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D&D 4E Am I crazy? I've just gotten a hankering to play 4e again...


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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
2. Rituals should have been utility powers.
That strips a lot of benefits...
Rituals
0) lack arbitrary usage frequency limits (ie the limits they have feel naturalistic in both usage and learning)
1) related to learning they can be learned by virtually anyone as utility powers they tend to be overly class specific constraining character design.
2) relatedly to frequency limit they do not compete with combat capability.
3) You can create deeper limits on availability or amount of preparedness ( if you WANT it then you can have it) by requiring highly specific components.
4) They use truly strategic resources ie long term wealth. D&D lacks a lot of true Strategic elements, this is definitely one.
5) By not being powers they can be very open ended in nature *(they are basically functioning within the skill challenge arena which is already open ended).
6) Connection to and emphasizing the value of skills
 
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dave2008

Legend
4e is an awesome game. I would still be running it today if not for:

1. Combat takes too long.
2. Rituals should have been utility powers.
I here the combat one a lot. Not a problem I had (we could have 15min or 2hr+ combat depending on what I was going for), but I understand it was any issue for others.

Rituals however, that seems an odd one to me. In the 4+ years we ran 4e I don't think we ever used a ritual (of course they didn't use a lot of utility powers either). What about rituals is such a big hang up for you that you couldn't run the game?
 

I here the combat one a lot. Not a problem I had (we could have 15min or 2hr+ combat depending on what I was going for), but I understand it was any issue for others.

15-20 minutes is good average length. In a four-hour session, 4-5 combats with plenty of dialogue and exploration is perfect. Unfortunately, our group averaged 1 hour encounters, which was frustrating.

Rituals however, that seems an odd one to me. In the 4+ years we ran 4e I don't think we ever used a ritual (of course they didn't use a lot of utility powers either). What about rituals is such a big hang up for you that you couldn't run the game?

Some spells worked well as rituals, such as teleportation. Others like - hallucinatory creature, arcane lock, knock, silence, and water walk (to name a few) - would have been better as spells. The long casting times made them too difficult to use as contingencies.
 

dave2008

Legend
15-20 minutes is good average length. In a four-hour session, 4-5 combats with plenty of dialogue and exploration is perfect. Unfortunately, our group averaged 1 hour encounters, which was frustrating.
i would say we got our average combat down to 15-30 minutes and then boss type or grand battles when were are 1-2hrs depending. But we made a lot of adjustments (both players and DM) to get them that quick. If needed I could get an encounter to 10 min or less, but I find I have less time to story tell during combat if I go that fast.
Some spells worked well as rituals, such as teleportation. Others like - hallucinatory creature, arcane lock, knock, silence, and water walk (to name a few) - would have been better as spells. The long casting times made them too difficult to use as contingencies.
OK, that makes some sense. Personally I like things being rituals as I like slow magic. I'm leaning to making any spell above 5th or 6th a ritual in my next 5e campaign. But I understand if that is not your thing. I guess if I wanted to play 4e and rituals were hanging me up I would just convert those to spells.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Personally I like things being rituals as I like slow magic. I'm leaning to making any spell above 5th or 6th a ritual in my next 5e campaign. But I understand if that is not your thing. I guess if I wanted to play 4e and rituals were hanging me up I would just convert those to spells.

If I thought specific rituals should have faster cast forms I might allow those in scroll form have a faster cast. Does not really mean a dramatic change at all.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Complete forgot about scrolls - it has been too long since i played 4e
I love how rituals work and what they contribute there were many spots of flexibility if you wanted them extant and while I did have ideas for improvement the short shrift in 5e seems another lost gem this time tossed for the sake of "5e has no assumed wealth".
 

Tallifer

Hero
Some spells worked well as rituals, such as teleportation. Others like - hallucinatory creature, arcane lock, knock, silence, and water walk (to name a few) - would have been better as spells. The long casting times made them too difficult to use as contingencies.

Having now played a lot of 4E with the Living Guild crowd on discord/roll20, I have come to better understand the different assumptions of 4E.

Because 4E assumes a certain amount of treasure per level and ye olde magic shoppe (and provides easy rules for the dungeon master for that), players can buy a wide variety of cheap wondrous items and consumables such as magical ammunition and elixirs to create little magical effects.

A higher level example:
Pouch of Frozen Passage Level 9 Uncommon

Wondrous Item 4,200 gp

Power Daily (Standard Action)

You fling ice crystals from the pouch onto an area of open liquid, freezing up to 20 contiguous squares of the liquid's surface. The frozen surface is normal terrain and can support the weight of up to twenty Medium creatures, five Large creatures, or one Huge creature. The pouch of frozen passage can solidify any sort of liquid, from water to lava. The frozen surface has the following statistics: AC 3, Fortitude 15, Reflex 3, hp 20 per square. It lasts for 4 hours or until destroyed.
 

MwaO

Explorer
Having now played a lot of 4E with the Living Guild crowd on discord/roll20, I have come to better understand the different assumptions of 4E.

Because 4E assumes a certain amount of treasure per level and ye olde magic shoppe (and provides easy rules for the dungeon master for that), players can buy a wide variety of cheap wondrous items and consumables such as magical ammunition and elixirs to create little magical effects.

Living Guild isn't a very good example of treasure under 4e rules for the following reasons:
Has approximately double the expected magic items found, possibly even quadruple if you use inherent bonuses.
It is possible to find items of your level+7 which can also potentially be choice of any
Doesn't use rarity, which shuts down ye old magic shoppes
Doesn't use daily magic item uses. Which is gone yes, but rarity is the reason it is harder to abuse. Instead, there are limits on Wondrous items and items which can be golfbagged into hand for a total of 10-12 normally including hands.

These things can really add up — I have a level 12 PC with a total of 15 found items over 8 levels as an example.

There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but a Pouch of Frozen Passage might be a hard thing to use or find in a more typical game.
 

dave2008

Legend
I love how rituals work and what they contribute there were many spots of flexibility if you wanted them extant and while I did have ideas for improvement the short shrift in 5e seems another lost gem this time tossed for the sake of "5e has no assumed wealth".
I think you can marry the two. We play an extremely low magic version of 5e, so it could easily be (for us): "5e has no assumed wealth or magic." just move some of those spells to rituals (and scrolls) and be done with it IMO.
 

MwaO

Explorer
I think you can marry the two. We play an extremely low magic version of 5e, so it could easily be (for us): "5e has no assumed wealth or magic." just move some of those spells to rituals (and scrolls) and be done with it IMO.

Next has no assumed wealth or magic level. 5e does have those, they're just not very clear about it and by the time it becomes clear that maybe things are off, you're already in levels that are unlikely to be played at all. This ambiguity causes a lot of easy to avoid problems on the other end though — see Adventurer's League where they hand out double the expected level of treasure because they didn't realize where the baseline was.
 

dave2008

Legend
Next has no assumed wealth or magic level. 5e does have those, they're just not very clear about it and by the time it becomes clear that maybe things are off, you're already in levels that are unlikely to be played at all. This ambiguity causes a lot of easy to avoid problems on the other end though — see Adventurer's League where they hand out double the expected level of treasure because they didn't realize where the baseline was.
I really have no idea what your saying. I have never played with an expected amount of wealth or magic in my D&D since the '80s.
 

MwaO

Explorer
I really have no idea what your saying. I have never played with an expected amount of wealth or magic in my D&D since the '80s.

Right. Having played since the '70s, both 4e and 5e have expected amounts of wealth and magic baked into the system.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Next has no assumed wealth or magic level. 5e does have those, they're just not very clear about it
I admit I was assuming that "we have no assumed wealth but wink wink here is the cost for items X... My question is how do you make a generic adventure with wink wink assumptions hidden.
 

MwaO

Explorer
I admit I was assuming that "we have no assumed wealth but wink wink here is the cost for items X... My question is how do you make a generic adventure with wink wink assumptions hidden.

Not very well? The assumptions in 5e are 1 good magic per 4 levels that changes the numbers and 1 good consumable per level. That created a lot of problems for Adventurer's League where 2.5 adventures to go up a level divided by 6 adventurers per mod = ~1 good magic item per 2 levels given opportunities to buy. And because the rules incentivized cheating, meant lots of players had 1 great magic item per 2 levels.

You can get away with no magic items in both 4e(if you use inherent bonuses) and 5e until about 10th, but after that, the holes start to appear if you're playing the same encounters you're supposed to be playing.
 

dave2008

Legend
Right. Having played since the '70s, both 4e and 5e have expected amounts of wealth and magic baked into the system.
That is just the opposite of what I said really. I played 4e for its full run and 5e for its full run and we have never used expected wealth or magic. Of course, I am always shocked to find out how rich and magically inclined other groups are! My point, 4e and 5e can work just fine without an expected amount of magic and wealth.
 

dave2008

Legend
... and 5e until about 10th, but after that, the holes start to appear if you're playing the same encounters you're supposed to be playing.
Not my experience. My group is now 15th level and none of their magic items give a bonus to hit. We don't run published adventures. However, 5e was explicitly designed to work without magic items and I argue it works best with as little magic as possible.

PS I am done talking about 5e in a 4e thread
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Living Guild isn't a very good example of treasure under 4e rules for the following reasons:
Has approximately double the expected magic items found, possibly even quadruple if you use inherent bonuses.
It is possible to find items of your level+7 which can also potentially be choice of any
Doesn't use rarity, which shuts down ye old magic shoppes (at least not level appropriate items)
I hates the rarity rules they are slimy inconsistent goober schnitzel :p
The games default assumptions of wealth make many many items not really very purchasable. (access to cash for those ye olde magic shoppes is not super flowing)
That is just the opposite of what I said really. I played 4e for its full run and 5e for its full run and we have never used expected wealth or magic. Of course, I am always shocked to find out how rich and magically inclined other groups are! My point, 4e and 5e can work just fine without an expected amount of magic and wealth.
It has always been possible to ignore expected wealth patterns but they had impacts on play that might be very dramatic. In 1e ignoring money meant characters may lack money to go up levels.Ignoring magic items meant Martial types in particularly also end up very underfed mechanically BAF and a few other things.
 


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