• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

4e Clone − help create it!

Zardnaar

Adventurer
All right... if you're going to make an alternate 5E then just say that. Or if you want to make a personalized 4E variant then just say that. But if that's the case, then you have no need to worry about the D&D SRDs or the OGL. Do whatever you want with no expectation of publishing or publicizing it and keep it for yourself (which it looks like you, @Zardnaar have already been doing, which is great.)

But my presumption is that if you are coming onto EN World to work with other posters to combine to create a "4E clone" together (and not just your own personal hack)... then you actually have a desire to make it a more universal and faithful port that is OGL compliant and thus able to be "published" like so many OSR games are. And if that's the case, you cannot start the process by introducing all your own rule hacks to get rid of personal bugaboos. Because your personal bugaboos are not going to be other people's, and thus this game you are trying to make will already write off 98% of the people you are hoping to get involved and/or play it.

If you want to clone 4E, start with 4E. Write up the 4E Player's Handbook 1 (all the races, classes, themes etc.) in SRD OGL form so that you know you are compliant to begin with and you actually have a base game foundation to use and publish. Once you've done that... then start talking with other people about slight changes to help the game find a bit better balance.

But if that's too much hassle or you feel like its unnecessary because the game already works as-is... then you don't actually want to clone 4E, you just want to make your own house rules for 4E more well-known.
The main problem with a literal 4E clone is actually writing the damn thing its 1000 odd pages.

That is why on my thread I called it clone using 5E, aim at the concepts rather than the exact 4E way of doing it. And why I suggested to condense it and streamline a lot of the fiddly stuff out. Its also why I said get a smaller packet out for people to ry level 1, 5 preconstructed PCs, see how it runs. The more vocal ones will always crap all over it but its not like they're actually doing anything themselves.

Just produce something and build on that.
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Explorer
You could get it down to three if you really wanted IMHO.
To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling.

Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses.



If you are trying to "clone" 4E and not just create an entirely new game for yourself, it needs to be able to work with existing 4E material that people already have.
The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material.

For example, simply deleting Constitution and Wisdom works well for most (all?) monster stat blocks.

Strength and Constitution tend to be near identical. And the elimination of Wisdom leaves its incongruent aspects of Intelligence and Charisma in place.

The difference is, there is a one-to-one identity between the four abilities and the four defenses.



The imbalance among the six ability scores is a perennial complaint. It can only be fixed from the bottom up, because the abilities are fundamental to every other mechanic in the gaming system.

It is ok if a clone avoids elements that are known to be broken. The spirit of ‘4.5’ is authentic 4e. 4e itself was continually in flux, and the ability to continually update errata was inherent in its design philosophy.
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Explorer
[MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION]

The 4e defaults to ‘attacker always rolls’. Yet it included variant possibilities. For example, ‘players always roll’. In other words, when players attack, they roll against a defense. But when monsters attack, the attack is a fixed number and the players make saves against it.

So, it is easy to just leave ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ as raw bonus numbers. If rolling, add d20. But if needing a static number, then ‘Take 10’.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It is worth having balanced abilities.
It’s not a question of whether it’s worth having balanced abilities, it’s a question of whether you can balance the abilities and still call your project a 4e clone. And the answer is no. If you want to make a 4e-style game of your own that balances the abilities and fixes other problems you have with 4e, great! More power to you! But it won’t be a clone of 4e.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
It’s not a question of whether it’s worth having balanced abilities, it’s a question of whether you can balance the abilities and still call your project a 4e clone. And the answer is no.
The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
Depends on the clone, a few like OSRIC are fairly close to 1E, others like Castles and Crusades look like 3E play like 1E sorta.Some use fot/ref/will, C&C uses 6 saves. The B/X ones and OD&D ones seem more popular. Generally most try and be faithful to the original playstyle maybe add some things like ACKs.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Depends on the clone, a few like OSRIC are fairly close to 1E, others like Castles and Crusades look like 3E play like 1E sorta.Some use fot/ref/will, C&C uses 6 saves. The B/X ones and OD&D ones seem more popular. Generally most try and be faithful to the original playstyle maybe add some things like ACKs.
This.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers.

This is ironic regarding the history of 4e.

Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much [4e] stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’



The bottom line is, this thread belongs to the community. I personally need a system that uses salient and balanced abilities. But this thread isnt just for me.



My intention is to update the ‘Ability Bonuses’ section one more time. It seems to me, the reduction to four is simpler, and seems easier to update earlier 4e material.



I feel that you guys are honestly hearing and understanding what I am saying about the abilities. That is all I am asking for.

So, feel free to update the first post according to your tastes as accords the wiki etiquette.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
I overhauled the Ability Bonuses section.

This post archives the earlier content, before the update.
[sblock="Ability Bonuses"]

Your abilities define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength makes you inherently good at various skills and efforts that need you to be physically strong.

The attacker always rolls a d20. This attack roll adds a relevant ability bonus to signify the main kind of effort. The result must be equal to or greater than the defense, that represents the difficulty and whose base number is 10 + the higher of two ability bonuses.



[[Note, abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well. For the sake that abilities that are equally powerful and equally useful, the variant here, has eight abilities. ‘Athletics’ splits off from Strength, to cover grappling, finesse, jumping, falling, and move. Dexterity refers mainly to manual dexterity, including missile weapons, stealth, and crafting. Strength can suggest Size, so giants with extreme Strength also exhibit extreme Size. ‘Sense’ splits off from Wisdom to represent the five physical senses. Sense can notice a description of a sensation, but doesnt necessarily know how to interpret it, which requires Intelligence. Beasts might have extreme Sense but not necessarily have high Wisdom or high Intelligence. Wisdom represents mental force, while Charisma represents mental agility. 4e routinely refers to ‘passive perception’ as a fixed number. Here, Perception lists as one of the defenses. Perception defends against attempts to hide, to be invisible, to create illusion, to impersonate, and so on. Discuss any ideas or concerns relating to abilities and defenses in the posts below.]]

There are eight abilities. In addition to the traditional six abilities, two other abilities are noted by an astrix.



Physical Ability Bonus

• Strength
• Constitution
• Dexterity
• Athletics*

Mental Abilities

• Sense*
• Intelligence
• Wisdom
• Charisma

Defenses

• Fortitude (Strength/Constitution)
• Reflex (Dexterity/Athletics)
• Will (Wisdom/Charisma)
• Perception (Intelligence/Sense)



Standard Array
• 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8
• +2, +2, +1, +1, +0, +0, −1, −1

[/sblock]
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers.

This is ironic regarding the history of 4e.

Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much [4e] stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’
On the contrary, I think most 4e fans recognize that 4e has some problems and needs fixing. It’s just that fixing 4e and cloning 4e are two very different pursuits. If you want to fix 4e, by all means please do. I’d love to see what you come up with. If you want to clone 4e, overhauling its ability system is not a good place to start.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It’s not a question of whether it’s worth having balanced abilities, it’s a question of whether you can balance the abilities and still call your project a 4e clone. And the answer is no. If you want to make a 4e-style game of your own that balances the abilities and fixes other problems you have with 4e, great! More power to you! But it won’t be a clone of 4e.
4e achieved closer to balanced stats I think (and it may have been a subtle goal not fully achieved) , yes Dex was a bit super but by enabling other attributes to steal from it... it became less of a super stat. Intelligence allowed fast predictive thinking to do many defensive things that Dexterity normally did. Wisdom was easy to supplant initiative and so on. (since 4e had mini-feats in comparison to 5e you were spending less resources to go a different direction) .


In this category where 4e didnt balance them well, you can definitely find things like some stats had way to many skills attached Wisdom did and some had way too few so Int needed some mundane skill love... Engineering in place of Dungeoneering could give a non-magical int based skill as a fix for that.

Yes there is a temptation to fix ;)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
4e achieved closer to balanced stats I think (and it may have been a subtle goal not fully achieved) , yes Dex was a bit super but by enabling other attributes to steal from it... it became less of a super stat. Intelligence allowed fast predictive thinking to do many defensive things that Dexterity normally did. Wisdom was easy to supplant initiative and so on. (since 4e had mini-feats in comparison to 5e you were spending less resources to go a different direction) .


In this category where 4e didnt balance them well, you can definitely find things like some stats had way to many skills attached Wisdom did and some had way too few so Int needed some mundane skill love... Engineering in place of Dungeoneering could give a non-magical int based skill as a fix for that.

Yes there is a temptation to fix ;)
In my opinion, 4e didn’t so much balance the abilities as it removed the distinctions between them. Each class added their primary ability to attack and damage rolls with their class Powers. Initiative and Fort, Ref, and Will defenses could each be calculated with one of two abilities. And between +5 bonus to skill checks for training and +1/2 level to everything, the impact of abilities on skills was pretty minimal. Between that and point buy, everyone basically had a primary ability that they attacked with and boosted every four levels, two secondary abilities that contributed to defenses and stayed largely static, and three dump stats. Which ones were which was mostly a matter of flavor.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Which ones were which was mostly a matter of flavor.
Freeing up the flavor is perhaps the goal, ie my character uses predictive intellect and quick thinking for initiative.... his uses perceptual acuteness... and she physically reacts faster. Heroes play to their strengths.

4e did say divorce the mechanics from flavor as long as the mechanics work flavor is yours.
 
Last edited:

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Freeing up the flavor is perhaps the goal, ie my character uses predictive intellect and quick thinking for initiative.... his uses perceptual acuteness... and she physically reacts faster. Heroes play to their strengths.
Agreed, I thought it was a great solution. One which a 4e clone would presumably adopt, what with being a clone.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
An attempt (5E), I'll have to rename some of this stuff.

Fighter
Role: Defender
Power Source:Martial
Hit Dice level 1 2d20 (20)+ con modifier
Hit dice per level, 1d10+ con modifier
Armor Proficiency, light, medium,heavy, shields
Weapon proficiency, simple, martial
Skills: as 5E (including backgrounds)

Combat Challenge: Every time you attack you mark the target. Target has disadvantage on any attack that doesn't include you as a target
Second Wind, 5+ con modifier

Sentinel: you gain advantage on opportunity attacks. An enemy struck by your opportunity attack stops moving until the start of its next turn.

Fighter Weapon Talent. Fighters gain a +2 bonus to hit with any weapon they are proficient with.

Fighter Champion (Greatweapon)

Fighter Powers

At Will Talents
Cleave.
When you reduce an enemy to 0 hit points you may make an attack as a bonus action.

Reaper
When you miss you may deal damage equal to half your strength modifer. If you are a champion you deal damage equal to your full strength modifier.

Short Rest Talents (short rest = 1 minute)
Bash
When you hit an opponent you knock them prone.

Daily Talent
Villains Doom
You score a critical hit on an opponent. Until the end of the encounter you gain advantage to hit and an extra 1d6 points of damage.

Feat
Power Attack (-2 to to hit +3 damage).
 
In my opinion, 4e didn’t so much balance the abilities as it removed the distinctions between them. Each class added their primary ability to attack and damage rolls with their class Powers. Initiative and Fort, Ref, and Will defenses could each be calculated with one of two abilities.
Not initiative - DEX still had it over INT on that one - but otherwise, stats were paired for defense, and any stat could be a primary (attack) or secondary (riders, features) for a class or build, somewhere. That meant a concept that called for a particular high stat wasn't just dead in the water.

Stats still represented different things, acted as prerequisites, and added to different skills.
Some came out a bit ahead of others. DEX wasn't quite the uberstat it is in 5e, but it did add to Initiative and (like INT) AC/REF, and did add to a number of very useful skills, while most other stats added to fewer or less-frequently-used skills (or both).

STR was hurt by the introduction of Melee Training, in particular. Prior to that, Fighters & STR-primary Paladin & Cleric Builds (and even the STR-secondary 'brutal' Rogue build) had a distinct advantage in having solid basic attacks that scaled well to high levels. At-will Powers that counted as MBAs, and Melee Training made that less useful & distinctive, … and, the STR Paladin got an upgrade in Divine Power, the STR Cleric was supplanted by the 'battle' build late in the game, and the 'brutal' rogue just sort of faded away.


And between +5 bonus to skill checks for training and +1/2 level to everything, the impact of abilities on skills was pretty minimal.
Abilities could go pretty high, though, so a primary stat adding to a skill was going to give a relatively greater advantage at higher levels than low.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Agreed, I thought it was a great solution. One which a 4e clone would presumably adopt, what with being a clone.
Using that technique is one of the features of my 5e hacks... things like a Battle Ready class feature for fighters
(to give them decent initiative even if they want a mental stat as secondary and strength as primary)
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Fighter
Role: Defender
Power Source: Martial
The 4e source is so flavorful. It is one of my favorite aspects of 4e.

Identifying a class with a certain source works well.



On the other hand, identifying a class with a role never worked well. The class felt too rigid and inflexible against personalization. Towards the end, 4e abandoned roles by having archetypes with different roles.

I feel it is very useful to use ‘roles’ as keywords for a specific feature (feat, power, spell). Then a player who wants a certain feature immediately understands its ‘purpose’.

For a feature, the role or purpose, can categorize more specifically: attack, defense, mobility, barrier, stealth, detection, assistance.

(Here assistance is for powers that acquire an item or summon a creature, being somewhat multi-purposed.)
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities.
Frankly, if you're breaking away from the core 6 ability scores right off the bat, you're better off not even making a retroclone 4E and just making an entirely new RPG.

Frankly, as a 4E lover, I'm strongly interested in fewer ability scores, not more​.
 

Advertisement

Top