The Early Verdict (kinda long)

Doug McCrae

Legend
Orryn Emrys said:
My wife, for example, once wrote up a wizardess who was woefully inadequately prepared for adventuring. She was a research mage, her spellbook stocked with utility spells and very little that was designed for combat. Over the course of the game, she was forced to compensate with what she had, developing clever applications for her spells that aided the party in unconventional ways. Eventually, learning from her experiences, she became more combat-ready, approaching the development, acquisition and application of offensive and defensive magic with the scrutiny and efficiency of a researcher. It was fun.
Problem is, options that make your PC suck as an adventurer really screw over noobs and casual players.

A rules expert could handle the above character in 4e by devising stats to represent 'suck', then switching to a RAW wizard once the character had gained experience.
 
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helium3

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.

You know, I could almost agree with this statement. If it weren't for my personal experience, that is.

Generally speaking, when a player has wanted to run a character that does heroic stuff, it's more because he/she is a showboater and just wants the attention firmly on them. Not so much because they're trying to role-play a heroic character.
 

Dark Eternal

First Post
If I might pitch in, I'd have to say that the OP (who happens to be my DM) makes a lot of points that I agree with, but doesn't seem to make the points that are at the top of my head as I burrow into 4E... or if he does make them, they seem to have missed most of the responders to the thread.

I hadn't even made it halfway through my first trip into the 4E PHB before I heard a quote from The Incredibles in the back of my mind - "When everyone is super... no one will be."

This version of D&D feels like it's out to achieve that end, I fear. It's taking away things that maybe too many players have already given up, and so they don't notice. But the character whose shining moment in a session is a well-delivered one liner instead of a timely critical hit or perfectly orchistrated use of a daily power is just as important in my fantasy genre as those other guys are, and it seems like 4E's kicked him to the curb.

One or more people have asked what mechanics 3.x had to make social or policital encounters better than 4th, and my jaw gapes. You must be joking, right? How about the most maligned class by the power-gamers, the virtually unlamented absence from 4E - the Bard? A class that wasn't so combat useful and so was derided and ignored by hundreds of action-junkie players because he was designed to shine in social and political encounters ?!? And that's just for starters.

There's no doubt that 4E is an incredible game, and if you think I'm just here to bash it then you've probably already stopped reading. Too bad, because you'll miss me admitting that I love the things that 4E has accomplished in the areas it focused on. When we tried our obligatory one shot "test session" for the new edition, I was probably the most vocal doubter about where the game seemed to be going. And yet, when we started playing, I took my halfling Paladin straight over the top and not only had a blast but led the charge to get everyone else at the table to immerse themselves in the fantasy instead of the new game mechanics. And it was oh, so FUN!

But the problem is that this flavor of fun is NOT the end all and be all of fantasy role-playing, not to me. And I think that I have the gift of allowing everyone else at the table with me to enjoy all the other flavors that I like to experiment with, as well. So when I look down the barrel of a game system that's going to change my RPG from 31 flavors to vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, I'm a little bit unhappy. Doesn't mean I don't like those flavors, it just means that I'm not going to pretend that Mocha Chocolate Chip and Banana Mallow Delight aren't worth having anymore, either.

My club-footed dwarven sorcerer with the Scarlet Adder familiar that lived in his beard would never have been played if we had been playing 4E. Neither will my ideas for characters like a wizard who can only cast one spell but believes he can still become a mighty Magus by mastering that spell like no one's business, a cleric who devoutly worships the (possibly imaginary) Goddess of Forgetfulness and strives to strengthen her worship in the world by earning a reputation as a hero, or a runaway gnome who joins a party of adventurers in the hopes of convincing them to escort him on a journey around the world, since all he knows how to do well is build and fix agricultural equipment. They may not be characters you would want to see in your games... but then again, maybe if you'd played a few games with me and my DM you'd find yourself looking forward to them, too.

When you come down to it, I guess that whether character or player, people are mostly the results of their experiences. So I can't say if my opinion is going to have any significance to anyone else out there... but 4E is going to have to become a little less straight and narrow before it can accomodate the type of fantasy that I'm used to.
 

helium3

First Post
Ruin Explorer said:
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.

When a friend suggests trying a new restaurant, do you refuse on the grounds that you'll eventually get bored with eating their food?

If so, I can see that the OP's concerns might actually be a problem.

Otherwise, if a more tactics focused game like 4E sounds like a fun change of pace why not play it?

It's not like you can't switch to another edition (or game even!!) if you do get bored.
 

Orryn Emrys

Explorer
Doug McCrae said:
A rules expert could handle the above character in 4e by devising stats to represent 'suck', then switching to a RAW wizard once the character had gained experience.
Hmmm.... the 'suck' template. Has potential... ;)
 


Orryn Emrys

Explorer
helium3 said:
Otherwise, if a more tactics focused game like 4E sounds like a fun change of pace why not play it?

It's not like you can't switch to another edition (or game even!!) if you do get bored.
And I am! Playing it, that is. It is a fun change of pace.

But my players are accustomed to being able to approach my primary campaigns with the expectation that the game will last for years, that it will ultimately be the vehicle for their most memorable characters on their epic journey to higher levels and greater and greater stories... I take my obligation to them, to focus on making the game as rich and rewarding as possible, very seriously.

And I beg you to understand that we were very excited about the release of the new edition, with many of the issues it promised to address. I'm not saying it failed to meet our expectations, but I'm certainly going to examine it for long-term viability, given that Dungeons & Dragons is our game of choice, and most of us have been playing it for more than 20 years.
 

Khairn

First Post
Orryn Emrys said:
To be honest, I look forward to finding out. It's entirely possible that, any early reservations notwithstanding, 4E could quite simply be enjoyable enough to significantly transform my group's expectations. As it is, I fully intend to give it the chance. My current campaign is only barely underway, and I hope to see it last well into the Paragon levels, at the very least. And it certainly isn't the only 4E game we're going to play... my players have plenty of things they want to try out in other side games that we're tentatively planning.

Orryn, I feel your pain and am having the same challenges with the new edition. 4E combat is fun. But the depth and flexibility of character design and play style that I am used GM'ing just doesn't appear to be there. Maybe its just me, but I feel that I'll have to wait until more supplements and splats are available before I'll have the options needed to GM a game.

I'm still going to play the system as it is and try to push through, but for my own game, I just don't see the system being as flexible and complete as I'm used to.
 

Mallus

Legend
Dark Eternal said:
One or more people have asked what mechanics 3.x had to make social or policital encounters better than 4th, and my jaw gapes. You must be joking, right?
No. And I run a campaign where whole, well-regarded sessions have passed without an action sequence or fight.

- the Bard? A class that wasn't so combat useful and so was derided and ignored by hundreds of action-junkie players because he was designed to shine in social and political encounters ?!? And that's just for starters.
The presence of the bard class (or the Diplomacy skill) does not mean 3.5 had robust support for political/intrigue-heavy games. 'Robust support' entails more than that.
 

Cadfan

First Post
Dark Eternal said:
I hadn't even made it halfway through my first trip into the 4E PHB before I heard a quote from The Incredibles in the back of my mind - "When everyone is super... no one will be."
I don't understand your point. Are you saying that my enjoyment of my heroic character is dependent on you playing a character who is sub par in combat? Are you saying vice versa? Its been ages since I played in a campaign where someone was playing an intentionally gimped character. Everyone in my 3e games played characters designed for, amongst other things, combat effectiveness. Was I not having fun, and I just didn't notice?
Dark Eternal said:
This version of D&D feels like it's out to achieve that end, I fear. It's taking away things that maybe too many players have already given up, and so they don't notice. But the character whose shining moment in a session is a well-delivered one liner instead of a timely critical hit or perfectly orchistrated use of a daily power is just as important in my fantasy genre as those other guys are, and it seems like 4E's kicked him to the curb.
Why does it seem that way? Is there something about having a perfectly orchestrated use of a daily power that interferes with your quipping talents? Are you worried that people will forget about your quip and remember your daily power? What's the logic here.
One or more people have asked what mechanics 3.x had to make social or policital encounters better than 4th, and my jaw gapes. You must be joking, right? How about the most maligned class by the power-gamers, the virtually unlamented absence from 4E - the Bard? A class that wasn't so combat useful and so was derided and ignored by hundreds of action-junkie players because he was designed to shine in social and political encounters ?!? And that's just for starters.
Have you noticed that every character class in 4e has at least one social skill? The design intention was to make sure that every character can participate in social encounters, rather than having a "face man" who does all the social work while the rest of the party sits back and watches. Do you feel this is inferior design?
But the problem is that this flavor of fun is NOT the end all and be all of fantasy role-playing, not to me
.
That's fair as a general point.
My club-footed dwarven sorcerer with the Scarlet Adder familiar that lived in his beard would never have been played if we had been playing 4E.
Strictly speaking, no, he wouldn't, because there are neither familiars nor sorcerers nor clubbed feet. Is that what you meant?
Neither will my ideas for characters like a wizard who can only cast one spell but believes he can still become a mighty Magus by mastering that spell like no one's business,
True, because you get new spells for free and you can't assign spell slots. Is that what you meant?
a cleric who devoutly worships the (possibly imaginary) Goddess of Forgetfulness and strives to strengthen her worship in the world by earning a reputation as a hero,
Why couldn't you play this character?
or a runaway gnome who joins a party of adventurers in the hopes of convincing them to escort him on a journey around the world, since all he knows how to do well is build and fix agricultural equipment.
Why couldn't you play this character? I imagine he was an NPC in 3e, so he could stay an NPC in 4e.
 

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