What is the essence of D&D

Imaro

Adventurer
I was kind of startled that the example of this super-jump was used as an example. So 4e reduced this imaginary "Primacy of Magic" by...giving rogues magical powers? WTF?
Also an edition where anyone can cast magic by taking Ritual Caster.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That rarity wasnt because people really wanted to play a celibate bible banger
Correct. The rarity was because people panicked and incorrectly believed that they always needed a dedicated healer and/or lacked faith in the DM to know that there wasn't the maximum amount of healing when he designed encounters.

And people also didn't really want to play a mundane and humdrum game. The player of the fighter wasn't thrilled about his +3 plate and ring of regeneration because of the primacy of magic. He was thrilled because magic is just plain cool.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Oh god yes.
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And I found mine inside the T-Rex (I think that was the dinosaur) in the original isle of Dread. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Everyone cheered for several minutes and the game came to a stop for a while. That’s why I prefer the finding of magic items over the just craft it or buy it type of games.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Personally I always felt by level 22 there is genre bending implied by the adversaries you meet this is where I bring up the nonsense of a normal man killing a house sized brilliant monster armored like a tank with his itty bitty sword .... and utterly human levels of ability (I can find people on youtube making the same attack rate with a bow as the highest level fighter... it isnt even vaguely heroic let alone... super heroic.)
 

Zardnaar

Hero
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And I found mine inside the T-Rex (I think that was the dinosaur) in the original isle of Dread. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Everyone cheered for several minutes and the game came to a stop for a while. That’s why I prefer the finding of magic items over the just craft it or buy it type of games.
That's D&D right there.

It's something I noticed playing 2E with modern players.

They found finding magic items more fun.
Might also be power level as well since 3E+ gated magic items behind levels. Finding a holy avenger level 6 to 8 wouldn't be unheard of.

In modern D&D a lot if the high end stuff you don't get to use. In AD&D they do so there's that aspect as well.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
It's something I almost never handed out. In AD&D 2E there was a grand total of 2 holy avengers handed out.
That’s kind of the way it should be to me for the games I like to play. If every paladin gets a holy avenger it’s not exciting. If every wizard gets a staff of the magi it’s not exciting. I think players should be surprised by magic items and how they will work in the game. And maybe they will find something cool like the modron crucible or the wand of wizardry.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Correct. The rarity was because people panicked
Poppy poo the DM holding players hands all over again... sheesh. No. People werent imagining the need for that healer. The system made it damn nigh obligatory.

Everybody else is wrong doesn't seem to work for anyone defending 4e ...

Or maybe people didnt want Fantasy Vietnam and the cleric was a patch to try and fix that just a bit
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Interestingly, while I found 4e magic items bland and uninspiring (hardly a unique opinion - and seemingly almost intended), 4e's treatment of Artifacts was really good.

I particularly liked how if an artifact's user drifted to far from the goals of the artifact, it would just disappear (or in the case of the Eye of Vecna, tear itself out of the user's eye socket and depart).

If/when I introduce an artifact or 2 into my current 5e (Greyhawk) campaign, I'm stealing many of the elements straight from there.
Yeah. I remember really liking how 4e handled artifacts. I disliked 4e overall, but really enjoyed some aspects of it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Poppy poo the DM holding players hands all over again... sheesh. No. People werent imagining the need for that healer. The system made it damn nigh obligatory.

Everybody else is wrong doesn't seem to work for anyone defending 4e ...

Or maybe people didnt want Fantasy Vietnam and the cleric was a patch to try and fix that just a bit
Er, not one thing I said involved the DM holding any hands. The DMs job is to provide a fun challenge to the players. Period. Full stop. If the party has no healers, it's a bad DM who just throws things they can't handle at them and the PC's die. It's not hand holding to provide challenging encounters to the group, regardless of PC composition.

Your view here is why the problem of "everyone needs a cleric" exists. You created your problem and now you want others to fix it.
 
I was kind of startled that the example of this super-jump was used as an example. So 4e reduced this "Primacy of Magic" by...giving rogues magical powers? WTF?
Either way you slice it, yes.

If you look at limited-use martial maneuvers that have power rivaling that of same-level, same-recharge magical spells as meaning the martial power must be magical, regardless of what any fluff text says, then, well, there's /nothing but magic/. How can something meaningfully rank First in a list of one?

If you don't go there, if you accept that martial powers aren't magical, even though they're extraordinary, and rival the power of magic, then, well, magic isn't top of the list, either, is it?

Either way, it wont "feel magical" anymore, because it's not "just better."

There needs to be a gap between the two, to bestow Primacy on the correct one. It can cut both ways: it can notionally 'balance' by making powerful/critically-important magic limited in meaningful, but manageable ways, so that it can be used when it'll have the most impact, but, not just all the time. Vancian does that. Anti-magic is another layer of it. Spell interruption used to be a component of it, that concentration echoes however feebly, etc.

Every other edition of D&D gives you magic that's very powerful, limited (less so with each successive ed, but still) in manageable ways, juxtaposed with non-magical options that are less varied, less potent, but limited only by the need to be alive and conscious to keep using them. That supports the Primacy of Magic.

(And that's not even getting into magic /items/ which 1e & 5e, in particular, do a really good job of making feel particularly magical - and 4e demoted to glorified fashion accessories.)

And I also don't like people highjacking threads for their personal wars, even if they start their latest edition wars by saying, AKTUALLY, IM NOT HERE FOR AN EDITION WAR, BUT IM GONNA THROW SOME LOGS ON THE FIRE!
I try to avoid edition wars. Just because I burned out on 4E doesn't mean that it was a bad game, it just wasn't for me at least not when it got above the initial tier of play.

But I know a lot of people that felt that the edition just didn't "feel" like D&D. It had a lot of things in common with D&D. The basic structure was there, so why did it feel different?

One main reason is that the rules were too "tight". In some ways that was a good thing but it didn't leave a lot of wiggle room. As a DM if there was a power that could achieve something, it always felt a little bit like cheating if someone could just replicate a power through improv.

So I would say another aspect would be ease of customization and creative play. A player picks up a gnome goblin and starts swinging it by it's legs like a club? No problem! Make up a rule that makes sense or use the improvised weapon attack.

That flexibility also applies to styles of play. As much as there are some never-ending threads about how to play if you take 10 different groups, each group is going to have more in common than not. But they are each going to be played slightly differently. TOTM? All grid all the time? Lots of in-person RP or just describing what your PC does in third person. It's all D&D.

Different classes just "feel" different. A paladin plays different than a rogue, a wizard has different concerns than a fighter. That wasn't true in 4E, with everyone having the same basic structure.

Related to that, you can have characters that feel special but not supernatural. A champion fighter is just a guy that wades into combat and swings a weapon. It may not be very realistic, but it's one of the classes that you could throw into a movie set in the real world and it wouldn't look too out of place.

I also think alignment as a simple hook is iconic. Yes, I know it's overly simplified but it does give me a quick starting point, particularly for monsters. I know a devil will be slightly different from a demon just based on alignment.

So while 4E had the sheen and look of D&D, it was a different game and just didn't scratch the same itch for a lot of people.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
As someone who has grown apart from 4th Edition I can say that I am definitely not a fan of the primacy of magic, but have found other games that address it better without elements like abstract martial resources, bloated monster hit points, or abilities that do not correspond to something your character is doing in the narrative. I do not like the stuff like this in Fifth Edition either and it is all over the place.

Also while Fourth Edition addressed this pretty well in combat, it never really addressed the noncombat prowess of a fighter or rogue in a meaningful way. Casters still very much had an advantage here due to the power and versatility of Ritual Casting, particularly because without daily limits casters could almost do more outside of combat. Classes like Fighters also had a real dearth of skills.

I find with the way this works in practice that Fifth Edition feels pretty close to Fourth Edition. In combat there is pretty good parity between our Fighter, My Barbarian and the casters in the party (Sorcerer, Cleric/Druid, Warlock), but outside of combat they have significant advantages that the rest of us lack. A large part of this is that the martial characters just are not broadly skilled enough to represent competent adventurers. The other issue is that skills lack the same sort of defined niche that spells have. Also spells (and rituals in practice due to the way skills worked in Fourth Edition) are basically automatic.

My own experience tells me the way to really do this is to define a clear conceptual space for each caster so they are as specialized as anyone else, make spells less certain, and define a clear conceptual space for martial skill and be fine with letting at will things be awesome. My experience also tells me that many Dungeons and Dragons players would not like that.

This is pretty much what RuneQuest and Legend of the Five Rings do. It's also basically what Pathfinder 2 does.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
As someone who has grown apart from 4th Edition I can say that I am definitely not a fan of the primacy of magic, but have found other games that address it better without elements like abstract martial resources,
"separate but equal" -- not convinced. The assumption of power due to the price of limited resources is not going away any time soon.

Also while Fourth Edition addressed this pretty well in combat, it never really addressed the noncombat prowess of a fighter or rogue in a meaningful way. Casters still very much had an advantage here due to the power and versatility of Ritual Casting, particularly because without daily limits casters could almost do more outside of combat. Classes like Fighters also had a real dearth of skills.
I will generally say I kind of agree but the divergence was smaller than it might be because skills were allowed to be potentially very powerful this was a system assumption and it was implied with skill powers and other things too. And martial practices I have put some decent amount of homebrew development in response to this - arguably someone said I am bit fiddling on the balance because I can. And a few martial type classes fighter and barbarian did to be more skill enabled because they were the core of skill challenge which brought to the table the idea that rituals only ever solve a sub part of a significant problem somebody using the history skill in a library might accomplish similar to speak to the dead was a direct assumption.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Your view here is why the problem of "everyone needs a cleric" exists.
When most people play the game they seem to rely on resources the game provides like all those not designed for any party random encounter tables and no real guidelines about what might be level appropriate. The fact was the cleric having super huge impact on play was exactly the primacy of magic FULL stop.
 

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