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Is there demand for a “tactical” RPG akin to 4e?

I mentioned earlier how certain builds in LANCER can give players tremendous problem-solving power in certain types of missions. I think 11dragonkid demonstrates this quite well with this LANCER battle report, in which teleport beacons conquer all.


I did like his scenario that they are not optimized for, where they need to get off the map in a certain number of turns but they have a Drake who can't possibly make it, so the players have to improvise. It involved a lot of friendly grappling, as well as a Virgil reference.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Curious about people’s thoughts on this. I always liked the tactical aspects of D&D 4e, though didn’t play much of it myself. I think in a lot of ways, 4e suffered due to marketing and the fact that it was so different from D&D 3.5e, yet had the same name.

I’m sure there were many other issues that 4e had which turned away gamers, but I am curious now if there is demand for another game, which takes the best of 4e, and is designed and marketed as a “tactical” RPG. That is to say, an RPG with emphasis on grid-based combat, with depth for character creation, “powers” chosen at different levels (unique to the classes), and of course, a functional “social”/RP mechanics, with related skills, etc.
I said it back then and I’ll say it now: I liked 4E’s mechanics, just not for D&D. Slap another name on it, I’d have been happier with it because I wouldn’t have had the expectations I did from prior editions.

And honestly, I think it would have made a GREAT toolbox system. I could easily see a core rulebook with sourcebooks for a Modern, Horror or Sci-Fi settings using its mechanics doing very well.
 

Lionblade

Villager
I said it back then and I’ll say it now: I liked 4E’s mechanics, just not for D&D. Slap another name on it, I’d have been happier with it because I wouldn’t have had the expectations I did from prior editions.

And honestly, I think it would have made a GREAT toolbox system. I could easily see a core rulebook with sourcebooks for a Modern, Horror or Sci-Fi settings using its mechanics doing very well.
I like that idea a lot actually. What changes would you make to the classes to support it?
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
My two favorite tactical games are FFG Legend of the Five Rings and Exalted Third Edition. I really like that the core of each is about making one on one fights feel compelling and then synergies are built on top of that. I also like that both are highly dynamic and force you to make more responsive tactical decisions.
 

Weirdok

Villager
Holy carp! This looks gorgeous. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!
This game sounds fantastic! This idea is something I would like to see intergrated into high level play in 5e. The introduction of war drama and the rising and falling of major powers because of war is the flower of ttrpg'. The goals would be to establish enough wealth and power to influence the leading or associated faction's forces into battle. It would supply endless role-playing situations and exciting combat scenarios. Bravo to the creators!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I like that idea a lot actually. What changes would you make to the classes to support it?
To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought in the past few years.

To start, I’d probably streamline the number of classes and sort the powers into lists based on the stats they use to be effective.

The classes themselves would have lists of abilities to choose from, given point values based on how powerful/flexible they were.

Races/species would probably have something similar, but with the game master deciding what abilities existed for each.

Perhaps the points used for picking characters’ innate biological attributes would be the same as used for classes. “Weaker” races would get more left over to spend on class abilities, with “stronger ones getting fewer.
 
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I did like his scenario that they are not optimized for, where they need to get off the map in a certain number of turns but they have a Drake who can't possibly make it, so the players have to improvise. It involved a lot of friendly grappling, as well as a Virgil reference.
LANCER rewards grappling slow friendly units. It's like the "Toss me" moment in Peter Jackson's The Two Towers.
 



LANCER rewards grappling slow friendly units. It's like the "Toss me" moment in Peter Jackson's The Two Towers.

sub-buzz-26713-1488909072-3.png


But also this is a game with a mech that is explicitly meant to piggyback on larger team members.

God, I somehow need to educated my groups in this game.
 
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One problem with this thread is that between Gubat Banwa, Icon, and Fabula Ultimate, my TTRPG reading list has become full and I’m not sure where to start.

Yes! I'm very excited about Gubat Banwa, but one of the PDFs is 500+ pages. That's a lot more reading than I usually do on a screen and too much to print. I'm hoping for a book at some point.
 

Thunderfoot

Adventurer
So I'm not a fan of 4e. I say this only so that you understand that I'm sincerely trying to help.

So, one of the issues that 4e had was that it was more wargame than RPG and I think that's probably more what you are looking for, the difference is you are looking for squad based tactics versus army tactics. My suggestion is to check out Chainmail from the 90s. It was the pre-cursor to the D&D minis collectables and was a solid game.

Also you may want to use a game like Squad Leader and pulp the crap out of it to make a fantasy re-hash. Probably not what you were imagining, but hopefully it will open doors that were otherwise shut. Best of luck.
 

Lionblade

Villager
So I'm not a fan of 4e. I say this only so that you understand that I'm sincerely trying to help.

So, one of the issues that 4e had was that it was more wargame than RPG and I think that's probably more what you are looking for, the difference is you are looking for squad based tactics versus army tactics. My suggestion is to check out Chainmail from the 90s. It was the pre-cursor to the D&D minis collectables and was a solid game.

Also you may want to use a game like Squad Leader and pulp the crap out of it to make a fantasy re-hash. Probably not what you were imagining, but hopefully it will open doors that were otherwise shut. Best of luck.
Thanks for the reply. A couple things:
1. I’m pretty sure Chainmail was released in the early 70s (not 90s) and bears little resemblance to D&D. I think D&D evolved from it as answer to “What if we played as a singular hero and not an army?”

2. I’m more just trying to see if there is interest in a 4e spiritual successor. 4e D&D is still D&D, but with significant changes made to character progression, skills, mechanics, etc. It just so happens these changes call for a more tactical/grid-and-minis style of play than maybe prior editions did.

That being said, I’m not interested so much in a straight 4e clone - though, that would be interesting if a popular one was around that ALSO didn’t draw the ire of WoTC lawyers.
 

Thunderfoot

Adventurer
Thanks for the reply. A couple things:
1. I’m pretty sure Chainmail was released in the early 70s (not 90s) and bears little resemblance to D&D. I think D&D evolved from it as answer to “What if we played as a singular hero and not an army?”

2. I’m more just trying to see if there is interest in a 4e spiritual successor. 4e D&D is still D&D, but with significant changes made to character progression, skills, mechanics, etc. It just so happens these changes call for a more tactical/grid-and-minis style of play than maybe prior editions did.

That being said, I’m not interested so much in a straight 4e clone - though, that would be interesting if a popular one was around that ALSO didn’t draw the ire of WoTC lawyers.
The Original Chainmail rules, which were a squad based tactics versus Army tactics rule set created by Keyes and Gygax, yes came out in the 70s but there was a reissued game that launched at about the same time as 3e.
 

Lionblade

Villager
The Original Chainmail rules, which were a squad based tactics versus Army tactics rule set created by Keyes and Gygax, yes came out in the 70s but there was a reissued game that launched at about the same time as 3e.
Strange… if that’s the case I’m not seeing any record of it anywhere: Chainmail (game) - Wikipedia

TSR acquired Chainmail and released a 3rd Edition in 1975. But also, TSR was acquired by WotC in the 90s and then they released D&D 3rd Edition, and TSR was then defunct.

If a 4th edition of Chainmail came out at the same time, it must have been a fan-made version now lost to time.

Edit: Also, 3e came out in 2000 I think, or around there?
 

Thunderfoot

Adventurer
Strange… if that’s the case I’m not seeing any record of it anywhere: Chainmail (game) - Wikipedia

TSR acquired Chainmail and released a 3rd Edition in 1975. But also, TSR was acquired by WotC in the 90s and then they released D&D 3rd Edition, and TSR was then defunct.

If a 4th edition of Chainmail came out at the same time, it must have been a fan-made version now lost to time.

Edit: Also, 3e came out in 2000 I think, or around there?
Nope, never take wikipedia for absolute truth. WotC released a revamped Chainmail game in 2000. Not fan based, not fan made. I've been playing since 1978, trust me I was there when they dropped 3e at the newly minted WotC store. Still have my Redgar the Fighter T-shirt from the newly re-designed RPGA launch (now Adventure's League). Chainmail re-launch was to pay homage to the game that started it all and to give minis rules to the more tactically enabled 3e. The minis game wasn't really needed and as a stand alone Warhammer amd Heroclix had out outclassed and out fanned, which is why they morphed into the D&D minis line.
 
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Lionblade

Villager
Nope, never take wikipedia for absolute truth. WotC released a revamped Chainmail game in 2000. Not fan based, not fan made. I've been playing since 1978, trust me I was there when they dropped 3e at the newly minted WotC store. Still have my Redgar the Fighter T-shirt from the newly re-designed RPGA launch (now Adventure's League). Chainmail re-launch was to pay homage to the game that started it all and to give minis rules to the more tactically enabled 3e. The minis game wasn't really needed and as a stand alone Warhammer amd Heroclix had out outclassed and out fanned, which is why they morphed into the D&D minis line.
Ah, I see now. Is that this? Dungeons & Dragons Chainmail

I never got into this back in the 3e day but vaguely remember it.

In any case, I was looking more for an actively supported game… or to learn if there is interest in one.
 

Thunderfoot

Adventurer
Ah, I see now. Is that this? Dungeons & Dragons Chainmail

I never got into this back in the 3e day but vaguely remember it.

In any case, I was looking more for an actively supported game… or to learn if there is interest in one.
Gotcha. And yes, that would be the one. Trying ti fond a supported one is going to be a stretch because frankly, nerds and geeks like to divide into camps when it comes to their hobbies. lol I never understood it, but it's been happening since the late 70s/early 80s. Before that just being a nerd was divisive enough.
 



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