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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is on the way...

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All I get is "Dragon articles require that you sign-in to D&D Insider to view the content." Since I am not getting D&D Insider and Dragon magazine is no longer in printed format I cannot read the article. Nice for Wizards of the Coast to make their website so unfriendly and soon you will be forced to pay for just to look at their website. I am not going to spend money on a bunch of zeroes and ones without a tangible product in my hands.

 

It's free til fourth edition launches.

 

 

Do you also not pay for services rendered to you, as they have no end products?


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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That's not what is going on here, Joe. Its them trying to sell you a product without giving you a product when they have your money. Makes as much sense as paying money for games that you already bought.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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That's not what is going on here, Joe. Its them trying to sell you a product without giving you a product when they have your money. Makes as much sense as paying money for games that you already bought.

 

Digital products are still products. A person puts work into an idea. Work always creates either a product or service. Plus, they have none of my money. It's free. I really don't see what you're protesting.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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Digital products are still products. A person puts work into an idea. Work always creates either a product or service. Plus, they have none of my money. It's free. I really don't see what you're protesting.

 

Digital "products" are not products. They are just zeroes and ones. A product is something you can hold and touch. It is tangible. Also D&D Insider isn't going to stay free. Its like dealers get you hooked on drugs. Its free to a point but once you are hooked it starts costing money. Wait til 4e comes out. It won't be free.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Ahhh, good ol' fashioned Sand.

 

Damn straight.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Digital products are still products. A person puts work into an idea. Work always creates either a product or service. Plus, they have none of my money. It's free. I really don't see what you're protesting.

 

Digital "products" are not products. They are just zeroes and ones. A product is something you can hold and touch. It is tangible. Also D&D Insider isn't going to stay free. Its like dealers get you hooked on drugs. Its free to a point but once you are hooked it starts costing money. Wait til 4e comes out. It won't be free.

 

CD's, DVD's, Software and all digital documents are the same ones and zeroes embedded on peice of plastic. Are you really that into plastic? Unless you want to get into a discussion on the "soul" of an object created by work (and bury me in some film school flashbacks) then there really is no point here other than the fact that you don't have a junk email address to register, or you're afraid that you won't be able to resist the subscription email later.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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*waltzes in, ignoring Sand and Joseph*

 

So, does anyone here have the gist of what it says for those too lazy to register?


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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CD's, DVD's, Software and all digital documents are the same ones and zeroes embedded on peice of plastic. Are you really that into plastic? Unless you want to get into a discussion on the "soul" of an object created by work (and bury me in some film school flashbacks) then there really is no point here other than the fact that you don't have a junk email address to register, or you're afraid that you won't be able to resist the subscription email later.

 

I prefer material physicality, may it be plastic, paper, metal, or whatever, over nothing at all if I am going to spend money on something. If D&D Insider was going to stay free even after the 4e release then I would go for it but it won't.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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*waltzes in, ignoring Sand and Joseph*

 

So, does anyone here have the gist of what it says for those too lazy to register?

 

Traps have been redesigned, and players no longer have to role a search check every 10 feet to avoid a terrible spiky, burning, acid-coated, suffocating death. Traps now have an encounter value, and while theives are no longer the only people who can deal with a trap, they are still the best.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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Joe, they are taking away the threat of death when it comes to adventuring. They want it to make it that the PCs simply do not die regardless the risks they take by making them basically super heroes while every foe around them are peons. I don't see the fun in that.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I registered so you lazy bums better be grateful!

 

Traps have been a part of the Dungeons & Dragons game since its earliest days, fiendish perils that stood right alongside monsters as primary hazards to adventurer life and limb. Some adventures, like the classic Tomb of Horrors, featured traps as the chief threat to life and appendage. Unfortunately, they've rarely had a positive effect on the game. In the early days, DMs all too often felt compelled to demonstrate their cleverness and punish players for making "wrong" choices -- even a choice as simple and random as which passage to explore. Old-school players in the hands of such a DM responded by changing their characters' approach to dungeon exploration. The "right" way to play the game was to slowly and laboriously search each 10-foot square of dungeon before you set foot on it, or to use magic that made traps completely pointless. Neither option was much fun.

 

By the time 3rd Edition rolled around, traps had become a much smaller part of the game, something you might run across once or twice in an adventure -- and rarely very satisfying when you did. Who wants to roll an endless series of mostly pointless Search checks? If the players decided to simply explore the dungeon and search for the "fun" and got whacked by a trap instead, they felt like they'd been sandbagged by the DM.

 

Consequently, we thought about simply "disappearing" traps from the game, but then we decided to take a shot at fixing them first. Making traps work right certainly offered some significant upside. Traps are a good way to showcase skills. They're a good way to introduce puzzle-solving into the occasional encounter. They're an excellent way to complicate an otherwise bland combat encounter and add a highly interesting hazard that players can exploit -- or must avoid. And sometimes it simply makes sense in the context of the story that the builders of a dungeon might have built a trap to guard something.

 

The first thing we did was spend more time and attention on traps as components of existing combat encounters, or as multi-component encounters in and of themselves. The Encounter Trap system described in the Eberron sourcebook Secrets of Xen'drik offered a great starting point. By treating a trap like a group of monsters with different components operating on different initiative scores, a trap became a real encounter rather than random damage. Most traps work best when they "replace" a monster in a combat encounter, or serve as a hazard equally threatening to both sides. We think that our ideal encounter consists of some of the PCs battling monsters while some PCs deal with a trap or similar hazard. Meanwhile, everyone on both sides of the battle must contend with some sort of interesting terrain element (although the advantage probably lies with the monsters there -- after all, this is their home). In this way, traps become an integral component of an encounter, rather than an afterthought or something a bored DM springs on unsuspecting PCs between fights.

 

The second significant change to traps in the game is changing the way we look at searching and exploring. Rather than requiring the players to announce when and where they were searching, we decided to assume that all characters are searching everything all the time. In other words, players don't need to say "I'm searching for secret doors," or "I'm searching for traps." Instead, characters have a passive Perception score that represents their Take-10 result for searching. When something hidden is in the area, the DM compares the passive Perception scores of the PCs with the DCs of the various hidden things in the area. In the case of hidden creatures, the DC is the result of their Stealth check. For things like hidden traps, hazards, or secret doors, the DC is usually static.

 

While Perception is usually the most important skill when it comes to sussing out a trap, it's not the only skill useful in determining the danger of traps. Based on the nature of the trap, skills such as Arcana, Dungeoneering, or even Nature can give a PC the ability to learn of the existence of a trap, figure out its workings, or even find a way to counter it.

 

Lastly, we wanted to expand the ways in which you could counter a trap. Much like figuring out that sometimes you wanted other skills to allow a character to recognize a trap's threat, we made an effort to design traps that could be countered with an interesting skill uses. Sometimes we're pointing out what should be obvious, such as that an Acrobatics check can be used to jump over a pit; other times we're going to expand the uses of some skills with opportunistic exceptions, like granting a skill check that gives the characters insight on how a trap acts and ascertain something about its attack pattern.

 

Don't fret, rogue fans. That class and other characters trained in Thievery are still the party's best hope to shut down traps quickly and well. The goal was to make traps something that could be countered when a party lacks a rogue or the rogue is down for the count, not to mention make traps more dynamic and fun. In doing this, we quickly came to the realization that canny players, in a flash of inspiration, can come up with interesting solutions to counter even the most detailed traps. Instead of trying to anticipate these flashes though design, we give you, the DM, the ability to react to player insight with a host of tools and general DCs that allow you to say "Yes, you can do that, and here's how." We think this is a better approach than shutting down good ideas from the players for interesting story and challenge resolution, simply because you lack the tools to interpret their actions. After all, you should have the ability to make the changes on the fly that reward interesting ideas and good play. This is one of the components of every Dungeons & Dragons game that allow each session to be a fun and unique experience. Traps, like all things in the game, should embrace that design philosophy.

 

To score a critical hit in 4th Edition D&D, do the following:

 

Roll 20.

 

Simple enough, right? Just one number to remember. And more importantly, just one roll.

 

Yes, the confirmation roll is gone. So why did we get rid of it? Because we, like so many players, had rolled crits only to have the confirmation roll miss. And we didn't like it. We don't think that many people did. (I look forward to reading the posts of people who disagree.) Having one roll is faster, and it's more fun. It keeps the excitement of the 20, and ditches the disappointment of the failure to confirm.

Critical Damage

 

Here's the part that's going to take some getting used to: Critical hits don't deal double damage. This changed because doubling everything 5% of the time led to some pretty crazy spikes that were very unpredictable.

 

Let's say you roll a crit with a power that deals 1d10+4 normally. So the crit deals 2d10+8. The next turn, the monster attacks you using a power that deals 3d6+4 damage. He crits, dealing 6d6+8. Between the extra dice and the doubled ability modifier, that's a pretty huge difference! (And a pretty painful one.)

 

Instead, when you roll a critical hit, all the dice are maximized. So your 1d10+4 power deals 14 damage and the monster's 3d6+4 deals 22. Generally speaking, randomness is more of an advantage to monsters than PCs. More predictable critical damage keeps monsters from insta-killing your character.

 

Having maximized dice also helps out when you have multitarget attacks. You'll roll an attack roll against each target, so maximized dice keep you from needing to roll a bunch of dice over and over -- you can just write your crit damage on your character sheet for quick reference.

Beefing Up Your Crits

 

PCs also have some extra tricks up their sleeves to make their criticals better. Magic weapons (and implements for magical attacks) add extra damage on crits. So your +1 frost warhammer deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (so your crit's now up to 14+1d6 damage in the example above). Monsters don't get this benefit, so PC crits outclass monster crits most of the time.

 

Crits can be improved in a couple of other ways. Weapons can have the high crit property, giving extra dice on a crit. Like this:

Weapon Prof. Damage Range Cost Weight Category Properties

War pick 2 d8 -- 15 gp 6 lb. Pick High crit, versatile

 

In addition, some powers and magic items have extra effects on a hit. So crits are doing just fine without all those dice.

Crits in Play

 

In playtest, it does seem like critical hits come up more often. The subtitle of this article is stolen from Chris Tulach, who sings a bit of, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Crit-mas" whenever the natural 20s come out to play. Fortunately, hit points are higher, especially at low levels, so there's a bigger buffer to keep those crits from killing people too quickly. It still feels great to roll one, but the fight goes on.

 

We've tried to corral the numbers but keep the feel that a critical hit is a special event. So grab your d20 and your big, nasty magic axe, and get ready to crit for the fences!

Edited by Deraldin

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Joe, they are taking away the threat of death when it comes to adventuring. They want it to make it that the PCs simply do not die regardless the risks they take by making them basically super heroes while every foe around them are peons. I don't see the fun in that.

Sounds like the stupid games that we have now, where you don't lose if your character "dies".


2010spaceships.jpg

Hades was the life of the party. RIP You'll be missed.

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Yes what the hell kinda kindergarden crap is that. Dead is dead, and the world doesen't end either because generic NPC was supposed to have a few lines later on - so he won't, cause he's dead, dead as in dead, not falling comatose for the remainder of combat.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Consequently, we thought about simply "disappearing" traps from the game, but then we decided to take a shot at fixing them first. Making traps work right certainly offered some significant upside.

 

How can you get paid to write with that grammar? :thumbsup:

 

Anyway, the traps stuff doesn't seem to really make it any easier, just less arbitrary. Well. that is, if they make the traps more lethal and give each a way to actually be circumvented. Instead of getting hit by 60 damage and not having any way to dodge it besides announcing "IM SEARCHING", now you have passive search and get more descriptors / solutions to trap avoidance, but if you do get hit, it should be a lot more lethal than it used to be.

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They're certainly not going to make traps more lethal. They made everything less lethal, so why should it be the opposite with traps? They think people want their characters to be invincible, so they work towards that: Give the people what they want to see. (However: The people != DnD players)

Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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I most certainly do not want an invincible uber character. That would be boring. Let the die roll what it may and if the character dies so be it. I'll make another. Hell, in earlier in the campaign I am currently in there was a bit of a debate if my character died or not. I just leveled, but then lost experience due to familiar death. The experience loss would have dropped me back to the previous level thusly lower my hit points, skills, and whatnot. At the time of level loss I was at -7 hit points and the loss of level hit points would have killed me. I argued that it was the way how it should have been done while my roommate argued that just because I loss a level doesn't mean the damage I took increased, but scaled, thusly I wouldn't have died.

 

The DM ruled that I didn't die, but still I view that my character should have been axed right there and then, and I would have been fine with that. Being ann adventurer is suppose to be a dangerous occupation. That is why it is fun. Unfortunately, WotC wants to take the fun out of the game with 4e.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I think short-term fun versus long-term fun is what this is about. Long-term fun, at least for me, but presumably for most, requires delayed gratification. Unfortunately, instant gratification seems to be a design goal of 4E. I am still not abandoning hope for the new edition - it may still prove to be a good one - but it does seem to be changing a lot of things I like.

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You know, you look at those rules and see a weakness, where I look at them and see a chance to breath new life into the game. First of all, most of us ignore rules we find particularly odious. Hell, I usually axe rules I find somewhat onerous and take a long hard look at those I find mildly distasteful. Samm might have had a point in regards to setting. Changes in the campaign might effect the way others play in your sesssion, but the base rules have always been subject to rule zero. So specific rules aren't really a problem.

 

I don't think it's a problem of rules at all. I think the real source of angst lies in the underlying philosophy. You don't want characters to be invincible. That's the crux, right? I happen to agree. I just don't see where the change in crits, in and of itself, constitutes the demise of permadeath. The only real upshot is that you're less likely to lose low level characters because of single rolls in battles against low level creatures. The threat of death is still there, but the pattern should look much like the mid level range of the current edition.

 

Moreover, the changes I've seen thus far don't really change the challenge for the player nearly as much as they reduce the trials for the DM. A good DM will be able to adjust and balance the early campaign much easier with these rules.

 

Now, having said all that, I don't mind confirmation rolls. I think of them as a way to build suspense during battle. It works wonderfully on both ends, both for the player and the monster. Sure, some folks grouse about losing a roll, but those same folks give a hymn of praise when the monster rolls a natural 20 only to fail the threat roll. In fact, I've given some weapons and monsters a special "sure crit" attribute by which a threat roll automatically succeeds in critting. It's fun for the players to have such a weapon and heightens the drama of fighting against one.

 

As far as permadeath, however, that's another matter from crits altogether. I like permanent death. I don't mean I like to make the players suffer for resurrecting. I don't even give them the option until they're at least 8th level and usually not even then. Assuming I do provide an option for resurrection, the burden of attempting to revive a character makes it significantly easier to roll a new one. What that does is give the players a chance to keep their favorites, while discouraging them from thinking of death as just another number to crunch. There is no "WoW" effect for death in my games. If you go to the grave, you're probably not coming back by any means.

 

Nothing in the crit rules would make much of a difference to the way I treat death other than make it a lot easier for the low characters to make it to mid levels. Frankly, I usually baby lowbies a little so they don't get the chop and have full party wipes at first or second level. I know some of you "real men" out there will gnash teeth and rend garments and curse my name, but you're wrong. The current rules are ridiculously stupid at low levels. I don't personally know of a good DM who doesn't end up having to take a personal hand in low level debacles from time to time. Changing the crit rules and giving the lowbies a bit of an edge is the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.


Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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Digital products are still products. A person puts work into an idea. Work always creates either a product or service. Plus, they have none of my money. It's free. I really don't see what you're protesting.

 

Digital "products" are not products. They are just zeroes and ones. A product is something you can hold and touch. It is tangible. Also D&D Insider isn't going to stay free. Its like dealers get you hooked on drugs. Its free to a point but once you are hooked it starts costing money. Wait til 4e comes out. It won't be free.

 

So I presume you pirate any and all software because it's suddenly not a product since it was made on a computer? Games, operating systems, etc?

 

And good job trivialising drug abuse.

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I buy software and games that have a tangible pressence. Disks, manuals, and the such. If a piece of software is just digital without any tangible bits to it and costs money I simply don't buy it.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I buy software and games that have a tangible pressence. Disks, manuals, and the such. If a piece of software is just digital without any tangible bits to it and costs money I simply don't buy it.

 

You're impossible.

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