D&D 4E What to do with 4th Edition

Retreater

Legend
First things first. I used to run D&D Encounters at the FLGS. There were pregens you could take and play. If you wanted to make your own character the next time, you could bring one in.
So how you do that now? You can have pregens like Pathfinder Society does with their iconics.
Then for making characters, I think you direct people to the legal downloads of 4e PDFs, encouraging new players (and DMs) to stick with Essentials.
You don't really "roll up" characters in 4e: you choose from a slate of options. So as long as those rules are followed, you're good. As far as automation goes, it's no different than running Encounters at my game store.
 

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Jer

Legend
Supporter
How much virtual support is needed to run 4e online in a reasonable way? Can it be run ok enough with just a mapping program and dice roller with each character having their own character sheets?
If everyone has the rules and can find some character sheets to fill out, I think it's about the same as for 3e or Pathfinder. Virtual maps and dice would be all you need.

The trick is how dependent your group is on character creation tools. If folks are used to pencil and paper character creation then that's all you need. 4e benefited from having online tools for character management, but honestly I was the only one in the group who used the online tools, and I used the DM tools. We were all fine with it.
 

dave2008

Legend
First, I applaud your love for 4e. I think over the years 4e has gotten more and more respect. I know I see a lot of positive things about it on these forums now days and MCDM clearly loves it too. So I am not sure why your feeling lonely - there is 4e love out there!
Right. And this is where the real problems for me emerge. Because it's not for a lack of interest or people wanting it. It's because we are not given the same freedom and opportunity to pursue it because of the existing license. But what really sticks in my craw is how ever other edition (and most other game systems, for that matter) doesn't seem to have the same restrictions. Why? We know why. It doesn't matter.

It is very hard to enjoy what you love when you're the only one. I can't even mention it in most places without having to defend it against the same baseless or idiotic comments. It is hard enough to get anyone interested in D&D outside of 5e, especially when all they hear is negativity from bad sources. But even if I could, what kind of support do I have to start playing it again? VTTs can't offer me a good engine to use, even if I offered to pay for it. Digital tools don't exist anymore, and the ones that do are done illegally (you can't talk about it), require manual input for everything, and are dependent on a few dedicated people who are just doing the best they can for free.
Just want to point out the the 4e MM & PHB are both Mithral products which means they have sold over 2,500 copies. And these are books that were originally offered in PDF format!
"Good" being the operative word. I know we've seen them out there but... let's just say I can appreciate the work they put into it. But no thanks. I have my own ideas, but they are exactly that: my own ideas. People will have different expectations of what a retroclone should look like for them, and most of them just want to make sure all their old materials will still be usable. To that, I say: it works fine now, so just use what you have.
@Myrhdraak did a pretty awesome 4.5 update. You might DM him and see if he will send it to you. It might be posted on these forums too. I can't remember. I made the 4e Epic Monster Updates that you can download from this site.
I just don't know anymore. Maybe I'm done. I have so many unfinished ideas and so many unplayed adventures. But every year I get a little older and my brain gets a little less reliable. I miss playing with others. I can't even pretend to guess when I'll be able to do that again. And if so, what would I want to play? Will I even be able to run?

😞
What are you looking for from 4e that you can't already do? Just looking for players?
 

dave2008

Legend
My understanding of how OSRIC did it is that they started with the 3e OGL release and figured out exactly what terms, mechanics, etc. that the OGL allowed them to use were. Then they worked to backport whatever wasn't officially released by the 3e OGL by writing their own explanations of mechanics (game mechanics are not technically copyrightable, only expressions of game mechanics are copyrightable) and using new terminology where they had to.

A true clean room implementation of a 4e retroclone could be done the same way - start with the 3e and 5e SRDs, use every scrap you can of terminology and mechanics in them, and build something that is "close enough" to 4e to be compatible with the existing material.
This, I was going to suggest you can make 4e without the GSL (or whatever the 4e things was called) and use the OGL the same way other retroclones have. Completely doable, just a bunch of work!
 

dave2008

Legend
Why would we be happy about something that was free, now being not? Are we supposed to welcome it?

I remember ten years ago, I was more heavily involved in the OSR scene and it was really great and active. Everybody was writing and creating stuff on blogs and iterating on each other's stuff. But then came Patreon. Now everything that was a freely available post was content behind a walled garden. That affect was tangible and felt.

I get it, people's work does deserve some kind of remittance, sure. But, at the end of the day I'm now expected to pay for something I used to get for free and be happy about it? Like, you're allowed to understand the reasons for something and still not like it.

Who knows, this PF2 experiment could go the way of CNN+ anyway.
Go read the other thread and post there please.
 

dave2008

Legend
I also wanted to apologize for my part in the earlier digress. That was my fault.



Rather than the 3e or 5e SRDs, I wonder if Pathfinder might be a better place to start a retroclone effort. There are still big differences between the systems, but there is a ton of content available under the OGL.
They all use the same OGL. They are not the same thing. The SRD isn't really relevant to this discussion is it?
 

dave2008

Legend
I never used an online builder until 5e, so I wasn't sure. Are the .pdf of the 4e rules available in .pdf still?

Just wondering if there are enough on ENWorld who have the stuff and no how to play that a virtual game or two could be done. Sounded like it might be appreciated by some.
You can get the PDFs from the DMsGuild and you don't need an digital character builder or digital tools at all to play the game. We played 4e with pen & paper for 4 years and you could port to a VTT just was well as any other RPG.
 



kenada

Legend
Supporter
They all use the same OGL. They are not the same thing. The SRD isn't really relevant to this discussion is it?
They use the same OGL license text, but they have very different takes when it comes to open gaming content. Neither 3e nor 5e are as permissive as Pathfinder, and 5e is far less so than 3e. If you want to use 3e or 5e as a base for a game, sticking to the SRD helps you avoid accidentally using something that you can’t actually use.
 

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