Absolutely. And since 3e wasn't tightly templated, as a GM I could never be sure that a new book a player brought to the table wasn't going to destroy the balance of the game. Of course, then you run a Palladium game and balance goes right out the window. 4e does at least have very tight templating and carefully tested abilities that mostly ensure that a new book is going to keep the game at the same power level as all the older ones. They will make mistakes of course (Moment of Glory), but overall I am happy to let new books that I haven't looked over into my game because I trust Wizards' quality control.
As for GURPS, it's a very well designed game, but like Hero System, not one that I cared much for when I first tried it. I've matured somewhat since then, though, so maybe some day I'll give it another try.
I just wanted to point out (in a very non-confrontational way) that the fact that SO MANY people think this means there has to be some truth to it. Tons of people would not have spontaneously come to the same conclusion by coincidence.
Originally Posted by tilt
I've been both a Diablo and WoW player, and a huge fan of Blizzard games (they really do strive for quality), and the entire concept of 'builds' comes from VIDEO GAMES. WotC uses this very term now to describe their preset 'character paths'. Just as in an video game - be it online or console - if you go off the beaten path and do not follow a pre-established 'build', then your character is considered inherently weaker to everyone else.
Now, I'm not going to defend the truth of that statement - I have created at least three characters that can whup anyone's butt with builds that people said were 'wrong' (and one of which went onto to become one the favorite builds after I stopped playing WoW). I think the whole concept of uber-powerful builds destroys the element of individualism, and I strive for uniqueness in every character I create... even if it means giving up a little power. Sometimes, the element of surprise (when you do something completely unexpected) out-weighs the power-loss.
Anyhow, I digress - I just wanted to say as both a long-time video gamer AND PnP gamer, I do notice that D&D has acquired some very VGish mechanics of late. I'm not going to say weather that's a good or bad thing - that's a matter of opinion and is decided by each person's personal tastes. I have heard that combats have become easier to run (so long as you buy the pre-prescribed miniatures from Hasbro), so if your group is combat-heavy then that would probably be the appropriate choice for your group. Combat to me is secondary to storyline, so the rules matter very little to me (and I have used MANY in all my years of GMing). If I didn't already have a plethora of unread/un-used 3e/OGL material laying around, I might have gone that way myself.
The WoW effect comes exactly back to what is dealt with in the article by "The Alexandrian" (the article linked to earlier). The abilities of characters have no real link to the "world" of the characters. They only make sense in a disconnected and 'existential' universe (i.e. the one we are in as players of the game). The rules, by design, take us OUT of the world of our characters and make the game significantly less immersive. Marks are the key example of this. You get a challenge from a Paladin and a Fighter (called a Mark) and suddenly the challenge from one completely removes the effects of the others and so on. "The Alexandrian" does an excellent job on detailing that.
I prefer the idea that game rules shouldn't disjoin you, the player, from yourself, the Character. This is the main reason why I decided that in my own game, there are basically "physical attributes" and "skills" and these things drive everything else. Have you been taught a special combat maneuver (called a "Feat"), well to pull it off you will need to test if your skills are capable of performing that maneuver. Are you stopped from trying it 14-times each combat...? nope, you know the trick and you can use it. Will it actually work every time? Not unless you're really well practiced and skilled... then it's got a much better chance of working all the time. And so on.
To a certain extent, I want the rules to be mechanical explanations for how things "are" for the Characters and ways for determining the outcomes of complex events (like attacking people in combat) or substitutes for more ephemeral concepts (like why exactly you can beat up a university academic in three quick punches but Rocky Balboa takes a collossal pounding...)
The Alexandrian, yep that was the guy. :)
@MarkusTay ... oh, I don't dissagree that 4e's combat is Videogame inspired - the "ties" to how Diablo works (haven't played WoW) is obvious - but that doesn't mean that you might as well play WoW instead of 4e ... that was what I found silly.
Concidering the combats I feel they are fun, but not easier than 3rd ed. there is a lot more to keep track off, but they are more ... epic (in lack of a better word). And I wouldn't buy a miniature from Hasbro if they payed me to do it.. ok... if they payed me well I might.. ;) we use printed cardboard pieces ... then its easy to make a new piece and cheap too.. and I REALLY HATE the idea of not knowing what you buy, that sucks... and don't go hand in hand with D&D AT ALL!! ;)
@Juggs - I agree with the alex... the game mechanics have become disassociated - but you know what - I didn't notice it before I read the article, I had to much fun enjoying combat. Yes, to bad that you can use the same power again and again, but we just think of it as a exeptionally hard thing to do which really takes it out of you until you had a rest. (Feats you can use again and again), and that might not be realistic and actually be a bit like the old magic user who only had x spells a day ... but now the new magic user have small spells he can cast all day (so he's pleased *lol*). I feel the second wind is great... and I love minions, they make great combat. And when we're in combat - THATs what its about - having loads of fun.
Will we go on to 5e when that comes - I'm not sure... we'll see ... right now we have about 20 levels to go and are thinking about playing some Mutants and Masterminds as the next game (but that might change during the next 2 years) ;)
And on a sidenote I'd like to remind people that this thread was started to see WHO played 4e inhere and not to discuss the game - not that I don't enjoy a good banter - but I wouldn't want to have begun a flame war in here ... don't wanna torch the place down *lol* ... I do however fell that everybody in the thread has behaved nicely :)
See you all on the battlemap :)
I'm one of those people that probably sees 4E as "D&D Minis with more rules" and not an RPG Game. I had that feeling from the VERY first time I read the books. Opened up a pre-release copy I'd been able to get me eyes on and that disjoin (which was identified by the Alexandrian but I'd felt it from the first time) has always been around in it for me.
In the end, it all comes down to having a good GM. No matter how good the rules are a bad GM will F*** them up, and no matter how bad a ruleset, a good GM will make them work. It's really just all about having a good time with some friends. :)
Try Chivalry & Sorcery - a game I cut my early RPG teeth on. So realistic it was practically unplayable, but fortunately we had a godlike GM who was actually able to run it and keep track of everything.
Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981
Ever play a game where you had to roll for 'daily health' each morning? That's C&S....
In its defense, I still rely heavily on those rules for realism - I've yet to see a better fatigue system in any game. EVERYTHING was tied to it.
Sounds a bit like Paul Cardwell's Mythworld, a hyper-realistic adaptation of Runequest. As far as I know, that one's never been available except as a dot matrix print direct from Rev. Cardwell, though. I don't mind a simulationist game, but any game that includes rules for altitude sickness and infection from insect bites is going a bit overboard.
Anyway, I thought from the first time I played it that 4e was more of a tactical minis game with roleplaying tacked on than a proper RPG, but that doesn't stop it from being fun. Although come to think of it, I'd just come off of a pretty intense game of Mage: the Ascension at that time, so pretty much anything was probably going to feel like roleplaying lite.
Nah, I'm not looking for the kind of level of realism. I know that a good GM can make or break a game. But as a long-time GM, I'd like a system that doesn't make my life as GM a living hell BUT doesn't throw the realism baby out with the simplicity bathwater. Do I want Rocky Balboa to be hard to kill? Yes. Do I want to create 4,000 rules for where you get hit, how each hit can drastically alter your current status, etc, etc, etc? CRIKEY No.
If you give the link in my signature a click and go have a read, you'll see what I mean I'm assuming. I am um-ing and ah-ing about changing the XP & Levelling System to a "spend XP" system rather than a "Get past XP point, gain abilities"