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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  13:32:24  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to agree with Wooly that getting your stuff taken in exchange for the only means of escaping is a bit harsh, espically if you've gone the great lengths to craft that particular piece of magical item (like spending XP). I think the idea can be worked with and might even use it though I'd have a way for the PCs to get their stuff back too.

quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers


@diffan: interesting you should look at my beholder scenario as metagame/powergaming, to me it is purely about keeping the game world as 'real' as possible. Why does the beholder sit in its cave 10 miles from the heroes village and not make an appearance until they are 8th level? Its hungry and scheming and evil and will saunter down whenever it likes, so if the players are 3rd level well then.....
I would assume that the players would have a go at defending their village and then run away very very fast after it disintegrates the side of the barn to get at the livestock inside and turns the yapping guards dogs to stone with a blink of an eye. To me it reinforces the verisimilitude of the game world as well as providing a magnificent roleplaying goal for the heroes to 'advance' and be able to defend their homes from the monster and ultimately take the fight back to its lair and defeat it.


I was more commenting on the idea of Vertical Advancement for the purposes of taking on tougher opponents a Meta-gaming mentality than your specific scenario. And while I might be a little more easier on my PCs, I try to do the same thing as you do. I give them lore of the land and let them know that certain places in the game world (mostly use Faerūn) are exceedingly deadly and venturing down those paths could easily lead to their deaths.

What I really wish they would put out is a Random Encounter chart for areas in Faerūn for 4E. Sometimes monsters CR don't carry over to 4E very simply and using 3E charts doesn't work very well. Still, when I use 3E I keep that "real world" mentality of adventuring there.

quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

I am old school, I don't do balanced encounters or balanced magic items and I abhor combats in which a player gets one go every 20 mins or so. I prefer a quicker rule-light games with player interaction with each other and NPC's (no one gets to make a diplomacy roll in my game, you have to talk to the bandit king and convince him to let you go). I prefer creativity and spontaneity and fast action so its more sword & sorcery than wargaming (even though D&D emerged from a wargaming ruleset). So to me +1 level advancement is easier to resolve, quicker and more direct. Advancement via special manoeuvres and more feats and more skills rather than the +1 level is going back to the tactical wargaming roots of D&D as re-coded in the 3E+ rulesets requiring extra dice rolls/opposed rolls and more bookwork to remember what characters and NPC's can do.


But during that +1 level advancement the PCs are still gaining more feats, skill ranks, and special maneuvers. But I can see what your saying, as the character's become more advanced they become more "bloated" (for lack of a better word) with all of those options. I guess it's just a matter of taste. You also touched on the idea of actually role-playing the Non-combat encounters instead of just allowing a Skill Check roll (something I've seen done multiple times in 3E) and I think the 4E Skill Challenges really plays to the narritive style.

If your not familiar with Skill Challenges, it's basically a formula for non-combative interactions in which you have to succeed on so many attempts to be successful. Of course, how well your role-play directly affects any modifiers to that skill you get or if the skill is downright ignored or not. Intimidation, for example, can be used to persuade a Lordling or down right end negoitations with a foreign dignitary.


4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 17 Oct 2011 14:08:38
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  13:44:52  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When Therise mentioned Blackrazor I somehow mistook it for Bloodrazor ,from WoW, I do hate getting addled like that... I blame my age

I think crazedventurer's example regarding the Beholder, and it's existence within a lower level game, is a valid one.

I've always liked the idea of consequences, repercussions, and most importantly choice. I try my best to give the players a sense of free-will... thus living or dying by their actions.

If they are truly intent on taking on the Beholder the rewards will be greater than what they would receive from say a roving band of Ogres. If they succeed, however unlikely in this example, then they would have earned it. As long as the creature is played to its full potential and the DM doesn't just spoonfeed the players i'm quite happy.

I think that realism is why I enjoy the Forgotten Realms so much, a character has to realise that there are alot of people out there that they couldn't hope to stand against, that's the idea of levelling (vertical or horizontal), until they gain things like knowledge, power, etc. I guess it's a way of measuring yourself, to allow you to track your progress?

I used to play with a DM that always liked big bad monsters to throw at our group, things that were completely inappropriate for our level or game experience. He used to fudge the rolls or gimp the creature to allow us a chance at winning. Was it fun? Yeah, I guess it was at the time. I wouldn't be comfortable in playing anything like that now though.

Diffan brought up the different levelling zones in WoW and I think that's a fantastic example...

If you're really intent on exploring you have to accept that you might find something that you won't return from. How else does a monster gain treasure?

I can always remember appearing outside Northshire Abbey for the very first time and just being amazed at the sounds, people running around, etc. I went for a little look around, crossed a stream, and ventured too close to a bandit... I promptly got my ass handed to me and decided not to wander for a bit

Edited by - Farrel on 17 Oct 2011 13:47:49
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  14:28:36  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Farrel

When Therise mentioned Blackrazor I somehow mistook it for Bloodrazor ,from WoW, I do hate getting addled like that... I blame my age

Hehe, I remember having a lvl 49 rogue that dual-wielded Bloodrazors in PvP. There was nothing better than gutting a clothie with my pink pony-tailed girl gnome when she had two of those swords, rawr!

But yeah, my Blackrazor was the one from White Plume Mountain. Totally overpowered, heh!

quote:
I think that realism is why I enjoy the Forgotten Realms so much, a character has to realise that there are alot of people out there that they couldn't hope to stand against, that's the idea of levelling (vertical or horizontal), until they gain things like knowledge, power, etc. I guess it's a way of measuring yourself, to allow you to track your progress?

Me too. This was one of my favorite things. You had to be careful, because you never knew if someone was more powerful or not. And you could negotiate/trick/bribe NPCs instead of going into combat. Too often, I think D&D focuses solely on the combat encounter, and misses out on the myriad of ways that you can defeat someone in other ways that are sometimes even more satisfying.

quote:
I can always remember appearing outside Northshire Abbey for the very first time and just being amazed at the sounds, people running around, etc. I went for a little look around, crossed a stream, and ventured too close to a bandit... I promptly got my ass handed to me and decided not to wander for a bit


On my first day in vanilla WoW, I decided it would be fun to explore by boats, running and swimming. I eventually made it to Elwynn, crossed a river, and got one-shot bitten after running from a literal swarm of wolves. It took me about 20 min before I could get back far enough to rez in the river, and then I ran my little gnome legs back to Elwynn, lol. Good times, heh!

4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  16:25:14  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise


But yeah, my Blackrazor was the one from White Plume Mountain. Totally overpowered, heh!


They had a challenge for players to make their best conversion of Blackrazor for 4E and there were two winners. I must say, from how this looks in 4E, I couldn't imagin it in 3E. Possibly a sword my Paladin might want to pick up (and probably be consumed by, lol).

quote:
Originally posted by Therise


Me too. This was one of my favorite things. You had to be careful, because you never knew if someone was more powerful or not. And you could negotiate/trick/bribe NPCs instead of going into combat. Too often, I think D&D focuses solely on the combat encounter, and misses out on the myriad of ways that you can defeat someone in other ways that are sometimes even more satisfying.



So is this more of a DM style of doing things, is this indicative of a specific edition of D&D or even specific settings? I'm asking because I feel this is more to do with how the DM runs the game than any sort of edition or setting. This realism can be felt in most settings and ruleset, though I definitly agree that Pre-made adventurers and Living Campaigns/Encounters are more along the lines of the fast combat play and not RP-intensive.

This is probably because you want to keep a group moving fast through modules. In these situations you not gaming with your exclusive friends (though that doesn't mean you don't consider them friends) so the DM has to appeal to the very basics of the game (ie. Combat). I've only done one or two things like this in College and while the adventurs are fun, nothing really stood out in my mind as Unforgettable.


4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2011 :  21:24:03  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by Therise


Me too. This was one of my favorite things. You had to be careful, because you never knew if someone was more powerful or not. And you could negotiate/trick/bribe NPCs instead of going into combat. Too often, I think D&D focuses solely on the combat encounter, and misses out on the myriad of ways that you can defeat someone in other ways that are sometimes even more satisfying.



So is this more of a DM style of doing things, is this indicative of a specific edition of D&D or even specific settings? I'm asking because I feel this is more to do with how the DM runs the game than any sort of edition or setting. This realism can be felt in most settings and ruleset, though I definitly agree that Pre-made adventurers and Living Campaigns/Encounters are more along the lines of the fast combat play and not RP-intensive.



Yep, it's down to the DM, and you're quite right that it's applicable to any ruleset, or edition, of any Role Playing Game. It's in essense the depth, or detail, of your campaign world. You might run a gritty campaign or one that's lighthearted and extreme fantasy. You might not RP anything but the monster encounters or you might RP every detail...

I've always looked at pre-made adventures and tried to find things that I can tie in to my campaign. I've enjoyed using the Lords of Darkness (REF5) recently, and I found ways to not just run it as a combat encounter but as a way to expand the player's knowledge, contacts, friends, etc.

It helps if you play with people you are inherently comfortable with and have known for a long time. I do understand when you mention playing with friends and then playing with acquaintances, there's a big difference.
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2011 :  14:46:55  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Farrel


Yep, it's down to the DM, and you're quite right that it's applicable to any ruleset, or edition, of any Role Playing Game. It's in essense the depth, or detail, of your campaign world. You might run a gritty campaign or one that's lighthearted and extreme fantasy. You might not RP anything but the monster encounters or you might RP every detail...


That's the conclusion I've come to as well. For me, the tone and style of the game is indicative of the DM and not just the mechanics or setting. Game and Setting do help to influence that style, but I think is a minimum part of the setting. Eberron, for example does Steam-Punk very well. It does gadgets and gizmos, mixing magic and low-tech very well. Forgotten Realms does High Fantasy, plain and simple. I don't think I could do a fun E6 or E8 game in the Realms and still keep it looking the way it does.

quote:
Originally posted by Farrel


I've always looked at pre-made adventures and tried to find things that I can tie in to my campaign. I've enjoyed using the Lords of Darkness (REF5) recently, and I found ways to not just run it as a combat encounter but as a way to expand the player's knowledge, contacts, friends, etc.

It helps if you play with people you are inherently comfortable with and have known for a long time. I do understand when you mention playing with friends and then playing with acquaintances, there's a big difference.



I agree on both counts. Though pre-made adventurers (espically 4E ones) often lack a certain......something for me. Maybe it's because I'm not the one creating it or maybe it's because I look at it from a mostly DM stand-point and it changes the way I preceive how the adventure should go. It could also be because I don't like deviating much from the published adventure. When the PCs really go off the rails from what the adventure says, then it's twice the problem to accomidate their actions and still stick to the story much.


4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2011 :  15:19:54  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

So is this more of a DM style of doing things, is this indicative of a specific edition of D&D or even specific settings? I'm asking because I feel this is more to do with how the DM runs the game than any sort of edition or setting. This realism can be felt in most settings and ruleset, though I definitly agree that Pre-made adventurers and Living Campaigns/Encounters are more along the lines of the fast combat play and not RP-intensive.

This is probably because you want to keep a group moving fast through modules. In these situations you not gaming with your exclusive friends (though that doesn't mean you don't consider them friends) so the DM has to appeal to the very basics of the game (ie. Combat). I've only done one or two things like this in College and while the adventurs are fun, nothing really stood out in my mind as Unforgettable.

Part of it is DM style, but a good portion is player expectation. For some players, they want to get tensions out, kill some stuff, and wrap up and head home after about 2-3 hours. Many published adventures lend themselves to this, and they tend to work well in gaming stores, RPGA events, and the like.

Many home games are like that as well, especially when groups are new and getting their footing. Younger gamers and older gamers may also push for encounters rather than deep RP campaigns, either because they want combat and shinies or because they have limited game time and need to keep on a schedule. So the general skew for published adventures is for rapid, relatively straightforward encounters.

I think only once you have a fairly established group, and really know your players' tastes, you can then start exploring things like deep world-building and rich roleplay. Even then, your players need to like that sort of thing, and it isn't for everybody. Put in too much of a requirement for creative effort, or too much background reading ahead of time, or work in a sub-genre that one or two players aren't fond of (e.g. some who like high fantasy may not like steampunk), and deep roleplay can feel more like a chore than fun (for me, trying to RP a Star Trek campaign is like pulling teeth). Some players may like the high fantasy and intrigue of the Realms, but get totally turned off by the new post-apocalypse feel of 4E Realms. Others might really want that feeling that the world setting is teetering on the edge of chaos and total oblivion, and it's their job to save everything.

For myself, I think this is why I think 4E (rules) haven't left an indelible impression. I've seen rules come and go, and I think 4E is a nice system. But I get really bored by combat if there's not much else to hold it together. And off the top of my head, I haven't seen any brand new campaign/RP material that really grabbed me. At least not yet, anyway.


4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!

Edited by - Therise on 18 Oct 2011 15:34:51
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6684 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2011 :  22:40:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Wooly Rupert

It's not always about having the perfect character sheet -- there's also the factor that magical items are rewards for doing and killing stuff. You take that away, it's like they did the work for nothing.
Computer gamers constantly say they "work" for their items. True, they endure hours of inhumanly repetitious tedium, doing the same thing over and over because 1% of the time it'll spawn one of the 10 components they need to unlock a slowly-erode-the-life-meter battle with some overpowered beast ...

When you start to view it as work then it's no longer play. You're wasting your brain trying to behave like a bot, not having fun ... the game is playing you.

[/Ayrik]
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2011 :  23:43:16  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Wooly Rupert

It's not always about having the perfect character sheet -- there's also the factor that magical items are rewards for doing and killing stuff. You take that away, it's like they did the work for nothing.
Computer gamers constantly say they "work" for their items. True, they endure hours of inhumanly repetitious tedium, doing the same thing over and over because 1% of the time it'll spawn one of the 10 components they need to unlock a slowly-erode-the-life-meter battle with some overpowered beast ...

When you start to view it as work then it's no longer play. You're wasting your brain trying to behave like a bot, not having fun ... the game is playing you.


Absolutely true. There was a point for me in WoW where it stopped being fun and started feeling like I was being made to dance (because team coordination in boss fights is essential at epic/heroic levels). And it wasn't so much that the clicking and movements and such were difficult per se, it also included things like "ugh, I have to listen to the leader fight with someone who isn't up to the skill par of the rest of us." There were also things I just hated doing, like hours of farming materials so we'd be able to make buff potions.

Either the repetitiveness gets to you, or the skill requirements vs. social fun will diminish at some point. Some people might drop out earlier than others based on skill or interest.

So I imagine it must be hard, trying to make encounters difficult enough to remain challenging for the group. Yet at the same time, not so difficult or repetitive that people drop out from boredom. I will say, though, it sometimes seemed like WoW developers were catering to the top 5% of players, who either had the skills to "hit it" fairly well the first few times (or the stamina to sit through TPK wipe after wipe).

It has to be easier making an encounter that "fits" your group when you're a tabletop DM.

4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6684 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  01:16:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Blizzard is notorious, though every game software company is guilty, when it comes to caving in to the demands of the extreme players ... the 5-10% of the crowd who play the game like a full-time job (with overtime). These comparatively few people represent at least 75% of the total game-server time, they run multiple accounts, they bot and hack shamelessly whenever they can get away with it, they maintain fansites, they all basically know each other and they're there year after year every single time you logon, like they don't seem to ever do anything else with their lives and hardly sleep.

The rest of the crowd is a bunch of casual mediocrity plus some number of endlessly generated noobs. Most understand the game well enough (after a while), but then again they blindly play it the way the designers intended, they don't know the shortcuts and tweaks and sploits, they just kinda take what they get instead of deliberately and methodically farming what they require to simultaneously gear up several optimized builds.

Nerds seem to often be fanatics and extremists with poor sense of balance and moderation ... these same personality types play tabletop RPGs. I think the DM's interactivity is actually not overwhelmingly important; it's secondary to the group dynamic ... these players number in the handful and have to learn how to play nice and have fun, not the same as playing online with a thousand half-anonymous people who either suck at life or suck at the game.

[/Ayrik]
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3525 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  19:04:43  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

Part of it is DM style, but a good portion is player expectation. For some players, they want to get tensions out, kill some stuff, and wrap up and head home after about 2-3 hours. Many published adventures lend themselves to this, and they tend to work well in gaming stores, RPGA events, and the like.

Many home games are like that as well, especially when groups are new and getting their footing. Younger gamers and older gamers may also push for encounters rather than deep RP campaigns, either because they want combat and shinies or because they have limited game time and need to keep on a schedule. So the general skew for published adventures is for rapid, relatively straightforward encounters.


My group definitly fits into this style. It's not that we want more combat or less RP, but it's because we only have about 2 1/2 to 3 hours a week to play. So I try to get in a battle or 2 during that time while moving the adventure along at a good pace. When we had 5-6 hours to play, it'd be really awesome RP experience. Alas, time is the main culprit of my shrinking D&D experience

quote:
Originally posted by Therise


I think only once you have a fairly established group, and really know your players' tastes, you can then start exploring things like deep world-building and rich roleplay. Even then, your players need to like that sort of thing, and it isn't for everybody. Put in too much of a requirement for creative effort, or too much background reading ahead of time, or work in a sub-genre that one or two players aren't fond of (e.g. some who like high fantasy may not like steampunk), and deep roleplay can feel more like a chore than fun (for me, trying to RP a Star Trek campaign is like pulling teeth). Some players may like the high fantasy and intrigue of the Realms, but get totally turned off by the new post-apocalypse feel of 4E Realms. Others might really want that feeling that the world setting is teetering on the edge of chaos and total oblivion, and it's their job to save everything.


The thought of doing a Star Trek campaign does sound rather intriguing, though it would depend on the era, classes, and species one could play. I do have a good group that's willing to try new stuff, and they usually like what we try like a Resident Evil d20 campaign, which was a lot of fun. It does depend on what sort of group your gaming with, though.

quote:
Originally posted by Therise


For myself, I think this is why I think 4E (rules) haven't left an indelible impression. I've seen rules come and go, and I think 4E is a nice system. But I get really bored by combat if there's not much else to hold it together. And off the top of my head, I haven't seen any brand new campaign/RP material that really grabbed me. At least not yet, anyway.



What, might I ask, do you think would hold it together better? That can go for any game rules, not just 4E. Generally I think when people refer to 4E being just about combat, I think it references their lack of non-combative "stuff" or rules that allow them to do other stuff. But I have to question why there needs to be rules for these aspects? Why can't it fall to DM fiat or a very small table for DM guidelines?

Going with the 3E rules, I see some sub-rules on crafting items, researching their own spells, Professions, and so forth but honestly, I've put very little of these aspects to use. This isn't because they're not interesting, far from it, but I have a problem with a character being forced to choose or use limited resources between something thats flavorful yet provides little to no real benefits other than a possibly better RP experience. That is, if you derive a better RP experience from those aspects.

For me, I just don't see the need for hard-nose rules for those situations and I think a better solution/resolution can be garnered from a close DM/PC relationship where both want to make the game fun vs. trying to use a contrived rules to gain the same result.

@ Aryik: I see what your saying and I'd agree that most MMORPGs are like this. That where I see the comparison stopping with the video game genre though. Neverwinter Nights 1&2, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.. have not felt this way. Possibly because it's more story-driven than character advancement driven?

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  20:37:53  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Blizzard is notorious, though every game software company is guilty, when it comes to caving in to the demands of the extreme players ... the 5-10% of the crowd who play the game like a full-time job (with overtime). These comparatively few people represent at least 75% of the total game-server time, they run multiple accounts, they bot and hack shamelessly whenever they can get away with it, they maintain fansites, they all basically know each other and they're there year after year every single time you logon, like they don't seem to ever do anything else with their lives and hardly sleep.


There's always going to be people, whatever activity they enjoy, that take things to the extreme. It's their personal choice and although I might not agree with it, it's still a valid playstyle. I've known raider's in WoW that get their children to farm/grind materials when they get home from school
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The rest of the crowd is a bunch of casual mediocrity plus some number of endlessly generated noobs. Most understand the game well enough (after a while), but then again they blindly play it the way the designers intended, they don't know the shortcuts and tweaks and sploits, they just kinda take what they get instead of deliberately and methodically farming what they require to simultaneously gear up several optimized builds.


I was a casual player and raided when possible, I was in a friendly, mature guild of like-minded players. Something that one player enjoys might be ridiculed by another, they seek to invalidate a persons playstyle and I really detest that "leet" mentality. It seems as though that if they don't play the game the "right way" they shouldn't be allowed to play. I've always believed that you shouldn't impose your own beliefs and values on others, let people make their own decisions, whether you consider them right or wrong... it's their personal choice. It's almost as though that if you don't do x or y then you suck, they may not enjoy x or y but it's down to them and what they consider fun.
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Nerds seem to often be fanatics and extremists with poor sense of balance and moderation ... these same personality types play tabletop RPGs. I think the DM's interactivity is actually not overwhelmingly important; it's secondary to the group dynamic ... these players number in the handful and have to learn how to play nice and have fun, not the same as playing online with a thousand half-anonymous people who either suck at life or suck at the game.


As long as the fanatics and extremists can learn to play nicely with others then it's a win/win situation. The problem with many MMO's is that it often brings out the worst in people, whether they mean to let it happen, or not. It's the anonymity of the internet that's the problem, some people don't seem to consider other peoples reactions/feelings so they act like asses and windowlickers. Anyone remember the Barrens Chat?
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  20:45:50  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

My group definitly fits into this style. It's not that we want more combat or less RP, but it's because we only have about 2 1/2 to 3 hours a week to play. So I try to get in a battle or 2 during that time while moving the adventure along at a good pace. When we had 5-6 hours to play, it'd be really awesome RP experience. Alas, time is the main culprit of my shrinking D&D experience

Time is really a limiting factor. But with three hours a week (that's my group also), we do about two hours or so of RP. Quite a bit of the time, unless it's really a big fight, we find creative ways to get around direct combat and only go there when it's really necessary.

quote:
The thought of doing a Star Trek campaign does sound rather intriguing, though it would depend on the era, classes, and species one could play. I do have a good group that's willing to try new stuff, and they usually like what we try like a Resident Evil d20 campaign, which was a lot of fun. It does depend on what sort of group your gaming with, though.

My issue with Star Trek is that it's really fun for a while, but it's almost designed to be on-the-rails adventuring. If you're just wandering the Trek universe as a mercenary bunch, that's different of course, but most Trek adventures sorta come with the expectation that you're in Starfleet and you'll be on a ship in a chain of command. You see a planet, you investigate in the typical Starfleet way, not much variation or diversity there. But again, that's just my experience with it.

quote:
What, might I ask, do you think would hold it together better? That can go for any game rules, not just 4E. Generally I think when people refer to 4E being just about combat, I think it references their lack of non-combative "stuff" or rules that allow them to do other stuff. But I have to question why there needs to be rules for these aspects? Why can't it fall to DM fiat or a very small table for DM guidelines?

Really good, solid lore and a detailed and fairly realistic world, that's what holds any system together for me. The current setting for 4E FR is too divorced (in time, and in theme) from the old one, and it's really really empty. With a detailed world setting that I really love, the rules can be 3E, 2E, 4E, it's all good.

Novels, and good lore-filled supplements do this for me. But this kind of thing is really personal and certain flavors aren't going to fit the bill for every taste. I'm not into 4E Realms for a lot of reasons, and I also never got interested in Dark Sun, or Dragonlance (as a setting), or even Ravenloft that much. I was a solid Greyhawk enthusiast, though, and I suppose I still am to some extent but I'd be hard pressed to remember it now compared to when it was one of the core settings. I liked the depth and flavor of Shadow World (made for Rolemaster), and got into that world pretty well. So for me, it's all pulling for "high fantasy" of a classic Arthurian or Lord of the Rings type. Post-apocalyse stuff tends to repel me, as do "darkest of the dark, filled with evils and gray morality on all sides" types of things.

Non-combat rules don't generally pull me in that much. I think it's important to have some, of course, but I've always been comfortable houseruling whenever a system didn't have something we wanted for skill checks, or crafting, or whatnot. Or we would just RP it without rules, as long as the intention and outcome made logical sense.

quote:
Going with the 3E rules, I see some sub-rules on crafting items, researching their own spells, Professions, and so forth but honestly, I've put very little of these aspects to use. This isn't because they're not interesting, far from it, but I have a problem with a character being forced to choose or use limited resources between something thats flavorful yet provides little to no real benefits other than a possibly better RP experience. That is, if you derive a better RP experience from those aspects.

For me, I just don't see the need for hard-nose rules for those situations and I think a better solution/resolution can be garnered from a close DM/PC relationship where both want to make the game fun vs. trying to use a contrived rules to gain the same result.

@ Aryik: I see what your saying and I'd agree that most MMORPGs are like this. That where I see the comparison stopping with the video game genre though. Neverwinter Nights 1&2, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.. have not felt this way. Possibly because it's more story-driven than character advancement driven?


I agree completely that for many skill checks and crafting attempts, you just don't need rules when it can be better served through roleplaying.

And about NWN1+2, BG1+2, and IWD1+2, the story really did make them special. But also, and very different than WoW, they're all single-controller games that you can complete at your own speed. WoW is realtime, essentially, and that's fine. But if you want to do some complex pattern attack or spell sequence, you absolutely must make macros and do keybinding. In fact, macro-ing in WoW is probably one of the things that differentiates "excellent" players from "average" players. And it's the macros doing the hard work, really, lol!



4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!

Edited by - Therise on 19 Oct 2011 21:05:06
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Therise
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Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  21:01:44  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Farrel

There's always going to be people, whatever activity they enjoy, that take things to the extreme. It's their personal choice and although I might not agree with it, it's still a valid playstyle. I've known raider's in WoW that get their children to farm/grind materials when they get home from school

Oh yeah, I knew a few of those people too. Craziness, really, making your kid do "chores" in a game. I knew parents that made farming in WoW part of allowance-earning. Just plain bizarre.

quote:
I was a casual player and raided when possible, I was in a friendly, mature guild of like-minded players. Something that one player enjoys might be ridiculed by another, they seek to invalidate a persons playstyle and I really detest that "leet" mentality. It seems as though that if they don't play the game the "right way" they shouldn't be allowed to play.

You have to admit, though, the game itself practically promoted and encouraged people to act like major cranks to each other. Granted, there were guilds that intentionally labeled themselves as "casuals" of course, and those were fun and really cool people.

But the moment they wanted to raid, the game also flips that switch. If wipe after wipe happens because you don't dance perfectly or follow the exact pattern of spells required for your character during that fight, people would get frustrated. The game itself promotes "one way, linear approaches" to most of the raid fights. One person missing a beat or hitting the wrong key accidentally can wipe the whole group now. And it's just gotten worse with each expansion. At least in vanilla WoW there was breathing room for everyone to have different styles.

But now, if you're an arcane mage and this one specific boss fight requires frost mages, your guild will berate and angrily poop all over your fun until you "re-spec" to frost. Then you've gotta learn the frost rotation, yadda yadda... it doesn't matter if you hate frost and loved playing arcane, you do it for the group (or you're out of the guild, oftentimes).

quote:
I've always believed that you shouldn't impose your own beliefs and values on others, let people make their own decisions, whether you consider them right or wrong... it's their personal choice. It's almost as though that if you don't do x or y then you suck, they may not enjoy x or y but it's down to them and what they consider fun.

Totally agree. This is one of the things that is SO much better about tabletop gaming: the freedom to play what you love.

quote:
As long as the fanatics and extremists can learn to play nicely with others then it's a win/win situation. The problem with many MMO's is that it often brings out the worst in people, whether they mean to let it happen, or not. It's the anonymity of the internet that's the problem, some people don't seem to consider other peoples reactions/feelings so they act like asses and windowlickers. Anyone remember the Barrens Chat?


Oh lord, Barrens chat... endless Chuck Norris jokes amidst people asking for directions, nose-pickers, and randomly screamed profanity. Others asking if pie was better than cake, and nobody able to find Mankrik's wife even with a map and two people guiding them.


4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Farrel
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United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  21:09:22  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise

quote:
Originally posted by Farrel

Anyone remember the Barrens Chat?


Oh lord, Barrens chat... endless Chuck Norris jokes amidst people asking for directions, nose-pickers, and randomly screamed profanity. Others asking if pie was better than cake, and nobody able to find Mankrik's wife even with a map and two people guiding them.





Thanks Therise, I was having a coffee when I read that and I seem to have breathed most of it instead of drinking it due to laughing
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Therise
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1265 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  21:15:46  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Farrel

Thanks Therise, I was having a coffee when I read that and I seem to have breathed most of it instead of drinking it due to laughing


Chuck Norris wouldn't have choked.
Y U NOT HAVE PIE WITH THAT COFFEE? YYYY??????
He prefers cake, of course.
The cake is a lie.
AAAAGHREEEEEESH! FOR DA HORDE!!!!!1111!!!@




4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Farrel
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Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  21:31:34  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First of all, in response to Therise's post... KEK!

I really hadn't considered the time constraint, some of our gaming sessions start at 20:00 and often finish at 01:00-02:00.

The other factor, for me personally, is that I only play with one other person. I can concentrate all my plans and schemes specifically for the player and don't have to worry about the group splitting up to explore or any other such considerations.

I will admit that during our gaming sessions that we'll digress and end up in discussion about something (it's often completely unrelated to the game itself). Not the best use of time really?

I think if people have limited time to play then they have to tailor that session to get the most out of it. Whether the group likes combat or talking the DM has to make the best of the time available.

Edited by - Farrel on 19 Oct 2011 21:45:32
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  22:07:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

For me, I just don't see the need for hard-nose rules for those situations and I think a better solution/resolution can be garnered from a close DM/PC relationship where both want to make the game fun vs. trying to use a contrived rules to gain the same result.


Let's flip this around: why doesn't this apply to combat? Why do we need rules for one, but we can totally wing the other with only vague guidelines?

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Diffan
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Posted - 20 Oct 2011 :  14:22:59  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@ Farrel and Therise: For pretty much the same things you listed about WoW is why I stopped playing. I didn't want to go heavy into the game, with add-ons, Macros, and consistant character re-building so I could fit into the group. I often went Solo, played up to a point where having a Guild almost became a requirement and got fed up with the amount of Farming needed to do non-combative stuff. I think I spent a week of playing just to get my craft skill up to build a suit of armor that, once completed, was out dated and I had something better. And the amount of gold I sold it for would be about equal to the same amout gained through adventuring.


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

For me, I just don't see the need for hard-nose rules for those situations and I think a better solution/resolution can be garnered from a close DM/PC relationship where both want to make the game fun vs. trying to use a contrived rules to gain the same result.


Let's flip this around: why doesn't this apply to combat? Why do we need rules for one, but we can totally wing the other with only vague guidelines?



You could do that, but I think that goes against D&D at it's very roots. Since the war-game Chainmail and through D&D's history, combat has played a pretty big role in the game. Even if that role has varied, it was integral with character advancement, monster ecology/creation, and drive of more and more supplements for the game.

With that said, even Gygax stated that players and DMs don't need rules to play in which you could do a completely story-driven game. Having been involved with a few, they're fun and exciting but it doesn't feel like D&D. It stops being a "game" and more or less RP Story Time. I also feel combat needs the most un-biased arbitration, something not easily done with DM fiat. Also, this is the part of the game where the DM stops being the narritor and starts being an opponent, via monsters and traps. The combat can also be very simplified, with simple spells (x damage vs. Save) and attack mod. with a d20 vs. AC and have that be the biggest part of your combat system. No grappling, no strange maneuves, martial arts, fancy sword styles, etc. But I don't see that kind of thing appealing to a general audience honestly.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 20 Oct 2011 :  19:23:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

For me, I just don't see the need for hard-nose rules for those situations and I think a better solution/resolution can be garnered from a close DM/PC relationship where both want to make the game fun vs. trying to use a contrived rules to gain the same result.


Let's flip this around: why doesn't this apply to combat? Why do we need rules for one, but we can totally wing the other with only vague guidelines?



You could do that, but I think that goes against D&D at it's very roots. Since the war-game Chainmail and through D&D's history, combat has played a pretty big role in the game. Even if that role has varied, it was integral with character advancement, monster ecology/creation, and drive of more and more supplements for the game.

With that said, even Gygax stated that players and DMs don't need rules to play in which you could do a completely story-driven game. Having been involved with a few, they're fun and exciting but it doesn't feel like D&D. It stops being a "game" and more or less RP Story Time. I also feel combat needs the most un-biased arbitration, something not easily done with DM fiat. Also, this is the part of the game where the DM stops being the narritor and starts being an opponent, via monsters and traps. The combat can also be very simplified, with simple spells (x damage vs. Save) and attack mod. with a d20 vs. AC and have that be the biggest part of your combat system. No grappling, no strange maneuves, martial arts, fancy sword styles, etc. But I don't see that kind of thing appealing to a general audience honestly.



See, my thinking is that role-playing is what separates D&D from Chainmail and other games, and that you need those additional rules for non-combat situations -- otherwise, you're just in a combat game with some "let's pretend" sessions going on between fights.

Should a DM just arbitrarily decide how successful my character is at building a bow with just materials my character found in the woods? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not a person is capable of conning a guard into letting him past? Sure, you could roleplay that instead of rolling, but what if the player is shy or simply can't speak well enough to be convincing -- should his bard with 18 Charisma be unable to do anything because the player himself can't? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not my character heard a noise? Should a DM rule that if the player can't figure out that a prominent NPC has a hidden agenda, then his character has no chance to figure this out?

Crafting, Sense Motive, Bluff, etc -- those are all about overcoming challenges. Defeating something in combat is about overcoming the challenge of getting past it's defenses without getting killed in turn. If rules are necessary for overcoming one type of challenge, why are they not necessary for overcoming another type of challenge?

The rules and the dice decide how likely it is that a PC can do something, whether it's learn a spell, cut a kobold in half, or sweet-talk an elfmaid into some alone time. It doesn't matter how much is straight combat and how much is pure story -- you need rules to define what's possible.

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Farrel
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 20 Oct 2011 :  19:43:32  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


See, my thinking is that role-playing is what separates D&D from Chainmail and other games, and that you need those additional rules for non-combat situations -- otherwise, you're just in a combat game with some "let's pretend" sessions going on between fights.

Should a DM just arbitrarily decide how successful my character is at building a bow with just materials my character found in the woods? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not a person is capable of conning a guard into letting him past? Sure, you could roleplay that instead of rolling, but what if the player is shy or simply can't speak well enough to be convincing -- should his bard with 18 Charisma be unable to do anything because the player himself can't? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not my character heard a noise? Should a DM rule that if the player can't figure out that a prominent NPC has a hidden agenda, then his character has no chance to figure this out?

Crafting, Sense Motive, Bluff, etc -- those are all about overcoming challenges. Defeating something in combat is about overcoming the challenge of getting past it's defenses without getting killed in turn. If rules are necessary for overcoming one type of challenge, why are they not necessary for overcoming another type of challenge?

The rules and the dice decide how likely it is that a PC can do something, whether it's learn a spell, cut a kobold in half, or sweet-talk an elfmaid into some alone time. It doesn't matter how much is straight combat and how much is pure story -- you need rules to define what's possible.



IMHO I think this nails it, I like to have rules to set a guide for my DMing, so that I can be consistent and fair. I won't let the rules get in the way of having fun though.

Sometimes I won't bother with a player's skill check for an opposed roll with an NPC, i'm lucky to have a player that can think on his feet and do his character justice. This hasn't always been the case, i've had some shy players that I felt needed the roll of a dice to make the skill check, I don't want to isolate or make them feel uncomfortable... hence the roll of a dice and minimal dialogue.

Did someone mention sweet-talking an elfmaid, where'd she go?
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Therise
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1265 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2011 :  20:08:44  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

@ Farrel and Therise: For pretty much the same things you listed about WoW is why I stopped playing. I didn't want to go heavy into the game, with add-ons, Macros, and consistant character re-building so I could fit into the group. I often went Solo, played up to a point where having a Guild almost became a requirement and got fed up with the amount of Farming needed to do non-combative stuff. I think I spent a week of playing just to get my craft skill up to build a suit of armor that, once completed, was out dated and I had something better. And the amount of gold I sold it for would be about equal to the same amout gained through adventuring. [/auote]
Yep, farming got old real quick.

I will say, some of my best experiences (and the most fun) in WoW were at low level. Guilds of a "casual" nature, where you pair up with people at lower levels, that's super fun and you get to meet some really cool people that way. I still email some of them years later, and we're planning on doing a fun, casual SWTOR guild when it comes out in December.

Enjoying low level as much as I did, though, there are only so many times you can do something like Scholomance before it gets stale. Or questing in Ashenvale for the 4th time. I did love raiding in vanilla, though. Giant groups going into Molten Core, all of us on raid chat, that was hilarious. I miss it, really.

[quote]You could do that, but I think that goes against D&D at it's very roots. Since the war-game Chainmail and through D&D's history, combat has played a pretty big role in the game. Even if that role has varied, it was integral with character advancement, monster ecology/creation, and drive of more and more supplements for the game.

I agree with this. Combat, particularly combat that is individually styled and relying on player creativity, is THE big thing that sets D&D apart from all the wargames that went before. Roleplaying was Arneson's gift to D&D, but beyond roleplaying that you're going to the village and negotiating with so-and-so, I'd strongly argue that individualized creative combat is also roleplaying.

Where 4E -can- break down in this regard is that combat choices are often pushed into roles that are too rigid. Wizards only casting magic missiles one after the other, for instance. 4E doesn't have to be that way, of course, but I found that less experienced newcomers tended to be incredibly predictable in their combat choices and didn't do much RP even in a creative combat sense. AD&D was a bigger offender in this regard, though, with respect to newer players.

And I totally agree, DMs should be a narrator/director and arbiter rather than an opponent. That whole "opponent" style is THE flavor of wargaming, and it -should- be absent in D&D of any edition.

Crafting and such, those things I see as additive bonuses to the game. It's nice to have those rules, and I did like how they were done in 2E-3E, but there's also a lot to be said for the more open-ended narrative possibilities for crafting in 4E.

4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!

Edited by - Therise on 20 Oct 2011 20:11:34
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Diffan
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USA
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Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  04:05:40  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


See, my thinking is that role-playing is what separates D&D from Chainmail and other games, and that you need those additional rules for non-combat situations -- otherwise, you're just in a combat game with some "let's pretend" sessions going on between fights.

Should a DM just arbitrarily decide how successful my character is at building a bow with just materials my character found in the woods? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not a person is capable of conning a guard into letting him past? Sure, you could roleplay that instead of rolling, but what if the player is shy or simply can't speak well enough to be convincing -- should his bard with 18 Charisma be unable to do anything because the player himself can't? Should a DM arbitrarily decide whether or not my character heard a noise? Should a DM rule that if the player can't figure out that a prominent NPC has a hidden agenda, then his character has no chance to figure this out?


I'm not totally disagreeing with you here. I should've been more elaborate in my opinion of hard-nose rules vs. a more free roaming DM/PC communal relationship with things that don't envolve combat. It's not that rolls or skills aren't needed, because they do help, what I have a problem with is making characters decide which to be better at like Crafting vs. Intimidating, for example. Basically my line of thinking goes like this: Combat effects everyone, all the time, at all levels. Non-combat situations effect certain people sometimes when that particular situation comes up. In areas like Craft, Profession, and say... Perform (bards not withstanding) it's more likely to effect one or two characters yet not have such an impact on the group as a whole (thought that doesn't exclude the times when it does, I'm speaking generally here).

For your examples, I feel an appropriate measure would be for the DM to decide the DC, what skills, and any bonuses the PC might receive due to back round and even up to Player's meta-game knowledge of the situation. A Fighter who's been given everything in life and only knows some basic attacks that wants to make a bow is going to have a harder time than a Fighter who's father is a Weapon-smith and the PC's background is shown to have some woodsman training (even basic stuff like identifying specific trees and fauna). Instead there is a complex set of DCs for the characters to beat and once you get to a certain point, no matter what you roll it's an automatic success. The PHB even states that Skills are immune to Nat. 20 = Automatic Success, Nat. 1 = Automatic Failure. Pretty much because I've put little stock into those aspects of the game is why I feel bloated rules for them is a little unnecessary. In a theroitical 5E, I'd like to see rules for this, but as an Optional addition where PCs don't have to spend their limited resources for some character flair.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


Crafting, Sense Motive, Bluff, etc -- those are all about overcoming challenges. Defeating something in combat is about overcoming the challenge of getting past it's defenses without getting killed in turn. If rules are necessary for overcoming one type of challenge, why are they not necessary for overcoming another type of challenge?

The rules and the dice decide how likely it is that a PC can do something, whether it's learn a spell, cut a kobold in half, or sweet-talk an elfmaid into some alone time. It doesn't matter how much is straight combat and how much is pure story -- you need rules to define what's possible.



I agree with you and I like how Skills relate to the over-all effect of D&D. As I mentioned above, I just have a problem with characters being forced to choose to be good with one while stink at something that might apply to the general health of his fello players. For example (gosh I love examples ), a Rogue who puts a lot of ranks into Bluff, Sense Motive, Diplomacy, and Perform to sweet talk elven maidens on a regular basis is greatly putting his friends at serious risk because he's for crap at detecting traps, stealth for scouting, or couldn't wiggle his way out of a 9-year old's knot. These are skills that, I feel, aid everyone at the table and often times keep them alive in combative situations. Sweet-talking an elf, while fun and exciting really only effects himself. I just feel rules for combat are more important because combat can kill a PC where as failing to sweet-talk an elfmaid generally gets the PC a lap full of water/ale/wine or a smack on the face. There are times when these skills are critical to plot and story elements, no denying that. I just think that rules for them should be more like guidelines than Skill check + Y must beat DC X with no exceptions.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
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Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  04:15:57  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise


I agree with this. Combat, particularly combat that is individually styled and relying on player creativity, is THE big thing that sets D&D apart from all the wargames that went before. Roleplaying was Arneson's gift to D&D, but beyond roleplaying that you're going to the village and negotiating with so-and-so, I'd strongly argue that individualized creative combat is also roleplaying.

Where 4E -can- break down in this regard is that combat choices are often pushed into roles that are too rigid. Wizards only casting magic missiles one after the other, for instance. 4E doesn't have to be that way, of course, but I found that less experienced newcomers tended to be incredibly predictable in their combat choices and didn't do much RP even in a creative combat sense. AD&D was a bigger offender in this regard, though, with respect to newer players.


Ya know, I completely blame the style and layout of the powers for this sort of experience. When people read (Target: One creature, Hit: X-damage, Effect: Blah) they tend not to think that it can be used outside of this narrow mechanic. It took a little time but my wife's Wizard was using her spells to overcome all sorts of obsticles such as melting the frozen door of a frozen tower with an encounter spell. A bit broader structure for more wiggle-room in spells/power description could've really helped the editin here, IMO.

And I totally agree, DMs should be a narrator/director and arbiter rather than an opponent. That whole "opponent" style is THE flavor of wargaming, and it -should- be absent in D&D of any edition.

quote:
Originally posted by Therise


Crafting and such, those things I see as additive bonuses to the game. It's nice to have those rules, and I did like how they were done in 2E-3E, but there's also a lot to be said for the more open-ended narrative possibilities for crafting in 4E.



Agreed, I don't think anyones saying that Skills are not needed, as they provide yet another dimension to character creation and Roleplay. Where it gets strange is how those rules are intergrated into the system and used for players. When I DM 4E, I had an Executioner (Assassin) PC that wanted to make "Black Eggs", that was ground-up glass, steel shavings, black-powder covered in a real chicken egg and coated in Tar. It's design purpose was to blind targets for so many rounds. So I allowed him to do with with a simple 1/2 level + Int. modifier vs. a Low DC (it's not terribly complicated to craft) and volia, he had about a dozen of them. They were fun to see in combat too, I must say.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Ayrik
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Canada
6684 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  09:56:36  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your stats measure your ability to survive and succeed, when they reach zero you die. Your personality and hair colour aren't gonna decide whether you live or die, or if they do, it'll be through the application of a stats mechanic. It's built into the game. I'd say about 60-80% of all the text written in D&D books deals specifically with numerical values which are plugged into functions that determine life and death.

When the only tool you have is a hammer then all your problems start to look like nails. I don't blame players for placing heavy emphasis on combat abilities.

[/Ayrik]
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