Great Old One
4e does not have a 'physical' damage type. Any purely physical damage is simply untyped.
So how does a ghoul damage you with a "physical" area of hunger ?
You're talking about creating a realistic world, 4e is about creating a cool narrative. Everything is in service of the rule of cool.
OK, I can go with that as an explanation, and again, I'm not disparaging that play style, I'm just explaining why it's not the one I prefer.
Admitedly, 4e was no designed for that purpose. You're not supposed to mix characters of differing level, especially not to that extant. You might not like it, and that's fine, but it's just not something the game was built to handle.
I agree (and I['ve pointed out the reasons for these limitations), but I really wish other people were more clear and open like you about these limitations.
I don't know how often people actually do that kind of thing either, where they have shared campaigns between DMs and Adventurer of up to TWENTY level apart (why the hell would lv 20 dudes want the Lv 1 scrubs around anyway?? As baggage handlers?)
It's just that the lvl 20 are not around all the time, nor can they do everything. But we've had successful parties with widely different levels, just because of the characters which were available that evening to the participating players.
It's a game, it's always artificial. 4e makes no qualm about that fact, and it's neither good or bad, it just is and it's clearly not to your preferences. Personally I enjoy how transparent 4e is about its designs.
And I enjoyed it as well, until ti struck me as a lot more artificial than what my expectations were. Just a matter of taste, and it's good to be open about it.
I mean... do you actually set up your world THAT much in advance anyway? I sure don't. I don't know what the 'order' of encounters is in advance, I just throw naughty word at the PC when it feels appropriate and decide on the spot if it should be hard or not. I don't go around the dungeon, planning at what point they'll level up, putting enemies at the 'right spot'.
Well, I don't have a dungeon anyway. But to give you an example in my Avernus campaign, the players can go anywhere on the plane (and actually have found a few shortcuts to other planes, through the Infinite Staircase as well as through an artefact that they are assembling). I just know what happens to be at various locations, and it's up the players to do the reconnaissance and decide whether they want to do something about it. And sometimes, just like in the fiction, they choose another way, or a different approach, or exploit an opportunity. I don't modifiy monsters, I don't make some minions because they are lacking or have gained levels.
I don't say "If PCs go towards the North they'll encounter an ambush by bandits, but if they go South they'll reach the next town with problem". No! I go "I'll have the PC encounter an ambush by bandits regardless of where they go". And if the PC fail to find the 'Letters of Noble Incrimination' on one of the bandit, I'll just put it elsewhere later.
That's a very, very different way of playing (not better or worse, just different), and that's for me a facet of the problem that I faced with 4e. the DM had spent time preparing encounters to be technically interesting, and I can respect that, but some encounters really felt fed down my throat whether I wanted to avoid them or not, because of that. In particular, we could not just "skim" an encounter, once the DM had decided that there was going to be a fight on his terms because he had balanced it that way, we had to go that way and spend the evening on it. There was no escape, no cleverness, no avoiding once the grid was pulled out...
I hate how the most optimal thing to do in 5e is often to just... Attack attack attack attack. Anything else is suboptimal most of the time except for a few spell based situation (like Sleep early on)
On that, I agree, the options are relatively limited for some classes, it was a strength of 4e to have balanced things more.
That's a nasty trick for focus fire, but it does keep a large portion of the enemy forces busy on a single guy.
It does, but it's what the PCs do as well, because of action economy, every enemy taken out of the fight makes it way safer.
That's not a fair point. 4e could do that too if it had the proper VTT support.
I agree, but as I explained just after, I have the freedom to use a whole palette of solutions (including creating 1 hp monsters if I want, by the way) because the game is extremely open and focuses on speed (at, I agree, the detriment of complexity and balance).