Yet another look at KotSF/4th Ed.

Henry

Autoexreginated
Fanaelialae said:
Yeah, the FAQ mentions that the benefits of the Fighter's Combat Challenge ability only apply to marked targets. Regardless, I can't imagine why the fighter wasn't sticky vs his mark. The fighter gains a free attack against the mark almost no matter what and he hits fairly hard (2d6+3= 10 avg). Was the fighter just rolling terribly?

Huh, I remember the fighter as much better in playtesting - before the clarification. Still, same idea applies, he's holding down the fort.


JohnBiles said:
Given you can only rest 1/24 hours to get back dailys, there are plenty of ways to discourage people from trying to take an extended rest after every encounter.

Yeah, but they're the same ways you discourage back in 3e and earlier. Still, I've always had the experience that I've never had a problem with the "15-minute workday" any any edition of D&D, so it doesn't matter to me. And I'm willing to bet that in playtesting, the majority of players didn't feel deprived enough to just quit adventuring without their dailies, either.
 

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Rzach

First Post
In point 14 you mention that the wizard has 3 near identical rays. This has been pointed out as not being true already.

But did you know that a wizard is not affected by a burst that he casts unless the power states other wise? That is covered in the dm rules in the adventure. Also the origin square of a blast is not affected by the blast. This means that when a wizard is surrounded they can unleash area affect spells on top of their selves and remain uninjured by the effects. Also blasts don't count as a ranged power so they shouldn't provoke opportunity attacks.

The wizard in my game used this to keep the kobolds off of him. No one wants to close in melee with a guy who immolates everything next to him.


Later,
Rzach

edited spelling and mistake I made from my game notes.
 
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Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Ginnel said:
So your big gripe is that the adventure wasn't story driven and seemed to be focused on combat, ummmm Ok, I believe the adventure is there to show the biggest changes in the rules which is combat, if you want to have a more story focused adventure erm write one? Also you might think doing the adventure as a Beer and Pretzels type one from the start (Eric the cleric etc), may have lead to a less story focused adventure by the DM as well?

Oh, come on. Look at the rules. They are GREAT but they're the heir to Warhammer Quest or maybe "Super D&D Minis". I think he has a valid concern and you can't just write it off with a critique like this. Even the pre-release news tells us this is all about Encounters. And when you read an encounter it's pretty much a highly complex minis scenario.

Again...very cool game but I think his complaint is completely valid.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
LostSoul said:
I'd suggest that, in order to make "story", you ask each player: "What does your PC want?" Then make the action scenes lead towards resolution of that goal - either push him further away from that goal (failure), or bring him closer to it (success).

I think though that the point is that 4E doesn't seem to focus on that style of play. Rather, it is HERO QUEST 4E with the D&D name. Very cool. Very fun. But just look at the structure of the game as set forth by WotC. It's absolutely an "uber minis game" rather than a true RPG.

Is that bad? Not really. If it is still fun, then great. But I think his complaint is on the money and very valid.
 

Insight

Adventurer
Area effects provoke opportunity attacks. So dumping a spell on yourself to clear minions isn't the best plan unless the minions can't hit you (or can't hit you very often).
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Endroren said:
I think though that the point is that 4E doesn't seem to focus on that style of play.

I agree with that; just wondering how that technique would work to add drama to action scenes. (It works in movies...)
 

Felon

First Post
Henry said:
Three thoughts occur to me:

1) The fighter's marking and "suckage" -- Were you giving the fighters the free attack when the enemy went wandering off after the squishier PCs? Every time the enemy wanders off, the fighter gets one, mark or not, and it's nto as easy to avoid as op-attacks were. That's pretty strong incentive not to wander away from a fighter more than once.
Can you make more than one immediate action before your next turn? I thought it was capped at one.
 

JeffB

Legend
Answer to PCs who *take advantage* of resting rules = wandering monsters (if you don't use them already)


I've not played, but I got my copy last night- so far, I'm liking what I see
 

Felon

First Post
Sleep does seem like a crap spell now. Maybe minions shouldn't get to make saves to wake up--then at least it can actually put SOMEONE to sleep instead of just making them drowsy.

I thought 4e's claims of ending the 5-minute workday were a bit of a canard, and I knew 4e was going to involve at least as much bookkeeping. Not sure how making effect durations variable ("save ends") instead of fixed was supposed to speed things up or minimalize bookkeeping.
 

nckestrel

First Post
Endroren said:
Oh, come on. Look at the rules. They are GREAT but they're the heir to Warhammer Quest or maybe "Super D&D Minis". I think he has a valid concern and you can't just write it off with a critique like this. Even the pre-release news tells us this is all about Encounters. And when you read an encounter it's pretty much a highly complex minis scenario.

Again...very cool game but I think his complaint is completely valid.

How is it better to have a combat than an encounter? That's like complaining movies have scenes.
pre-4th Ed: get description of room, ignore room for fight. kill monsters. search room for loot. check to next room. no interaction between montsers, rooms or other monsters, rooms. (any interaction between them was usually ad hoc by DM, not part of standard design).
4th ed: room description, monsters, loot all presented together as an encounter. DMs are strongly encouraged to mesh all the elements together at once, including events that change the encounter during the encounter.

The emphasis is on creating a scene (encounter), using the elements to create a story with the scene.
 

Mister Doug

First Post
Endroren said:
I think though that the point is that 4E doesn't seem to focus on that style of play. Rather, it is HERO QUEST 4E with the D&D name. Very cool. Very fun. But just look at the structure of the game as set forth by WotC. It's absolutely an "uber minis game" rather than a true RPG.

Is that bad? Not really. If it is still fun, then great. But I think his complaint is on the money and very valid.

I guess I'm baffled. Ever since I first started playing D&D in junior high, back in 1980, D&D has clearly not supported roleplay over combat within the mechanics of the game. I'm not convinced that's a problem. Back when I played 1e, we had combat rules and samples mixed with puzzles and rules for gaining xp from killing things and gaining wealth; in 2nd edition, we had more RP focus, but scant rules to support it; in 3e and beyond, heavy combat focus and a "return to the dungeon." All the way back to the original woodgrain boxed set of OD&D, tabletop combat has been a key element of D&D, and RP an outgrowth not of the rules, but of how the game is played.
 

nckestrel

First Post
Felon said:
Sleep does seem like a crap spell now. Maybe minions shouldn't get to make saves to wake up--then at least it can actually put SOMEONE to sleep instead of just making them drowsy.

I thought 4e's claims of ending the 5-minute workday were a bit of a canard, and I knew 4e was going to involve at least as much bookkeeping. Not sure how making effect durations variable ("save ends") instead of fixed was supposed to speed things up or minimalize bookkeeping.

Sleep: Start with the fact that pre-4th ed Sleep was overpowered. One action and 3/4ths of the enemy are out of the combat? The only thing it is not overpowered in comparison to were other effects that knocked out entire encounters (color spray). Now, Sleep averages hitting about half the monsters (?), slowing all of them at least temporarily, and putting half to sleep after that? One action slowing most everybody and likely putting at least one out for longer, and maybe more (depending on defenses and how packed they are) is a good use of an action, but not a complete encounter killer.

BookKeeping: previous system, keep track of all effects AND keep track of separate durations for each. 4th ed, keep track of all effects, no need to keep track of any durations.

Have you seen color spray in 3.5?
 

nckestrel

First Post
Felon said:
Can you make more than one immediate action before your next turn? I thought it was capped at one.

It is not till our next turn. It is per opponent's turn I believe. IE. I can take one when Kobold 1 takes his actions, and another one when Kobold 2 takes his? That's what I recall from Keep on the ShadowFell.
 

legiondevil

First Post
nckestrel said:
It is not till our next turn. It is per opponent's turn I believe. IE. I can take one when Kobold 1 takes his actions, and another one when Kobold 2 takes his? That's what I recall from Keep on the ShadowFell.

I'm fairly sure what you're describing is Opportunity Attacks. I'm pretty positive it's only 1 immediate action until your next turn.
 

Cadfan

First Post
The Eternal GM said:
So ultimately, I enjoyed it. The focus on "The Encounter" is very irritating to me, as I'm a story-focussed kinda guy, and that's one thing the 4th Ed. rules don't appear to really support.
All in all, your comments are your opinion, and therefore fair. But this one always makes me shake with rage. What do you want? What was missing? What would constitute supporting a story-focused game?
 

Celebrim

Legend
Henry said:
3) As for the Daily resting, It's bittersweet. We changed off of Vancian casting to get a system that still encourages the same thing. :) However, I'm willing to bet that in practice, most groups won't go resting every single time they so much as use a daily ability - that would be like filling up your gas tank every time before you leave home or work for a 5 mile drive.

Yes, but I'm betting that most groups didn't rest every time that the spellcasters used thier highest level spell either. Nonetheless, there was no rules justification for not doing so.

The mythic '15 minute workday' is not a product of rules. It's a product of some players approach to the game, coupled with what appears to be conscious DM reinforcement of that approach.

Supposedly, every DM in 3e had started preparing one big 'non-boring' fight per day, and apparantly first thing in the day too as a way to avoid only the nth fight of the day actually being 'interesting'. That's what they told us in the design article anyway.

4e may be a great game. But the main things that they initially sold people on seem very likely to not come to pass.

Well if you repeatedly throw fights several hundred XP above average at the players in 4e, they are going to start daily resting after every fight as well. And yes, you could only take one long rest per 24 hours in 3e too.

I became cynical and critical (and probably biased against) 4e ever since they wrote that one of thier main goals was fixing the '15 minute adventuring day'. I simply couldn't believe a designer would say anything that was that much of a crock.
 

Felon

First Post
Endroren said:
Oh, come on. Look at the rules. They are GREAT but they're the heir to Warhammer Quest or maybe "Super D&D Minis". I think he has a valid concern and you can't just write it off with a critique like this. Even the pre-release news tells us this is all about Encounters. And when you read an encounter it's pretty much a highly complex minis scenario.

Again...very cool game but I think his complaint is completely valid.
I agree. The encounter approach seems intent on making skirmishes he focal point for the gaming group's time and energy. Maybe a brush with some no-name kobolds isn't supposed to be a major affair.
 
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Terwox

First Post
Considering roleplaying:

It is not apparent if you have not read the module, however, the module contains many hints for roleplaying opportunities in the module if the players are interested. It also contains good advice for how to roleplay an NPC memorably for the newer DM.

If you're going into the game as a screw-off, what the heck did you expect? I've played sessions of 3E D&D without combat, and I've played guns-blazing Vampire. If you want to play with Arthur Dent the Tzmisce, you're not going to get a masterful story out of White Wolf either.

Saying "the focus is all on combat" is silly, skill challenges offer a system assisted social encounter that engenders roleplay far more than "Ok roll appearance + manipulation" ever did. The skill challenge in the module is considerably more entertaining to me than "An ancient fleshcrafting evil lurks in the sewers of new york city."

Of course, there is less fluff and intrigue written into the books and the adventure than your typical White Wolf stuff. However, the 4E system is pretty solid behind it to support it if you want it there. How much system do you really need to roleplay anyway?
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
nckestrel said:
How is it better to have a combat than an encounter? That's like complaining movies have scenes.
pre-4th Ed: get description of room, ignore room for fight. kill monsters. search room for loot. check to next room. no interaction between montsers, rooms or other monsters, rooms. (any interaction between them was usually ad hoc by DM, not part of standard design).
4th ed: room description, monsters, loot all presented together as an encounter. DMs are strongly encouraged to mesh all the elements together at once, including events that change the encounter during the encounter.

The emphasis is on creating a scene (encounter), using the elements to create a story with the scene.

Seriously, were you playing the same game? Ever use reaction rolls? Ever read the modules all the way through and read the complex interelationships the writers created for the monsters and ways they might interact with players? Sure, not every adventure but many of them. Ever notice that combat was expected to extend beyond the room, perhaps spilling into the hall and out of the dungeon? Have you looked at the introductory adventure? It's a completely different thing. It's a series of complex D&D mini's scenarios plain and simple.

And I'm not just talking about comparing this to 1E or 2E. We know they had problems. We don't need to rehash that. But they set the groundwork for future RPGs. Take a bigger look at RPGs. Look at the full breadth of RPGs out there today. Savage Worlds. RIFTS. HERO. White Wolf games. The Monte Cook materials. Pathfinder. And yes, even 3E and 3.5E. These all have distinct qualities and presentations that encourage the players to break out of the situation, to explore the world around them, to change the course of the adventure.

One of the things that makes an RPG VERY different from any other game is that it is a living, breathing environment that doesn't require a specific map of actions for its exploration. RPGs are written with this in mind, knowing that characters might ignore a doorway, flee from the enemy, fall back and set a trap, or handle the scenario in any one of a million creative ways.

I'm just not seeing ANY of that in the now published materials, the posts about what is to come, or the previews others have offered. I'm sorry, I DO think this game is cool but when I read these rules, I'm not seeing a role-playing game.
 

The Eternal GM

First Post
You can hardly call wandering monsters on PCs in the town tavern (well, not normally) and it'd just start another huge fight encounter if you did. KotSF doesn't cover wandering monsters either does it? Dunno... Haven't DM'd it.

Sleep is sleep. It ought to send foes to sleep. For a per day spell, it's really weak. If you think that sleep was overpowered in earlier editions, fair enough. But the spell is 'sleep' not 'drowsy' and really isn't up to scratch. I LOVED sleep in purpose and function previously, never had a problem with it. Now... Nah, not good.

If my preferences are grognardy, then fair enough. I'll get my badge and card in the post... But I'm not saying 'change is bad', just that changes that don't improve anything seem like a waste of time/money. Some of the 4th Ed. changes are great, many pointless, a good selection are poor or at least seem poor so far.

As for book keeping, I'm afraid I like neither 3.5/4 in this regard. there's absolutely too much for me to really care to do it constantly. But again it simply stands against the pitch of the designers. They removed a lot of 3.5's complexity, then added a load more... Overall no real change.
 

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