D&D 4E Anyone playing 4e at the moment?

It seems like it, but to do that, I'm pretty sure that you have also epic magic and therefore strange physics. I'm not saying that they are needed, I'm saying that they usually are consequences of epic plots in the D&D universes.

Just as the reverse, it's not because you have epic paths (which actually are totally bland and technical in 4e) that you generate epicness.
I think you should read the 4e EDs, because IMHO you are completely wrong about them.

Read some of the play descriptions that @pemerton (I'm sure there are others too) have put up describing their Epic Tier play. Its not mundane, bland, or technical at all! This is my experience as well. As @Manbearcat stated the other day here, the way keywords and the thematics of Theme, PP, ED, and even some of the feats and other elements (Artifacts potentially for example) interact, and how they fill out and inform the structures of combat and SCs allows for some really gonzo play. I mean, you have to, as a GM, accept a certain level of player empowered narrative direction here. When the Paladin player SACRIFICES THE HOLY AVENGER to shatter the Chain of Fate, that isn't quite written down someplace, but that is exactly what keywords and the structure are handing you is the way to bring those things to fruition as part of the paradigm of play, and not as something that has to be 'grafted on to make it epic'.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
I think this is where 4e, at least in terms of D&D editions, is so stark a contrast, and a positive one, to other editions. There is no pretense at all that there even IS such a thing as 'physics'. There is game.

And that is where, for me, it fails so hard. Yes, it's the perfect boardgame, the perfect simulation of fantasy fighting through the levels.

But it fails extremely hard at engaging my imagination, much worse than any other edition. As the authors of 5e put it: "An alternative would be for the rules to severely limit what characters can do, which would be counter to the open-endedness of D&D"

Whenever 4e deploys something into its milieu it is don as a way of introducing some good game play. When I say 'game play' I don't mean simply 'mechanics', I mean the whole general play. The cosmology exists to be playable, the power system (A/E/D/U) to be playable,

Yep, the whole universe has been reduced to that gameplay can exist totally controlled. Some people love it, others (like me) prefer a much more open universe where everything (including strange physics) is possible, with imagination being the only limit, even if balance is more at risk (and that, for me, is not a problem because there is a DM to tackle balance matters anyway).

It's a matter of tastes, there were great concepts in 4e, and really good intentions, but there are also very good reasons for it being the most controversial edition in the game.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
In 4e D&D there are two rationales (beyond tradition) for growing the numbers: (1) to help imbue a sense of scaling, given the pre-packaged game elements in the form of monster, trap and treasure lists; (2) to allow the change I described in the relationship between PCs and NPC/creatures (ie an increase in PC "depth" in contrast to a relatively greater degree of NPC/creature hit point and damage scaling).
Combat in latest scales (hit points have similar meaning) but the non-combat activity like skill use and attribute driven actions stall out in ways that "feel" very mundane combined with the DM being explicitly told to use normal human beings for the model of what is possible. Your approaching demigod class character at say level 17 probably has the same high attribute they had at level 5.
Sense of progress has been squashed.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But it fails extremely hard at engaging my imagination, much worse than any other edition.
Sounds like a personal problem. I asked you earlier why you were posting here? This is a thread about playing the 4e edition? You know instead of talking about something you obviously just want to throw shade at and or antagonize people about?
As the authors of 5e put it: "An alternative would be for the rules to severely limit what characters can do
like making all of them so their attributes stall at very human levels? and DMs are told to limit them and gage difficulties based on human ability?
, which would be counter to the open-endedness of D&D"
4e is extremely open ended skill challenges are an open-ended framework with advancement into the extremes. Rituals are virtually unlimited in what they might do and so on. The page 42 is the most wide open resolution system D&D has ever had.

You seem to mean by open-ended has no generalized mechanics you can use for this so the DM has to spend loads of time making it up.

As I said earlier when I mentioned using a freezing at-will and a healing surge in a skill challenge context (using rules inspired by nearly directly mentioned in the DMG2) to make your way across a lake, it sounds like you were limiting yourself instead of the game doing so.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
Sounds like a personal problem. How about you not post on a thread about playing this edition? You know stop talking about something you obviously just want to throw shade at and antagonize people about?

If you don't want to discuss, don't answer back. But you might also want to listen to lots of people who did not like 4e, they had their reasons too.

It has lots of qualities, which I recognise, but it's not perfect in general, and I'm entitled to my preferences. But if you'd rather only get people that agree with you, I suggest avoiding the internet.

like making all of them so their attributes stall at very human levels? and DMs are told to limit them and gage difficulties based on human ability?

What is this even about ?

4e is extremely open ended skill challenges are an open-ended framework with advancement into the extremes. Rituals are virtually unlimited in what they might do and so on. The page 42 is the most wide open resolution system D&D has ever had.

No, it's clearly not, and I've not been the only one to explain that it's totally abstract, very gamist, and that is did not suit our tables at all.

Moreover, it's not even what I was speaking about, oyu draw everything back to skill challenges, but there are constraints all over the place in that system, which is a widely recognised fact.

You seem to mean by open-ended has no generalized mechanics you can use for this so the DM has to spend loads of time making it up.

No, by open ended, I mean something that can deal with every situation that I have imagined for the last 40 years in D&D, which 4e did not allow me to do, in particular because all the powers of the classes are limited to combat, focussed on playing on a grid, and allow absolutely no freedom in their interpretation.

As I said earlier when I mentioned using a freezing at-will and a healing surge in a skill challenge context (using rules inspired by nearly directly mentioned in the DMG2) to make your way across a lake, it sounds like you were limiting yourself instead of the game doing so.

Not at all, but I don't need skill challenges to run things outside combat, so it's not a boon to me, I prefer even more openendedness which is not bound by preparation and allows me to take improvisation and new ideas into account, and honestly, it's what, 2% of the system ? Whereas all the rest of the system fixes what where previously and after much more open classes into extremely strict paths with boring combat powers that only scale with level by increasing the numbers, not even the possibilities. As for rituals, they were nice, but again destined to a very limited set of characters.

Once more, there were many things that I liked in 4e, and I understand some people liking the game for a number of reasons, but there were also lots of people not liking it, also for very good reasons. If you can't accept this, why are you even discussing ?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If you don't want to discuss, don't answer back. But you might also want to listen to lots of people who did not like 4e, they had their reasons too.
Been there done that and they are not really pertinent to this part of the forum flagged as 4e and not really pertinent to people discussing generally about actually playing 4e.
It has lots of qualities, which I recognise, but it's not perfect in general, and I'm entitled to my preferences.
yup no game is perfect, and there are lots of places to discuss your preferences I suppose , but only here do you get to whine about 4e being inferior (or not open ended or whatever) because you made it that way and have anyone care to point that out because they disagree.

What is this even about ?
How completely limited the 5e martial characters are... and how even more limited they felt in 1e of course, you obsess on using spells and ignore that rituals are meant for non-combat contexts (
and that page 42 has is even existent for combat situations). I will ignore that some people managed to get super awesome relics from a DM in 1e so that their really lame fighter or thief felt less lame.
No, it's clearly not, and I've not been the only one to explain that it's totally abstract, very gamist, and that is did not suit our tables at all.
It clearly is and yes hit points and to hit and so on all extremely abstract extremely gamist and extremely D&D... representing large numbers of things in broad open ended ways is what abstract means. Sounds mighty open ended to me.
Moreover, it's not even what I was speaking about, oyu draw everything back to skill challenges, but there are constraints all over the place in that system, which is a widely recognised fact.
Just one of many versatile components from what you say you also limit those by thinking they have to be massively prepared and similar things.
No, by open ended, I mean something that can deal with every situation that I have imagined for the last 40 years in D&D, which 4e did not allow me to do, in particular because all the powers of the classes are limited to combat,
zero powers in 1e except I hit it with my sword... oh right you really mean spells then ignore rituals again./
Not at all, but I don't need skill challenges to run things outside combat, so it's not a boon to me, I prefer even more openendedness which is not bound by preparation
you know I bet most of us who play 4e right here improvise skill challenges I cannot be certain of course
and allows me to take improvisation and new ideas into account,
So you didnt read the description of Skill challenges telling you absolutely to do that? The number of times people pulled out their cliches about 4e and we pointed out where the game expressly said to do that is humongous you are not special in this just the latest.
and honestly, it's what, 2% of the system ? Whereas all the rest of the system fixes what where previously and after much more open classes
Right, nods again which classes? oh right spell casters.... oh right spells are vague so they can be interpreted bunches of ways and rituals do not count and page 42 actions do not count because hand wave those really are not open ended because hand wave again.
into extremely strict paths with boring combat powers that only scale with level by increasing the numbers,
sure I can stunlock enemies at higher levels and all kinds powers do more an more other effects and many of mightier powers get progressively more effects are you only looking at striker abilities because yes they largely do more damage. Which is maybe all the fighters own abilities ever allowed him to do in 1e.

The only classes that are even close to your description is a striker who chose only to optimize for damage.
not even the possibilities.
sure again this is about spells because it really cannot be about I hit it with my sword character.
Because merely increasing the numbers is only descriptive of strikers and even they had options of feats they could take to generate interesting other effects. OR the DM could just use page 42 to do similar where supplemental effects were based more on just on situation and how limited he saw the window for it.
I used page 42 to have a character knock two enemies on guard off a building with their twin strike timed to take out 2 others below... it was a rare enough situation very effective. And very reasonable way to use page 42 adjudication in conjunction with a power.

You want adaptive adjudication that is not covered expressly by a power that is the page 42 concept. You want to expend a power and use that to fuel the effect so to speak its right there.
(you want the result to be a changed adapted application of the power well why not???)
As for rituals, they were nice, but again destined to a very limited set of characters.
LOL available for any class with pretty low investment oh right this is not really 4e you talk about just your imaginary version hauled out for "discussion", aside I had a game where all three players had ritualist they were using Arcana to change how rituals worked or finish rituals they had only part of quite a bit.

You have a big kick about how rituals dont count as spells I have no idea why.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Some people actually complained about how easy any class could get access to rituals. I saw it as a pretty natural part of multiclassing system. A fighter or rogue could be trained in Arcana with a simple background choice and take ritualist as his first feat. Take a theme of failed apprentice and even get some flavorful encounter power. That is without even getting into explicit multiclass feats (or hybriding later on). Then they introduced Martial Practices which were like rituals fueled by a healing surge.
 
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dave2008

Legend
But it fails extremely hard at engaging my imagination, much worse than any other edition. As the authors of 5e put it: "An alternative would be for the rules to severely limit what characters can do, which would be counter to the open-endedness of D&D"

Yep, the whole universe has been reduced to that gameplay can exist totally controlled. Some people love it, others (like me) prefer a much more open universe where everything (including strange physics) is possible, with imagination being the only limit, even if balance is more at risk (and that, for me, is not a problem because there is a DM to tackle balance matters anyway).
I think the issue is clear - your imagination. I am not trying to throw shade or be sarcastic here. The issue is with your veiwpoint / imagination of what a D&D game should be and how to play that way in 4e. There is nothing that you can't do in 4e that you can do in 5e or any other edition. 4e gives great tools for improv.

As I mentioned before, I ran a 4e game that was complete improv. No powers, just the players imagination. Now, what I didn't tell was the reason I did this. I had new players (new to D&D & RPGs) and I wanted to show them they were not restricted to the actions described in their powers, that those were only starting points. That instead of looking at the power, just tell me what you want to do. After that adventure we went back to our regular game. About half them fell back into their old habits (just using powers), but the other half took up the improv mantra. Some people have the imagination to use 4e to its fullest, others don't. That is OK, but that is not the game's issue IMO, it is a player / DM issue. To be clear, I found the game fun either way.
 

dave2008

Legend
Some people actually complained about how easy any class could get access to rituals. I saw it as a pretty natural part of multiclassing system. A fighter or rogue could be trained in Arcana with a simple background choice and take ritualist as his first feat. Take a theme of failed apprentice and even get some flavorful encounter power. That is without even getting into explicit multiclass feats. Then they introduced Martial Practices which were like rituals fueled by a healing surge.
It is hard to have a discussion with someone about 4e, when they really didn't play it much!
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I like the Damned if you do Damned if you don't aspect of the 4e fighter you may get some of that in 5e but no other edition. I also particularly like that there are martial powers that target Fortitude/Will/Reflex.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think the issue is clear - your imagination. I am not trying to throw shade or be sarcastic here. The issue is with your veiwpoint / imagination of what a D&D game should be and how to play that way in 4e. There is nothing that you can't do in 4e that you can do in 5e or any other edition. 4e gives great tools for improv.

As I mentioned before, I ran a 4e game that was complete improv. No powers, just the players imagination. Now, what I didn't tell was the reason I did this. I had new players (new to D&D & RPGs) and I wanted to show them they were not restricted to the actions described in their powers, that those were only starting points. That instead of looking at the power, just tell me what you want to do. After that adventure we went back to our regular game. About half them fell back into their old habits (just using powers), but the other half took up the improv mantra. Some people have the imagination to use 4e to its fullest, others don't. That is OK, but that is not the game's issue IMO, it is a player / DM issue. To be clear, I found the game fun either way.
You probably do the extreme improv more than any here, to me the important part is that there are definitely tools designed exactly to support that, I mostly do derivational improvisation where yes they have powers but using them distinct situational ways even more than not using them is how I like to page 42 and yes I tend to merge skill challenges in combat and with page 42. Allowing spending a healing surge anytime to represent an exertion alongside expending a power in page 42 context why not?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
@dave2008 Wrecan and I over on the WOTC forums had big discussions about improving on the page 42 recommendations he wrote articles about it on the official platform even, there were parts that I think could have gone even further, yup it is possible. I mean Page 42 was what 1.5 pages worth I do not think our expansions made it even 3 pages. Though I wanted many many more examples that could take up space. I wonder if that might have cleared up communication issues.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I honestly feel the open explicit visibility of the 4e mechanics makes adjusting them to taste far more easy than the more obscured editions. For instance: Well defined expectations for a striker class also can make it less likely someone will build an incompetent class and similar things.
 

rozgarth

Explorer
Besides Page 42, skill challenges, and rituals / martial practices, 4e characters also got a lot of mileage out of just the basic skill system. Every skill had lots of player-empowering options, and each included multiple examples of creative ways to improvise using your skills.

A character trained in Arcana, for example, didn't just get the ability to recall knowledge about certain types of monsters or magic as in 5e. They also could detect magic, identify magical phenomena, apply quasi-metamagic effects to manipulate the sight or sound of their spells, and manipulate magical energies in the environment (like interfering with the glowing runes channeling an ongoing ritual summoning a devil or activating latent magical energies to open a door in the ruins of an eladrin kingdom). This was all part of the basic Arcana skill; no need for separate spells like detect magic or identify.

So, looking just to a character's powers to decide that the game is locked-down and combat-oriented is deceiving because powers were primarily designed for use in combat (though of course utility powers and skill powers could also be used out-of-combat, and characters could always use powers out-of-combat if they made sense, e.g., in a skill challenge). But the core skill system alone really opens up the possibilities for 4e characters to do lots of things that would have required express permission in the form of a spell or class feature in other editions of D&D.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Besides Page 42, skill challenges, and rituals / martial practices, 4e characters also got a lot of mileage out of just the basic skill system. Every skill had lots of player-empowering options, and each included multiple examples of creative ways to improvise using your skills.

A character trained in Arcana, for example, didn't just get the ability to recall knowledge about certain types of monsters or magic as in 5e. They also could detect magic, identify magical phenomena, apply quasi-metamagic effects to manipulate the sight or sound of their spells, and manipulate magical energies in the environment (like interfering with the glowing runes channeling an ongoing ritual summoning a devil or activating latent magical energies to open a door in the ruins of an eladrin kingdom). This was all part of the basic Arcana skill; no need for separate spells like detect magic or identify.

So, looking just to a character's powers to decide that the game is locked-down and combat-oriented is deceiving because powers were primarily designed for use in combat (though of course utility powers and skill powers could also be used out-of-combat, and characters could always use powers out-of-combat if they made sense, e.g., in a skill challenge). But the core skill system alone really opens up the possibilities for 4e characters to do lots of things that would have required express permission in the form of a spell or class feature in other editions of D&D.
Skill challenges helped define and express how broad and effective skills could be but yes they were very much intended to be that way out of the bag.
 
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dave2008

Legend
A character trained in Arcana, for example, didn't just get the ability to recall knowledge about certain types of monsters or magic as in 5e. They also could detect magic, identify magical phenomena, apply quasi-metamagic effects to manipulate the sight or sound of their spells, and manipulate magical energies in the environment (like interfering with the glowing runes channeling an ongoing ritual summoning a devil or activating latent magical energies to open a door in the ruins of an eladrin kingdom). This was all part of the basic Arcana skill; no need for separate spells like detect magic or identify.
I still play skills that way in 5e. I honestly never even looked if it had changed!
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I still play skills that way in 5e. I honestly never even looked if it had changed!
Very few of the default power like potence of skills carried forward no you cannot detect magic with an arcana check nor do anything interactive with it at all I could tell just a knowledge skill ... the arcana being an explicit example and 4e acrobatics allowing one to suppress damage from a fall ummm nope nope need a spell. (or a specific class special ability)

Skills being much more important is something missing in 5e to me.
 

dave2008

Legend
Very few of the default power like potence of skills carried forward no you cannot detect magic with an arcana check nor do anything interactive with it at all I could tell just a knowledge skill ... the arcana being an explicit example and 4e acrobatics allowing one to suppress damage from a fall ummm nope nope need a spell. (or a specific class special ability)

Skills being much more important is something missing in 5e to me.
Well I am here to tell you that you can run them that way in 5e, works just fine! ;)
 

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