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

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I often think about running a bit of 4E again, but with the DDI dead, my enthusiasm just dies again. 4E was a great game, but the DDI is what kept quite a large, complex game properly organised and accessible to the players, and as it got shut down permanently not so long ago, I just can't really face leafing through books trying to find stuff, not when the DDI was there in one form or another for most of the time we seriously played 4E. I have copies of most (not all, sadly, I couldn't log in during the free period near the end, it just wouldn't take my login) of the characters we played and actually I think all of the monsters I created/modified (as PDFs) but... I want that lovely online rules encyclopedia and so on.

I guess 5E will eventually see the same fate with Beyond and stuff, but I suspect it'll last a long time after any 6E.
Um, you do realise that there are offline versions of the tools available with a simple PM? There are even cloned versions of the online compendium available on a few websites.
 

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Tallifer

Hero
R20 had its 4e integration thanks to links with the Compendium. When that disappeared so did any integration.
The Guild is as was said a 100+ player and DM group that plays 4E by the Compendium on roll20. They do not use the roll20 4E character template, but they have developed an encyclopedia of resources, videos, FAQs and live discord advice so that everyone can easily make and play 4E characters on roll20 together. 4E lives!
 

masshysteria

Explorer
I recently started playing 5e and found myself missing 4e. I really appreciated the design transparency of 4e and the idea that anything written was available for use at the table. When I first started designing 5e encounters I was unimpressed with the monster designs. I missed the unique powers on the monsters, like glue and stink pot slinging kobolds or the shifty goblins.

Encounter design was just so much fun with not only the monsters, but there was all sorts of terrain features and skill checks that you could mix it. My gaming groups already defaulted to minis and grids, so leaning into that was no problem for me.

I also found the reworked cosmology something I wanted to bring to the table. 4e gave us the feywild and shadowfell. We finally had an interesting fey world and underworld that were parallel to the prime world. Exploring the astral sea and elemental chaos sounded cool and not immediately lethal. I find low level D&D to often be my favorite, so for the first time I was looking forward to moving into the higher levels and exploring the planes.

Count me among the GMs (and players) that would prefer one or two big meaningful encounters than 6-8 fights between rests. It was a paradigm that 4e seemed to support much better. And I still like the idea of skill challenges and moving certain spells into rituals was a good idea.

Unfortunately, 4e was too different for a number of people in my gaming group and we drifted to Pathfinder and I never followed the line into essentials. (I actually thought the move to essentials helped kill the line as there was this tension between pre- and post-essentials material and what was really compatible with what and where to start.) The Darksun material was the last stuff I bought and unfortunately never had an opportunity to run.

4e, of course, had its faults. The monster math was off, the plethora of powers with status effects resulted in some drawn out combats, we probably didn't need every role and power source permutation covered, and it could have used another 6 months of playtesting and refinement before publishing. But, it's a cool system with a lot of neat design choices.

It's got me wondering if Pathfinder 2 might actually be the system I should buy next as it seems like good middle ground between 4e, 5e, and 3.5.
 
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Just wanted to drop in and show support for 4e. These crazy times seem ideal for 4e, I would think, especially using a VTT.

My project right now is developing a hexcrawl. I always thought 4e would be great for this b/c I found the encounter budget worked well as an indicator of challenge (with some tweaks). So, populating the world map would be a decision of (for example) hex A1 would have an equivalent of a L1 encounter while hex E6 would have a L5 encounter budget (with appropriate rumors and clues for adventures to find to avoid or confront). Wandering Monster tables would include a range of levels, forcing players to decide whether they should run away, if the fates are unkind. Anyway, that's the idea for now.

The biggest hurdle is getting into a VTT, which I've never done before. My choices right now are Fantasy Grounds and d20 Pro (though mention of Roll20's Guild actually seems enticing). Fortunately, my scale is pretty small. I have 3-4 players lined up (which to me is my ideal party size) so only need to input PC-facing stuff relevant to them, and only when they level.
 


If I get a chance to play 4e again I think I'd like to try a Warden... I wish there was a class like that in 5e. Sticky and hard to disable with cool transformation powers!
Never played one (I DM'd more often) but I remember a game where the warden and warlord were the only ones who were conscious in an especially brutal battle (as I focused mainly on set piece battles with big encounter budgets). The warlord retreated to start reviving the others one-by-one. Meanwhile, the warden took and held the full brunt of the assault, spending daily-after-daily and healing surge-after-surge until the party counter-attacked and eventually emerged victorious. We all stood up and applauded the player for such a memorable come-back. Still gives me goose bumps thinking about it :)
 

Horwath

Adventurer
I would like to give a version of 4E a try after 10 years, but it would require to rewrite half the info in the books to do it to my taste so it can be playable.
Examples:

1 - cut all monster/npc HP by half

2- cut all PC health by 25%

3 - remove +1/2 per level treadmill

4 - add more 1st level at wills to all classes, but different amount

5 - modify 1st level at-will epic level progression that was usually 2×effect of 1st level.
move that to 11th, and add 3×effect on 21st level.

6 - add option to trade Encounter powers for Daily powers.
I.E. trade 3rd level encounter for 1st level daily or 5th level daily for one 3rd and one 1st level encounter power.
That way you have character that is more focused on encounter or daily nova's.

7 - cut magic items base bonus max from +6 to +3.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
4 - add more 1st level at wills to all classes, but different amount
Intriguing more details? People tend to focus on leveraging 1 out of their 2 at-wills. I like more at-wills and take human for that reason. More situational abilities is generally how one could increase these or even feats that enhance each of the 3 in different ways instead of just one. Make more Rock Paper Scissor effects ie Roshamboisms. My swordmage's 3 at-wills target 3 different defenses one pulls an enemy the other two might be two similar in that they harm multiple adjacent ones or ones adjacent to his target ie he is bursty.

5 - modify 1st level at-will epic level progression that was usually 2×effect of 1st level.
move that to 11th, and add 3×effect on 21st level.
Cool I like it. Would make at-wills more viable without investing so heavily via feats and make some of those early feats you did invest so they still are valuable.
6 - add option to trade Encounter powers for Daily powers.
I.E. trade 3rd level encounter for 1st level daily or 5th level daily for one 3rd and one 1st level encounter power.
That way you have character that is more focused on encounter or daily nova's.
As player choice cool - I made abilities that allow trading at-will and a weak attack for an encounter class power next round. So someone who wanted more encounters could get them. Basically by scanning the battle. And a similar encounter power option to trade up by delay of game scanning the field.
7 - cut magic items base bonus max from +6 to +3.
Certain 5e magic items that would be incongruous in 4e become quite translatable when you do that.
 
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pemerton

Legend
My project right now is developing a hexcrawl. I always thought 4e would be great for this b/c I found the encounter budget worked well as an indicator of challenge (with some tweaks). So, populating the world map would be a decision of (for example) hex A1 would have an equivalent of a L1 encounter while hex E6 would have a L5 encounter budget (with appropriate rumors and clues for adventures to find to avoid or confront). Wandering Monster tables would include a range of levels, forcing players to decide whether they should run away, if the fates are unkind. Anyway, that's the idea for now.
On these boards, @LostSoul posted about a pretty sophisticated campaign with associated subsystems which used 4e in a way similar to what you describe. Those posts would be from around 10 years ago, but maybe will come up under Search?
 

dave2008

Legend
I would like to give a version of 4E a try after 10 years, but it would require to rewrite half the info in the books to do it to my taste so it can be playable.
Examples:

1 - cut all monster/npc HP by half
I never had a need to reduce HP, but I did up the damage of my monsters. With the minion/standard/elite/solo paradigm I just move a monster up and down the scale if I wanted more or less HP.

2- cut all PC health by 25%
never noticed a need for that, but if it works for your - go for it.

3 - remove +1/2 per level treadmill
that doesn't really change anything if you do it to everything, but I can understand it from a world building BA type reason.

4 - add more 1st level at wills to all classes, but different amount
I like this idea. I too felt there were to few options

5 - modify 1st level at-will epic level progression that was usually 2×effect of 1st level.
move that to 11th, and add 3×effect on 21st level.
I like this idea too

6 - add option to trade Encounter powers for Daily powers.
I.E. trade 3rd level encounter for 1st level daily or 5th level daily for one 3rd and one 1st level encounter power.
That way you have character that is more focused on encounter or daily nova's.
We allowed spending healing surges (which we called heroic surges) to recharge encounter and daily powers. 1 surge for an encounter power and 2 for a daily (multiplied by tier). We also powers to change use by tier (roughly). If you are 10 or more levels above the powers level you can reduce it by one step (and 2 steps if 20 levels above). So a level 1 encounter power becomes an at-will power at level 11.
7 - cut magic items base bonus max from +6 to +3.
I Or you could only give out +3 max items

However, those changes do not seem like anywhere near half the info. Seems pretty simple to to do actually. Other than adding a bunch of new powers it is a page or two of changes really
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
We allowed spending healing surges (which we called heroic surges) to recharge encounter and daily powers. 1 surge for an encounter power and 2 for a daily (multiplied by tier). We also powers to change use by tier (roughly). If you are 10 or more levels above the powers level you can reduce it by one step (and 2 steps if 20 levels above). So a level 1 encounter power becomes an at-will power at level 11.
When I played 4e, I always held my Dailies in reserve, "just in case". So they never got used except when it was clear either a) this was the big bad guy and we needed to uncork the pain; or a long rest (or whatever it was called) was coming. Which meant my incredibly cool dailies never saw use.

I like this solution; both the healing surge for regaining and the reduce powers by step. Although did you have to balance that on the monster side at all?
 

dave2008

Legend
I like this solution; both the healing surge for regaining and the reduce powers by step. Although did you have to balance that on the monster side at all?
Not normally as monsters don't typically last long enough for this to matter, but I would allow them to recharge powers in the same way sometimes. Also, as I stated above I already upped their damage so that compensated some as well. You can get the revised damage by level tables i used from my resources page: 4e Epic Updates

EDIT: In case people don't know or remember, monsters get healing surges to by RAW in 4e.
 
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dave2008

Legend
When I played 4e, I always held my Dailies in reserve, "just in case". So they never got used except when it was clear either a) this was the big bad guy and we needed to uncork the pain; or a long rest (or whatever it was called) was coming. Which meant my incredibly cool dailies never saw use.
That was an issue I noticed with my players as well and was one of the reasons we allowed spending HS to recharge them. It also made sense to us from a martial perspective.

PS. We carried this over to our 5e game and allow spending HD to recharge Short rest and long rest abilities.
 


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