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4E Where was 4e headed before it was canned?

Parmandur

Legend
I think the system had intrinsic component costs and never had slot cost so I wouldnt at all say they kept
It is an evolution from the 4E implementation ( as is the Skill system), so "kept" is the right word, even if it is changed.

The rituals are pretty well balanced around niche protection, now that I look at them more carefully: the Nature Cleric or Druid is going to be the one with the "speaking with animals" shtick anyways, as is the Bard or Wizard with identifying loot...
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It is an evolution from the 4E implementation ( as is the Skill system), so "kept" is the right word, even if it is changed.
4e had hundreds of rituals .... and honestly this seems to be RINO when you abandon the resource foundation they do not even all have physical components and you put it usually behind a paywall of known spells or even allowing it in slots ( some rituals being fast castable on a scroll feels distinct)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The rituals are pretty well balanced around niche protection, now that I look at them more carefully: the Nature Cleric or Druid is going to be the one with the "speaking with animals" shtick anyways, as is the Bard or Wizard with identifying loot...
Rituals were connected up with skill use ie the Druid with his nature skill and Nature Cleric might end up in the same set of rituals. AS would the ranger who chose to do rituals. But it was flexible just as which skills you knew generally is.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Enchantment magic doesn't just annoy people, it enrages them supernaturally. Not a good Plan A.
You didnt enrage them you convinced them that your efforts were going to endanger them so they fight/work against you just as wholeheartedly anyway even though your end goals are something of which they might approve
The skill use probably takes longer too.
 

Parmandur

Legend
You didnt enrage them you convinced them that your efforts were going to endanger them so they fight/work against you just as wholeheartedly anyway even though your end goals are something of which they might approve
The skill use probably takes longer too.
Most enchantment spells in 5E have an effect after they end that can be major trouble for the enchanter.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Most enchantment spells in 5E have an effect after they end that can be major trouble for the enchanter.
Right its a bit like you used the skill and got the benefit then weirdly afterwards you got the follow up of the failure its fairly clever. You never get just the success OR just the failure.
 

Hussar

Legend
We have rules for skill use as well out of the box.
I did have to thank you @Imaro for introducing me to the new phrase "gonzo realism". Now THAT'S some seriously interesting semantic twisting. :p But, no, you cannot go outside the box because the DM defines the box, and your answer to my "outside the box" was a flat "no". You can justify it all you like, "keeping genre" for example, but, again, that's 100% YOUR interpretation of the genre. The player has zero say in the matter. But my 1st level wizard can do exactly what I wanted him to do - jump up the wall - any time he wants. True, he can't do it many times. But, again, how often is "many times I want to speed up a wall" actually going to come up? The whole "all day long" red herring falls apart when you realize that the majority of skill checks are one and done and you don't really need to do it again.

Open a lock quietly, without alerting an army of Sahuagin to the player's presence and location.
Silence plus knock. Done. Strategically place the silence spell to block the sound. And, oh look, Silence is a ritual.
Convince somebody to help or not hinder you without causing violent consequences later on.
Pass Without A Trace. Invisiblity. 10000 other options.

Moving freely without resource usage.

Indeed, WotC went to some trouble to make all Skill-avoiding Spells both cost resources and have major complications inherent in their usage.
Wow, that's REALLY stretching/.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Came back to this because I realized Teleport was bothering me : So we sleep the night and cast it in the morning boom avoid many days of travel the use of or even dozens of uses of skills on that journey home.

At least as I said in 4e it was a ritual with a real cost not a maybe cost that you can just avoid. (there and back again is now really just there... and ping)

What knowledge skills are stepped all over by contact other plane rituals? Again yes a spell slot which boom in comparison to 4e rituals might as well be free.

It doesn't seem at all like they were careful enough
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I did have to thank you @Imaro for introducing me to the new phrase "gonzo realism".
Is that what I keep calling "wanting cake and eating it too"

But my 1st level wizard can do exactly what I wanted him to do - jump up the wall - any time he wants. True, he can't do it many times. But, again, how often is "many times I want to speed up a wall" actually going to come up? The whole "all day long" red herring falls apart when you realize that the majority of skill checks are one and done and you don't really need to do it again.
It doesn't have to obviate and exceed the other characters many times when its only really needed once in a while. Just like that epic feather fall.
 
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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
As a GM I do not really enjoy having to make constant judgement calls about what a martial character is capable of. I can handle it in a game like Blades in the Dark where that is all I have to manage and there are tools to handle it hygienically, but in a modern iteration of Dungeons and Dragons where the focus is on overcoming challenges I do not want to be determining the efficacy of character prowess on the fly. I would much rather focus on building challenges and seeing how characters overcome them.

My favorite part of Pathfinder 2 is that they gave each skill a clear conceptual place and spells actually interact with the skill system. I adore the fact that there are things skills can do that magic just cannot and things spells can do that skill users cannot.

I want to be able to run a game where I set challenges in front of players with no clear idea how they will overcome those challenges. I want to be legitimately surprised how things work out. I want us all to play a game. I do not want to be the game.
 
Again, this is because you choose not to accept the reported experiences of people who play the system. It's like the punchline of innumerable jokes, "Yes, that works very well in practice, but how does it work in theory?"

The invocation of niche, barely-played, single-purpose games does not illuminate a larger point about big-tent games like 5e, which are not just based in flexible rules, but also on the accumulated knowledge and norms of the people playing it. An exceptionally large player base that approaches the game in a multitude of ways, and to which there is an expectation for many that there will be significant deviations from the RAW.

It's as if someone kept saying, "I don't understand how someone can say it is ToTM AND Gridded combat. A game cannot possibly support both styles of play, or it will fail!"

So just as you have trouble understanding the claims of people that are actually playing 5e, I trust you understand why people that play 5e have trouble understanding someone saying, "But this is how it works in Prince Valiant, so I don't see how it could possible work that way in a different game that I don't want to engage with."

Or, as I noted before, there are those that keep invoking system and theory, and those that reject the approach. shrug
Two things.

(1) 5e D&D is a book with hundreds of pages of rules. WIth creature stat blocks dozens of words long. With character sheets with numbers splashed all over them. No reports of acutal 5e play that I read - in this or other threads - makes me think that all that stuff is routinely ignored in play. That's enough to tell me that it's not freeform.

(2) The main propronent of 5e in this thread is @Parmandur. (Parmandur used to have me blocked. No longer. I don't know if there's a block function on the new board. Parmandur, if you want me to not mention/refer to you in future please let me know and I'll comply.) Parmandur has repeatedly stressed the importance of resouces and resource management in 5e - this is one reason for the difference between spell and skill adjudication, for instance. That's not a freeform system.

If you think that (1) and/or (2) are false, please explain why. And make clear where you differ in that respect from Parmandu, @Imaro and other 5e proponents.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Two things.

(1) 5e D&D is a book with hundreds of pages of rules. WIth creature stat blocks dozens of words long. With character sheets with numbers splashed all over them. No reports of acutal 5e play that I read - in this or other threads - makes me think that all that stuff is routinely ignored in play. That's enough to tell me that it's not freeform.

(2) The main propronent of 5e in this thread is @Parmandur. (Parmandur used to have me blocked. No longer. I don't know if there's a block function on the new board. Parmandur, if you want me to not mention/refer to you in future please let me know and I'll comply.) Parmandur has repeatedly stressed the importance of resouces and resource management in 5e - this is one reason for the difference between spell and skill adjudication, for instance. That's not a freeform system.

If you think that (1) and/or (2) are false, please explain why. And make clear where you differ in that respect from Parmandu, @Imaro and other 5e proponents.
I use blocking to take a break other posters if I'm butting heads too much, and I took the site change over as a Jubilee to start things fresh with folks: I honestly don't remember when I blocked you or why, and I apologise for anything that I may have said on my part.

I do not claim that 5E is a radically free-form game such as Fate, but rather on the free-form side of the scale of historical Dungeons & Dragons systems in particular: a sliding scale with OD&D on one end, and 3.5 on the other, with 5E and 4E being in the middle just over the side from center facing each other.

Skill resolutions are one of the lightest and free-form parts of 5E, though, allowing for creativity and table-specific rulings to determine action resolution without constraints from outside influences. Spell-casting and combat (aside from Skill stunting) are more buttoned down.
 
I use blocking to take a break other posters if I'm butting heads too much, and I took the site change over as a Jubilee to start things fresh with folks: I honestly don't remember when I blocked you or why, and I apologise for anything that I may have said on my part.
No apology required!
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This is the "system matters over everything else" category error that I disagree with.
When you are classifying the system, yes, what the system does and supports matters most. I'm sorry, but how the GM can contort themselves to do things outside the system is not something I use to decide what the system does. Yes, I can, in fact, use a large bookcase, laid flat and put on cinder blocks, as a table, but that doesn't mean bookcases are actually tables. You could modify a car with a nitrous system, but that won't make a Honda Fit a sports car.

When you are playing the game what you do at the table matters. Whether a game is a freeform game or not, if you and your GM make play freeform enough for you, that's all that matters.

If we are going to, say, recommend a game as being good for freeform play - I'm going to recommend one with a design that supports that play, not one that you have to start out with a whole lot of manipulation to make it happen. When we are talking about screwdrivers, if you bring up a hammer, I'm going to say that's the wrong tool for the job.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Like 4e rituals or more so?
More so.

They clearly define uses for skills with costs in terms of the action economy or time and required fictional positioning. There are clearly defined consequences for each success level. DCs are clearly defined, but in some cases require GM judgement, but they provide guidance on how to determine them if that is the case.

Then there are a number of Skill Feats which extend on the skills. Like normally someone can only Make An Impression on a single character which requires a minute of conversation and will adjust their attitude up one level if a success, two levels if a critical success, or down one if a critical failure. There is a Diplomacy Skill Feat called Group Impression that makes it so you can Make An Impression on more people at once. At Legendary Proficiency you can Make An Impression on up to 25 people.

This allows for different trade offs between spells and skills.

Charm can make a single target Friendly really quick and they will remain friendly as long as you are not hostile towards them, but wears off as soon as the spell fades. Cast in a higher level slot you can maintain it as long as you devote the spell slot to keeping Charm active on the target. However you still need to use the Request use of Diplomacy to get them to do something they would not normally do.

A high level Diplomacy specialist can have a more permanent impact on NPC attitude and sway more people at once, make more outrageous requests without impacting the DC, and at very high levels can Make An Impression within the space of a combat round.

The cool thing is that these skill feats allow different characters to specialize in different uses of a given skill and it should bear out in play. Every character is granted a skill feat roughly every other level. Rogues are real skill specialists and get one every level.

Skills like Stealth, Deception, Intimidate, and Athletics can have a direct impact on combat encounters. Athletics is used for all the special combat maneuvers like Shove, Grapple, Trip, and Disarm. These go directly against either Fortitude DC or Reflex DC and are pretty good. Feint is an Deception check against Perception DC that makes a target Flat Footed against your next attack. It costs one action. Demoralize is an Intimidate check against Will DC that can inflict the Frightened condition. It also costs one action.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
More so.

They clearly define uses for skills with costs in terms of the action economy or time and required fictional positioning. There are clearly defined consequences for each success level. DCs are clearly defined, but in some cases require GM judgement, but they provide guidance on how to determine them if that is the case.

Then there are a number of Skill Feats which extend on the skills. Like normally someone can only Make An Impression on a single character which requires a minute of conversation and will adjust their attitude up one level if a success, two levels if a critical success, or down one if a critical failure. There is a Diplomacy Skill Feat called Group Impression that makes it so you can Make An Impression on more people at once. At Legendary Proficiency you can Make An Impression on up to 25 people.

This allows for different trade offs between spells and skills.

Charm can make a single target Friendly really quick and they will remain friendly as long as you are not hostile towards them, but wears off as soon as the spell fades. Cast in a higher level slot you can maintain it as long as you devote the spell slot to keeping Charm active on the target. However you still need to use the Request use of Diplomacy to get them to do something they would not normally do.

A high level Diplomacy specialist can have a more permanent impact on NPC attitude and sway more people at once, make more outrageous requests without impacting the DC, and at very high levels can Make An Impression within the space of a combat round.

The cool thing is that these skill feats allow different characters to specialize in different uses of a given skill and it should bear out in play. Every character is granted a skill feat roughly every other level. Rogues are real skill specialists and get one every level.

Skills like Stealth, Deception, Intimidate, and Athletics can have a direct impact on combat encounters. Athletics is used for all the special combat maneuvers like Shove, Grapple, Trip, and Disarm. These go directly against either Fortitude DC or Reflex DC and are pretty good. Feint is an Deception check against Perception DC that makes a target Flat Footed against your next attack. It costs one action. Demoralize is an Intimidate check against Will DC that can inflict the Frightened condition. It also costs one action.
I would like this in its own thread because I think some of it very much reflects on things I might have liked to see a 5e that actually grew out of 4e instead of having so much uncareful diving into the past.
 

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