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Magister Lajciak

4E Rules: First Look

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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.

you protest too much, corporate lackey! how many pieces of silver did you earn from your dark masters in Renton, WA for such snivelling, dissembling prose?

 

do they pay you by the word or by the CTR?


dumber than a bag of hammers

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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.

 

That is the one thing I liked about you, J.E.. You are rather up front about what you like and what you don't like when it comes to RPGs. You are one of the few developers I do trust not to over hype things too much. :thumbsup:


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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Well I for one think 4E will be fun and exciting, but I doubt it will hit my table any time soon. I could of course change my mind depending on how the additional books (outside the core 3) look. If I had all kinds of extra time, I would definitlely run a 4E game to try it out, but every year it seems like I have less and less time. I do look forward to any CRPGs or MMOs based on the 4E rules, and I would like to play in a 4E game, for scientific purposes....and stuff.

 

Now with all that being said, there is alot I don't like about 4E (must.....resist......change) but in the end I am more than sure that 4E products, written or video-game-afied, will provide me with many hours of FUN. I think at the end of the day alot of fans forget that these games are supposed to be fun. If you are in love with 3.5, you have all the tools ever needed to never switch. More 3.5 books than you can shake a stick at, will provide you with material for years and years to come. With NWN2 you can create top class content and make your own CRPGs, join PWs etc etc.

 

My rant aside, I am interested in J.E.'s opinion on how the mechanics work and feel. At first glance, I felt these changes were aimed at an eventual new D&D MMO. With the success of WoW it seemed logical. From your comments it seems as if you feel that is not the case. Are there any combat/spell mechanics that you felt were a vast improvement over 3.5? Any mechanics that you thought were seriously lacking? More importantly......did it feel like D&D? After all the changes over the years IMHO the game has always had a certain feel to it, for good or ill. Does this 4E version feel like D&D or some strange fantasy D20 system that happens to be called D&D?

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With the coming of DnD 4e I have decided to ditch DnD altogether. Next campaign I run will be Shadowrun.

Edited by Sand

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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Yeah, but at least it has a good mix of science fiction and fantasy. You know, I would love seeing a proper Shadowrun CRPG over DnD any day of the week.


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 am just sick of using classes and levels. Shadowrun 4e looks like the best classless and levelless system so far.


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 am just sick of using classes and levels.

 

Agreed. Both are beyond both old and antiquated as well as indicative of RPG principles that are now more than three decades old. 3e was the chance to once and finally abandon those to the winds, given that it did not shy back from knocking off a few holy cows of D&D. Yet it didn't, and so the game remains in a state of limbo, as it's "revised for a new generation" while still being based on a rigid and inflexible foundation that forces aspects and characteristics on the players. It's old and tired, and it hurts role-playing too IMHO.

 

Shadowrun 4e looks like the best classless and levelless system so far.

 

Not that much better than White Wolf's Storyteller games IMHO (but then they are VERY similar). Personally, the fantasy/sci-fi mixture of Shadowrun never quite worked for me. I'd go for either genre, but I don't care to have them put together. I like both lasagne and ice cream, but I wouldn't like to have them mixed together...

 

For a classless system, I'd go for GURPS - far less dice. Though not without it's own problems. The setting is minimal for that, of course.

 

For a fantasy RPG, I'm considering Exalted. Yes, it's got the dice problem too, but there are also advantages - for once it's a working fantasy not shamelessly copying Lord of the Rings, and I like the variety. Yes, it steals from other sources, but at least the fantasy flavour is a little different from what we get in the 3491734619237+ LOTR clones. It's an effort I appreciate.

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For a fantasy RPG, I'm considering Exalted. Yes, it's got the dice problem too, but there are also advantages - for once it's a working fantasy not shamelessly copying Lord of the Rings, and I like the variety. Yes, it steals from other sources, but at least the fantasy flavour is a little different from what we get in the 3491734619237+ LOTR clones. It's an effort I appreciate.

 

I play very much Exalted. And the dice problem isn't really that bad. Sure, every once in a while you'll need to roll an absurd number of dice, but most of the time it's manageable. And it's fun.

 

Second edition removes a bunch of dice rols too. So then there's even less, but more bookkeeping in combat instead (and more tactical). My group doesn't play second edition at all though. The more tactical nature doesn't really go well with the rest of the group, so we stuck with first edition, which works extremely well for us.

 

Edit: This just goes to show that D&D isn't the only game that can have problems with the old fanbase when releasing new editions. We tried second edition a few times, then decided it wasn't for us.

Edited by Spider

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For a fantasy RPG, I'm considering Exalted. Yes, it's got the dice problem too, but there are also advantages - for once it's a working fantasy not shamelessly copying Lord of the Rings, and I like the variety. Yes, it steals from other sources, but at least the fantasy flavour is a little different from what we get in the 3491734619237+ LOTR clones. It's an effort I appreciate.

 

I play very much Exalted. And the dice problem isn't really that bad. Sure, every once in a while you'll need to roll an absurd number of dice, but most of the time it's manageable. And it's fun.

 

Second edition removes a bunch of dice rols too. So then there's even less, but more bookkeeping in combat instead (and more tactical). My group doesn't play second edition at all though. The more tactical nature doesn't really go well with the rest of the group, so we stuck with first edition, which works extremely well for us.

 

How so, if I may ask?

 

You see, I'm putting my ageold 2e campaign on forced retirement and abandoning D&D altogether. Since the players insist on playing fantasy, however, it looks to me like a choice between some variant of GURPS fantasy and Exalted. I've played Exalted 1st edition before (as a player), and I must say I rather liked the variety - fantasy, yet not another Tolkien-copy.

 

I thought the difference between 1st and 2nd edition Exalted was primarily the revised defense values and some revised Abilities (War replaced Brawl for Dawn caste and Integrity replaced Endurance for Zenith caste).

 

DISCLAIMER: Just it's clear - I love Tolkien and LOTR, and I always will. It's just that I've tried it (or rather all the clones) too much for now.

 

Edit: This just goes to show that D&D isn't the only game that can have problems with the old fanbase when releasing new editions. We tried second edition a few times, then decided it wasn't for us.

 

What was the problem? From what I can tell at an admittedly cursory glance the differences seem very minor.

 

The biggest problem with switching to Exalted it that there is a huge backstory with WhiteWolf giving very little help to the GM as to how much the characters know...

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I never liked GURPS. A long time ago our group tried out GURPS. It didn't end well.


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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Edit: This just goes to show that D&D isn't the only game that can have problems with the old fanbase when releasing new editions. We tried second edition a few times, then decided it wasn't for us.

 

What was the problem? From what I can tell at an admittedly cursory glance the differences seem very minor.

 

The biggest problem with switching to Exalted it that there is a huge backstory with WhiteWolf giving very little help to the GM as to how much the characters know...

 

I think the differences in most editions of any particular RPG might seem minor at a cursory glance, although I will concede that 3.x was a big departure and that, in my opinion, would have been easier to note. Nevertheless, even minor changes usually make a big impression to folks who're immersed in a ruleset.

 

I wish I could get a chance to try exalted. I move around so much, I have a hard time getting a regular group going for anything. I think most folks were enjoying the DnD session we scheduled here, but I just couldn't dedicate enough time to run it.

 

You should try to put together a small online Exalted game. I know we've had some rough spots in the past, but I'd love to put those behind us and it would be great fun to sit in on a session as a guest and see how the game goes. I know there were folks who wanted to get a game going if they could just get a DM to run the campaign. :Cant's wink and grin icon:

 

Plus, there's a lot of online resources available for running various games.


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!

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You should try to put together a small online Exalted game. I know we've had some rough spots in the past, but I'd love to put those behind us and it would be great fun to sit in on a session as a guest and see how the game goes. I know there were folks who wanted to get a game going if they could just get a DM to run the campaign. :Cant's wink and grin icon:

 

Yes, that would be cool.

 

Like I said, I've played in an Exalted (1st edition) campaign as a player. I mostly joined because some old compatriots/friends from other RPGS played it, but I found I rather enjoyed the variety.

 

The major drawback is the huge backstory. If I decide to start my own Exalted campaign, that will be the biggest obstacle to overcome, though personally I found it interesting to immerse myself in, since it was so clearly not a Tolkien clone. The worst part for me were all the d10 rolls, split dice pools and what not - I've never quite got used to all the dice of the Storyteller systems, I fear...

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How so, if I may ask?

 

I thought the difference between 1st and 2nd edition Exalted was primarily the revised defense values and some revised Abilities (War replaced Brawl for Dawn caste and Integrity replaced Endurance for Zenith caste).

 

They've changed quite a lot, although most of it is fairly superficial. Many charms work differently and all skills now have dice-adder charms that function identically. Most of that is done for balance reasons though and works fairly well. They've also upped the scale a bit. Weapons do more damage and minimum damage (what goes through no matter what the soak) is based on essence rather than being just one. But that's the small stuff.

 

The biggest change is how they re-wrote combat. If you've played the Exalted Power Combat rules in 1E player's guide, it's fairly similar to that. The Defense Value is part of it all, but actually a fairly good part. No, the biggest change is how combat plays.

 

Instead of turns, combat plays out in ticks. A tick is an indefinite amount of time that it takes to perform a single action. Also, all actions have a tick cost associated with them, which is how long you must wait until you get to do your next action. So the system becomes one of time management. You'll need to keep track of when your next action is at, judge how many ticks you can afford to wait (do you want to aim, guard, etc). Math becomes a bigger factor.

 

It's not a bad system by any means, and probably better balanced. It was designed to fix some of the problems with the system in 1E and I think it probably does. The thing is, our group never experienced those problems, so we didn't need the fix. Also, the players I play with are ones that don't really care about knowing the rules, and the 2E system kind of forces the player to at least know more. Too much for the rest of my group. Combat is such a rare occurance for us anyway, so it makes sense to keep the rules fairly simple (typically, our players will just say what they want to do and let the GM figure out what dice to roll).

 

Personally I would have liked to try the 2E system a bit more. But we did and it just didn't work. Given how our group works, it put all the responsibilit of the bookkeeping on the GM and that just led to everything taking longer. Maybe if we had kept at it for longer it'd settle, but it was decided that it wasn't worth the effort, since we really didn't have the problems the system was intended to fix in the first place.

 

Another change is that they made rules for social combat. It now works in a way that is similar to physical combat, with timing rules, defense values and all. Again, nothing we felt we needed, but that part of it was easier to just opt out of. Probably a good thing for those who need it though.

 

The biggest problem with switching to Exalted it that there is a huge backstory with WhiteWolf giving very little help to the GM as to how much the characters know...

 

Actually, this is pretty much a huge benefit for us. Mostly only the GM reads the rules in the first place anyway. I tend to read up on the stuff my characters should know about, nothing more. Sure, once we've played a few campaigns, it becomes a little fuzzy (as in the player's start knowing too much) but at that time it becomes clear what the players should know in the first place.

 

 

The worst part for me were all the d10 rolls, split dice pools and what not - I've never quite got used to all the dice of the Storyteller systems, I fear...

 

And Exalted certainly is the worst of them all when it comes to rolling a lot of dice. Split dice pool in Exalted is a terrible misnomer though. It's a term carried over from Vampire (where it was correct) and just wasn't changed when the functionality was altered. Multiple action penalty is what it should be called (and that is fixed in second edition).

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I am getting sick of the d20 System in general. Its time to move on.


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 am getting sick of the d20 System in general. Its time to move on.

 

Then you should go ahead and help Jediphile start that Exalted group. I guess the big question is, is it possible to find willing folks who are familiar enough with the Exalted rules to help us newbies. Hmm, Spider? You're a patient guy. At least we haven't scared you away. Maybe I'll start an Obsidian forums Exalted thread. ...Or someone else could try to round up folks for it. I'm still in Virginia.


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!

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I can help with rules and stuff, but I won't be participating in any games as a player or GM. No time and no inclination (since my group plays quite frequently).

 

If you play 1E that is. I'm not very well versed in 2E. I have played them (even GM:ed them, something I rarely do) and I have some of the books, just not very many. I have all the 1E books though.

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This might be of some interest: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG

 

Paizo, the former publishers of the Dungeon and Dragon magazines, have decided to stay with a modified version of 3.5E D&D. The first build of the alpha rules can be downloaded for free on the website. They are calling it the Pathfinder RPG, but I would call it 3.51E or 3.75E...

 

There is an open beta playtest of the rules and since they are at an early stage, those interested can have an influence on how they will turn out to be.

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PZO9010-Barbarian_180.jpeg

 

Freudian at all?


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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It is quite sad that sucky, shallow DnD art is more and more influenced by sucky, shallow yaoi bishies

Edited by Xard

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

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