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D&D 4E Is there a "Cliffs Notes" summary of the entire 4E experience?

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Easier to adjudicate than that though using the rules. The hinges are small tiny metal therefore have 15 hp. Hit the AC 8 10 and if you do 15 hp, the hinge is slag.

Well, the RAW Damage to Objects rules assume they're destroyed and/or rendered useless.

Rules Compendium page 176 among other sources

An object reduced to 0 hit points is destroyed or otherwise rendered useless. At the DM’s discretion, the object might remain more or less whole, but its functionality is ruined—a door knocked from its hinges or a clockwork mechanism broken internally, for instance.

I suppose if you want to extend the rules of taking NPCs to 0 HP (eg you can make them unconscious rather than dead/destroyed) to objects and then negotiate the potential of their new state on their environment (process-like) and its derivative effect (eg door is welded shut and impassable - save ends), you could absolutely run it that way.

I wouldn't see a problem with that. Its just not the classical way to do it in 4e, but it certainly gives folks who are after process a way to handle things. If I was after process, I would make them roll an Arcana (for process purposes) as well to control the flames and get the temperature high enough to produce the results. The default temps of something like Burning Hands (process-wise) would be insufficient to weld/fuse.

EDIT - I typed balance, I meant process.
 
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Nagol

Unimportant
Well, the RAW Damage to Objects rules assume they're destroyed and/or rendered useless.



I suppose if you want to extend the rules of taking NPCs to 0 HP (eg you can make them unconscious rather than dead/destroyed) to objects and then negotiate the potential of their new state on their environment (process-like) and its derivative effect (eg door is welded shut and impassable - save ends), you could absolutely run it that way.

I wouldn't see a problem with that. Its just not the classical way to do it in 4e, but it certainly gives folks who are after process a way to handle things. If I was after process, I would make them roll an Arcana (for balance purposes) as well to control the flames and get the temperature high enough to produce the results.

You are rendering the object useless -- the hinge doesn't work any more; therefore it won't lever the door. You haven't destroyed the door that would take WAY more power (a lot more hp). If the critters in question can shift the vault door without it being on hinges, I suspect any form of spot welding would be toast anyway; those things are heavy.
 

You are rendering the object useless -- the hinge doesn't work any more; therefore it won't lever the door. You haven't destroyed the door that would take WAY more power (a lot more hp). If the critters in question can shift the vault door without it being on hinges, I suspect any form of spot welding would be toast anyway; those things are heavy.

I agree that, from a process-perspective, it is very likely not tenable. From a process simulation perspective, I think the "destroyed" tag and the "just friggin hinges" tag is probably at least a bit adversarial to an interpretation of "but can serve as a means for welding the door shut in a few short moments of Burning Hands application." Perhaps if you passed an Arcana check that would let Burning Hands instantaneously achieve the temps required for nuclear fusion, the "destroyed" and "just friggin hinges" tags would be rendered obsolete.

Interestingly enough, this could be a 5e thread! I think we've inadvertently stumbled upon the reason why process-based rulings (!) not exception-based, abstract rules are problematic at the table!
 

Derren

Hero
Preference for a "rules say how a thing acts" paradigm rather than "rules say what the outcome is" paradigm is essentially a preference for negotiation and personal world models determining outcomes rather than the rules. There is nothing essentially wrong with that, but let's be clear what it is. This feeds straight back to what [MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION] was saying about engaging the rules being playing the game rather than engaging the rules being an (optional) addendum to playing the game. If the real determinant of outcome is discussion and negotiation then rules are really rather secondary.

I disagree that in this case the rules become secondary, they just focus on different aspects of the game.
Instead of detailing the outcomes, stun for 1 round, move an enemy 2 squares and so on, the rules describe the tools. Make someone hallucinate for 6 seconds, make yourself look more imposing, etc. In the latter case some guidelines about what results actions can have in the world are also required, but you would not have a "If X Y happens" or even "You can do Y, no matter the X" relation. Instead you have "You can do Y which might result in X or Z or something else depending on the situation".
 

Nagol

Unimportant
I agree that, from a process-perspective, it is very likely not tenable. From a process simulation perspective, I think the "destroyed" tag and the "just friggin hinges" tag is probably at least a bit adversarial to an interpretation of "but can serve as a means for welding the door shut in a few short moments of Burning Hands application." Perhaps if you passed an Arcana check that would let Burning Hands instantaneously achieve the temps required for nuclear fusion, the "destroyed" and "just friggin hinges" tags would be rendered obsolete.

Interestingly enough, this could be a 5e thread! I think we've inadvertently stumbled upon the reason why process-based rulings (!) not exception-based, abstract rules are problematic at the table!

You... getting all realistic at me!

It's not my fault the game system has no system for reducing damage to objects based on how hard the material is; let's call it Hardness nor adjusts the amount of damage meaningfully based on damage type and material. The rules at the table say a tiny steel object is destroyed by 15 hp damage. The size guidelines indicate hinges -- even those on a vault -- count as tiny (a chest is the next category up). I'm pretty sure the effect produced by the Wizard inflicts that much. If not I might allow an Arcana check to turn the AoE into a tight arc and up the damage another [W] (or whatever Wizards use in its place).

No need to use the stunting rules when perfectly viable specific rules are available.
 

Kraztur

First Post
Interestingly enough, this could be a 5e thread! I think we've inadvertently stumbled upon the reason why process-based rulings (!) not exception-based, abstract rules are problematic at the table!
When I read this, the first thought that popped into my head is that this "problem" at my table is an acceptable and perhaps even appreciated side-effect of a culture of freedom rather than a benevolent dictatorship (the culture incentivized by the system, not the hand of the DM which could go either way). Is that bad? It also reminds me where they say "Welcome to rulings, not rules" in the "Rules Discussion: Somatic Components and Restrained" thread, which got messy adjucating if a wizard could cast spells while stuck in a web.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Demand for caster supremacy noted.

Waitaminit. 2nd demand for Caster Supremacy aside,

3rd demand for Caster Supremacy noted.

I've been a rogue player for decades (my user name is my favorite thief PC). I've NEVER liked that magic could usurp rogue skills cheaply and more effectively. I've always hated a wizard with knock and invisibility makes a chump of a rogue. DO NOT accuse me of caster-supremacy.

That said, there are certain things that should be the pervue of magic: controlling other creature's minds is one of them. Its the oldest magical effect in the book. I don't think fighter's should do it. More broadly, I don't like the idea that any character should be able to move another one (PC or NPC) without external force (shoving them, magical compulsion) or player consent.

I don't want my fighters mind-controlling the NPC orcs anymore than I want the wizard casting knock on every door he sees. There has to be a way to balance martial and magical better than "give fighters magic-like stuff".
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't want my fighters mind-controlling the NPC orcs anymore than I want the wizard casting knock on every door he sees. There has to be a way to balance martial and magical better than "give fighters magic-like stuff".

Broadly speaking, your'e talking about a game where magical stuff that goes up to Wish. Anything a martial character can do that gets anywhere near the power of Wish is going to read as magic, if your baseline for non-magic is the real world.

If your baseline for non-magic is action movies, then maybe we can talk.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Broadly speaking, your'e talking about a game where magical stuff that goes up to Wish. Anything a martial character can do that gets anywhere near the power of Wish is going to read as magic, if your baseline for non-magic is the real world.

If your baseline for non-magic is action movies, then maybe we can talk.

As I've said before, I'm actually kinda lenient. Action Surge? Sure, I'll buy it. Second Wind. Works for me. CaGI is when my disbelief gives out.
 

BryonD

Hero
All three elements of the 'perfect storm' are real. One comes from an insider, one is a matter of public record, and, obviously, no one can debate that the OGL exists or what was in the GSL.
Importantly, they correlate. They're things about the release of 4e that was /different/ from other D&D rev-rolls.

The pattern of sales: starting off strong with the core books, then tapering off, was not different, it's the way 3.5, 3.0 and 2e - and many other 2nd-and-later editions of RPGs have historically sold. It's why WotC is constantly tempted to re-boot the franchise, instead of letting it have nice long decade+ TSR-era-style runs.
Again,
I agree with you that the "perfect storm" elements exist. You have done nothing whatsoever to show a relationship between that and 4E's fate.
The "tapering off" pattern was not remotely the same as any other edition.
And you are contradicting yourself on that now anyway.

The bottom line of "people won't play a game they don't like" remains. You have offered nothing to challenge that.
 

pemerton

Legend
That's really the concept in a nutshell as I understand it: interacting with the game mechanics outside of the abilities of your avatar. Metagame. Not associated with things that the character controls in the fiction.

It can be a Big Deal for folks.
All RPGs involve this. From the obvious but inevitabel (eg writng and reading things, rolling dice, etc) to mechanical aspects like rolling for initiative (what is my character doing that corresponds to that?). I don't care where any particular person's cut-off is; I care about the projection of one peson's preferences or inclinations onto others (especially me!).

The reason for this (and this is my personal reasoning) is that the issue with spell effectiveness is far less intrusive.
I'm one of those who find the healing spells, and their labels, nonsensical. I think the same is probably true for many of those who migrated from classic D&D mechanics to systems like Runequest and Rolemaster. Proportionate healing is one of the features of 4e that made it attractive to me.

people get to not like things for any reason they care to dream up
Sure, I don't disagree with that. My complaint is when a person's dislike then gets projected from the first person to the second or third person, so they start saying that my game is not really an RPG, or that so-called "dissociated" mechanics are an obstacle to immersion in general, etc. (The latter is particularly common, and I know from my own table experience that it is not true in general.)

So 4E rules prescribe what the player can do?

And 5E rules describe what the character can do or what is happening to the character?
There is something to this, but I'd put it slightly differently.

All RPG rules tell the players what they can and can't do - eg they contain procedures for writing numbers on a PC sheet, and changing those numbers; they contain rules that tell the various participants under what conditions they can introduce new content into the fiction, etc. (For instance - in 3E combat, on someone else's turn you can't introduce new information about what your PC is doing except under certain special circumstances, or if the information is simply that your PC is saying something.)

The rules can try and make it so that every time a player makes a move according to the rules, it corresponds to something that is happening to the PC. The challenge is precisifying this in such a way that relevant distinctions are drawn. For instance, practically every time a player in 4e declares a power-use, his/her PC is doing something related in the fiction (some lazy warlord builds might be exceptions to this).

The precisification probably invovles something about the scope of what it is that the PC is doing (eg Come and Get It: "I draw in my foes" is something that the PC is doing, but many players seem to find that objectionable as an action declaration). [MENTION=205]TwoSix[/MENTION] made this point upthread with his reference to PC fingertips.

Your ability to attempt to do this is unimpeded - you can attempt to fight off all of the goblins with 2 hit points or 200 hit points; that you're allowed to try is what's fundamental here.

<snip>

These are poor examples - in both of them you can attempt to jump the gap or pray for divine intervention; it's just that you have little hope of success. You're not disallowed from even trying, which is the key.

<snip>

There's a difference between being allowed to try something, even when the odds of success are nil, and being disallowed from making the attempt at all. One puts the agency in the hands of the PCs, and lets them succeed or fail on their own accord, even if failure is guaranteed. The other removes the agency to even make the attempt in the first place - there's no question of success or failure if you can't try.
the issue of "character resources" as dissociated isn't so much an issue of them knowing about it or accessing it, as them wanting to be able to do something and finding out that they can't due to metagame reasons.
I am really having a lot of trouble with this.

My fighter PC prays for divine intervention, and the GM tells me that I receive no answer. The GM's reason for doing this is that I'm not a cleric, and the rules say only clerics can wield divine magic. Isn't that a metagame reason.

Or, I declare my PC's attack against an adjacent goblin with my bow - but the goblin gets an OA, so attack first, and hits, and kills me because my PC had only 2 hp left. So my action declaration fails. That's a metagame reason - the reason I died was because of the action economy, which is metagame (the fact that the goblin is always quikcer than my archery is not some inherent property of the gameworld), and because I had only 2 hp left, which is metagame. (In the fiction, how was I different at 2 hp from when I had 10 hp?)

Of course narrative material can be introduced to support all these outcomes, but that is equally true for an encounter power.

And of course the player of a character with encounter powers is free to have his/her PC try whatever s/he wants. It's just that the attempt is likely to be unsuccessful (subject to stunting considerations of the sort that TwoSix and others have mentioned).
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
My only real point is that it is real, it is legitimate, and it didn't HAVE to be such an important element of 4e overall.

I can agree with that, and only add that, IMO, the contrived explanations for old school casters and HP seem at least as awkward.. And in the vain hope keep this from drifting too awful far. ( heck I've got several more pages to read already) I'll drop it there.

EDIT: And having caught up with myself, I'm glad I did. The things I wanted to bring up found their into others' posts.
 
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Samurai

Explorer
Again,
I agree with you that the "perfect storm" elements exist. You have done nothing whatsoever to show a relationship between that and 4E's fate.
The "tapering off" pattern was not remotely the same as any other edition.
And you are contradicting yourself on that now anyway.

The bottom line of "people won't play a game they don't like" remains. You have offered nothing to challenge that.

Speaking for myself and my gaming group, the only important factor in 4e not being adopted by the group was 4e itself. We bought the initial books, tried it, and didn't like it. It was unanimous that we'd go back to 3.5. We had all the books for 3.5, and plenty of adventures left to tell with it. If there hadn't been Pathfinder, we'd still be playing 3.5. When the PF beta came out we gave it the same shot as we gave 4e. We ended up liking it and adopting it (some more than others), but the #1 deciding factor in going to PF in the beginning was the backwards compatibility with 3.5. Had 4e been backwards compatible with 3.5 to the extent PF was, I bet they would have gone to it. Without that, they would never have switched. The priority was to be able to keep using the monsters, spells, magic items, adventures, etc from 3.5 with an improved ruleset. That alone was the biggest factor in adopting PF when we did not adopt 4e, and they never "came around" and eventually accepted 4e. I'm pretty positive they would not have done so even without those 3 factors... they would have kept playing 3.5 quite happily for many, many years.
 

Hussar

Legend
For me, and only for me, 4e was the first edition of D&D that wasn't trying to sell me the same thing as the last edition, just with some cleaned up rules. It was the first time an edition had come out where the mechanics weren't a decade behind pretty much every other game on the market. I mean, heck, even by the time 1e came out, you had games with skill systems. By the time 2e came out, you already had systems on the market with meta-game mechanics like Action Points. By the time 3e came out, you already had Rolemaster which had been doing 3e for darn near a decade already. 4e took stuff that was pretty current and applied it to D&D. Nothing revolutionary, it is D&D after all and D&D is never revolutionary, but, at least it wasn't based on mechanics that we'd already been seeing for ten years in other games.

That's the Cliff notes for me.
 

Aenghus

Explorer
I got disillusioned with the hit penalties method of restricting combat maneuvers in some editions of D&D. This typically made the combat maneuvers a bad choice unless the player invested in enabling feats for his PC at which point it could become the best choice all the time, possibly making the PC a one trick pony. I hated feeling trapped by the system, that the best thing I could do was the same tactic over and over again.

Spamming the same attack over and over can be boring for the player and/or his group including the referee.
This can lead to referees finding or inventing counter-tactics that restrict or counter the one tactic the player has invested resources in.

Previous editions of D&D and the early "Just Say No" philosophy had conditioned me to see improvised actions as mostly a waste of time, massively penalised and with insufficient return even when successful. The one player in one of my 2e games who liked them a lot was notoriously a bad judge of probability and failed a lot, and died a lot.

I vastly prefer the 4e way of rationing a variety of combat tactics in each encounter. This is obviously subjective, some players won't mind repetition but hate going OOC, others like me more the opposite, most somewhere in between.
 

BryonD

Hero
... wasn't trying to sell me the same thing as the last edition, just with some cleaned up rules. ... By the time 3e came out, you already had Rolemaster which had been doing 3e for darn near a decade already.
Just curious for clarification....

Are you saying 3E was or was not a cleaned up version of the last edition? At first you say it was 4E was "the first that wasn't". But then you change the point. I thought we were in agreement that 3E was a substantial departure. I agree strongly with your second point. To me it was GURPS, but "HEROfication" of D&D was the term that seemed to have the most traction in the 2000 - 2001 timeframe.

I also see bits of newer games in 5E. (Gumshoe and MnM, among others)
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
My fighter PC prays for divine intervention, and the GM tells me that I receive no answer. The GM's reason for doing this is that I'm not a cleric, and the rules say only clerics can wield divine magic. Isn't that a metagame reason.

Or, I declare my PC's attack against an adjacent goblin with my bow - but the goblin gets an OA, so attack first, and hits, and kills me because my PC had only 2 hp left. So my action declaration fails. That's a metagame reason - the reason I died was because of the action economy, which is metagame (the fact that the goblin is always quikcer than my archery is not some inherent property of the gameworld), and because I had only 2 hp left, which is metagame. (In the fiction, how was I different at 2 hp from when I had 10 hp?)

I'm sure if you keep trying you can come up with metagame examples, but these aren't they. (Them?)

The first case is that being a cleric gives you a special ability to communicate with the gods that a fighter has no training in.

The second case is that, yes, a melee attack is quicker than archery as a property of the gameworld. You tried to draw your bow, and the resulting opening in your guard let the goblin stab you.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Next, the power itself says "You brandish your weapon and call out to your foes," this implied the character is doing something to activate the power. You. character. How? Taunting (no language keyword, I guess flipping them off could work), mind control (that's magic)?

You can justify any way you want, but CaGI breaks the game assumptions by overriding the DMs control of his NPCs and explicitly says the character is the agent that does this without aid of magic.

I find this argument strange...

I've watched my son perform the equivalent of CaGI several times in his Martial Arts tournaments. He intentionally fakes an opening. His opponent leaps in to take advantage of it...and my son scores some points as he takes advantage of his opponent. I mean, they teach it his class (multiple variations of it even)!

Is thus just case of people being unfamiliar with IRL fighting? (OTOH, I obviously don't know how well it would work on an ooze or ogre.)

To go even further:
My son recently participated in a tournament with a pulled muscle in his leg which was only partially healed. He knew he couldn't really kick for the match (only body and head kicks counted in this tournament) and, by the championship match*, so did his opponent.

Smartly, his opponent drove him into positions that forced him to use the injured leg more, but my son was faster and after several rounds, they approached the end of the match with my son a point behind and his opponent only one point from victory.

When the official yelled "begin!", my son leaped sidewise in a new direction, and then performed a lovely 3-point kick to opponent's head using his wounded leg. He then crumpled to the ground and nearly crawled back to the line to hear the result. Even though he was walking and icing it, and even performed a form with later, there was no way he was going to kick like that again that day.

I distinctly remember thinking to myself "Did the kid just use a martial daily to win that match?" :D

Make of that what you will.

*My son is far better than I ever was at this stuff, despite several attempts at it for me.
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
I've watched my son perform the equivalent of CaGI several times in his Martial Arts tournaments. He intentionally fakes an opening. His opponent leaps in to take advantage of it...and my son scores some points as he takes advantage of his opponent. I mean, they teach it his class (multiple variations of it even)!

Is thus just case of people being unfamiliar with IRL fighting? (OTOH, I obviously don't know how well it would work on an ooze or ogre.)

No - if they limited CaGI to only melee attackers, people might not have complained. It's the idea of archers or spellcasters charging heedlessly into melee that really got old fast.
 

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