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Magister Lajciak

4E Rules: First Look

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http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a

 

As further, perhaps decisive, evidence of how mini's centric 4e is, they've taken the martial from the 3.5 mini's handbook, renamed it "Warlord", and put it in the 4e PHB as a core class. Interesting how action points synergize with the Warlord's abilities. I just wish that rather than being generic, "everybody gets them" that there was some rationale behind action points... maybe an outstanding dex score, force powers ala star wars, or action boy perk ala fallout.

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http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a

 

As further, perhaps decisive, evidence of how mini's centric 4e is, they've taken the martial from the 3.5 mini's handbook, renamed it "Warlord", and put it in the 4e PHB as a core class. Interesting how action points synergize with the Warlord's abilities. I just wish that rather than being generic, "everybody gets them" that there was some rationale behind action points... maybe an outstanding dex score, force powers ala star wars, or action boy perk ala fallout.

 

I don't know how the Warlord is any more Mini centric than any other class. While they claim that he's built off the Marshall, he also seems incredibly to similar to the Hunter class of Iron Heroes, which is not surprising considering Mearl's involvement.

 

Action points are gamey, but I don't think they are really that hard to explain diagetically. It's as easy as saying a character has a flash of determination in his eyes, and he bounds forward to cleave his foes or whatever. D&D is gamey in so many ways, pointing out the elements that don't make sense or seems hard to imagine in a real life setting would take a long. They do however sound pretty fun, especially when they start getting buffed up by friends and allies. I'm glad everyone has the base use, but also excited that the optional paths change them up or might give them different tactical value.


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

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I don't know how the Warlord is any more Mini centric than any other class. While they claim that he's built off the Marshall, he also seems incredibly to similar to the Hunter class of Iron Heroes, which is not surprising considering Mearl's involvement.

 

In order for other party members to benefit from the Warlord they need line of site, to hear his shouts, and to be within a certain distance. And, given the way action points work, the larger the party is (or the more wotc mins you use) the more valuable the Warlord becomes. Much like the Tactical Soldier, blows delivered against enemies have benefits if allies are adjacent. You need to know exactly where he is on a game grid and who he is attacking at all times to get him to work best. Not sure you can say that about any other class.

 

Granted, classes in the past have had similar traits (bards work best in large parties for instance), and the game became minis centric with 3.0 and it's attacks of opportunities, but they have taken it to a new level making the Warlord a core class.

 

 

Action points are gamey, but I don't think they are really that hard to explain diagetically. It's as easy as saying a character has a flash of determination in his eyes, and he bounds forward to cleave his foes or whatever.

 

That's called rage and only barbs generally get that.

 

 

D&D is gamey in so many ways, pointing out the elements that don't make sense or seems hard to imagine in a real life setting would take a long. They do however sound pretty fun, especially when they start getting buffed up by friends and allies. I'm glad everyone has the base use, but also excited that the optional paths change them up or might give them different tactical value.

 

Extra actions in previous editions were no small thing. Didn't 2nd edition haste age the entire party ten years or something? And previous abilities like the Marshel's grant move action were pretty cool. All of these are lessened somewhat now that characters can take extra actions of their own volition and quite frequently... every other encounter.

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My first PnP RPG expirience was some unamed RPG that got "fate points". Somthing that helped us to prevent deadly situation. Not really like action points that are more murdane, but nevertheless similar mechanic. Anyway, the point is that action points are not more gamey then having for example stats for your RPG heroes.


Spell Fixes compilation for Neverwinter Nights 2, as well as my other submissions for this great game.

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Action points are gamey, but I don't think they are really that hard to explain diagetically. It's as easy as saying a character has a flash of determination in his eyes, and he bounds forward to cleave his foes or whatever.

 

That's called rage and only barbs generally get that.

 

 

Rage is one way to explain it. You could also call it a burst of arcane power, or a moment of divine strength.

 

The idea that it is too much power to give to the players is a bit silly if the entire game has taken the action points into account. If the designers have built the game around the concept, and have made enemies able to deal with characters who can overwhelm them with large waves of actions, then it should just be another tactical choice given to the player, which is almost always a very good thing. Keep in mind that many classes do less per round now, as characters don't make full round attacks anymore, so one turn equals one swing.


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

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I have now finally made the decision not to move to 4E. The new edition is something I have really tried to like, but I simply cannot overlook the large number of (from my point of view) very negative changes made to the ruleset and the complete 're-imagining' of flavor both for the implied setting and for Forgotten Realms. Many of the changes to the implied setting are not bad on their own, but their sum total is so huge that it loses the feel of being D&D as far as I am concerned and that is the feel with which I want to play. The changes to Forgotten Realms just seem to be bad all-round both taken together and individually. As to the mechanics, they have thrown out any pretense at simulationism and cater wholy and entirely to gamism (and even there they used design philosophies that I cannot agree with) and that is not what I want to see from the rules.

 

Despite this, I have been putting off my decision in the vain hope that some major new announcement will salvage 4E for me, but it has now become abundantly clear that such a communication from WotC will not take place. I do like some aspects of 4E, such as the fact that all classes will get some interesting new power at every level, but they cannot hope to compensate the negative parts of the system for my games. I recognize that others may find that 4E will fit their needs, but it won't fit mine. That means I will either be staying with D&D 3.5E or move to what I like to call 3.51E (or 3.75E) called the Pathfinder RPG published by Paizo (a company that split off from WotC and published the Dragon and the Dungeon magazines for D&D), which is currently running an open playtest (for those interested, here is the announcement with the possibility of a free download: http://paizo.com/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG

and are the messageboards: http://paizo.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Store....Fmessageboards).

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http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080428a

 

Angels can now be any alignment. Which makes a bit of sense, if you consider something like the Angel of Death and the old testament Moses/Egypt myths. That doesn't exactly come across as a "good" being.

 

Wish they had gone further in changing the Hell portion of the D&D cosmology, though.

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That means I will either be staying with D&D 3.5E or move to what I like to call 3.51E (or 3.75E) called the Pathfinder RPG published by Paizo (a company that split off from WotC and published the Dragon and the Dungeon magazines for D&D), which is currently running an open playtest (for those interested, here is the announcement with the possibility of a free download: http://paizo.com/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG

and are the messageboards: http://paizo.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Store....Fmessageboards).

 

 

I just checked paizo's website and downloaded pathfinderRPG's alpha release pdf. They have some neat ideas and have converted quite a few abilities from PrCs into core class abilities. The whole thing is that they let the player pick which ones he wants.

 

However, i do have one problem with it: all the core classes look overpowered to me. They have kept the basic d&d classes and added a whole bunch of new abilities to them. Sure, they have toned down some other aspects, ie: clerics and druids get less spell uses but my concern is nonetheless still valid.

 

I just hope the monsters and enemies will become more challenging just to compensate all these changes.


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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That means I will either be staying with D&D 3.5E or move to what I like to call 3.51E (or 3.75E) called the Pathfinder RPG published by Paizo (a company that split off from WotC and published the Dragon and the Dungeon magazines for D&D), which is currently running an open playtest (for those interested, here is the announcement with the possibility of a free download: http://paizo.com/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG

and are the messageboards: http://paizo.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Store....Fmessageboards).

 

 

I just checked paizo's website and downloaded pathfinderRPG's alpha release pdf. They have some neat ideas and have converted quite a few abilities from PrCs into core class abilities. The whole thing is that they let the player pick which ones he wants.

 

Yeah, I like what I am seeing too.

 

However, i do have one problem with it: all the core classes look overpowered to me. They have kept the basic d&d classes and added a whole bunch of new abilities to them. Sure, they have toned down some other aspects, ie: clerics and druids get less spell uses but my concern is nonetheless still valid.

 

You are correct and it was a deliberate design decision for the following reason: Over the years, power creep has meant that 3.5E has introduced new races and classes that were simply stronger than the core 3.5E races and classes. The Pathfinder RPG aims for a reasonable degree of compatibility with 3.5E, so the decision was made to bring the old races and classes in-line with the power level of the later 3.5E races and classes (it is easier to do then depowering many or all of the later classes) thus creating a level playing field. This also gives them the opportunity to give every class something interesting at every level. They said that in effect the new classes will be similar to level +1 of the old core classes in terms of power level, so it will still be easy to be backward compatible in terms of older adventures if you bear this in mind (so you can just run a 3.5E adventure for levels one or two higher to give the PCs an appropriate challenge). Of course, new adventures for the Pathfinder RPG will be designed with the new power-level of the characters in mind from the get go.

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This already sounds better... :x


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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From what I understand, skill challenges (using multiple skill checks to overcome a situation) are similar to how many of us (or so I suspect) DMs have been using skills for a long time now, but they have the advantage of being codified in terms of what kind of challenge a given skill challenge presents for the characters. It's like the difference of having monsters without a challenge rating and monsters including a challenge rating in their desciption. This appears to be a good move by the 4E design team.

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I know. Still, it is supposed to give you a feel of what epic destinies will be like in 4E.


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Epic levels simply suck. I have banned them altogether from my playing sessions. My players rarely get beyond level 15. Low level campaigns are more to our taste...


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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Epic levels simply suck. I have banned them altogether from my playing sessions.

 

I like the idea of Epic levels as a possibility, but I dislike their impementation in the 3.X ruleset (though the Mask of the Betrayer did as good a job as humanly possible of reinterpreting them for the electronic version). But yes, I too refuse to use the current version of the D&D Epic levels in my games. If the rules were better, though, I can see myself being persuaded to continue a game into Epic levels.

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I don't know but the game session loses some of its fun when your characters get much too powerful. The same can be said with computer or console RPGs. For example, I have always loved the first parts/chapters of Final Fantasy games. Your characters are nothing extraordinary, you know you are vulnerable and you really struggle to survive. Gaining much too power gives me the sensation of playing in some kind of super hero/anime universe.


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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what i dont like is that the rules allegedly make you retire when you hit lvl 30.

 

 

I dont want to retire my character just because i hit lvl 30.

 

now to go beyond it mind you, the plot would have to be well written....


Strength through Mercy

Head Torturor of the Cult of the Anti-gnome

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I don't know about the US, but my RPG shop is selling away all its 3E and 3.5E merchandise. Most of WotC's books are sold 50% or 70% cheaper than their normal price. This offer doesn't include the core books yet but I am sure these offers will soon affect all of Wizards' catalogue. I expect this to happen near June or July (whenever 4E comes out).

 

What books do you suggest me to buy? I already plan on getting the monster manual but I am more skeptic when it comes to the Phb and the DmG. The former might be quite useful since it contains all the feat, skill and spell descriptions. The latter seems less useful to me. Most of the DmG's contents can be found on the SRD, and the few information that is exclusive can be photocopied from a friend's book. All the supplements look useless as well: there's no way I am going to shuffle all these books during my gaming sessions. Besides, they usually tend to complicate the rules more than anything else.

 

I might buy the Oriental adventures campaign book though. It looks quite nice. What do you think of it?

 

My problem with WotC is that they never bothered consolidating all the information contained in their supplements. If they did that, I would go buy their books without a second thought. I cannot have a dozen books all around the table while DMing, looking for the specific bit of information contained in each one. Sure, there is the spell compendium but I am not even sure I want to buy this one (well, if it costs 12 euros, I might give it a try). In any case, I try to keep things simple and offer reasonable choices to my players without going too far in terms of complexity. For example, I have banned psionics and rules from Magic of Incarnum from my games.

 

Do you think that most sellers (like amazon for example) will start selling the 3.5E stuff at reduced price?

Edited by ramza

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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What books do you suggest me to buy?

 

Of the 3.5 books I've gotten over the years Book of Exalted Deeds might be my favorite.

 

My problem with WotC is that they never bothered consolidating all the information contained in their supplements. If they did that, I would go buy their books without a second thought. I cannot have a dozen books all around the table while DMing, looking for the specific bit of information contained in each one. Sure, there is the spell compendium but I am not even sure I want to buy this one (well, if it costs 12 euros, I might give it a try). In any case, I try to keep things simple and offer reasonable choices to my players without going too far in terms of complexity. For example, I have banned psionics and rules from Magic of Incarnum from my games.

 

There is a rules compendium as well.

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There is a rules compendium as well.

 

Another useless book that makes things way too complicated. A DM just needs the information contained in the SRD plus a few tables that cannot be found elsewhere than in the DMG (I can easily photocopy those).


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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