Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Catch All

Mordiceius wrote:

amazon linkage

Thanks for the link it really saved me some money. I was just going to go buy them at the nearest store full price.

rabbit wrote:

Fantasy Grounds 2.

Cool I'm checking that out. My friends have been making use of rptools and skype to do our weekly DnDing.

BlackSheep wrote:

As much as I grew up on the teat of D&D, Rolemaster, Gurps, Phoenix Command, and a myriad of other systems, after really reading through their changes, it looks to me that they've simply taken wholesale from MMOs and transported it directly to a tabletop.
(snip)
Even though I thought D&D 3rd edition (and 3.5) were moving toward this, there were also some really character defining things about the system that allowed groups to step outside that mentality and search for their own ways through the conflict. Perhaps I'm just asking for too much.

It sounds more like you're simply asking for a good DM. The rules are just tools, it's up to the DM to work them into a good campaign.

Mordiceius wrote:

We could always get some games going with people from the site.

I would definitely be up for this. The only caveat being that I've never played a game of D&D proper in my life (not enough geeks in Idaho) -- my only experience being with the computer game variety. But if people are willing to put up with my noobishness I would love to get a regular group going. Once I get good enough I can even DM, as that sounds like the most interesting part of the game to me.

stupidhaiku wrote:

I would definitely be up for this. The only caveat being that I've never played a game of D&D proper in my life (not enough geeks in Idaho) -- my only experience being with the computer game variety. But if people are willing to put up with my noobishness I would love to get a regular group going. Once I get good enough I can even DM, as that sounds like the most interesting part of the game to me.

Where in Idaho are you from? I'm originally from Idaho!

North-central, near Lewiston.

Ah, I'm originally from Coeur d'Alene.

3 hours away

Stengah wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

As much as I grew up on the teat of D&D, Rolemaster, Gurps, Phoenix Command, and a myriad of other systems, after really reading through their changes, it looks to me that they've simply taken wholesale from MMOs and transported it directly to a tabletop.
(snip)
Even though I thought D&D 3rd edition (and 3.5) were moving toward this, there were also some really character defining things about the system that allowed groups to step outside that mentality and search for their own ways through the conflict. Perhaps I'm just asking for too much.

It sounds more like you're simply asking for a good DM. The rules are just tools, it's up to the DM to work them into a good campaign.

You would think that would be the case; unfortunately, with the heavy rulesets of version 3-3.5, most DMs feel constricted because of 'poor' players. We all know the type -- they've memorized the rules and made them sacrosanct. Ruling something different because of the circumstances starts an argument or rule-mongering discussion at the table, which breaks down the game. I think I'm pretty fortunate to have a good set of DMs hanging around in my group. The only problem is finding enough players that haven't been necessarily raised on the teats of D&D 3+.

Talking with some people on another forum about it and they were explaining how the 4th edition ruleset feels like it's making it a little less strict and more of a "beer and pretzel" game that is really easy and fun to play. The main problem I always had with groups is things like combat often becomming long, drawn out, and tedius. 4th edition removes a lot of that.

Hey folks,

I've played a fair amount of 4th Edition already, I'm actually going to be running one of the game day tables local to me this Saturday (Chantilly, VA).

Mordiceius wrote:

* Streamlined combat

I didn't see the combat was quicker but everyone was more involved. No more 'wizard's out of spells we have to rest' kind of stuff. The tricks the monsters have up their sleeves are going to make things interesting.

Mordiceius wrote:

* Online tools

I'm not betting that these turn into anything good. The company's changed hands a couple of times and has never been able to do good stuff with the computer besides the gold box games and Neverwinter Nights. Maybe they'll turn it around.

Mordiceius wrote:

Saturday, June 7th is game day. Make sure to find a location near you

Highly recommend taking a look. For folks who've never played or didn't play much... A good DM can have everyone having fun no matter what the skill level.

Stephen

Does 4ED require miniatures?

I was thinking of getting into 3.5 for family gaming night when my daughter gets older, but the WOTC website seemed to suggest that miniatures were needed for combat.

I've taken up painting minis as a hobby, and my wife and I have an extensive collection of Heroscape figures, but I'm not all that interested if you need more than the rulebooks, a pencil, paper and some dice to get playing. Easy setup is key.

I've been thinking of trying Risus, which has a rule set that fits on one page. But D&D, being the gold standard of tabletop RPGing, calls somehow.

Does 4ED require miniatures?
I was thinking of getting into 3.5 for family gaming night when my daughter gets older, but the WOTC website seemed to suggest that miniatures were needed for combat.

I would say "no".

When I ran casual/pickup D&D 3.0 games, I would just fudge the combat rules and give the players descriptive text to explain their combat situations. You lose the tactical importance of many feats but I prefer having a storytelling heavy experience vs. a rules heavy experience anyways. It also seems to push players into roleplaying their characters more as they are focused on the situation within their mind's eye rather than counting squares and line of sight on a miniature filled grid.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Does 4ED require miniatures?

3rd edition in my opinion tries to make DnD more like a tabletop war game. My friends and I enjoy the combat aspects, and we sometimes just do arena style games to give the dm a break in between campaigns. I agree with LockandLoad in that you could just rp the combat just as easily as moving a bunch of pieces around.

If you do want to try out the new rules for combat instead of using metal miniatures you could print up chits. Our group uses chits with artwork from the web. We have them laminated so we can write on them with dry erase markers. I wish I had an example to show you.

I got to spend abotu an hour with all three books last night. My initial reaction was "thank god." I have *not* been following 4e a ton as it's developed. I figured I'd be buying the books at Gencon. But on a quick run through it all seems MUCH more intuitive and easier to teach than 3.5. It seems much more designed to allow a lot of action without so much toe to toe swinging with not much else going on, followed by "well I guess we need to go to bed for the day, even though it's 8:21 in the morning."

The information design of the books is also vastly better. It's much cleaner and easier to navigate. Still not up to the absolutely awesome design of the Ptolus stuff, but closer to that than the impenetrable designs of 3.5.

My book should be here Tuesday. I'll be honest, I'm looking forward to it. Everything I've read (and I've had a chance to talk to folks about the rules) seems to jive with what I'd like to see, so I'm pretty excited about seeing what it's like. I've never been able to be fully comfortable with 3.0/3.5 for some reason. May even try to get a 4e game started here in town if I can con someone to run it (I don't want to try to run two games at once and I already have a non-D&D game going).

Thanks for the quick review, Rabbit. Your opinion carries lots of weight with me even considering the limited amount of time you had to look things over. The books sound very much worth considering!

On another note: As someone who bought 3.0, I'm very skeptical about the software component. I remember the months/years of waiting for WotC to deliver on their promises in that department. They never did. Allowing everyone a buggy glimpse at what could be and not delivering was worse than their not trying to deliver software tools at all, IMO. Thankfully, PCGen/Code Monkey Publishing stepped in after a while.

MMOs by their nature a just too constrictive (You're DPS, your Tank, your a Healer... arg...) and every combat ends up the same -- every problem is answered in the same way. Tank taunts, healer heals tank, DPS attack by nuking or flanking. Monster dead. Rinse, repeat ad nauseum on bigger things.

It's worth pointing out that this entire play mechanism is based around exploiting poor AI. It would be an exceptionally bad idea to try to force pen and paper games into this mold.

One of the biggest things I always thought about, when planning my encounters as a DM, was how smart/organized the monsters were. Even goblins can be dangerous as hell if they're led by someone with a brain. And enemy mages were some of the scariest encounters in my games.

This is something that MMOs miss out on entirely; enemy AI is terrible.

What Malor said. That's why I love pen & paper. I just wish I had a group to play with! I love either DM'ing or playing, with a slight leaning towards DM'ing. Coming up with inventive and fun encounters, stories with some mystery for the players to stumble through, backstabbing and plot twists periodically... so much fun.

I just wish I had a group to play with! I love either DM'ing or playing, with a slight leaning towards DM'ing. Coming up with inventive and fun encounters, stories with some mystery for the players to stumble through, backstabbing and plot twists periodically... so much fun.

Are you volunteering yourself for DMing the GWJ 4th Edition game once they get the digital play area running?

I won't be using WotC's digital tools unless they back off on the microtransactions. However, I wouldn't be opposed to doing so on a different online client. The tough part is primarily scheduling.

LockAndLoad wrote:
Does 4ED require miniatures?
I was thinking of getting into 3.5 for family gaming night when my daughter gets older, but the WOTC website seemed to suggest that miniatures were needed for combat.

I would say "no".

When I ran casual/pickup D&D 3.0 games, I would just fudge the combat rules and give the players descriptive text to explain their combat situations. You lose the tactical importance of many feats but I prefer having a storytelling heavy experience vs. a rules heavy experience anyways. It also seems to push players into roleplaying their characters more as they are focused on the situation within their mind's eye rather than counting squares and line of sight on a miniature filled grid.

I can't believe I never thought of that. I read through the 3.5 rule books, and it specifically said the DM could alter the rules. It never occurred to me that the combat could be changed.

The problem is I'm a bit of a rules whore. My wife and I play Heroscape and I'm constantly trotting out obscure rules to maximize my army's effectiveness. Almost led to a fight once when I was losing and I charged my last remaining Samurai into the center of her army. (Once a unit is next to another unit, neither unit can move without incurring a "passing swipe" by the unit staying put. Also, Samurai get free, unblockable counterattack dice throws every time they're attacked but not killed. The result was I destroyed all of her melee troops with one guy.) The idea that I could change the rules of a game is very foreign to me-- if the book says it, it's so, whether it's Monopoly, Heroscape or Risk.

I'd like to get D&D 4, or even 3.5 for that matter. Once my daughter's old enough, I'd love to start a family RPG night. But I can't justify the expense right now-- even with the current Amazon discount it's nearly 60 bucks. That's almost a whole week's worth of disposeable income for us, and it will be years before the Little One is old enough to play anyway. So I'll save up for it.

For now, just to try tabletop RPGing out, I'll try Risus. It's free, and lends itself to 2, which I understand D&D doesn't do so well (at least 3.5 edition. Maybe 4th is better)

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

The problem is I'm a bit of a rules whore. My wife and I play Heroscape and I'm constantly trotting out obscure rules to maximize my army's effectiveness.

You're a thoughtful person, though. I'm confident that you'll learn that, while gaming the rules is fun, story and table talk are even better--for everyone.

I haven't played since the second edition days (Advanced D&D), but I went ahead and preordered the box set, even though I don't know that I'll have any time to actually play. Just interesting to see how the system has evolved. All due respect to Gary Gygax (may he rest in peace), but that dungeon master guide was just a chaotic mess of tables and chapters randomly thrown together. Like tables for rolling what kind of gem you got or some such useless esoterica, and very little guidance for actually running a campaign.

I still wonder with all the streamlining, if I've just gotten too used to the computer handling keeping track of all the rules. It seems like a lot of things to remember even for players.

And re: the computer/online component, the stuff they showed on you tube (search for D&D insider) was underwhelming to say the least. Maybe it's better than nothing if you're playing over the internet, but I can't see how it would do anything but slow you down when you're playing directly with other folks.

Well, even if I never get to play, at least I have good toilet reading material ... (TMI?)

Farscry wrote:

I won't be using WotC's digital tools unless they back off on the microtransactions. However, I wouldn't be opposed to doing so on a different online client. The tough part is primarily scheduling. :)

I almost never got to be a player except on rare occasions. If you get a way to start an online gaming group going, Fars, count me in!

MMOs & other computerized RPGs offer the simple joy of being able to get into a game quickly and having all the "work" done for you. That said, the best MMO or cRPG experience still pales in comparison to good PnP play. I've always been hunting for some online interface to bring the true open-ended nature of RP.

Malor (I think it was) said it well. MMOs cheat outrageously to make encounters challenging, requiring players to overcome their insane advantages. Good DMs can generate excitement and challenges by just playing encounters as intended.

And one of the best aspects of the PnP style play is that there's no best way, only way, and optimal way. Games are tailored to the players and every role can be fun (in fact, sometimes the more unusual roles are the ones that are the most fun).

At any rate, count me as interested and excited to see where this goes!

Just to echo the aged geek chorus: "I love playing, but can't get together a group". The penny arcade podcast isn't helping either, as I almost want to buy the set even knowing there's < 1% I'll ever play. I've been down that road before. Le sigh.

booty wrote:

Just to echo the aged geek chorus: "I love playing, but can't get together a group". The penny arcade podcast isn't helping either, as I almost want to buy the set even knowing there's < 1% I'll ever play. I've been down that road before. Le sigh.

I know that all too well.

I'm seriously considering picking up at least the core player's handbook and reading through it.

Farscry wrote:

I'm seriously considering picking up at least the core player's handbook and reading through it.

How are you going to DM our Saturday Night 4E D&D Gaming Group if you don't pick up all the books?

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

The problem is I'm a bit of a rules whore. My wife and I play Heroscape and I'm constantly trotting out obscure rules to maximize my army's effectiveness. Almost led to a fight once when I was losing and I charged my last remaining Samurai into the center of her army. (Once a unit is next to another unit, neither unit can move without incurring a "passing swipe" by the unit staying put. Also, Samurai get free, unblockable counterattack dice throws every time they're attacked but not killed. The result was I destroyed all of her melee troops with one guy.) The idea that I could change the rules of a game is very foreign to me-- if the book says it, it's so, whether it's Monopoly, Heroscape or Risk.

I do the almost the same thing with samurais but one step less. You can do this with any character, but especially with samurais against Deathwalker, move them in to engage Deathwalker so if he attacks, it has to be the samurai and they now risk getting counterattacked without their effin' 9 dice defense. Usually, the player controlling Deathwalker is chicken and doesn't want to move away because of the swipe but won't attack because of the counterattack, so that piece is essentially dead for the time being. However, thomas, I like your method too. I'll have to try it out tomorrow but with my luck I won't get to counterattack because the swipe will get me.

EDIT: And I got accused of cheating the first time I did the player's were fairly new and the swipe rule hadn't really come up yet since I initially taught them.

But when it comes to Monopoly, the only way I play is made-up rules. Rule #1: All cheating is ok as long as you don't get caught.

Farscry wrote:

What Malor said. That's why I love pen & paper. I just wish I had a group to play with!

I'm in the exact same boat, and I really think that we should get a GWJer group together to play online in some fashion. I've been wanting to try D&D for a very long time. If the 4th edition online version is as horrible as everyone expects, we can always do fantasy grounds as per the suggestion of Rabbit who is a filthy enabler.

One of the nice things about living in a major (and I don't mean it in the same way as Austin, Spokane, or Kenosha :P) city is that even if the local goodjers fail me, I can still rustle a group.

I just have have problems setting aside the time.