log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 4E Who's still playing 4E

I guess the map making must have been a big 4th Edition show stopper for a lot of DMs lacking the Photoshop skills or the money to buy miniatures and dungeon tiles. It takes quite a while to build battle maps in 4th Edition. I think the time is well worth it, but not everybody would not agree to it.

/Myrhdraak

Meh, just do it the old-fashioned way, draw a map on a piece of paper, and transfer it to dry-erase when you play (or even do that before hand if its a set-piece you know is coming). Nothing WRONG with tiles, but I never liked the way they tend to constrain ones thinking about encounter locations.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Myrhdraak

Explorer
I can't remember if I've posted in this thread before or not, and it's not old enough to be a necro, especially considering the lack of posts with this tag these days.

So yeah, I'm still playing 4e. I just finished a 1-10 viking-themed game, have restarted another game that I'm co-dming with my wife (we run PCs in each other's game), which also has a higher-level counterpart on the cusp of Paragon that I am a player in. I've also got another game that's on hold, which is a precursor to another game that I haven't started.

I have no intent to switch editions at this point. I just don't like what I've read of 5e, in particular the return of casters having all the cool toys, but other issues as well. I also have no time to learn another new system at this stage of my life. One of the guys in the group really wants to try it but so far has not mustered the time to put together a game, so it remains untested.

I tried to do the opposite and bring in some of the good stuff from 5th Edition to my 4th Edition game, and I am quite happy with the result so far. Most exciting has been the Bounded Accuracy applied to 4th Edition. It get rid of some of the magic item "necessity", but most importantly it allows me to mix a wider range of monsters, and having balanced the XP for this makes encounter design quite fun. The roleplaying part with flaws and bonds from 5th Edition combined with character themes from 4th have also been really great.

/Myrhdraak
 


I also have no time to learn another new system at this stage of my life.
Assuming you're already familiar with 2e or 3e in addition to 4e, there's really very little 'new' to learn.

I guess the map making must have been a big 4th Edition show stopper for a lot of DMs lacking the Photoshop skills or the money to buy miniatures and dungeon tiles.
There were so many poster maps done for Encounters, so many Paizo flip-mats, and the everpresent option of using a chessex battlemat & some wet-erase markers, how much of an issue could it have been? And D&Ders have been using dice and other improvised tokens in place of minis forever.
 

Nemesis Destiny

Adventurer
I tried to do the opposite and bring in some of the good stuff from 5th Edition to my 4th Edition game, and I am quite happy with the result so far. Most exciting has been the Bounded Accuracy applied to 4th Edition. It get rid of some of the magic item "necessity", but most importantly it allows me to mix a wider range of monsters, and having balanced the XP for this makes encounter design quite fun. The roleplaying part with flaws and bonds from 5th Edition combined with character themes from 4th have also been really great.

/Myrhdraak
What did you do to import the flatter math? I've already ditched the item treadmill via the Inherent Bonus system adapted from Darksun, but I'm curious about broadening the range of creatures available and making the math simpler. I've often tinkered with the idea of making damage be the main scaling factor instead of accuracy. I'd be willing to give it a go, assuming little work is required.

As for the flaws and bonds, etc, that's quite simple. Or, Icons from 13A.
 

What did you do to import the flatter math?
It's just a matter of little numbers vs big ones. 5e, for instance, restricts stats to 20, gives you a +4 bonus for leveling over 20 levels (ie +1/5 instead of +1/2) and has items up to +3 instead of +6. That leaves stats very important relative to level and items, for instance. 13A accomplished something similar at +1/level by only having 10 levels.

You'd have to decide what scale of advancement you want. For monsters, it's simple, since they don't piece together a bunch of bonuses to hit that advancement. For PCs, you can leave it an exercise in basic system mastery to keep up with the monsters or simplify it further.

I've often tinkered with the idea of making damage be the main scaling factor instead of accuracy.
That's about what 5e did.
 

fjw70

Explorer
After some recent discussions about what 4e is like my sons (14 and 10) have asked me to run a 4e game for them (we have been playing 5e). The older one played some 4e a few years ago.

So looks like I am starting up a new game soon. I think I will go strictly PHB 1 for the characters.
 

After some recent discussions about what 4e is like my sons (14 and 10) have asked me to run a 4e game for them (we have been playing 5e). The older one played some 4e a few years ago.

So looks like I am starting up a new game soon. I think I will go strictly PHB 1 for the characters.

It's not a bad move, especially if you want to keep things relatively "light." Though, if one of your sons wishes to play a Paladin, you might want to consider giving him Divine Power to work with. Paladins had some poor design elements that weren't really corrected until Divine Power came along. It's not enough to ruin the game or anything, but it does mean a Paladin can feel like an ineffective Defender early on.
 


pemerton

Legend
I guess the map making must have been a big 4th Edition show stopper for a lot of DMs lacking the Photoshop skills or the money to buy miniatures and dungeon tiles. It takes quite a while to build battle maps in 4th Edition.
I'd never used combat maps/grids until I started GMing 4e. My approach is to draw things up in advance if I know what I want to use (medium: pen and pencil on paper), or to draw it up on the spot if its spontaneous. The latter tend to be a bit more simple, but even a little bit of terrain (or something tricky like a flying solo with ranged 20 attacks) can go a long way.

As far as "minis" are concerned, we use coloured board game tokens. The attached picture gives some idea of the aesthetics of it.

Fire elementals and hydra.jpg
 


fjw70

Explorer
It's not a bad move, especially if you want to keep things relatively "light." Though, if one of your sons wishes to play a Paladin, you might want to consider giving him Divine Power to work with. Paladins had some poor design elements that weren't really corrected until Divine Power came along. It's not enough to ruin the game or anything, but it does mean a Paladin can feel like an ineffective Defender early on.

I will consider that.
 



Myrhdraak

Explorer
I'd never used combat maps/grids until I started GMing 4e. My approach is to draw things up in advance if I know what I want to use (medium: pen and pencil on paper), or to draw it up on the spot if its spontaneous. The latter tend to be a bit more simple, but even a little bit of terrain (or something tricky like a flying solo with ranged 20 attacks) can go a long way.

As far as "minis" are concerned, we use coloured board game tokens. The attached picture gives some idea of the aesthetics of it.

Well, thats how we used to do it at my table as well. These days, with kids and people having moved to different cities we are just meeting at the table twice a year and run the other sessions maybe once a month using MapTools. It requires some more DM prep time but the result is really good, especially with individual views and shadows being handled by the SW. The map below I did in photoshop for the Reign of Winter (Pathfinder) adventure path (using 4.5 Edition rules to it).

RPTools.jpg
 

Well, thats how we used to do it at my table as well. These days, with kids and people having moved to different cities we are just meeting at the table twice a year and run the other sessions maybe once a month using MapTools. It requires some more DM prep time but the result is really good, especially with individual views and shadows being handled by the SW. The map below I did in photoshop for the Reign of Winter (Pathfinder) adventure path (using 4.5 Edition rules to it).

View attachment 76017

Yeah, we used MapTool for our first campaign, way back starting in 2008. That one went on for a LONG time. Pretty much what I found out was that MapTool makes things slow (that is playing online is slow in general). My face-to-face games took probably 1/3 the prep time and moved at easily twice the pace. It was nice in a way though, very leisurely play experience, and you can do some quite nice graphics. The lighting and FoW system in MapTool are pretty amazing. I hear the new MapTool fork has some pretty nice features too, though I've only just D/Led a copy one time and loaded up one of my old campaign files. It seemed to WORK at least. I understand macros are pretty much revamped though, thank the heavens.
 


Myrhdraak

Explorer
What did you do to import the flatter math? I've already ditched the item treadmill via the Inherent Bonus system adapted from Darksun, but I'm curious about broadening the range of creatures available and making the math simpler. I've often tinkered with the idea of making damage be the main scaling factor instead of accuracy. I'd be willing to give it a go, assuming little work is required.

As for the flaws and bonds, etc, that's quite simple. Or, Icons from 13A.

The bounded accuracy changes I made was the following:
1. Bonuses for PCs goes up +1/4 levels, rather than +1/2 levels, this applies to attack, defenses and skills
2. Magic item bonuses are converted from +1 to +6, into +1 to +3 (i might still give out higher bonuses like +4 or +5, but then it will actually be a bonus to your average hit chance)
3. No attack feat bonuses
4. With these changes the system actually gets well banlanced with a monster progression of +1/2 levels, rather than +1/1 level.
5. PCs and Monsters get the same HP at 1st level in 4th Edition but progression is only 75% of 4th Edition HP per level after first. Brutes get +8 HP/level rather than +10 HP/level as an example.

Observation from play is that you can bring in monster of much wider range of level than before, so far I have used Party Level +6 or -6 and it works fine. Another intresting aspect is that you can get quite powerful results from rituals even at lower levels, if you roll really good on the die. I was first concerned with it, but the players loved it and added "magic" back in the die rolling.

/Myrhdraak
 

Nemesis Destiny

Adventurer
Can you elaborate on how you made it viking?
I can try, but I'll stick it in a spoiler tag to keep it from cluttering up the thread.

[sblock]In the game world that I co-DM with my wife, there is a human culture that draws cues from vikings; they live predominantly in cold, northern climes, build fast, agile and fairly seaworthy ships, and have a warrior culture. It's basically completely ripped off from real world Scandinavian vikings, though the geography doesn't work the same, so their history is a bit different.

In their history, a king had twin sons. One was promised rulership of the mainland, and the other, a volcanic island off the coast. They were blown off course, never arriving on the island. They were thought lost, but in fact formed a colony on distant shores of another continent, where life was hard. They are a hardy people though, and despite the fact that their boats were dashed on the shores, they persevered and the colony prospered, to a point.

Fast-forward a bunch, and a prophesy on the mainland (ironically brought from a seer from the second continent) foretold of the reuniting of the lost colony. A voyage was sent to find them. There was also something about bringing proof in the form of the Crown of the Lost King. A new campaign idea formed, so I launched a game set in the colony.

I was inspired in part by the green AD&D Vikings Campaign Sourcebook; I've always wanted to run a viking-like game. I also drew inspiration from Tolkien's Rohirrim (as envisaged in the recent movies), The 13th Warrior film, Tim Severin's Viking series of quasi-historical fiction, Poul Anderson's War of the Gods, and the viking folk-metal band Ensiferum.

I wanted low-magic, and a dash more grit, but still heroics. I asked the players for input and feedback, and asked that they stick with the theme when making characters. I should also point out that while no mechanical choices are banned, many are reskinned to suit the world's established themes, and anything is up for reflavouring as desired. Each PC had a simple rune reading prior to play, and the runes drawn would show them their Strength, their Skill, and their Wyrd. Strength granted a stat bonus, Skill granted additional skill training, and their Wyrd was deliberately nebulous, but a collaboration between me and the player. Characters would not have assumed literacy, but were free to buy it with a language choice. I used Inherent Bonuses, and Alternative Rewards based on the DarkSun content (with a few tweaks), though there were still some magic items.

I was not disappointed. I got an interesting bunch of characters with interesting hooks.
Hjotvar, a human male Sentinel Druid of Winter, who was an axe-wielding fellow with a raven companion (we had to make the seasonal benefits custom) who drew Reido for the Wyrd (granted Terrain Walk on ice and snow with Mark of Handling);

Kara, a human female Paladin of the Moon Goddess (kitted up like a Valkyrie) who drew Eiwhyr (profound change and death - interesting);

Heidarr,a human male Warden bearing an indestructible ancestral halberd dating back to the original crew that accompanied the Lost King, he drew Oetla for Birthright and Possessions;

Gretchen Thalmasdottir, a hunter ranger and 2nd cousin of the current king, who drew Nyd (constraint) and had a foul temper. She made a pact with the lesser of the world's two evil gods. Letha, goddess of Vengeance, granted her a boon, of sorts; any enemy striking her would mark her, but enemies marking her were considered her quarry, and as such she gained bonus damage as a normal ranger. Letha, I will point out, is one of two gods well-known for meddling in mortal affairs, the other being goddess of luck, who would also play a role. More on that later;

Herger, a male Firbolg (refluffed Dragonborn) storm sorcerer. He drew the Perth rune (initiation), and was trained in ritual magic, and could use Cantrips as a mage. He was not trusted by several PCs, notably the druid and warden, but proved a stalwart ally;

Arodis, a human male barbarian. He drew Ing (inner strength), and had a divine gift of luck, granting an ability much like Heroic Effort, but more broadly usable.

Kara was killed by bandits two sessions in (interesting that Death was her Wyrd), and was replaced a short time later by Kjar, a male human adolescent with a secret. He turned out to be a hamfarir, or shapechanger. He could assume the forms of creatures he killed and performed a ritual on afterward. He favoured the form of a white dragon wyrmling that the group slayed at the end of 1st level.

He eventually left the campaign to complete a pivotal goal while the rest of the party moved on toward their fate, at which point he brought back his old character as an actual Valkyrie. She was sent back by the gods to guide them to their fate as Einherjar. I don't normally railroad anything, but this was something I really wanted to explore with this group.

They were later joined by Draugorin, a grendel-like male Trollborn (refluffed half-orc) Fighter|Ranger hybrid, that fought with only his bare fists (Master of the Fist monk multiclass).

The campaign ran for over two years (though not constantly), and I can go into more detail if you like.[/sblock]

They performed a reverse Spanish "b/v assimilation" on a game about biking. :p
Amusingly, one of my players is a great big redhead with a beard. He'd spent some time in Costa Rica where they nicknamed him "el bikingo" haha.
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
That is a beautiful map did you do that entirely or take an existing map and modified it. Because if you made the map, kudos!

The snow is actually a mountain range in northern Sweden captures in Google Earth, then I photoshop the trees and stuff from MapTools image library.

/Myrhdraak
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top