Official D&D 4th edition Thread

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by darthmythos, Jan 11, 2008.

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  1. Ceethreepio Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2003
    star 5
    My personal pros for 4E
    The art work in the books is pretty

















    Wait you wanted more?
    Uhm......Give me a minute.....
    I honestly can't think of any other than that. Don't get me wrong, a lot of my friends like it but I just can't get my mind around it. I guess I like 3.5 and 3.
  2. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    That's okay, the main reason I like 4E is because there was hardly anything new to learn mechanics-wise.
  3. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    And what about the mechanics of third edition do you prefer?
  4. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    The closest I have gotten to 3rd is through Rich Burlew, so I can't say. ;)
  5. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    So, a problem I've come to notice with 4e (And a complaint I've heard echoed in more than a few places) is the borderline absurd amount of time combat can take. I've been patching things with a mixture of damage and movement boosting, but has anyone figured out (Or know of) something more effective than simple multiplicative scaling?
  6. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    It actually can go by pretty quickly at the table if everyone knows what he or she is doing and is paying attention, with character sheet (or monster stat blocks for the DM) nearby, and don't get bogged down in things. Having cards with abilities on them, or names that you can arrange in initiative order, and a whiteboard to keep track of conditions, HP, and bonuses can really help. Delegate this responsibility to other players, freeing you up to keep track of your plans for the monster. Make all of your normal monsters go on the same initiative, though let solos, elites or controllers go on their own. It also helps to bring a laptop with an insider subscription so you can have the Compendium at hand, or use nifty third party tools like the Masterplan (which will get information from the Compendium if you have an Insider account). Really, a laptop or other computer is a DM's friend these days.

    If you want it to go faster, just slash HP totals, or use weaker monsters. Using high level solos, especially the unaltered ones from the first Monster Manual, can turn the latter half of the fight into an exercise in slowly chipping away the HP of creature, especially solo soldiers, since they have some of the higher HP and defenses for their level, which can really suck if they're above your party's level. It's better to have more guys on the field who can be defeated with fewer strikes than a guy you have to sit and hammer at forever.
  7. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Minis can slow the game down though, particuarly if you have to keep repositioning them and reusing due to your lack of them. But I found this out playing SW saga with counters.
  8. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Ah, that would mean replacing one of my At-Will powers, which I'm actually quite happy with as is. That's why I didn't switch them in the first place.

    Combats move at the pace of the players. An attentive group can move quickly through. The more people you have, however, the slower the rounds go. Having 6 players is significantly shorter than 7 players--from 4 rounds per hour to 7.

    The 3.0 miniatures basic sets had neat number counters we used to mark the HP damage next to the monsters. Also, we made some conditional chips (marked, restrained, grabbed, bloodied, slowed, etc) with small chips and sticky labels. One of the players (usually me) tracks the damage and conditions, freeing up the GM. Note cards with full descriptions of each of powers/prayers/spells/etc, along with the hit bonuses & damage factors so that we can quickly flip through them. Better still, colored note cards let you quickly sort At-Will, Encounter, and Daily powers. We used different colored cards for the magic items as well (esp if they have Daily powers).

    We do pretty well.
  9. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Well, I've only played the one session of 4E at the table, and the system was all pretty new to us anyway. if the DM hadn't disappeared into some extradimensional space then the second session may have been faster.
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Hope you recover your GM and get back to playing.
    Good luck.
  11. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, 4th Ed has been around for about 2 years now.
    Players Handbook was good. Major problem: the Warlock is not a striker, but a lurker/artilary piece. It didn't have any of the options needed to make it equal to the Ranger or Rogue classes for damage or effects.
    Player's Hanbook 2 had some more classes, but most we don't need. Druid and Bard finally back.
    PH3 brings back the Monk, and psionics, which we didn't need at all.

    Seriously, it seems that they just kept making up more and more classes that just weren't necessary. The flavor text of say, The Avenger, sounds exactly the same as The Paladin. So, instead of making a whole new class, why not just make an alternate build for the existing class. Seems like they just wanted to make more and more stuff for the sake of making stuff.
    And game balance... Wow. It's like they didn't bother to playtest at all. The newer classes are frequently much more powerful than ther equivilents in previous books.
    The mere fact that they have 3 player's handbooks is kind of annoying. But it doesn't stop there. There's also Martial Power (for fighters, rogues, warlords, and others), Martial Power 2, Arcane Powers(for Wizards, warlocks, sorcerors, etc), and Divine Power (for clerics, paladins, druids, etc). So now you have 7 books for generating PCs. But that's not all. There's also the Forgotten Realms book and the Eberon book. You remember Eberon, right? That big contest open to the public to create a new D&D world (all submitted information becomed WotC copyright)? The one that wasn't open to WotC employees, but which a 'friend' of a design department team-member just happened to win? Anyway, now were're up to 9 books.
    But that's not all. You also have to siggn up for D&D Insider to get all the erratta and corrections. Nearly 2 years adfter 4th ed was launched, they finally fixed the Warlock class by giving it the feats needed to be even with the other striker classes. And they finally noticed that the lvl11 cleric power "Solar Wrath" was very, very, very powerful (close burst 8--anything within 8 squares, 2D10 damage, worse for demons&undead--it's the tactical nuke of the battlefiesld. 2 YEAERS later, they noticed it was overpowered compared to the powers available to the other classes, and tuned it down.
    First they were correcting confusing rules or cases where there was some doubt as to the interpretation. Now they're working to rebalance and correct. Personally, I don't see the need for a lot of thematerial they publish.
    One of the other gamers has been talking about his experience trying out playing with the local RPGA--it was not a favorable report.

    As for Game Play in our group, it goes well. We recently "lost" 2 members of the group who consistantly slowed down our play by, well, being slow as molassas and taking bloody forever on their turn. How bad was it? Well, one player was getting annoyed, so for ththree sessions he timed how long each person was taking. Most players took 1-2 minutes. They each took 10. In the course of an hour, that translated into 4 minutes for each of us, and 15-20 for each of them. GM's turns were pretty quick too--about 2-5 minutes (depending on whether people were paying attention). Without them, we're down to 5 players (perfect, since most modules are designed with 5 players in mind), and we all work pretty quickly.
    I enjoy the game, but would have preferred a bit less gratuitous publishing of unnecessary classes in favor of more support or options for the existing ones.
  12. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not really sure how you're defining classes as unnecessary. The flavor text is a guideline, not a mandate. Just because your sheet says "rogue", it doesn't mean you have to blackjack people in alleyways and steal their change. Release yourself from the "class as identity" idea. There's nothing stopping you from deciding your rogue is a dashing swashbuckler who fights with precision strikes, or a samurai who cuts opponents with impossible speed. Just pick powers and feats that fit your idea and go for it.

    And if you're going to declare the Avenger as redundant based on flavor text, don't both paladins and clerics operate under "kills foes with weapons and prayer"? And why have both arcane and divine magic users when you only need one "magic" source? The paladin and the avenger have completely different playstyles- the avenger wants the opponent separate from its allies so he or she can beat it down armed with nothing more than zeal and an oversized weapon while the paladin tries to separate them so the opponent can't go munch on his or her allies. They're different concepts with completely different mechanics. Your wording seems to imply we needed the bard and druid, though I'm not entirely why aside from legacy concerns. Don't get me wrong, they're interesting classes and the bard is one of my top favorites of the edition, but I'm not sure how they're more vital to the roleplaying game than other classes. If you look at it and want to try it, it's a good concept, and if it's not lackluster and completely outshone in every area of its niche by other classes then it's a good mechanical design.

    Of course, even my insistence that there's room for many classes and that class is not indicative of character identity (only mechanical identity) doesn't stop me from admitting that the Ardent and the Battlemind don't feel all that fleshed out as classes, and feel more like warlords and fighters with the psion's power points and no real thematic consistency across any of their powers. The battlemind also seems to have some issues as a defender.

    They do make mistakes (still laughing at the PHB1's insistence that it wasn't a bad idea to go for both sides of a V-shaped class), but they at least learn from the community and feedback from others in order to correct them. The errata is, was, and always will be free on their website. Yes, Solar Wrath's nerf took an unusually long time because it was such an absolute non-issue for the most part, being a single encounter power for a single paragon path (and it was 3d8, not 2d10) that was no where near as game-breaking as some of the other immediate fixes, just remarkably powerful when contrasted with other options. In comparison to 3rd edition they're leagues ahead with closing up exploits, even if some classes receive rule "patches" in the form of paid content in later books (the Power series [and druids are part of Primal Power, not Divine Power] Dragon Magazine). I'm also not entirely sure how you can simultaneously wonder why WotC won't support existing classes and then decry them for putting out books and issues of Dragon in which they provide support for existing classes. For only $6 a month, Insider is a really nice deal since it provides all the mechanics you could possibly ask for in one convenient character builder that lets you compare options to find whatever you feel is nice for you. Or you can spend $10 once every few months and get everything, it's cheaper than buying new books even if you don't get much from the fluff books like the Manual of the Planes, Underdark, Open Grave and the Draconomicons.

    Really not sure why you're bashing Eberron. I don't know what they other runners up looked like, but Eberron has a unique enough feel and style (taking heavily after 1930s pulp adventure serials as well as the world in the wake of World War I) in comparison to other high-fantasy worlds that I certainly wouldn't accuse the developers of nepotism.
  13. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    A lot of groups actually share a ddi subscription, koohi. I'm the only subscriber in my group and far from the only DM, and people have ways of getting those updates anyway. I don't go that way, as I pay my way.

    As for the too much content, you just put limits on it. We ban Dragon until there's some form of negotiation with the current DM, and you are not allowed to bring in new rules without going through the DM first.

    I am a little bit skeptical of PHB3, but those feats that that book has....=P~
  14. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Allow me to attempt to clarify (even if it ends up as pontification).

    Unnecessary classes: THe Avenger was just one example that stuck out and I rememberred from idlly flipping through PH2 (I think) while waiting for the game to start. I wanted to see what the new classes were. I didn't analyze the powers or mechanics in great detail (or at all). Just wanted to see what kind of characters they were. My impression was that this was exactly how I viewed the Paladin. Sure, the mechanics are different. OK. We are currently running two different campaigns and switch back and forth to avoid GM burnout, and to allow the GMs to be players. In one campaign, we have a devoted cleric, who hangs back and provides support and healing. In another, we have ths strength cleric who is on the front line bashing along side the defender. Two completely different ways of using the same class. Personally, I think it would have been better to present a new build/version of the Paladin as a striker than to introduce a new class that isn't (in my view) necessary.
    Yes, you can step across class stereotypes--I do it all the time. Swashbuckling Paladin was a favorite, along with a 2nd ed fighter who took the looting proficiency to swipe treasure before the rest of the party got to the treasure.

    Supporting existing classes: They really failed the Warlock. It took TWO YEARS for dragon to provide a feat comparable to the increased damage for Ranger's Quarry or Rogues backstab. For Feylocks, the situation wasn't as bad (their teleporting pact boon made it possible to get closer to other enemies to curse them more easily), but StarPact really got hosed. It was almost like the Warlock had to multiclass to be as effective as other characters. The RPGA has lots of devotees who figured out the best builds for it (Dwarf Infernal pact with Fighter is a good one I hear about). There's a chart somewhere which coded the value of all the feats and powers, and showed the usefulness of each one, and for Warlocks, it was like there was only one option worth taking at each decision, while other classes got to choose between at least 2 good powers/feats at each level.

    The Solar Nerf-- (sorry, I didn't have my book handy for the exact details) sure it was only one lvl10 encounter power for one paragon path... But it was one of 4 options from the original book. You know... When they were introducing a brand new system. We saw how amazingly powerful it was when I leveled up the character. Within two sessions, the GM was dreading it. The party loved the effect. The way we saw it, all the Flaming skulls I was toasting got together and sent aq petition to Orcus, who took the complaint to The Powers That Rule The Universe, and they decided to power it down. Using Solar Wrath on Flaming skulls was great--it damaged them, stunned them, and caused them to fall from whatever height they were flying at, usually causing at least an extra D10 or sometimes 2D10. Honestly, whan one of your core classes has a power that strong, fixing it sooner (like after one por two playtest sessions, before it goes to print, would have been good.

    What some of this reminds me of is the old SpellJammer setting. The RealmSpace book in particular was obvoiusly written by someone who didn't really read the main rules, and just made it up as he went along. I particularly shudder at the ships that completely ignored the information set down in the basic book. Left had obvoously didn't know what the right was doing.

    PH3, the Psionics book. Really, do I need to say more? I'd rather have had the monk put in as a martial class (you know--like a martial artist?) with a spiritual based build or a pure physical build.

    Ebberon: well, since the point of the contest was to create a brand new world, and anyone connected to the company was supposedly not allowed to participate, I find the whole thing...dubious. That the DDO game was set in Ebberon may have tainted my ogeneral opinion of the setting. The way I see it, the contest was fixed, and all it did was give the company a bunch af free mate
  15. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Kinda makes you wish that Rich Burlew had won, hey?
  16. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
  17. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    To be fair, this happened with 3.X too. By the end, we had at least 50 base classes by WOTC, not counting variants...and who knows how many prestige classes. And if you count 3rd party stuff, you get into the thousands.

    I feel its just the model now. People like MOAR NEW STUFF, so that's what they produce. It does inevitably introduce power creep and sub-par stuff. But then again its MOAR NEW STUFF and its fun.

    A good DM nowadays needs to be good at limiting stuff, reasonably and fairly. Its almost as important as introducing fresh concepts.

    Nah, Eberron is older than it seems, DDO came out like two years later and was rushed out (and thus sub-par). Plus, the 2nd and 3rd place guys ended up getting published elsewhere.

    They were very quick to exploit it though...games, novels, setting books. Too fast, it has a "done" feel to it.
  18. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Unnecessary classes: While you give the example of the different cleric builds, you're overlooking the fact that even if they do different things, they are both leaders who achieve the same general results. The paladin is a defender and the avenger is a striker. While you can have classes with a main role along with a "minor" in another role (like a bard is a leader with a touch of controller), it's not a good idea if a class does two roles better than any single class does one. Your suggestion of making the avenger a paladin variant cannot actually work, since it flies in the face of the rules of 4e design. A paladin with striker-level damage powers is an amazingly overpowered character, since it hits like a brick and can absorb an amazing amount of punishment. You'd have to make it so that if it took those powers, the paladin would sacrifice its HP, surges, armor proficiency and marking ability, along with ensuring that no paladin with those features could ever select high-[W] powers that are in theory there for the striker variant, or that the striker variant could select the various immediate action punishment abilities a defender paladin has. The only way you could possibly do this without turning it into an utter mess of restrictions is to make another class. Once you have that other class, it's good to carve out a unique mechanical niche for the class so it plays differently than a barbarian or ranger. The avenger does that (in fact, there are rumors that it was originally called a Templar and was a lot closer mechanically to the paladin, before they decided to make it more of a unique experience).

    Supporting classes: While I agree that the warlock needs a lot of work to function properly and has a strong hint of being a victim of their experimentation, the way you're wording it makes it seem like it's emblematic of WotC instead of being an outlier. If we excuse the lack of your example feats from the PHB as part of their mistakes with a new system, then it certainly should have been in Arcane Power, and its absence was just strange. It seems as though they were trying to emphasize the control aspects of warlock powers instead of the sheer damage (for comparison, the rogue does less raw damage on average than a ranger, but has more control options like dazing or blinding, and the warlock in theory has even more control and somewhat less damage). They seemed to have realized that they pushed the warlock too far away from the striker role and sought to correct that. As to why it took so long for dragon to publish it, it's a juggling act. Since they try to support all their classes and races, they generally tend to space out articles so you don't get issue after issue devoted to one particular thing. Arcane Power came out about ten months after the PHB, so it would take them a few months to receive feedback, work on the features, maybe test them and then try to work it into the schedule of content (which is planned out months in advance). They probably looked for a good article to warlock work the feat in, which delayed it even more than if they'd just released a single feat fix. In the mean time, warlock players collaborated and found new things to work on and different feats to buy to the point when it was finally released, it wasn't really a necessity for them. Could WotC have planned it better? Yes. Is this normal for them? Not really.

    Nerfing: Content scheduling also plays a role in how they decide to allocate errata. With a finite amount of manpower and a whole lot of content, they prioritize the newest and/or most ridiculous stuff since they need to analyze things and figure out what to salvage and how. Remember, they nerfed the range and damage of Solar Wrath, not the stun effect. Its range was ridiculous, but if you were dungeon crawling you might not have ever really noticed. True, it rocked demons and undead, but it was designed to do that; it just happened to do so a bit too well (and incidentally, if you stun a flying enemy that can hover like a flyin
  19. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    As I mentioned, I haven't really looked at most of the actual mechanics of how the PH2 classes are built. just the flavor text.
    Yes, there would be problems. But bluntly, I think it would have been better to focus on existing over creating new classes. That's me.
    Warlocks were screwed. Sure, it was a brand new class (mostly). But even BASIC playtesting should have shown the imballance. There's a huge gripefest on the WotC boards about this. I've had to listen to a warlock devotee harp on and on and on about it. Really, it could have been avoided. Looking at just the PH warlock powers, I have to say they have very little in the way of controller elements. And the book specifically says "Striker". Considering these characters have sold their souls for power, they got ripped off. ;)

    As for the super wire-fu stuff that monks get, well, the rogues can walk up walls and sneak at full speed with at-will utilities by lvl10. Give the monk something similar. "KI" classes were unnecessary. Want a samurai? play a fighter working on kensei paragon path. Maybe give a level of priest initiate for flavor. Want a Ninja? Rogue with maybe some other class mix, and make an appropriate paragon path.

    The contest... I'll admit to A) listening to other people who may not be the best perspective and B) having been burned as a kid by one of Mattel's create-a-character contests.
  20. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Speaking as Valourous Bard who is playing with a Warlock who is the only striker in our group, the rest being Defenders and a Controller, we don't do that badly. Sure, I miss the stack-on-stack damage that say a ranger can do, but we are pretty balanced as far as what we do.

    If only someone could convince the wizards NOT to rish headlong into melee range! :oops:

    Bards are not nearly as good as healers as Clerics though, and you still need someone to heal you. The best part of a bard's healing is done after the encounter, and you need maxed out charisma anyway. I agree they're controllers, but more about controlling the PARTY than the battle. Just look at Cutting Words, for instance.
  21. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Tomb of Horrors 4E is awesome! :D [face_devil] :-B =P~ [face_skull]

    Almost killed one of my players with the crone statue, and that was just due to a bad diceroll of 3d10+11. Gary smiled on us that night.
  22. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Not sure what module the GM is running us through right now.
    Think maybe the new Against the Giants.
    We had so many 1's tonight... We rolled for the NPC wizard who was shoring up the city defences. He needed a 6 for each roll of his ritual for a success. in 5 rounds we rolled 1 success. His name was Obamir or something like that. We started saying "Oh, Bummer".
    Was fun when we crit a monster with 1hp left, or kill someone who ran past one character to get at another--ah, attacks of opportunity and fighter-challenge.

    Since we lost one of our DMs, I've been considering starting up a D&D game as well as continuing StarWars. Only we're using MY world, with MY version of how the world works. Going to be a lot of work not using pregen modules, but I think it'll work. I do have plans to work "Light in the Belfry" into the game. Good news for the divine character(s) in the party--I'll have a quest for them personallized from 1st level...
  23. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Revenge of the Giants involves Acererak.

    Can't wait to run him!
  24. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I just ran my first session of 4th ed.
    The only fight that really challenged the party was the one with 900xp of monsters against a party of 5 lvl1 characters.
    It was funny, because it was an all-striker party. Rogue, warlock, barbarian, and 2 different Rangers. Sure, the monsters had lots of HP, and they went through surges, but the damage they did negated the monster advantage.
    The last fight had 3 characters on the verge of dropping. One fight did drop a character below 0, but only for the last 2 rounds of the fight.

    I like using minions... Lots of minions...
    First encounter was 16 skelleton minions and one soldier bursting out of the monument/tomb in the center of town on market day. There were 24 civilians/townspeople in the square. For every townsperson killed (the monsters went after civilians first!!!), the nearest player (within 5) lost 25 xp. For every civilian that got to run away because of the player, then gained 25 xp. And the monsters themselves were worth 25 each. The civies who didn't have anyone to save them and died... Well, no one could really blame the PCs for that, though some people tried to blame the drow.

    Last fight was 2skirmishers, 2 artillary, 1 spellcaster, 1 soldier/leader, and 8 minions.

    One player loves to pump up his perception skill, with every character he plays. Makes hiding stuff a challenge. He ruined a lurker (monster had to fight the party on his own instead of following them into the next fight) and an ambush (ruined the trap thet would have caused massive damage to the party and radically changed the terrain).
    Everyone had fun with new characters and monsters that were tough to hit, but fell quickly.
  25. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    What? You had no leader? No matter what sort of party you have someone needs to be the cleric, or you die. Simple as that.
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