4E Are powers samey?

Status
Not open for further replies.
I'm not buying you trying to shift the bad faith to me here.
When you accuse others of loaded questions - it's definitely on you.

By reasonable standards, that's definitely a loaded question, as it contains the implicit assumption that "4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created."
Asking: "Can you agree that 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created?" is not a loaded question. You've just baffled me how you came to that conclusion. It's literally a question asking if you agree with a statement - there's absolutely no implicit assumptions there.
 

nomotog

Explorer
This is something that has been discussed quite a bit upthread.

(1) Why would things be done in the same order and at the same pace? Eg if the fighter's encounter power is Passing Attack, that's not useful to use until there are two non-minion foes nearby. If the fighter's daily power is Comeback Strike, that's useful when the fighter has been hurt. Whereas if the wizard's encounter power is Icy Terrain, that's useful when there's a clustered group of enemies and/or when it would be helfpul to slow movement through an area by creating ice there.

(2) I'm continually puzzled by this suggestion that, in a RPG, the most interesting or striking feature of a PC is the rate of recovery of resources. To me that seems secondary to the fiction.
Maybe order and pace are the wrong words to use, but I think you know what I mean. You don't have the same dynamic where the fighter can go all day using all their power all the time meanwhile the wizard holds back and then bursts out with power.

It's a thing in a lot of games because it affects how a character feels to play. I don't know If I can really put this into words. How you gain power impacts how you play a character. Imagine a wizard who recharged their spells by drinking. They would play way different then a wizard who recharged their spells by sleeping.
 

Sadras

Hero
You don't paticularly like 4e. You're posting in a thread with many other posters who share your (absence of) preference. Why is it important to you that someone who liked 4e prefer 5e over it? I don't really get that.
I'm assuming the you is the generic you as I don't have any vitriol towards the edition. I did not have a great experience with it but I would say that a part of that was due to my particular circumstance, my own inexperience at the point with indie direction of RPGs and not having done the research about the game before acquisition of the books.

Maybe I was unclear, but no one is asking for the bold section (emphasis mine) or vice-versa.

I can tell you, my liking for 4e and lack of interest in 5e isn't depending on any validation by having 5e player decide that they prefer4e! I just play games I like, and post about why I like them. If someone says the game is XYZ I'll express a view about that.

If I posted why I'm not interested in 5e - mostly it's weak on action resolution, but also its balancing over the "adventuring day" generates pressure to pre-authorship and hence railroading - I'd imagine that 5e players might simillarly have a view.
What I have observed over a number of pages, and it is quite frustrating from my point of view, is that neither side seems to be budging even an inch despite good points having been made by both sides. I mean I cannot be the only one seeing this.
 

Aldarc

Hero
When you accuse others of loaded questions - it's definitely on you.
And not on the person who asks it? That's convenient.

Asking: "Can you agree that 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created?" is not a loaded question. You've just baffled me how you came to that conclusion. It's literally a question asking if you agree with a statement - there's absolutely no implicit assumptions there.
Except it is a loaded question. The framing of that statement that forms the question matters, FrogReaver. That's what makes it a loaded question. There is a controversial assumption and implication - "4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created" - that is built into the question. The statement that "the sky is blue" is not exactly a controversial assumption that's loaded with a lot of emotional content or baggage in the framing. If I asked, "Can we agree that it's a good thing that you stopped beating your wife?"* regardless of whether we thought that the cessation of spousal abuse was good or worth agreeing about, it's still a loaded question. And I think that you unfairly place your thumb on the scale when you asked your question. I'm sorry that you can't see how it's a loaded question, but I have also courteously given you the opportunity to reframe your question.

If all you are asking me to do is sympathize with people who hold contrary opinions about 4e, then that's one thing - and I have gladly extended those sympathizes with those people before in this thread - but the least you can do is take your thumb off the scale about 4e when asking it.

* I definitely wish there was a more popular or conventional example of a loaded question that did not lean on spousal abuse.
 
Except it is a loaded question. The framing of that statement that forms the question matters, FrogReaver. That's what makes it a loaded question. There is a controversial assumption and implication - "4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created" - that is built into the question. The statement that "the sky is blue" is not exactly a controversial assumption that's loaded with a lot of emotional content or baggage in the framing. If I asked, "Can we agree that it's a good thing that you stopped beating your wife?"* regardless of whether we thought that the cessation of spousal abuse was good or worth agreeing about, it's still a loaded question. And I think that you unfairly place your thumb on the scale when you asked your question. I'm sorry that you can't see how it's a loaded question, but I have also courteously given you the opportunity to reframe your question.
Asking if you agree with something isn't a loaded question no matter how controversial the content. Now you could throw a normal loaded question into such a "do you agree" question and turn it into a loaded question - but that didn't happen here.

I think you just didn't like the line of questioning and the conclusion it drove you to and so you attack the question with a false accusation. There's nothing loaded about the question: "do you agree that 4e is much different than other versions of D&D?"
 

Marandahir

Explorer
We have been down this path about 30 pages ago. The answer is that it's not just about presentation. Now the other side will tell me that can't be the case but how can they know what it is or isn't about for me.
I'm not so sure it's just about presentation, either – but I think the presentation is a big part of how we got to this impression. It puts a lot of pressure on both the designers to create powers for every different aspect of play, and on players to choose the right powers when they level up (or from their spellbook, I getcha Essentials Wizards), and again during combat.

Other powers that anyone can use exist – they are skillful tricks that you might attempt with the basic rules and resolution of skills and weaponry and whatnot. But because those resolve at the whims of the DM, there is very little incentive in the Player-First 4e game to use them. You've got these shiny powers that only work once an encounter, and you're going to waste your round attempting to do some stunt that may or may not be effective?

5e still have at-will, encounter, and daily resources, and they have them in various classes, including the Fighter (Battle Master). I think the reason why some people see Battle Masters as the Instant Coffee as compared to Fighters/Rangers/Warlords in 4e is because their options and usage #s and the scaling of those options are very limited.

5e is purposefully designing to limit those, so that Martial Characters don't feel locked between what they can do on paper and what they can do in their heads. 5e Fighters get more ASIs than other classes for this very reason – with stat boosts, either their skills and attacks and defenses get swifter increases and they can perform more daring and mighty feats, or they get cool new feat abilities that greatly increase their arsenals (or lightly increase them, while also raising their stats). It's NEVER going to be as many abilities as in the 4e arsenal, because 5e is designed to to be less work on the designers (even for spellcasters – they're reusing spells and scaling them (a bit like 4e Psionics) rather than creating 5+ different ways of saying Fireball.

In that sense, 4e Powers are same-y because they reinvent the wheel for different magical classes rather than just giving them all fireball and making the spell malleable in its description to fit the different purposes.

On the other hand, you could say that 5e makes each of those different characters who get Fireball same-y, because they're all using Fireball, rather than their own unique iterations on the fire attack – from a primal perspective, from a divine perspective, from a psionics perspective, from a sorcerous perspective, etc.

I think one the trap there is that if your concept doesn't fit into the 4e matrix SOMEWHERE, you're either at a loss, or you have to refluff. So there's a huge onus on designers to make something for everyone there, but inevitably, as this is a very creative and personal hobby, someone is going to feel left out.* In 5e, they embrace the refluff potential, and ask you to stretch that limit and think about how different spells and actions and abilities could work differently on various characters. This eases up on the designers (there is far less pressure to churn out additional splatbooks for more essential character concepts), and it also allows for MORE character concepts to see the limelight because there's less work to make those concepts shine within the edition.

But if your character and ideas fit within the 4e matrix, and you can build the abilities YOU want to use** within a 4e character, then the game is very well designed for you, and this need not be a problem.

*Aside: Certainly Bard and Druid and Gnome and Half-orc etc Players felt left out in 2008. As a lover of Bards and Druids, I too was bummed, but I then decided to roll up an Eladrin Control Wizard and had a BLAST with a character I might never have made otherwise. And when PH2 came out, I had fun with my older characters finally making the jump to 4e.

**Second Aside: Strangely enough, I had an issue where I didn't WANT more powers at a certain level, I wanted to use my old abilities, but have them scale with me, or reflect my character's growth. 4e didn't ALWAYS have a powered-up version of the previous abilities you had, and I felt myself having to either sacrifice story abilities, power level, or the rules as written. I might not WANT additional powers, and I'm just getting them because that's what I get at this level. Or I might be at the level where I need to lose previous powers and replace them with new ones, in which case I might like my old Warden form and not want this shiny new one that doesn't fit my character. In that case, I may try to reflavour the new form, change up the damage type or condition rider to fit the old one, etc. But that's getting into a form of tinkering that can have real ramifications on the balance of the game, because not all damage types or conditions are equal, and that means getting the DM involved in MY character.

Then, of course, there's the CharOps forum that's telling me my character's abilities are purple or even the dreaded red, when I should only be using gold or sky blue options at that level. Too bad! That flavorful ability won't let me keep up with the rest of the party, and because we don't have Bounded Accuracy and so I REALLY have to make my ability and power investments matter at every choice point.

If I sound a little bitter, it's because I adore 4e AND 5e so much, and in my ideal D&D world, I'd have the flexibility and ability to scale my non-spellcaster powers to herculean abilities if I so chose, or the ability to dial it back toward something more like 5e's non-spellcasters, and still remained balanced as a team against the common threat. I think 4Essentials and then 5e TRIED to do this but neither implemented it as well as I'd like to see in a hypothetical 6e.
 

Aldarc

Hero
I don't know if WE can agree on that. I know I cannot agree that it was.
If you are neither willing to accept that it was a loaded question nor unwilling to reframe your question in a fairer manner, then I'm afraid that we are at a conversational impasse.


@Aldrac - I'm waiting for the aha moment - you know the... "so you still beat your wife" type conclusion that an actual loaded question would bring.
"4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created"

The bold is also where you embellish and load the statement with a particular framing.

But as I said before, which was somehow ignored or side-stepped:
If all you are asking me to do is sympathize with people who hold contrary opinions about 4e, then that's one thing - and I have gladly extended those sympathizes with those people before in this thread - but the least you can do is take your thumb off the scale about 4e when asking it.
What I have observed over a number of pages, and it is quite frustrating from my point of view, is that neither side seems to be budging even an inch despite good points having been made by both sides. I mean I cannot be the only one seeing this.
In cases like this it's worth asking, IMHO, what either side gains to lose by conceding those inches and why they may be unwilling to concede
 
"4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created"

The bold is also where you embellish and load the statement with a particular framing.
So if you don't agree with that statement then say so and say why and move on. There's no gotcha going to happen because it's not a loaded question.

But as I said before, which was somehow ignored or side-stepped:


In cases like this it's worth asking, IMHO, what either side gains to lose by conceding those inches and why they may be unwilling to concede
Don't care about that at the moment - I care about being falsely accused of asking a loaded question. I want to offer you the option to apologize.
 

Aldarc

Hero
So if you don't agree with that statement then say so and say why and move on. There's no gotcha going to happen because it's not a loaded question.
Sure, once you agree or disagree that it's good that you stopped starving your dog.

You see, it is a loaded question because as I explained to you it has a built assumption and implication that it is much different than any other edition. I have no reason to apologize for your refusal to see how you asked a loaded question.
 
Sure, once you agree or disagree that it's good that you stopped starving your dog.
Great illustration of inserting a loaded question into the do you agree framework.

Do you know how I know that is a loaded question. Because if I agree then I used to starve my dog. If I disagree then I still do. That doesn't happen with my question: "do you agree 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created?"

You see, it is a loaded question because as I explained to you it has a built assumption and implication that it is much different than any other edition.
That doesn't make something loaded. If it did then: "Do you agree the sky is blue?" would also be a loaded question because it contains a built in assumption and implication that the sky is blue.
 

Marandahir

Explorer
Maybe order and pace are the wrong words to use, but I think you know what I mean. You don't have the same dynamic where the fighter can go all day using all their power all the time meanwhile the wizard holds back and then bursts out with power.

It's a thing in a lot of games because it affects how a character feels to play. I don't know If I can really put this into words. How you gain power impacts how you play a character. Imagine a wizard who recharged their spells by drinking. They would play way different then a wizard who recharged their spells by sleeping.
This is worth sitting with. I love the balance that 4e brought to the pacing of characters (destroyed the Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard of previous editions), but I do agree that there's something unique and fun about how in 5e each class has its own pace of growth. I think 5e did a lot to make those growths balanced despite the difference in daily pacing, and that it ONLY works if you can avoid the 5MWD and stick more or less to 6-8 encounters a day, 2 short rests, and a long rest between days (changes in the rest and encounter pacing mechanics of any time will have ramifications that ripple through the entire game. You can make those changes, and the 5e DMG advises on that, but those ripples might flip the unbalance game on its head to make Marathon Fighters, Sideline Wizards). 4e resolved the balance issue elegantly, but removed the class characteristic pacing that nomotog speaks to.

Of course, that requires buying into the pacing narratives of D&D. If you don't think D&D should have specific narratives for Fighters who "can do this all day," while Wizards go nova and want to rest, then 5e's pacing doesn't quite match what you want, and maybe then 4e suits your narrative desires. 5e's different paces could actually be a restraint narratively – why do Warlocks get to recharge their spells every short rest while Wizards use it and lose it? We have to buy into the story being told through the mechanics, and hopefully it's a good story.

4e (before PH3 and Essentials*) did something different from all the other editions. Therefore FrogReaver has a point about it being different: Everyone has the same basic class pacing mechanic for their most prominent abilities. Adrac also has a point – 4e has far more similarities with every other edition of D&D than it does to any other game (13th Age notwithstanding; I'd personally say 13A and PF count as competing IP but still D&D). I find the argument above a bit obtuse and both sides are calling bad faith on each other, when they both are right, from a certain point of view.

**By 2010, WotC was already trying to mix it up and show how the edition could handle mechanical pacing more similar to other editions and breaking from the PH1-PH2 mold. There really good arguments made above in service of both sides of this same-yness argument regarding the shift that occurred with PH3, Dark Sun, and Essentials.

Me personally, I see these as attempts to create a 5e within the 4e framework, and was frustrated by square peg round hole (these would have been great options to include from the start, but felt bolted onto a different system). But I felt they didn't upset the balance, just assumed a new balance (everyone should get a Heroic Theme, for example, which means 1st level is now more similar to what 3rd level used to be!). I was happier, then, to see Clerics adopt the Warpriest Domains from the get-go in 5e. I still think 5e could do with a similar backward attempt to dial up the combat game to feel more like 4e if we so choose, but perhaps that's best left for a hypothetical 6e.

EDIT, Addendum: I also have a close friend who DESPISED the 2010 changes to 4e, because it threw off that pacing balance that made the game work for him just perfectly and never had to worry about different characters pacing differently. He also very much dislikes 5e (not surprisingly). So when we talk about 4e, we do have to talk about 2008-2009 4e versus 2010-2013 4e, as they have significant differences even if they can mesh together into one game. It's akin to past edition revisions: I can and did take 3.0 Oriental Adventures and add the classes and races into our 3.5e games, but I was VERY happy for the reworked mechanics of those characters in the 3.5e Complete series.

When major revisions or changes in directions affect an edition, we do need to discuss that, because it serves arguments for both (4e is all the same!) and (4e is not all the same!). There are different arguments to be made regarding each portion of the edition, and not dialing to reflect that shift does affect the debates of this thread. As for my friend and I, we're not going agree on these things, but I do see where he's coming from. 5e does not have the dials to make it the game he enjoys playing. That's a real shame.
 
Last edited:

Aldarc

Hero
Do you know how I know that is a loaded question. Because if I agree then I used to starve my dog. If I disagree then I still do. That doesn't happen with my question: "do you agree 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created?"
You are making a mistake here by assuming that loaded questions come in only one form: these sort of gotchas where either way you assent to background that you did something wrong. There are other ways that you can load questions, such as with questionable presuppositions and loaded qualifiers, as you do in the case of how you frame your question with the assumption that we keep quoting back and forth.

Plus, I further have reason apart from the initial question to presuppose that you are asking a loaded question. Why? Because you move on to the expectation of a "yes" answer in your follow-up question. And I also think that's fairly clear that you're trying to get people to say "yes" given how you ask Garanthos the following:
So you don't agree that 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D? Seems rather counter intuitive with how it's far and away your favorite edition?
How are you not fishing for a "yes" answer here? The goal seems to be that you're trying to get people to say "yes" to your question about whether 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created."
 

nomotog

Explorer
This is worth sitting with. I love the balance that 4e brought to the pacing of characters (destroyed the Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard of previous editions), but I do agree that there's something unique and fun about how in 5e each class has its own pace of growth. I think 5e did a lot to make those growths balanced despite the difference in daily pacing, and that it ONLY works if you can avoid the 5MWD and stick more or less to 6-8 encounters a day, 2 short rests, and a long rest between days (changes in the rest and encounter pacing mechanics of any time will have ramifications that ripple through the entire game. You can make those changes, and the 5e DMG advises on that, but those ripples might flip the unbalance game on its head to make Marathon Fighters, Sideline Wizards). 4e resolved the balance issue elegantly, but removed the class characteristic pacing that Nomotog speaks to.

Of course, that requires buying into the pacing narratives of D&D. If you don't think D&D should have specific narratives for Fighters who "can do this all day," while Wizards go nova and want to rest, then 5e's pacing doesn't quite match what you want, and maybe then 4e suits your narrative desires. 5e's different paces could actually be a restraint narratively – why do Warlocks get to recharge their spells every short rest while Wizards use it and lose it? We have to buy into the story being told through the mechanics, and hopefully it's a good story.

4e (before PH3 and Essentials*) did something different from all the other editions. Therefore FrogReaver has a point about it being different: Everyone has the same basic class pacing mechanic for their most prominent abilities. Adrac also has a point – 4e has far more similarities with every other edition of D&D than it does to any other game (13th Age notwithstanding; I'd personally say 13A and PF count as competing IP but still D&D). I find the argument above a bit obtuse and both sides are calling bad faith on each other, when they both are right, from a certain point of view.

**By 2010, WotC was already trying to mix it up and show how the edition could handle mechanical pacing more similar to other editions and breaking from the PH1-PH2 mold. There really good arguments made above in service of both sides of this same-yness argument regarding the shift that occurred with PH3, Dark Sun, and Essentials.

Me personally, I see these as attempts to create a 5e within the 4e framework, and was frustrated by square peg round hole (these would have been great options to include from the start, but felt bolted onto a different system). But I felt they didn't upset the balance, just assumed a new balance (everyone should get a Heroic Theme, for example, which means 1st level is now more similar to what 3rd level used to be!). I was happier, then, to see Clerics adopt the Warpriest Domains from the get-go in 5e. I still think 5e could do with a similar backward attempt to dial up the combat game to feel more like 4e if we so choose, but perhaps that's best left for a hypothetical 6e.
Oh yea, 4ed didn't just change pacing willy nullly. They had a reason too. In a lot of cases, 3red pacing was too wild to handle. Take for example the artificer. They had powers per day, powers per level, Powers that could be used in combat only if you spent a per level resource, not to mention they literally had the power to stockpile their resources. I loved that aspect myself, but can't deny that they are crazy to handle.

I think 5ed kind of threaded the needle well between the homogeneity of 4 and the crazy of 3, but if we went from 3ed directly to 5ed then we might have a thread about why all the 5ed classes feel samey.

I am going to go off the rails for a bit. I miss the wild west of 3ed. You could do anything with your classes. See artificer a class about making magic items. Can't really do it now even in 5ed.
 

Aldarc

Hero
I think 5ed kind of threaded the needle well between the homogeneity of 4 and the crazy of 3, but if we went from 3ed directly to 5ed then we might have a thread about why all the 5ed classes feel samey.

I am going to go off the rails for a bit. I miss the wild west of 3ed. You could do anything with your classes. See artificer a class about making magic items. Can't really do it now even in 5ed.
Sure, though as a result, 5e has its own issues between trying to balance non-rest dependent (sub-)classes with short rest dependent (sub-)classes and long rest dependent (sub-)classes around assumptions regarding an "adventuring day." Which admittedly is just a reframing of at-will, per encounter, and per day powers.
 
You are making a mistake here by assuming that loaded questions come in only one form: these sort of gotchas where either way you assent to background that you did something wrong. There are other ways that you can load questions, such as with questionable presuppositions and loaded qualifiers, as you do in the case of how you frame your question with the assumption that we keep quoting back and forth.
No mistakes on my side. The problem with your definition of loaded question is that it can be applied equally to nearly any question whatsoever. Nearly all questions contain an assumption. If 2 people disagree about one of those assumptions that doesn't suddenly make the question loaded. But more importantly - what assumption in my question do you disagree with. Let's talk specifics - because I don't believe you disagree with any assumption in it. Which if true, then in our context it would mean it's not loaded because we both agree with the assumptions in the question.

Plus, I further have reason apart from the initial question to presuppose that you are asking a loaded question. Why? Because you move on to the expectation of a "yes" answer in your follow-up question.
Or that's reason to believe I acutally thought through the implications of such a statement being true and the probability of someone saying it is true - in which case it's not loadedness but thoughtfulness.

And I also think that's fairly clear that you're trying to get people to say "yes" given how you ask Garanthos the following:
@Garthanos avoided the question entirely. He's had a bad habit lately of not engaging in discussion but trying to turn everything said back on you while avoiding answering the question entirely.

Frogreaver said: "So you don't agree that 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D? Seems rather counter intuitive with how it's far and away your favorite edition? "

How are you not fishing for a "yes" answer here? The goal seems to be that you're trying to get people to say "yes" to your question about whether 4e is much different than any other edition of D&D ever created."
Maybe that's because based on the discussions we have been having that would be my best educated guess as their expected answer. My question is really not controversial - especially in light of this discussion. It should be easily answered with a yes by most people here - but I don't like to presume to much so I give the option of what to me would be an unexpected no.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Advertisement

Top