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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 24 Feb 2017 :  05:03:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm just happy to see a peaceful, reasonable discussion on the different rulesets.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6428 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  21:28:32  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't feel qualified to discuss 4E (rules or Realms) in detail, since I've deliberately rejected playing it, lol. Ditto for 5E.

I cut my teeth on 1E, playing with a bunch of antisocial AD&D Gygaxian grognards who made me feel like a complete noob. I earned my DM screen playing AD&D 2E, but (for better or for worse) I found the Realms somewhat contrived and constrained so I migrated to Planescape and beyond. I was initially apprehensive about 3E but eventually found it immensely enjoyable. I've tried 4E rules (in a 2E-/3E-era Realms setting) but wasn't particularly impressed, to me it seemed more videogame than tabletop game. (And to me it seemed obvious, wonderful, and terrifying that as D&D evolved it inspired RPG genres which in turn evolved into inspirations for D&D.)

The secret to enjoying any edition and every edition of D&D is to love your setting. WotC's published canon be damned! It's your world, your rules, you do what you want any way you want it done. Why abide by things you dislike? What reason to maintain strict and rigid compliance with things you dislike other than fear of incompatibility with future things you'll likely dislike? It's not like anything you and your group can come up with is going to worse than any of the "officially published" things you already find distasteful. Maybe my opinion is a Gygaxian legacy ... in the beginning, (A)D&D encouraged us to imagine and invent whatever we wanted, not to buy whatever they sold, and there's little point in "grinding" through "boring parts" in D&D - it's ideally a game filled with endless challenges - unlike a video game where the unenjoyable grind pays off in some "final" battle.

[/Ayrik]
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
253 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  22:38:32  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I stopped collecting at 2nd edition. I has systems I like, rules I can live with and it leaves you as DM with plenty of possibility for house rulings for the things you want to change.

As for mages, I also never cared for how few spells they received at low levels, but I figured that was an acceptable trade off for the power curve. Still, as DM, I have zero reservations about giving out my fair share of low level magic items, trinkets and cantrip castable items to help alleviate what seems to be a universal AD&D truth regarding mages. So much of playing a successful (and long lived) mage isn't entirely about what they can cast or deploy, it's about how they deploy it. Even so, one-shot 2e mages make deployment extremely difficult, which is why my treasure dispersement regarding disposable low level mage items is probably greater than most.

"We're not out of here in 10 minutes, we won't need no rockets to fly through space." -Parker, Alien.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 25 Feb 2017 :  23:51:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I don't feel qualified to discuss 4E (rules or Realms) in detail, since I've deliberately rejected playing it, lol. Ditto for 5E.



What I saw in the early days of the 4E rules was enough to turn me away. I don't say a lot about those rules because I didn't touch them.

I've similarly not touched the 5E rules, but it's not out of any objection to them -- it's because I'm playing Pathfinder. I even signed up at last year's GenCon to play what I thought was going to be a 5E game. (It turned out it was a board game, and they'd given away my spot by the time I found them -- they were not where they were listed as being. They were going to chase away a general ticket holder to accommodate me, but I was very irritated, by that point, and declined.)

I'd say that like 90% of what I've heard about the 5E rules is positive. Maybe not rave reviews, but generally positive.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  18:13:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I don't feel qualified to discuss 4E (rules or Realms) in detail, since I've deliberately rejected playing it, lol. Ditto for 5E.



What I saw in the early days of the 4E rules was enough to turn me away. I don't say a lot about those rules because I didn't touch them.

I've similarly not touched the 5E rules, but it's not out of any objection to them -- it's because I'm playing Pathfinder. I even signed up at last year's GenCon to play what I thought was going to be a 5E game. (It turned out it was a board game, and they'd given away my spot by the time I found them -- they were not where they were listed as being. They were going to chase away a general ticket holder to accommodate me, but I was very irritated, by that point, and declined.)

I'd say that like 90% of what I've heard about the 5E rules is positive. Maybe not rave reviews, but generally positive.



The seeds are there in 5e, but it needs work. I know this is counter intuitive to even some of the things that I've said, but maybe WotC is going the right path in releasing new rules slowly. I know I want everything NOW, but realistically if they're looking over other people's ideas (that's a big IF mind you) and looking at ways to actually improve it... they could start coming out with some options that are really good by tweaking various ideas that people float.

I guess that's kind of why I've been exceptionally curious about other continents, Abeir, etc... for about the past year. They're busy fleshing out Faerun. Some ideas are good. Some aren't. But, expansion into the other areas involves looking at old ideas and redreaming them, with new rulesets. What I'm finding are some interesting twists that I never knew existed because I never really studied the lore in those areas, because way back when I didn't have the money for those books. So, then it becomes, how can we make these areas (or some undeveloped areas) new and different.

My latest thoughts that there might be some areas of Abeir that actually HAVE the manifestations of the gods walking amongst them is making for a really intriguing idea for me. This idea that the worlds were split perfectly and by the will of an overgod just don't please me as much as it was some "uncontrolled act of creationism" meant to maybe create an emergency world should all life on one be destroyed (as happened during the shadow epoch). This uncontrolled act may have placed areas in Abeir under the control of Dawn Titans (Primordials) and other areas under the control of Estelar (demigods/manifestations). In this scenario, it allows me to have the Norse deities, Egyptian deities (Mulhorandi Pantheon), Untheric deities (Sumerian and Babylonian Pantheon), and Maztican deities (Maztican Pantheon) on different continents of Abeir at various times in the past.

For the Norse deities, I'm picturing Annam as more like Bergelmir the child of the male giant that was born to Ymir from the sweat of his armpit (that giant was Thrudgelmir, and he "drowned in Ymir's blood"), and NOT being Odin despite the similarities. Thus, Annam fathered the giant pantheon, but he's like the grandson of Ymir... and this fits with the giants coming around after the shadow epoch.
I maybe picture the first "man" that was licked from the ice to actually be Ulutiu (in Norse myth, this was Buri). Ulutiu/Buri has a son named Bor with SOMEONE (lots of options here). Bor "marries" a "primordial"/"giant" named Bestla, and they produce Odin, Vili, and Ve. The combined work of Odin, Vili, and Ve create the first humans from an ash and an elm tree (these being different humans than say those created by the Maztican/Mulhorandi/Untheric Pantheons).

Now, who Ymir is... what happened to Bor and Bestla... what happened to Vili and Ve... these can all be unexplained mysteries that maybe had some deaths occurring during the Shadow Epoch. Ymir's death could even be related to the ending of the shadow epoch, and perhaps the remains of his body are used to fix the crystal sphere (much as how Arambar's remains are later used to fix the sky of Abeir).



******* belong from the Norse Creation myth******
Some of the other melting ice took the form of a cow, Auhumla. From her teats ran four rivers of milk, enough to nourish Ymir. She fed off the ice, licking the salty blocks. Her licking formed one of the blocks into the shape of a man. The shape became animated, and the man named Bri walked free out of the ice.

Bri had a son called Bor, who married Bestla, the daughter of a giant. They produced three sons, in, Vili, and V.

The three sons of Bor had no use for Ymir and his growing family of brutish giants. They attacked and killed Ymir. So much blood flowed from Ymir's body that it drowned all the other giants except for Bergelmir and his wife, who rode away in a hollowed out tree trunk floating on a sea of gore. All the giants today are descended from them.

in, Vili, and V took Ymir's body to the center of Ginnungagap. From his body, they made the world. Ymir's flesh became the earth, and his unbroken bones the mountains. From his teeth and bone fragments, they made rocks and stones. They used his blood to make the lakes and ocean encircling the world. They raised Ymir's skull over the earth to make the sky and placed a dwarf at each of the four corners to hold up the sky. Glowing embers from Mspell were thrown into the sky to make the sun and moon and stars and planets. Ymir's brains were thrown into the sky to make the clouds. Ymir's eyebrows were used to make a fortification around the world, to protect against the giants. Inside the fortification is Migar, the realm of man.

One day, in, Vili, and V were walking along the land and came across two trees with their roots ripped out of the ground. One was an ash, the other an elm. They fashioned these into the first man and woman. in breathed into them the spirit of life. Vili provided consciousness, wits, and a feeling hearts. V gave them the gifts of hearing and sight. The man was called Ask (ash) and the woman Embla (elm), and they were given Migar in which to live. All the races of men are descended from them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
744 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  00:11:53  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've played quite a bit of each of Basic, 3e, 4e, and 5e. I don't think there have been any "bad" editions of the game, though a very fair criticism of 4e can be levelled at it for its de-emphasis on roleplaying.

5e is by far the easiest to run, which makes it great for expanding the hobby and getting new people involved. I went to a bar/games place the other day and everyone in there was playing it, and it was the broadest scope of people I've seen in the hobby. It was really cool to see. I've had the most pure fun playing 5th edition, and it's the edition for me where more interesting and fulfilling situations have come out of playing it. A potential downside of the "rules-lite" approach is that there are often rules questions that just aren't answered by the core books, leaving the situation to the DM. This is a problem for some groups, not a problem for others.

4e was the best balanced. The combat system was actually a brilliant thing - my group happily spent hours on the miniatures grid, carefully plotting their actions out for the best tactical advantage. It was a very rewarding combat system. However, combat took sooooooo long that it left very little room in the game for actual roleplaying. That edition of D&D, looking back, felt more like a way to link combats together rather than a roleplaying system. To expand beyond that took a confident and 4th-ed experienced DM. I've moved on, and I won't ever return to the system - but at the same time, my longest running campaign was a 4th edition one. My players at the time loved it, so I don't knock it too hard, but I need more roleplaying focus for my own satisfaction.

3rd ed is what I cut my teeth as a DM on. I like having a rule for almost everything, and when a rule in 5th ed is a bit light for my liking, I often look part to the 3e books for ideas and guidance. I had a lot of fun in 3rd edition, and I found the design of the books to be the most inspiring. Though I faded from the hobby for a while just before 3.5 took off, I'm sad to hear that it became so "broken" (such a loaded word) as time went on. I'd consider returning to it if 5th edition didn't run so seamlessly.

Basic is mostly just childhood memories, so not much to say on that one. I remember people dying a lot, but maybe that was our poor understanding of what the game was. Still had fun.

I actually spend most of my "lore-time" reading books from the 1e-2e era, which seems to be the era during which the Realms endured the strongest support.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
785 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  00:49:50  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't understand why people say rules = roleplaying. I've only DMed 4e and a bit of 5e, and in my 4e days my players roleplayed a lot. While, in my days of 3.5 player, we didn't had much roleplaying as my first DM always solved all stuff (even non-combat situations) through dice rolls.

In my experience, roleplaying depends on how players and DMs approach to the game, not to the rules themselves. The rules exist to cover stuff that is not the focus of roleplaying.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosophers path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 27 Feb 2017 00:50:32
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
744 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  01:05:32  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Every table is different and experiences the game differently, I can only report what I saw at my table. What I said is based on having seen the same players play the game across the different editions. It may be vastly different from your experience - we just found when we spent the vast majority of sesions in combat, there was obviously less time spent out of combat (where there is more room for significant roleplaying). That said, many DMs found ways to reduce combat time and make the system work for them. My players still roleplayed in 4th ed, but it was mostly within combats, purely because of how long they took. 4th ed rules = less roleplaying for us, but as you say, YMMV hugely between tables. We still had lots of fun with it.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 27 Feb 2017 01:11:52
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
463 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  01:23:18  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having started playing 1977, I've played every edition except OD&D (which I've seen and read). 1E basically introduced the world to the game. The rules were kind of a hot mess -- complex in the writing and inconsistent rolling (sometimes high is good, sometimes not, sometimes you roll a d20, sometimes not) though that was part of the fun. Basic D&D was, well, basic. Hated it's lack of options -- all elves were gish, all dwarves were fighters, bah. 2E cleaned up the rules presentation of 1E a fair amount and brought us all the settings. FR began to hit its stride. Planescape and others. Some awesome stuff. The lore overfloweth. 3E and 3.5E added consistency, tons more options, but also more complexity (Statting up the big bad guy was fun, but it could literally take you hours and a good fight could easily take the same). Pathfinder is 3.75E. The setting is great and in many ways better thought out than FR was once it left Ed's hands (especially before Steven Schend, Julia Martin, Eric Boyd, and others came along to fix things)

4E changed so much about the game, bringing in elements of video games and Magic the Gathering, greater balance than had existed before, and a return to simpler bad guys. But I think to its downfall, it changed the presentation of the game, making it seem unfamiliar. So many elements lost much of their lore. Monster descriptions often became somewhat uninspiring and while every character had a suite of cool abilities, the actual mechanics of the abilities was often bland because they seemed like every other classes mechanics (thus the impression to many that it gave up on the role playing part). Battles were even longer (again making it seem as though role playing was less important) which given that monsters were simpler was saying something. They blew up the Realms (which resulted in some neat elements, but they still blew up the Realms). In the end, after giving it a shot for a year or two and recognizing some good things about 4E, 4E still drove me away from D&D and the Realms for a time, which was kinda sad to me.

5E is, to me at least, everything they billed it as. It has the clearer and more familiar presentation of 3.5E, most of the balance of 4E, with more of the simplicity of 1E and 2E. Battles can happen in the Theater of the Mind and be quick, or you can use miniatures and have a grand battle to mix it up (in the manner of 3E or 4E). The only thing 5E really needs is more Realms supplements(I'm hoping to post one focused on character options, "Forgotten Characters of the Realms" on DM's Guild in early March). I was a huge fan of the format used at the heyday of 3.5E the best -- Unapproachable East, Shining South, Underdark, etc. Each had a large amount of lore, plenty of good ideas, and a nice amount of crunch for characters and DM's.

Edited by - TomCosta on 27 Feb 2017 01:23:53
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30338 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  04:27:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that 2E was the only edition to really handle monsters correctly. (Note: I've not perused any 5E monster books).

In 2E, we were given info on how monsters lived/existed. How they gathered, how they mated, where they lived, how they approached a fight, their appearance and variations of that, any odd quirks about them (like griffons loving horsemeat), things like that. And we had uses for their body parts, after separating them from the monster.

After 2E, monsters went back to how they were in 1E: stats, a couple lines about combat, and if you're lucky, a line describing their appearance. Monsters were reduced back to damage dealt and XP awarded.

There were some exceptions, like the Monsternomicon books for the Iron Kingdoms and some of the Revisited stuff for Pathfinder, but aside from those outliers, we've gone back to monsters just sitting around, waiting to be killed. And I really dislike that.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3418 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  06:16:20  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think a lot of 4e's initial problems were two-fold: poor math early on, which led to extended encounters and a slog of combat that became monotonous and even tediuos at times AND the expectations of players from 3e who literally had a class for every thing that got 8 classes, 2 of which were not "CORE" classes in any previous edition prior to 4e. A lot of people enjoyed taking a character from a previous game and statting them up with the new edition yet if you played a Barbarian or Druid or Monk or Sorcerer you just weren doing that right away, had to buy new books for classes you'd become entitled to from 3e.

Then you had a different look and feel with boxes and no charts. It had flavor but it looked different and someone who gives it a perusal look will instantly think it's bad or wrong or etc.

Finally there's DDI and what I'd consider the downfall of the edition. With the DDI account you could have EVERY option ever printed for your character. Imagine how easy it was for people to throw into 1 account and just share? Since you can export the character files, it's simple to keep your characters on your HD and then delete it to save room. 5 people do this and now none of them need books at all and just spend the $6 or 7 dollars a month for hundreds of dollars of supplements.

But despite all that I'm able to keep my combats to about 40 minutes and we get in 3 to 4 battles a sessions among role-playing. My players always try fun things and interact with the setting as much as they can.

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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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2883 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  12:53:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DDI specifically was licensed for use by an entire group and Wizards went on record at the time as saying that it was making them more money than the actual books were. 4e didn't suffer from income problems.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  13:25:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think that 2E was the only edition to really handle monsters correctly. (Note: I've not perused any 5E monster books).

In 2E, we were given info on how monsters lived/existed. How they gathered, how they mated, where they lived, how they approached a fight, their appearance and variations of that, any odd quirks about them (like griffons loving horsemeat), things like that. And we had uses for their body parts, after separating them from the monster.

After 2E, monsters went back to how they were in 1E: stats, a couple lines about combat, and if you're lucky, a line describing their appearance. Monsters were reduced back to damage dealt and XP awarded.

There were some exceptions, like the Monsternomicon books for the Iron Kingdoms and some of the Revisited stuff for Pathfinder, but aside from those outliers, we've gone back to monsters just sitting around, waiting to be killed. And I really dislike that.



I had noted that, and I had half wondered if it weren't due to the concept of turning off players by providing them information that they "already had". I agree, I miss that level of information, and I'd like to see it back, because enough time has passed that things have gotten confused between editions again.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3418 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  13:43:44  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arivia

DDI specifically was licensed for use by an entire group and Wizards went on record at the time as saying that it was making them more money than the actual books were. 4e didn't suffer from income problems.



Sure, WotC said a lot of things like that they were going to make a virtual table top to do with the DDI (didn't come to fruition due to some tragic stuff, but never the less) and Dungeon Master tools that would be apart of the DDI (again, never happened). They also said that sales were doing great but apparently that wasn't all that true either a further bit down the road compared to what Paizo was making and then leading in the market. Whether that is specifically how much they were losing in market shares, lost revenue with dwindling store sales, or the possibility that the executives actually did require them to hit the 50-million mark (a very difficult goal, in a niche market) and they just failed to deliver on that are all possible reasons why WotC abandoned 4th edition after only 6 years (2008 - 2014).

All I know is that we bought half the books for 4e as we did for 3e and part of that was because there just wasn't as many supplements 4e as there were for 3e/3.5 and partly because a LOT of the info was obtainable through the Character Builder. Didn't have Psionic Power, Hereos of the Feywild, and about a dozen other products like Hereos of the Elemental Chaos or the book about Metallic dragons. Why when most, if not all, of that material be it a monster, trap, item or even character options like powers and feats can be had with DDI. And we didn't even need multiple copies!

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 27 Feb 2017 13:45:15
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  18:45:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

I don't understand why people say rules = roleplaying. I've only DMed 4e and a bit of 5e, and in my 4e days my players roleplayed a lot. While, in my days of 3.5 player, we didn't had much roleplaying as my first DM always solved all stuff (even non-combat situations) through dice rolls.

In my experience, roleplaying depends on how players and DMs approach to the game, not to the rules themselves. The rules exist to cover stuff that is not the focus of roleplaying.

I agree with this whole-heartedly - I've seen RP-heavy and RP-lite D&D campaigns in every edition. That being said, some rule-sets are more conducive to one style of play over another. For example: In OD&D we did a LOT of RPing, because there really wasn't a whole lot of rules. We basically had to 'make everything up', so it was more like a game of "lets pretend", with some very lite rules involving encounters. My buddies and I used to go down to the beach late Sunday nights (back when that was still legal), park in several cars, turn 'Doctor Dimento' on the radio, and then play D&D (across multiple cars) WITHOUT any dice-rolling. We had an amazingly grand time with it.

4e, on the other hand, made combat so intensive (read: overlong and and repetitive) that its sucked-up most of the game time, so there was less time to RP. Also, you didn't have the 'down time' you did between encounters. Other editions forced you to rest, and do other stuff, so you can get spells and HP back. You didn't need to do that in 4e - you just kept slogging on to the next encounter.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think that 2E was the only edition to really handle monsters correctly. (Note: I've not perused any 5E monster books).

In 2E, we were given info on how monsters lived/existed. How they gathered, how they mated, where they lived, how they approached a fight, their appearance and variations of that, any odd quirks about them (like griffons loving horsemeat), things like that. And we had uses for their body parts, after separating them from the monster.
The 2e Monstrous Manual was the single greatest MM EVER, bar none. And not just because Tony DiTerlizzi (the guy who created Spiderwick, and gave PS all its 'look', if not its flavor) did a lot of the illustrations... although that was just some truly delicious icing on the cake.

The original format (the compendiums with the loose sheets) for the MM's in 2e was a great idea, but they were only B&W, and you soon had to have a least two binders for all those pages. It was a cool idea, but unwieldy, and soon became unnecessary with the advent of portable computers (and later, tablets). Also, they should have kept it one monster to a page, back and front. After a short time you could no longer 'alphabetize' your compendiums because of that (and how could having 'more lore' about a monster be a bad thing?). Still, all-in-all, I am in total agreement with you - 2e treated monsters the best. 3e's approach to monsters and NPCs was one of the thing I greatly disliked about 3e (amazing set of rules for players, most horrible set for DMs - it tied our hands, ate-up all our spare time, and gave ALL the options to the players).

@TomCosta - I personally think a hybrid set of rules, wherein you level as a race (because that's something I think OD&D got right), and your class is handled by a set of skills, would be ideal. That would alleviate the necessity for things like 'race-based feats'*. You level as a dwarf (or elf, or human, etc), and you pick a 'dwarf feat' at each level. Then you choose your skills based on a point system, with some races spending less/more than others (human would be the median for it all). Why shouldn't a wizard be able to learn to swing a sword? Gandalf did. Its a very good trade-off; you can become a hyper-specialist and be really, REALLY good at one thing, or you can learn lots of stuff, and be a 'jack-of-all-trades', or - more likely - be pretty good at one thing, and have one or two other things you can do fairly well.

With our current paradigm in D&D (and other systems), 'all races are basically the same', which is preposterous to me. I understand game balance, but if you are going to have a game that has non-humans in it, why do they have to follow the precise same paths humans do? How does that even make any sense? All dwarves being fighters (to start) makes perfect sense, because its a cultural thing (like Sparta) - you learn how to fight at a very young age (after all, you live underground, right next to the nasty Underdark). Sure you can 'branch out', and that's why I am saying racial feats + a skill system that enables you to take skills outside your comfort zone (for slightly greater cost). A halfling on a world full of adversaries much bigger than him/her would learn ways of fighting completely different than what a human would do - more hit-and-run tactics and agility based moves (so much more like a thief-acrobat who focuses on surprise attacks). PLUS, if you level by race (rather than 'class'), your HP would also go by race, which just makes SO much more sense. Just my 2.

*To clarify - mixing 'racial feats' with normal class feats means no-one is ever going to bother with those, so your 'kewl race' loses all its flavor over time. You just become a 'funny looking human', IMHO.


And although I just digressed down a small side-path, Sleyvas, I'm going to have to present YOU with the official 'MarkusTay' award for your post above. You have out-done me on the 'going off on a tangent' category. I salute you!

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Feb 2017 19:06:33
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6094 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  20:00:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay



@TomCosta - I personally think a hybrid set of rules, wherein you level as a race (because that's something I think OD&D got right), and your class is handled by a set of skills, would be ideal. That would alleviate the necessity for things like 'race-based feats'*. You level as a dwarf (or elf, or human, etc), and you pick a 'dwarf feat' at each level. Then you choose your skills based on a point system, with some races spending less/more than others (human would be the median for it all). Why shouldn't a wizard be able to learn to swing a sword? Gandalf did. Its a very good trade-off; you can become a hyper-specialist and be really, REALLY good at one thing, or you can learn lots of stuff, and be a 'jack-of-all-trades', or - more likely - be pretty good at one thing, and have one or two other things you can do fairly well.

With our current paradigm in D&D (and other systems), 'all races are basically the same', which is preposterous to me. I understand game balance, but if you are going to have a game that has non-humans in it, why do they have to follow the precise same paths humans do? How does that even make any sense? All dwarves being fighters (to start) makes perfect sense, because its a cultural thing (like Sparta) - you learn how to fight at a very young age (after all, you live underground, right next to the nasty Underdark). Sure you can 'branch out', and that's why I am saying racial feats + a skill system that enables you to take skills outside your comfort zone (for slightly greater cost). A halfling on a world full of adversaries much bigger than him/her would learn ways of fighting completely different than what a human would do - more hit-and-run tactics and agility based moves (so much more like a thief-acrobat who focuses on surprise attacks). PLUS, if you level by race (rather than 'class'), your HP would also go by race, which just makes SO much more sense. Just my 2.

*To clarify - mixing 'racial feats' with normal class feats means no-one is ever going to bother with those, so your 'kewl race' loses all its flavor over time. You just become a 'funny looking human', IMHO.


And although I just digressed down a small side-path, Sleyvas, I'm going to have to present YOU with the official 'MarkusTay' award for your post above. You have out-done me on the 'going off on a tangent' category. I salute you!



I will cherish that award... can I get it in Mystran Blue?

On the aside about leveling as a race... that's an interesting idea. It would be kind of like the Pathfinder was it "epic" characters. The main problem I see there is that I'm betting certain races would get better add ons versus others just because there may not be a whole lot of ideas to go along with said race. However, there might be ways to tweak that.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Diffan
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USA
3418 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2017 :  21:16:00  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

4e, on the other hand, made combat so intensive (read: overlong and and repetitive) that its sucked-up most of the game time, so there was less time to RP. Also, you didn't have the 'down time' you did between encounters. Other editions forced you to rest, and do other stuff, so you can get spells and HP back. You didn't need to do that in 4e - you just kept slogging on to the next encounter.



early on, yeah this was a problem. Like I said poor math didn't do the edition any favors. Monsters had attacks that were too low and didn't do enough damage and their AC was too high, making them harder to hit hence the slug-fest boredom. After about 2 years of this they fixed the math and made it much better, combat became more deadly, and a tad more swing-y in terms of what to expect.

Though I have to ask, and it still puzzles me today, why didn't DMs try to fix this on their own? Either though messing with the stats OR simply putting in things that usually worked in previous editions? For example in our games (from the moment 4e hit the shelves to two weeks ago when we last played 4e) we always treated monsters as living beings who, usually, don't needlessly head to slaughter. So if we have a group of goblins attacking the party and there's 5 or 6 "standard" monsters there with a good portion of HP and they see their leader or a mob of them instantly get burnt to ashes OR blasted with psionic energy or 5 of them cut in half by a large, metal-wearing warrior these goblins don't just shrug and say "oh well, onward!" they usually say...."ah ah...ah...attack?" which means their morale is possibly broken OR maybe they initiate parley?

Many times my players have talked their way out of situations to avoid a fight, usually by using Skills and Utility powers or turning it into an impromptu Skill Challenge that takes maybe 10 to 15 minutes instead of a 45 minute combat.

OR

Sometimes they find a silver-lining with a particular combat to make things easier like when fighting over an ice-covered lake, the wizard drops a fireball or some other spell with the Fire keyword and weakens the ice, dropping all the enemies in that area into the drink and most likely killing them? Or using a crumbling wall to push onto targets or exploding the group of barrels the PCs earlier discovered were filled with lamplight fluid. You mean to tell me none of this ever happened in ANY games of D&D prior to 4e? Heck even just adding in Morale where if 1/2 the monsters were killed in 1 round then the others would make a morale check (Medium DC and a Wisdom check +1/2 level) to determine if they flee or lay down their weapons and surrender.

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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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
463 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2017 :  00:21:56  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But how do I get my dwarf cleric or warlock or elf paladin or whatever else I want. I saw basic as too limiting. I know there are a lot of other ways of doing it. For example the new Middle Earth setting (weird saying new and Middle Earth) from Cubicle 7 replaces feats with virtues, most of which are race/culture specific. They are kind of like racial feats, but still have a different feel. In any case, I'm cool with whatever system anyone liked, basic just wasn't for me. Plus part of the appeal of 1E, in retrospect at least, was that you were able to conquer the complex rule set. It was like an exclusive club for clever people.
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nblanton
Seeker

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  02:24:40  Show Profile Send nblanton a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

But how do I get my dwarf cleric or warlock or elf paladin or whatever else I want. I saw basic as too limiting. I know there are a lot of other ways of doing it. For example the new Middle Earth setting (weird saying new and Middle Earth) from Cubicle 7 replaces feats with virtues, most of which are race/culture specific. They are kind of like racial feats, but still have a different feel. In any case, I'm cool with whatever system anyone liked, basic just wasn't for me. Plus part of the appeal of 1E, in retrospect at least, was that you were able to conquer the complex rule set. It was like an exclusive club for clever people.



I've stuck with the rules from 2e for race/class combos for the most part. I generally ignore stuff like dwarven sorcerers as simply not-allowed.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14387 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  19:27:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think he was more referring to OD&D,which I was talking about.

YES, AD&D was a huge improvement over OD&D, buuut... I think Gygax and co. may have gotten the racial aspects right the 1st time. They just didn't take it far enough - they abandoned it instead. Leveling by race would work out the same as leveling by class mechanics-wise (you'd still have 'path' choices utilizing skills and Feats), but it would make more sense - your are NOT 'your job', you are 'your race'. You are born a certain race, with certain abilites, and those abilites will improve over time (and maybe gain new ones), and everything else is a choice.

With a race-based leveling system, you could get rid of the class system completely, and go with a skill-based system instead... and yet still have traditional 'leveling'. Its the best of both worlds. You'd have MORE FREEDOM with what your character can learn than you would under a class-based system. AD&D only went with the class system because it was already in-place for humans, which the game was meant to be centered around.

3e had the right idea, with all its 'multiclassing', but the problem with that 'fix' is that it didn't reward 'the specialist'. Quite the opposite, actually. If you didn't do a 'uber build' (min-max), your character was considered 'nerfed' in 3e. Plain-vanilla classes lost their appeal. A race-based, skill-system would alleviate all of that.

It would also fix the weird 'level vs. age' thing we have going on. A 21 year old PC can be better at blacksmithing then a guy who's been doing it since he was a kid, and has 50 years experience. Thats ridiculous. You'd have 'age-equivalent racial levels'. This problem stands out the most with elves - why is it human archmages tend to be more powerful than 1000-year-old elven wizards? Level should represent power only, NOT experience - experience is dependent on age (and yes, actual 'experiences', so that would be represented by the 'leveling). Thus, a human mage might be able to cast a bigger firball (becuas he's higher 'level'), but the elf would have hundreds of spells at his disposable - much more than the human would under the typical Vancian system. Thus, you achieve balance with difference, NOT by 'making everything the same'. OD&D/early AD&D went with 'level restrictions' for non-humans, and that was not only completely arbitrary, it was the opposite of realistic.

Another example - A human miner might be a damned good miner. maybe he can even 'out-mine' a dwarf (taller, stronger,etc), but the human might spend all day getting a few nuggets of gold out of a mine, swinging his pick all day. The dwarf would only need a few, very precise swings to hit 'just the right spots', so he gets more gold with less effort. like that. In our current (and nearly all other) game systems, level is the end-all, be-all, which it should ONLY be for humans, Humans are about Pure Power, but non-humans would excell in ways humans never could (and thats why humans need to become so powerful - they have to be 'twice as strong' to be half as good at something).

Its just a different (more realistic) way of looking at RPG game design, is all. Make the damn dwarf more 'dwarfy', instead of just a short human with better stamina. Thats what I'd like to see.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Mar 2017 19:30:43
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3545 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  19:57:36  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tried turning 3e into something like what you suggested. Linear fixed progression was removed and instead at each level you picked what you got. Classes were skill based choices (although the equivalent of prestige classes did grant some abilitiea if you picked them). Races was where all the weird and wonderful abilities were at. You could pick any ability you wanted and the more you picked it the better it got.


The only way to do it was to remove all the arbitrary stuff (like spell dcs) and make every feat/option grant a +1 bonus to something. It had the bonus of making any spell memorisable in any spell slot and the strength of the spell scaled perfectly in line with level (level 1 fireball did 1d6 damage, level 9 fireball did 9d6 damage).
The idea was that there should be no special rules. The rule should encompass all eventualities.

Unfortunately i lack the time to finish it. I got as far as adding vehicles so that a human could fight a tank or a spaceship (and die as expected)

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R P Davis
Acolyte

USA
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Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  22:26:54  Show Profile  Visit R P Davis's Homepage Send R P Davis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think that 2E was the only edition to really handle monsters correctly. (Note: I've not perused any 5E monster books).

In 2E, we were given info on how monsters lived/existed. How they gathered, how they mated, where they lived, how they approached a fight, their appearance and variations of that, any odd quirks about them (like griffons loving horsemeat), things like that. And we had uses for their body parts, after separating them from the monster.


The 5e Monster Manual has a ton of that information, and it's presented quite prettily. As a DM, I find it inspiring when trying to determine monster encounter tactics, as well as role-playing a monster when my table of murderhobos decides they need something different.

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan, with regard to 4e


Though I have to ask, and it still puzzles me today, why didn't DMs try to fix this on their own? Either though messing with the stats OR simply putting in things that usually worked in previous editions?


Because 3e effectively removed DM agency. Players demanded - and received from the powers that were - from 3e book-based rules for everything. As someone noted up-thread, 3e was the absolute worst for rules-lawyering pests. That carried over into 4e. There was a rule (or errata) for everything. DMs who didn't have a pre-3e background were utterly terrified of house rules, because there was no "official" support for it.

That has all changed with 5e, with its explicit rules-light, the-DM-can-do-what-she-wants approach.

I've been playing 5e since the D&D Next playtesting, and am very impressed by it. It was intended to pull good things from all the previous editions and leave the clunkers. In my opinion it has done precisely that. There are some things which need a bit of polish. There are some thing which make me wonder if whoever decided to include those things in the finished product was paying attention to the Next playtest feedback. But all in all, it's a fantastic game.

Cheers,

Bob
www.r-p-davis.com
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3418 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2017 :  12:20:18  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by R P Davis


quote:
Originally posted by Diffan, with regard to 4e


Though I have to ask, and it still puzzles me today, why didn't DMs try to fix this on their own? Either though messing with the stats OR simply putting in things that usually worked in previous editions?


Because 3e effectively removed DM agency. Players demanded - and received from the powers that were - from 3e book-based rules for everything. As someone noted up-thread, 3e was the absolute worst for rules-lawyering pests. That carried over into 4e. There was a rule (or errata) for everything. DMs who didn't have a pre-3e background were utterly terrified of house rules, because there was no "official" support for it.


Eh, I don't buy it. Corner-cases, on the spot adjudication, and ascertaining the best way to rule on a plan or situation that the PCs come up with on the fly are all heavily prevalent in 3e and 4e D&D. It didn't remove DM agency, I think DMs just gave it up willingly.

What players wanted was not 5 different ways on figuring out how to trip someone based solely on who was DM that day or what the check would be for jumping over a 20-ft. chasm and having 3 different results either fail or pass based on what arbitrary ideals the DM was working with. One DM might see a slippery rock face and think "Whoa, super hard to beat that" and another might think "Ok, there are handholds, so it's only moderately hard". Then there are those DMs who put their own personal or real-life experiences into the fold and make their decisions based off of what they say (despite there being no magic and Olympian-like people doing things on a daily basis).

I question why people didn't interact more with their surroundings like using a fire-based spell or power to explode a cluster of barrels containing lamp-light oil? Or using their cold/ice-based spell or cantrip to make a section of floor slippery so anyone moving normal speed across it makes a check or falls prone? We did this stuff in our 4e games ALL THE TIME. It's what the game is all about!

quote:
Originally posted by R P Davis

That has all changed with 5e, with its explicit rules-light, the-DM-can-do-what-she-wants approach.


That's not entirely true. The DM is "bound" by the rules just as much in 5e as he was in 4e and 3e and 2e etc. By Bound I mean that deviation of said rules will easily be picked out by the players and unless it's agreed upon in Session Zero, it's going to cause conflict.

Ex. #1: A Player wants to jump over an expanse. That PC will cover a number of feet up to their Strength score if they move at least 10 feet prior to the jump. Thus a Str 20 character is going to jump 20-ft. all day, ever day. A DM who 1. makes them perform a check of any kind or 2. says their jump doesn't cover the distance regardless of their Strength score is going to be outside of the rules and Players WILL know and most likely get pissed especially if the result is something like death.

Ex. #2: A 3rd level Paladin is fighting a monster. As she swings her longsword, she rolls a natural 20. Yay, a Critical Hit! She then expends a spell slot to add Divine Smite to the damage roll, thus doubling the damage die (a 1st level spell slot would normally deal 2d8) for a grand total of 6d8 + Str modifier! "Woah!" says the DM. "That's too much damage and broken." Nope, that's 100% by the rules. Change it (and I've seen discussions on DMs doing just that) and now not only have you changed the narrative of the game, possibly the reason for the player picking the class, and the power-curve build into the design.

Can a DM do whatever they want? Sure thing, always has been the case. Doesn't mean that players are going to now, for some reason, blindly accept it.

quote:
Originally posted by R P Davis

I've been playing 5e since the D&D Next playtesting, and am very impressed by it. It was intended to pull good things from all the previous editions and leave the clunkers. In my opinion it has done precisely that. There are some things which need a bit of polish. There are some thing which make me wonder if whoever decided to include those things in the finished product was paying attention to the Next playtest feedback. But all in all, it's a fantastic game.



Well there we totally agree. I think 5e does a good job of blending in aspects from previous editions, surprisingly a LOT from 4e, to make a very elegant and cohesive game.

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 15 Mar 2017 12:23:21
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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

257 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2017 :  13:16:37  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

5E is, to me at least, everything they billed it as. It has the clearer and more familiar presentation of 3.5E, most of the balance of 4E, with more of the simplicity of 1E and 2E. Battles can happen in the Theater of the Mind and be quick, or you can use miniatures and have a grand battle to mix it up (in the manner of 3E or 4E). The only thing 5E really needs is more Realms supplements(I'm hoping to post one focused on character options, "Forgotten Characters of the Realms" on DM's Guild in early March). I was a huge fan of the format used at the heyday of 3.5E the best -- Unapproachable East, Shining South, Underdark, etc. Each had a large amount of lore, plenty of good ideas, and a nice amount of crunch for characters and DM's.



+1 to this... I couldn't have said it better myself Tom.

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1177 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2017 :  23:18:08  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
5e looks really interesting, but they simple refuse to do a FRCG for it, so it provides a tantilizing hints, but not enough to actually use out side of some heavy work in filling the blanks in.
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