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

I made a martial practice that allowed one to basically split the mountain ... patterned after the Passwall ritual with advantages and disadvantages. I am thinking a bunch of Terrain altering feats (Skill Powers and Practices) should come in at that point. (Engineering and Athletics skills)
I remember a bunch of that stuff. I guess we kind of let off on that fun when things got merged with the 5e forums. Anyway, I was thinking about this in terms of the HoML 'scale' thing. So, you have your heroic stuff, you slam the guy to the pavement. This is a limited use maneuver, but you can do it pretty often. It makes you bad-assed relative to normal guys, but its the stuff of those who 'go beyond' and you'd run into this kind of thing pretty often.

Maybe as a CAPSTONE you can do the next level badassery, and pound the guy into the pavement, and this becomes your Legendary version of this maneuver. So, now you toss people to the ground as the basic maneuver (at least people who aren't themselves Legendary) and your capstone is you completely banish someone, which then becomes a Mythic limited use move (maybe that's a bit extreme, maybe there is an intermediate level there and banish the Mythic capstone). There could be other progressions too. Maybe another maneuver lets you toss people, 3 meters, 100 meters, 10 kilometers, and the final capstone is 'they never come down'.
 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I remember a bunch of that stuff. I guess we kind of let off on that fun when things got merged with the 5e forums. Anyway, I was thinking about this in terms of the HoML 'scale' thing. So, you have your heroic stuff, you slam the guy to the pavement. This is a limited use maneuver, but you can do it pretty often. It makes you bad-assed relative to normal guys, but its the stuff of those who 'go beyond' and you'd run into this kind of thing pretty often.

Maybe as a CAPSTONE you can do the next level badassery, and pound the guy into the pavement, and this becomes your Legendary version of this maneuver. So, now you toss people to the ground as the basic maneuver (at least people who aren't themselves Legendary) and your capstone is you completely banish someone, which then becomes a Mythic limited use move (maybe that's a bit extreme, maybe there is an intermediate level there and banish the Mythic capstone). There could be other progressions too. Maybe another maneuver lets you toss people, 3 meters, 100 meters, 10 kilometers, and the final capstone is 'they never come down'.
I like the concept of powers explicitly scaling by tier in functional effect... They do in 4e sort of by way of taking different powers.

I am big on keeping things integrated closely with 4e but.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, to me Banishment really is EPIC whereas 'smashing the guy into the ground so hard he's stuck there' is pretty awesome, but not quite epic. Its a level of gonzo less. So I would say maybe MYTHS banish you to the center of the earth, LEGENDS cram you into the pavement, lol.
Of note perhaps the 5e banishment spell is not of that order either unless the subject has the ability to self return from such in about a minute.

One thing I have been recently thinking in terms of is alternate defeated conditions if you have successfully defeated the enemy with your banishment or knock em to hell power(or center of the earth) then the effect is basically permanent (subject to special undoing).

If you defeated them with a sleep spell they they are comatose forever *(with an ending condition) like sleeping beauty.

If you defeated them with your stone blood power they are turned entirely to stone (see also heavy ritual to remove)

Stuff like that.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
Admittedly, I'm someone who once complained about 4E (and there still are things I don't like about the default assumptions of the system).

However there are also a lot of things it did "right."

A big one for me is encounter design. I enjoyed combat with a lot of monsters and moving pieces.

Encounter design is an area where I feel that 5E took a step backward.
 

Admittedly, I'm someone who once complained about 4E (and there still are things I don't like about the default assumptions of the system).

However there are also a lot of things it did "right."

A big one for me is encounter design. I enjoyed combat with a lot of monsters and moving pieces.

Encounter design is an area where I feel that 5E took a step backward.
Right, and OTOH I think 5e got certain things right as well, though it has been argued it was at the expense of other things. I feel like character options in 5e are generally easier to grasp in terms of their thematic relevancy as well as how they mechanically fit into your character build. 4e character builds became pretty baroque over time, and I think the E-classes were one attempt to combat that. I think it can be done better.

So, for instance, in my own Heroes of Myth and Legend 4e hack, there are only 'boons'. There aren't 'feats' and 'proficiencies' and themes and PPs and EDs and etc. etc. etc. Even items are folded into the boon concept (something 4e actually suggested, I just took it to an extreme). Powers become strictly consequences of boons. This tends to greatly simplify applying the mechanics to the characters. Granted there are still many many options, but there's a much smaller tendency to stack them together to create specific composite effects, which was the whole essence of 4e charops.

I also eliminated certain concepts pretty much completely, like multi-attacks. There are still AoEs of course, but there are various ways to avoid stacking up static damage bonuses (like mostly there aren't many and none of them ever stack). Overall TACTICS are still really relevant, but the whole 'recipe approach' to 'character build' is damped down a lot, which feels sort of like 5e (though 5e doesn't totally avoid it).

I mean, its good to have some synergies in the game, but they shouldn't out compete simply building in a thematic way, and the thematics should be pretty obvious!
 





Arcaneshield

Explorer
Ahh sorry. Reign of Winter, a pathfinder adventure path. On this very website a fellow has converted the first three adventures.

 

Argyle King

Legend
Right, and OTOH I think 5e got certain things right as well, though it has been argued it was at the expense of other things. I feel like character options in 5e are generally easier to grasp in terms of their thematic relevancy as well as how they mechanically fit into your character build. 4e character builds became pretty baroque over time, and I think the E-classes were one attempt to combat that. I think it can be done better.

So, for instance, in my own Heroes of Myth and Legend 4e hack, there are only 'boons'. There aren't 'feats' and 'proficiencies' and themes and PPs and EDs and etc. etc. etc. Even items are folded into the boon concept (something 4e actually suggested, I just took it to an extreme). Powers become strictly consequences of boons. This tends to greatly simplify applying the mechanics to the characters. Granted there are still many many options, but there's a much smaller tendency to stack them together to create specific composite effects, which was the whole essence of 4e charops.

I also eliminated certain concepts pretty much completely, like multi-attacks. There are still AoEs of course, but there are various ways to avoid stacking up static damage bonuses (like mostly there aren't many and none of them ever stack). Overall TACTICS are still really relevant, but the whole 'recipe approach' to 'character build' is damped down a lot, which feels sort of like 5e (though 5e doesn't totally avoid it).

I mean, its good to have some synergies in the game, but they shouldn't out compete simply building in a thematic way, and the thematics should be pretty obvious!

I felt that the E-classes were a step in the wrong direction for 4E.

One of my common complaints of 4E is that I felt as though a significant chunk of the "official" advice on how to run 4E was bad advice and changes/errata made to the game often went in a direction which made some problems worse.

An exception would be updated monster math. Later monster design was clearly better.

I grasp most of what your post is saying. I can understand why you decided to make the changes you did.

I'm not sure that I fully understand the last paragraph of your statement though. What do you mean by creating a character in a thematic way?
 



Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Anyone got a rough gathering of 4e lore I think I have an idea on what to do with it.
hmmm not sure... I am kind of a build my own world kind of guy but I think bits and pieces of what you are talking about are scattered all over

 
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I felt that the E-classes were a step in the wrong direction for 4E.

One of my common complaints of 4E is that I felt as though a significant chunk of the "official" advice on how to run 4E was bad advice and changes/errata made to the game often went in a direction which made some problems worse.

An exception would be updated monster math. Later monster design was clearly better.

I grasp most of what your post is saying. I can understand why you decided to make the changes you did.

I'm not sure that I fully understand the last paragraph of your statement though. What do you mean by creating a character in a thematic way?
I guess what I'm saying is that in 4e you sort of constantly garden your build. Like, you can never just make a choice that is effectively "OK, I'm vanilla Axe Dwarf, that's it, no more choices to make." In fact you pretty much have to make a large number of choices in 4e to not only enact 'Vanilla Axe Dwarf' on day one, but you have to keep gardening it to make it continue to 'just work'! You have to take the right feats, and get the right equipment, and the right neck gear, and the right armor, and the right gauntlets, and the right belt, etc. etc. etc. You have to pick the right 'Axe Dwarf' thematic powers, and to get things REALLY right, you probably want to explore the rules interactions of charging and weapon attacks, and what things can count as a BA and how and when, and decide if you want to go crit fishing, or charging, or lockdown flavor, etc. Those are good choices to HAVE, but each one requires the acquisition of several feats/powers/items in a certain combination to pull off. You gotta know these things!

5e, I choose dwarf, put lots into STR, pick Axe, single weapon fighting style, at 3rd level Champion, that's it! I probably never have to make another choice except ASI vs feat and ASI is never a WRONG choice there.

I actually agree that the E-classes weren't a good fit for 4e and were a waste of time and resources by WotC. The Slayer, for example, is not BAD. It is a pretty decent 'Axe Dwarf' (or whatever) though you STILL have to pick up the right proficiency, and you're still stuck with feat choices. Inevitably the Slayer also loses a lot of tactical elements of the basic fighter and doesn't hold up super well at high levels.

If you take 4e's PHB1 (and lets say it was written a bit less hastily because a lot of its feats in particular are junk) by itself, its pretty good. The flaw in the design is there are so many categories of elements out there, feats, powers, MCing, PPs, EDs, races, classes, and items just in PHB1. It creates a high-dimensionality decision space that players need to navigate. What they need is THEMATIC CHOICE. The ability pick the thematics, and tweak them some if they want, and maybe to invent some new ones. Gardening isn't really what most players want.

The most common issue I have running 4e is simply that players are kind of taken aback by all the options they have to wade through. I ran two long campaigns for one group, and the ENTIRE time, several years, they completely relied on one player to do all their builds and leveling. These are not newb RPG or D&D people either. They are people that mostly played D&D since the 80's and I know they play games like Changeling, and CoC, and the new Star Wars, etc. and have played a lot of other stuff. They can deal with rules. The density of 4e player facing rules was just daunting.

While 5e is not orders of magnitude simpler, it does present itself in a gentler way to the players on that score. Why you take any given 5e option is usually pretty clear. A lot of 4e ones are just "glue", you have to dig down in the rules to know why you'd even want it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
While 5e is not orders of magnitude simpler, it does present itself in a gentler way to the players on that score. Why you take any given 5e option is usually pretty clear. A lot of 4e ones are just "glue", you have to dig down in the rules to know why you'd even want it.
4e had official builds what if that was followed through on better. I remember the discussions where Toni mentioned premade build/characters so that sure the system was flexible and you could mix and match but they came in where a few choices cues up a set of benefits you gain over the levels but that were designed so one could later as you understood things retrain or free form recombine.

Having powers that naturally level up from heroic to paragon to epic means you have a familiar base that just gets better

You could btw almost do it in Character Builder by following through on preferred feats and powers and similar things. Similarly I would suggest equipment packages and rituals/practices then come in, kind of like how certain feats provide a set of rituals you can learn as a ritualist. Any way I love my choice levels because I do surprising things with them.

That is where the Prince(ss) / LazyLord build came from a natural outgrowth of combining the content in a thematic way by myself and others.

I love my design options and there are so many characters I really cannot build in 5e.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
I guess what I'm saying is that in 4e you sort of constantly garden your build. Like, you can never just make a choice that is effectively "OK, I'm vanilla Axe Dwarf, that's it, no more choices to make." In fact you pretty much have to make a large number of choices in 4e to not only enact 'Vanilla Axe Dwarf' on day one, but you have to keep gardening it to make it continue to 'just work'! You have to take the right feats, and get the right equipment, and the right neck gear, and the right armor, and the right gauntlets, and the right belt, etc. etc. etc. You have to pick the right 'Axe Dwarf' thematic powers, and to get things REALLY right, you probably want to explore the rules interactions of charging and weapon attacks, and what things can count as a BA and how and when, and decide if you want to go crit fishing, or charging, or lockdown flavor, etc. Those are good choices to HAVE, but each one requires the acquisition of several feats/powers/items in a certain combination to pull off. You gotta know these things!

5e, I choose dwarf, put lots into STR, pick Axe, single weapon fighting style, at 3rd level Champion, that's it! I probably never have to make another choice except ASI vs feat and ASI is never a WRONG choice there.

I actually agree that the E-classes weren't a good fit for 4e and were a waste of time and resources by WotC. The Slayer, for example, is not BAD. It is a pretty decent 'Axe Dwarf' (or whatever) though you STILL have to pick up the right proficiency, and you're still stuck with feat choices. Inevitably the Slayer also loses a lot of tactical elements of the basic fighter and doesn't hold up super well at high levels.

If you take 4e's PHB1 (and lets say it was written a bit less hastily because a lot of its feats in particular are junk) by itself, its pretty good. The flaw in the design is there are so many categories of elements out there, feats, powers, MCing, PPs, EDs, races, classes, and items just in PHB1. It creates a high-dimensionality decision space that players need to navigate. What they need is THEMATIC CHOICE. The ability pick the thematics, and tweak them some if they want, and maybe to invent some new ones. Gardening isn't really what most players want.

The most common issue I have running 4e is simply that players are kind of taken aback by all the options they have to wade through. I ran two long campaigns for one group, and the ENTIRE time, several years, they completely relied on one player to do all their builds and leveling. These are not newb RPG or D&D people either. They are people that mostly played D&D since the 80's and I know they play games like Changeling, and CoC, and the new Star Wars, etc. and have played a lot of other stuff. They can deal with rules. The density of 4e player facing rules was just daunting.

While 5e is not orders of magnitude simpler, it does present itself in a gentler way to the players on that score. Why you take any given 5e option is usually pretty clear. A lot of 4e ones are just "glue", you have to dig down in the rules to know why you'd even want it.

I can see that point of view.

I do think that there's an element of "gardening" to 4E, in that your power choices are an expression of your character.

It's not an issue I had with most* of the particular group of people I played 4E with, but I understand the viewpoint.

*Related: the axe-using dwarf is an archetype favored by one of the guys I played 4E (and rpgs in general) with, and he struggled because axes had lower proficiency and some "wrong" choices made along the way meant he had trouble hitting things at higher levels. This was highlighted more because some of the other characters in the same party virtually couldn't miss.

Personally, I preferred the PHB1 feats of 4E because they made choices more meaningful. I found tradeoffs such as "+1 when... [weapon choice or damage type]" to be more interesting than the later expertise feats which just have a blanket bonus. I feel the PHB1 approach allowed some of the more flavorful options to actually be competitive and meaningful choices. (PHB1 and the early books also had a tone that I liked more than later books.)

Still, I can see how 4E could be overwhelming. At the same time, I find that 5E sometimes doesn't give enough choice. Where 4E weapons and options maybe had too much going on, I find that 5E sometimes has too little going on to differentiate choices.

Is swinging an axe in 5E very different from a hammer in most cases? Is there a reason to not pick rapier for a Dex weapon? There are feats to address this, but feat choices are so rare that it's tough to want to give up an ability increase or one of the "must have" feats for a highly situational bonus. 5E kinda started on the opposite end of 4E In a lot of ways.

I suppose this is all a long-winded way of saying that I can understand your criticisms of 4E (and have been harshly critical of 4E in the past myself,) but I think 5E over-corrected in some areas.
 

4e had official builds what if that was followed through on better. I remember the discussions where Toni mentioned premade builds so that sure the system was flexible and you could mix and match but they came in where a few choices cues up a set of benefits you gain over the levels but that were designed so one could later as you understood things retrain or free form recombine.

Having powers that naturally level up from heroic to paragon to epic means you have a familiar base that just gets better

You could btw almost do it in Character Builder by following through on preferred feats and powers and similar things. Similarly I would suggest equipment packages and rituals/practices then come in, kind of like how certain feats provide a set of rituals you can learn as a ritualist. Any way I love my choice levels because I do surprising things with them.

That is where the Prince(ss) / LazyLord build came from a natural outgrowth of combining the content in a thematic way by myself and others.

I love my design options and there are so many characters I really cannot build in 5e.
Yeah, well, I would think that would be a next-best option, and probably overall fine for the most part. WotC never did much with it. I mean, they DID post a couple builds of each class, or class variation (in the case of the 'Power' books). However, their builds were always just level 1, left out many things, and were frankly not even very clever and often bad advice. They seemed more intended to showcase whatever options the book was adding, or reinforce the idea of a particular thematic concept.

I mean, looking at the PHB1 fighter builds, they are 'Great Weapon Fighter', which is pretty obviously the point of two-handled weapon talent. The feat suggestions are bad (Power attack rots), the suggested daily (brute strike) is a terrible choice. Likewise the 'Guardian Fighter' pretty obviously the point of one-handed weapon talent (Duh, you carry a shield). Weapon Focus is an OK feat, for PHB1 only era, but there's better. Sure Strike BITES, nobody should ever choose it.

And that was the obvious flaw in putting builds in a book, they were obsolete on day 2. Building something like that into the CB would have made a lot of sense, though. Especially if it would have had something like an option to upload your builds to DDI and let other people share them! This was the sort of stuff I was waiting for WotC to figure out, and they never GOT IT. They moved CB online, and did squat with that. It had a lot of potential.
 

I can see that point of view.

I do think that there's an element of "gardening" to 4E, in that your power choices are an expression of your character.

It's not an issue I had with most* of the particular group of people I played 4E with, but I understand the viewpoint.

*Related: the axe-using dwarf is an archetype favored by one of the guys I played 4E (and rpgs in general) with, and he struggled because axes had lower proficiency and some "wrong" choices made along the way meant he had trouble hitting things at higher levels. This was highlighted more because some of the other characters in the same party virtually couldn't miss.

Personally, I preferred the PHB1 feats of 4E because they made choices more meaningful. I found tradeoffs such as "+1 when... [weapon choice or damage type]" to be more interesting than the later expertise feats which just have a blanket bonus. I feel the PHB1 approach allowed some of the more flavorful options to actually be competitive and meaningful choices. (PHB1 and the early books also had a tone that I liked more than later books.)

Still, I can see how 4E could be overwhelming. At the same time, I find that 5E sometimes doesn't give enough choice. Where 4E weapons and options maybe had too much going on, I find that 5E sometimes has too little going on to differentiate choices.

Is swinging an axe in 5E very different from a hammer in most cases? Is there a reason to not pick rapier for a Dex weapon? There are feats to address this, but feat choices are so rare that it's tough to want to give up an ability increase or one of the "must have" feats for a highly situational bonus. 5E kinda started on the opposite end of 4E In a lot of ways.

I suppose this is all a long-winded way of saying that I can understand your criticisms of 4E (and have been harshly critical of 4E in the past myself,) but I think 5E over-corrected in some areas.
Well, I started playing in the days of OD&D, Holmes Basic, and early 1e. OPTIONS were not even a concept back then. You got a choice of weapon proficiencies, and gear, and everything else was about how you spent your coin, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is, compared to that 5e is a cornucopia. We managed to make quite varied PCs just based on ability scores, armor, and weapon choice, plus maybe what sort of hirelings you hired.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Well, I started playing in the days of OD&D, Holmes Basic, and early 1e. OPTIONS were not even a concept back then. You got a choice of weapon proficiencies, and gear, and everything else was about how you spent your coin, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is, compared to that 5e is a cornucopia. We managed to make quite varied PCs just based on ability scores, armor, and weapon choice, plus maybe what sort of hirelings you hired.

I can see that.

I'm not as familiar with OD&D*.

Though my perception (which is perhaps highly flawed) is that player choice didn't have so many assumptions attached to it by the system. For example, the choice to have a hireling or a sidekick didn't conflict with assumptions about needing a certain level of wealth or items by a particular level.

(5E claims that magic items are rare/optional, but I'm not sure that I always believe that.)

Having hirelings, mounts, monsters, and more moving pieces is something I enjoy. I think that's choice presented in a different way.

*The little experience that I have is playing through OD&D adventures with a non-D&D rules system.
 

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