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Things I don't like about the 4E DMG - part 1 of 1000

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tomBitonti

Adventurer
So ... lots of interesting stuff here to consider ...

I agree that the advice is poorly written. (And, IMO, when reviewing a purchased product, one is entirely reasonable to call out the defects in that product. No name calling or rude statements, just a "you have to do better to make the grade" statement. Products have to compete, and we are well due to turn down and disclaim a poor product.)

This seems to get into a "rules as physics of the world" issue: A world that has a particular ability has to work with that ability applied as one would image it being applied.

I'm surprised that the developers didn't look at every ability, and at least attempt to create a counter for it.

In that regard, I see a huge opportunity here. If there is scrying, of any sort, wouldn't casters begin work at once on counter-scrying? If there is a scrying ritual, why not a scrying-ward ritual?

"You begin the ritual, but feel a force opposing your view. Do you wish to continue (perhaps at some risk), or do you wish to stop casting the ritual (using just a fraction, say, 1/10th, of the materials)?"

"You push on, and the nature of the ward becomes clear: A Nimbus of Light has been placed around the target. Your view is blinded by the Nimbus."

"You push on, and a Nether Watcher, appears before you and attacks!"

"You push on, and are locked into a contents of wills with the bearer of the item."

So much opportunity for cool tensions and story devices.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I agree with the OP, and find the reactions of most of the posters here to be unforgivably hypocritical in regards to his conduct.
 

Ulrick

First Post
Gizmo33 does have a point, though I don't think he should be as pissed as he sounds. Perhaps Wyatt should have worded it better or perhaps not. I personally would let the player succeed with the ritual. After all, it would have been my fault for allowing that loophole to exist.

I'd be ticked off as a player in that situation. In fact, i've been that player and it is frustrating. Back in 2e I played a 1st level wizard--an enchanter. I had Charm Person prepared and cast that spell on the lackey of a villain. The DM didn't even roll the saving throw, he just outright said the spell failed because if it had succeeded the plot would have been spoiled.

As for finding 1,000 things wrong with the DMG? Go ahead and try. Personally, I think it is the best DMG thus far.
 

Imban

First Post
Yeah, I'm not quite getting why you'd blame the player for not doing it right when really, any "blame" lies with the DM for not taking into account the party's abilities when they planned out the adventure. Not that there's very much - DMs are human and have limited time, so sometimes they forget little details like that.

Still, it'd be better to think "Well, how much would this REALLY snarf things up?" and then, if you conclude that it would REALLY snarf things up, either just say "Err... yeah he was in a scrying-proof chamber. And... is always in one. Really. Funny that." or just admit it'd mess things up and ask the players to not, depending on your group and the nature of the surprise.

EDIT: But to some degree, "book says something you disagree with, news at 11" is kind of my reaction to this thread - sure, I agree with you, but I don't think it's a big deal. People say dumb things sometimes, even good designers.

It's not like old-time White Wolf and their pathological hatred of the powergamer and RPG combat, where it was both a constant theme throughout the work and also a dedicated effort to try and change how people played roleplaying games.

This is a well-written book designed to educate people on how to run a roleplaying game... with a few dumb lines in it. World of difference.
 
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catsclaw227

First Post
I'm pretty sure that Wyatt's intent was to say that if the use of a ritual will screw your hard work, then just let it not work. Can't speak for the writer, but I would imagine that he DIDN'T intend to say that if the use of a ritual messes with your campaign plot then blame the player.

It's a good book, but that line needed to be run through an editor one more time.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I will say this:

Thwarting a ritual just because you suck at adapting to the monkey wrenches players throw at you is horribly unsatisfying.

It's the "say yes" rule. Say yes. Yes, the ritual does work, but that doesn't mean it's all tied up nice and simple.

I don't like that statement either, because it goes directly against the "say yes" rule, which is the golden rule in improvising, and one of the 4e DMG's best pieces of advice.

I'm not as spectacularly upset about it as the OP, but it is, really, honestly, horrible advice for a fun game.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Yeah, I'm not quite getting why you'd blame the player for not doing it right when really, any "blame" lies with the DM for not taking into account the party's abilities when they planned out the adventure. Not that there's very much - DMs are human and have limited time, so sometimes they forget little details like that.
This.

It's not like old-time White Wolf and their pathological hatred of the powergamer and RPG combat, where it was both a constant theme throughout the work and also a dedicated effort to try and change how people played roleplaying games.
I dunno...I remember back when 4E was announced. There was a distinct "roleplaying has sucked for too long/we are going to change roleplaying forever!" vibe resonating out of WotC at that time. I'm sure that most of it was excitement over the new product, or maybe a marketing trick to generate buzz...but it was there. The 4E books still seem to whisper it.

Not judging, just observing. The OP should play the game he likes playing, whether it be the thousand-times flawed 4E, or the (9.465E99)-times flawed 3rd Edition. ;)
 

chaotix42

First Post
Well, it's a 24th level ritual.

PC: I wanna use Observe Creature on *blahblahblah*

DM: *narrows eyes* He's warded with sufficiently powerful magic.

PC: ???

DM: Read the ritual. Pg. 309 - 310. :devil:

Honestly though, I enjoy when my players want to spy on NPCs and screw with my plans. It means they care. :hmm:
 

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