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 Post subject: first hand at 4th edition
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:22 am 
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okay in the spirit of the pen&paper write-ups here, we tried our hands at the 4th edition beta thingie, (c'mon) keep on the Shadowfell!
One of our players just got in the phb from ze americas, and another had the whole core set, so we tried our hands at the standard characters for a bit of a first try at a lot of changed things.

We only did the first part of the premade thingy, beating some lizards, gathering some info, beating some kobolds and having a real interesting party thingy battle at the graveyard in the end. Most interesting were all the changes which made the combats really different. We had a dwarven fighter, Bok, who was really busy with all of his marking (which is some kind of way to lure an enemy into only attacking you) and dealing a lot of damage, I myself played a half elf cleric, Tony Little, and the cleric now does all kinds of things with band-aid toppings, all free. Bachram was the paladin, which also was a Dragonborn, a new race strangely akin to our own thought up Dragotaurs, dragon offspring with charisma bonus. The lovely thing with the new system is that everyone has 'powers', magic missile is a power, as is cleave, as is smite. This makes that every class has as many number of choices in a round, which makes the fighter and such a lot more interesting.
Our rogue, Lidda, was the halfling thief, whose sneak attack is also a power, also all of the flanking and flatfooted stuff has been turned into 'combat advantage', which streamlines things much better. Lastly we had a human wizard, which also interesting has all its spells 'toned down' to powers, on the other hand, a magic missile becomes an 'at will power', of which everyone has some too. Also the starting hit points have been given a starting boost, emphasizing your hero status, you get fixed amounts, and your con score is added up totally once.

There are a lot more interesting changes like regaining hp has been turned into healing surges, ask away. All in all i feel the balance has really gotten a boost, those powers in all their types really make all classes more evenly interesting, plus there are some new ones to discover. However i wonder where the bard or the barbarian will have their place. (and where's my gnome when there's friggin three elven races)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:38 am 
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I stopped playing pnp when 3E first came out. All I knew of it was what I've heard from you folks online and whatever hack versions made it into various crpgs.

Now 4E?

Hmm. I wouldn't mind reading through the source books.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Well, the bard has been made a bit beefier, and turned into the Warlord. Not such a bad thing, but I do miss his "flavour", however out of place it might have been. As for the barbarian, I don't really mind that they got rid of him - IMO, to have him as a seperate class in 3E wasn't really warranted, since he was pretty much just a fighter with less feat trees and more HP.

As for gnomes, they're still available as a player race, they've just been relegated to the MM.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:51 pm 
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I was already calling that one the warbard yes :), and you're right rulewise n the barb and the gnome, but i still like their flavour too, also when compared to the fey-kin or the ranger. However they'll prolly add something alike on, though i then don't know whether i'd agree on the promotion relegation commitee ;).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:13 pm 
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Some sessions later i'm not so sure anymore whether this is a great new set of rules. Some problems are creeping up in my view, though they might still be a childrens disease.

1) The classes are much more set in stone, a class requires three stats, and usually it really requires them. For instance i play a warlord which pretty much only has his con as a high stat, this means i have no bonuses, and in some cases no use, for its many int and cha abilities and even have a hard time hitting with all the str->hit requirements. The same goes for another two of our characters were trying to change to 4e, a rogue played fully trough the ranger class and a sorcerer with such high con and str its the main tank during low levels. For instance the Ranger isnt allowed to choose sleight-of-hand easily, and the sorcerer lacks any use of its high str and con apart from hit points.
2) Not only do the classes restrict your stats, they also allow for less diversity inbetween characters of the same class, for instance as a human warlord i am obliged to take 3 of the 4 at-will abilities and 4 out of 5 class skills, this means pretty much every warlord starts out with the same abilities, which makes it even harder to distinguish your characters from the others.
3) The characters are less deep, i think this is the smallest problem, that mainly has to do with the new rules, but everyone is so much trying to get a grip on the new abilties that they forget to give character to their set of stats. As well, the abilities intrude into the character builds, due to their characteristics, for instance an ability is called 'Pin the Foe' and it is quite hard to imagine it as something else, ie, the ability does no more than keep an enemy in place if two allies are adjacent, but we're not able yet to call it anything else than i 'pin the foe', instead of the colorful explanations of going about things we had in 3e.
4) The game is more narrow due to the abilities, we as players are looking at our sheets and picking abilities to use. I remember the early levels of 3e well, we were running around with rope, setting stuff on fire, being creative with level 0 spells and tried a lot of bluffing and diplomacy, as of yet, no more, it is almost solely using the class-abilities. Yes there are still some skills, but somehow they're not used often, there's also a new group of skill-like stuff, 'rituals', but we're not doing any of that yet either, let alone have a backpack full of tools and equipment and being creative with them.
5) Tactics seem to have taken a step back as well, this might be the most low-level problem of all, but a good 75% or more of the abilities only work when they hit, while this isn't a problem for sneak attacks or two-weapon attacks, this is for the more tactical of the abilities, for instance Wolves Pack allows you to shift an ally five feet, but only so when it hits, which means you cannot plan it, because it might very well not happen, your main target probably was moving the other guy, so that is why you used the ability, but it doesn't do anything. This stuff is quite irritating as it makes you lose your round, but you feeling doesnt say its simply because you hit his armor, because you werent trying to hit it, its just a weird prerequisite to moving your ally. There are a lot of these miss-> no effect abilities that have nothing to do with dealing damage, even 1/day abilities that are just lost if you miss with them.

I hope all of this stuff disappears when we reach a higher saturation of the rules and gain some levels, but after three sessions my feeling has turned from hope/interest to fear mainly due to the feeling there is less diversity among classes and stats play a more restrictive role.

edit, hmm it seems i misread 'wolves pack', just like i did with another before, maybe this is not so much of a point but more me thinking up crooked stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:51 am 
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its all money. thats all they want. new this new that. buy the shit used. its all its worth

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 Post subject: Re: first hand at 4th edition
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Just read this, I'd be interested in hearing what healing surges are. I haven't really looked at 4E, but what I've seen made it look more cartoonish/ over the top than even 3.5, would you agree with that?


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