Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

# 4E Rules: First Look

## Recommended Posts

Maybe I'm just stupid, but what's the problem with hexagons and rectangular rooms?

Rectangular rooms don't map well on hexagonal grids. They cut across hexagons and thus force the adjudicator of the game to deal with half hexagons... It is not an insurmountable problem, since it is possible to create rules for half-hexagons, but it is there.

Also why wouldn't octagons be used over squares or even hexagons?

This is because it is impossible to create a flat surface made of octagons (unless it is only one octagon, he he ). It is a law of geometry. Only triangles, squares and hexagons can be used to create uniform grids on flat/Euclidean surfaces. If you try to create a grid out of octagons, you will be left with square shaped spaces between them - it will thus be a combined octagonal/square grid...

Of course, both squares and hexagons are more suitable for gaming grids than triangles.

Therefore, in the spirit of rationality:

I want to have a triangular grid!

##### Share on other sites

Well, then, smartypants, I want triangles. That's even simpler than squares (with one less side) and can be used to create slopes and slants better. haha

Damn you! You beat me to it.

I don't really care about the shape because I don't see any way to do it without some distortion. What would be good, however, is to come up with something that doesn't leave my players thinking only in terms of flat surfaces.

Edited by Cantousent

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

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
Obsidian Plays

Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

##### Share on other sites

I am thrilled to see rationality spread. The triangular grid paradigm will take over all gaming soon!

##### Share on other sites
I don't really care about the shape because I don't see any way to do it without some distortion. What would be good, however, is to come up with something that doesn't leave my players thinking only in terms of flat surfaces.

Cylindrical or spherical coordinates

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

##### Share on other sites
I don't really care about the shape because I don't see any way to do it without some distortion. What would be good, however, is to come up with something that doesn't leave my players thinking only in terms of flat surfaces.

Cylindrical or spherical coordinates

I strongly urge the usage of Cartan parabolic geometry! Your players will not only cease thinking in terms of flat surfaces, but will probably cease thinking altogether as their brain fry from their attempts to calculate movement.

Really, though, you are best off by just using the normal grid and presenting obstacles that need to be climed/jumped/flown over to simulate the 3D aspect of the battlefield.

##### Share on other sites
What would be good, however, is to come up with something that doesn't leave my players thinking only in terms of flat surfaces.

really? 'cause Gromnir loathes 3 dimensions. as soon as players and monsters gain access to fly/flight, our peace as a dm ends. need a freaking degree in mathematics and a preternatural awareness o' spacial geometry to keeps everything straight... 30' on a 2d map ain't same as 30' at 45 degrees o' inclination. z axis nightmares.

2 dimensions is easy. 3 dimensions is a growing pain in our arse as movement becomes increasingly important.

...

am gonna be so relieved when we gets a user friendly d&d mapping program that can handle 3d.

HA! Good Fun!

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

##### Share on other sites

Our group has no problem with flying. We use the rule of 2. When ascending the movement square counts as 2 squares, and while descending it counts the character can move 2 times a single square, but still governed by his or her maximum movement.

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"

##### Share on other sites
Our group has no problem with flying. We use the rule of 2. When ascending the movement square counts as 2 squares, and while descending it counts the character can move 2 times a single square, but still governed by his or her maximum movement.

This is a respectable approach. When flight is dispelled, though, the downward movement can be much faster.

##### Share on other sites
Our group has no problem with flying. We use the rule of 2. When ascending the movement square counts as 2 squares, and while descending it counts the character can move 2 times a single square, but still governed by his or her maximum movement.

This is a respectable approach.

unfortunately it not address any of Gromnir's problems. can have multiple critters and players occupying the same hex/square... at different altitudes and going in different directions. can be a chore simple to keep track o' folks with a 2d map. also, as noted previous, distance on the hypotenuse is annoying to us. take even a second to consider spell effects with a range o' 30' sphere... if you got multiple characters in air. can be a real pain in our arse. oh, and don't get us started 'pon gust o' wind (a spell we now see almost as often as fly) and some joker's suggestion that using vectors would be the only reasonable solution.

HA! Good Fun!

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

##### Share on other sites

Not really. We use unused d6s to measure height. Each dot represent a number of 5 feet up the character is. Go past 30 feet up, we use another die. Then place the mini on top of it. Our group has larger d6s for larger minis.

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"

##### Share on other sites
Hexagons are not bad, but WotC is placing a huge emphasis on simplifying the game, so a move to hexagons would be out of the question for them. Another problem with hexagons is that most rooms are rectangular, which can cause problems in hexagonal grids. Still, regardless of the practicalities, the perfection of hexagonal spacing does appeal to me at some level.

I don't really think that hexagons make the game significantly more complex. Unless every level you map out in adventures consists of perfectly rectilinear hallways, you're always going to deal with fractional grid spaces. I've seen tons of circular and semi-circular dungeon rooms as well as hallways that fly off at 45 degree angles to the main dungeon passageways.

As a PRO HEX MAPPER, I have to say that drawing rectilinear hallways and rooms on a hex grid is really easy. I guess it's marginally less easy than drawing them on a square, but it's pretty easy to just draw straight down the middle of hexes.

The reason I'm suggesting hexes is because diagonal movement on the square grid was "hard" to track in 3E/3.5. The first diagonal square costs standard movement, and then every other (alternating) diagonal move costs double. If you mix that with any sort of movement penalty (as often happens in our campaign), it starts to get pretty annoying to track. In 4E, diagonal movement costs the same as face-to-face movement. This means that you actually gain more ground by traveling diagonally than straight. It makes the game simpler, but a little goofy. Of all regular shapes, hexes allow for the most efficient movement in all directions. And, as previously stated, they make mapping things like circles and cones very easy.

##### Share on other sites
Maybe I'm just stupid, but what's the problem with hexagons and rectangular rooms?

Rectangular rooms don't map well on hexagonal grids. They cut across hexagons and thus force the adjudicator of the game to deal with half hexagons... It is not an insurmountable problem, since it is possible to create rules for half-hexagons, but it is there.

Hmmm, okay. I guess I wasn't really seeing creating half-hexagon rules being that big of an issue. My bathroom has hexagonal tiles on the floor, and I've never had trouble moving in it...

Also why wouldn't octagons be used over squares or even hexagons?

This is because it is impossible to create a flat surface made of octagons (unless it is only one octagon, he he ). It is a law of geometry. Only triangles, squares and hexagons can be used to create uniform grids on flat/Euclidean surfaces. If you try to create a grid out of octagons, you will be left with square shaped spaces between them - it will thus be a combined octagonal/square grid...

Dangit, you know I actually knew this answer if I'd thought about it a moment I'd have remembered that.

Of course, both squares and hexagons are more suitable for gaming grids than triangles.

Therefore, in the spirit of rationality:

I want to have a triangular grid!

mmm, triangles. I guess you could cheat and use right-triangles. To save on money you can use pre-existing square paper to achieve it!

##### Share on other sites

Fun fact: hiding inside every hexagon are six isosceles triangles! Use them for mobs of cats, faerie dragons, and quicklings.

##### Share on other sites
Hexagons are not bad, but WotC is placing a huge emphasis on simplifying the game, so a move to hexagons would be out of the question for them. Another problem with hexagons is that most rooms are rectangular, which can cause problems in hexagonal grids. Still, regardless of the practicalities, the perfection of hexagonal spacing does appeal to me at some level.

I don't really think that hexagons make the game significantly more complex.

No they do not make the game significantly more complex, but WotC is clearly keen on simplifying the game as much as possible, so every little bit of complexity adds up for them. Also, hexagonal grids are less familiar to non-gamers and thus can pose greater barriers to entry through a simple lack of foreknowledge.

Unless every level you map out in adventures consists of perfectly rectilinear hallways, you're always going to deal with fractional grid spaces.

You will have to deal with fractional grid spaces regardless of whether the grid uses squares or hexagons, but the issue is the frequency of having to deal with these cases. Since most rooms do tend to be rectangular, it comes up less often with a square-grid.

The reason I'm suggesting hexes is because diagonal movement on the square grid was "hard" to track in 3E/3.5.

It is telling that you placed the word "hard" in inverted commas. I feel the same way - it was actually quite easy to track.

In 4E, diagonal movement costs the same as face-to-face movement. This means that you actually gain more ground by traveling diagonally than straight. It makes the game simpler, but a little goofy.

Of all regular shapes, hexes allow for the most efficient movement in all directions. And, as previously stated, they make mapping things like circles and cones very easy.

Perhaps, but as I have already mentioned, the emphasis on simplification of the game means that this is essentially out of the question for WotC.

##### Share on other sites
Not really. We use unused d6s to measure height. Each dot represent a number of 5 feet up the character is. Go past 30 feet up, we use another die. Then place the mini on top of it. Our group has larger d6s for larger minis.

am able to tell that you gots every limited grasp o' geometry... which is a good thing. is better that everybody in group is equally unsophisticated. however, all it takes is one joker to point out the flaws in a sand type approach...

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

##### Share on other sites
Our group has no problem with flying. We use the rule of 2. When ascending the movement square counts as 2 squares, and while descending it counts the character can move 2 times a single square, but still governed by his or her maximum movement.

This is a respectable approach.

unfortunately it not address any of Gromnir's problems. can have multiple critters and players occupying the same hex/square... at different altitudes and going in different directions. can be a chore simple to keep track o' folks with a 2d map. also, as noted previous, distance on the hypotenuse is annoying to us. take even a second to consider spell effects with a range o' 30' sphere... if you got multiple characters in air. can be a real pain in our arse. oh, and don't get us started 'pon gust o' wind (a spell we now see almost as often as fly) and some joker's suggestion that using vectors would be the only reasonable solution.

In cases where the situation becomes too complicated to track, why don't you just fudge it? I mean D&D can be played without any board at all - the DM can adjudicate on the basis of his best estimate. It is not an ideal solution, but when you feel the game is being slowed down too much by 3D vector calculations and trigonometry, it may be your best choice. The rules are, of course, still useful for those times when you can/want to/need to track 3D positions.

##### Share on other sites
Not really. We use unused d6s to measure height. Each dot represent a number of 5 feet up the character is. Go past 30 feet up, we use another die. Then place the mini on top of it. Our group has larger d6s for larger minis.

am able to tell that you gots every limited grasp o' geometry... which is a good thing. is better that everybody in group is equally unsophisticated. however, all it takes is one joker to point out the flaws in a sand type approach...

What makes you say that? He only uses d6s to measure height, above the square the character is over at the moment - I think it is actually a pretty neat innovation. He still has to deal with hypotenuse calculations and so on, but at least it helps him track the current positions of characters in 3D.

Note: 3D movement and effects are actually one area where 4E simplification eliminates significant amounts of complexity. No more hypotenuse calculations.... though the cost is high in terms of realism/simulation/verisimilitude.

##### Share on other sites

"In cases where the situation becomes too complicated to track, why don't you just fudge it? "

...

of course we fudge it. am not crazy.

the thing is that eldar said he wanted players to think more 3d, and Gromnir has had nothing but fudge because of 3d. d&d evolved from mapped out 2d grids. as has already been noted, the 2d squares themselves cause issues for those concerned with movement.. hexes make easier, but you gotta fudge rules. wanna do z axis? fine, but as players learn what can be done with such an axis the rules force more fudge 'pon us.

fudge it? hell yeah we fudge it... but we does kinda miss the simplicity o' d&d before more complex movement (especially z-axis movement) became the norm.

HA! Good Fun!

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

##### Share on other sites

You know, I don't think any our old P&P games ever really got into flight (we tended to run a bunch of low level campaigns with um...frequent character turn-over >_

But we tended to fudge the rules all over the place anyhow, so even if it had come up, I'm sure we'd have fudged it.

##### Share on other sites

Fair enough - it sounded as if you actually did the 3D calculations...

##### Share on other sites

If the DM can do actual 3D calcultions on the fly in his head, there isn't a problem in the first place. Hell, that would be one hell of a DM. If no one can (or tries to) then there isn't a problem because everyone buys into the arrangement. If one person can (or thinks he can) then it's going to be Satan's own time trying to work through the scenarios.

Most folks aren't that bad, though. I don't think they'd do that, I hope. hahah

At any rate, I wasn't really talking about flying. I'm more thinking up and down in terms of ambush and such. The players I know are pretty good at seeing where I might ambush them by having something drop from a tree or off the roof of a building. But, while they do well enough at preventing me from taking a tactical advantage in such a way, they don't often take advantage of the terrain themselves. I know I was not clear at all.

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

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
Obsidian Plays

Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

##### Share on other sites

"At any rate, I wasn't really talking about flying."

am not surprised, but the thing is that 3d issues in open space is much more problematic than is the more easily plotted points on the map you no doubt created. dm sets up obvious places for ambushes and such ahead o' time, so he probably already knows relative heights and distances for fixed locations relative to other fixed locations. flight is different... is no relative fixed points save for the core o' the earth... and that not gonna help much, is it?

figure out accurate distances and spell effects n' such is a problem when you add flight to mix, and if you is playing with a bunch o' Cal grads it can get annoying.

*shrug*

regardless, flight can be a problem for dms when players actually think in 3 dimensions. heck, given how much our players seem to abuse flight, we often set up encounters specific designed so that those players gotta stay on ground... for a change.

HA! Good Fun!

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

##### Share on other sites

Mike Lescault has posted the links to the various D&D Experience presentations:

Here's a full list, for any FLs or VCLs who want to spread the word:

D&D Experience Opening Remarks and Introductions

4th Edition Product Line Up Presentation

4th Edition Roleplaying Accessories Presentation

4th Edition Miniatures and Books Presentation

Dungeons and Dragons Insider Overview Presentation

4th Edition Design Philosophy Presentation

D&D Insider Pricing and Feature Presentation

D&D Experience Q&A Part I

D&D Experience Q&A Part II

Dungeon Master Guide Interview

Players Handbook Interview

Monster Manual Interview

Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures Interview

D&D Insider Toolset Demonstration Part I

D&D Insider Toolset Demonstration Part II

D&D Insider Toolset Demonstration Part III

D&D Experience Testimonial from Liz Bauman of Enworld

D&D Experience Testimonial from Gertie Barden of Enworld

##### Share on other sites

They should have left movement as is. Now, every piece will be a bishop trying to exploit long, diagonal trajectories whenever possible. Is it really that difficult to count every other diagonal as two? With a lawrence welk cadance(a one ee and a two ee and a) and any sort of attention span you should be alright. Difficult terrain is usually at a slightly higher, uniform value of 2 for straight and 3 for diagonal... less complicated in fact.

Of all I've read about so far I dislike action points the most. They seem to have come from star wars force points (guess every character in d&d has the force now), and there is little in the way of logic to back them up. Under 3.5, if a character was granted an extra attack or move action there was a feat/spell/special ability backing it up. The Marshal's tactics or the snake's swiftness spell for instance. Also, these things are just for player character's? As an impartial arbiter, and in a world where the good and bad guys should be on a relatively level playing field, the DM has just seen the pcs given a distinct advantage. If not, then what a hassle trying to manage action points for every enemy the pcs face!

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.