Gritty gone?

Fallen Seraph

First Post
I personally don't like making them weaker in Health areas since, I prefer to keep my PCs alive the whole way through. So with 4E's higher Health I feel more comfortable throwing them into more dangerous and deadly circumstances, since I know it is more likely they will survive.

I like to give the illusion of grit, without actual grit, as it were :)
 

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Stalker0

Legend
While 4e as a base doesn't seem like a gritty game, I think its healing mechanics are simple enough to tweak to provide what you want.

Examples:

Healing Surge Adjustment: Players regain healing surges at half the rate, one quarter, etc.

Unconscious equals permanent injury: When a player goes into unconsciousness, his maximum number of healing surges decreases by 1. For every saving throw he fails while unconscious, his maximum decreases by another 1. The character regains one maximum healing surge for every week of bed rest.

Permanent Bloodied: A character that goes unconscious can not be healed above the bloodied limit until he has one full day of bed rest.

The bloodied limit:A character can not use healing surges to heal himself above the bloodied limit. He only regains these hitpoints after a week of bedrest.


These are just a few ideas, and of course tweak the amount of bedrest and healing surge loss to your taste.
 

Irda Ranger

First Post
Stalker0 said:
Healing Surge Adjustment: Players regain healing surges at half the rate, one quarter, etc.

Unconscious equals permanent injury: When a player goes into unconsciousness, his maximum number of healing surges decreases by 1. For every saving throw he fails while unconscious, his maximum decreases by another 1. The character regains one maximum healing surge for every week of bed rest.

Permanent Bloodied: A character that goes unconscious can not be healed above the bloodied limit until he has one full day of bed rest.

The bloodied limit:A character can not use healing surges to heal himself above the bloodied limit. He only regains these hitpoints after a week of bedrest.
For anyone who wants to play a grittier game, these are great ideas. Really nice.

I was also thinking that if you lost all of your Healing Surges in a day you start losing Con. Now that's gritty.

The best part of all these rules is that they are simple and short. You could probably release a fairly complete Grim Tales 4E as a short article in Dragon. Just a couple pages would be all you'd need as long as you were comfortable with using the (tweaked) PHB classes.

We also know that we can strip out the magic items and play a low magic campaign pretty easily too.

I think 4E is going to be more than flexible enough to meet many, many campaign styles.
 

epochrpg

Explorer
The Ubbergeek said:
Powers at will =/= strong

Too much grittyness is bad for a game, I say. It was the problem perhaps, especially older editions.

That's right. A Six-hour extended rest a day makes those 18 hour-old sword blows to the neck that left you at 1hp fade away.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
epochrpg said:
That's right. A Six-hour extended rest a day makes those 18 hour-old sword blows to the neck that left you at 1hp fade away.
Now you're getting it. Wasn't so hard now, was it?
 

Stalker0 said:
While 4e as a base doesn't seem like a gritty game, I think its healing mechanics are simple enough to tweak to provide what you want.

Examples:

Healing Surge Adjustment: Players regain healing surges at half the rate, one quarter, etc.

Unconscious equals permanent injury: When a player goes into unconsciousness, his maximum number of healing surges decreases by 1. For every saving throw he fails while unconscious, his maximum decreases by another 1. The character regains one maximum healing surge for every week of bed rest.

Permanent Bloodied: A character that goes unconscious can not be healed above the bloodied limit until he has one full day of bed rest.

The bloodied limit:A character can not use healing surges to heal himself above the bloodied limit. He only regains these hitpoints after a week of bedrest.


These are just a few ideas, and of course tweak the amount of bedrest and healing surge loss to your taste.
I think "Bloodied" and Healing Surges are both interesting points to adjust "grittiness".

- When a character is bloodied the first time during an encounter, he suffers an injury. Decide what kind of injury, and select some kind of penalty for it (maybe a simple -1 to all defenses or checks), or something like "leg broken - reduce speed by 2 squares" "hand crushed, use with -5 injury penalty".
Magical healing that requires a Healing Surge (either from you or the caster) can heal an injury outright. If you want, the penalty only applies while bloodied (but they stack, so if you have multiple unhealed injuries, being bloodied can hurt a lot.). Otherwise, injuries heal slowly. Maybe use the Saving Throw mechanic - n succesful saves in a row heal the injury. (Saves only once per rest period), or the injury rolls an attack against the characters fortitude defense. n failed attacks mean the injury is healed.

- Healing Surges regenerate slower. 6 hours of rest regenerate 1 surge. A missing Healing Surge represents always an injury that isn't healed yet (consider further penalties for that), unless it was "lost" due to magical powers (Lay on Hands, healing prayers)
 

Derro

First Post
Celebrim said:
As I understand the term, 'gritty' implies 'versimilitude = realism'. That is to say, 'gritty' at least in part is an attempt to emulate something reminescent of the real world or a real historical period, often with the additional assumption that real world myths and legends were real. Hense, common features of 'gritty campaigns' are overt magic is somewhat rare, diseases should be prevelant and feared, injuries require some amount of rest to recover from, filth is common, the natural environment is to be feared and respected, travel is difficult, anachronisms are avoided, and so forth.

Well put.

There's also an element of consequences in grittier gaming that is lacking with what we've seen of 4e. It surprises me somewhat that the Bloodied condition is only a trigger for other special effects. You'd think it would inflict fatigue or something.

I think some manner of wound track a la SWSE would bring the grit into finer focus.

One of the problems with hit points is that it has always been a very binary system. You're up and fighting or you're down and dying. Not gritty. There are variations, 3.x disabled and Diehard come to mind, but the results are pretty much the same.

The abundance of magic at low levels detracts from the grit as well. Not so much that it is there but more that it is there without cost or consequence. The at will/encounter/daily set up is fine for high magic heroics. But it's the default rather than a setting on a scale and it can't do some types of gaming without surgery. Up until now D&D could do that with only a little snip rather than surgery.

And I'm not saying that the system is bad but it does reflect on of the worst qualities of the previous magic system and that is the absolute dependability of the power. Which tends to turn spell-casters into mobile weapons platforms and med-evac units. Not gritty.

I saw two interesting suggestions here re: magic. One was to remove the magic using classes and the other too cross train with the appropriate feats. That sounds intriguing, particularly if you combined the ideas.

It vexes me that with the tiered approach they have taken to advancement they started so far up the ladder. I think that speaks very strongly as what the target market is.
 
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Fallen Seraph

First Post
Well the level is really relative to the monsters. The powers may seem big compared to 3e but the monsters are also more powerful.

I think the magic isn't that bad since, well like you said just use martial characters. As well, I think if you tweaked the magic it won't seem so all powerful, again it is relative to what monsters are like now.
 

Will

First Post
It's not really the power of magic so much a matter of fluff and descriptive element.

There's a flavor difference between someone punching a boulder and splitting it, and a wizard intoning shuddering words of power and splitting a boulder.

Power level is a separate topic.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Doug McCrae said:
It means the PCs can't do anything. DMs love it.

Oku said:
And many players love it as well.

Beyond an exercise in masochism, how is it fun to play in a game where you are unable to actually affect the game world? You must run from any encounter that could even remotely be dangerous. You've been adventuring for 6 years and only found a cloak that protects from supercold temps and a dagger that tells due north on command. Wolves are not only a challenge, but a TPK in waiting. You don't remember the last time your PC was at full hp. Great fun.

Now, I can enjoy a grim game (like Ravenloft) or one with a fine-grit sandpaper (Dark Sun) but most GnG games I see mentioned sound more like playing Poker with only 3 card hands and the house has 6.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Remathilis said:
Beyond an exercise in masochism, how is it fun to play in a game where you are unable to actually affect the game world? You must run from any encounter that could even remotely be dangerous. You've been adventuring for 6 years and only found a cloak that protects from supercold temps and a dagger that tells due north on command. Wolves are not only a challenge, but a TPK in waiting. You don't remember the last time your PC was at full hp. Great fun.

And this little exercise in ego stroking is supposed to prove what? That anyone that disagrees with you is an idiot because you can invent wild exaggerations and paint negative sterotypes?

There is no point in arguing anything with you. All I'll say is that I strive to be the DM that I want to have when I'm a player.
 

HeinorNY

First Post
Stalker0 said:
While 4e as a base doesn't seem like a gritty game, I think its healing mechanics are simple enough to tweak to provide what you want.
Not only healing mechanics but the whole system has a lot of 'dials'.
Just tune some dials down to Gritty level.
Tune the Magical Math dial to Low-magic level.
Tune the Tier dial to Heroic for a low-fantasy game (AKA E10 :p).

I think it will be deliciously easy to do.

I can't wait to see some 4E 'Mods' on the House Rules forum after June :)
 

Zulgyan

First Post
The stupid DM vs. Players paradigm does not exist in my world.

Grim n' Gritty is also meant to be fun. The DM makes a fun adventure. Harder, but fun too. He's not out there to outright kill PCs.

Many players out there enjoy gritty style of play. And many who don't play D&D, for not finding it gritty enough.

3E is not gritty at all IMHO.
 

FourthBear

First Post
I think that for the "zero to hero" stuff, it would be best to keep the character generation rules, but reduce healing surges and powers available. Then parcel out the powers and healing surges as you progress. Something kind of like the module Treasure Hunt. Your characters might start with the skills and hit points, but with only basic attacks or cantrips, wouldn't feel too far from a zero.
 

Fallen Seraph

First Post
FourthBear said:
I think that for the "zero to hero" stuff, it would be best to keep the character generation rules, but reduce healing surges and powers available. Then parcel out the powers and healing surges as you progress. Something kind of like the module Treasure Hunt. Your characters might start with the skills and hit points, but with only basic attacks or cantrips, wouldn't feel too far from a zero.

I actually plan on doing that for my game, through the first couple sessions (the first being where they pick up basic things like for example, Rogue would pick up his sneak attack) I am going to build them up, using gameplay that makes sense for them to figure out different ways to survive.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
If I wanted to run a "gritty" 4e game, I think I'd mainly reign in some race and classes.

e.g. limit classes to fighter, rogue, warlord, ranger (the martial power sources)

Remove Eladrin (with their overtly magical fey step) and any other race that has something too overtly magical about them.

I imagine that I could run a fun, effective game with those restrictions much more easily and with much more variety than if I tried to just use non-magical classes in 3e (fighter/rogue/barbarian?); they won't die for lack of a cleric to heal them because a certain amount of rallying themselves is possible; there are no magic laser beams flying around etc.

I don't find the healing rate an issue with regards to grittyness; if I did I could just reduce the recovery rate of healing surges, as others have suggested.

Cheers
 

Lord Zardoz

Explorer
Cyronax said:
Having played a lot of different encounters in 4e at the D&D XP over the weekend, I will say that the grittiness is what you make of it.

I think that grittiness in game terms refers to the feeling of being up against the edge of defeat without being pushed over. Stylistically it would seem to indicate something like having 9 arrows and 7 enemies to kill while being on the run while bleeding from a wound to your shoulder.

It would seem that based on playtest reports that the mechanical aspects do not lend themselves a whole lot to gritty gameplay. You can surely have your ass handed to you in a fight. But there may not be a whole lot of middle ground between being perfectly healthy and dead outside of a fight. Taking a severe beating in the first fight of the day may not reflect its self on the next fight if you have your per encounter abilities back and your hitpoints were mostly recovered. It may even strain your suspension of disbelief if you have had 4 such fights that day and your still in pretty good shape for the 5th.

In 3rd edition if you just barely made it out of one fight, the next fight would probably wipe you out. You could be put on the run, forced to go to ground to recover. You might be inclined to try a stealth approach if your cleric had only a few healing spells left, and the party Barbarian had only 1 or 2 more rages left for the day.

But then again, grit is typically overcome by the use of a 15 minute adventuring day. Why press onward if you could just bugger off, take an 8 hour nap, and have at it again fresh?

In 3rd edition, those who advocate gritty also seem to dislike having to manage overcomplicated high level play for whatever reason. I think you can recapture gritty in 4th edition by changing your thinking a bit. Start enforcing ammo counts on your archers, and break out Sunder / Disarm type maneuvers. You can create a new type of grit by having your opponents fall back and come at the players again, going for an ongoing game of cat and mouse.

END COMMUNICATION
 

RandomCitizenX

First Post
Plane Sailing said:
If I wanted to run a "gritty" 4e game, I think I'd mainly reign in some race and classes.

e.g. limit classes to fighter, rogue, warlord, ranger (the martial power sources)

Remove Eladrin (with their overtly magical fey step) and any other race that has something too overtly magical about them.

I imagine that I could run a fun, effective game with those restrictions much more easily and with much more variety than if I tried to just use non-magical classes in 3e (fighter/rogue/barbarian?); they won't die for lack of a cleric to heal them because a certain amount of rallying themselves is possible; there are no magic laser beams flying around etc.

I don't find the healing rate an issue with regards to grittyness; if I did I could just reduce the recovery rate of healing surges, as others have suggested.

Cheers

This is my take on it. Grittyness doesn't need to be characters dropping dead just from thinking about fighting a monster. For me gritty is all about the stylistic choices you make when you are creating your setting.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Personally, I feel that grittiness is all about atmosphere and DM style, and not about nerfing PCs or low magic gaming. I love gritty gaming. But I will NEVER play Warhammer after having tried it once.

If Yoda was giving advice to Luke on gritty gaming, the conversation would be something like this:

Luke: So nerfing PCs and lowering the magic level is the best way to make a game "gritty"?
Yoda: No, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

The core essence of "grittiness" is two-fold. It is threat of death, and the remoteness of victory. Not no chance of victory, but victory should seem almost but not quite out of reach. And certainly not attainable without sacrifice. And that sacrifice can come in story form.

The grittiest game I ever played in was a 40th level epic 3.0 game. That's right, a 40th level Epic D&D game. That game was both grittier and more fun than the one experience I had playing Warhammer. It was all about the DM.

That game oozed darkness and atmosphere. The PCs were not nerfed in any way, we had our full complement of magical items, etc. No house rules against the PCs.

However, D&D as written doesn't really lend itself well to gritty gaming, so one of the big mechanical changes the DM did was to make our opponents tough, and unrelentless. The game was very fantastical and epic in all areas, but it was very dark and grim as well.

Our party was part of an elite strike force making commando raids against a mountain fortress in a kingdom ruled by an ancient vampire lord. This guy had legions of tens of thousands of beastmen, platoons of giants, badass high level vampire lieutenants, etc. For all our power, we never once felt like superheroes. When every giant you encounter has 20 levels of Fighter and when Winter Wights attack you in groups, you feel very mortal.

Sure, I had all the options of a 40th level character, but yet it was a constant brutal battle for survival against overwhelming odds. The Warhammer game I played had the same constant brutal battle against overwhelming odds, but far more restrictions on my character, and far fewer options in a fight. One game was fun, the other was not. One game was over the top and fantastic, the other was "realistic". But as far as grittiness goes, the "realistic" game had nothing over the epic game. At least in my opinion.
 

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