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D&D 4E Your plans for 4e


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WizarDru

Adventurer
I started out apprehensive for 4e, but each tidbit of information released impresses me more. Whether or not they succeed may be in doubt, but I think their goals are laudable, and I'm anxious to see how well they do.

My current plan will be to complete our Shackled City campaign in 3.5, and then start a new game in 4e. (or whatever remains of the SC game by that point, since I've jumped tracks from the core campaign).
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
(contact) said:
Heh, Em has teh geek love. :) She's the one that talked me into GenCon this year. :)

Just want to confirm - having run a game with Em (and played in two others with her in) earlier this year, she is a kick-ass roleplayer IMO.

:D
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
(contact) said:
Anyone here playtesting?

Assuming most of you aren't, what are your plans to do with your current games in the final months before 4e?

I'd love to get in on the playtesting, but don't expect it will happen to me (but you never can tell. Hope springs eternal etc. etc)

While waiting for 4e I won't be running any D&D at all. I'll be either continuing my Starguild OGL campaign (sci-fi), or continuing with my RuneQuest 2 Eberron conversion and running that.

I probably wouldn't have gone back to running *any* D&D if it wasn't for the 4e news, so against my expectations they have planned it at exactly the right time for me. :)

So far, I love everything I've heard about it. Wizards having some 'use all day' powers? check. Martial types having neat manouvres? check. Better encounter design? Check. (I love the idea of saying 'I want this encounter to be worth 4000xp, so I'll have three of those, two of these and one of them". Gets rid of several layers of basically unnecessary maths).

SWSE is chock-full of goodness - new ideas that don't just add another veneer on the surface pretty much all supplements have, but really changes the underpinnings. I'm really quite excited about the possibilities of a 'root and branch' revision of D&D, and I hope it will breathe as much new life into the hobby as the 3e launch did.

If I was involved in playtesting, I'd not want to run a campaign - rather I'd want to do a whole bunch of episodic sessions, with different characters at different levels and in different situations. Get each player to create a 'stable' of characters at various levels, and mix and match PCs for particular adventures.

Cheers
 

Radiating Gnome

Adventurer
D'oh!

I just got an email about the playtest -- first email with any rules. And I've been instructed not to let anyone know that I'm playtesting . . . so . . . everyone here forget I said anything. I'm going to be playing Shadowrun for the next year.

glowy gnome out
 

phoamslinger

Explorer
hmmm. a couple of interesting comments nipped off the Wizard's boards that a friend sent me...

"Here's a highly probable conversation lifted from the future, one year from today, as two players who've just met at a convention discuss their PC choices for their upcoming D&D game.

"I'm playing a 3rd-level human fighter named Graelar."

"Cool. Is he weapon and shield or two-hander?"

"He's sword and board, man."

"Longsword?"

"Yeah. I thought about going high Con and using a hammer, but I wanted to start with the chance to make a couple of attacks, so I'm using rain of blows as my good weapon attack, and I went with high Wis so that I can switch to the better oppy powers later."

"My elf fighter uses a spear. I like the speed and the option to go past AC. But you've got the fighter covered. I'll play a halfling rogue."

The names and destinations of the powers mentioned above might have changed by the time the game is in your hands. What won't change is that fighters care about which weapons they use much more than other characters. Other character classes have specific weapons and weapon types that they tend to rely on while still maintaining access to a larger chunk of the weapon chart. The fighter is the only current 4th Edition class with capabilities that depend on the weapon they have chosen to train the most with. Even at 1st level, a fighter who uses an axe has a different power selection than a fighter who relies on a flail or a rapier or a pick. In the long run, fighters can diversify and master powers related to a few different weapons, but most will opt to focus on the weapon that suits their personal style, helps their interactions with the rest of the PCs in the group, and carries all the magical oomph they've managed to acquire.

Many fighters will opt for swords. Swords have the most flexible assortment of powers. In a fighter's hands, the longsword is the queen of the battlefield and the greatsword is the queen's executioner. But each of the other significant melee weapons offers the fighter unique advantages and opportunities. For the first time, you'll be able to say "I'm an axe fighter" or "I'm a flail fighter" and that will mean something cool."

and

"In 3rd Edition, class and magic items were two big pieces of the PC pie. Race was important at 1st level, but by the time you hit 20th, there was rarely much to distinguish a dwarf fighter from a half-orc fighter. The difference between a +2 here and a +2 over there was drowned out by the huge bonuses from magic items and character level—it didn't matter any more.

We wanted race to matter all the way up through a character's career. We wanted there to be some difference between two characters of different races, all other things being equal. We had tried out mechanics like the racial paragons in Unearthed Arcana and the racial substitution levels in the Races of . . . series of books, and we liked the results.

In May of 2004, we started kicking around ideas like "the 20-level race." In a 20-level race, at each level you gained, you'd get not only new class features, but also new racial qualities. Your race might predetermine which ability scores you increased at some levels, so a dwarf's Constitution would always have an edge over characters of other races. It would grant you new special abilities as you advanced in level, always appropriate to your level, of course.

One key advantage we saw to this system was that it made it much easier to find room for new races without resorting to the kludgy and awkward mechanic of level adjustments. If we spread the tasty magical abilities of drow out through their levels, they could start at 1st level on a par with other character races. Races like the githyanki already anticipated some of that idea by granting new spell-like abilities at higher levels.

Well, over the next few years, things changed, as things are wont to do. We blew the game out to thirty levels, but put your most significant racial choices in the first ten. Above that, other choices started to crowd out room for special abilities coming from your race.

In the final version of 4th Edition, most of your racial traits come into play right out of the gate at 1st level—dwarven resilience, elven evasion, a half-elf's inspiring presence, and so on. As you go up levels, you can take racial feats to make those abilities even more exciting and gain new capabilities tied to your race. You can also take race-specific powers built into your class, which accomplish a lot of what racial substitution levels used to do: a dwarf fighter with the friend of earth power can do something that other 10th-level fighters just can't do.

The rules have changed a lot since that first idea of the 20-level race, but they still serve the same purpose: to make sure that your race stays not just relevant but actually important all the way up through thirty levels of adventure."
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
Radiating Gnome said:
D'oh!

I just got an email about the playtest -- first email with any rules. And I've been instructed not to let anyone know that I'm playtesting . . . so . . . everyone here forget I said anything. I'm going to be playing Shadowrun for the next year.

glowy gnome out

But gnome... don't forget I'm one of your co-DMs, so I'm part of your gaming group :)
 

Radiating Gnome

Adventurer
Oh, yeah, that's right -- you're all my cop-DMs . . . in my Shadowrun game. It's Shadowrun, 4th edition. They took all the guns and computers out of the game for this edition . . .
 


Nifft

Penguin Herder
Radiating Gnome said:
Oh, yeah, that's right -- you're all my cop-DMs . . . in my Shadowrun game. It's Shadowrun, 4th edition. They took all the guns and computers out of the game for this edition . . .

Are you by any chance confirming the lack of guns in 4e? ;)

I hear nothing, -- N
 

Radiating Gnome

Adventurer
Nifft said:
Are you by any chance confirming the lack of guns in 4e? ;)

Well, now, confirmation is tricky. I don't have anything in print, I don't have any sources I can name, I don't actually recall anyone saying this to my face . . .

So, sure, yes, Consider this solid confirmation. No Guns, no computers -- oh, and no cybernetic controlled cars and drones in Shadowrun 4e.
 


Nifft

Penguin Herder
Plane Sailing said:
That would be a cutback, since (as you recall), the 3.0e DMG had rules for guns and stuff in it...
Indeed I do recall! They're even in the 3.5e DMG (p.146, above laser rifles). :)

Cheers, -- N
 

seasong

First Post
The online component can go hang itself. And I say this as someone who prefers PDFs (hell, I produce and sell PDFs for a living) over print for most purposes. Chief among the problems it has are DRM and being way, way, way overpriced.

However, as long as 4e does not require the online component, I'm in. It will probably be a year before I actually run anything in it, but that's because I have to build a world first, and if past experience is any indicator of future performance, a logical world design that incorporates D&D is never compatible between editions without an Epoch of the Gods rewriting the World with World-Shattering Events.
 

(contact)

Explorer
Radiating Gnome said:
D'oh!

I just got an email about the playtest -- first email with any rules. And I've been instructed not to let anyone know that I'm playtesting . . . so . . . everyone here forget I said anything. I'm going to be playing Shadowrun for the next year.

glowy gnome out

Sir, I am unaware of any such activity or playtesting - nor would I be disposed to discuss such playtesting if it was in fact happening, sir.
 

Radiating Gnome

Adventurer
seasong said:
The online component can go hang itself. And I say this as someone who prefers PDFs (hell, I produce and sell PDFs for a living) over print for most purposes. Chief among the problems it has are DRM and being way, way, way overpriced.

However, as long as 4e does not require the online component, I'm in.

It's my understanding that the game will be a complete game if all you get is the books, as much as the 3.5 edition is the full game with just the books.

Each book will come with a code that unlocks access to the online/electronic version of the book. It's not clear (at least to me) exactly what that looks like. That won't cost anything extra.

There will be a subscription service that will basically replace Dungeon and Dragon -- that's the Insider part. That service will include premium content meant to be the new outlet for Dragon and Dungeon types of magazine content. It's also going to include the character building tools and the virtual tabletop for playing games via computer (rather than at the table).

I'll be the first to admit that I've been lukewarm at best at WOTC's ability to deliver on electronic products and services in the past. Their much-promoted Gleemax dohicky is a skin over an old world message board. Their e-tools were a prettier but less useful version of the open source PCGen toolset -- a toolset they gutted to protect the E-tools footprint in the marketplace. I went from having a tool that I found immensely useful (PCGen pre-assertion of the WOTC copyright) to a frustrating attempt to use etools for the same functionality, and finally went back to sketching out NPCs on paper.

So . . . I'm a bit wary myself about the electronic side of the new edition. They're hanging out a big, big shingle, though. They're making a very big pitch. And I hope they can pull it off. I have nothing but buckets of respect for the team running the project, and there hasn't been an announced change in the game that I haven't liked the sound of.

I figure, if the only thing that works out is the new edition of the rules, I'm happy. If the other pillars of the offering they're promoting bear workable fruit, that's gravy.

Personally, I think the more interesting questions to think about are the ones you get to once you assume that they're going to be able to deliver on the Digital Initiative. For one thing, how does DI work for 3rd party publishers, if at all? Will WOTC release the Database API that describes how the game rules and stats are stored in their database so that third party publishers can provide their own data for DI users to access? The biggest example is probably Paizo and Pathfinder -- will Paizo be able to connect to the DI database and make their campaign world information (feats, class options, new monsters, etc) available?

What possible business reason would WOTC have for making that sort of service available? Will they make money from Paizo doing that? not likely. Will they maintain a larger subscriber base if they open it up in this way? Probably, but it comes with added expenses and the natural problems that come with adding someone else's data to your carefully maintained database. Is it worth it?

Clearly, I need to spend more time thinking about work :):):):).

-j
 

seasong

First Post
Radiating Gnome said:
It's my understanding that the game will be a complete game if all you get is the books, as much as the 3.5 edition is the full game with just the books.
That's my understanding, also. I wouldn't have even mentioned it if I wasn't so annoyed with everything else they've said about the online component - my irritation spilled over into unlikely scenarios that would also be irritating.

Sorry.
 

(contact)

Explorer
Radiating Gnome said:
I'll be the first to admit that I've been lukewarm at best at WOTC's ability to deliver on electronic products and services in the past.

I think it's likely going to be exactly as poor as their current site and gleemax is.

Their much-promoted Gleemax dohicky is a tragically ugly and confusing skin over an old world message board.

Fixed it for you. :) The plan for gleemax is to add social networking functionality (members pages, wikis, blogs, etc.) to let us all meet gamers and interact around games. Again, what we have in our hands at the moment, web wise, is pretty underwhelming, so I'm not sure how the new insider/gleemax rollout is going to be fantastic.

If they'll let us complie the Dragon & Dungeon content into .pdfs (with a light enough DRM that I can share them between my computers at home), or if the DM tools are actually good (there's been exactly zero noise about that element, I notice -- I take that as a bad sign), then DnDinsider will be well worth it.

OTOH, if not, maybe not so much.

My general pattern with Dragon & Dungeon is that for the first year of a new release, I'll be all over it, but after that, my enthusiasm trails off, and despite the excitement I usually wind up using exactly none of the content in my game anyway*.

Paizo's Adventure Paths changed that for me, and I re-upped for them, so I'm open to the idea that something they'll do with Dragon/Dungeon will be great, but so far, I'm not seeing the "quest for excellence" James Wyatt was on about with regards to the online offerings.

In fact, I'm seeing a "quest for git 'er dun," which isn't likely to result in anything special.

Upside? 4e is going to be very good.

Downside? The internet/electronic aspect won't be.

Net? We'll all just keep on like we have been. :)

-----
* Not entirely true, I let the LoT heroes kill Warduke with extreme prejudice. They, of course, had no idea who he was. :)
 
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Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
(contact) said:
My general pattern with Dragon & Dungeon is that for the first year of a new release, I'll be all over it, but after that, my enthusiasm trails off, and despite the excitement I usually wind up using exactly none of the content in my game anyway*.

Me too - I picked up Dragon again (after a 15 year hiatus) for about 3 months prior to the launch of 3e and for 12 months afterwards... but then found I wasn't getting any real use of it so stopped again.

Cheers
 


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