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D&D 4E So I cornered a 4e playtester...

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First Post
Spinachcat said:
So I cornered a 4e playtester and offered him a choice of waterboarding or spilling the beans on 4e. After the waterboarding, I asked him again.

Very funny read, and very good info.


First Post
Very good report. Thanks Spinachcat for sharing it with us.

Spinachcat said:
Tactical movement is deeply emphasized, chopping that out is doable, but WotC isn't joking. They want you to buy minis and their dungeon tiles.
Ah ah! I knew I was not the only one to think so. But eh, as much as I would like to play boardless, I already started buying minis and think it's the way to go for 4E.


I bought a Paizo flip mat for running the Oakhurst mod. 12$ for the laminated paper mat with a generic dungeon floor on one side and a tavern on the other. That and 5$ for some dry erase markers and an eraser.

Didn't exactly break the bank.


Moon-Lancer said:
I have just one question, did the play tester live? and if not what kind of xp did you get?

Question addendum - if the xp you got from waterboa..., er, defeating your enemy was enough to put you up a level, what mechanics did you use and what class did you go up in?


First Post
Spinachcat said:
I deeply disagree, but I am very glad that you and others found a way to enjoy 3e without minis.

I have run 3e / D20 with and without the grid and they are different games. Many feats, abilities, spells and game balancers depend on the measurements. Without the grid, these balancers are removed. Now, that's totally cool, but you are off the rules reservation.

If the whole table doesn't care about the balancers or being on/off the rules reservation, then you are 100% yippy skippy and all is good. The issue I have found is THAT ONE GUY (or more than one) who is attached to RAW and plays 3e because of the balance factors.

For reasons I do not know, I have found many more gamers are attached to RAW with 3e than with any other RPG. If you can avoid those players, then yeah, no problemo.

It seems to me, more like the problem is that you and/or your group has a hard time mentally visualizing without a visual aid. In my games the DM keeps track of how everything is playing out in his head. He explains how things are and if the players have any questions, they ask.

For example, a battle starts. There's an enemy 30 ft away from the party. The fighter charges. The wizard moves back 30 ft and casts magic missile. The rogue comes on next to the fighter and attacks the enemy. The enemy full-round attacks. The fighter then fullround attacks. The wizard backs up another 30 ft and casts another magic missile. The rogue tumbles into a flanking position and attacks.

Pretty easy. Now you can add things like tables and other terrain, and then the rogue asks "Can I tumble into a flanking position with the fighter?" the DM says whether or not it's possible with the way the battle is unfolding. Lets say he says no. So the rogue says "Then can i get into a flanking position even if i provoke an AoO?" and then DM says "sorry, he's too far away, or the table is blocking any path to do that in one move action" or "Yeah, that'll work" and you choose to do your turn accordingly.

You just have to have the DM adjudicate the battlefield. In some ways, I find it, as a player, a bit more immersive due to the fact that you can imagine the battle how you want rather than having a poor visual aid.

The 3e rules are fine for playing without a battlemat. You just need to have a strong ability to visualize things along with good DM/player communication. On occasion I'd ask for something to be drawn so I can understand it better, but as the group spends more and more time playing with each other, we have come to understand each other's descriptions so well as to need less and less clarification.

I think we're both talking about two different things. The ability to play without a battle-mat and simply having position and range simply not exist so people can say "I attack it." I do the former while keeping all rules still in mind. We don't need to change any rules or alter them, because it's still the same game whether we're all keeping track of where everyone is in our head, or whether we're keeping track of everything with a mat.

I do, though, find it easier than others say they do though, because from all of those little intelligence tests people take, my spacial perception is always a strong score.