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Lyxen

Great Old One
I already suggested this upthread: encounter and daily powers represent pushing harder. A beholder's ray means that the hardest a character can push themself is to their base level of performance. I could imagine a distorting haze in the air, like a reality distorting effect in a Dr Strange film.

OK, but why are encounters and daily the equivalent of "pushing harder" ? If you look at vancian wizards, it's not a question of pushing, it's just what why have memorised for the day, for example. And I'm not sure then why an aberration would prevent people from pushing harder ? If anything, it would be the opposite, you need to push harder to do anything ?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Could it be that "some" people will complain about any change to their beloved game sure seems like it.

Just like "some" people don't bear to have 4e criticised or not liked for any reason ? :p

There are also, and I believe it's the majority, who just have different tastes, that's all. I don't criticise you for your tastes, but I think I'm entitled to the same respect.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Just like "some" people don't bear to have 4e criticised or not liked for any reason ? :p
Maybe just bad criticism as the excuse for dislike (which doesn't actually need an excuse). And often it seems to be really an just an "omg they changed it" response. There are exceptions but many criticized the game while being utterly ignorant of it... and often "reasons" asserted where based on falsehoods too. I have defended other editions from similar bs. It just seems 4e received most of it.

"Hey for some people 4e combat took too long" ... my response ok it didnt for me but there are more than one reason it didnt for me but might for others. (here are some tools that can help that others use)

Completely bearable criticism.

compare to
"Hey warlords shouted wounds away... like magic" or
"Hey fighters in 4e do exactly the same things as wizards"

There are also, and I believe it's the majority, who just have different tastes, that's all. I don't criticise you for your tastes, but I think I'm entitled to the same respect.
Be sure to not pretend your taste is something other than taste and things are fine although I suppose there are complications, like In "my opinion hit point restoration is repairing of wounds in D&D" just doesn't float even if you couch it as an opinion.

You can say I want that to be true or I would prefer it but that would be admitting it is just a taste.

Nobody is shouting your limbs back on nor even scratches away either.


OK, but why are encounters and daily the equivalent of "pushing harder" ? If you look at vancian wizards, it's not a question of pushing, it's just what why have memorised for the day, for example.
The most hated "reasoning" in the history of the game used to be amnesia casters that is a taste thing too. ... and definitely doesn't happen in 5e removed entirely

And I'm not sure then why an aberration would prevent people from pushing harder ?
Perhaps they create a state of mental inertia only the simplest thoughts can even come to mind ie a mental binding prevents the complex thoughts emerging ... shrug that is how I picture it.
 
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pemerton

Legend
OK, but why are encounters and daily the equivalent of "pushing harder" ? If you look at vancian wizards, it's not a question of pushing, it's just what why have memorised for the day, for example.
I don't think I fully understand this question.

The way we know that encounter and daily powers are the equivalent of pushing harder is that the rulebook tell us (PHB p 54; and there's also a briefer sidebar to similar effect on p 15); and in any event it seems obvious from the fact that you can't do it whenever you want to.

I'm not sure then why an aberration would prevent people from pushing harder ? If anything, it would be the opposite, you need to push harder to do anything ?
I already posted about this upthread: that the reality distortion means that even when you push your hardest, you can't do better than your base level of performance. That's a sign of how hard it is to push against the reality distortion!
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Maybe just bad criticism as the excuse for dislike (which doesn't actually need an excuse). And often it seems to be really an just an "omg they changed it" response. There are exceptions but many criticized the game while being utterly ignorant of it... and often "reasons" asserted where based on falsehoods too. I have defended other editions from similar bs. It just seems 4e received most of it.

So first, it's not my case, I really gave the edition a chance, for quite a few years, with different campaigns and DMs, including myself.

But my point is exactly that, don't you think that there are reasons for 4e receiving most of it ? I mean inherent to the game, once more not inherent to its quality, but to its style, and in addition to the simple "OMG they changed it" ?

"Hey for some people 4e combat took too long" ... my response ok it didnt for me but there are more than one reason it didnt for me but might for others. (here are some tools that can help that others use)

For me, honestly, it was the other way round, I welcomed 4e combat compared to 3e which, especially at high level, took forever. Although, factually, the high levels of 4e did not feel as epic as high levels of 3e and AD&D, because of the constraints of the game, mostly it felt like at lower levels just with bigger numbers (which have never impressed me as all numbers increasing with levels are totally artificial IMHO). But it was faster once mastered.

compare to
"Hey warlords shouted wounds away... like magic" or
"Hey fighters in 4e do exactly the same things as wizards"

Don't take it badly, but I have pointed this out before, although I hope not at the same level, but I think it's too much of a mish-mash to have abilities shared across so many different classes and roles just for the sake of balance with just basic renaming, for one, and second yes, you can't compare different roles for whom abilities were indeed very different, and you indeed sometimes had different mechanics across classes for the same role, but because in the end it was in an extremely controlled environment, it ended up feeling quite the same to us.

Again, not a matter of quality of the game, it was well done, but done in a spirit that did not match our tastes.

Be sure to not pretend your taste is something other than taste and things are fine although I suppose there are complications, like In "my opinion hit point restoration is repairing of wounds in D&D" just doesn't float even if you couch it as an opinion.

I'm sorry, but it totally does float. If' you're at or below 0, you are factually dying, the game expressly tells you so, and dying of wounds, not of loss of resolve in most cases (because monsters generally hit you with swords and claw, not with nasty words). So I'm sorry, but it totally breaks my suspension of disbelief that you are again operational because someone is "commanding", you are unconscious and dying.

There might be some edge cases where the paradigm works, but it cannot be the standard, otherwise it becomes ridiculous, and both you and Pemerton have said that your way around it is to ignore the "dying" state, and do some retcons. Which again, is fine if you want to do it in your games, but it's not what the game tells you, and if I do what the game tells me, it breaks my suspension of disbelief. This is pure fact.

Nobody is shouting your limbs back on nor even scratches away either.

Yes they are. I'm sorry, but dying is dying, written plainly in the rules, and someone with a commanding presence is basically bandaging those wounds for you with just his voice and no magic (and don't get me started about the "fluff" of the Power Sources, whether you use the fluff and it tells you there's no magic, or you don't use it and use direct technical effects like 'dying" but you don't get to choose which fluff you use and which you don't for as direct explanation of the way the system works, although you can of couse do whatever you want in your game) , simple fact and direct application of the rules.

The most hated "reasoning" in the history of the game used to be amnesia casters that is a taste thing too. ... and definitely doesn't happen in 5e removed entirely

And yet, it is the exact paradigm of the 4e wizards: "After an extended rest, you can prepare a number of daily and utility spells according to what you can cast per day for your level." You can use the daily that you prepare exactly once before needing to prepare it again. Vancian to the core.

Perhaps they create a state of mental inertia only the simplest thoughts can even come to mind ie a mental binding prevents the complex thoughts emerging ... shrug that is how I picture it.

And even you shrug when trying to explain it, so imagine me shrugging even more in despair when trying to fond an explanation that matches the way I envision my fantasy worlds. Because I don't care about the technicalities of a game if it does not match what I want in it, a fantasy world in which characters have fantastic adventures (and if I want to play a combat boardgame, it's another story).
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I don't think I fully understand this question.

The way we know that encounter and daily powers are the equivalent of pushing harder is that the rulebook tell us (PHB p 54; and there's also a briefer sidebar to similar effect on p 15); and in any event it seems obvious from the fact that you can't do it whenever you want to.

I'm sorry, but pg.54k in particular for encounter powers is very, very vague and gamist about the limitations:
  • " If you’re a martial character, they are exploits you’ve practiced extensively but can pull off only once in a while." Why that is, is not clear at all, there is no link to special effort, and by the way it's one of my problem about 4e, it's all in that "boardgame rulebook" style, not about the story, just about "because". But honestly, for me, it's because you cannot try the same trick twice with a given adversary, he would see you coming (see Corwin being surprised that his little french trick works twice in a row on Eric in Amber).
  • "If you’re an arcane or divine character, these are spells or prayers of such power that they take time to re-form in your mind after you unleash their magic energy." So it takes time to reform, but it says nothing about previous effort.

And Pg 15 is not more helpful, it's just "because". So unless the beholder "pre-fatigues" you with his eye, and it's not even the case since the effect goes away when he looks in another direction...

I already posted about this upthread: that the reality distortion means that even when you push your hardest, you can't do better than your base level of performance. That's a sign of how hard it is to push against the reality distortion!

I'm sorry, but it all looks extremely artificial to me, wanting to push what is a purely technical effect into a fantasy world explanation and failing completely to engage my imagination. good for you if it works, but honestly your description of the fight in the long examples that you posted is extremely technical. It's technical power after technical power.

If you want to look at the summaries of our campaign, the fights are important but the description is much less technical. In the following sequence (apologies, it's an automated translation of french to english), there were 3 fights, and you can see that they were much less technical and much more about the story, I'm not even sure that you will see the fights.

Assault at Maximus
The subterfuge
One of the thugs gives in to Alkaia's threats, and agrees to take us to Maximus' house with Grothia as a false prisoner. We arrive at Maximus' villa, and send for the steward, who is the one who usually concludes the transactions. While one of the guards is away, we knock out the other guard and Nicholas takes his cloak and tunic. When the steward returns, we grab him and drag him into the stable.

At first, he refuses to speak when Aetherna accuses him of trading in slaves. But he gets scared when Grothia tells him that he's helping Maximus override the right Sydon gave him, by forcing the Minotaurs to swear improper oaths. He tells us that Maximus keeps his archives in the basement, but the villa is full of guards. We decide to continue anyway, and enter the villa.

We arrive in what must be the auction room, and three or four guards watch us enter. Nicholas reassures them, and we go down the stairs. Once downstairs, getting rid of the two guards is a snap, and they find themselves in the jail instead of their prisoners, two minotaurs who have yet to swear service to Maximus.

From there, finding Maximus' office is easy, and we recover compromising documents: letters from Norbragon that demonstrate their nefarious plan to go capture minotaurs in the surrounding villages, and maintain the slave trade. There are also the terms of the catastrophic oaths which have been imposed on prisoners, and which are so general that, paradoxically, there is little chance of escaping them. The basement also houses a dormitory for guards and prisoners who have already sworn the oath: ten minotaurs and a satyr (?). Not knowing how they will react to their oath, we leave them there.

Taking advantage of the element of surprise, we leave the villa with the precious documents, the steward and the two prisoners.


This took us about a third to half of a session, with three short fights, one fairly brutal against guards and a running fight to get out, two of which were Theater of the Mind. The very short nature of the fights and the fact that 5e is so streamlined there allowed us to advance the intrigue a lot. And we went on with the trial, and my requisitory at the trial:

[To the assistance and to the Jurors]
Contemplate Maximus, this once noble man to the point of having gained the trust of Sydon himself to offer our dazzling city the possibility of making the criminals useful, of offering them a chance of redemption by allowing their oath of service to be used. at best by those who need it most. Contemplate his downfall and the depth of betrayal into which his greed has drawn him. Contemplate the heinous crimes of which he was the author, the citizens and travelers enslaved in defiance of the most sacred laws of our city, and sometimes massacred and sacrificed on the altar of his avarice.

We have all the evidence and all the witnesses to show that Maximus forced innocent people to take oaths of service to serve him. Of course, we do not question the generosity and wisdom of Sydon who then granted him the right to trade in these oaths. But we will endeavor to show that, on the contrary, the fact of trading in oaths extorted by force, by torture, from innocent people, is not only an insult to all the gods by corrupting the very principle of this oath, but an insult to Sydon himself, a betrayal of the sacred office of which Maximus was in charge.

[To Maximus]
Sydon himself calls you to account, Maximus, for the iniquitous way in which you have hijacked the sacred charge he had entrusted to you!

[To the assistance and to the Jurors]
At this stage, and in the face of the just sentences that we are going to demand against Maximus, it is clear that the perversions to which he devoted himself will push him, in his defense, if not to completely discard his betrayal, because the evidence is inescapable and relentless, at least trying to smear, tarnish other citizens of the city, even this procedure itself.

[To Maximus]
So I want to assure you, Maximus, that the charges are overwhelming. And that even if you succeed in casting doubts on certain proofs and the way in which they were obtained in the very cradle of your crimes, you will realize that they form only a very small part of the implacable bundle of the foundations of the charge.

Not only do we have many direct witnesses, from all sides, victims and perpetrators, now repentant, and among these some of your direct collaborators who have today realized how much your corruption has dragged them down themselves. in the depths of decay. Their testimonies are overwhelming, and they know every one of your vile secrets.

You could also point the finger at your business partners, those to whom you have, admittedly legally, but on corrupt bases, sold service oaths extorted by torture, attempting to implicate them in your crimes. But know that, on the contrary, and regardless of the evidence I have already spoken of, some, horrified by the revelations we have made to them about your perversion of the sacred charge of Sydon, have finally understood the hidden meaning of the boasting that you did about the way you got yourself so many oaths. And that (brandishing the letters received from Taran), this evidence, from your hand, is in itself far more damning than anything the prosecution has accumulated elsewhere.

You are alone today Maximus, because all those on whom you thought you could count understood how much it is you, and you alone, who was the receptacle of the confidence of Sydon, and who betrayed him, who them. have betrayed. And today they are ready to help you repair, as much as possible because we will not be able to redeem the deaths and the years of suffering. But they will only be able to help in this redemption if you do not try to make them dirty, if you show that you will not spit on these outstretched hands.

And therefore, to avoid such overflows, we implore you on the contrary, Maximus, to restraint, and to concentrate on your repentance and your penance. Charging other participants in crimes, implying that the procedure which charges you might have the slightest flaw would only serve to convince the jurors that you are not worthy of the redemption that we propose to you, because you would then show that you do not regret what is at the heart of your felony. So, instead of the clemency that we are offering you, it's about YOUR head, and YOUR blood, that we will have to talk about.

Listen, then, Maximus, and pay close attention to it, for this is your only chance for redemption, don't let it pass.

[To the assistance and to the Jurors]
First, and as a sentence before the gods, we obviously ask the clergy of Sydon to remove Maximus from the burden of selling the oaths of service. Moreover, as we will prove that it is this same office which corrupted a man once so noble, so trustworthy of Sydon himself, we ask the clergy not to renew this office, to prevent another soul noble is in turn corrupted. It should always be possible for parties who agree to cede oaths of service, but to trade in them, this is the source of vice, corruption, treason and forfeiture. I am sure that the clergy of Sydon, amazed like me, like all of us, by the depths of the baseness of Maximus' acts, will know how to make the right decision, one which will reassure all the citizens of our city that no man will ever again. will have the power to virtually enslave a free creature, and what is more by subjecting it to the cruelest tortures, and sometimes directly promising it to death.

Having done justice to Sydon for his wisdom and mercy, it is now to mortals that we must turn.

[To Maximus]
You are rich, Maximus, fat with the fruits of your corruption, and this wealth must serve to snatch from the torments of slavery those whom you have forced into it.

We are not of course talking about the real criminals, or those who have voluntarily taken an oath of service, but all those who have been forced to take this oath. It would not be fair that those who bought them from you, and this legally in the eyes of gods and men, be despoiled by your corruption. So as a sentence against mortals, we ask to immediately release from their oaths those who have been unjustly enslaved because of your schemes and who have not yet been sold. Then we will also ask that your entire wealth be confiscated by the city of Mytros and kept in reserve to compensate your buyers on the one hand, so that they can then, with their heads held high and without the slightest reservation, free them. victims of their oath of service, and on the other hand your victims, that they receive at least a fair salary and a fair compensation for their years of servitude, that they can thus resume their life as citizens with a future ahead of them. them. And, finally, compensation for the families of the victims, those who did not survive their enslavement.

And finally as a sentence in front of yourself and your future passage in the other world, Maximus… Well, this fortune, and these compensations, they will have to be administered. And even if, in all the veins of those you have plundered, Tisiphone boils down and demands revenge, the accusation will be satisfied on your part with an oath of begging and just reparation. Promise to live only on charity and to distribute your wealth as fairly as possible in the eyes of men and gods according to the principles that the prosecution has proposed above, and you will be able to administer it, without ever having to benefit yourself. And Sydon and the gods you have flouted by making a mockery of the sacred service oath, will be the keepers of your redemption and reparations to your victims. And may their curse befall you if you deviate an inch from this oath of service to Sydon, the Gods and our city of Mytros.

If you accept, we will not ask for your head, or even your banishment, because we want you to become the living symbol of the redemption offered by the generosity of Sydon, our good King Acastus, our Goddess and Queen Vallus, and of our eternal city of Mytros.

As you can see, Maximus, we are prepared to be more than lenient with the severity of your crimes, in the hope that your repentance will be deep, and just. But do not be deceived by our benevolence and our good humor, and do not take them for timidity. A righteous, terrible anger against your deeds beats in our chests, and especially the chests of all those whom you have imprisoned, tortured, reduced to virtual slavery and condemned not only to servitude but often to a terrible death. If you do not show repentance by fully accepting your sole and entire responsibility, if you persist in your errors to the point of wanting to deny the charge which is yours, to the point of wanting to charge the very innocent recipients of your transactions, to the point of to want to tarnish the benevolence of the heroes of the prophecy, to the point of wanting to flout Sydon even more, to the point of defying the most sacred edicts of Mitros, our good King Acastus and our queen the Goddess Vallus, then it is not not just your devotion to righting your wrongs which we will ask for. It is with your life that you will have to pay for your insolence, your arrogance, your total lack of repentance in front of the citizens, the heroes and the gods, and in particular Sydon. And if we have to go and seek justice to the furies, then our hatred for you and your acts will call on you Mégère, we will demand revenge from Tisiphone and you will see us as relentless as Alecto to claim your head, and your blood, to wash away the honor and justice of Sydon, of our king Acastus and of our Goddesses Vallus and Mytros.

So think carefully about your next words, Maximus, and in your defense, how will you plead? Repentance and reparations, or else… death!


You can find the trials result on the next page.

As you can see, we are interested in the story, supported by the game system, not at all by the pure technicalities of the game system.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Says who? I mean, other than you.

Says everyone with a bit of logic and understanding how body and mind works during and after effort. I don't eat the same thing when I'm running a marathon and recovering from it, for example. And people might incite me to sprint at the end, but I will collapse if it goes on for too long, and it will go the opposite way of my recovery, it will make me stronger for a short while but will make my recovery harder.

Note that I'm on purpose taking a purely physical exercise, because we are talking about martial powers, it's clear that magic can do whatever it wants.

Clearly not the 4e designers - and it was their game that I was playing!

The designers made a simpler choice in 4e (but to me a better one in 5e, clearly separating both). But it certainly means that the game formats the fantasy, whereas I prefer it the other way around.

The half-orc ability you describe - which, as I could said, could equally be given to a barbarian, a fighter or a paladin with no departure from th default fiction of any of those classes (in AD&D cavaliers and sohei both had variations on that ability) - could equally be spend a hit die rather than drop to 1 hp and it wouldn't change the fiction.

And then, I find it really sad that, instead of having abilities which are the signature of an archetype, it gets spread around, like people don't have enough imagination or liberty in the system to imagine something else. And the other classes do not need this in 5e, they indeed have their own ways of dealing with this, between the barbarian's rage, the fighter's second Wind, and the Paladin's Lay on Hands, all iconic and all fitting perfectly their archetype and their power source.

I don't think I've ever been rubbed up the wrong way by "player agency" (which I think means players playing the game and impacting the shared fiction). But I don't know why you're talking about "erasing player choices". A FitM approach to narrating forced movement doesn't erase anyone's choices - as @AbdulAlhazred already explained upthread, it's just deferring finalisation of the fiction until all the mechanical effects that contribute to it are resolved.

SInce you don't have a problem with it and it's a vast debate that goes way beyond this thread, I will drop the general subject of player agency.

I'm not 100% sure why it matters, but it's also not true that every instance of forced movement permits a defence. Just looking through the "D"s in Monster Vault, I found that the Savage Displacer Beast can push any enemy who misses with a melee attack, as a free action at will and no attack roll required (it's an effect). The Displacer Beast Pack Lord has a limited use attack called Clear the Path which slides on a hit (3 squares) or miss (1 square). The Doppelganger Infiltrator has an ability called Perfect Replica, which is an effect with no attack roll required and that immobilises its target; and it has an at-will opportunity action Replica Switch which permits it to swap places with an enemy affected by Perfect Replica if they are adjacent and a third party makes a melee or ranged attack against it.

And for me, this is bad game design, having abilities which have an automatic effect without any defense, especially a bad effect like this, which means that whatever you do to target, you will choose wrong, and this works on anyone in the world ? There is no justification for this, whether in terms of game design or in terms of player fun, it's only a technical gamemaster's tool to punish the player without giving them any chance. Bad design.

And a couple of final points about forced movement: in the fiction, Horrific Visage is nothing like Thunderwave. The latter is a blast of energy. The former is what it says on the tin: a horrific visage. The reason the character moves is because they recoil in horror (it's a fear effect). I can imagine contexts in which the most apposite narration would be not that the character recoiled at all, but that they never approached - eg if the ability was used as an immediate reaction after having been readied in response to a character moving towards the Wight.

Only it does not work that way, it also does damage (and again, why) ? And it also affects a zone, so why would that character be affected that way ? And what about remaining movement for the character ? Honestly, I find it significant that you play an edition which is so formal about rules and movement and constraints and, in the end, ignore the way it is structured because it gets in the way of your narration, others example below. You ignore the 4e rules like dying or movement or triggers or effects when it suits you (which is fine) but at the same time you have a very technical game (see the examples where the number of squares are justified to a great level of detail).

It's good that you find your fun that way, but for me it's much easier to be freeform (if it's what you are looking for) in a game that is much less formal to start with, that's all.

That wouldn't negate any player agency.

It sort of does, what happens to his choices of movement ? before and after the effect, for example ?

Another, similar example: an Elder Green Dragon has an ability called Luring Glare which slides a target that is hit with an attack against Will; and it has an at-will immediate reaction, Cunning Glance, triggered by an enemy shifting to a nearby square, which permits the use of Luring Glare against that enemy. It would be very natural to narrate the effect of Cunning Glance as the enemy never moving, or moving directly to where they end up, rather than first assuming that the character shifts and then that they move elsewhere.

You can describe it whatever way you like, but still it's another example of pure technical design. Why is this triggered by someone specifically shifting ? And not simply moving ? And why does a charm just move a target ? It's all bizarre and technical and justified backward from the technicalities of a power invented to technically surprise someone.

Here is the actual play report:
I regard this as perfectly representative of how 4e plays. Of course at lower tiers the fiction was different - at Heroic there were boats and Goblin warrens and tombs; at Paragon there were hobgoblin phalanxes and Underdark caverns; at Epic the PCs fought demons and destroyed Torog's Soul Abattoir, as well as assaulting the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.

Oh my god, it is so technical. But still with you ignoring rules when you feel like it. As mentioned above, I have found that playing freeform and story-oriented works better with a lighter more free-form game, but it seems that it's not only that, you also enjoy extremely tactical gaming, while at the same time your players seem to roll in with arbitrary decisions by the DM.

I ran a very large number of skill challenges in which the Arcana skill figured, and magical effects were dealt with. The character of those effects as magical was a matter of fiction. Not a mechanical concept. (Almost no non-PC-generated effect has a power source; rituals do not have power sources; and in any event power source is a keyword and so its presence in the rule you quote is redundant. In our game we focused on the fiction.)



So one possibility is that you played the game correctly - ie having a bad time - and I mis-played the game - and had a good time. Another is that you misunderstood the game, and as a result had a bad time, and I worked out how the game is meant to be played, and had a good time. Which you think is up to you. I know which I think.

No, I'm sorry, but multiple examples show that, technically, you player the game incorrectly. However, practically, you played the game right, because you were having fun. As for ourselves, we tried to play the game as designed, so technically we were right, and simply did not have as much fun with it as we had with other editions, and, frankly, 4e is not suited to modifications on the fly, if you start unraveling a principle, you end up with more questions than where you started. But it's good if your players and yourself have an agreement about this.

But I still disagree that this is the way the game is meant to be played. AFAIK, there's no section about simple ad hoc rulings, it's all about the formal rules from beginning to end, and designing house rules is extremely formal, and it even challenges you about why you want to make the change to the core rules. And it needs to be written down. It is the most formal edition of the game ever.

How to be a Dungeon Masters starts with "A competitive sport has referees. It needs them. Someone impartial involved in the game needs to make sure everyone’s playing by the rules." That section is all about the rules. Compare to 5e: "A Dungeon Master gets to wear many hats. As the architect of a campaign, the DM creates adventures by placing monsters, traps, and treasures for the other
players' characters (the adventurers) to discover. As a storyteller, the DM helps the other players visualize what's happening around them, improvising when the adventurers do something or go somewhere unexpected. As an actor, the DM plays the roles of the monsters and supporting characters, breathing life into them. And as a referee, the DM interprets the rules and decides when to abide by them and when to change them."

The role of referee comes last, and it's all about interpretation, deciding to abide and change them. Totally different philosophies here (and again, I'm not judging the quality of that, just the intended design and what it means for the types of game best suited to an edition).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And even you shrug when trying to explain it, so imagine me shrugging even more in despair when trying to fond an explanation that matches the way I envision my fantasy worlds.
Explanation works completely for both martial and caster activities involve either conscious or subconscious complexity. But I do not have a preconceived requirement that the ability be "anti-magic"
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Explanation works completely for both martial and caster activities involve either conscious or subconscious complexity.

Saying it does not make it true. Oh yes, it's very much in the fiction to say "the beholder looks at you and it blocks you consciously and subconsciously..."

Come on, 4e is great on some levels, but I'm sorry, narratively, here, it fails compared to the elegant simplicity of anti-magic in a magical world because, yes, this is frightening and terrible and unique in D&D.

But I do not have a preconceived requirement that the ability be "anti-magic"

Once more, anti-magic is a concept of the fantasy genre (and a fairly common one at that), so:
  1. I find it an advantage when my ruleset support it properly so that I can emulate the genre.
  2. The Beholder is really one of the most iconic monsters of D&D, so doing it proper justice is an advantage to me.
  3. The 4e explanation for the beholder eye does not even match the internal logic of the game itself, it is purely technical based on a technical construction of the game, and it requires jumping through hoops to tell a story about it.
Also, by the way, the 4e MM beholder does not have such an ability, it just dazes the target. Not extremely frightening to me. As for the updated monster vault, it's not even an eye looking at you, it's just a blast attack that does some weird thing. Purele mechanistic.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
So first, it's not my case, I really gave the edition a chance, for quite a few years, with different campaigns and DMs, including myself.

But my point is exactly that, don't you think that there are reasons for 4e receiving most of it ?
Because people did not have platforms of rage to express on when they went from 2e to 3e would be one reason. The rage was there but the ease of expressing its religious zeal were not. Gygax had a platform and i would say "freaked out" even on the minor changes in 2e.

I mean inherent to the game, once more not inherent to its quality, but to its style, and in addition to the simple "OMG they changed it" ?
Actually I think OMG they changed it was a primary actual cause and issue, 4e was the largest design shift probably ever and they were willing to do so arguably in part because they needed fresh IP not bound by the Open Gaming license, not saying it was completely for that reason but rather that was an enabler for change that was too sudden for many people.
Don't take it badly, but I have pointed this out before, although I hope not at the same level, but I think it's too much of a mish-mash to have abilities shared across so many different classes
The sharing of spell lists across the board for every bloody class in 5e makes them feel far more the same to me it strips them of many points of subtle uniqueness, and does it unabashedly without even flavor differences. And mechanically My Swordmage in 4e feels utterly different than a fighter and isn't taking the same bloody sentinel feat to do defender tricks that the fighter does nor same spells easily accessed by other classes. (see also, sometimes class specific feats that modify powers distinctly in 4e but not 5e)

To me there were more distinctions thrown away but not in the name of balance.

D&D has a long history of using the same mechanics or incredibly near the same for things that could have been made distinct . In stormbringer for instance they made divine intervention another trick all its own instead of spell casting. Similarly in RuneQuest divine magic were utterly distinctly than spirit magic more like miracles but oops they are really just spells very often ones shared without even bare flavor differences in the latest D&D.

and roles just for the sake of balance with just basic renaming
The basic ability can indeed be just renamed but exists in a context and be affected elsewhere transformed by by different class specific feats and abilities for instance. And further I do not see simple renaming as pervasive as you are presenting.

, for one, and second yes, you can't compare different roles for whom abilities were indeed very different, and you indeed sometimes had different mechanics across classes for the same role, but
I am sure is that somehow bad thing oh right if its very different but still balanced it must be bad.
but because in the end it was in an extremely controlled environment,
Funny how you make that a negative. The term I use i actually balanced environment, after decades of utter imbalance and careless design it is a complete breath of fresh air.

Yes they are. I'm sorry, but dying is dying
D&D is and has always been schizophrenic in its game language with to hit not meaning hit (not really) and damage not meaning damage. People become used to such over time except when you do not want to... 1 to 4 hours and a trivial amount of healing and a day will get you up and running regardless and your terrible terrible wounds are poof. There are people that do not like that either but you let yourself just ignore that no problem. Realistically people die of shock even sometimes from what might be relatively minor injury a hero pushing past that on their own or with the help of Warlords primitive and empowered psychotherapy is just a really minor thing to me.

And yet, it is the exact paradigm of the 4e wizards: "After an extended rest, you can prepare a number of daily and utility spells according to what you can cast per day for your level." You can use the daily that you prepare exactly once before needing to prepare it again. Vancian to the core.
yes (only misses one element book dependence) this is an aside of anything else... but its very close to the Jack Vances writing in terms of how many spells are known.
And even you shrug when trying to explain it, so imagine me shrugging even more in despair when trying to fond an explanation that matches the way I envision my fantasy worlds.
I didnt find it difficult to explain at all the shrug was deprecative (ie it was saying it is no big deal for me).

For me complexity of thought being in common between martial types doing their trickiest moves and non-martial doing their trickiest moves is a perfect parallel. Where as the treating martial as I hit it with my sword triviality is one of the things I hate more than a little in other editions and interferes with the way I envision both reality and fantasy worlds. Is that exactly about balance?

Further I actually love the ambiguity expressed in the descriptions of Martial Power, as it connects to ancient legends and myth and fantasy and the mechanics try to follow through. For me It drips with real awesome. I mentioned earlier that early legend and myth has both things like "Warrior" or "Craftsman" magic and the asian Ki and similar where ambiguity between mundane and martial things and magical things is the norm.

The ambiguity between heroes and gods is also expressed in 4e supported with the ongoing attribute advancement and epic destinies and similar. The lack of which in 5e messes with my fantasy. Hero in Greek Myth virtually meant half god, I say virtually because the literal meaning is defender.

In the common fiction. Heck kings being or having their own kind of subtle magic you see in the Lord of the Rings where an oath to a king becomes a binding that goes beyond death and can give Aragorn an army of the dead or allows the king to use a weed as a healing herb. He is not casting a "healing spell" just like everyone else does off a common spell list.

In "explicitville" unsubtle 5e one could make a feat Call it Kings Blood, that allowed temp hit points granted by the character to be treated as healing and normal hit points if the subject is not at full hit points. (add in a few other things that really matter mechanically).

To me 5e is very much crude/unsubtle with martial types treated as simplistic.(even the Battlemaster with its drab unpoetic abilities that are each and every appropriate for level 3) demonstrates it.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Saying it does not make it true. Oh yes, it's very much in the fiction to say "the beholder looks at you and it blocks you consciously and subconsciously..."
I use more complex language than necessary and apparently over your head or a language issue (I could have just said mental). Oh right sorry you think martial means mindlessly simple and unaffected by something like that obviously.

This is not some huge leap except you wanted to single out a type of character because that was how it was done previously "Oh My God they Changed It"

Come on, 4e is great on some levels, but I'm sorry, narratively, here, it fails
Saying that does not make it so...

Casters being overwhelmingly more potent than other types in early D&D is the only reason for a "blocks caster ability."

And definitely not because it made martial types cooler for me it just highlights exactly how unimportant they were.

compared to the elegant simplicity of anti-magic in a magical world because,
When you insist on caster superiority you need things to single them out. Not so much otherwise.
The only reason you can call anti-magic terrifying let alone acceptable is because of caster blatant superiority.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Also, by the way, the 4e MM beholder does not have such an ability, it just dazes the target.
Dazes hmmm to me that is just a more simplified and less specialized form of mind affecting magic which reduces the ability to act. They made it stronger later. (I prefer the later form)
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I am so glad my D&D doesn't need singling out of casters and the DM can be worried about the Warlords daily exploits just as much as the Wizards powerful spells.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Because people did not have platforms of rage to express on when they went from 2e to 3e would be one reason. The rage was there but the ease of expressing its religious zeal were not. Gygax had a platform and i would say "freaked out" even on the minor changes in 2e.

And yet the rage for 5e was much less than the one for 4e...

Actually I think OMG they changed it was a primary actual cause and issue, 4e was the largest design shift probably ever and they were willing to do so arguably in part because they needed fresh IP not bound by the Open Gaming license, not saying it was completely for that reason but rather that was an enabler for change that was too sudden for many people.

And maybe, just maybe, it was also inherently not a change that people welcomed, in itself, in addition to being a change. It was certainly my case. I wanted a change from 3e, but that change was not the right one for me. And it's not a question of radical or not, it's a question of whether the change takes the game in a direction which corresponds to the game I want to play or not.

The sharing of spell lists across the board for every bloody class in 5e makes them feel far more the same to me it strips them of many points of subtle uniqueness, and does it unabashedly without even flavor differences.

First, spells flavors for class stays in, especially between domains. Second class and especially archetype powers are not shared.

And mechanically My Swordmage in 4e feels utterly different than a fighter and isn't taking the same bloody sentinel feat to do defender tricks that the fighter does nor same spells easily accessed by other classes. (see also, sometimes class specific feats that modify powers distinctly in 4e but not 5e)

Just as a Bladesinger does feel completely different from a fighter.

D&D has a long history of using the same mechanics or incredibly near the same for things that could have been made distinct . In stormbringer for instance they made divine intervention another trick all its own instead of spell casting. Similarly in RuneQuest divine magic were utterly distinctly than spirit magic more like miracles but oops they are really just spells very often ones shared without even bare flavor differences in the latest D&D.

Except for the fact that everyone gort spirit magic and very often the same one, whereas it took a bloody long time to get divine magic, which, I agree, felt very specific. Fortunately, there were more differences than this, but I distinctly remember RQ 2 with very very differences in magic between one character and the other. The roleplaying was extremely varied though, and I'm still very much in love with RQ, but it was not because of variety of spirit magic...

Funny how you make that a negative. The term I use i actually balanced environment, after decades of utter imbalance and careless design it is a complete breath of fresh air.

I'm not making it negative, you are. I'm saying it's very controlled with all its positive and negative sides. Just as some people want a very much controlled society and others a very free one. They all have advantages and drawbacks, and after that it's a question of personal preferences.

And yes, it was a breath of fresh air at start for us, I've already said this, until we realised that it prevented us from narrating the game the way we wanted to, in which case we felt restrained and uncomfortable.

D&D is and has always been schizophrenic in its game language with to hit not meaning hit (not really) and damage not meaning damage.

|Dying: When your hit points drop to 0 or fewer, you fall unconscious and are dying." and "When you are dying, you need to make a saving throw at the end of your turn
each round. The result of your saving throw determines how close you are to death." All of this seems pretty non-ambiguous to me. These are not abstract hit points.

People become used to such over time except when you do not want to... 1 to 4 hours and a trivial amount of healing and a day will get you up and running regardless and your terrible terrible wounds are poof. There are people that do not like that either but you let yourself just ignore that no problem. Realistically people die of shock even sometimes from what might be relatively minor injury a hero pushing past that on their own or with the help of Warlords primitive and empowered psychotherapy is just a really minor thing to me.

While I agree that in some cases there might be that kind of explanation, having that kind of power more or less at will means that it will become the standard explanation and that people will just accept it as a technical fact and gloss over it without any narrative support. This is what causes combat and its consequences to be fictionless.

As for me, I'd rather a system that makes a bit more narrative sense in particular because the fiction corresponds to that of the genre (once more see healers in Fantasy, for example the Wheel of Time).

For me complexity of thought being in common between martial types doing their trickiest moves and non-martial doing their trickiest moves is a perfect parallel. Where as the treating martial as I hit it with my sword triviality is one of the things I hate more than a little in other editions and interferes with the way I envision both reality and fantasy worlds. Is that exactly about balance?

I don't care about absolute balance, see ? I think once more it's artificial for the game to maintain it that forcefully in its mechanisms and it makes the game poorer, not richer. As a DM I have many other means at my disposal, in particular story means to make it sure that every player gets their spot in the sunlight.

Of course, if you get stupid builts a la 3e and entitled ruleslawyers insisting on technical advantages that you need to shut down it's a pain, and that's why 4e was a good thing, but they went way too far in their correction, and thankfully 5 restored some equilibrium. Balance is not perfect, but it's not really bad either, and it does not feel constrained.

Further I actually love the ambiguity expressed in the descriptions of Martial Power, as it connects to ancient legends and myth and fantasy and the mechanics try to follow through. For me It drips with real awesome. I mentioned earlier that early legend and myth has both things like "Warrior" or "Craftsman" magic and the asian Ki and similar where ambiguity between mundane and martial things and magical things is the norm.

The ambiguity between heroes and gods is also expressed in 4e supported with the ongoing attribute advancement and epic destinies and similar. The lack of which in 5e messes with my fantasy. Hero in Greek Myth virtually meant half god, I say virtually because the literal meaning is defender.

I have absolutely zero problem playing a demigoddess paladin in 5e, she is an awesome character, and it's not because of the epic path of Odyssey of the Dragonlords, I have not even really touched it yet. But the paragon and epic paths of 4e, while a great idea, always looked technical and uninteresting to me. Examples:
  • "Burning Blood (16th level): When you use your second wind, enemies within 10 squares of you take psychic damage equal to your Constitution modifier." Why, for christ sake, does the fact that you have burning blood cause psychic damage when you recover your breath ?
  • "Invisible Infiltrator (16th level): When you drop a target that is your level or higher to 0 hit points or fewer, or when you score a critical hit against a target that is your level or higher, you become invisible until the end of your next turn." I don't even know where to begin... Why does doing these things even turn you invisible ? Especially when you can't use magic...
As for the epic destinies they are even worse:
  • "Spell Recall (21st level): At the beginning of each day, choose one daily spell that you know (and have prepared today, if you prepare spells). You can use that spell two times that day, rather than only once." OMG, you can use a spell twice, this really feels epic !

  • "Trickster’s Control (24th level): If you roll an 18 or higher on the d20 when making the first attack roll for an encounter or daily attack power, that power is not expended." Same here, you can use a power again. How epic a feel !
I don't doubt that technically these can be fun, but after looking at Permeton's account of a battle, it is extremely technical, probably took hours to run and is only epic because he broke the rules of the game (like jumping on the back of a dragon and wrestling it to the ground, that I did not see at all in the account).

All these technicalities make the combat even more fictionless, as they become the focus of the game during combat resolution.

And for me, all these technicalities don't make the game epic. I feel absolutely epic playing my level 1 demigoddess half-siren paladin because of the setting, the story and the way the DM narrates things.

In the common fiction. Heck kings being or having their own kind of subtle magic you see in the Lord of the Rings where an oath to a king becomes a binding that goes beyond death and can give Aragorn an army of the dead or allows the king to use a weed as a healing herb. He is not casting a "healing spell" just like everyone else does off a common spell list.

And neither is he using a level 13 exploit. Or using a technical power like the above.

However, in our Odyssey of the Dragonlord game, any oath is really binding, and the story makes it feel that way. Not "Spell Recall". The problem is that what you are mentioning above as a difficulty for 5e is 10 times reinforced by the 4e system but you seem strangely blind to it.

In "explicitville" unsubtle 5e one could make a feat Call it Kings Blood, that allowed temp hit points granted by the character to be treated as healing and normal hit points if the subject is not at full hit points. (add in a few other things that really matter mechanically).

To me 5e is very much crude/unsubtle with martial types treated as simplistic.(even the Battlemaster with its drab unpoetic abilities that are each and every appropriate for level 3) demonstrates it.

Oh sure, looking at the 29th fighter power "No Mercy" which just does a shitload of damage but which is otherwise exactly the same as Brute Strike at Level 1. EXACTLY ! Can you please tell me where the originality is here ? Again, lvl 30 in 4e feels almost exactly like lvl 1 with greater numbers. You do more damage (yay! very epic) to more targets, you move more adversaries further (yay ! Epic !), but it's almost exactly the same principles. The only complexity in 4e is about technically connecting abstract powers to each other so that the push of one triggers the other just as fictionless power of yourself or another character, and dealing with powers that become more and more abstract and unexplainable, like the green dragon who can glare at you if you slide but not if you move. Why ?

In summary, the ultimate fictionless combat.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I use more complex language than necessary and apparently over your head or a language issue (I could have just said mental). Oh right sorry you think martial means mindlessly simple and unaffected by something like that obviously.

sigh. You are so much concerned by balance that you are unable to envision something that affects some characters differently than others. Do you even read genre fiction ?

Saying that does not make it so...

It's funny how you cut my answer with all the explanation to use one of my own sentence which was, on the other hand, totally justified because your claim did not come with any accompanying text.

Casters being overwhelmingly more potent than other types in early D&D is the only reason for a "blocks caster ability."

So what ? There were still lots of people playing non-casters, because of circumstances like this, because of magic items, because of preferences, etc. The game worked, and it worked well. And it really exploded with 5e when they removed all these constraints of forced balance through means which strangled creativity in situations and in rules.

And definitely not because it made martial types cooler for me it just highlights exactly how unimportant they were.

Well, we obviously did not play the same games, in which magic-users were instantly wiped as soon as a surprise popped out because of no resilience whatsoever.

When you insist on caster superiority you need things to single them out. Not so much otherwise.

It's a trope of the genre.

The only reason you can call anti-magic terrifying let alone acceptable is because of caster blatant superiority.

No, it affects magic items and a lot of powers of non or partial casters too. And yes, D&D is a game of high magic. If you are playing with no magic, why play D&D ?
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Dazes hmmm to me that is just a more simplified and less specialized form of mind affecting magic which reduces the ability to act.

And it's totally bland, and does not capture the uniqueness of the monster, and its threat.

They made it stronger later. (I prefer the later form)

And that one is so technical that no-one has yet produced an explanation as to how it works. It requires the beholder to blink as a burst, instead of just "beholding you" and it produces an effect that does prevent people from... I am still not clear from what actually. It affects magic items powers, for sure my flame tongue needs concentration to burn. Sorry, it's just purely technical.

I am so glad my D&D doesn't need singling out of casters and the DM can be worried about the Warlords daily exploits just as much as the Wizards powerful spells.

And the DM should not be worried, as he is not playing against the players (even in 4e it's the credo, you know ?). And by not singling anyone out at any time, you have what you deserve, a flat game where noone shines because noone is really unique.

When I'm not so concerned about balance, I can imbalance the game on purpose to give everyone his turn, but for different reasons. I played a whole campaign with a bard that was totally ineffectual in combat, but really shone in social environment, and that was good enough for me. I did not need specific enforcement from the DM to make sure that I could kick ass as much as my friends in combat.

Again, exactly the same as in real life, control can prevent abuses, but it stiffles creativity except along the specific paths that, in its generosity, it lets you have, but in 4e, for me, it felt totally fictionless, just be creative about counting squares and using your powers in the right order...
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
caster superiority is your genre choice then yup you won't like 4e where the potent abilities of martial classes themselves are just as much an issue.
You really don't get it. These are never ISSUES for me. They are opportunities to have players really shine, each in their domain of choice.

It really looks like if, as a DM, you cannot trust your players, or if as a player, you do not trust your players, or yourself, to balance things your way and according to the wishes of your players, collectively and individually, and need a crutch like a very controlled game system here as a safeguard.

I don't need that, and it actually hampers me, because of the style of play that we have at our tables. To each his own and his fun, just stop trying to convince me that I need control through the game system. I don't. I have never needed it, even in AD&D or even 3e where there were other means (annoying to manage, but they were there) to control it without stiffling my creativity in terms of situations.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And by not singling anyone out at any time, you have what you deserve, a flat game where noone shines because noone is really unique.
No the player get to choose in 4e when the players want their characters to shine. Instead of only when you the DM decide for them with artificial leverage like anti-magic.
 

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