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

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The thing to keep in mind is, the pendulum swung before, and it will likely swing again. Attitudes shift, ideas change, and what were once amazing ideas can become dated and old-fashioned. So here's to 6e, which fans of 5e and 4e will hate equally, so we can once again live in harmony!
Stephen Glicker of Rollf for Combst, who is a Pathfinder guy,has been going over in his show why, from a business perspective, WotC can't swing the pendulum anymore, and I thinknhe isnright. WotC is fully done with "Editioning" the game: itscoijterprodictive to marketing. We are in Evergreen D&D now.
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Stephen Glicker of Rollf for Combst, who is a Pathfinder guy,has been going over in his show why, from a business perspective, WotC can't swing the pendulum anymore, and I thinknhe isnright. WotC is fully done with "Editioning" the game: itscoijterprodictive to marketing. We are in Evergreen D&D now.
Agreed. I dont think you will see an edition size overhaul again. It will be D&D XXXX year updates going forward. If you got beefs that you want majorly changed, you better hope everyone else agrees.
 

Hussar

Legend
That’s certainly how 2024 is shaping up.

Although, that said, I do rather hold out some hope for the DMG. The Bastion rules, for example, regardless of whether they are “good “ or not, do show that WotC is willing to throw some new stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Stephen Glicker of Rollf for Combst, who is a Pathfinder guy,has been going over in his show why, from a business perspective, WotC can't swing the pendulum anymore, and I thinknhe isnright. WotC is fully done with "Editioning" the game: itscoijterprodictive to marketing. We are in Evergreen D&D now.
I think that's a valuable point. I mean, what's the business case for putting out a substantial revision now? There's isn't really a game-based one. The changes they're making are hardly necessary. The business case is 2024 is D&D's 50th anniversary and people are going to be in a commemorative mood.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Stephen Glicker of Rollf for Combst, who is a Pathfinder guy,has been going over in his show why, from a business perspective, WotC can't swing the pendulum anymore, and I thinknhe isnright. WotC is fully done with "Editioning" the game: itscoijterprodictive to marketing. We are in Evergreen D&D now.
Do you have a link to the show?
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Stephen Glicker of Rollf for Combst, who is a Pathfinder guy,has been going over in his show why, from a business perspective, WotC can't swing the pendulum anymore, and I thinknhe isnright. WotC is fully done with "Editioning" the game: itscoijterprodictive to marketing. We are in Evergreen D&D now.
I find it hard to believe that the game won't (or can't) change. But I will admit that the changes might be slow and gradual over time. It really depends on whatever WotC's market research tells them about trends in gaming, and how much money Hasbro wants to try and wring out of D&D (though it does appear they care more about the brand than the actual game).
 

Red Castle

Adventurer
It's often frustrating, but true. People like what they like, and humans have a tendency to wrap their identity around things they like. We join tribes, effectively. You'll get Marvel fans who rail about the weaknesses of DC and vice versa. Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Gobots vs. Transformers...I kid, nobody likes Gobots.

Anyways, you can create a Power Point presentation to show that the elements of the thing they don't like exist in the thing that they do all day long- they will reject it because there's some fundamental difference to them, even if they can't articulate it. People like what they like.

If you liked 4e, then someone saying "oh it was just World of Warcraft" or "every class was exactly the same" is going to annoy you, just like if you say that to a 5e fan that their game is "simple and bland, like oatmeal".

For a long time, I fought against the spread of disinformation; a lot of things people say about 4e are just parroted from others, to the point people who have never even so much as looked at a 4e book will repeat the same things about it!

It's been hard to come to terms with the fact that this is just human nature at work. Many people who have embraced 5e want it to be the greatest version of D&D ever, and will denigrate other games to prove that their preferred vision is better, all the while blissfully ignoring it's flaws (and the same is true for fans of every edition ever, including 4e!).

The thing you like is a shining pinnacle of human achievement, the thing you don't like is hot garbage, lol. Naturally, this isn't true for all humans- individuals tend to be a lot more nuanced about their likes/dislikes, and you might even run into those mutants who like 4e and 5e! But it's common enough, regardless.

The thing to keep in mind is, the pendulum swung before, and it will likely swing again. Attitudes shift, ideas change, and what were once amazing ideas can become dated and old-fashioned. So here's to 6e, which fans of 5e and 4e will hate equally, so we can once again live in harmony!
To be honest, I don't really care what people online think about 4e and the spread of disinformation about it (you can't roleplay in 4e, it's just combat!!!). It's not like there's a chance that the person hating 4e online will be at my table anyway, so why should I care that he love or hate the game? The only person I care about what they think is the persons with whom I might actually get to play with. And lucky for me, they all like 4e. It might not be their favorite edition, but they still have a lot of fun.

As for the desinformation about the edition. If the person spreading it seems like someone that I can have a discussion with without turning it into an edition war thing, I'll probably give my opinion, especially if there are players that never tried 4e watching/listening... show the other side of the medal. But there is also people that you just know it would be a loss of time to intervene (you don't talk about 4e, I refuse to aknowledge its existance LoL) , they are entrenched in their black and white opinion and will just be disrespectful, Nothing good will come from it.

Honestly, one of my pleasure is, even today, to introduce people to 4e. Show them that what they saw online, all the hate, all the disinformation, are not necessarily true... I like to surprise them with what is considered by many the worst edition of DnD.
 

Voadam

Legend
Thanks for answering and it certainly seems like you've created your own SC structure (no xp, no # of failures vs success, no set DC's, etc.) that works for you. I'm not sure 4e (at least the rules) really added much to your design...I guess maybe initiative??
I generally used 5e's set DCs for general difficulty in my 5e skill challenges based on what they were trying to do same as I do for normal skill checks.

In 3e I was used to calling for a single check when someone tried to do something if I wanted something resolved with a check. Sometimes I would call for the same check from everybody if there was a universal thing where they were all doing the same thing like listen checks or move silent checks.

The initiative aspect is fairly big IMO, it is going around asking what are you doing and getting everybody involved and encouraging different actions from everybody instead of letting the big maxxed out diplomacy character handle being the face while everyone else sits back and waits.

Shifting the focus to everybody being involved and doing different things over possibly multiple steps was a decently big shift.

5e default has single action checks and buddy system team ups for mechanical advantage. I love that buddy system incentive for two PCs to be involved in an action instead of just one and it has worked out well for engaging some players more in skill aspects in my 5e games, but skill challenges frame things for the whole party to be involved in an action and to do things in multiple steps instead of just one check. It adds to the toolbox for how to handle things for a different focus and draw out different things in the play experience.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
That’s certainly how 2024 is shaping up.

Although, that said, I do rather hold out some hope for the DMG. The Bastion rules, for example, regardless of whether they are “good “ or not, do show that WotC is willing to throw some new stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Yeah, the DMG seems to be getting a massive overhaul...but that's a refinement of tools for the same structure.
I find it hard to believe that the game won't (or can't) change. But I will admit that the changes might be slow and gradual over time. It really depends on whatever WotC's market research tells them about trends in gaming, and how much money Hasbro wants to try and wring out of D&D (though it does appear they care more about the brand than the actual game).
Not saying there won't be change: the UA olaytest has stabilized at about 5 pages of changes to the core rules, and major rethinking of each Class. There is change, and then there is change: if I get a new couch and rearrange my living room, I've changed it. Different from moving to a new house.

But precisely because Hasbro wants to monetize the game, they can't do any systematic root changes: it's bad for business, and WotC proved it.
 

Red Castle

Adventurer
I generally used 5e's set DCs for general difficulty in my 5e skill challenges based on what they were trying to do same as I do for normal skill checks.

In 3e I was used to calling for a single check when someone tried to do something if I wanted something resolved with a check. Sometimes I would call for the same check from everybody if there was a universal thing where they were all doing the same thing like listen checks or move silent checks.

The initiative aspect is fairly big IMO, it is going around asking what are you doing and getting everybody involved and encouraging different actions from everybody instead of letting the big maxxed out diplomacy character handle being the face while everyone else sits back and waits.

Shifting the focus to everybody being involved and doing different things over possibly multiple steps was a decently big shift.

5e default has single action checks and buddy system team ups for mechanical advantage. I love that buddy system incentive for two PCs to be involved in an action instead of just one and it has worked out well for engaging some players more in skill aspects in my 5e games, but skill challenges frame things for the whole party to be involved in an action and to do things in multiple steps instead of just one check. It adds to the toolbox for how to handle things for a different focus and draw out different things in the play experience.
I really love Skill Challenge and running them from time to time when the situation ask for it, but I'll be honest, they're not really like they were described in the DMG. They serve the same purpose, but I structure them differently. I think that the way Skill Challenge are describe in the DMG is one of the better proof that 4e was rushed. They tried to rework them, or at least better structure them in the DMG2, but even then, I don't think they run very smoothly when playing by the book.

So I guess that what I like is the idea of it, the purpose behind it and then to make it my own by giving it my personal flavor. I love the idea of a structured non combat scene where everybody must participate toward the same goal instead of just relying on the character better suited for the task. I love the initiative structure since it guarantee that everyone will get under the spotlight. I love to see players get the most out of their skills by using them in uncommon ways, they always surprise me with a way to use a skill that I did not thought about. I think that Skill Challenge really push and reward the creativity of the players instead of just going for the obvious skill. And again, it 100% go toward the philosophy of 4e that everyone is equally important to the success of the team, it makes the players rely on each others.
 

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