the names got to be silly. Every time a rogue did the daily where they throw all the daggers, everyone in the group rolled their eyes. No one could take the game serious in my group. So the structure and the name were just off putting for us. Obviously this was not true for everyone. Also for me at least martial dailies were too metagame.

    I won't say in past editions this issue was non-existent either. But it was a few cases here or there. It was rampant in D&D 4e.

  2. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    Not to derail this thread but I liked Solo. I thought it did reveal properly the motivations for Han's jaded nature. The old solo would not chase a woman or care. They can come or go. The young solo still believed in love and pursued it. Plot wise I didn't expect more than a fun romp for this type of movie. I do put it behind Rogue One but it's #4 on my all time list. Empire, New Hope, Rogue One, Solo.

    Now back to serious stuff. ;-)

    I do think one of 4e's problems was the naming of every action you could take. No one just attacked anymore. Everyone was doing some power. And due to the numerous number of them, the names got to be silly. Every time a rogue did the daily where they throw all the daggers, everyone in the group rolled their eyes. No one could take the game serious in my group. So the structure and the name were just off putting for us. Obviously this was not true for everyone. Also for me at least martial dailies were too metagame.

    I won't say in past editions this issue was non-existent either. But it was a few cases here or there. It was rampant in D&D 4e.
    It had a very anime feel, shouting the name of your style or kata or spell as you attack. The players not the characters obviously.

    Though I had players do that in 3e, because they just had to do the magical girl thing and spell names got pretty silly. 2e got sillier Leomund's Lamentable Belabourment.

    That was always a moment in D&D when you cast a big spell. 4e let everyone have those moments so no one did.

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I do think one of 4e's problems was the naming of every action you could take. No one just attacked anymore. Everyone was doing some power. And due to the numerous number of them, the names got to be silly. Every time a rogue did the daily where they throw all the daggers, everyone in the group rolled their eyes. No one could take the game serious in my group. So the structure and the name were just off putting for us. Obviously this was not true for everyone. Also for me at least martial dailies were too metagame.

    I won't say in past editions this issue was non-existent either. But it was a few cases here or there. It was rampant in D&D 4e.
    It was certainly possible to take 4e as 'slapstick' if you wished. It is also quite possible to take the exact same set of powers and create a narrative that could come straight from some 'gladiator' movie or some 'wire fu' flick, or from a Chinese TV historical drama (these things are a great source for a certain type of game). Classic D&D OTOH is stuck pretty much in one narrative, the D&D genre one. AD&D needed an entire separate book with its own classes and spell lists to do OA, 4e needed 3 articles in Dragon totaling about 20 pages.
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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    It was certainly possible to take 4e as 'slapstick' if you wished. It is also quite possible to take the exact same set of powers and create a narrative that could come straight from some 'gladiator' movie or some 'wire fu' flick, or from a Chinese TV historical drama (these things are a great source for a certain type of game). Classic D&D OTOH is stuck pretty much in one narrative, the D&D genre one. AD&D needed an entire separate book with its own classes and spell lists to do OA, 4e needed 3 articles in Dragon totaling about 20 pages.
    This may be true. A system like 4e is probably applicable to other genre's far more easily than any other edition of D&D. For example, if we were doing a western, we just rename the powers. Maybe a daily is pulling your pistol and fanning four shots each into a different enemy. I think though for me that would be an unsatisfying western game. So if it works for you that is great. And I'm not saying that a LOT of groups didn't play serious games. That was not my point at all. I just said my own group couldn't take it seriously. That was our take not necessarily another groups. But it did bust our immersion.

  5. #145
    What is the essence of 4e?
    • Being released with half the development time it needed
    • The worst at launch adventure ever (and you never get a second chance to make a first impression)
    • Effects based rather than simulation based rules.
    • More thought into the role of the fighter than all editions of D&D combined
    • No need for a stereotypical party; no essential party roles (like healer/cleric). All striker parties were great.
    • A light but effective skill system, little different from either 3.5 or 5e.
    • Utter botching of game explanations.
    • Superb DM tools to allow even relatively new DMs to be able to handle anything.
    • Rulebooks written to be used in play rather than read for entertainment
    • Clean and simple basic rules with exception based design. Rules clean enough that ironically you seldom needed to ever refer to them in play.
    • Monsters you can use with no mechanical prep
    • Writers who didn't understand its strengths.


    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    It's like the difference between Street Fighter and Smash Bros. There is a lot of hidden depth and complexity that you need to learn if you really want to make the most of Samus (most of it involving frame data), but at a more basic level, everyone still utilizes the same inputs.
    Indeed. Streetfighter (classic D&D) vs Smash (4e) is an excellent metaphor and one I really wish I'd thought of myself.

    We have two schools of thought here. The Street Fighter/anti-4e school says characters are different because the inputs are different. Meanwhile the Smash/4e school says that it's the outputs and what's happening in the game world/on the screen that matters. And that despite theoretically having the same inputs Bowser is more different from Jigglypuff than Ryu is from Chun Li.

    And frankly give me Smash over Street Fighter any day - and I can't wait for Smash Ultimate to come out. I'm also a strong 4e fan. I wonder if the two are linked

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I do think one of 4e's problems was the naming of every action you could take. No one just attacked anymore. Everyone was doing some power.
    Interesting - who says there are no new ideas in dissecting 4e. I'll buy that - and buy it as one of the improvements made in Essentials. (That was a mixed bag).
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  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    What is the essence of 4e?

    Interesting - who says there are no new ideas in dissecting 4e. I'll buy that - and buy it as one of the improvements made in Essentials. (That was a mixed bag).
    I think part of it was probably the fact that at the end of a battle a warrior type would never describe his actions by listing the maneuvers he used. He'd just say I slew the enemy with my sword. Whereas a wizard would say "I cast a fireball" or whatever. Spells are real in a way maneuvers are not. And don't get me wrong, I know that people in real life use maneuvers so I'm not saying not real in that way. Just not used in common language.

    This kind of relates a little to our other thread in that I find that divide we have reflects on the games we liked or disliked.

    While I agree with you, 4e was botched in many ways on startup. I can't help thinking that in the long run it would have played out the same.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    This may be true. A system like 4e is probably applicable to other genre's far more easily than any other edition of D&D. For example, if we were doing a western, we just rename the powers. Maybe a daily is pulling your pistol and fanning four shots each into a different enemy. I think though for me that would be an unsatisfying western game. So if it works for you that is great. And I'm not saying that a LOT of groups didn't play serious games. That was not my point at all. I just said my own group couldn't take it seriously. That was our take not necessarily another groups. But it did bust our immersion.
    Well, I don't think 4e is GURPS... I mean, it can do a range of genre where the idea is to be heroic and a lot of action is likely to be core stuff. If you want a bloody game of lethal gunfights, then Boot Hill is probably your best bet! 4e worked well for Gamma World, and I think it works really well as a replacement for SWSE (there's a blog someplace where a guy reskinned a D&D party into Star Wars characters, it was pretty neat). I wouldn't try to do existential horror with the 4e system.

    As for your group, yeah, I mean that's cool. I certainly didn't mean to imply it was nonsense either. I had a couple players in one campaign of mine that just were goofballs and everything they did was slapstick. I guess they enjoyed it though!
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  8. #148
    Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
    I think part of it was probably the fact that at the end of a battle a warrior type would never describe his actions by listing the maneuvers he used. He'd just say I slew the enemy with my sword. Whereas a wizard would say "I cast a fireball" or whatever. Spells are real in a way maneuvers are not. And don't get me wrong, I know that people in real life use maneuvers so I'm not saying not real in that way. Just not used in common language.
    And here I couldn't disagree with you more. Depending who you ask and when you might get anything from a warrior from "I slew him" to each individual sword stroke in the fight and possibly boring the audience rigid. And you might get a similar range from the wizard.

    As for combat maneuvers not being used in common language in the real world, I've talked about third form kaitenage and a hip toss into an arm bar more often in the real world than I ever have casting a real fireball. We just don't talk about them much because we don't live the sort of life where they are used. By saying "they aren't used in our sedentary lives much therefore we will ban people who actually do use them from talking about them or establishing common jargon" you are making the entire world less real to me.

    I have no problem at all with the Tunnels and Trolls approach where it boils down to "We slayed them". I have a problem when the wizard is talking in terms of spells and the fighter isn't going into more detail. I also have a problem with cookie cutter warriors who are so lacking in personality that they all describe their fights in the same way.
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  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    And frankly give me Smash over Street Fighter any day - and I can't wait for Smash Ultimate to come out. I'm also a strong 4e fan. I wonder if the two are linked
    Or Young Linked, or Toon Linked.

    I bought a Switch the day after I saw the Smash Ultimate trailer. And I'm also a 4e fan, so I think @Saelorn's original comparison is dead on.
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    @Ovinomancer , @TwoSix , @ anyone else...

    I feel like digging down really deeply on the TLJ/4E tradition deviation comparison may (a) not be something that anyone else in this thread cares about and (b) while works into 4es essence, it may push the bounds of threadcrapping (and my next response would be long).

    What do you guys think? Anyone else care about that topic?

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