log in or register to remove this ad

 

6 players, 5 hours, 4th edition

Dragonblade

Adventurer
GlassJaw said:
Finally a balanced review that I can respect. Great stuff Rodrigo.
Despite, Rodrigo's qualifier that he is still on the fence, the review was almost entirely negative with the exception of a little comment at the end about how he had a good time.

So Rodrigo, since you are still on the fence about 4e and since you said you had a good time, what was actually good about the game? What did you actually like about 4e?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Henry

Autoexreginated
Rodrigo Istalindir said:
The last time I ran a fantasy game was at GenCon last year, and with 6 players, 8th level Grim Tales characters, and some roleplay and story and exploration, we had 4 decent sized combats in four hours.
One thing to remember though is that Grim Tales has almost no supernatural or area effect type spells, and very few stackable effects that aren't prefigured on a character sheet, so a D&D 3 comparison is fairer in this regard.

However, I hope to see that kind of customization in 4e, but Andy Collins' statements on multiclassing aren't making me hopeful in that direction.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
JeffB said:
Indeed. Nice balanced sounding review.

I'm entirely sick of the propaganda reviews and 4E can do wrong mentality posters, as well as the wholesale bashing occuring elsewhere (other sites/messageboards) of the new system. This was quite refreshing to read. Thanks. :)
Rodrigo's review was almost entirely negative, yet that's "balanced" whereas a review that is entirely positive like Massawyrm's, or Mouseferatu's is not?

Hmm, seems like a bit of a double standard there.
 

Bishmon

First Post
Dragonblade said:
Rodrigo's review was almost entirely negative, yet that's "balanced" whereas a review that is entirely positive like Massawyrm's, or Mouseferatu's is not?

Hmm, seems like a bit of a double standard there.
Just let it go. It's not worth starting an argument about.
 

Belorin

Explorer
Do you think if you had the full ruleset and had created your own character the play experience would have been different?

Bel
 


An encounter an hour is essentially what I expect for 3.5, so that isn't much faster. How many rounds per combat? if you got more actual play time in that one encounter per hour, that might be good.

And I'm not quite following how all the saves come about. Is this right: you get hit with an effect, and your next turn, you roll a save (d20 + possible modifiers against DC 10). make the save and the effect ends, don't make it and it continues? So were characters getting hit with multiple overlapping effects?
 

Dragonblade said:
Despite, Rodrigo's qualifier that he is still on the fence, the review was almost entirely negative with the exception of a little comment at the end about how he had a good time.

So Rodrigo, since you are still on the fence about 4e and since you said you had a good time, what was actually good about the game? What did you actually like about 4e?
The battlefield seems more mobile. I like the forced movement rules. I like the increased reliance on different stats -- my concern of a dump-stat was just that, a concern. I think for the casual player it'll be a good thing. Some of the character options I really like -- the ranger's Fox's Cunning, for example (shift 1 square and shoot when someone tries to attack) is a great once-per-encounter option, and far preferable to the old two-step of ready-action, 5' step, shoot. Even some of the abilities I'm iffy on it's more because I think they're a little over the top for 1st level characters; Fey Step is fun and cool, but I think it would be better served at a higher level.

I really like that some of the per-X abilities are "You can do X, Y, or Z, but only one'. That's resource management and players having to make decisions, and I *love* that part of the game. My beef isn't with per-X abilities or even at-will (most of the time), it's the way they minimize the resource management and decsion-making aspects of the game. A question of degree, not their existence.

I really like that they seem to have taken a closer look at the monsters (although I only saw kobolds and a dragon) and given them abilities that differentiate them. I think that kobolds will now play out far differently that goblins or orcs or what have you, whereas before they've largely been interchangeable.

I'm even happy with the mechanics of the healing system. Again, what reservations I have a largely a matter of degree; I like how it works, I just feel for the kinds of games I like it's a little too easy. But the great thing is that would be an easy tweak; just cut down on the number of healing surges a character gets.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Rodrigo Istalindir said:
The battlefield seems more mobile. I like the forced movement rules. I like the increased reliance on different stats -- my concern of a dump-stat was just that, a concern. I think for the casual player it'll be a good thing. Some of the character options I really like -- the ranger's Fox's Cunning, for example (shift 1 square and shoot when someone tries to attack) is a great once-per-encounter option, and far preferable to the old two-step of ready-action, 5' step, shoot. Even some of the abilities I'm iffy on it's more because I think they're a little over the top for 1st level characters; Fey Step is fun and cool, but I think it would be better served at a higher level.

I really like that some of the per-X abilities are "You can do X, Y, or Z, but only one'. That's resource management and players having to make decisions, and I *love* that part of the game. My beef isn't with per-X abilities or even at-will (most of the time), it's the way they minimize the resource management and decsion-making aspects of the game. A question of degree, not their existence.

I really like that they seem to have taken a closer look at the monsters (although I only saw kobolds and a dragon) and given them abilities that differentiate them. I think that kobolds will now play out far differently that goblins or orcs or what have you, whereas before they've largely been interchangeable.

I'm even happy with the mechanics of the healing system. Again, what reservations I have a largely a matter of degree; I like how it works, I just feel for the kinds of games I like it's a little too easy. But the great thing is that would be an easy tweak; just cut down on the number of healing surges a character gets.
Cool! And thank you for your comments both positive and negative. :)
 

Shroomy

Adventurer
Rodrigo, do you think that the combats would have gone faster or more smoothly if your group was more familiar with the system?
 

Olgar Shiverstone said:
An encounter an hour is essentially what I expect for 3.5, so that isn't much faster. How many rounds per combat? if you got more actual play time in that one encounter per hour, that might be good.

And I'm not quite following how all the saves come about. Is this right: you get hit with an effect, and your next turn, you roll a save (d20 + possible modifiers against DC 10). make the save and the effect ends, don't make it and it continues? So were characters getting hit with multiple overlapping effects?
(Remember this is from a player's perspective, so I don't know for sure what was going on --the DM may have been pulling punches or adjusting stuff on the fly).

Most of the saves for the ongoing stuff seemed to be at the end of your next turn. So if you got hit by the firebomb, you took the immediate damage. Next round, you take the on-going damage, do your actions, then save. Make the save, the effect stops; fail, and it repeats the next round. Now, I only saw the firebombs, acid breath, stun/fear, and a couple others. The sleep spell the mage cast at the dragon was "save and be slowed for a round, fail and fall asleep', so there are 'partials' too. And I think there was one attack that had multiple effects; some that were single-round and done, others that were continuous.

Nothing was overlapping that I could tell, but (and I did try to pay attention) I don't think it ever came up. I don't think anyone every got hit by two firebombs at the same time, or close enough that they hadn't had time to save against the first and hence there wouldn't have been two effects to overlap. I meant to ask when we were fighting the dragon but forgot.
 

Fallen Seraph

First Post
Do you believe from what you saw, and since it seems there are some changes you would wish to make that it will be as easy to houserule as 3.5? Now obviously you can't answer completely given you saw only a small percentage of the game... So I guess do you feel you could? :p
 

Henry said:
One thing to remember though is that Grim Tales has almost no supernatural or area effect type spells, and very few stackable effects that aren't prefigured on a character sheet, so a D&D 3 comparison is fairer in this regard.

However, I hope to see that kind of customization in 4e, but Andy Collins' statements on multiclassing aren't making me hopeful in that direction.
True, but I also added 'magical abilities' to the GT characters that could be activated with an AP. So there was some added complexity there as well. But you're right, nothing with multi-round effects.
 

Belorin said:
Do you think if you had the full ruleset and had created your own character the play experience would have been different?

Bel
I really can't answer that, because I have absolutely no idea how many decisions you're going to get to make. Remember that these were first level characters, too, so even if there are overall a lot of options per level, I still wouldn't have gotten to pick many.

And everyone decided pretty quick what characters they wanted to play. I didn't get to peruse the sheets for long, so I don't have a good feel for what the others could have done if it didn't come up in play.
 

Nymrohd

First Post
A couple of questions Rodrigo.
How much do you think the experience was affected by the rooms? I got the feeling that the dungeon rooms were too constraining for tactics to fully develop.
You mentioned that combat synergies would streamline combat rotations. How effectively did it feel that monsters and terrain could disrupt that?
 

Rodrigo Istalindir said:
Most of the saves for the ongoing stuff seemed to be at the end of your next turn. So if you got hit by the firebomb, you took the immediate damage. Next round, you take the on-going damage, do your actions, then save. Make the save, the effect stops; fail, and it repeats the next round. Now, I only saw the firebombs, acid breath, stun/fear, and a couple others. The sleep spell the mage cast at the dragon was "save and be slowed for a round, fail and fall asleep', so there are 'partials' too. And I think there was one attack that had multiple effects; some that were single-round and done, others that were continuous.
For things like stun and sleep where you would lose an action, did that mean you lose an action this round, plus an action next round, save at the end of next round? So it was in part dependent on when you acted?

Example:

Round 1
PC Acts
Monster Stuns PC

Round 2
PC loses action, saves.

vs.

Round 1
Monster Stuns PC
PC loses action

Round 2
PC loses action, saves.

or is it:

Round 1
Monster Stuns PC
PC loses action, saves

Separate question: How big were the rooms? With lots of enemies and the movement emphasis, I'd expect we need to plan bigger rooms.
 

LostSoul

First Post
Some questions.

What was it about the second encounter/room that you thought was bad design? Why were the players frustrated? What kind of things did they/you say? How did the DM react?

Did the rest of the group enjoy planning out their tactical maneuvers before or at the beginning of the encounter? Was there a lot of "metagame" talk - "If you go here and do this, then I can do this for the win"?
 

Shroomy said:
Rodrigo, do you think that the combats would have gone faster or more smoothly if your group was more familiar with the system?
Not really, but that's just a guess. The DM was *very* comfortable with the system, so he was about as efficient as could be. Most of the time he spent arbitrating was the normal stuff you see even with experienced players, where they're trying to get clarifications or on-the-spot rulings for stuff that isn't clearly defined. There was definitely some delay due to player unfamiliarity, but OTOH the two casters had almost no problems, and I think I was pretty low-maintenance, so I think that's a wash.

So at this point I'd have to say I think any increase in player comfort will be offset by increasing complexity, assuming character abilities increase in variety rather than degree. Undoubtedly experienced groups that play together frequently will achieve higher levels of efficiency, though that's true of any game.
 

JLHBurnett

Explorer
Thanks, I've been waiting for a good playtest review of D&D 4.

I really hate using miniatures and grid-maps in my combats, and the seeming reliance on such things for 4th edition (even more than 3rd edition) has been the one major turn-off for me. This review makes it sound like much of the new mechanics revolve around sliding little plastic people around the board. How easy or hard do you think it would be to run 4th Edition without maps or minis?
 

Belorin

Explorer
JLHBurnett said:
Thanks, I've been waiting for a good playtest review of D&D 4.

I really hate using miniatures and grid-maps in my combats, and the seeming reliance on such things for 4th edition (even more than 3rd edition) has been the one major turn-off for me. This review makes it sound like much of the new mechanics revolve around sliding little plastic people around the board. How easy or hard do you think it would be to run 4th Edition without maps or minis?
But aren't Convention games usually played this way? With battle grids and minis?
That may have been a contributing factor if players aren't used to them.

Bel
 

Most Liked Threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top