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Azzy

KMF DM
I wonder if it is a country issue (I am from Germany). Also while I was playing D&D 1st edition as a kid, my "RPG-growingup-phase" was with the german game-system Midgard which uses very "story-based" adventures (though definitely not a storytelling-system).

I think it's probably less of a country issue as opposed to what game system(s) that influenced one (or one favors). Of course, nationality probably plays a part inasmuch as what the most prevalent RPGs in the region are. This is also likely influenced by language—I'm guessing that non-English nations are more likely to have home-grown RPGs more popular than those translated from a foreign language (I've heard some translations of American RPGs in other nations have been considered quite dubious—and often unintentionally humorous—by their intended audience).

Personally, while I kinda like random tables, I could take 'em or leave 'em. To me, they're a useful tool (especially in a pinch), but not a necessity.
 

MagicSN

First Post
I'm guessing that non-English nations are more likely to have home-grown RPGs more popular than those translated from a foreign language

Midgard is actually not a homegrown RPG system and nearly as old as D&D ^^ I think it is 7 years younger if I remember right. It's current in it's 5th edition (though it did not "age well", in my opinion, it is still too much 80s style in some parts). It actually as D&D (which was successor to a miniature game called Chainmail) also a successor of a miniature game. The funny thing is the miniature game Midgard was based on is 3 years older than Chainmail and different to Chainmail had already a Fantasy Campaignworld ;-)

But I think you are right, that game systems might play a role. Also maybe if DMs used printed adventures (we only rarely did, or if then they were like the Midgard ones... As to D&D modules, the one which looks closest to a typical Midgard module would probably be Murder at Baldur's Gate (which is in this part even better than most Midgard Modules I would say - I really like that one ;-))
 

MagicSN

First Post
Me to mostly. By "planned encounters" I mean NPCs and monsters I know in x area are doing y things, etc.

Funny, it was 4e that taught me to open up and be more improvisational. Which gave me the confidence to use random encounters.

Ah I see. But maybe it would be an idea to make up a new thread as we deviated a lot?

4e taught you that? In the way that you did so in 4e, or in the way that you saw the issue in 4e's "way of doing" more clearly?

For ourselves we switched to 4e from Midgard after we had issues with our old game system to 4e. It came out the result was even worse (the game made balance between true roleplayers and powergamers - and we had both - too problematic, and it relied too much on having many - long - combats per session to draw out powerful dailies which could trivialize encounters) - so we switched to 5e once available.

As to the influences for me - for one it is printed Adventures of Midgard, then years of self-invented city-adventures from my little brother (his style is a bit like Murder in Baldur's Gate, but even better) and in later times probably also the book "Gamemastering" of Brian Jamison as well as some other sources "along the same ideas".

Probably the bottom line how we handle encounters is that every encounter (in our style) should have a open conflict/question ASIDES from "will the characters survive?" Often Encounters include things to be done asides from the "pure combat mechanics" (though not every encounter does this, but the more interesting ones).
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Midgard is actually not a homegrown RPG system and nearly as old as D&D

By "homegrown", I simply meant in the sense of originating in one's own nation (D&D, by this metric, would be homegrown to the US, while the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG would be homegrown for England, etc.).
 

dave2008

Legend
4e taught you that? In the way that you did so in 4e, or in the way that you saw the issue in 4e's "way of doing" more clearly?

4e taught me that. As a DM 4e was so easy to run (and the DMG 42 tables) it was easy for me to improvise with confidence. Maybe the balance of the system had something to do with that, but I never really thought about it (never had balance issues running 1e previous to 4e).

I became so at ease with a system we ran an adventure where we improvised almost everything. We used pregen characters, but with no "powers" and my players just told me what they wanted to do and I just adjudicated it, and I just made up monsters on the fly. I would have never don't that before 4e.

However, I think we ran 4e different than others as we never head an issue with long boring fights. In fact, the tactically nature of 4e made it possible to have long exciting fights in a way we never had before (being trying to bring that aspect into my 5e game), and most of our other fights were quick and dirty (2-3 rounds).


Ah I see. But maybe it would be an idea to make up a new thread as we deviated a lot?

Maybe, but I don't really have any more to say (I don't think).
 

MagicSN

First Post
4e taught me that. As a DM 4e was so easy to run (and the DMG 42 tables) it was easy for me to improvise with confidence. Maybe the balance of the system had something to do with that, but I never really thought about it (never had balance issues running 1e previous to 4e).

Yeah, probably D&D was always better there than Midgard (though Midgard is also a nice system, and I like the campaign where nearly all countries are based on "historical/legendary equvalents" - prevents the "standard fantasy country" issue many gameworlds have) ;-)

I became so at ease with a system we ran an adventure where we improvised almost everything. We used pregen characters, but with no "powers" and my players just told me what they wanted to do and I just adjudicated it, and I just made up monsters on the fly. I would have never don't that before 4e.

How do you mean, without powers? Improvising everything is of course the way to go, but it sort of contradicts with 4e, as in 4e it is a bit "unfair" if you let for example let someone disarm an enemy based on a improvised action while another character has a "disarm power" - so he "sacrificed" something to be able to disarm people and now the other guy "gets it for free". That's one of the big issues we had with 4e at the end, the other two being that you had to have a lot of fights to "draw out the dailies" so that you in the end get a fight which cannot be "won by daily power". The third thing is it is so balanced most classes feel the same - it is very video-game'y.

However, I think we ran 4e different than others as we never head an issue with long boring fights. In fact, the tactically nature of 4e made it possible

I'd guess so. What you mentioned about "no powers" might have been the key?

to have long exciting fights in a way we never had before (being trying to bring that aspect into my 5e game), and most of our other fights were quick and dirty (2-3 rounds).

Yes, the fights were sort of epic, I admit that. But they went so long in higher levels. We usually play 6-8 hours per session, and at least 2/3 of this is "pure RP" (not fighting), this was no longer possible with L9+ in 4e. It ended with 2/3 of the time spent in fights.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
How do you mean, without powers? Improvising everything is of course the way to go, but it sort of contradicts with 4e, as in 4e it is a bit "unfair" if you let for example let someone disarm an enemy based on a improvised action while another character has a "disarm power" - so he "sacrificed" something to be able to disarm people and now the other guy "gets it for free".
This has always been weird to me. Is it unfair to give the fighter a torch and tinderbox while another character has the Produce Flame Cantrip? They do the same thing, but the wizard “sacrificed” something to get his power and the fighter “got it for free.”

That's one of the big issues we had with 4e at the end, the other two being that you had to have a lot of fights to "draw out the dailies" so that you in the end get a fight which cannot be "won by daily power".
Grinding down the party’s resources over the course of the adventuring day is how every Edition has worked. Only difference is it isn’t just the wizard with daily resources in 4e.

The third thing is it is so balanced most classes feel the same - it is very video-game'y.
This is mostly a matter of individual perspective. The classes in 4e certainly don’t all behave the same. Some people found they felt the same nonetheless. I blame the uniform power structure. Essentials helped alleviate this a great deal, but sadly it was too little too late for a lot of folks.
 

dave2008

Legend
Damn, here I go again ;)

How do you mean, without powers? Improvising everything is of course the way to go, but it sort of contradicts with 4e, as in 4e it is a bit "unfair" if you let for example let someone disarm an enemy based on a improvised action while another character has a "disarm power" - so he "sacrificed" something to be able to disarm people and now the other guy "gets it for free".

We just didn't use the prayers, exlpoits, and spells from the books - we just made them up. If the wizard wanted to cast a spell, I would ask them to describe the intent and then determine if that qualified as an at-will, encounter, daily; and damage, if any, and whether or not they needed to make a check or attack roll (or both) etc. Same with the fighter, ranger, and rogue. No issues with fairness at all.


That's one of the big issues we had with 4e at the end, the other two being that you had to have a lot of fights to "draw out the dailies" so that you in the end get a fight which cannot be "won by daily power". The third thing is it is so balanced most classes feel the same - it is very video-game'y.

We never had an issue with daily powers so I'm not sure what your talking about.
Only DM'ed, but I never noticed anyone having an issue with sameness, of course we (at least most of us) don't really play video games so I may not understand where you're coming from.

I'd guess so. What you mentioned about "no powers" might have been the key?

We only did that once. I was just using that example to highlight the fact that 4e helped me as a DM become comfortable with improvising, randomness, and generally letting go of control. Ultimately my players preferred have set "powers" but they did improvise more after that.


Yes, the fights were sort of epic, I admit that. But they went so long in higher levels. We usually play 6-8 hours per session, and at least 2/3 of this is "pure RP" (not fighting), this was no longer possible with L9+ in 4e. It ended with 2/3 of the time spent in fights.

It comes down to encounter construction. We could get through 4-6 combat encounters + investigation + exploration in a 6 hour session if we needed too. However, I only ran a few epic level encounters. Though I remember still being able to get about 4+ combats in a 6 hour session (but that was pretty combat heavy)
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip
This is mostly a matter of individual perspective. The classes in 4e certainly don’t all behave the same. Some people found they felt the same nonetheless. I blame the uniform power structure. Essentials helped alleviate this a great deal, but sadly it was too little too late for a lot of folks.

I've always said that the biggest issue with 4e was presentation. I mean, we've got an edition now where every caster works the same way (barring warlocks) and all the fighter types work on a very similar chasis. But, because of presentation, the whole "samey" thing never gets brought up. Realistically, other than specific spells, what's the difference between a cleric and a wizard? Or a fighter and a paladin? It's not like classes need unique mechanics to feel different.

Presentation is everything.
 

pemerton

Legend
That's one of the big issues we had with 4e at the end, the other two being that you had to have a lot of fights to "draw out the dailies" so that you in the end get a fight which cannot be "won by daily power". The third thing is it is so balanced most classes feel the same
We never had an issue with daily powers so I'm not sure what your talking about.
Only DM'ed, but I never noticed anyone having an issue with sameness
Grinding down the party’s resources over the course of the adventuring day is how every Edition has worked. Only difference is it isn’t just the wizard with daily resources in 4e.
For what it's worth, my 4e experience is like dave2008's. The "sameness" thing has been a non-issue (our focus is on effects, not recovery times). And at least on the GM side I've never had an issue with daily powers, nor with "grinding down". I guess my players worry about their resource management, but I don't, except that when they're completely out of juice I might dial back a bit, or start to be more lenient about the prospects of getting an extended rest.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
So, I missed when the UA originally came out, so perhaps this was discussed elsewhere and I'm just missing it.

However, after reading this thread and this UA... what are people seeing in this that is leading to such a generally good response?

In terms of "things I'd like to see in the future" exploration and wilderness rules are definitely up there, but that isn't exactly what I'm seeing here.

The "rules" presented here are:
1) Choose a place to go -> Is this a step we really need to figure out, I mean, this is painfully obvious in a way
2) Roll Survival versus a DC -> Yes... this was already how it worked right? If there was going to be a roll to see if people got lost, it would be a survival roll, since survival is tracking and navigating in the wilderness. I guess having a more codified set of DC's is sort of helpful, but giving me a list of DCs a new set of rules does not make
3) Do the things in the PHB, with the added table of potentially being lost by 2d6 miles -> So... people who fail the check could get lost. Yes, this is a thing I already knew, sort of implied by the idea of failing the check involving finding the place you are going.

Then some of the rest of it is things like "You should determine what kinds of terrain are in an area" or "You should determine what kind of creatures and monsters are in the area"

Well, again, this sort of thing is a bit self-obvious isn't it? I don't think many DMs decide that there are "Dangerous and Dark woods" to the west and then never consider what it is that is inside them that makes them "dangerous" to the players.


So... where are the rule ideas here that everyone is liking? As far as I can tell, there is nothing here except a standardized DC chart and the idea of 2d6 miles of being lost. Even the idea of regional effects, while implemented in a cool way for those moon hills, isn't even something new. We've seen those sort of rules for planar locations and legendary monster effects, the hills are even explicitly connected to three different planes of existence, so a forest or set of hills without that influence wouldn't have them, and we have no idea on what kinds of regional effects would be appropriate.


I get it, if it is simply "I appreciate they are looking at rules for exploration, because that is an area under-explored by WoTC", but... couldn't we get some actual rules and guidelines?
 

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