The Early Verdict (kinda long)

The Little Raven

First Post
el-remmen said:
But a ranger is not a fighter. . . :(

What is this obsession with having "Fighter" in the class section, when it's the concept that really matters? Is having the word "Fighter" on your sheet more important than being a good archer with a different class name?

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Baron Opal

First Post
Orryn Emrys said:
For my convoluted political campaigns or games that focus on the social implications of the characters' experiences, I could do it 4E. Sure I could. But I could it better with 3.5.

How? I've seen this assertion, but I still don't get it. What mechanics are present in 3e, that are absent in 4e, that enhance this? I honestly don't get it.

Wisdom Penalty

First Post
Tenbones said:
1) The prevalance of miniature-based tactical rules - does it overpower the role-playing opportunities of the game in the sense that the game is skewed more towards combat than say, social/political play?

Does it overpower the RP opportunities? Certainly not. The mechanics for combat are, I believe, exclusive from RP aspects. To be fair, I think 4e has a slightly higher dependency on miniatures because there are a number of push-pull-slide capabilities. I play with minis and have since '78, however, so I'm not sure how non-mini games are run - so this may not be much of an issue.

I think 4e does a better job with the RP component because, if nothing else, it nearly compels all players to become involved - not just the "face" of the party making a Diplomacy check. The vehicle used is the skill challenge that, while it has some warts, is one of my favorite aspects of the new edition.

2) Can you, for instance, faithfully re-create classic fantasy-characters through the basic game? Or is it unrealistic for Elric to have an ability "Come and Get It" (lol). Does the fact that every class gets these abilities detract from the context of a character? Does the characters you envision match the class? or do they have to wrap themselves around the class and therefore change their own context?

I think it may be more difficult to come up with a character concept and then design your character under the 4e rules. In 1e you could do this because there weren't a lot of rules to worry about. In 3e you could do this because there was, quite literally, a rule for everything. 4e is somewhere in between, IMO.

I DM though and do not really play that much as a player, so take my thoughts with a proverbial grain of salt. I can say that out of my 11 players, no one's really had a problem with coming up with a fun concept.



First Post
Ydars said:
And for the record; I like most of 4E, but I don't much like the 4E mafia that seems to prowl these boards.

Although I won't be playing 4E, it does have some cool parts that I'll incorporate into 3E games quite happily.

Sadly, it's the rabid fanbase for 4E that has turned me off more than anything else. This is the first time since joining Eric Noah's old site (and then moving over here) that I've had to use the "ignore" feature. I've already got 6 people on it... :(

Wisdom Penalty

First Post
Castellan said:
Sadly, it's the rabid fanbase for 4E that has turned me off more than anything else. This is the first time since joining Eric Noah's old site (and then moving over here) that I've had to use the "ignore" feature. I've already got 6 people on it... :(

Testing, testing. Castellan - did you see this?


The thing about 4E is that it is an encounter-based game; not a game trying to model the stories we all grew up reading about in Fantasy Novels. Earlier games are a bit ambivalent in that they pay lip service to Fantasy novels but actually turn out as encounter based games. Making characters from these stories therefore doesn't make as much sense as it did in earlier versions, but is still viable.

The core rules, as released are so combat focussed it is unbelievable and there is very little attention paid to any other game aspect. I think this is one of the big things that puts people off but I am sure WoTC will correct it in due course. It is just that all the combat powers of each class occupy so much space in the PHB that there isn't room for much else. I am sure this will be sorted very soon via DDI/ Dragon and future expansions.

Just give the game a chance Tenbones; it is completely differnet to 3,5E and is not a replacement in the way you might be thinking.


el-remmen said:
I'm still trying to figure out how to build a fighter who's an effective archer. ;)
I don't know if you've played SW: Saga Edition or not, but one of the big things I had to get my head around was that class names are not necessarily descriptive. For example, C3PO was a Noble. Obviously, he's not noble in any way, but that's what his abilities reflected. By the same token, you might use the Noble class for a non-combat Jedi. It's the same thing.

A class is just a bundle of stuff - proficiencies, class skills, hit points, and powers. The name is descriptive, but it's kind of window dressing. For the ranger, this seems to be especially true.

In 4e, Rangers are no longer expert trackers. They don't get druidy-type spells. They don't get animal buddies. If you saw one in 3e, you'd guess they were a Fighter specializing in archery.

So... make your archer fighter by using the ranger class. Don't get hung up on the window dressing and let him call himself whatever he wants. :)


I think Orryn is pretty much spot-on, having run 4E myself. I like the game, but I think at this stage in it's life, it is largely a one-tricky pony.

There are just so many things that come across as attempts to "spice things up" or disguise (and I use that word non-judgementally) the simple tactical-combat orientation of 4E. I mean, we've got our terrain, our monsters with fancy abilities, our traps in combat, our skill challenges and so on. Beneath all this lovely stuff, though, is a game that is so dedicated to balance and controlling the experience that it has a strong potential for long-term blandness.

The main solution to the blandness, of course, seems to be "more variety" which WotC wish to provide for you in the form of splatbooks etc. Nothing wrong with that, I just think the OP is right in the comparison he seems to be making, between 1E AD&D at release and 4E.

I imagine that, four years down the road, so much stuff will be out that this problem will be largely forgotten. I do think that it's a potential problem, though, and it's something that makes me slightly unsure about 4E, much as I like it. Oh well, we shall see, I guess.


First Post
Ydars said:
Then perhaps what many of us feel is wrong with 4E is that the PCs have become SOLDIERS and are no longer WARRIORS/adventurers. There is a sense that tactics and teamwork have overshadowed the individual and his heroism.

It is almost as if the party is now the focus, not the individual characters, at least in combat.
There's no almost here, the party is definitely the focus. The funny thing is that the party has always been the focus in D&D. You need a thief to deal with traps, a fighter to soak and deal damage, a wizard to do just about everything, and a cleric to heal. Since 1st edition. What's the difference between the collection of individuals and a team? It's the mindset, nothing else. To be sure, 4E characters are more independent than ever, each with a good set of skills, each with the ability to heal, each with the ability to damage. I think you have your criticisms backwards, because everyone is now more heroic than ever at lower levels(which is all I have been playing, so far, so I won't speak beyond that.)

Ydars said:
This type of game is great fun, but it is not an RPG. I am not saying 4E is a wargame, but there is an uncomfortable association that perhaps makes many of us unconciously uneasy.
Okay, so wargames are not RPG's, and 4E is not a wargame. Alright then. But there is an 'uncomfortable association.' Well, roleplaying and tactical combat are not mutually exclusive. If they are, which would be ridiculous, why would 3.X be any different? 3.X was certainly not devoid of tactical combats. You can say you don't like 4E however you want, but there are those, myself included, who play 4E as a roleplaying game and have fun, using the rules as worded and intended and everything. If you reject 4E because of the arbitrary association (I say arbitrary because there's no reason any other edition of D&D wouldn't be labeled as being associated with a wargame, especially given that D&D was created from a wargame where people roleplayed characters inside of the game, Avalon I believe it was called) then so be it. But let's just be clear of the circumstances of your rejection.


el-remmen said:
But a ranger is not a fighter. . . :(

Think of it this way:

The "Leader" doesn't actually have to lead the party. In Order of the Stick (a 3e web comic, very funny and applicable here) terms, Roy the Fighter is still the party Leader, and neither Durkon the Cleric nor the Bard Elan (shudder :) ) lead the party.

A "Fighter" is a type of "Defender", and basically is there to take the beats.

An archer concept is not meant to sit there and take the beats, but rather to strike down the enemy with deadly arrows.

The "Ranger" is better at this sort of thing, being a ranged "Striker".

So if you want the archer concept, you go with the "Ranger" class, but in game, the character does not have to say "I'm a ranger", but can say "I'm a fighter: an archer in the King's army".

Heck, my "Wizard" calls himself a "Librarian" (he is a servant of Ioun, down to the multi-classing feat Initiate of the Faith).

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