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Thread: 4E Dungeons & Dragons - Verdict?

  1. #11
      dormouse is offline
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    I/we still play 1e. Saw no advantages to 2e. 3e & 3.5e too complex/fiddly and part of a process where more stuff was moving from DMs control to the printed rulebooks (and there were enough of them in 1e). 4e seems to be an acceptance of the over-complexity of 3.5 but keeps the rulebook control and has removed a lot of interest as well as the complexity. 1e for all its faults was a good enough basis for DMs' creativeness and group RPGing and without lots of time being taken up with combat; a lot of interest was in the group and in the campaign. It may well be that 4e is the last throw of WotC's dice; too many previous versions, books, modules still being used; too many alternative Games/Rules for those who like their RPG differently biased.

  2. #12
      Redrobes is offline
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    My issue with 4e is that no matter what random page I open the PH you end up staring into a large tabulated table of figures. It reads like a program requirements specification and has no mystique, flavor, or style to it. I guess your supposed to add that yourself and use this as the rules to frame that in but it still does not seem like as much fun as it used to be.

  3. #13
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    My issue with 4e is that no matter what random page I open the PH you end up staring into a large tabulated table of figures. It reads like a program requirements specification and has no mystique, flavor, or style to it. I guess your supposed to add that yourself and use this as the rules to frame that in but it still does not seem like as much fun as it used to be.
    But that is really not that different from previous versions with regards to the spell lists taking up the majority of the books really.

    At the moment, for the biggest thing is that a character regardless what class is useful in every fight. Something previous editions (especially with regards to wizards) sorely lacked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    At the moment, for the biggest thing is that a character regardless what class is useful in every fight.
    And therein lies the nubbin - useful in every fight. 4E has reduced D&D to a fantasy skirmish system. Methinks they should take the term 'roleplaying' out of the game altogether for fear of running foul of Trading Standards.

    Craig.

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by matholwch View Post
    And therein lies the nubbin - useful in every fight. 4E has reduced D&D to a fantasy skirmish system. Methinks they should take the term 'roleplaying' out of the game altogether for fear of running foul of Trading Standards.

    Craig.
    Well, see, here is where I must deign to disagree

    While I will agree the current rules are more combat oriented, the old rules were as well. Movement was measured in Inches, Spell Area's and ranges were listed as inches, and looking at original modules like Keep on the Borderlands, while there was Roleplay in the Keep, the Caves of Chaos were combat after combat as you cleared the caves. In fact, as an adventure for first level characters, a level 1 wizard was a server handicap. You could maybe cast a single sleep spell once per day, so to be of use to your party, you could only do a single room per day before returning to the safety of the keep.

    The current game system is no different. Movement, spell ranges, etc are listed as squares instead of inches, but, roleplay still exists, and I personally do not think any set of rules can set out how exactly one is supposed to Roleplay
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  6. #16
      Karro is offline
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    Sadly, I have yet to even have an opportunity to try 4th Ed., as yet. Some of what I've heard about it sounds intriguing. But I don't have a current game group, nor the free time to game if I had one (poor me hasn't played in something like 4 years.)

    Quote Originally Posted by matholwch View Post
    And therein lies the nubbin - useful in every fight. 4E has reduced D&D to a fantasy skirmish system. Methinks they should take the term 'roleplaying' out of the game altogether for fear of running foul of Trading Standards.

    Craig.
    Not to be too snarky, but does 1st Ed. D&D have a lot of rules for non-combat situations? I'm afraid I didn't get on the D&D bandwagon until 2nd ed, so I'm not so sure about 1st Ed, but as I recall 2nd really didn't have much in the way of non-combat rules. What did exist was tacked on and clunky.

    The point I'm trying to make: AFAIK, D&D has always been a fantasy combat simulation with role-playing tacked on and thrown in the mix because it sounded fun! Non-combat rules have always been few and far between, and rarely fully functional (at least until 3rd Ed. standardized it), and it's always been up to us to to provide the roleplaying color. So, insofar as 4th Ed provides a clear and cleaner and fairer set of rules for combat (not saying it does, as I haven't had the opportunity to evaluate that), then that makes this a superior edition of D&D. If, OTOH, you want your RPG ruleset to be more robust in the non-combat department, there are numerous games, both paid and free, that do just this (I myself was working on one, at one point, before other larger life-issues sucked time away from that project).

    To mollify my tone a bit, though: if you like 1st Ed. D&D fine, then I, personally, think that's great. Though I've never played it, I would hope you continue to get years of joy out of it. I just think that knocking 4E for being too combat-centric is an invalid criticism of a game that, ultimately, evolved from fantasy wargame ruleset. (Or rather, it's not a valid criticism when comparing editions of D&D; it's perfectly valid when comparing two very different RPGs.)
    Last edited by Karro; 04-27-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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  7. #17
      Pilias is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaidd Drwg View Post
    So a lot of us are rpg-ers, the latest edition of D&D has been out for a while now and everyone (ie. those of us willing to try it) has had time to get to know it from personal experience. I was wondering what you think of it now. Has anyone changed his/her mind about it? And if so, is it better than you expected or is it a (major) disappointment?

    I wouldn't be surprised if there's already a thread like this one somewhere in the unfathomable depths of the forum, but I haven't been able to find it. So there
    Overall I like 4th edition, its much less intimidating for newbies to pick up and get into the game (like certain wives of people in the group).

    I love the fixes to the skill system, it is much more balanced and I also like that as a DM I can use poison and diseases without the players just shrugging them off after 6th level.

    I also like the skill challenges and the way they do traps now, and the rewards for accomplishing quests.

    My only gripe with 4th ed is you don't have the same amount of choice in how to build your character. With the expansion books it's gotten a little better but it's much more focused than 3rd ed was, but I've found that it helps with unit cohesion a bit so even that is only a minor gripe. Overall.

  8. #18
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    Post It depends whose playing...

    I can probably agree, that for newbies to the game, learning 4th edition is probably easier than 3.5 (I haven't played 4e, but from those who have, this seems to be a consistent point they bring up.)

    Its like Checkers and Chess. Checkers is much easier for a newbie to learn, where as Chess is far more complex and strategy based. Both games can be fun, but if you're familiar with the rules of chess and like the game, chances are that checkers doesn't do anything for you. As a choice between the two, chess players prefer chess over checkers.

    I have been playing D&D since 1977. All the players in my group had started about the time, if not earlier. We are familiar with the rules and the idea of a game friendlier to noobs, doesn't mean anything to us. We do have a couple of new people, though they are thoroughly indoctrinated to 3e, moreso than myself, even - so they aren't excited about moving to 4e either.

    We don't need a more new user-friendly system, so 4e offers little to invite us to play. We are more like chess players, and don't believe moving to checkers is going to be better or more fun to our gaming needs.

    As an aside, the whole Fighters and Rogues have "powers" too - in my mind is completely not D&D, so there are many more reasons that I won't play 4e. Its just that that its more friendly to noobs, by itself is no incentive to play it, by my gaming group anyway.

    Nothing wrong with 4e in of itself. I just don't want to play "checkers."

    GP
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 04-27-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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  9. #19
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    Not to be too snarky, but does 1st Ed. D&D have a lot of rules for non-combat situations? I'm afraid I didn't get on the D&D bandwagon until 2nd ed, so I'm not so sure about 1st Ed, but as I recall 2nd really didn't have much in the way of non-combat rules. What did exist was tacked on and clunky.

    The point I'm trying to make: AFAIK, D&D has always been a fantasy combat simulation with role-playing tacked on and thrown in the mix because it sounded fun! Non-combat rules have always been few and far between, and rarely fully functional (at least until 3rd Ed. standardized it), and it's always been up to us to to provide the roleplaying color. So, insofar as 4th Ed provides a clear and cleaner and fairer set of rules for combat (not saying it does, as I haven't had the opportunity to evaluate that), then that makes this a superior edition of D&D. If, OTOH, you want your RPG ruleset to be more robust in the non-combat department, there are numerous games, both paid and free, that do just this (I myself was working on one, at one point, before other larger life-issues sucked time away from that project).

    To mollify my tone a bit, though: if you like 1st Ed. D&D fine, then I, personally, think that's great. Though I've never played it, I would hope you continue to get years of joy out of it. I just think that knocking 4E for being too combat-centric is an invalid criticism of a game that, ultimately, evolved from fantasy wargame ruleset. (Or rather, it's not a valid criticism when comparing editions of D&D; it's perfectly valid when comparing two very different RPGs.)
    The whole point was that it wasn't swamped with rules. It wasn't a wargame (which needs to be entirely rule based) it was a RPG. The rules for combat were very simple (and were criticised for being unrealistic - leading to the development of various systems for more 'realistic' combat, all of which took a lot more time and produced (in my own view) the gradual decline to 3.5); for those primarily interested in combat, D&D never did it well. If you look at the 1e DMG, then a relatively small proportion of the pages were aimed at combat. The DM was expected to provide the imagination and not just implement a set of pre-defined rules and very few of the DMs I knew/know ever used the published modules (though they read them with interest). The rules that did exist were designed to achieve balance (admittedly never doing it for low level Magic Users - though players still wanted them because of their power higher up) and make the game work. If you read Gary Gygax (extensive quantities of posts available on the net) you will see that his approach was the antithesis of wargaming or only doing combat.

    While you can see how D&D, Basic D&D, AD&D 1, 2 & 3 were all versions of the same game, 4e is radically different in many ways. Much less emphasis on different professions and roles (everyone can develop skills in everything), and more emphasis on combat and the rule of the Rules. There were always players and DMs (frequently at the younger end of the D&D players) who preferred hack and slash, fast promotions to high level characters, and masses of magic booty and 4e seems more designed for this group than any other.

  10. #20
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    We roleplay pretty heavily in my group in 4e, as a DM I make judgement calls just about the same as most other systems I have played. When not in combat my players are generally wanting to do things not explicitly spelled out in the rule system, which is fine, that is my job to figure out how to referee in those situations. The DC system works pretty well with some interpretation and for any situation I can assign a DC and the players have a pretty good idea what to expect.

    So outside of combat I do not find 4e any more or less able to handle things than any of the other systems I have played. In combat, I have a fairly easy time managing complex combats and can move them along fairly quickly. My players seem to enjoy all the different powers and feats and it seems to add a fair bit of fun and flavor the the combat.

    I am disappointed that they moved away from a more open licensing system. But since I create my worlds, adventures etc. myself, it is more of an academic disappointment than practical.

    Dean

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