Yet another look at KotSF/4th Ed.

Stomphoof

First Post
You know, its an introductory adventure created by a group of people. They may have decided to focus purely on the combat aspects of the game itself.

That does not mean that you cannot, using the 4th Ed Rules, create a plot driven adventure. The thing in a RPG (my opinion) that needs the MOST rules is the combat. RPing generally doesnt need that many rules, and in fact I would be insulted if they actually HAD rules on RPing. "YOU MUST RP THIS WAY AND NO OTHER!"

Maybe they didnt give you NPC Personalities so you could incorporate or create your own personality FOR him? I RP in World of Warcraft, I RP in City of Heroes, I RP on Forums...

Do any of these have RULEs for actual Roleplaying? No, they have rules focusing on the combat engine.

Beyond setting specifics, I have NEVER run into an Tabletop RPG game that had actual hard RULES for RPing.

Can you point out a game and a rule that dictates exactly how you RP?
 

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cholke

First Post
brehobit said:
My exact thoughts. As a mini's game, it looks great. As an RPG, not so much.

I will buy it and I will play it. I found 3.x to be a step toward a board game. 2e and 1e were less about combat rules (they didn't try to have rules for all cases) and more about pretending to be somewhere. 4e goes even further. And what it shoots for it seems to hit quite nicely. But I don't find the system immersive.

Mark

This is where I seem to be losing touch with the game. I am not a mini/tactical/action point gamer. Since we are playing a fantasy game, we have always just used our imagination in combats and had the DM adjudicate how things workout. That was always kind of our view of the DMs main job. Players decide what they want to do and the DM determines whether it happens. You don't need a rule for everything when the whole point is that you are using your imagination in the first place.

I have been more turned off by the progression thru 3.5->Book of Nine Swords->4e. It seems to be forcing you to play the way the designers want/think you should play instead of just allowing you to play. Before the game could serve multiple styles of play. Now it seems as if they are marginalizing those that don't subscribe to this "programmed" method of tactical combat. The level of randomness (hp, etc.) is going away and it is all just concerned with tactical choices.

I'm sure it will be very successful and a good game for those that like this style of play. I just wished they weren't making it harder to play for those that don't.
 

EdPovi

First Post
I think the Magic Missle power is more useful than you indicate, lets compare to that crossbow you would rather have:

Cross Bow: :ranged: 15; +2 vs AC; Dmg: 1d8

At-will:
Magic Missle: :ranged: 20; +4 vs Reflex; Dmg: 2d4 + 4 Force
Ray of Frost: :ranged: 10; +4 vs Fort; Dmg: 1d6 + 6 Cold and Slowed one turn
Scorching Burst: :area: burst 1 (3x3 area) within 10; +4 vs Reflex; Dmg: 1d6 + 4 Fire

Encounter:
Burning Hands: :close: blast 5 (5x5 area); +4 vs Reflex; Dmg: 2d6 + 4 Fire
Note: :close: doesn't provoke OA, but :ranged: and :area: does provoke OA.
 

Felon

First Post
Cadfan said:
You've cast vague aspersions, and a few times you've utilized a zero sum fallacy that assumes that because combat became more interesting, roleplaying became less interesting.
The issue isn't that combat has become more "interesting" (because that's a highly debatable position), but that it has become the focus of the game. Time is as zero-sum as it gets.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Vaeron said:
It sounds like you may be confusing role playing with roll playing. One certainly COULD play Monopoly as a roleplaying game, it might even be fun (like they did with the Clue movie), but it wouldn't be very rewarding in the context of a one-shot game like that. Or in most one-shot games, really.

So, after reading past another comment that attacks my qualitifications to have an opinion, it sounds like your definition of a role-playing game is one with ongoing game play and advancement of characters rather than any rules that govern character interaction and the development of that character's personality.

IF that is the case, then Hero Quest or Warhammer Quest or Blood Bowl all fit that description. Are they roleplaying games? Perhaps if one uses the description you've given, yes.

I argue that a roleplaying game not only provides rules for the resolution of combat, but also provides a framework within which characters can interact socially with the world around them. This framework includes rules as rich as those provided for the combat system. The sort of examples that come to mind are reaction rolls for NPCs based on the roleplaying the PC does, haggling, PC disadvantages and personality quirks, and rich rules for social interactions such as seduction and intimidation.

And yes, there are two line descriptions of skills that do some of these things in 4E, but they are given the same handwaving treatment as "history". Now Stealth? Perception? THESE skills get attention.

Good roleplaying rules are part of what help to structure scenes where a very intelligent, good-looking human player is roleplaying an ugly, stupid, cruel half-orc OR the opposite, where a somewhat dull person is playing a Wizard who is a genius. In the same fashion that I would not rely on my real life ability to fight with a sword to govern my success in combat, neither should my failings in social, inellectual, or similar situations determine my success there.

And while the roleplaying of the player is a vital part of this, the rules that support are what make it work within the context of the game.

And let's not limit "roleplaying" to social interactions. How about my ability to cut down a tree and build a barrier on the fly? My options for purchasing a house in town? My choices for caving in a section of the tunnel?

Show me these rules in 4E that support the sort of things I'm talking about and you will convince me that it isn't Hero Quest II. In the mean time, all I'm seeing in the "introduction to what the game is" are a bunch of miniature combat rules. What exactly am I supposed to think?
 


Cadfan

First Post
Endroren said:
Not civil, but at least something to work with.
Insincerity is a greater threat to civility than is calling out insincerity. Insincerity turns civility into a vice.

1. 4e has the almost exactly same social rules as 3e, which is to say, more than 2e or 1e.

2. The RPG I've seen host the most roleplaying of any RPG I've ever played was Faery's Tale. It hasn't got roleplaying rules. At all. This is because "amount of rules for roleplaying" is not a measure of how much a game encourages roleplaying. Roleplaying comes from character and setting, and interaction between DMs and Players. These are rules independent.

3. Arguing that the balance between combat and roleplaying in the plotline of an introductory module in some way reflects an inherent balance between combat and roleplaying in the ruleset itself is dumb. The fact that it is an introductory module does not change this.

4. You continue to fail to define what it is that would count as a ruleset having a strong emphasis on roleplaying. This is because you can't.

5. You can play D&D as a fight club with no roleplaying. You can play it as a game of nothing but roleplaying, or roleplaying with skill-based challenges, and with no combat at all. This has been true of every edition of D&D ever, and continues to be true of 4e.

Of course, you already know these things. You're just saying otherwise.
 

Vendark

First Post
Felon said:
The issue isn't that combat has become more "interesting" (because that's a highly debatable position), but that it has become the focus of the game. Time is as zero-sum as it gets.

In D&D, combat has always been the focus of the rules. Whether or not it's the focus of the game has always been up to the DM and the players.

I don't see how 4E is any different in this regard.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Stomphoof said:
You know, its an introductory adventure created by a group of people. They may have decided to focus purely on the combat aspects of the game itself.

Sorry, but WotC and Hasbro aren't wet behind the ears newbie game developers. When they put something out they've hashed over what to include and why. Maybe they got it wrong (they have before) but I can't believe they'd release an introductory game unless THIS is the game they want to introduce us to.

That does not mean that you cannot, using the 4th Ed Rules, create a plot driven adventure.

Sure. As I keep saying over and over and over, I can roleplay anything. The question is, does the game support and enourage this via its system.

The thing in a RPG (my opinion) that needs the MOST rules is the combat. RPing generally doesnt need that many rules, and in fact I would be insulted if they actually HAD rules on RPing. "YOU MUST RP THIS WAY AND NO OTHER!"

Yes, that is an opinion. Many people argue otherwise. Combat requires the most rules IF combat is the focus. If it isn't the focus of the game it doesn't require more rules than anything else.

Read the critics of D&D. Why should I not be able to come up with a creative combat maneuver on the fly? Why am I limited to a "Cleave"? Can't I spin in a circle to build up momentum? What if I want to dive off a rock and use my downward motion ot inflict greater damage? Can I pick up the halfling and use him as a weapon? Or perhaps I'd like to pick up some dirt and throw it in my enemy's eyes?

D&D's rules are as constraining in combat as you claim RP rules would be.

Beyond setting specifics, I have NEVER run into an Tabletop RPG game that had actual hard RULES for RPing.

Reaction rolls?
Haggling skill?
Seduction skills?
Gaining followers and determining their willingness to follow orders?
Rules for determining whether a hireling is likely to work for you based on your personality?
Disads including psychological and social?

GURPS, HERO, 1E and 2E D&D, Hackmaster, RIFTS, even 3.0 and 3.5. ALL of these have hard rules for roleplaying. And I'm not even delving into the "diceless" or "dice light" systems.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Cadfan, do not post in this thread any longer. I have zero tolerance for people who suddenly think they can flaunt this site's rules because they are defenders of 'teh troof!' "It's okay to break the rules. I'm expressing a vitally needed point."

You know, not so much. And that goes for everyone, not just Cadfan.

I don't care if you disagree with another person, just don't be a jerk about it. If you can't discuss an argument without insulting or being rude to the people behind it, don't post. Rant at your cat instead. It's pretty much that simple.

If this is in any way unclear for anyone, feel free to email me.
 
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Stomphoof

First Post
Endroren said:
Sorry, but WotC and Hasbro aren't wet behind the ears newbie game developers. When they put something out they've hashed over what to include and why. Maybe they got it wrong (they have before) but I can't believe they'd release an introductory game unless THIS is the game they want to introduce us to.



Sure. As I keep saying over and over and over, I can roleplay anything. The question is, does the game support and enourage this via its system.



Yes, that is an opinion. Many people argue otherwise. Combat requires the most rules IF combat is the focus. If it isn't the focus of the game it doesn't require more rules than anything else.

Read the critics of D&D. Why should I not be able to come up with a creative combat maneuver on the fly? Why am I limited to a "Cleave"? Can't I spin in a circle to build up momentum? What if I want to dive off a rock and use my downward motion ot inflict greater damage? Can I pick up the halfling and use him as a weapon? Or perhaps I'd like to pick up some dirt and throw it in my enemy's eyes?

D&D's rules are as constraining in combat as you claim RP rules would be.



Reaction rolls?
Haggling skill?
Seduction skills?
Gaining followers and determining their willingness to follow orders?
Rules for determining whether a hireling is likely to work for you based on your personality?
Disads including psychological and social?

GURPS, HERO, 1E and 2E D&D, Hackmaster, RIFTS, even 3.0 and 3.5. ALL of these have hard rules for roleplaying. And I'm not even delving into the "diceless" or "dice light" systems.

So you are psychic and can tell us that for certain, no if ands or buts, that 4th Ed's Players Handbook and DMG will NOT have these rules that you need?

Until the actual sourcebooks come out you are basing everything off a level 1-3 adventure. And it is entirely possible that they decided to write a combat oriented adventure. The biggest changes that I am aware of are those to the combat engine.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Endroren said:
So, after reading past another comment that attacks my qualitifications to have an opinion,I argue that a roleplaying game not only provides rules for the resolution of combat, but also provides a framework within which characters can interact socially with the world around them. This framework includes rules as rich as those provided for the combat system. The sort of examples that come to mind are reaction rolls for NPCs based on the roleplaying the PC does, haggling, PC disadvantages and personality quirks, and rich rules for social interactions such as seduction and intimidation.

While not as rich as the combat system, skill challenges are a detailed system for dealing with non-combat encounters.

It's a rare game that has non-combat resolution as rich as combat resolution. I can't think of any.

Endroren said:
And yes, there are two line descriptions of skills that do some of these things in 4E, but they are given the same handwaving treatment as "history". Now Stealth? Perception? THESE skills get attention.

It is my belief that History didn't get as much of a write-up as Perception (and only one line less than Stealth, by the way) so that individual DMs could use History in the manner of their choosing - i.e., whichever way is best for the group.

Endroren said:
And let's not limit "roleplaying" to social interactions. How about my ability to cut down a tree and build a barrier on the fly? My options for purchasing a house in town? My choices for caving in a section of the tunnel?

Unless another skill is better suited to your task, you can just roll your base modifier - Stat + 1/2 level. There isn't a specific skill for building stuff, so you could roll any stat that seems appropriate to the DM.

To purchase a house, Streetwise, possibly Diplomacy.

To cave in a tunnel, Dungeoneering.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Cadfan said:
1. 4e has the almost exactly same social rules as 3e, which is to say, more than 2e or 1e.

I guess I can't say anything here except that you are wrong. Please pick up your 1E, 2E, Basic, 3E, and 3.5E books and take the time to read through them again. I don't have time to do the research for you.

2. The RPG I've seen host the most roleplaying of any RPG I've ever played was Faery's Tale. It hasn't got roleplaying rules. At all. This is because "amount of rules for roleplaying" is not a measure of how much a game encourages roleplaying. Roleplaying comes from character and setting, and interaction between DMs and Players. These are rules independent.[/quote[

I cannot speak for Faery's Tale. I've thumbed through the book but haven't actually played it. I won't try to argue about something I haven't read.

3. Arguing that the balance between combat and roleplaying in the plotline of an introductory module in some way reflects an inherent balance between combat and roleplaying in the ruleset itself is dumb. The fact that it is an introductory module does not change this.

It has nothing to do with the plot line. Look at those rules and tell me how many of them focus on character and role playing and how many focus on combat. If this is meant to introduce me to what D&D is, then I've just been introduced to a combat game.

4. You continue to fail to define what it is that would count as a ruleset having a strong emphasis on roleplaying. This is because you can't.

Have you read my posts? Did you read my discussion of the types of open options that allow a player to do more than fight battles? Have you seen where I talked about the emphasis placed on combat skills vs non-combat skills?

5. You can play D&D as a fight club with no roleplaying. You can play it as a game of nothing but roleplaying, or roleplaying with skill-based challenges, and with no combat at all. This has been true of every edition of D&D ever, and continues to be true of 4e.

Of course, you already know these things. You're just saying otherwise.

Again, please take the time to read your books. You'll quickly see otherwise.
 
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ShinRyuuBR

First Post
Meh, may as well just have a crossbow then. 'Magic Missile' isn't exactly a flavourful alternative to me.

Well, that's taste... Anyway, a crossbow would be vs. AC, Magic Missile is vs. Reflex, which usually means a higher hit rate. Plus it's probably good against insubstancial creatures, because it's force damage.

scorching burst isn't reliable enough to protect the wizard all the time.

I can see how the "no damage on miss" rule for minions can spoil this. Aside from that, was there another problem with the spell?
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
LostSoul said:
While not as rich as the combat system, skill challenges are a detailed system for dealing with non-combat encounters.

It's a rare game that has non-combat resolution as rich as combat resolution. I can't think of any.

Lots of folks will scoff but just flip through Hackmaster. Check out the Quirks and Flaws section, the character background section, the drinking and taverns rules. Just because folks aren't aware of these games doesn't mean they don't exist.

Even 3.0 and 3.5 spent a good deal of time on these issues. Granted not as much as previous editions or other RPGs (which. I'll add, is one reason many people griped about 3.0/3.5).

It is my belief that History didn't get as much of a write-up as Perception (and only one line less than Stealth, by the way) so that individual DMs could use History in the manner of their choosing - i.e., whichever way is best for the group.

Diplomacy then.


Unless another skill is better suited to your task, you can just roll your base modifier - Stat + 1/2 level. There isn't a specific skill for building stuff, so you could roll any stat that seems appropriate to the DM.

I ABSOLUTELY agree that there are ways to do it, but what I keep saying is that when they make it a side note and fail to explore it fully, it suggests it isn't important to the game.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Stomphoof said:
So you are psychic and can tell us that for certain, no if ands or buts, that 4th Ed's Players Handbook and DMG will NOT have these rules that you need?

Until the actual sourcebooks come out you are basing everything off a level 1-3 adventure. And it is entirely possible that they decided to write a combat oriented adventure. The biggest changes that I am aware of are those to the combat engine.

Psychic? No need! Here is my evidence for my argument:

- A $30 book dubbed "An Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons" that professes to show you what it is like to play the game. -

What is your evidence to argue against me? Are you psychic? Because I'm basing my opinions off a product that I am holding in my hands.
 

Family

First Post
I've always thought diplomacy first, then bluff, then intimidate, then roll inititive.

Much like happens on message boards from time to time. ;)
 


Stomphoof

First Post
Endroren said:
Psychic? No need! Here is my evidence for my argument:

- A $30 book dubbed "An Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons" that professes to show you what it is like to play the game. -

What is your evidence to argue against me? Are you psychic? Because I'm basing my opinions off a product that I am holding in my hands.

Besides the fact that it doesnt hold every single rule to the game in its covers? Not much else. There is absolutly NO WAY that the little $30 intro adventure can hold every single rule in the DMG and Players Handbook.

And if you honestly think that then there is something wrong.
 

Cheesepie

First Post
Endroren said:
Psychic? No need! Here is my evidence for my argument:

- A $30 book dubbed "An Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons" that professes to show you what it is like to play the game. -

What is your evidence to argue against me? Are you psychic? Because I'm basing my opinions off a product that I am holding in my hands.
I am going to have to say that Keep on the Shadowfell does not show 4E in a good light in regards to what you look for in an RPG. That's too bad for Wizards, because they pretty much just lost your sale.

Stomphoof said:
Besides the fact that it doesnt hold every single rule to the game in its covers? Not much else. There is absolutly NO WAY that the little $30 intro adventure can hold every single rule in the DMG and Players Handbook.

And if you honestly think that then there is something wrong.
Could you please point out where he stated that Keep on the Shadowfell is a comprehensive rules compendium for the 4E game system? He did not. However, he did say that KotS was a "A $30 book dubbed "An Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons" that professes to show you what it is like to play the game.", and the game it showed him was not to his taste.

Is KotS-only 4E the same game as real 4E? I seriously doubt it. In that case, didn't Wizards monumentally screw up their introductory adventure?

EDIT: Please note that I am very, very in favour of 4E. It's just Endroren's opinion is not invalid. ;)
 
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