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

Retreater

Legend
I ran a 4e game in person a little over a year ago. It is my wife's favorite edition, and she came to it after coming into the hobby with 5e, FWIW. I've looked into what's available on Roll20 for the system, and it's lacking compared to 5e (as you noted). There's a character sheet, which looks pretty serviceable, but you'll have to put in all your powers manually. I think it can be done. I would probably just do that for the PCs and then run the monsters off to the side in meat space. I wouldn't want to have to create every monster from scratch. I would just use the tokens and map from Roll20 but run the adventures off PDFs or physical books on my DM side.
If you'd like to test it out sometime before you present it to your group, I'd be happy to help you out, as a DM or player.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It already has. It provided a shining example of things not to do again if you want to sell another edition of D&D.
4e made some big presentation mistakes, but it made a lot of very smart design decisions which would certainly not hurt a new edition if they were adopted. Especially given that the market has shifted significantly, and the new crop of players 5e brought in would likely be more amenable to such innovations.
 

I ran a 4e game in person a little over a year ago. It is my wife's favorite edition, and she came to it after coming into the hobby with 5e, FWIW. I've looked into what's available on Roll20 for the system, and it's lacking compared to 5e (as you noted). There's a character sheet, which looks pretty serviceable, but you'll have to put in all your powers manually. I think it can be done. I would probably just do that for the PCs and then run the monsters off to the side in meat space. I wouldn't want to have to create every monster from scratch. I would just use the tokens and map from Roll20 but run the adventures off PDFs or physical books on my DM side.
If you'd like to test it out sometime before you present it to your group, I'd be happy to help you out, as a DM or player.
Learning how to fully take advantage of the power box thing works is a huge pain, but if you CAN learn it, it us possible to code up your powers so that they are as close to automatically tracked as you can get. Can't take into account situational buffs like Leader bonuses, but otherwise it is possible to near-automate most things, including tier-scaling of damage dice!

So yeah, it's relatively robust but a bit cumbersome.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
4e made some big presentation mistakes,
Fact

but it made a lot of very smart design decisions which would certainly not hurt a new edition if they were adopted. Especially given that the market has shifted significantly, and the new crop of players 5e brought in would likely be more amenable to such innovations.
An opinion & speculation that I highly doubt we'll see put to the test.
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I also want to point our that it is completely possible to play 4e without the digital character builder. We played 4e for its full run and my group never used digital tools to make/level their PCs. I used some as DM sometimes, but mostly to print maps and monsters.
I think a lot of the perception that the digital tools were needed to play came from the idea that “everything is core” in 4e. There’s a lot of player options spread across a lot of books, and the digital tools made it much easier to quickly sort through them all to find exactly what you want out of the whole 4e library. But it’s entirely possible to do 4e without them, especially if you limit the options to a few books. I know if I was going to run 4e, I would limit it to the “Heroes of [whatever]” books. But that’s cause I’m the only 4e fan who actually prefers Essentials.
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
Interesting, I hadn't seen that one. I think, as with all the compendia, you kind of still need to have the books and such to reference in order to understand how things work
Yes, I am gonna get the books. The site is just for nice referencing and searching. I have bought the PHB and DMG from Aamzon (used).
Likewise there were no changes in hit points in MM3 for monsters. The only change happened a bit earlier, in MM2, when ALL solos were reduced to 4x hit points instead of 5x, a 20% reduction. MM3 does rely less on brutes and soldiers, and doesn't have as high a proportion of elite/solo monsters. Those factors tend to cut back on 'grindy' monsters some. Also monsters overall design is much better in MM3, their powers synergize with their designs better, there are many fewer cases where monsters just bog down play, etc. It is definitely best to stick to MM3 and MV:ttNV where possible, but most older monsters are OK if you take care in building scenarios and do the adjustments to their stats. It is certainly NOT necessary to do drastic changes like cutting all their hit points in half!
Thanks for the input. Pretty crazy they had to tweak the monsters that much.
If you have any WotC supplied adventures, ritually burn them before you start play and never ever use them! I've heard that a few of the later ones have been considered 'good', but I'm skeptical for the most part...
Yeah, it seems they had some problems nailing the format down. Like you I have heard that some of the later ones are ok. Amazing considering some of the authors.
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
Our group recently took a break from 5e/PF1e in favor of a brief 4e campaign, mainly because a few people in the group had a fondly remembered perception that 4e did a great job handling tactical combat. The end result was a unanimous resolution to stick with 5e/PF1e in the future.

Is it "feasible" to demo a 4th edition campaign? Sure. But you should go into it with your eyes open, remembering that while 4e brought some useful innovations to the genre, it also made a large number of bad design decisions that eventually resulted in its accelerated replacement. Above all, I wouldn't go into a new 4e game simply because you want to somehow prove the bulk of the gaming community was wrong, 4e got a bad rap, its flaws were overstated, etc.

You've made a good start by saying you're drawn to 4e's tactical/battlemat support. I personally think that's the edition's biggest strength and absolutely think 4e can work for your campaign if that's what you want to focus on. Just stick to the core books to make things manageable and you'll be good to go whether or not you have much in the way of digital support.

And who knows? The fact that 4e didn't succeed overall doesn't mean it isn't the best fit for your specific gaming group. If you find it to be so, then you might consider staying with it for longer than you currently plan to. Best wishes and good luck!
Thanks man!
I am totally aware of the "issues" about 4th put forth by the community.
I am just so curious about it. Back in the day I played 2e, and then I didn't play any RPGs for over 20 years, and then I got back into it a few years back with 5e. So I was "away" for the whole 4e debacle, and I'm a bit curious.
There are stuff in the mechanics that interests me so much, as well as Points of Light that I just have to try it out. We might as well end back in 5e. And that's fine.
 

Retreater

Legend
Yeah, it seems they had some problems nailing the format down. Like you I have heard that some of the later ones are ok. Amazing considering some of the authors.
I think they didn't do a great job of capturing what the expectations of play were supposed to be in 4e, especially the H1-E3 series (which I tried to run recently). They were basically written like adventures for 3.x or earlier editions.
The ones in the Essentials line were much better (like Reavers of Harkenwald). I also enjoyed the Lair Assault series and many seasons of D&D Encounters, for what they were.
 


Retreater

Legend
Thanks man!
I am totally aware of the "issues" about 4th put forth by the community.
I am just so curious about it. Back in the day I played 2e, and then I didn't play any RPGs for over 20 years, and then I got back into it a few years back with 5e. So I was "away" for the whole 4e debacle, and I'm a bit curious.
There are stuff in the mechanics that interests me so much, as well as Points of Light that I just have to try it out. We might as well end back in 5e. And that's fine.
From someone who came in during the same time (2e) but played through all the editions between, I can say that all of the post-TSR editions were big departures from what came before, so much that I think they're basically unrecognizable as D&D if you compare them to 2e or earlier.
 


BigZebra

Adventurer
4e is great! Well deserving of a revised edition, especially for the early books where WotC didn't quite have the mechanics dialed in. But late stage 4e, especially in terms of monster design and tactical combat is an amazing game.

I love both 4e and 5e, but 4e scratches a different itch, and its missed in my group. Time to perhaps consider a retro-campaign. We have all the books, so the digital tools going offline didn't really affect us, and only some of my original 4e group ever used them.
A revised edition would be awesome, although extremely unlikely.
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
I think they didn't do a great job of capturing what the expectations of play were supposed to be in 4e, especially the H1-E3 series (which I tried to run recently). They were basically written like adventures for 3.x or earlier editions.
The ones in the Essentials line were much better (like Reavers of Harkenwald). I also enjoyed the Lair Assault series and many seasons of D&D Encounters, for what they were.
Can you recommend a good beginner adventure that nicely introduces the 4e way of thinking?
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
I ran a 4e game in person a little over a year ago. It is my wife's favorite edition, and she came to it after coming into the hobby with 5e, FWIW. I've looked into what's available on Roll20 for the system, and it's lacking compared to 5e (as you noted). There's a character sheet, which looks pretty serviceable, but you'll have to put in all your powers manually. I think it can be done. I would probably just do that for the PCs and then run the monsters off to the side in meat space. I wouldn't want to have to create every monster from scratch. I would just use the tokens and map from Roll20 but run the adventures off PDFs or physical books on my DM side.
If you'd like to test it out sometime before you present it to your group, I'd be happy to help you out, as a DM or player.
How do you compare it to PF2? If am not mistaken, you have written a bit about PF2, and both PF2 and 4e seems to lean towards doing tactical battle, having interesting monsters etc.
 

Retreater

Legend
Can you recommend a good beginner adventure that nicely introduces the 4e way of thinking?
Reavers of Harkenwald is really good, but starts at 2nd level.
The Scales of War series from Dungeon Magazine (if you can find them digitally) are some of the best for 4e. The 1st level intro is "Rescue at Rivenroar" from Dungeon 156.
The idea behind the 4e way of thinking (as I understand it) is to not present dungeons with a bunch of trivial encounters with rats and kobolds. Have smaller dungeons with memorable set piece encounters that actually mean something. You can take Keep on the Shadowfell, but cut out the trivial encounters and replace with Skill Challenges, roleplay, etc., but use the big important battles.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
How do you compare it to PF2? If am not mistaken, you have written a bit about PF2, and both PF2 and 4e seems to lean towards doing tactical battle, having interesting monsters etc.
PF2 cleverly adopted some of the best bits of 4e design in a way that Pathfinder fans would find relatively inoffensive. Unfortunately it also couldn’t let go of Pathfinder’s fiddliness, so the overall experience was very frustrating for me as someone who wants to see a proper evolution of 4e’s design.
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
PF2 cleverly adopted some of the best bits of 4e design in a way that Pathfinder fans would find relatively inoffensive. Unfortunately it also couldn’t let go of Pathfinder’s fiddliness, so the overall experience was very frustrating for me as someone who wants to see a proper evolution of 4e’s design.
Yeah that's what I fear. I bought the PF2 rulebook, but it didn't really click for me. Perhaps I'll try it some day.
 

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