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

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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 think I might be able to jury rig a ton of that based on the random build system if you pick a build in character builder it uses code from the build definition during the random advancement too (basically have versions of feats that are level limited and recommended for a build) The idea wasn't just pie in the sky, CBLoader allows one to have an updateable online source too.

One just needs an online context for building and creating new content. Its a bit of work... but rather tempting basically it would publish custom content and users could vote on favorite content and we could have personal favorites and one could have a file you downloaded and would control the content from that site that your received.
 

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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.
I think you know enough. The main feature of OD&D in my view was the sheer simplicity of characters. You could completely fill out your PC in about 5 minutes, of which 3 was rolling dice. OTOH it is true that there wasn't a heck of a lot to mark a big distinction between one PC and another of the same class and level. At least not at first.

I believe in a sort of middle path. Let the character's history be the factor that controls how they develop into their different selves, but allow there to be a fairly well-established set of templates for the options. And then expect a few options to really do a lot of work for a given player. It may well be different ones for different situations and characters. 4e had a lot of good ideas there, but I still think it created too many categories. That lead to an over-proliferation of options and obtuse builds.

We won't get back to 5 minute characters, but we can get down to the 15 minute ones of AD&D 1e period.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I think you know enough. The main feature of OD&D in my view was the sheer simplicity of characters. You could completely fill out your PC in about 5 minutes, of which 3 was rolling dice. OTOH it is true that there wasn't a heck of a lot to mark a big distinction between one PC and another of the same class and level. At least not at first.

I believe in a sort of middle path. Let the character's history be the factor that controls how they develop into their different selves, but allow there to be a fairly well-established set of templates for the options. And then expect a few options to really do a lot of work for a given player. It may well be different ones for different situations and characters. 4e had a lot of good ideas there, but I still think it created too many categories. That lead to an over-proliferation of options and obtuse builds.

We won't get back to 5 minute characters, but we can get down to the 15 minute ones of AD&D 1e period.

I mostly agree.

It's a largely semantic difference, but my view -when I criticize how later 4E evolved- is less that too many categories existed and more that the categories were managed somewhat poorly.

For example, I remember the first time I saw an option to treat a weapon as an implement. It was rather easy to see that leading to "problems" when combined with something which increased the effect of a particular weapon.

Oddly, that issues might arise appeared to come as a shock to some of the folks writing the game.

Note: I'm not suggesting the ideas were bad. I'll simply say (as I did back then) that I don't understand how there was such a drastic difference in how people making the game saw the game versus my anecdotal experience with people playing the game. I think that difference and disconnect is a primary reason for 4E's worst issues.

Overall, I think I agree with most of what you're saying. I get the impression that many of your views on playing a game aren't very different than my own. Where there are differences, they're viewpoints that I can understand.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Anyone got a rough gathering of 4e lore I think I have an idea on what to do with it.
Well, there is a google doc someone put together that details the lore of Nentir Vale from the very beginning of creation to “present” Nentir Vale, cobbled together from various tidbits of lore spread throughout many of the 4e books. It what I have been using as reference for my own world’s history.

History of the Nentir Vale
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think you know enough. The main feature of OD&D in my view was the sheer simplicity of characters. You could completely fill out your PC in about 5 minutes, of which 3 was rolling dice. OTOH it is true that there wasn't a heck of a lot to mark a big distinction between one PC and another of the same class and level. At least not at first.
Your feature my flaw
 

S'mon

Legend
Ran my 5th session of current 4e campaign on Wednesday, up against the first real BBEG, and the PCs lost! There were 4 PCs (3 players, Fighter Wizard Warlord, & the buildmeister Wizard player doubling up playing the backup Slayer) at level 4. The Brawler Fighter wearing Black Iron armour & Vryloka Inspiring Warlord both had good Necrotic resistance. They were somewhat drained after fighting through 6 easy-ish encounters with the BBEG's undead minions, before meeting the level 6 Solo Controller Vampire Lord (292 hp!) and his 2 minion 10 elder vampire spawn. The minions didn't last long but they gave the VL a round or so of distraction, as intended. I'd rebuilt the VL* from 2008 standard to 2010 MM3+ norms, so his defences & regeneration were reduced somewhat, but his damage was well up; at worst he could do three minor action mace attacks for d8+7, standard action necrotic ray attack 2d10+6 (worth doing despite the opp atts) he could create Desecrated Ground for 1d6+6 necrotic damage & self healing 10 at the start of each round; he could potentially blood drain for 28 dmg & heal 28, but by far his biggest power was domination gaze on the Slayer. After about 3 rounds he'd taken 230 damage without doing very much, but then he got the measure of the PCs, began Action Pointing, dominating the Slayer and turned the buildmeister's fell creation against her :D - the fight went on ca another 5 rounds but the dice went cold for the players; with the desecrated ground & some blood drains the VL's damage never went over 230; by the time the Slayer & Warlord were down for good and the Fighter & Wizard fled the VL 's damage tally was down to 197. It was a close fight but them's the breaks.

*spoiler Barthus from Scepter Tower of Spellgard
 

pemerton

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!
That's why we ex-RM players love 4e D&D!

I remember the first time I saw an option to treat a weapon as an implement. It was rather easy to see that leading to "problems" when combined with something which increased the effect of a particular weapon.

Oddly, that issues might arise appeared to come as a shock to some of the folks writing the game.
This particular one caused so much angst online. But at our table we (which is kinda me as the GM bringing the relevant player along with me) adopted an approach on day one which ended up corresponding to the eventual WotC erratum on the topic.

And @S'mon, I remember that vampire. My PCs beat it, but were more like 5th level I think. And I don't remember now how much I tweaked it from the published version but not as much as you did. I had a flooding room trap involved also, but can't remember now if it was simultaneous or subsequent. I do remember the PCs using floating coffins as life rafts!
 

S'mon

Legend
And @S'mon, I remember that vampire. My PCs beat it, but were more like 5th level I think. And I don't remember now how much I tweaked it from the published version but not as much as you did. I had a flooding room trap involved also, but can't remember now if it was simultaneous or subsequent. I do remember the PCs using floating coffins as life rafts!

The flooding room is elsewhere in the dungeon - the PCs met the vampire without encountering it (yet). Since my buildmeister player (& primary campaign GM) built all the PCs using all 4e sources & heavily optimised them, I felt at liberty to rebuild the vampire to full MM3/MV standards... >:D buildmeister felt it ended up on the tough side, but given it's a level 6 solo it should be comparable to say 5 level 6 ogres from the MV, and I think I was in line with that sort of threat level. The party's necrotic resistance helped a lot; with better dice rolls they could have shoved it out of the healing aura and saved from its domination effect; also my recharge die was rolling hot! And if my buildmeister had not min-maxed the Slayer PC quite so much... :D
 


Aldarc

Legend
OK. I remember making a lot of changes to that dungeon, and so had the vampire in the flooding room. But it may have been that the room activated once the vampire was dead.
Someone must have me on ignore or I have someone on ignore one since I can't tell who you are talking to or about. Which dungeon?
 



pemerton

Legend
S'mon and I are discussing the vampire (6th level solo) and the flooding room in Sceptre Tower of Spellgard, an early 4e module. I changed the dungeon a lot, but don't remember how much I changed the vampire's stats. S'mon changed the stats to MM3 standard (MM3 didn't exist when I ran it) but I think left the dungeon largely unchanged.
 

S'mon

Legend
S'mon and I are discussing the vampire (6th level solo) and the flooding room in Sceptre Tower of Spellgard, an early 4e module. I changed the dungeon a lot, but don't remember how much I changed the vampire's stats. S'mon changed the stats to MM3 standard (MM3 didn't exist when I ran it) but I think left the dungeon largely unchanged.

I basically just changed the monster stats, added a bit of treasure, lowered some skill DCs to be closer to 4e-final-form, and puzzled out something workable from the bolloxed up dungeon map that doesn't match the encounter maps or area descriptions. :)
 

vagabundo

Explorer
Sadly my 4e Hexcrawl fizzled. In part because of my hexcrawling skills - first time and second because it was run remote on Roll20.

We've moved to the rules lighter Trail of Cthulhu and Masks of Nyarlathotep.

I would like to try it again. 4e is quite decent for the prep and running of a sandbox/hexcrawl. I just didn't do it right.
 

S'mon

Legend
Sadly my 4e Hexcrawl fizzled. In part because of my hexcrawling skills - first time and second because it was run remote on Roll20.

We've moved to the rules lighter Trail of Cthulhu and Masks of Nyarlathotep.

I would like to try it again. 4e is quite decent for the prep and running of a sandbox/hexcrawl. I just didn't do it right.
4e I think is a bit tricky for effective long term hexcrawling because of how levelling works. Either you are doing it Oblivion-style and levelling everything to PC level, or you have some pretty hard gating/channeling/direction.

One thing I've noticed is that 4e with MM3+ monster stats is much more tolerant of over-level PCs than under-level PCs; I've found fights where the PCs are 1-3 levels higher than the monsters have worked great and felt fun; the players get to show off and feel awesome, and they can get through a lot of encounters, but they still feel challenged. So for hexcrawling you can include a lot of lower level encounters and not worry too much if the PCs are focusing on lower level areas. The main thing is you prob don't want them long resting after every fight. I think the best approach is a small scale map, Keep on the Borderlands style is great but up to 1 or 2 miles per hex allows for several small encounters per adventuring day.

For my current game I made this KotB style local area map for a small hexcrawl element. It has worked out very nicely. I think the best approach in 4e is to have a hexcrawl area map built for either 1 level (ca 10 encounters, around 3 4-5 hours sessions IME) or at most 3-4 levels, the size of one of those HPE adventures. Then have the threats increase roughly in concentric circles from the start location, West Marches style. That way PCs probably won't get in too deep too fast.

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Argyle King

Legend
That's why we ex-RM players love 4e D&D!

This particular one caused so much angst online. But at our table we (which is kinda me as the GM bringing the relevant player along with me) adopted an approach on day one which ended up corresponding to the eventual WotC erratum on the topic.

And @S'mon, I remember that vampire. My PCs beat it, but were more like 5th level I think. And I don't remember now how much I tweaked it from the published version but not as much as you did. I had a flooding room trap involved also, but can't remember now if it was simultaneous or subsequent. I do remember the PCs using floating coffins as life rafts!

I didn't have a problem with the idea.

My comment was more that it was an example of an option being released that was immediately used in a way which had appeared to have never been considered before it rolled out.

...which happens sometimes. It's not uncommon for an audience to see something differently. But that seemed to be the case a lot with 4E.

I've often been curious what was happening at WotC which produced a drastically different view of the game than how the players around me viewed the game.
 



Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I largely view 4e as an accidentally brilliant game. We know that it was created by a deeply divided design team. It's no wonder parts of the team did not get it because it wasn't the sort of game they wanted to design.
There was huge amounts of intent in the original design expressed by original team leadership, I do not think accidental is the right word exactly.
 

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