4E Should I play 4e? - Page 20
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  1. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    Being able to combine excitement and reasonably fast play is not an unreasonably impossible goal,That doesn't mean WotC can't do it right. In this aspect, both 3E and 5E works much better.
    Fast & Exciting sorta go together, sure. 3e definitely delivered short, high-stakes combats, both 3.0 scry/buff/teleport and 3.5 Rocket Tag. While 5e can be deadly at very low level, you have to reach beyond the encounter guidelines to get the same sorts of things going in it, and SoDs aren't what they were, either - the complaint from 3.x fans is often along the lines of 'too easy' rather than the 'too slow' leveled at 4e.

    Ironically, 4e didn't exactly have the slowest individual turns in D&D history, rather, most PCs took medium-ish length turns, rather than, as in most other eds, some classes tending to have very fast-resolving turns, and others taking much longer (especially if rules came into question). 5e relies on DM fiat to head off the latter issue - but the relative popularity of the fast-resolving fighter (more accurately, giving the most popular class concept the least/least-varied/fastest-resolving options on its turn) also helps.

    But, as far as trying 4e goes - in case the OP is still listening - be aware that there's not a big difference in turn length or spotlight time from one class or role to another. Strikers tend to be a bit more brief/glorious in resolution, and Controllers a bit more involved, but nothing like the difference between a 1e fighter or 5e champion and a 1e MU or 5e neo-Vancian caster. So cycling through a round from the end of your turn to the start of your next turn can seem to take a lot longer - especially if you're used to playing the slower-resolving classes in a group that otherwise favor the faster-resolving ones.
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  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    While 5e can be deadly at very low level, you have to reach beyond the encounter guidelines to get the same sorts of things going in it [once you have left those levels]
    (My bracketed sentence ending inserted)

    Yep, that's for sure.

    Then again, encounter guidelines are easily ignored so this is a small price to pay

    (In my mind this is similar to complaints about leveling is too fast, or too slow. My response? Give out less, or more, XP, and problem solved - no real rule changes necessary!)

  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    (My bracketed sentence ending inserted)
    I thought that was clear.
    Then again, encounter guidelines are easily ignored so this is a small price to pay
    Yeah, I'm not saying either complaint is valid, IMX, just that they're made. I have no problems with 5e being too easy, I just adjust encounter difficulty on the fly rather than coloring inside the guidelines (and don't run high level games), and none with 4e being too slow (even when I ran weekly in a 2-hr slot with a hard stop) because I could keep players engaged & pace sessions accordingly.

  4. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Fast & Exciting sorta go together, sure.
    Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much.
    Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points
    Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players.

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much.
    Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points
    Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players.
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly.

    But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.

  6. #196
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    Not sure where you're going with this.

    I mean, the absolute priority is to avoid Boring, right?

    If the only way to make a fight sufficiently challenging to avoid Boring is to make it take a long time, then your core game is too involved.

    I believe that is the fundamental flaw of 4E.

    I think that shows why there is a limit to the lengths a game should and can go to avoid anti-climactic and/or Rocket Tag.

    AD&D didn't even try. 3E didn't go far enough. 4E went (way) too far. 5E goes further than 3E but still stops well short of where the line is drawn, at least for our group.

    But this still leaves 4E design off the hook. What I really think is that 4E is way too lumbering and cumbersome any way you look at it.

    Just compare to the absolutely brilliant Gloomhaven to see how you can do a complex battlemat combat game that still plays quickly, elegantly and with a minimum of fuss.

    My point here is that if you coupled GH combat to a full ttrpg experience, I can easily see you having the cake while still eating it: fun, involved, combat action difficult enough to be exciting AND enough time for story, drama, character choices.

    In short, yes 4E has been much discussed. But seldom has its fundamentally overwrought design complexity been questioned.
    Last edited by CapnZapp; Saturday, 15th June, 2019 at 04:30 PM.

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly.

    But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningful

  8. #198
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    Try it. If you like it, play it. I don't how anyone could say what you would like or should play...

  9. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthanos View Post
    you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningful
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?

  10. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    I can see what he's saying, as it was one of the factors that ultimately turned me off of 3e, despite that I loved it initially, and still respect the design contributions it made to the game. It was not all that uncommon in 3e for life or death to be determined by who won initiative. Hence why the combat could be described as 'rocket tag'. There would typically also be one or more attack rolls or saving throws, but because of the way the math was structured those could be nothing more than a formality.

    You could literally die before getting a turn to act, and it wasn't that uncommon. It might be exciting for a one-shot, but by the time you're rolling up your twelve character in the same number of sessions, it got very old very fast (IME).

    Now, certainly, that didn't always happen, but if you had a DM who didn't believe in pulling punches then it could happen fairly often. There was (again IME) only a relatively small sweet spot from about 3rd to 6th level where it was an uncommon occurrence.

    Death can certainly be meaningful. But in my opinion, you generally need to have some meaningful input into that death for it to be so. That was a place where 3e frequently failed me, as you could pretty easily die having been given no input into the matter. That's from both a DM's and player's perspective. Even when I'm running the game, I prefer my players having had some chance to make choices for their characters in life or death situations. Otherwise the "victory" feels cheap and unearned.

    IME, 4e did a good job of making PCs robust enough that they'd pretty much never get one shot without being able to act. It arguably went too far in the opposite direction for some folk's tastes. 5e, by comparison, seems to deliver a compromise of the two. I've seen characters get one shot without being able to act, but it's rare. I see no reason to dislike either 3e or 4e if you like 5e, even if you would never want to play the former two again. Without the contributions from both designs (and those of earlier editions as well) I think it's safe to say that 5e would be a very different game; quite possibly not nearly as good as it is.
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