D&D 5E I want a return to long duration spells in D&D Next.

Li Shenron

Legend
Oh, and 4e has the condition track for long term matters - you could do an excellent geas on the condition track.

Umm, you do realize that 4e has curse mechanics for long duration curses right?

Never mind that the disease condition track mechanics make this sort of thing surprisingly easy to do. It's not like this is a terribly hard thing to add into 4e.

OK, so you want long term conditions - like petrification, disease and so on. That is something I would expect to (still) be there.

I don't know those mechanics because I don't play 4e. I realize that the OP started the thread as a sort of criticism against 4e, but I all have been saying is what I want from 5e. I assumed that the OP write correctly about 4e missing something, but it doesn't matter to me.

If those mechanics are good enough then they can just port them to 5e. For curses it is important IMO that the magic remains, now technically I don't bother if it is the spell having a long duration or it is instantaneous but the effect lingers on.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

And the main point of D&D compared to Chainmail is that it always had ambitions to be more than just a combat game. Unfortunately, those were ambitions that the game started backpedaling away from in 3.5 and made worse in 4e in the name of combat balance. A poor trade.

Please! D&D always had ambitions to be more than just a combat game. And in 1974 that was genius. But it was barely prepared to take the necessary steps to follow through on those ambitions. The thief skills were hacked on the side in 1E. Again this was groundbreaking. But until 2000 it never actually went with much more than ambitions and sticking bits on the side.

2e had pure hackwork for the NWPs. An ugly kludge saying "Maybe PCs should be able to do things other than straight stat rolls".

3.0 at least had a coherent and consistent skill system for resolving out of combat activities. Games like WFRP and GURPS had been doing this since the mid 80s.

4e in addition to an integrated (and effectively capped) skill system had scene framing, explicit non-combat XP rewards, a level of meta-resource control, and a near end to magic being an "I win" button. I'd therefore rank it as early 21st Century level design for non-combat. Not a briliant example of such design but that's where they were aiming.
 

pemerton

Legend
See, this just reinforces my impression that 4e is a glorified combat engine. If the game's mechanics just emphasize combat time durations rather than non-combat encounter variabilities, then I think it gives up too much ground on its scope of play.
Why would you assume that "encounter" equates to combat? Since at least the AD&D PHB it has been clear that "encounter" doesn't mean combat. In 4e, encounter simply means "challenge" ie situation fraught with antagonism.

a duration of "encounter" might mean my spell lasted 2 minutes, or two hours depending on the length of the combat
Spells with durations of "encounter" can lead to situations like:
"Bob, grapple that ogre for a while, don't kill him. I need to climb this wall, and my spider climb spell only lasts for an encounter."
Ditto. You seem to be assuming that encounters and challenges are, per se, combat. 4e makes no such assumption (see PHB p 259).

As for the issue of differing spell lengths, what problem will that cause?

I wasn't picking on 4e, though, just durations of encounter in general.
Just out of curiosity, which game have you had this problem with?

Bookkeeping the time down to the minute is about the single thing least likely to encourage non-combat play that I can think of. What does encourage it is a robust and flexible scene resolution system.
I agree with this. Pedantic duration-tracking is the enemy of tight scene-framing, and tight scene-framing is the friend of robust action resolution (both in and out of combat).
 

See, this just reinforces my impression that 4e is a glorified combat engine. If the game's mechanics just emphasize combat time durations rather than non-combat encounter variabilities, then I think it gives up too much ground on its scope of play. 3.5 was already moving in this direction to the point that I shouldn't have been surprised that 4e went even farther, but I wasn't in favor of it then and I'm not in favor of it now.

Outside of expressing agreement with Hussar, Neonchameleon, and pemerton on all the fine former posts (regarding the elegance of 4e tracks and its applications and the mechanics of 4e encounters in general and in regards to durations specifically), as I cannot XP them, I wanted to address this zombified non-sequitur that keeps resurrecting itself.

Just because a specific interface of a program, or a specific cog of a machine, or a specific mechanic within a rules system is tightly quality-controlled and provides depth of experience (in this case dynamism generally and tactical depth specifically), does not mean that the effort/time spent/attention to detail in deriving the program, machine, rules system was mutually exclusive to that interface, cog, mechanic. There is this unsupported assumption that there is some kind of anarchic, zero-sum allocation of time/effort within an engineering project (this one specifically) rather than a composed, coherent, compartmentalized focus on each moving part. You can have an engineering project that aims for multiple, disparate or synergized design metrics. That engineering project can meet some or all of them with flying colors.

- The fact that, to those who advocate it, the 4e combat system has embedded dynamism (from a PC-build and DM encounter-build standpoint) and tactical depth says nothing about the quality of the rest of the system's components nor is it specific evidence supporting a hypothesis of designer indifference in effort or time spent with regards to the rest of the system's components.
- 4e advocates find many aspects of the game - unrelated to the combat system - of equal value to its combat system. Among them are:

1) Its elegance, coherency and efficiency in prep and play.
2) Its ability to broadly create PC archetypes and how their mechanics are expressed symmetrically within the fiction.
3) Its Ritual System.
4) Its Skill Challenge System (conflict resolution).
5) Its Skill System (task resolution).
6) Its Track System (Disease, Environmental, etc)
7) Its Hazard System
8) Generally, its marriage of meta-game and narrative components that, for the first time in DnD history, allow for groups who appreciate that style of play to consistently render the genre relevant fiction they seek.

Its well understood that you do not like 4e and that you want to dismiss it as a Tactical Skirmish Game. I don't know why you, and others, insist on reminding 4e advocates this over and over and over again. 4e advocates do not agree with you, you will not convince them of your zero-sum theory nor will you convince them that they are mistaken on the above 1-8 (some advocates my like some of those less than others). You do not make compelling arguments sufficient to persuade them and all you are doing is "preaching to the converted." Its pointlessly, redundantly provocative.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
- 4e advocates find many aspects of the game - unrelated to the combat system - of equal value to its combat system. Among them are:

1) Its elegance, coherency and efficiency in prep and play.
2) Its ability to broadly create PC archetypes and how their mechanics are expressed symmetrically within the fiction.
3) Its Ritual System.
4) Its Skill Challenge System (conflict resolution).
5) Its Skill System (task resolution).
6) Its Track System (Disease, Environmental, etc)
7) Its Hazard System
8) Generally, its marriage of meta-game and narrative components that, for the first time in DnD history, allow for groups who appreciate that style of play to consistently render the genre relevant fiction they seek.

Its well understood that you do not like 4e and that you want to dismiss it as a Tactical Skirmish Game. I don't know why you, and others, insist on reminding 4e advocates this over and over and over again. 4e advocates do not agree with you, you will not convince them of your zero-sum theory nor will you convince them that they are mistaken on the above 1-8 (some advocates my like some of those less than others). You do not make compelling arguments sufficient to persuade them and all you are doing is "preaching to the converted." Its pointlessly, redundantly provocative.

And 4e critics find that many of those elements detract from the D&D experience by taking a more open-ended, interpretive game and forcing it into overly gamist structures, losing a lot of its spirit and charm. I'm afraid you're going to have to continue to put up with our opinions as much as we are going to have to put up with yours.
 

I'm going to save us both the trouble in the future by not responding to your statements like the above billd91. My post was a focused, specific rejoinder of the non-sequitur that 4e is nothing more than a Tactical Skirmish Game. More importantly, even if not objectively so, it is subjectively so to the folks who advocate that position and have an extremely enjoyable time playing the system. Nowhere in my post did I say or imply that you cannot be critical of 4e. In fact, constructive, well-articulated criticism (subjective or objective) of 4e is quite helpful. I've seen many articulate very useful information to that end (yourself among them). If you want to convince 4e advocates of the "Tactical Skirmish Game Hypothesis", you have to make a compelling argument that provides evidence for the "zero-sum" engineering effort hypothesis and also convince 4e advocates that the fun that they are having (which they affirm is related to the other mechanical elements of the system) is an illusion or a product of circumstance rather than a derivative of the system interfacing with their preferences.

Presumably, when you are in a dialogue with others or posting on an internet message board of various tastes/preferences, some of which are diametrically opposed to your own, you are attempting more than mere, shallow "preaching to the choir/converted." In a specific forum dedicated to facilitating the next edition, finding possible areas of compromise and where compromise cannot be found, possible workarounds via modules, how are non-compelling (to the non-converted), seemingly gratuitous, incendiary, shallow provocations such as "4e is little (nothing?) more than a Tactical Skirmish Game" helpful to the end outlined above? Advocates have said, dozens and dozens of times over, that they do not agree with you (and there are dozens and dozens of posts why). The only end I see it helpful to serving is the "high-fiving or chest-bumping the choir/converted" end.

I'm genuinely curious, why do you post that? What end does it serve for you (and others)? If its not gratuitous provocation, what is it? Is it truly another attempt to convince the non-converted without addressing the requisite means to compel them? Is it somehow cathartic?
 
Last edited:

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I don't really care how much fun people are having with 4e. If they're having fun with it, that's entirely their business. But in discussions about where we want D&D to go in the future, looking at 4e and where it loses a number of players brings us to a variety of impressions that 4e fans may not agree with or like. Many of these we've hashed over on the boards before but, since you're relatively new, we can certainly rehash.

4e and the general drift toward short encounter/combat-based times in 3.5 reduce the scope of things characters do in the game in part because it reduces the scope of their focus on what the PCs are doing in the story to a very narrow band. That may be done for combat balance purposes (there's that impression it's a combat game again), but ultimately it's myopic.

Example: When invisibility got its duration reduced in 3.5 to 1 minute/level, it had already lost most of its utility. Players were no longer thinking of using it for long-term reconnaissance or spying - it had become a combat time spell. 4e made it even worse since its duration is for a turn (unless they've changed that from my printed copy). Nobody's thinking in terms of "This effect lasts 40 minutes - what can I get done in that time?" It's now "What can I do this encounter?" If everything is short term tactical in scope, who's playing the strategic long game?
 

herrozerro

First Post
I don't really care how much fun people are having with 4e. If they're having fun with it, that's entirely their business. But in discussions about where we want D&D to go in the future, looking at 4e and where it loses a number of players brings us to a variety of impressions that 4e fans may not agree with or like. Many of these we've hashed over on the boards before but, since you're relatively new, we can certainly rehash.

4e and the general drift toward short encounter/combat-based times in 3.5 reduce the scope of things characters do in the game in part because it reduces the scope of their focus on what the PCs are doing in the story to a very narrow band. That may be done for combat balance purposes (there's that impression it's a combat game again), but ultimately it's myopic.

Example: When invisibility got its duration reduced in 3.5 to 1 minute/level, it had already lost most of its utility. Players were no longer thinking of using it for long-term reconnaissance or spying - it had become a combat time spell. 4e made it even worse since its duration is for a turn (unless they've changed that from my printed copy). Nobody's thinking in terms of "This effect lasts 40 minutes - what can I get done in that time?" It's now "What can I do this encounter?" If everything is short term tactical in scope, who's playing the strategic long game?

At least in my game combat spells that a player might want to use in a long term manner we just treat as a ritual of the same level. Component cost and all.

Everybody wins, even martial types, if they have some kind of utility or other power that can be applicable we turn it into a martial practice.

Now its not an official rule but it works.
 

Example: When invisibility got its duration reduced in 3.5 to 1 minute/level, it had already lost most of its utility. Players were no longer thinking of using it for long-term reconnaissance or spying - it had become a combat time spell.

I have a mind that Invisibility, and spells of similar potency, should be of a relatively short duration in order to lend weight to the skill of stealth (hide/move silent in 3rd Ed), rather than another means for casters to trump non-casters. Having a powerful spell effect last for a very limited amount of time renders it, to my impression of how magic should work, as more of a unique display of the arcane (or divine as may be), rather than a bland overarching utilitarian crux.

If you want a long term magic, apply rituals, as has been argued above, that way there is a more reasonable cost and casting time invested to, gasp, balance its power, rather than a reflexive action that overshadows skill, both in and out of combat.
 
Last edited:

JRRNeiklot

First Post
My response would be, "so?" Why does it matter? Who cares if you spell lasted 2 minutes or two hours? It's all one "encounter", so, other than bean counters, what difference does it make?

Matters a lot if I want to invisibly sneak into town or draw guards away with an illusion. 2 minutes might be fine for combat, but for anything else it's barely above useless.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top