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4th edition - rumours and discussion and so on

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Beren, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Since the release of 4th edition is just around the corner, I thought I'd open up a thread for people to say what rumours and speculations they've heard about it, and express opinions and so on.

    My opinion: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I liked the 3.5 rules. Simplified things in many respects. Instead of all those crazy different groups of saving throws in 2e, group them together into reflex, fortitude, and will saving throws and tie them in with Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom. The introduction of feats was a wonderful idea. I also liked the adjustment of classes and feats and such. And so on.

    Sure, there were problems. Bloated hit points. That frail mortals could make themselves immune to pretty much everything under the sun by finding the right items. Given the right levels and items and so on, archdevils, celestial paragons, and even the gods themselves could be killed, turning the thing into roll-playing instead of roleplaying. And so on.

    I guess I should rephrase: If its a little broke but otherwise enjoyable, just fix what needs to be fixed instead of a thinly veiled cash grab.

    Now a few things I've heard about 4e. Paladins aren't crusaders for good, but champions of deities whether good or evil. The wheel cosmology and alignment systems is getting dumped. Arcane spellcasting gets nerfed big time from what I hear.

    And then there's what they're doing to Forgotten Realms. Cyric kills Mystra setting off the Spellplague catasrophe, and taking a lot of other gods with it. I don't know. Somehow, Forgotten Realms just doesn't feel like Forgotten Realms anymore without a Mystra, whether it was Mystryl, or Mystra, or Midnight/Mystra.

    Anyway, your turns.
     
  2. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    The only things I resent for now is the Multiple Book Dependency (i.e. enchanters only playable with psionics), the martial per day or per encounter powers and the new planescape.

    I can work around the last point.
     
  3. Ilmater's Suffering Gems: 21/31
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    They've ended the Blood War. What the Hell?
     
  4. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    Yup, that has mainly something to do with shifting the Abyss around, tying it to the elemental planes or something.

    Let's face it: 2e Planescape was even more complicated than the Realms. They just make the material easier to access for non-fans. I don't like it in this case, but I can understand the reason.
     
  5. Ilmater's Suffering Gems: 21/31
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    I wasn't particularly pissed off about 4 ed (only that there'd be no more 3.5 books), until I found out the crap about yugoloths, the blood war and succubi becoming devils that I became angry with the new direction they where taking the game (I could even deal with Asmodeus becoming a god, despite the fact him being a Archduke makes him far more fun than any god could ever be). The yugoloth and succubus issues are really more of a "I can't see them that way" type of deal, but the Blood War means that in 4 ed. I'd never have any reason to take a campaign off the Material Plane. I'm sorry, but hanging out in Celestia with archons is just plane boring (sorry, bad pun). Does anyone ever even go to the good outer planes outside of a pursuit of knowledge or such (neutral planes for that matter too, well aside from Limbo which is just really, really annoying)? Okay, I admit, Belierin of Elysia is kind of interesting, as well as Mithardir of Arborea, but they depended on the DM's skill. Wandering about Carceri, looking for the Apothecary of Sin, while suddenly getting caught midst the Blood War spilling onto Carceri only takes a DM of moderate skill to make interesting.
     
  6. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    From the sounds of it, they are streamlining the rules in order to make it more accessable to an online platform, where whole campaigns take place on a virtual gaming table, which sounds good for those in remote areas that don't have access to a regular group for a face to face campaign...

    I'm still waiting on High speed, so I can't keep up to the other rumours that are out there...
     
  7. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    They are doing that just to get more money out of the customers. You have to pay extra for the online stuff. Monthly subscriptions and such I`ll wager. And from what I have read about 4th ed: it has been dumbed down even more so than 3.5 ed was. Its starting to look more and more like some mmorpg in pen and paper form, than an actuall roleplaying game. Just look at what they did to the new Star Wars rules.
     
  8. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    Simplification of rules is always a good thing.
     
  9. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    To some extent yes. But not when it becomes silly. If the simplification adds to the game, without the game also loosing something that is good about it in the process, then its all well and good.
     
  10. Ilmater's Suffering Gems: 21/31
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    I know that 4 ed is ditching the alignment for the sake of simplicity, as Beren said, but it just seems weird to me, in a fantasy setting, that there would be no definitive way to judge evil. Isn't fantasy typically a departure from the nature of moral ambiguity? Evil is almost a tangible essence in it's host (or using the optional taint rules, it effectively is) in most traditional fantasy setting I'm familiar with. There is always a fight between good and evil, not a fight between those who act good and those who act evil.

    Personally, the alignment system was one of my favorite parts of D+D and, during the few times I've DMed, I find the alignment system to be rather helpful for keeping a villain safe (nothing like detect good) and for allowing a villain to throw around certain spells while keeping his minions safe (like blasphemy), not to mention using pre-generated villains, alignment is so much more helpful then describing a villain's personality. Not to mention, alignment helps keep my players from going crazy in terms of PC interactions for I can't stand it when players try to play like the game is an MMO. I find alignment also gives less experienced players a sense of direction for their character other then "get loot". Not to mention when a NE PC gets nailed by detect evil of a NPC paladin, it really helps how a evil character sees good types if they don't identity with their alignment type.

    I'd go on further about alignment based spells and abilities, but I don't think I need to. I'll simply say that these types of abilities really help D+D keep connections with long standing religious traditions (seeing has how the Archdevils and many demon lords, along with the Archon Exemplars have strong connections to Christianity). These types of ability find their roots in things like Sodom and Gomorrah where a select group of people was destroyed on the basis of the nature of their souls.

    Honestly the most fun is found in mythology and folklore, not some game designer saying "That'd be cool". You'd rarely find a mythology that doesn't view good and evil in a way similar to Gygax.
     
  11. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    I was thinking last night, that most fantasy stories polarize good and evil. You have this incorruptible band of adventurers, against an evil character, who doesnt have any good in him at all. Most of the "evil" humans we know, have some redeeming qualities. Generally, fantasy stories strip those away to make them the personification of evil.

    Now, I dont know what they are doing with alignment, but seeing as how they want to make paladins just champions instead of champions of good, it almost seems like they are being politically correct to all those who want to roleplay evil characters. The thing is, at some point I think it becomes silly.

    Imagine this - protagonist is a neutral evil paladin. Therefore, some of the time, his enemies will be good. Some of the time, his enemies will want to deceive him. So...

    Paladin: Casts Detect Good.
    Enemy: Good.
    Paladin: Ha! Your scheme is foiled!
    Enemy: No! I was going to buy all of those slaves and set them free!

    I dont know, it doesnt have quite the same ring to me, sounds hollow and empty.
     
  12. Faragon Gems: 25/31
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    I'm glad they're removing alignment because people will be forced to play their character, as opposed to playing an alignment.
     
  13. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Except, at times, when it is accompanied by deterioration of the quality of content. Now, tbh, I don't have a strong opinion on the mechanical changes - some of them do seem rather sensible - but I've come across a few story developments that I. Hate. With. A. Passion. Most of them have taken place in the Realms, though.

    I never saw it this way, and I can't understood people who do. First, alignment is a general guideline, so you can swerve at times. But more importantly, 90+% of the characters have a stable worldview - which, essentially, is what alignment means imo. The rest change it - and their alignment - as circumstances require.
     
  14. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    One thing that the game has never truly embraced was the idea of the PC's as antiheroes. Basically, they wouldn't be your stereotypical goody two shoes type, but instead, they'd be self centred mercinary types, out primarily forthemselves. The game looks more at "Us" vs "Them" rather than good versus evil. If you run a war campaign, the enemy military could include good characters, putting Good vs Good. 4th ($th?) would remove that consideration...
     
  15. Hethan the Skald Gems: 5/31
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    You know, I was even surprised it took so long for someone to start a 4th Edition thread over here. Thanks for that, Beren.

    I'll just come out and say: I don't like D&D 3e/3.5, and I like what I've read about 4e so far, so for me, it's a welcome change.

    Seriously, I just didn't like the 3rd edition. Back in 2000, I bought the 3 new core books and thought they looked amazing, and this new edition just *had* to be better because hey, no more class/race restrictions, and no more lame illustrations (boy, was I wrong about that one), and no more THAC0. I was a 14 year old back then, much less jaded about those things than now.

    As the years passed, D&D started to annoy me. Being somewhat familiarized with AD&D (mostly through the BG/IWD series), I started liking the older edition better, even with it's flaws.

    The D20 system might have a simpler ruleset, but that doesn't mean things became smoother while you're playing. I admit that some things were really improvements, though. Feats are a nice addition. THAC0 was really cool, but it didn't really make sense when BAB can do the exact same thing, with less complication. Closing the gap where having an ability score between 8-14 made virtually no difference was also good.

    On the other hand, character generation sucks when you have to pick skill points and check ability modifiers every 10 seconds. Challenge Ratings and Templates for me are THE example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Attacks of Opportunity make a lot of sense, but just end up bogging down combat. Multiclassing was way more flexible, but also made gish characters nearly unplayable. Relying so much on magic items to the point of "christmas tree-effect" was lame.

    Also, I've grown to hate the whole look of 3e. At first, the page layout seemed beautiful, but now it strains the eye. Most of the illustrations are just awful - ugly Elves, Halflings too tiny, everything seems overkill. I know it's a very subjective thing, but I don't understand how so many people accuse 4e to be a turn towards World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs when it's actually turning D&D flavour *back* into something between AD&D and 3e. To me, that talks a lot more to the new audiences than the rules itself, which you'll probably only get to learn if you like what you see there in the books in the first place.

    I just happen to like 4e so far. Tieflings and the Eladrin are okay (plus, the "real" Tolkien-inspired Elves are back to the spotlight). Dragonborn? Cool. Evil Paladins? No problem, it's not derailing, just broadening the class concept. Halflings still have those ugly braids, but at least they've grown. The 5-minute workday is gone, CR is gone, Templates are gone, confirmation on critical hits is gone, a lot of junk is gone, you know? At least it's how I see it.

    A note, too: AFAIK, Alignment isn't gone. It just won't have as much (or any) influence on the mechanics as it used to have. They're back to being just roleplaying guidelines.

    I'll miss the Bard, though.
     
  16. diagnull Gems: 5/31
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    I never really played much PnP D&D, but I always enjoyed reading the books and Dragon magazine. And I played the Gold Box Games, as well as BG and NWN.

    I can understand not liking parts of each edition, at least when it's a computer game. In that case the rules are (for the most part) unbendable. Unless you are savvy enough to code a change to how the game functions, you have to deal with it.

    But in PnP...it's not that big a deal, is it?

    I mean, if they take alignment out of 4ED for example, you just add it the heck back in. Don't like the base classes? Create you own or update one from 3ED (or 2ED even.)

    Dragon (and even the DM Manual) seem to suggest, and in some cases state flat out, that what works for one person, may not work for another so change it so that it fits "your game".

    Sure, it might take a little work, and it may not be "official" but I bet almost every group has their house rules that another group would hate.

    Or am I off base here?

    -D
     
  17. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    No, you are not off base. DM's make house rules to avoid complication or to include things they think are cool. It all starts with which books you want to allow, how you handle things that aren't explicitly covered (this happens in my games because the player that has the most success recruiting players is an "old-school" ECW fan, adn in any bar brawl, he tries to emulate one or more of their classic hardcore spots)...

    I hope that 4th looks more at proceedure, and less at rules details.
     
  18. diagnull Gems: 5/31
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    I'm just looking forward to reading the new books while waiting for NWN 3.
     
  19. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    While waiting for NWN3!? I still haven't got full fun out of NWN1 yet, despite hundreds and hundreds of hours spent there - let alone number 2!

    I second that. What the hell? Isn't the entire point of the blood war that it's meant to be a war that spands the length of time - so long time that mere mortals can't comprehend it? The blood war was one of the funnest things in the DnD universe.

    Won't be sorry to see alignments go. Always hated them.
     
  20. Johi Gems: 1/31
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    Unfortunately I have only a small knowlede about 4e, but if this is really the case in the final version, I will be so disappointed...

    As already said in Posts before, the Blood War is one of the coolest Aspects of D&D-cosmology in my opinion.
     
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