The roots of 4e exposed?
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  1. #1
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    The roots of 4e exposed?

    This is part of a series about the history of D&D and how 4e was designed to "save" the game

    http://dmdavid.com/tag/why-fourth-ed...ragons-needed/

    There are some *doozies* in there. For instance, the rules were very precise so a computer could run it, to drive subscription to online play...

    Is there any truth to this?
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  2. #2
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    The follow up article speaks about what went wrong http://dmdavid.com/tag/why-fouth-edi...geons-dragons/
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  3. #3
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    If only this were the other forum I was on...where conspiracy theories were banned.

    And your presentation of the article makes it seem far worse than the article actually is.
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  4. #4
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    I think Steve Winter said it best:

    Fourth Edition was a glorious experiment that succeeded technically.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
    The follow up article speaks about what went wrong http://dmdavid.com/tag/why-fouth-edi...geons-dragons/
    I enjoyed both of those articles -- a great summary of the design thinking leading up to and during 4th Edition with plenty of supporting quotes. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    I've run long-term campaigns for most editions of D&D. My personal experience with 4th Edition was that it allowed me to introduce RPGs to a whole group of fanatical board gamers. I'm not sure a less MMO-like version would have been as effective. They wanted to play 4th Edition because it was so much like a complex tactical board game. However, over the course of an extended campaign (75 games, spanning levels 1-30!) they came to enjoy the story-telling and role-playing aspects as much as the tactics and numerous options. Now that we've moved on to 5th Edition, the consensus all round is that 4th Edition (particularly using Essentials) is a fun enough system to have played, but not one that we'd ever want to go back to.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
    This is part of a series about the history of D&D and how 4e was designed to "save" the game

    http://dmdavid.com/tag/why-fourth-ed...ragons-needed/

    There are some *doozies* in there. For instance, the rules were very precise so a computer could run it, to drive subscription to online play...

    Is there any truth to this?
    You’re misreading the article, though it took me a few rereads to get it, so I totally understand why. The article isn’t saying that they expected a computer to run games. Rather, it’s so that a computer can adjudicate combat- so that if you’re playing in a virtual tabletop (think something like roll20), that when you use power X, the vtt could automatically apply the correct damage and effects to the correct creatures. The idea was that facilitating online play would draw people in who couldn’t find local dms or parties, and would allow people to dm with minimal thought applied to setting up combats.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by masteraleph View Post
    You’re misreading the article, though it took me a few rereads to get it, so I totally understand why. The article isn’t saying that they expected a computer to run games. Rather, it’s so that a computer can adjudicate combat- so that if you’re playing in a virtual tabletop (think something like roll20), that when you use power X, the vtt could automatically apply the correct damage and effects to the correct creatures. The idea was that facilitating online play would draw people in who couldn’t find local dms or parties, and would allow people to dm with minimal thought applied to setting up combats.
    You've said it clearer than I did initially, sorry about that.

    To me the real striking thing was that this was all designed to drive people to pay for a subscription fee - revenue generation was baked into the design.
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  8. #8
    Thank you for finding and sharing both articles. Even as someone who enjoyed 4e, that was enlightening.

    This also makes me curious about several other possible "what if scenarios." What if 4e had been more similar to 13th Age? And now, what if 4e had been more akin to what we are seeing with Pathfinder 2e?
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  9. #9
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    Thank you for the links @Ancalagon, they were great.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    Thank you for finding and sharing both articles. Even as someone who enjoyed 4e, that was enlightening.

    This also makes me curious about several other possible "what if scenarios." What if 4e had been more similar to 13th Age? And now, what if 4e had been more akin to what we are seeing with Pathfinder 2e?
    Pathfinder 2 is still taking shape. It seems truer to the direction D&D was going than 4e was. It would have been less controversial and done better. 5e would not have been needed.
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