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

I miss the days of Google Groups. It was a nice mix between the formats. The death of Google Groups hit some TTRPG communities pretty hard.


I am potentially interested in online play FWIW. The state of the pandemic is slowly wearing me down.
Well, I guess it is mostly a matter of finding 3-4 players that can come together in a reasonable time slot in everyone's TZ, and will play together at the same table (not much of a high bar on that one for me, really). I'd try running my game, though it is definitely pretty 'experimental', lol.
 

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I will say they do have scaling on many powers through feats and through attribute bonuses and other things which combine to increase effectiveness. When I was calculating how much damage a fireball did in spite of lower numbers of dice many static modifiers were involved and brought the damage far closer with elemental bonuses and so on.
I am not sure why they didnt decide to have more scaling powers. I certainly would have preferred it. Did they think as separate powers they could simply have more... and scale flavor if they wanted? nuclear blast ... vs Fireball.
Yeah, so, just thinking in crude terms about it, suppose you are a striker, like a rogue. You start out with a Daily that notionally is about 3[W] and then you get a bonus d6 on top, plus you get probably a static +5, and possibly a couple more points, with your W starting at D8, lets say (IE its a rapier, pretty solid starting point).

At epic the same 3[W] power is leveraging a D10 W, 3d8 SA bonus, +10 for DEX, +6 enhancement, and another 10 points or so from feats. So it is doing MORE than 2x the basic raw damage, but then you probably have larded on some fairly nasty additional stuff, like maybe Frostcheese or some sort of Radiant craziness, and AP bennies, and then some way to get bonus attacks out of it all, or enhanced crits, or something. Not all that will reflect in that single power though. Plus you undoubtedly have a higher level power with 5[W] and some crazier effects/conditions added on. You might still use the lower level power, maybe, but probably more because it ties into some combo that you've developed.

In terms of the 'why'... I think where 4e actually 'went wrong' (if we can even say that) is in the whole "give you new powers at every level" formula. It leads to a design with a HUGE number of discrete powers, far more than can ever be made distinctive in any meaningful way. So, then once you wed yourself to that formula, its redundant to scale existing powers, aside from at-wills a bit and here and there, mostly class-feature related stuff like Turn Undead that you're not going to replace.

And this really is my main 'beef' with 4e, it just has too stinkin many powers! This is the reasoning that took me down the path of design in my own game. Why are there so many powers? To fill each level with some! Why are there so many levels? Good question! How do I reduce the need for all this filler, AND make each level meaningful?

So, I cut the game back to 20 levels, 10 less levels of filler material required, and the tiers are simply each a bit smaller, big deal. Nobody much ever made it through 30 level-ups anyway, so why not cut it to 20? It just works! Next, provide scaling for at least many of the powers instead of brand new powers. My goal was to have less powers than 1e has spells (around 300 in core 1e) total. If you assume you need about 10 classes to cover all your bases, then it works out to about 1.5 new powers per class per level. Lets assume there are 2-3 fairly differentiated builds per class, and lets assume you offer 2 'power ups' for each power, so any given character only needs to have 10 discrete powers during their 20 levels, that means you can basically make one full discrete 'build path' worth of powers for each of 30 builds, or 3 builds per class, or you could even build 15 classes with 2 builds each.

Now, obviously some players will chose some mixture of elements from your basic builds, or come up with their own variations, mixing multiple classes, whatever. That should provide a good solid 50 or 60 viable mechanical build paths that a player oculd follow, and that doesn't account for reflavoring and whatnot. Given that sort of fairly restricted initial list, then you can pretty easily construct new variants too, it only requires roughly 10 to 15 new unique powers to make the workable core of a new class, plus enough 'feats' to get you 2 upgrades to each of those powers (and many of these feats will apply broadly to multiple powers and classes, so you probably only need a few actual new feats to support a whole new class).

I think you can get close to the build diversity of 4e, with its 1000 core PHB1 powers and 200 feats. Definitely if you were going to reproduce all of the PHB1-3 and a couple other 'core' classes you'd need 1000 powers even this way, but that's drastically short of the more than 10 THOUSAND powers 4e has now (the current compendium lists 9409, but I seem to recall the count being somewhat higher, they may be missing some).
 
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sabrinathecat

Explorer
You don't get new powers at every level, but you do get something cool. Also, to get some powers, you have to give up other, lower level powers. (Usually you dump the lvl3 power to get the lvl 13, for example) In many cases, the higher level New Power Options do include versions of lower level, but beefed up. Difficult to say if it would have been better to say "Beefed Up Stunning Strike" instead of whatever.
On the other hand, there are a few low level powers that are just too good to give up (Moment of Glory comes to mind).

Just using PH1, counting race, class, and build, there were some 300 possible combinations (I don't remember the exact number--haven't bothered with the calculations in 10 years). Sure, some aren't optimal, but that's still a lot of potential lvl1 characters, and it doesn't factor in which Encounter or Daily power picked, nor which feat (or feats if playing a human). There's a smegging ton of potential characters. (And to think that one of the big complaints the detractors made when 4E came out was that there weren't enough options!)
Still playing 4e. Still running 4e. Don't plan on ever changing.
 

You don't get new powers at every level, but you do get something cool. Also, to get some powers, you have to give up other, lower level powers. (Usually you dump the lvl3 power to get the lvl 13, for example) In many cases, the higher level New Power Options do include versions of lower level, but beefed up. Difficult to say if it would have been better to say "Beefed Up Stunning Strike" instead of whatever.
On the other hand, there are a few low level powers that are just too good to give up (Moment of Glory comes to mind).

Just using PH1, counting race, class, and build, there were some 300 possible combinations (I don't remember the exact number--haven't bothered with the calculations in 10 years). Sure, some aren't optimal, but that's still a lot of potential lvl1 characters, and it doesn't factor in which Encounter or Daily power picked, nor which feat (or feats if playing a human). There's a smegging ton of potential characters. (And to think that one of the big complaints the detractors made when 4E came out was that there weren't enough options!)
Still playing 4e. Still running 4e. Don't plan on ever changing.
Yeah, though I have found that with my game I am able to cut WAY back on the 'noise' in terms actual new stuff, and still provide effectively the same number of build choices. Its a bit different system in some of its goals, but if you run it, it still feels a lot like running 4e, and it still maintains the core things many of us liked about 4e (though the system has evolved enough at this point that some of them work a bit differently).
 

Monero

Villager
I’d love to run 4E. I have some of it books but I never got a chance to play it. Seems like 4e Got a bunch of unnecessary hate.

How does 4e run with only two PCs? And are there any good adventures that I can run or is homebrew the way to go?

Also, is there any Ravenloft material for 4e?
 

pemerton

Legend
How does 4e run with only two PCs?
I'd suggest a fighter (who can combine defence with reasonable damage), or comparable melee combatant; and a character who can provide a bit of healing/support while still being capable in imposing their will on the world (eg a cleric).

You might also want to use backgrounds and/or themes to allow the PCs to broaden their skill sets a bit.
 

I’d love to run 4E. I have some of it books but I never got a chance to play it. Seems like 4e Got a bunch of unnecessary hate.

How does 4e run with only two PCs? And are there any good adventures that I can run or is homebrew the way to go?

Also, is there any Ravenloft material for 4e?
Well, in addition to what @pemerton said, you could use PHB3 hybrid rules, which let you 'blend' 2 classes, although its adding some complexity to character building, but it can let you have 4 roles in 2 characters. Otherwise, yeah, the fighter is great, it can be practically a high damage output striker and its defender abilities will prove useful. The 2nd PC could be a striker, or a leader like cleric, etc. I think really as long as one character's combat role has solid damage the other one can be most anything.

Most of the modules were so-so, though the last few were better/pretty good, if you can find them. There was some stuff in Dragon that was not bad, but it may be hard to find nowadays. Most of what I did was really low prep, so I don't have issues with homebrewing, it works. I was never a big module guy.

Ravenloft did get some attention in 4e. Looks like DTRPG now has PDFs of 4e era Dungeon and Dragon, so there are a couple articles related to Ravenloft, and it is mentioned in various books here and there. There was an article on Vistani that mentions it too. However, they scrapped a plan to release a 4e Ravenloft adventure/setting. They did release Gloomwrought, which is a city set in the Shadowfell, but it definitely has a different vibe than Ravenloft (more Dark City than Gothic Horror). So, based on that stuff, and the Heroes of the Shadowfell book, you will find out that Domains of Dread are part of the Shadowfell and Barovia is definitely one of them, but there isn't a full writeup of the castle. I think there may be stats for Strahd somewhere, like maybe in Open Grave, I'm not sure.

I did once start to work up some material of my own to do a Strahd-like vampire figure, as the PCs in one of my games took a hankering to messing with him, but I didn't get really far on that, the campaign sputtered out before the action got far. I think 4e can definitely do that kind of stuff. I mean, if you have seen the Netflix Castlevania it is like pure 4e! I mean 4e is made for that stuff.
 

darjr

I crit!
I might have posted this before. But did you know that the D&D 4e Darksun Living Campaign Ashes of Athas is still available?

Via email though.

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I am trying to get my fam to play through the Dungeon Delve book. Each “adventure” is a three-part dungeon. I expect it to be low prep, quick gaming.

I agree that the fighter should be one of the characters. Maybe a Warlord for the second character. The Warlord should be able to help the fighter be a better fighter, by granting attack bonuses and healing.

Optimize, or even min-max the fighter. Dragonborn, Human, or warforge. 20 STR starting out, with the 14 in CON and the 11 in WIS.

The (inspiring) Warlord might put an 18 in STR, a 16 in CHA, a 12 in INT, and 10 in everything else. With “Furious Smash” the Warlord can grant the fighter a plus-3 bonus to attacks and damage.

Do a search for “4e JavaScript character builder”
 
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I’d love to run 4E. I have some of it books but I never got a chance to play it. Seems like 4e Got a bunch of unnecessary hate.

How does 4e run with only two PCs? And are there any good adventures that I can run or is homebrew the way to go?

Also, is there any Ravenloft material for 4e?
I works very well with 2 PCs - for printed adventure, a very easy fix : make half the foes into minions (or 2-hit minions).

As others have said, it can also help to have a [companion] (or two) to round out the party's capabilities. Make them 'one-trick', super simple but effective. But I would hold out until a few sessions in until they are brought into the game - which also allows for some awesome roleplay (if you go this route, don't hang all your hopes on one [companion] - allow the story to evolve organically, your PCs will click with an NPC at some point. It's super easy to have that character become a [companion].)

But I will contradict them on the other aspect - all PC choices will work.

There will be some impacts with the PCs choice of characters for which you'll want to make some adjustments - but all of them are very easy to implement (and these forums will be more than happy to suggest solutions based on your situation when the time comes).
Quick example : two rogues. A big thing will be to allow for reliable purchasing options for healing potions and access to ritual casters able/willing to go to X spot, or create scrolls or other 'portable rituals'.

I've run a game for a few years with a swordmage and a warlock - worked very well. They gained 'damage dealing' [companions] organically through the campaign, but they were not required for the game to work at all. They just fit the story.
 

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