D&D 4E Ben Riggs' "What the Heck Happened with 4th Edition?" seminar at Gen Con 2023


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Voadam

Legend
There is a relevant little piece of info in Bens latest musings.

I will mention that on 4th edition, my sources tell me the dev team was given plenty of time to work on rules and research, and then told from on high that they were publishing in a mere six months. This imposition of an artificial deadline led to problems in the rules. Is that repeating here?
I really, really, really wish WotC had just issued a version of the OGL that was explicitly irrevocable so that all OGL stuff could work from that version to remove the threat of trying to revoke the OGL. Instead we will have the OGL, creative commons, ORC, and non-OGL stuff that does not play well together and leaves all OGL stuff with a remaining cloud of potential future threatened attempted revocation.

I also still really wish they had released a version of the 4e rule sets under the OGL.

There are a couple of early Goodman 4e modules that were released under the OGL, but an SRD to provide a solid base would be really useful.
 
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darjr

I crit!
There is a relevant little piece of info in Bens latest musings.

I will mention that on 4th edition, my sources tell me the dev team was given plenty of time to work on rules and research, and then told from on high that they were publishing in a mere six months. This imposition of an artificial deadline led to problems in the rules. Is that repeating here?
Do you have a link to the updated info? Or it's in the first post?
It’s just the bolded part.

I’m hyper interested in this stuff. Apologies if it’s small apples.
 


Imaro

Legend
I mean, there are 4E Grognards out there hating on 5E, but it frankly it seems to me that most people who enjoyed 4E did actually move on to 5E?
There are quite a few die hard fans of 4e on these very boards that dislike 5e
I believe that @Hussar does play 5E, and one of the reasons is what he likes in common between 4E and 5E.
Which is exactly why I asked him "why he thinks..."
 

Imaro

Legend
I think a lot of 4e fans are fans of 5e, I am for one. :)

But there are a lot of ways where 5e weakens strengths of 4e.

Monster math.
Interesting mechanical monster abilities.
Defined monster roles with mechanics that make them work (brutes, skirmisher, artillery, etc.).
Minions and elites and solos.
Player class balance.
Class roles.
Defender stuff.
Lack of warlords.
Encounter based powers.
Multiple at will attack options.
Skill challenges.
Tactical combat abilities.
Movement powers in combat.
Inherent bonuses from DMG 2 to keep the math working smoothly without magic items.
Defined rules like what happens with flanking.
Encounter versus short rest length.
Healing surges.
Effective healing in combat.
I agree and vice versa... where 5e changed things some of its fans think are for the better..

-The stifling AEDU structure used for every class.
-Badly explained/math/examples of SC (along with the actual rules changing depending on what source you check. DMG vs DMG 2 vs RC)
-Excessive overhead and time spent in combat (even at lower levels)
-Design that pushed against actual dungeoncrawling.
-Hard-coded roles for classes.
-Excessively gamist mechanics for monsters & encounter design
-Mechanics that heavily pushed for visual representation of combat encounters.
-Enforced magic item math
-Jargon as opposed to natural language
-Excessively released errata

... and so on. These are just just some of the reasons why I don't see the two editions as providing the same play orDM experience. Regardless of what minor points might be the same between the two.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Most of us were forced to move on to 5e, as people didn't wanted to play 4e in public games. I still prefer 4e, and run it when I can.
Sure, that's what I just said, there are some hardliners 4E Grognards. But in my experience, most people who even actually liked 4E have moved on to 5E happily, not even grumbling.
 


Voadam

Legend
-Badly explained/math/examples of SC (along with the actual rules changing depending on what source you check. DMG vs DMG 2 vs RC)
Can you explain this one?

4e skill challenges were great in concept, poor in explanation of specifics and math to start.

5e just drops the concept totally as far as I can tell though and does not improve it.

5e has the fantastic aid another for advantage on a skill roll which encourages cooperative tag team operations on skills and provides a mechanical incentive to participate even when you are not the most optimized single character for a task in the party. But that is separate from skill challenge stuff in concept.

I have imported and run skill challenge stuff in Pathfinder 1e and in 5e D&D and it can work well, but it is not something either ruleset picked up and improved on over 4e that I can tell.
 

Imaro

Legend
Can you explain this one?

4e skill challenges were great in concept, poor in explanation of specifics and math to start.

5e just drops the concept totally as far as I can tell though and does not improve it.

5e has the fantastic aid another for advantage on a skill roll which encourages cooperative tag team operations on skills and provides a mechanical incentive to participate even when you are not the most optimized single character for a task in the party. But that is separate from skill challenge stuff in concept.

I have imported and run skill challenge stuff in Pathfinder 1e and in 5e D&D and it can work well, but it is not something either ruleset picked up and improved on over 4e that I can tell.
IMO... Its better to not have something than to half arse it so that the initial (and final for most who don't buy beyond the 3 initial books) impression of a new mechanic/process, is just bad. The explanation, examples and math in the initial 4e books were pretty much all failures in helping people grasp and ddesign good SC's.

Many people felt they were better off just playing in a naturalistic progression of actions style with the DM awarding XP for overall success as opposed to formal SC's. On top of that with milestone advancement their purpose becomes even more nebulous for any groups using that method of progression in 5e.

Edit: Do you use milestone advancement in 5e and if do what practical purpose do SC's fulfill without XP in your games?
 

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