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Magister Lajciak

4E Rules: First Look

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it's worth noting that, in the 1e DMG, all the rules for aerial combat used hex maps.

 

okay, maybe it's not actually worth noting, but i find it interesting.

 

fortunately the issue of squares v hexes, 2d v 3d will become irrelevant by the time 5e rolls around. by that time, GoogleTimeWarner will just beam the gamegrid directly into our neural ports.


dumber than a bag of hammers

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it's worth noting that, in the 1e DMG, all the rules for aerial combat used hex maps.

 

okay, maybe it's not actually worth noting, but i find it interesting.

 

fortunately the issue of squares v hexes, 2d v 3d will become irrelevant by the time 5e rolls around. by that time, GoogleTimeWarner will just beam the gamegrid directly into our neural ports.

naaah they will be the ultimate entertainment tycoon company and give us the world of of the . hack fame.


Strength through Mercy

Head Torturor of the Cult of the Anti-gnome

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Any observations on how gameplay is different?

 

Be careful who you ask such a question of. Big difference between asking an enthusiast neutral on the issue, as opposed to one with a working relationship with the parent company(wotc), and who no doubt looks forward to a furtherance of the relationship as 4th ed crpgs inevitably pop up in the future. Will he say it stinks? Of course not. More likely he will be a 4th ed apologist.

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Any observations on how gameplay is different?

More likely he will be a 4th ed apologist.

 

On the other hand, it may not be entirely prudent to ascribe motivations to people we don't know personally. It could be that he actually likes the game, because it genuinely appeals to him. :p

 

Besides, I would buy pretty much any D&D CRPG from Obsidian Entertainment (unless it was set in Eberron, which is just too steampunky for me) regardless of edition. My main problem with 4E is the removal of simulationist elements in favor of pure gamism, which removes most of my incentives for DMing the game (and I usually DM), though I would still be willing to partake in it as a player. This, however, matters far less in the CRPG format, since the work of world simulation is done by the developers of the game.

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I am just wondering: Are there any other DMs out there who, judging from the information we have thus far, would be unlikely to run 4th edition games, but would, nonetheless, be willing to play in 4E games?

Edited by Magister Lajciak

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Any observations on how gameplay is different?

Be careful who you ask such a question of. Big difference between asking an enthusiast neutral on the issue, as opposed to one with a working relationship with the parent company(wotc), and who no doubt looks forward to a furtherance of the relationship as 4th ed crpgs inevitably pop up in the future. Will he say it stinks? Of course not. More likely he will be a 4th ed apologist.

Yeah you know me I always say positive things about D&D.

 

The "D&D Experience" module was pretty limited in what it showed. I didn't feel that it was, overall, less complicated. However, I did feel that combat moved a lot faster, that all of our first level characters could always contribute meaningfully, that healing was greatly improved, and that skills were organized more sensibly.

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I was careful in whom I asked. After all the bruises Sawyer has on his face from compliments he's received from the back of my hand, I unabashedly trust his word on these matters. I figure if he can't say something good about the edition because of his position as a developer, he'll simply not say anything at all. Come on, have you ever known the guy to pull punches in regards to this stuff? He's brutal about his own work most of the time. I don't think he'd give DnD a pass because it's a sacred cow.


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

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Come on, have you ever known the guy to pull punches in regards to this stuff?

 

Sure. IcwindDale 2, a 3E game with no meta-magics. I'd call that pulling a punch right there. But the 3E bandwagon was rolling through town so people had to hop on I guess...

 

Ooops, here comes the 4e bandwagon...

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Have you ever had a discussion with Sawyer regarding IWD2? I'm asking because he's always been open about what he thought BIS got right and wrong in IWD2. I think it's just as bad to target him because he's a designer as it is to fawn over him for being one. He's always played it straight and I think he will now. I don't know why you're disgruntled. Hell, maybe you're a scorned ex lover. I dunno. All's I know is that I trusted him to give me his honest opinion. If his word doesn't suffice for you, don't listen to it.

 

BTW: by pulling a punch I mean softening criticism of a product or design. I don't mean design itself. It's a pretty common idiom and I didn't coin the term myself, you understand. So, when you bring up a particular design you didn't like and equate it to pulling punches, it's kind of like I said, "Have you ever known the guy to beat his wife?" and answering, "Sure. He didn't claim $10,000 of his income. I'd call that beating his wife right there." EERRRRRRRNNNNN wrong answer.

 

Sawyer has suffered a lot of harsh criticism over the years. Hell, some of my praise counts as such. ...But I've never known anyone from Gromnir to Sand to say that Sawyer didn't play it straight. By playing it straight, I mean giving honest and open opinions within the confines of his position. Please don't respond by saying you saw him double park.


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

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Sure. IcwindDale 2, a 3E game with no meta-magics.

What does that have to do with my opinion on the various editions of D&D? Do you challenge the BioWare devs' opinions on D&D by saying, "Neverwinter Nights, a 3E game with no bonus stacking rules"?

 

EDIT: By the way, I do think that the biggest new element that complicates the game is the tracking of all the various marks/challenges/whatevers. It's very clearly something taken from MMOs like WoW, but you wind up having a lot of little markers on the grid all the time, from most of the PCs. I also think that a lot of the new ability mechanics in general would only translate well to a turn-based D&D CRPG. And even some of those I don't think would translate over to a computer environment well even if it were turn-based. But in that regard, it's no worse than 3E or 3.5. It's a tabletop game with tabletop design in mind.

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By the way, I do think that the biggest new element that complicates the game is the tracking of all the various marks/challenges/whatevers. It's very clearly something taken from MMOs like WoW, but you wind up having a lot of little markers on the grid all the time, from most of the PCs.

 

Interesting - do you feel the new complexity is greater or lower than the complexity lost in the simplification drive?

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Ooops, here comes the 4e bandwagon...

 

The bandwagon effect can actually be very powerful and for a good reason: If most groups switch to 4E and you move away from your current group to a new area, you may be forced to switch to 4E regardless of whether you like it or not if you want to play at all.

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I also think that a lot of the new ability mechanics in general would only translate well to a turn-based D&D CRPG. And even some of those I don't think would translate over to a computer environment well even if it were turn-based.

 

This is a very interesting remark - is it a hint at a turn based 4E CRPG from OE? :thumbsup:

 

I like both turn-based games and the quasi-turn-based, quasi-real-time system developed for Infinity Engine games that is in use today. :)

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Interesting - do you feel the new complexity is greater or lower than the complexity lost in the simplification drive?

Without seeing the full system, it's hard to say one way or another. I do feel that combat moved much more quickly, regardless of "net complexity" vs. 3.5.

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I really don't think its going to be a tougher sell. I think, even if many of the "hardcore" D&D folks don't go out and purchase 4.0, which I actually doubt any meaningful portion of them really will, I think the edition will do much better at bringing new people in. 3.5 was hard to bring new people into if they weren't really into it. Fourth edition looks much easier to run a casual campaign, or a one off with a group of people who really don't think of themselves as pen and paper gamers.

 

I only say this because the latest batch of WotC products do a good job of this. I've played Inn Fighting with plenty of folks who'd never play a full on D&D game, and while its designed for that sort of experience, I think fourth edition, with some work, could be used as a gateway game. I'd even venture to say that it enables this without penalizing those of us that want to run campaigns that span months or even years, though I'm sure I'll be burned alive for saying so.


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

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The main problem I have with 4e is that it really uberfies the game. Personally, I like to run low magic, grim and gritty fantasy when I run DnD and how they are presenting the rules it doesn't do that. Getting something every level is fine and good if it isn't overpowering, but 4e seems to be too much of the 4 color comic book variety of fantasy. I do like the Points of Light setting feel, but I don't think it will mesh well with the uberfication of DnD.


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?"

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3.5 was hard to bring new people into if they weren't really into it.

 

I know that selling 3E was very easy at launch, to new and old players alike. But that is because it was so aggressively priced. The core books sold for ten dollars/euros (at the time they were pretty much the same) for the first year or so. Getting those hardcover, full color books that cheap made a lot of people interested. Of course, this was a marketing strategy probably trying to solve the very problem you mentioned.

 

I worked in a gamestore at the time and D&D was the second highest selling game we had in there for some time. The only game performing better was the new edition of Swedish classic Drakar och Demoner, but that was kind of a given (here in Sweden anyway).

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Interesting - do you feel the new complexity is greater or lower than the complexity lost in the simplification drive?

Without seeing the full system, it's hard to say one way or another. I do feel that combat moved much more quickly, regardless of "net complexity" vs. 3.5.

 

Fair enough... I don't actually mind complexity (within reason), but decreasing complexity seems to be one of the major goals of 4E, so I was wondering how they were doing on that front.

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I really don't think its going to be a tougher sell. I think, even if many of the "hardcore" D&D folks don't go out and purchase 4.0, which I actually doubt any meaningful portion of them really will, I think the edition will do much better at bringing new people in. 3.5 was hard to bring new people into if they weren't really into it.

 

I have no doubt that 4E will be a commercial success regardless of what a few of us "hardcore D&D folk" think of the game, but I disagree that it is difficult to bring new people into the game with 3.5 edition. I keep on bringing new people to the game regularly. Just last week, I recruited 2 new players (completely new to D&D) to my campaign and this kind of thing happens periodically. Of course, they don't generate any sales for WotC, since I already own a PHB and other stuff that I let them use, but who knows, perhaps in time they may become customers too.

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I moved the discussion about IWD2's implementation of 3E to its own thread in the computer games forum because I am a horrible tyrant.

 

Stephen Amber: Why are we having this conversation? You've been posting on BIS boards and these boards for how many years and you're questioning my impartiality toward D&D because I've worked on (and continue to work on) D&D games? Do you not remember me railing against how poorly the 3E ranger was front-loaded while IWD2 was in development? I've criticized aspects of 2nd Ed. AD&D, 3E, 3.5, and the Forgotten Realms during all of the D&D projects I've been on. If you can't remember me doing that, I'm certain some of the other board members can refresh your memory. By now I really think I've earned enough credit from my comments on these and the BIS boards that people shouldn't question my impartiality toward D&D and/or WotC.

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"Do you not remember me railing against how poorly the 3E ranger was front-loaded while IWD2 was in development?"

 

in his defense, your wotc bashing were purged pretty quick... and then somebody from bis tried the old jedi mind trick on the board community in an attempt to make us all believe that you never did blast wotc in the first place.

 

...

 

nevertheless, whatever josh's other faults may be, am doubtful that he would kiss wotc arse. maybe he is now smarty 'nuff not to public blast 'em on fergie's boards, but is also highly unlikely that josh does the lick spittle routine for wotc's benefit.

 

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)

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I believe Sawyer's integrity is well established.

 

Edit: In reading this, I believe that my furhter comments regarding extraneous material might be best reposted after I've had some sleep.

Edited by Cantousent

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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