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D&D 4E Positive Aspects of 4E

Lord Fyre

First Post
Actually, until I actually see a rulebook, most of those features are still "noise" as far as I am concerned. :\

Except for one . . .

Traycor said:
- Online tools that allow me to game with my old college buddies that have scattered to the winds.

While this feature did not actually require a new edition, it by itself makes me very interrested in going to 4th Edition. :D

Because, like many of us, Out of Game, Real Life, events have broken up more then a few of my gaming groups. :(
 

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Charwoman Gene

Adventurer
Traycor said:
- Players can be meaningful heroes at lvl 1
- Points of Light means that being a hero is now meaningful, instead of an occupation
- Fighters getting special abilities with all weapons. Big big win!
- Healing abilities for all classes (and non-reliance on clerics)
- Less Christmas tree magic items from the Big 6 arms race
- Social combat rules in core (hopefully!). I loves my RP and this will give players that don’t RP very well a chance to still participate in these kinds of interactions.
- Combat against more opponents at once. This creates more action and a more heroic feel. The players feel more capable.
- New magic system. Thank. God.
- Abilities for all classes. Even fighters can do cool stuff now besides swing that sword.
- Simplified rules ah la grapple
- Streamlined stat-blocks and less rigid rules for making monsters.
- Monster have unique abilities instead of huge lists of wizard spells. It’s more interesting and less work all at the same time.
- Choice of race is going to be meaningful at all levels. The races are more distinct and will have flavorful abilities at all lvls. Race now means more than just RP, which will inject racial flavor regardless of the amount of RP at the table. This is a big win!
- Elemental planes (and other exotic locations) that are now reasonable to adventure in.
- Demons and Devils that aren’t clones of each other. Real reasons for the distinction in creature type between the two.
- Sanctioned PDF versions of my books online. With updated errata!! :D
- Classes that are distinct and meaningful.
- Defining of roles to make things clearer to some players, but at the same time removing the need and reliance on having a role-filled party. Woot for 3 wizards and a rogue! Our last big game went to lvl 28 without a cleric or a wizard, so I know how much of a headache roles were in 3e.
- Unified numbers on class progression. This means less tables, less space in my books, and less confusion. Also less high lvl disparity. Since my last big campaign started at lvl 1 and went all the way up to lvl 28, I can vastly appreciate this unified progression.
- Simplified magic item pricing
- WotC taking a stand on not including classes unless they are quality. Bards are probably my favorite class and I love to include them in my games… but I would much rather wait and have them done right than have another half-baked version released.
- Epic levels are built into the core. This should avoid much of the bizarre nature of epic level play.
- Alignment revisions. Most creatures should be unaligned and fewer mechanics should rely on this. A very very positive change.
- Rogues can sneak attack undead and other such opponents. Crits work too! Woot!
- Necromancers and Illusionists becoming their own classes. This is huge. I can’t begin to express my joy. These needed their own mechanics badly.
- Paladins can smite anyone! I play more realistic games where not all opponents are evil (and many are neutral built into the system anyways). My paladin player was always frustrated that she couldn’t smite so often. I like this change.
- Warlord class. Whether you like the name or not, it’s good to have a melee based class that is built on inspiration and leadership. This is far more iconic in fiction than the bard (and I love the bard) so it is a more flexible archetype for new players to latch onto.

I like these from your list, I also like the shift away from over symmetrical, dry, academic ivory-tower design to a gamist, in the trenches model. This is FAR from universally appealing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If 4e turns out to match the educated guesses we've got so far, I'll like:

Points-of-light setting design. This alone might make 4e worthwhile, if done well.
Critical hits working on undead and constructs. 'Bout time.
Illusionists and Necromancers becoming their own classes. (though I'd prefer if they were in the first PHB rather than a later one...)
Fewer and more interesting magic items. I'll be ecstatic if they add in more oddball and quirky items as well!
Rejigged item creation rules.
A grapple mechanic that actually works without grinding the game to a screeching halt. (OK, I'm being hopeful here; the previous editions are 0-for-3 so far)

There's lots more things that my personal jury is still out on, and some that just don't look promising at all...but there *are* things to like.

Lanefan
 

helium3

First Post
Brother MacLaren said:
Book of Vile Darkness had some GREAT stuff that I only got the chance to scratch the surface of. Sadly, never got my campaign to the point where the players were trying to stop Apocalypse From the Sky.

*chuckle*

Funny you should mention that. I was in a campaign where the players were trying to do just that. Only, an artifact was being used to both maximize and empower it.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Brother MacLaren said:
Let me rephrase. It's not how much content, it's the quality of that content. "More" content doesn't matter. You could, for example, add 200 0-level spells for the bard to the PHB. It wouldn't really be a significant improvement to the class, although it would give him far more options and far more text.
Well, the quality of the content is pretty strong, too.

I mean, there are rules for climbing or picking a lock in the skill section. The wizard can use that rules. But he also has extra rules to do it "his way", by casting Spider Climb (or Fly) or Knock.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Mourn said:
Intuit Direction ("North is that way!") is flexible?

Thanks for pointing exactly the worst skill example! :)

The flexibility I like is in the whole system. For example in how much you want to invest between different skills, instead of maxing everything (which is an option in 3e, automatic with no choice in 4e).

The individual skills aren't "flexible" but rather "useful" or "not so useful". Instead of merging them and thus causing small but fastidious (and evitable) compatibility problems, they could have just added new good uses for existing skills. We did that in our games, and turned Intuit Direction into something worth taking. The second flexibility of the system is that adding new uses to existing skills does not cause any compatibility problems at all.

Mourn said:
It would have made sense if they were working in some kind of time vacuum, instead of having deadlines.

However, instead of cribbing the class into the focus they chose for the PHB1 (martial, arcane, divine), or diluting the focus of the book with more power sources and less detail for each one, they elected to wait until they could be addressed in a fashion more suitable to the class.

Mah, they set their own deadlines, they pay the consequences.

The question is: are you really sure the delay will result in great design? How many times they revised the polymorph rules in 3e? Would it have been better to wait 4 years without polymorph, to ultimately have a version that is only slightly better? I don't think everyone agrees.

Mourn said:
I think he's talking about the fact that above level 20, the rules for characters completely changed, as opposed to their current attempt to make it mesh cleanly with lower-level play.

Ok. He probably meant they changed the basic progressions so that there isn't need for a rule discountinuity.

Mourn said:
Y'know what's boring to me? Having my entire schtick killed by a single monster type (undead; no sneak attack) or alignment (all enemies are neutral, smite is useless), thus relegating me to be sub-standard during an encounter.

Perspectives. I personally find it much more boring that I have a schtick which is always working. I want troubles now and then, because I find loads of fun in having to think outside the box to be effective. YMMV
 

Imp

First Post
Traycor said:
- Fighters getting special abilities with all weapons. Big big win!
- Healing abilities for all classes (and non-reliance on clerics)
- Reduced and consolidated skill lists
- Social combat rules in core (hopefully!). I loves my RP and this will give players that don’t RP very well a chance to still participate in these kinds of interactions.
- Combat against more opponents at once. This creates more action and a more heroic feel. The players feel more capable.
- More combats in a day. Allowing players to continue battling as they wish creates a greater immersion and sense of heroism. In most novels, a hero will push on and on until they can’t go anymore because of their drive and passion. In previous editions it was hard to mirror this common heroic mentality without a TPK.
- New magic system. Thank. God.
- Streamlined stat-blocks and less rigid rules for making monsters.
- Monster have unique abilities instead of huge lists of wizard spells. It’s more interesting and less work all at the same time.
- Wizard implements. While the specifics are still being tweaked on how this will work, the wizard class was in sore need of things to distinguish members of the class. It allows for means of customization closer to what melee classes have available, and it makes magic staves/wands more than disposable batteries.
- Simplified math at epic levels. Anyone who’s played lvl 21+ can do naught but cry with joy at such news.
- Alignment revisions. Most creatures should be unaligned and fewer mechanics should rely on this. A very very positive change.
- No confirming crits. Makes for more cheering moments on the part of the players.
- Rogues can sneak attack undead and other such opponents. Crits work too! Woot!
- Warlord class. Whether you like the name or not, it’s good to have a melee based class that is built on inspiration and leadership. This is far more iconic in fiction than the bard (and I love the bard) so it is a more flexible archetype for new players to latch onto.
- Swordmage class. This is a personal pet peeve and I truly hope it is revised to make it into the PHB 1
These are the ones I like. I bolded my favorite.

Some of the other ones, I'm either not yet convinced of their implementation, didn't really consider them a problem in 3e, am just neutral about, or (just a few) disagree with, but I'm keeping it positive here.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Traycor said:
I can understand the dislike for this one… but forbidden? Hardly. There is nothing stopping you from cutting back on hp or abilities or such the way there were lvl 0 optional rules for 3E in the DMG.

You cannot fairly argue that a rules is good because you can house rule it... otherwise every rule ever is good.

Traycor said:
I absolutely hate starting games above lvl 1. I want to build the character up myself.

How is it conceptually different for you to start at level 1 with triple HP and BAB +3 (4e) and start at level 3 with three HD and BAB +3 (3e)? The 4e 1st level will be something similar to 3e 2nd or 3rd level: why does it matter to you, when creating a 3e 3rd level PC, that there were 2 levels before, if in both cases you may need to select more or less the same amount of stuff?

Traycor said:
Without healing, the game grinds to a halt.

We were talking about a game without clerics, not without healing...

Traycor said:
Sorcerers and wizards were almost exactly the same besides the use of a spellbook.

You mean besides being spontaneous or preparation-based, and besides the amount of spells known? Trust me, I've played a lot of sorcerers and wizards (they are my favourite classes), and they are TOTALLY different from the point of view of how the game plays :D The fact that potentially they can learn the same spells does not make them much similar, and you will not likely learn a lot of the same spells at the end.
 

ivocaliban

First Post
Borrowed from Traycor:

- Simplified rules a la grapple
- Streamlined stat-blocks and less rigid rules for making monsters.
- Unified numbers on class progression. This means less tables, less space in my books, and less confusion. Also less high lvl disparity. Since my last big campaign started at lvl 1 and went all the way up to lvl 28, I can vastly appreciate this unified progression.
- Simplified magic item pricing
- Epic levels are built into the core. This should avoid much of the bizarre nature of epic level play.




There were many things listed in the original post that I did not like. There were also a few that I didn't think we had any way of knowing would occur. The above, mostly from my point of view as a DM, do sound encouraging. Essentially, my favorite reported aspect of 4e is the idea of taking the pressure off the DM.
 

-The per encounter time frame for character strategy
-The New Paladin and Cleric - granted we don't know too much about either and less about clerics, but I just enjoy seeing every editions take on these archetypes. They're such a distinctly DnD problem.
-The Dragonborn - finally a core desert race
-PoL
-Watching my players pick out the tricks and traps of a new system
-Multi-stage/creature dynamic encounters
 

vagabundo

Explorer
There is lots I am liking from what I have heard about the new system. Pretty much all the list in the OP.



One aspect I hope they fix is Charging, so underpowered (+2 to hit), doesnt matter if you are a puny kobold or a fully armour knight on a warhorse going at full tilt.

Historically charges could make or break battles, in DND they have zero real effect...

I also hope they fix grapple, sunder (get rid of it? have it as something that happens on a fumble?) and to a lesser extent disarm, bull rush and trip..
 

Mathew_Freeman

First Post
I'm massively looking forward to less prep time, and per/encounter/day abilities that set the characters apart.

Particularly the idea that no Wizard will ever have to buy a light x-bow at first level again!
 

shilsen

First Post
vagabundo said:
One aspect I hope they fix is Charging, so underpowered (+2 to hit), doesnt matter if you are a puny kobold or a fully armour knight on a warhorse going at full tilt.

Historically charges could make or break battles, in DND they have zero real effect...

That +2 can often make the difference between a miss and a hit. And the fully armored knight on the warhorse going full tilt is usually utilizing a lance and doing double damage with it, or triple damage with Spirited Charge (double damage even with a non-lance weapon). Charges in D&D by characters focused on charging (just like historical knights were) can be devastating.
 

vagabundo

Explorer
shilsen said:
That +2 can often make the difference between a miss and a hit. And the fully armored knight on the warhorse going full tilt is usually utilizing a lance and doing double damage with it, or triple damage with Spirited Charge (double damage even with a non-lance weapon). Charges in D&D by characters focused on charging (just like historical knights were) can be devastating.

I think what bothers me is that there seems to be little difference with regard to the speed of the charge and the mass of the charger.

I would like to see charge changed to a combination of Bulls Rush/Overrun + Charge, with the damage multipler depending on the speed of the charger (spd 1-6 = x2, 6-8 =x4, ...). For me, having a dragon charge you should wet the chainmail pants of any hardened PC. :D

I dont mind mounted combatants needing feats to do a proper charge, as it is hard to hit anything from a moving horse, it requires a lot of training.
 

kennew142

First Post
Perhaps the biggest positive in my mind is the reduction in reliance on magic items. When I first started running D&D 3e, I was very happy. This was the edition that brought me back to D&D (from Runequest, GURPS, HERO and Call of Cthulhu). I had switched around the publication of AD&D 2e. I ran a few games and played in a few more, but my interests were elsewhere. D&D 3e looked like the answer to most of the issues I'd had with earlier editions. At low levels (3-10) it was.

The first problems began for me at 3rd level, when magic items began to show up in the game. I had developed several items with campaign significance and history, items that were intended to be part of the storyline. My players (pretty good role-players by the way), players who had never acted this way in any game before, had read in the DMG about what items a character should have at a given level and immediately wanted to sell the things they had found so they could buy +1 resistance items and +1 amulets of natural armor (my personal least favorite thing in the game).

I resisted.

They complained.

Eventually, I gave in.

I realized then and there that a game system predicated on every character having certain items at a certain level required the existence of the Mega-Lo-Magic-Mart in every campaign. This mechanical approach to the game was incompatible with every homebrew I had ever run (in any system) since 1979.

The situation got so bad for me that I simply stopped runing the campaign that I had designed. My players did seem to catch on as quickly as I did, although they eventually came around. I still GMed for them, but I ran in published campaign worlds with treasure given out by the rules. The problem with this solution was that I prefer campaigns in which the major adversaries are powerful NPCs - not monsters. Because NPCs are equipped with the same sort of magic items every character is required to have in order to be playable, the magic mart intensified. Most treasure consisted of weaker versions of what the party already had, not to mention the dozens of wands each spell caster accumulated.

If D&D 4e had no positive elements aside from reducing the reliance on magic items, it would still IMO be worth trying out. Before the announcement, I was prepared to leave D&D altogether for another system again (possible AD&D 1e or the new RQ). I am happy to be able to continue with D&D in 4e.
 

Meeki

First Post
vagabundo said:
One aspect I hope they fix is Charging, so underpowered (+2 to hit), doesnt matter if you are a puny kobold or a fully armour knight on a warhorse going at full tilt.

Historically charges could make or break battles, in DND they have zero real effect...

Yea but historically dwarves couldn't tumble in full plate and heavy load and gnomes didnt exist (which they don't in 4e what does that tell us!!?)
 

cignus_pfaccari

First Post
Imban said:
I don't really see these benefits yet, myself. I don't see the "narrowing" of feats as something that will simplify the game (though certainly only having the corebook's selection to choose from when 4e comes out will simplify things for a while), and I'm pretty darn sure feat-related power creep will still exist in the exact same way as long as people print splatbooks with new feats in them.

The thing is if there is a generally-agreed vision of what a feat can do, then it's harder to have horribly balanced feats, over- OR under-powered. Then they're less likely to print subpar or overoptimal feats, and those that are will be more obvious and easier to winnow out.

I, personally, think this is a fantastic idea.

Brad
 

cignus_pfaccari said:
The thing is if there is a generally-agreed vision of what a feat can do, then it's harder to have horribly balanced feats, over- OR under-powered. Then they're less likely to print subpar or overoptimal feats, and those that are will be more obvious and easier to winnow out.

I, personally, think this is a fantastic idea.
Sub-par feats had their uses. They allowed for meaningful trade-offs.

Dodge, Endurance, and Toughness aren't great feats, but the abilities of the Dwarven Defender class are pretty phenomenal compared to the fighter class. So a fighter makes a sacrifice, giving up three precious feat slots to gain entry to a powerful class. If the entry requirements were three useful feats that most fighters would take anyway, the class becomes a no-brainer and is no longer a meaningful choice. That's why I didn't allow the DD player in my campaign to take Improved Toughness instead of Toughness for the prereq. One of the few drawbacks of the DD class is that you have to take a few sub-optimal feats.
 

Traycor

Explorer
Li Shenron said:
You cannot fairly argue that a rules is good because you can house rule it... otherwise every rule ever is good.
Not to be snide at all, because I mean this in a respectful way. But you argued that my point of view was irrelevant because I could simply house rule and give characters a few thousand free xp to fix what I don't like.

Then when I make the same point back at you (changing to an optional rule to fit what you don't like) you claim it's not a fair argument?
Li Shenron said:
How is it conceptually different for you to start at level 1 with triple HP and BAB +3 (4e) and start at level 3 with three HD and BAB +3 (3e)? The 4e 1st level will be something similar to 3e 2nd or 3rd level: why does it matter to you, when creating a 3e 3rd level PC, that there were 2 levels before, if in both cases you may need to select more or less the same amount of stuff?
I don't want to hijack my own thread, so I'm not going to get into a big debate about this. Basically on this point I don't think lvl 1 characters could be conceived as apprentices by any stretch of the imagination. That outlook basically involved ignoring what the character could do. So if my character is already a fully trained hero then I would like for them to be able to act like one, instead of having all the ability of the hero but not being able to back that up.
Li Shenron said:
We were talking about a game without clerics, not without healing...
No other reason I know of that a party must have a cleric. Sure they have other uses, but healing is the reason a party in 3E can hardly do without one. I'm glad that is changing.
Li Shenron said:
You mean besides being spontaneous or preparation-based, and besides the amount of spells known? Trust me, I've played a lot of sorcerers and wizards (they are my favourite classes), and they are TOTALLY different from the point of view of how the game plays :D The fact that potentially they can learn the same spells does not make them much similar, and you will not likely learn a lot of the same spells at the end.
To me that's all semantics. How you cast and what you have memorized are minor differences that most people would never notice unless they are practiced in the classes or rules. My players probably couldn't even tell me the difference between the two other than spellbooks. I am hoping for truely unique and distinct classes in 4E. Ones that you can't mistake for each other.
 
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