D&D 4E 4e Essentials as a new edition and 4e's longevity

I don't think you necessarily do have to do it.

The monster math certainly did need changed. That was good.

In my opinion, the changes to how to approach the game went in the opposite direction than they should have, it it lead to a weird gameplay feel in which parts of the game felt like they were working toward being different games (on top of already being a very different game from what came before). That created a bit of disconnect for the group I played with at the time.

4E started with a lot of good ideas. The execution of the ideas needed changed, not the ideas themselves.
I 100% think that having simple "I hit it" classes like the Knight and Scout and "I burn it" classes like the Elementalist was a huge improvement to the game. More variety in a class based game is good.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Sure.

I'm of the belief that could be done without changing the rest of the game to do it.
What do you see as the rest of the game that was changed?

I had thought the biggest difference between base 4e and essentials was the non AEDU structured classes of essentials.

Monsters seem a continuation of MM3 math and design development. A few new feats were flat out better than base 4e ones.

Skills seem the same with slightly different wording, ability checks seem the same.

The applicable rules seem the same to me.

This seems a different situation from 3.0 to 3.5 with skills and the list of things that provoke attacks of opportunity and how weapon size is handled got changed.
 
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This seems a different situation from 3.0 to 3.5 with skills and the list of things that provoke attacks of opportunity and how weapon size is handled got changed.
Don't forget that damage reduction and spell resistance and spell immunity also got changed, resulting in pretty much the entire Conjuration school now not caring about either spell resistance or spell immunity.
 

Lord_Blacksteel

Adventurer
There's an easy check on whether something is a new edition: Is the existing Player's Handbook (in this case) still usable in a new game or has it been replaced by a new version?

With Essentials the PHB 1-2-3 were not replaced by these books - they were add-ons, not revamps. Having a different design philosophy is what made them interesting but it did not render the prior options obsolete.

Contrast this with other (A)D&D editions:
2E: New PHB etc, old one no longer in print, rules changed significantly, classes completely redone.

3E: All new books again, rules changed dramatically, classes completely redone

3.5E: Books replaced here as well, classes modified, many spells and some mechanics modified. You could use a lot of 3E material with 3.5 (and we did) but they did replace the PHB and assumed in new material that PCs were using the newer mechanics so it certainly counted in my opinion.
 

delericho

Legend
There's an easy check on whether something is a new edition: Is the existing Player's Handbook (in this case) still usable in a new game or has it been replaced by a new version?

With Essentials the PHB 1-2-3 were not replaced by these books - they were add-ons, not revamps. Having a different design philosophy is what made them interesting but it did not render the prior options obsolete.

Contrast this with other (A)D&D editions:
2E: New PHB etc, old one no longer in print, rules changed significantly, classes completely redone.

3E: All new books again, rules changed dramatically, classes completely redone

3.5E: Books replaced here as well, classes modified, many spells and some mechanics modified. You could use a lot of 3E material with 3.5 (and we did) but they did replace the PHB and assumed in new material that PCs were using the newer mechanics so it certainly counted in my opinion.
Except that people could, and did, use the 3.5e books right alongside the 3.0e books. And, actually, they could and did use the 2nd Ed books right alongside the 1st Ed ones (and B/X and BECMI for that matter).

Ultimately, there's no definition of what makes a new edition that will work for all cases. So either you accept WotC's authority (in which case neither 3.5e, nor Essentials, nor the 2024 5e revision are new editions), or you make up your own definition (which is your prerogative, of course, but then it is your definition).
 


delericho

Legend
How many people used the old Player's Handbooks? Rather than e.g. sourcebooks.

I mean I can see that for 1e in 2e for Illusionists and Assassins. But what in the 3.0 PHB did people keep?
I would expect that the people who used them together continued using the entirety of their PHBs, probably modified with that handy free conversion guide WotC produced - meaning that, yes, they'd have mixed sets of rules used at the same table. The extent to which 3.5e and 3.0e were 'incompatible' is frequently overstated online.
 

Voadam

Legend
There's an easy check on whether something is a new edition: Is the existing Player's Handbook (in this case) still usable in a new game or has it been replaced by a new version?
I think that fully usable without conversion is a decent categorization, it makes 3e and 3.5 different editions even though the differences are minor and easy to adjust.
With Essentials the PHB 1-2-3 were not replaced by these books - they were add-ons, not revamps. Having a different design philosophy is what made them interesting but it did not render the prior options obsolete.

Contrast this with other (A)D&D editions:
2E: New PHB etc, old one no longer in print, rules changed significantly, classes completely redone.
1e rulebooks were in print for years after the launch of 2e. :)

I'd say the rules and classes were minorly changed and there would not be a problem using a 1e class in a 2e game or vice versa but overall there were enough changes to say not fully compatible games. You would need a little conversion for a number of things, similar to using Basic stuff in AD&D and vice versa. For instance initiative and casting time units changed so that you would have to convert a little to use a segment casting time 1e spell compatible with the 1e 6 segment round using d6 initiative in a 2e game where you have a number on the casting time which is designed for the d10 initiative system. Not a big problem and people did that a lot, but still there.

I agree that 4e has no problems in using anything from the core 4e PH in a game run using the rules as presented in essentials.
 

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