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

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Kraztur

First Post
This thread wins as performance art. Maybe this is actually the 4th current "joke" thread that is happening.

/ragequit
No*, the other threads are intentional parodies. This thread is an unintentional self-parody. I will now annoy you by arguing something you never said. Is it working?

/intentional parody **

* Beginning with "No" makes it confrontational even though I'm not disagreeing with you ;)
** that adds nothing to this discussion which makes it a hypocritical self-parody which is extra ironic
 

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A fighter often exerts as much control as any controller, until high levels :) Bash and Pummel is a good example of a strong and versatile martial control power that few should find "realism" problems with. It's also not weaker than most non-martial powers, which is often the route people take on the "martial can't have fun toys" route.
You could almost characterize a brawling fighter as a sort of melee-oriented secondary controller.

And, defenders and controllers /do/ share some similarities, in that they both focus on reducing the effectiveness of the enemy in various ways in addition to dropping them to 0 hps. There are also some major differences. One of the key ones that makes a hypothetical martial controller a little difficult is that controllers' powers (in addition to being mechanically overpowered because role support is reflected in the powers instead of class features of controllers) tend to help protect the controller and keep the enemy from directly engaging him - the exact opposite of what the controller role focuses on. CaGI would be a terrible controller power, for instance, for that reason.

That said, note that I said in the PHB. Come and Get It in a later product? Sure, whatever. WotC should have put their best foot forward, and oftentimes did not do so. Shame, really.
CaGI was, even as initially written, an excellent defender power, and one that fit the genre very well. Like Commander's Strike, it was controversial, didn't cleave as well as it should have to the way powers were supposed to work - and went a long way towards helping define the class.
 

And this is where an insistance on associated mechanics is shown to be immersion and genre shattering. What an insistance on associated mechanics as opposed to a good set of disassociated mechanics means is that only the factors you measure have any in game world meaning. The rest are absolutely worthless. You aren't playing in an ordinary fantasy world. You're playing in a world like that of The Order of the Stick or possibly Erfworld.
I don't agree with you (and I'm not sure you're serious). But, you do a good job of illustrating how meaningless the whole 'immersion' and 'dissociative' arguments are, by turning them around and using them - with just as much validity - to argue the exact opposite point.
 

Actually, that shows where the insistence on associated mechanics is shown to be immersion-enabling, though it does shatter "genre" in terms of "you must act within genre guidelines, rather than how you think your character would actually act in that situation." That's because dissociated mechanics are ostensibly making things happen in the game world without saying how they're happening in the game world. That utterly destroys any sense of immersion you'd otherwise have, and is like playing in a bad action movie.

Nope. It destroys the sense of immersion of Alzarius and others like him. Because Alzarius does not like using his imagination to fill in the blanks. It does not destroy everyone's immersion. Some of us can accept genre tropes and fill in blanks. As for bad action movies, that's where strongly associated games normally live.

What's ironic is that your examples don't speak to your principles here. The choices made in the context of any narrative are, by necessity, based on what the characters do, and hence are associated. Saying that the narrative is abetted by meta-narrative restrictions is not only disingenuous, it's impossible to demonstrate when the narrative is all you have to look at.



Flat-out untrue. Just because you don't model something doesn't mean you can't have it be understood.

Something that isn't modelled but is understood is by definition disassociated.

These analogies don't showcase anything. A dissociated system still inherently limits the things that your characters can do.

Name something specific your fighter can do that mine can't.

It's both true and intuitive. Leaving aside that the circumstances of an idea's genesis do not define it, 4E does not try to associate them, which is ultimately detrimental to character immersion.

For Alzarius and those who insist on solving the equations of motion in order to catch a tennis ball.

That's leaving aside that the 2E fighter can attempt to bring an enemy closer - it's just that that attempt will work the same each and every time, instead of going through weird periods of effectiveness and ineffectiveness.

In short the AD&D fighter has no specialist tricks and prepared combos. And he doesn't pace himself so he behaves like no athlete I know of. His decisions are less like those of a real fighter than the 4e one's with their reliance on the OODA loop.

If they weren't motivated to investigate them, that's usually a good sign that they're intuitive enough to hang a believable in-character framework off of them.

That would be an argument if changing this this wasn't a hallmark of just about all early 80s games and of most of the Fantasy Heartbreakers I've read (although it isn't something Ron Edwards calls out).
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I'm confused...I go away for a little while and bam several pages show up...but reading quickly....

On the one hand...there are people (or a person, anyway) complaining that 4e removes player agency because a (I think) a fighter can't spam a tripping move all day without using p42.

On the other hand there are people complaining that 4e isn't an rpg because players have too much agency since Gimli's player can just declare that he picks up a rock and throws it without consulting the DM on the existence of the rock.

:confused:So um...do people need to a moment to consult with each other? I'm pretty sure that the game can't simultaneously have too much or too little of the same thing at the same time?
 

Kraztur

First Post
I'm confused...
Me too.

:confused:So um...do people need to a moment to consult with each other?
Yes, I need to consult with you. I'm accumulating all the analogies for further study. So far, I've got ice cream (vanilla and pistachio so far), cars, brocolli, stew with rice, Transformers Age of Extinction, and one sweater. Did I miss anything?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Nope. It destroys the sense of immersion of Alzarius and others like him. Because Alzarius does not like using his imagination to fill in the blanks. It does not destroy everyone's immersion. Some of us can accept genre tropes and fill in blanks. As for bad action movies, that's where strongly associated games normally live.

Wrong. It ruins the sense of immersion of Glowlizard and those like him. Because Glowlizard doesn't like having to figure out what his character would do, rather than what he would do. Dissociation doesn't help everyone's immersion. Because some of us don't feel constrained by what the genre suggests the game "should" be and play our characters as characters. As for action movies and fiction of all kinds, that's where strongly associated games normally live.

Something that isn't modelled but is understood is by definition disassociated.

Not so much, no. Rather, something is dissociated if it happens at the metagame level to affect the course of the game world (particularly the characters) that has no corresponding analogue in the game world itself. Taking wounds that don't particularly hamper effectiveness isn't that at all.

Name something specific your fighter can do that mine can't.

He can try to trip someone twice in a row without suddenly sucking at it the second time.

For Alzarius and those who insist on solving the equations of motion in order to catch a tennis ball.

For Glowlizard and those who think that associated mechanics means solving equations of motion in order to catch a tennis ball.

In short the AD&D fighter has no specialist tricks and prepared combos. And he doesn't pace himself so he behaves like no athlete I know of. His decisions are less like those of a real fighter than the 4e one's with their reliance on the OODA loop.

The AD&D fighter's "specialist tricks" aren't spelled out in the rules, but he can still attempt them. Likewise, his decisions are based on what he himself can do, which makes him more like a real fighter's than those of someone who for no discernable reason will suddenly be terrible at trying something he just did perfectly well. The rest of your example is more nonsense insistence that "association must mean a perfect simulation of reality!"

That would be an argument if changing this this wasn't a hallmark of just about all early 80s games and of most of the Fantasy Heartbreakers I've read (although it isn't something Ron Edwards calls out).

It's also a hallmark of those games that they haven't overtaken D&D, despite trying for the "super-realism!" you're so enamored of.
 

That would be an argument if changing this this wasn't a hallmark of just about all early 80s games and of most of the Fantasy Heartbreakers I've read (although it isn't something Ron Edwards calls out).
I know Heinsoo & Tweat made reference to 'Fantasy Heartbreakers,' but I still don't see what that's really supposed to mean, nor what 'heartbreaker' has to do with it.

From the quote I saw, it sounded like a 'heartbreaker' was just a clone with one or two specific/dramatic changes. Hardly sounds like the kind of thing that'd metaphorically damage any vital organ.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Yes, I need to consult with you. I'm accumulating all the analogies for further study. So far, I've got ice cream (vanilla and pistachio so far), cars, brocolli, stew with rice, Transformers Age of Extinction, and one sweater. Did I miss anything?

Wasn't there one about fruit in there somewhere...apricots vs oranges maybe?:)
 

I don't agree with you (and I'm not sure you're serious). But, you do a good job of illustrating how meaningless the whole 'immersion' and 'dissociative' arguments are, by turning them around and using them - with just as much validity - to argue the exact opposite point.

Partially serious. In my experience immersion requires just one single factor. No nails that stick up. Nothing that slows people down and forces them to focus on the rules rather than what is happening in the world. And systems with meta-mechanics are less likely to disassociate me than ones without for reasons I'm going to go into.

Alzarius gets stopped when he can't fill in the blanks which is why he needs associated systems.

I get stopped when I can't add weight to a decision. That how far I'm prepared to go for something and whether I'm going to pace myself isn't a terribly meaningful question. The obvious way of doing this is with metagame mechanics but there are others (a nicely subtle one is Apocalypse World having two separate attack moves depending on your goal which have very different outcomes, and the Tenra Bansho Zero reverse death spiral is a pretty good start).

I also get stopped whenever I need to spend more than a few seconds looking up a rule*, or need to cross-check with the GM whether something that should be obvious is possible which is why the "You can pick up a rock from behind a tree without asking the DM" approach is almost essential to me.

* Character sheets, and the back of the DM screen is fine. If I have to crack a book and look up a page I'm gone.
 

Kraztur

First Post
Yes, I need to consult with you. I'm accumulating all the analogies for further study. So far, I've got ice cream (vanilla and pistachio so far), cars, brocolli, stew with rice, Transformers Age of Extinction, and one sweater. Did I miss anything?
Wasn't there one about fruit in there somewhere...apricots vs oranges maybe?:)
I don't recall. Is 4E the apricot or the orange? This is important.
 

Imaro

Hero
The conditions the power imposes are based on the fiction - what is actually going on in the game world.

Yeah this is kind of self evident and not the point of page 42... having a condition that is balanced in power, repeatable or non-repeatable, etc. like damage is laid out would be the point...



Creating powers isn't hard. The hard part is getting them onto the character builder.

I agree anyone can slap something together and call it a power... now creating a power that is balanced compared to others isn't what I would call easy or even possible just using page 42...
 

keterys

First Post
I know Heinsoo & Tweat made reference to 'Fantasy Heartbreakers,' but I still don't see what that's really supposed to mean, nor what 'heartbreaker' has to do with it.

From the quote I saw, it sounded like a 'heartbreaker' was just a clone with one or two specific/dramatic changes. Hardly sounds like the kind of thing that'd metaphorically damage any vital organ.
Article on where the term fantasy heartbreaker came from here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/
 

Lalato

Explorer
No*, the other threads are intentional parodies. This thread is an unintentional self-parody. I will now annoy you by arguing something you never said. Is it working?

/intentional parody **

* Beginning with "No" makes it confrontational even though I'm not disagreeing with you ;)
** that adds nothing to this discussion which makes it a hypocritical self-parody which is extra ironic

Gosh darn you, it's working! I am steaming mad. In fact, so much steam is streaming from my ears that you could cook all manner of vegetables.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Alzarius gets stopped when he can't fill in the blanks which is why he needs associated systems.

Filling in the blanks isn't a problem - the problem is when the blanks deliberately separate you from your character. Hence why Glowlizard needs dissociated systems, since he can't play a character that's apart from himself.
 

I know Heinsoo & Tweat made reference to 'Fantasy Heartbreakers,' but I still don't see what that's really supposed to mean, nor what 'heartbreaker' has to do with it.

From the quote I saw, it sounded like a 'heartbreaker' was just a clone with one or two specific/dramatic changes. Hardly sounds like the kind of thing that'd metaphorically damage any vital organ.

Fantasy Heartbreakers was a term invented by Ron Edwards to describe a lot of independently published RPGs that are basically AD&D with the serial numbers filed off and slightly houseruled (since then the term has been extended to parts of the d20 glut, and to oWoD with the serial numbers filed off). The commonalities he points to in a survey of nine are fascinating:


  • All of these games have skill lists.
  • All of them except one have randomized attribute systems, but also an extensive set of secondary attributes which serve to homogenize the actual Effective values (i.e., those used in play).
  • All of them greatly emphasize character race (species, really) as a major modifier of the randomized attribute system.
  • All of them have levels in one fashion or another, but interestingly, in all cases, a very diminished version of levels with not-terribly-notable effects on the character's game effectiveness, compared with the role of skill proficiency.
  • All of them "crunchify" D&D combat in a RuneQuest or Rolemaster or DragonQuest fashion, placing emphasis on individual character speed and action-by-action (freeze-frame) resolution.
  • Almost all of them rely heavily on damage rolls, but make some effort to integrate "how well you hit" into the final effect.
  • All of them have one speedy-race, one or more brute-race, and one pretty-race (either winged humanoids or kitty-people), as well as the standard elves and dwarves.
  • Not one uses a D&D style magic system (much more about this later).
 

Filling in the blanks isn't a problem - the problem is when the blanks deliberately separate you from your character. Hence why Glowlizard needs dissociated systems, since he can't play a character that's apart from himself.

And that's so far from the mark it's funny.
 




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