D&D 4E Disillusionment from 4E

zoroaster100

First Post
Many of the reasons for disgruntlement listed by the OP have nothing specific to do with the current edition and more to do with the general stewardship of the game by WOTC, such as eliminating the miniature line, producing very few if any quality adventures, etc. For me the main reason for disillusionment right now is lack of quality adventure paths. If there were Paizo-quality adventure paths to run for Fourth Edition, such as Shackled City, Age of Worms or Savage Tide were for Third Edition, I'd be much more eager to run a game again.
 

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Talok

First Post
I think part of the problem is that unlike at least 2e and 3e and far more so than other editions of D&D, 4e is dripping with flavour. It simulates a genre (large pulp action) very well. And if I want to play a game in that style with moderate crunch, I can't think of a better system.

But I like a change now and then. Because older editions were much more incoherent they could be used for almost anything - albeit without the ruleset adding much. (If anything the ruleset is IMO a slight hinderance to anything, and it says a lot that the 4e ruleset is a better match for Dark Sun than the edition for which it was written).

Getting burned out on 4e is like getting burned out on Dread, Dogs in the Vineyard, or Fiasco. All three of them are incredible games - but I wouldn't want to play them all the time. (4e isn't as extreme). Older editions are more like slightly overcooked pasta. For all its faults you can throw almost any sauce you want on it to keep things fresh. But although I like a good steak, I wouldn't want one for every meal and there are plenty of sauces it won't take. Therefore more burnout.

Dripping with flavor? I don't see it. Power descriptions are lame, so half the time you don't even know how they're doing what they're doing. Monster descriptions are the same. Every PC and moster power feels the same. They are all do x damage + forced movement or x condition. 4E is severely lacking in flavor.
 
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herrozerro

First Post
Dripping with flavor? I don't see it. Power descriptions are lame,so half the time you don't even know how they're doing what they're doing. Monster descriptions are the same. Every PC and moster power feels the same. They are all do x damage + forced movement or x condition. 4E is severly lacking in flavor.

How was this different in previous editions? Just curious.

Edit: Could you also tell me how your having issues with knowing what they are doing?
 
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Ajar

Explorer
Every PC and moster power feels the same. They are all do x damage + forced movement or x condition.
There's a much wider variety than that. Just as one example, there are powers that grant some benefit to the PC, rather than forcing movement or applying a status condition to the enemy.

There are also barbarian rages, warden guardian forms, summoning powers...
 

herrozerro

First Post
There's a much wider variety than that. Just as one example, there are powers that grant some benefit to the PC, rather than forcing movement or applying a status condition to the enemy.

There are also barbarian rages, warden guardian forms, summoning powers...

I don't understand the sentament either, when you get down to it almost all actions in games boil down to damage + effect.
 

I don't understand the sentament either, when you get down to it almost all actions in games boil down to damage + effect.

4e reduced linguistic complexity in the game engine. There's a unified language for describing game effects now, making it easier to see that the differences are very often cosmetic.

In the past, legacy issues of spell block language versus "I swing my sword x number of times a round" created an illusion of variety in ways to interact with the combat game. If you plowed through those layers of abstraction, it was turtles all the way down, but most people don't do that, don't want to, and don't need to.
 

herrozerro

First Post
4e reduced linguistic complexity in the game engine. There's a unified language for describing game effects now, making it easier to see that the differences are very often cosmetic.

In the past, legacy issues of spell block language versus "I swing my sword x number of times a round" created an illusion of variety in ways to interact with the combat game. If you plowed through those layers of abstraction, it was turtles all the way down, but most people don't do that, don't want to, and don't need to.

I can see that, its more of an illusion of variety that 4e got rid of.
 

Mr. Patient

Adventurer
I don't understand the sentament either, when you get down to it almost all actions in games boil down to damage + effect.

You're of course right, but I think there are a few things at work here which make the 4e powers appear more homogeneous than previous editions:

1) The fact that every class has powers, and the well-supported ones have 100 or more powers available to them. Naturally, many of them are similar, or appear so at a quick glance, changing only a keyword or an area.

2) The flavor has been separated from the crunch to a great degree. Flavor is now given one sentence, above the main body of the power. Many people (including myself) gloss over this entirely. Older editions' spells mixed the flavor with the crunch; you had to read the entry to figure out what the spell was doing and how it did it. The older method had certain disadvantages (it's more time-consuming, prone to causing confusion, etc.), but had the advantage of making the spells more memorable and distinct.

3) 4e simplified and reduced the number of conditions.

4) Older editions' powers and spells had a pretty wide range of durations. Most ongoing 4e powers are end of next turn or save ends.
 

herrozerro

First Post
You're of course right, but I think there are a few things at work here which make the 4e powers appear more homogeneous than previous editions:

1) The fact that every class has powers, and the well-supported ones have 100 or more powers available to them. Naturally, many of them are similar, or appear so at a quick glance, changing only a keyword or an area.

2) The flavor has been separated from the crunch to a great degree. Flavor is now given one sentence, above the main body of the power. Many people (including myself) gloss over this entirely. Older editions' spells mixed the flavor with the crunch; you had to read the entry to figure out what the spell was doing and how it did it. The older method had certain disadvantages (it's more time-consuming, prone to causing confusion, etc.), but had the advantage of making the spells more memorable and distinct.

3) 4e simplified and reduced the number of conditions.

4) Older editions' powers and spells had a pretty wide range of durations. Most ongoing 4e powers are end of next turn or save ends.


1. I think this is a big plus, it gives everyone a wide variety of things to do.

2. in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons, Including in addition to confusion open to interpretation.

3. once again a positive.

4. save ends is about the equivalent of 1d4 rounds. its a duration mechanic.

All in all IMO more pros over cons.
 

Dripping with flavor? I don't see it. Power descriptions are lame, so half the time you don't even know how they're doing what they're doing. Monster descriptions are the same. Every PC and moster power feels the same. They are all do x damage + forced movement or x condition. 4E is severely lacking in flavor.

To me it sounds as if you're describing AD&D or 3e. All monsters just do x damage or a spell from one of the two lists everyone picks from. And all attack in almost exactly the same way. Any fluff that goes into combat goes in despite the system rather than with the aid of it (other than spells being fluffy). Attacks do x damage + no forced movement and no condition.

In 4e I think the only power I have ever had difficulty describing was a monk's teleport and that was a fluff clash on the one occasion I've needed to use it as a teleport. And if a pull feels the same as a push to you (which is necessary for all forced movement to feel the same) and that feels the same as just attacking them with no forced movement then I seriously don't visualise things in the way you do. Combat with forced movement is much more visceral than combat without. The stronger monsters are literally driving the weaker ones backwards, whereas the weaker ones are dancing round and hamstringing.

Honestly, I think that a lot is to do with Visual/Auditory/Kinaesthetic preferences. (Formerly called learning styles, but the research doesn't support that). To those strongly auditory as a general rule, forced movement is irrelevant and pointless. To the visual it's useful. To the kinaesthetic (the smallest group and those I'm a member of) it's incredible. And more is to do with a framework. Tide of Iron is not one move, it's an approach. So is cleave.

Edit [MENTION=86211]herrozerro[/MENTION], I agree that these are all improvements. But some people like the wizard hiding behind the curtain.
 
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