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(Ars Technica)   "Dungeons & Dragons Next"...begun, the Nerd Wars have   (arstechnica.com) divider line 202
    More: Interesting, Dungeons & Dragons, classic games, Wizards of the Coast, Gary Gygax, cohesiveness, Mike Mearls, PAX  
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7234 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Sep 2012 at 2:12 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-17 07:18:25 AM  
i599.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-17 07:27:03 AM  
Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.

I'm a little afraid of the whole "you can customize D&D the way you want too!" angle they are touting. Not only because I'm afraid they'll turn it into a clusterfark AND it's what players and DMs have been doing since day one, it's not some "new feature". It just gets under my skin, that's all.

I think the company is in full on panic mode now, and I'm not sure if they are going to be making the right decisions trying to appease an angry crowd that has either stuck to 3.5 or left for Paizo already. It doesn't make them look good at all. :(

I confess I loved 4e, I could actually survive as a first level wizard! Yay! No more Vancian magic! Gameplay was streamlined and fun! I hope they don't scrape 4e's good innovations entirely. 4e had issues: book cash grab, no hybrid class rules, etc but so did all editions. I hope they don't wipe 4e entirely off the map just to appeal to haters.

The really smart thing they are doing is PDFing all the old stuff and making it available online to recapture the old school market.

TL;DR: players been customizing D&D forever, it's not a new feature. I'm worried that trying to appeal to EVERYONE is going to backfire hard. I like 4e and I hope they don't scrape everything entirely to appeal to a market share that they lost, and the only smart thing they're doing now is PDFing all the old stuff and making it available for the marketplace.
 
2012-09-17 07:44:59 AM  
OSRIC
Swords & Wizardry
Labyrinth Lord
Pathfinder
Dark Dungeons
Dungeon Crawl Classics

And I haven't even scratched the surface of what's out there. Pazio and the OSR ate WotC's lunch, and they know it. 5e or Next or D&Dwhatthefark is too little, too late. 

i46.tinypic.com
 
2012-09-17 07:45:35 AM  
Ran this a few weeks back:

cdn.shopify.com

Think of it as B&E&C condensed to 14 levels, with a workable domain management and trade system.
 
2012-09-17 07:46:41 AM  
Wow... that was painful to read. Quite possibly the worst writing I've been subjected to in a long time, and thats saying something.
 
2012-09-17 07:55:32 AM  
4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.
 
2012-09-17 08:10:39 AM  

Dracolich: 4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.


I always thought they should separate the feats out into "combat feats" and "RP feats", getting one of each. That way in combat you don't feel punished for wanting RP.
 
2012-09-17 08:13:33 AM  

shortymac: Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.


A lot of elements only really make sense when you see them in play. The advantage/disadvantage thing for instance; it sounds like they're making a big deal out of a simple mechanic, but then you play the game and you realize how much it speeds up play by removing a lot of the tedious "Oh, I have a +3 from this and you have a -4 from that" stuff.

Simply comparing the first playtest (which was fairly crappy) to the second, it's apparent they're really putting a lot of work into trying to listen to the fanbase. The overwhelming criticism of the first was that fighters are effective but dull to play, and they fixed that in rather a clever way in the second. There's still a few flaws, but I'm fairly optimistic.
 
2012-09-17 08:19:20 AM  
robboyle.files.wordpress.com

Everything about it just oozes cool, easily the best sci-fi/horror rpg out there.

/And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius
 
2012-09-17 08:21:54 AM  

shortymac:
I'm a little afraid of the whole "you can customize D&D the way you want too!" angle they are touting. Not only because I'm afraid they'll turn it into a clusterfark AND it's what players and DMs have been doing since day one, it's not some "new feature". It just gets under my skin, that's all.

I think the company is in full on panic mode now, and I'm not sure if they are going to be making the right decisions trying to appease an angry crowd that has either stuck to 3.5 or left for Paizo already. It doesn't make them look good at all. :(


WOTC is in a strange position. On one side, they have Paizo taking a bunch of their standard-bearer old-style D&D players.

On the other side, due to the relatively recent advent of print-on-demand services, there's a ton of small, indie-style games now that are REALLY pushing the boundaries of role-playing games and make old-style D&D feel really old and archaic. I think that's where this whole "customizable" thing is coming from. I'm not sure they can succeed, given that these small games are really streamlined to do what they do, and don't require the $300 worth of compendiums and manuals that WOTC has to sell to support the weight of their corporation.
 
2012-09-17 08:23:29 AM  

thunderbird8804: /And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius


That would be this guy.

/Been enjoying being an Octomorph uplift in the game.
 
2012-09-17 08:32:41 AM  

Dracolich: 4e was fun for about 2 campaigns. It was simply difficult to make *your* character. You wind up with more of a multiple choice test than a carefully crafted character. What's worse is that they track you based on which stats you pick out at the start so there is a more and less powerful choice. It did add some nice things like revamping saves, but any sufficiently long combat makes the characters look like 1-3 trick ponies which is kinda sad given that only combat was its big thing. The skill system was nice and clean, but it felt impersonal and delegated.

So far 5e is playing well, but until the full version is out it's hard to tell.

Mostly, I feel like there hasn't been a strong entry in the genre since 2nd edition. It's not that it didn't have flaws, but it really pushed the boundaries compared to what came before it. Recent editions have only attempted to clean up details. Yes, that applies to Pathfinder as well. It didn't go anywhere new on its own. Perhaps all some people want is polish, but it feels like the industry needs a jolt of innovation. Feats were cool and all, but they make the system impossible to balance. When the same feats get picked 1000x more often than the next one on the list, there's an issue.


The issue with 4e and RP is that they didn't come out with RP rules like character backgrounds, hybrid classes, etc until later. Hell i only found out about them because I had their digital subscription.

The problem is they shouldn't have launched when they did, the book splitting and subscription service to get the "complete" game was a total cash-grab and one of the issues with 4e.

Is it just me or is it just that the D&D franchise keeps on making boneheaded business decisions and it's screwing with the game?
 
2012-09-17 08:32:57 AM  

Aboleth: thunderbird8804: /And whoever they have doing the layout for their books is an absolute genius

That would be this guy.

/Been enjoying being an Octomorph uplift in the game.


I was wondering where he went after Catalyst started self destructing.

/Rockin' the reaper, cause nobody messes with a solid ball of murder
 
2012-09-17 08:36:54 AM  

Gunther: shortymac: Okay, I'm going to give my opinions on D&D Next, but I have NOT had the chance to playtest it yet. I've been watching a lot of their youtube videos though and I am planning to playtest soon.

A lot of elements only really make sense when you see them in play. The advantage/disadvantage thing for instance; it sounds like they're making a big deal out of a simple mechanic, but then you play the game and you realize how much it speeds up play by removing a lot of the tedious "Oh, I have a +3 from this and you have a -4 from that" stuff.

Simply comparing the first playtest (which was fairly crappy) to the second, it's apparent they're really putting a lot of work into trying to listen to the fanbase. The overwhelming criticism of the first was that fighters are effective but dull to play, and they fixed that in rather a clever way in the second. There's still a few flaws, but I'm fairly optimistic.


We just did one of the second round of playtest. Our thought were:

Advantage/Disavantage... good idea. Who doesn't like rolling more dice. Sort of like the action point system. The bad part is that it is hard to determine when you have A/D. Some of it is DM call, but other stuff is a bit nebulous. This make combat with a rouge a bit more difficult, as they are deadly (too deadly maybe) when they have advantage.
 
2012-09-17 08:42:54 AM  

Weaver95: Methadone Girls: NowhereMon: Meh,
My group is fully invested in Pathfinder, I don't think there is any going back at this point.

me too

yup, add me to that list. I'm currently running the pathfinder 'skull and shackles' adventure path for Pathfinder. I see little reason to ever go back to vanilla D&D. there's nothing there for me anymore.


I've been getting ready to start a S&S adventure my self after my coworker has been running a Rise of the Runelords campaign, pretty excited. A few of us are a little too into pirates, so this is right up our alley.

I'm assuming you like the S&S settings?

/haven't DM'd since highschool
//did pretty terrible as my group wasn't focused
 
2012-09-17 08:48:31 AM  
hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.
 
2012-09-17 08:53:08 AM  

sfounder: hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.


Okay what is so great about pathfinder compared to 3.5 and 4?
 
2012-09-17 08:54:43 AM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-09-17 09:39:29 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org

Th eonly game I know of that you can get killed in chargen.
 
2012-09-17 09:41:07 AM  
Pathfinder is probably the best expression of the 3d Edition rules style. It's hard for me to play other d20 games than Pathfinder without re-normalizing them to the Pathfinder rules.

4E was pretty crappy -- it strove for simplicity and ease of play, but I found nothing simple or easy about that game. It takes a lot of time to apply a half-dozen different marks and status effects and keep track of saves and when things end. 4E was ultimately simulationist, but it simulated a video game. The further disconnect between Combat and Roleplay, where Combat was (extra) over the top and cartoony making it difficult to play the Roleplay straight, pretty much sunk the game for me.

I find myself missing WEG Star Wars, and I've played some d20 (Revised) Star Wars, but WEG plays a little funky, and the authors of the d20 version might have never watched any of the movies or played any of the games -- replicating iconic Jedi actions (leaps, pushes, etc) requires an inordinate amount of effort and reading certain powers with your mouth held just right -- and the character classes are entirely lackluster.

I love Shadowrun (3d Edition). 4th has the problem of somehow turning all of the streamlining efforts into added complexity.

I don't know if D&D can be "fixed" in this newfangled modern world. It's got a terrible burden of expectation and a team of barely-trained monkeys at the helm.
 
2012-09-17 09:43:11 AM  
Want some more 1st edition monsters? I wrote this a few years ago: Monstrous Tome II: Book of Beings.
 
2012-09-17 09:43:35 AM  
4e fixed what it was supposed to fix: combat actually made sense and didn't leave players randomly out in the cold because they weren't as skilled at building a character or just picked a lower-powered class.

The problem was that in fixing combat, they basically just dropped skills, plot events, non-combat NPCs, exploration, racing, large-scale encounters, and the benefits of treasure hunting, which are kind of the things that make D&D an RPG instead of a wargame.

So in the end their combat worked for the first time... ever, but at the cost of the game being a shiat wargame instead of a decently good RPG. If we wanted to play wargames we'd play an actual wargame.

//My favorite RPGs are still Mage and Spycraft, so no skin off my nose if they release D&D editions that are quantitatively bad instead of just arguable, but still.
 
2012-09-17 09:47:05 AM  
I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.
 
2012-09-17 09:51:04 AM  

Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.


I see miniatures as a matter of choice. I like a little hard tactical edge to things, personally, so for complicated encounters I like to break out the battlemat. If the characters stumble across 4 orcs playing poker, though, I don't find it necessary.
 
2012-09-17 09:53:13 AM  

shortymac: sfounder: hmmmm Begun? The edition war was over before it started. Won, Pathfinder has.

Okay what is so great about pathfinder compared to 3.5 and 4?


Pathfinder is D&D 3.5 (based of the OGL), just with a bit more polish and spin on it. No issues mixing and matching the two really.
 
2012-09-17 09:53:17 AM  

narkor: Enjoying the Fantasy Flight / 40 K RPGs - but looking forward to Monte Cook's Numenera


I really like Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but unfortunately Fantasy Flight appears to be dropping support for it. No PODs in months, and only one new product by the end of the year.
 
2012-09-17 10:00:29 AM  
i remember twilight 2000! never managed to get a campaign sustained, but enjoyed the character gen and scenarios we played

/nothing's obscure on fark

i rather enjoyed GURPs, but as the crew moved away (including myself), I've moved towards video game RPGs - single player means not having to get a group together, and avoids the anonymous MMO arseholes.

I prefer the kind that let me create my own character in my head, have a system flexible enough to facilitate my vision, and a non-linear story line that I can fool around in.
 
2012-09-17 10:01:12 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org

This was my preferred RPG in my days of being GM. The group had to be limited to one or two players (since when did Bond work with a posse?), but the use of skills was very easy to learn, A pair of 10-sided dice to determine your percentage of success against the skill being used was quite easy to grasp. Add to that the missions that were as straightforward as the Bond films, and the games were quick enough to never be boring.
 
2012-09-17 10:14:31 AM  

delathi: [upload.wikimedia.org image 238x181]

Th eonly game I know of that you can get killed in chargen.


Chargen was a game in itself in Traveller.
 
2012-09-17 10:16:30 AM  

Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.


Same here. Since the heady old days of the Basic Set and AD&D I never saw miniatures used until 4th Edition.
 
2012-09-17 10:22:06 AM  
Honestly, I think it's over with. WotC would be just as well off not doing it, I think.

They really want a time machine to go back and stop the OGL before it started - they gave a hobby that does nothing but fiddle around with rules the ability to make their own, and publish, for money, and then there's the Internet there to eliminate the costs inherent to that.

I do look forward to what they eventually come out with though - I like what I've seen, and I look forward to the ideas inherently trickling back into the OGL.

Anybody else looked at 13th Age?
 
2012-09-17 10:26:28 AM  

I eat mop: i remember twilight 2000! never managed to get a campaign sustained, but enjoyed the character gen and scenarios we played

/nothing's obscure on fark

i rather enjoyed GURPs, but as the crew moved away (including myself), I've moved towards video game RPGs - single player means not having to get a group together, and avoids the anonymous MMO arseholes.

I prefer the kind that let me create my own character in my head, have a system flexible enough to facilitate my vision, and a non-linear story line that I can fool around in.


Tabletop D&D had one weakness as a gaming system that the manufacturer could never solve: asshole DMs. I could never get into the games, and would rather play than have to generate and maintain a world, so I resigned myself to character generation.

Computer RPGs were awesome when they first came out. What was that ancient one...Pools of radiance? Ultima? I had months of fun on a neverwinter nights server world that was modeled after LOTR.
 
2012-09-17 10:29:41 AM  
I wasn't impressed with D&D Next - we gave it a chance, and found it too wargamey and fiddly, with too many status effects and stuff like that. We went over to Pathfinder from 3.5 at the beginning of our last campaign, about two years ago. It's not perfect, of course, but I find the class balance is better than 3.5 and it's excised some of the needless bloat that 3.5 had - and, inevitably, that same problem is creeping back into the game. That's the trouble with a game that depends on selling system sourcebooks to generate revenue.

I'm also running a Savage Worlds game, which I can see being my go-to system for running just about anything non-fantasy for a long time, and possibly even that. I like it quite a bit - helps that I've always been a big Deadlands fan. The trappings rules are awesome - as long as you use roughly the same mechanics, you can describe the spells however the heck you want, and it really helps to make characters more thematic.
 
2012-09-17 10:31:21 AM  
Errr, durr, I meant 4e, not Next. From everything I've seen the base game of Next is 2e without all the strange subsystems, which isn't a bad base. I like having lots of skills, though.
 
2012-09-17 10:39:19 AM  

Epicedion: Thunderboy: I played AD&D (v1) for nearly fifteen years, and never once did I see anyone using miniatures.

I see miniatures as a matter of choice. I like a little hard tactical edge to things, personally, so for complicated encounters I like to break out the battlemat. If the characters stumble across 4 orcs playing poker, though, I don't find it necessary.


3rd edition/D20 started the trend of heavily encouraging the use of miniatures (attacks of opportunity
come to mind immediately), but you could still manage combat without them.

Unfortunately, 4th Edition required them by virtue of the fact that ALL character abilities were defined
in terms of their effects on the physical makeup of the board. This was, of course, a conscious
decision on the part of WOTC, since they make a decent markup on the sales of miniatures.
 
2012-09-17 10:39:34 AM  

SteelDraco: From everything I've seen the base game of Next is 2e without all the strange subsystems


I may have to check it out.

I've always had to strip down 2nd because the weird way that magic is unrestrained at higher levels makes the world simply nonsensical.

/never got my shamanic magic homebrew into a usable place, sadly
 
2012-09-17 10:40:56 AM  
I'm 40, and my buddies still manage to get together once or twice a year to play the same 2nd edition characters we started in high school. There's a lot more drinking, eating, and shooting between rolling, though.
 
2012-09-17 10:42:04 AM  
I'll say I've been kind of bummed out by character levels in my games, lately. I like the idea of characters getting better, and gaining new spells and abilities and whatnot, but I don't like how the game is shoehorned into keeping up with the players. I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.

Yes, yes, intricate stories and whatnot, but we're talking about game systems here.

D&D is a game about never being able to unring a bell. The cultists you fought at 1st level are (necessarily) laughably weak compared to your characters even just a few levels down the road, so the cultists you fight at level 5 have to by immensely powerful compared to your characters at 1st level -- and unless your DM is a total jerk, you won't encounter into them in reverse order. The game ridiculously scales beneath the characters' feet.

Early editions (2nd and prior) of the game actually made efforts to level off the power curve by limiting hit points over some level, capping AC at -10, etc. The latest trend is to just keep exploding.
 
2012-09-17 10:46:02 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: narkor: Enjoying the Fantasy Flight / 40 K RPGs - but looking forward to Monte Cook's Numenera

I really like Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but unfortunately Fantasy Flight appears to be dropping support for it. No PODs in months, and only one new product by the end of the year.


Fantasy Flight seems to be porting the WFRP3E system to the new Star Wars RPG, but so far with no sign of action cards and condition tracks.
 
2012-09-17 10:49:08 AM  

DjangoStonereaver: 3rd edition/D20 started the trend of heavily encouraging the use of miniatures (attacks of opportunity
come to mind immediately), but you could still manage combat without them.

Unfortunately, 4th Edition required them by virtue of the fact that ALL character abilities were defined
in terms of their effects on the physical makeup of the board. This was, of course, a conscious
decision on the part of WOTC, since they make a decent markup on the sales of miniatures.


I think 3d edition followed the trend of the early CRPGs (Pool of Radiance, Champions of Krynn, etc) to break up the game into a tactical grid, which more easily allows for guaranteed access to special abilities (backstab), general crowd control (attacks of opportunity), and mass attacks (cleave, fireball) without excessive bickering. Even playing 2nd edition, my groups tended to use little representative maps made of dice when things got too complicated to adequately envision.

4th edition is just ridiculous. The slide/push/pull mechanic alone is enough to make me hate it.
 
2012-09-17 10:55:20 AM  
I prefer the HERO system, but my group has been playing Pathfinder steadily for a bit now. Pathfinder is sort of like "extended D&D 3.5 with shiny new stuff."

Also: This is where the gamers are? Seriously not on TF?

I've been bugging TFD wondering who might actually be interested in RPGs over Skype, and it's the peasants unpaying ba you liters who are into it?

Holy crap!

um... EIP if any of you people who can't see TFD threads want to ever game over Skype. in fact, a heavy-on-the-RP game consisting of Farkers sounds freaking awesome.
 
2012-09-17 11:00:20 AM  
I'm totally new to D&D (always wanted to play, never found anyone interested on my group of friends until recently), so I've been playing 4th Edition.

It could be because I'm a complete newbie, but I've been having TONS of fun so far. The combat systems is easy for me to understand and I really love play the part (Lawful Good Avenger, was a Dragonborn Paladin, but seems to be that I build it wrong so I had to roll a new character). I understand that previous editions are way harder so 4e seems to look like a dumbing down of the game, but for those of us who are new to the game, it's really cool.

/Want to try Chtulhu Tech some time.
 
2012-09-17 11:06:43 AM  

Epicedion: Early editions (2nd and prior) of the game actually made efforts to level off the power curve by limiting hit points over some level, capping AC at -10, etc. The latest trend is to just keep exploding.


The limitation of hit points at high levels was a huge game changer in 2nd, IMO. It made magic much, much more dangerous as even moderate level wizards could chew up your party bad if they got their spells off.

Another huge difference was gear creep - 3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay, and focused magical benefits directly onto sheer numerical bonuses. 2nd's magical items list had a much greater focus on magical items being niche, with only a fraction dedicated to a raw power increase. It's one of the weirder inconsistencies with the systems' attitude; it's supposed to function like a low magic world for everyone but the players and their enemies.

Epicedion: I've said it before, but D&D is essentially a game of a couple dozen villages, where village 1 is being attacked by Orcs and village 20 is being attacked by greater demons of the abyss, and the players move from one village to the next in a line.

Yes, yes, intricate stories and whatnot, but we're talking about game systems here.


I think a big part of scaling danger is simply setting up encounters/the world properly via narrative. The standard method of dealing with events is to make them very straightforwardly black and white and have solutions limited to various ways to kill the Big Bad of This Weekend to death, but this method can only really be sustained by suspending motivation of the opponents, as if you have to subscribe to Bond Villain Method Acting class to be allowed to gain a few hit dice. As long as the DM is willing to let the characters stir up some nasty hornets nests, the players will act in a more measured manner. The world should be a dangerous place rather than just this encounter, and when you're putting the character's power against the world even low power enemies become very dangerous.

It's not a matter of storytelling so much as the villain not intentionally being a moron and refusing to leverage his much greater power.
 
2012-09-17 11:12:24 AM  

IronJelly: Also: This is where the gamers are? Seriously not on TF?

I've been bugging TFD wondering who might actually be interested in RPGs over Skype, and it's the peasants unpaying ba you liters who are into it?

Holy crap!

um... EIP if any of you people who can't see TFD threads want to ever game over Skype. in fact, a heavy-on-the-RP game consisting of Farkers sounds freaking awesome.


Google Hangouts and Tabletop Forge is the way to go. Lots of folks at Google+ running a whole bunch of games over there. If you do a search you'll also probably find Youtube videos of games being run using Hangouts. I've tried it once playing Azamar RPG. Pretty awesome intercontinental role-playing.
 
2012-09-17 11:16:06 AM  

sprawl15:

3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay


Sort of. 3rd Ed was actually designed around the idea of fitting in a a full 1-20 campaign within 6 months. There was a survey done while they were writing up 3rd Ed, and the result was that the average campaign or group lasted 6 months before breaking up for whatever reason. So, Monte Cook and the others focused on how to get the most out of those 6 months in terms of character advancement & gear.

Note that I said *average* and not *every* campaign.
 
2012-09-17 11:16:16 AM  
I got tired of the systems constantly changing, and wrote my own rules system.

I don't have anyone to play with, but i'm sure it works.
 
2012-09-17 11:20:17 AM  

Gunther: I maintain that 4e DnD would have been an enormous success if only it was called something like "DnD: Tactical Miniatures Combat" or something, making it clear that it was a side project rather than a new edition. It's a lot of fun, it just doesn't feel like DnD. It plays more like a small-scale skirmish wargame (like Mordheim or Necromunda) than a full RPG.


You mean this, right?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-09-17 11:22:19 AM  
Personally, I loved the depth of the game worlds in 2nd edition -- Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Grayhawk, Spelljammer, etc., etc., -- and the rule set in 3rd edition.
 
2012-09-17 11:28:43 AM  

DarkPascual: I'm totally new to D&D (always wanted to play, never found anyone interested on my group of friends until recently), so I've been playing 4th Edition.

It could be because I'm a complete newbie, but I've been having TONS of fun so far. The combat systems is easy for me to understand and I really love play the part (Lawful Good Avenger, was a Dragonborn Paladin, but seems to be that I build it wrong so I had to roll a new character). I understand that previous editions are way harder so 4e seems to look like a dumbing down of the game, but for those of us who are new to the game, it's really cool.

/Want to try Chtulhu Tech some time.


I actually find 4E way too difficult to play, since combat is a war of keeping things fast-paced and exciting versus keeping perfect track of all the cooldowns, status effects, marks, reactive abilities, buffs, debuffs, etc. And on top of that, it puts a large rolling burden on the players (who are invariably slower at dice rolling than the DM) whenever they catch a bunch of enemies under one spell or ability and have to target each one's defenses separately.

sprawl15: The limitation of hit points at high levels was a huge game changer in 2nd, IMO. It made magic much, much more dangerous as even moderate level wizards could chew up your party bad if they got their spells off.

Another huge difference was gear creep - 3rd edition was pretty much written to encourage monty haul gameplay, and focused magical benefits directly onto sheer numerical bonuses. 2nd's magical items list had a much greater focus on magical items being niche, with only a fraction dedicated to a raw power increase. It's one of the weirder inconsistencies with the systems' attitude; it's supposed to function like a low magic world for everyone but the players and their enemies.


The gear creep has always made me sad, since characters are already getting huge bumps in power from level to level -- encouraging additional massive increases from gear can get out of hand quickly.

I still have no idea how level 1 commoners have a life expectancy of more than a week. Just getting from the farm to the market has got to be pretty deadly.

sprawl15: I think a big part of scaling danger is simply setting up encounters/the world properly via narrative. The standard method of dealing with events is to make them very straightforwardly black and white and have solutions limited to various ways to kill the Big Bad of This Weekend to death, but this method can only really be sustained by suspending motivation of the opponents, as if you have to subscribe to Bond Villain Method Acting class to be allowed to gain a few hit dice. As long as the DM is willing to let the characters stir up some nasty hornets nests, the players will act in a more measured manner. The world should be a dangerous place rather than just this encounter, and when you're putting the character's power against the world even low power enemies become very dangerous.

It's not a matter of storytelling so much as the villain not intentionally being a moron and refusing to leverage his much greater power.


The issue still remains that if your 15th level characters want to fight a damn orc, the orc has to be the Lord God Emperor of All Orc-kin Through Time and Space, or he's less threatening than a legless kitten.

Take a look at scaling computer games for an example. Elder Scrolls games leap to mind, especially Oblivion. In that game, everything scaled to be a challenge, so inevitably you'd run into groups of road bandits that could topple kingdoms with one hand tied behind their back.

The downside to forced scaling is that high-level threats effectively don't exist until your players are powerful enough to deal with them, and low-level threats go away as the heroes get stronger. Sure they might be window dressing, but the 1st level heroes aren't going to actually encounter the dragon unless the DM is a dick, and the 15th level heroes aren't going to stop and clear the graveyard of skeletons for 10 shiny pieces of gold.

I had a DM once who tried to make the world a non-scaled place, a low-magic / low-power game in which high-level threats would exist and act but be rare enough not to break the majority of dirt farmers in the rest of the world. Guess what? We very unfortunately bumped into a high-level threat and all died.
 
2012-09-17 11:33:28 AM  

Confabulat: I tried D&D in real life in like sixth grade. Then I realized I didn't actually want to PRETEND I was a character in a game I was playing.

Thankfully video games came along around that time and made that sort of nonsense obsolete except for rare groups of extreme nerds nowadays.

Technology has made your endless painting of silly models sort of silly now, D&D old-schoolers. Still love that AD&D Monster Manual book from my preteens though. Yum, succubi!


What page would you find trolls in your Monster Manual?
 
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