One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I don`t know, but the more I see, read and hear about 4th Ed and the new direction WotC is going with D&D as a whole... I find myself tired of trying another edition. Am I getting too old for it? ...becoming too settled with the idea that, heck! 1st Ed was a great game and 2nd Ed (with a good dose of house rules) was a great time, 3rd/3.5 Ed, kept core, is a half decent system, kind of settled into the d20 rather comfortable.
There is more than enough material acquired and to be had out there for any of the three editions, and so much more could be done for any one of them...why bother with 4th?
I mean really, does anyone’s game suffer now? Will 4th Ed save your game?
Again the more I see, read and hear about 4th Ed and the new direction WotC is going with D&D, will it still be the D&D I`ve come to appreciate, most likely not. I see it being geared for the Silicon chip generation, the computer bound gamers of the day. Don`t get me wrong, I`m fairly savvy with computers and like computer set games, but I hold a passion for the tangible book, to gather around a table with a bunch of good friends for a night of socializing and games. Too much has gone digital... ie: the loss of the Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Some of the changes being presented for this new D&D... there`s gnome way to say it... ...piece mealing the pantheon... failing to maintain and all together leaving Greyhawk, the “flag-ship” game setting for D&D, to fade away to a memory.
I will wait and see, but the closer this 4th Ed draws the more distant I feel from it. Guess I’m just getting old, a grey gamer, soon a Swan sailed ship will come for me... till then, I will endeavour to keep the D&D I learned and grew with active and whoever wants to play .... there’s a spare chair...pull it up!
I look forward to know how fellow gamers, grey and green and all between, feel about the coming of 4th Edition D&D.
Well, I don't know if 4e spells the end of D&D as such. I tend to think it's more a matter of the game changing to meet a more modern audience. The game will go on, it's just a question of whether or not I intend to go with it - and in this case I don't.
As anyone who's been reading my posts can tell, I'm not a fan of 4e. I think WotC's tactics in promoting the new edition have been intentionally disrespectful. Some of their assumptions regarding what makes a good game design make me cringe. I also think some of their statements concerning why various changes have been made demonstrate poor thinking and in some cases are downright misleading.
All that said, I suspect the new game will be entirely playable and in some cases absolutely innovative. From a business standpoint what WotC is trying to do is brilliant. Whoever came up with the plans is a genius. It only remains to be seen whether or not WotC can succeed. Given that those who are executing the plans seem to lack the genius of whomever conceived the plans, I sometimes wonder about this.
But for those of us who are more concerned with our own games than we are with the business end of things, I shouldn't worry too much about whether or not 4e succeeds. As has been pointed out in literally thousands of posts on various messageboards, there's more than enough d20 material out there to keep us going and numerous companies both small and large have promised to keep the system going for a while. Beyond that, a quick look at the dragonsfoot.org boards testify that a system need not die just because it is no longer supported by further publications.
AFAIC, anyone who wants to change to 4e can do so with my blessing. I hope they have fun. All I ask is that they respect my reasons for not switching and don't try to convince me that my personal tastes are somehow wrong. But "as for me and my house", we're sticking with 3.5e for now.
I strongly feel that 4th Edition D&D is a terrific part of D&D's evolution. I have enjoyed every edition of the game, and the 4th rendition looks to be the best so far. I think each edition has been better than the last. And, I like the feeling of freshness and newness that each new edition has brought. Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition is certainly the future of the game. I think it is important for the game to evolve over the years so new ideas in language, mechanics and other gaming concepts have a chance to improve the game - and to remove what does not work. At the end of the day, however, rules are just an interpretive device. Isn't it still D&D if you have dragons, heroes, villains and treasure? The ideas of casting spells and thrusting a sword are still at the heart of D&D. So what if a different set of rules are used to convert imagination to game mechanic. So, I'll also say that whatever happens at your personal game table is the future of D&D, too.
I gotta take issue with the notion of 4th Edition being a digital shadow of the pen-and-paper game. It has been said unequivocally, and Design & Development notes have supported it, that D&D is still very much and unabashedly a table top game. Sure, some content shall be presented, transmitted and delivered electronically. There shall be some digital tools to assist player and DM. But, D&D is entirely gonna be for people to sit down together at a real table and interact face-to-face.
There are some issues with 3rd Edition's rules - thus strengthening the argument that the game must evolve. While there is no perfect system, why not make an effort to strive for the best mechanics. Translating imagination to rules is no easy task, as thirty years have shown. I would not use the word "suffer," but I know there are certainly people with 3rd Edition (or AD&D or AD&D 2nd Edition) games that experience some hiccups from cases of rules creep, confusing language or complexity of rules (grapple, anyone?).
Thank goodness the human imagination is limitless - that means are beloved hobby is, too. So, bring on the changes in an effort for the best play experience. The contemporary, commercially published game is going to move forward with us or without us. So, the question must be asked and answered by ourselves, not the masses. You'll only get confusing, contradictory and subjective diatribes about this or or that. None of what the world is gonna spew at you is really gonna matter at your table with your circle of friends. This gets back to the point above about your personal D&D game being the future of the game, regardless of edition.
Is 4th Edition the future of YOUR game? You gotta answer that yourself, and there is probably not a wrong answer, and the answer might be given to change. All of the editions shall be there, so you can enjoy that flexibility in trying to find your (evolving or not) position on the D&D continuum. The game shall have a future in the guise of the latest commercial products, and in the form of whatever you can dream up and evoke in your mind. Find the rules that best fit the latter, and go from there. Just don't let apprehension of the new and untried lead you away from what may potentially fit best.
P.S. - Don't be surprised when I move this thread to the 4th Edition forum tomorrow.
I find it somewhat amusing that the current D&D community is preparing for the same splintering effect that came with the introduction of 3E. I do not find it amusing that the same type of condescending attitude permeates the "evolving" crowd. Go with the new or you're a fossil! That never was a very nice attitude towards your fellow gamers.
I find it interesting that with each new edition the fundamental changes vis-a-vis the older eiditions grow larger and larger. The difference between OAD&D and 2E was rather minor, the modules from each edition could pretty much be used in any edition. The jump between 2E and 3E was a bit longer. Conversions were necessary between editions and they were quite a hassle which is why DMs were actually prepared to pay for the job to be done. Now 4E comes along and now it's not only a rules and mechanics change, they change the fundamental setting of D&D. This time there really is a reason to ask what the difference is between the new game, WHFRP, Palladium or any other fantasy RPG. What makes this game really D&D. What WotC is doing here could be perceived as stripmining the D&D game for allt the trademark goodies, including the name, and sticking these into a new FRPG. We all know that the name itself will sell.
I have loved Greyhawk since the release of the '83 box and though it started as OAD&D the game world really wasn't about the rules in themselves. Over the years I have incorporated stuff from all the editions and even from other games into MY Greyhawk. I'm sure we all have. But it was all molded and mended to fit the existing campaign and the game system I used. Now, WotC will mess with Greyhawk, FR and the non-entity of a core world they are designing to fit the new kewl rules. They ask all the DMs out there to rip their campaigns asunder, or start anew, simply to make room for their new, nifty ideas. WTF? Naturally they imply that all sorts of campaign styles will be possible and while that is true it would mean that all the fluff and setting-specific material would have to be ignored from this point onward. The only thing 4E can offer Greyhawk is a new set of rules!
I myself won't have to fret over the decision of leaving or staying with 3.xE since I never moved over to it in the first place but now I can tell that with 4E the products WotC will release will have no use whatsoever for my campaign(s) that have been built and nurtured for more than 20 years. There is no incentive whatsoever with 4E. None.
D&D R.I.P. _________________ Never say blip-blip to a kuo-tua
In essence you're correct, Gil. WotC is indeed producing a different game - albeit based in part on the old one - and using the D&D brand name to make it more marketable. As I said before, it's brilliant from a marketing perspective, but sad for me and those like me who prefer what D&D has always been and dislike what it's becoming.
The only thing I really don't understand (or agree with) is why it was necessary to dispose of D&D's historical customer base. I tend to believe that the transition could have been accomplished much more smoothly, much more painlessly, and much more effectively if they had taken a different approach.
And by all means, Don, do move this thread to the 4e forum. It clearly seems to belong there now. Oops.
I don't want to see the iconic abilities - particularly spells based on legends and myths - disappear for the sake of game mechanics but beyond that, I'm looking forward to seeing what the game is about.
My Greyhawk campaign will go on regardless and many aspects of 4e will be ignored but at levels 11-14 I wsa beginning to find 3e higher level Dming really tricky. If 4e makes it easier, I'll be happy.
In essence, changing the mechanics of the game so that it isn't the same as previous D&D rules that can be identified with as being D&D, makes it more of another RPG system out there, like so many others. It’s no longer D&D in nature, ONLY in name.
I am disappointed on the idea that they are calling it D&D.... even if they wanted to call it such, then subtitle it, with the "Next Generation" or a similar articulated manner and cater to the D&D "Classic" rules, keeping both the aged gaming population who grew with the original based system and the Newer gamers of today. Most likely though it probably would not be finacially sound for WotC/Hasbro to try.
Everyone has an opinion of why they will refuse to even look at 4th Ed or why the 4th Ed is going to be the next best gaming system ever... but wasn’t the original release of 3rd Edition supposed to have been that? But then 3.5 had to fix this. Instead, with all the “extras” it became ruined and out of control with too many rules or ways to “break” the game, so to capitalize on this... lets fix it by putting out a completely different system and still call it D&D, why, because “they” can, but in the spirit of the game, is it really D&D anymore. I think not.
.....in my humble opinion.
I smell rot on the wind! _________________ <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTb1Gpa-N7U&feature=related">
To break it down what you are saying to its essence:
D&D is static.
Basically D&D is like monopoly, you can change some names (FR monopoly, GH monopoly, Eberron monopoly, etc.) but the underlying mechanics are set in stone. Once you change them you have made a new game, in your view.
Unfortunately, D&D and tabletop RPGs in general are not static. They have evolved, sometimes slowly, sometimes quite rapidly. Whether one likes or dislikes the evolution of the game is a matter of personal choice.
Personally, I will slaughter any sacred cow that gets in the way of fun and ease of use. For all the fond memories I have of OD&D, the basic set, and AD&D they were only steps along the way, not a house in which for me to live the rest of my gaming life.
3e went a long way to cleaning up the rules, making them coherent. In fact it is what brought me back to D&D, I basically dropped out with the awful (in my opinion) 2e rules. Granted 3e did carry over some artifacts from previous editions and created new problems of its own.
If 4e gives me a fun and easier time of DMing, I am sold. If it fails to deliver on my criterion fun and ease, then I will continue with my current version (house ruling the crap I hate about 3e along the way).
I am happy your are deliriously happy with whichever rule set you are playing, I am not.
You make a valid point here, Bryan, so I suppose I should restate my position more clearly.
Rather than saying that "4e is not D&D" I should say that "4e no longer has the same 'feel' and strays from many concepts and conventions for which many long-time roleplayers have a considerable amount of affection." There, is that better?
For the record: It never has been the mechanics that define the game for me. Neither has it been the fluff. Rather, it's been a combination of both plus certain other intangible elements (attitudes of the majority of players, social conventions, design philosophies, etc) that made the game.
For the umpteenth time: I'm sure 4e is going to be a great game. I'm also sure it's going to be very playable and that clever DM's will be able to adapt it more-or-less as they want to their style of game. It's just too far from the 'spirit of D&D' as I learned it and therefore I have no interest in it. Stop getting mad because I say I don't like it! I'm entitled to my opinion! Just don't expect me to accept their ridiculous restatements of old concepts as new and innovative and don't expect me to like it when they deliberately alienate me because I'm an old school player. Furthermore, don't expect me to accept it when they say "this time things will be different." That has never been true, and it never will. I'm too old to buy into all the hype. The only reason I keep posting in these threads is 1) certain people keep asking me to, 2) some people are going to be disappointed by 4e and I feel I should warn them, and 3) I hate seeing people being sucked in by falsehoods, especially when they can't afford it. And if I choose to get emotional about my opinions, that's my prerogative. I've invested thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in this hobby, and I think I've earned the right to get emotional. You shouldn't take it so personally just because I disagree with you.
Stop getting mad because I say I don't like it! I'm entitled to my opinion!
Um, wow Bubba,
1) My last response was not even addressed to you... I was responding to Ancient Gamer.
2) For the record Bubba we had one dust up, that was Ari. We both said our piece and apologized to each other.
I have accepted your apology and I believe you accepted mine. I do not hold any lingering emotion towards you about it. I consider the matter closed.
If you feel I am still coming after you about it, then you and I need to speak off list and resolve it because I don't want you to see everything I say through that lens.
My comments (after the one directly addressed to you, of course) were merely general statements for the benefit of those who seem to enjoy trying to turn the discussion into a fight. No hard feelings toward you on my part. You just caught me in another bad mood. I've really got to stop posting after I've visited the WotC boards!
I think 4e *is* the future of D&D and (altering the OP phrase slightly) the end of D&D as *we* know it.
*We* being us old codgers who started playing D&D with 1e, or even 2e. 3e+ wasn't too divergent for most of us, so we accepted it for the most part. 4e seems divergent from even 3e+, and in comparison to 1e or 2e it is radically divergent in most ways.
I'm not even looking at any of the new articles on 4e any longer. It is a waste of time really. I'll just wait to see the actual rulebook to see how it all fits into place. Even the $20 adverts that were published were not worth the time it took to peruse them as they contained little to no real information on 4e, and certainly are not worth being charged for. Anybody who actually bought "Races and Classes" and/or "Monsters and Whatever" deserved to be fleeced of their cash in my opinion. All the hyped articles are meaningless when we don't have a broad context of how everything fits into 4e anyways. I've adopted a wait and see attitude at this point. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Awesome feedback, wish there was more and from a broader number of members. Thank you.
Forums can sometimes give the wrong preception, especially if its not articulated just the right way, and cause heart ache. I am sooo guilty of that!
I can say this with some confidence that we all hold the hobby of D&D dear to ourselves and see change as either a bad or good thing...much like anything else. We all want to be heard, give our opinion and argue that our point is the right one. We're all correct, just depends of what side your on, change = bad or change = good ...then the specifics.
My take has been given, in my opinion, it’s no longer D&D in nature, ONLY in name. WotC/Hasbro own the game and can do whatever they want just like when I buy my little piece of it I can do whatever I want.
I'm "old school", I grew up with D&D (AD&D) and its be a good influence on my social life, how I spent my money and how serious I took it as a hobby. Its not a way of life for me, but changes to it, especially what 4th Ed proposals are about, do concern me. I feel like anyone of you, that I should have a say about this, heck I helped support the game over all these years (a basement full of books and magazines and game materials... hehehe... much like the rest of you nerds ).
Bottom line, some of you believe in evolution of the game and that it is for the better. No arguement there, thats your perspective and belief. Some of us agree with you, some of us don't and some of us are on the fence...waiting to see the rules, test the playability, etc, and make an informed decision. Awesome
What I see here is a passion for the hobby and its good to see, because it means D&D both in spirit and name has a good chance of continuing either way.... Classical AD&D or this...shudder... ... new approach, which WotC/Hasbro are "calling" D&D.
Me. I'm a sucker and usually waste my coin quite well on frivillous things, so I'll most likely by into this new game system, called 4th Ed D&D. Read the rules, play test it, try my hand at it and then with a level of experience, either say nice or ripp it to shreads
Welp my GH homegame was finally run again this last Saturday and we took the new 4e style Death and Dying rules out for a spin.
Unfortunately my crafty players got the drop on my poor orcs and were able to take out most of the mooks in short order with little damage dealt to them in return.
7 party members, all 4th level.
Falling damage is a beoch...
Party Barbarian, invisible and carrying a rock with silence cast on it, bull rushes the first orc sentries (War3) off a steep, tall cliff during the surprise round. Rest of party misses with arrows but a magic missile does some damage. Init round 1, Barbarian wins initiative and her first action was to send the other orc sentry after his buddy. DOH!
C3P0 and R2 walk across the hall and the damn Stormtroopers, er Orc Archers can't hit the broadside of a barn:
The party almost gets to the doors before the orc archers hidden behind concealed arrow slits notice their buddies are missing and try to raise the alarm, damn silence spell... hard fought battle with only a little damage to the party again because the party had position and initiative. 6 orc archers (War3), dead. Rest of warren unaware of the death about to be dealt...
Interlude and Flashback:
I should stop and say, before the session began, I gave a speech on how I wanted my players to take bold actions and push their PCs to the limits. I wanted the combats to go faster and people to have fun with their PCs without having to worry too hard about PC death. Be careful what you wish for...
Suicide Bomber Kills 8 Orcs:
Two party members (halfling scout/swashbuckler and gray elf warmage) finds a secret door that the orcs hadn't found yet (this is an old abandoned dwarven citadel) while the rest of the party is freeing two human captives and bringing up the 3 mules and a riding dog.
They push on without the rest of the party and open the second secret door into the barracks room which contains 6 orc archers and 2 orc sentries. 4 archers are asleep and the remain 2 archers and 2 sentries are completely surprised.
Now in previous session the players of these two PCs would have been very prudent and quickly closed the door and run for help. They are separated from the party without healing or front line tanks to keep these 8 orcs off their backs. Also take into consideration that these two guys are the hoary RPG veterans in my game and have collectively have nearly 80 years of RPG experience under their belt.
Warmage moves the center of the orcs.
Archer rapid shoots the closest two orcs standing for 5 points of damage each.
1st init round:
Both PCs beat my poor orcs for initiative.
Archer rapid shoots the same orcs for 5 and 4 points of damage each.
Warmage casts a sudden widened flame burst for 19 points of damage (9 if a reflex save is made). No one that can make a save and live does, all orcs die.
A bridge not too far...
The party regroups and while having expended about 50% of their resources pushes on... alright now maybe I can do some damage...
The party moves rapidly through the hallways seeking out resistance, they are carefully scouting ahead for danger and manage to listen at the door of my Big Bad... the scout hear sounds (the party knows there is an Ogre leading the orcs from the human captives they freed... they just don't know what kind of Ogre) from a room ahead... he rushes back and the party starts bickering on what to do...
An Orog Sargent (3HD+Ftr2) opens the door on the other end of the hallway and sees the party, he raises the alarm, finally. The two sergeants start fighting and dishing out damage in heaping swordfulls... Next round the Ogre Mage (CR5 version from WotC website, see Design and Development articles for Monster Makeover) says hello to the halfling scout...
A tough battle but only one PC goes down (Orog full power attacking were doing +15 damage before the die roll and Ogre Mage used it's lightning bolt) and makes his first d20 dying check... he makes it.
The two Orogs bite the dust and the Ogre Mage flees the scene to fight another day (collects the Orc Priestess and flees the dungeon to go find his two patrols that are out in the wilderness. He will be back to reclaime his treasure and gets some payback).
Well I didn't get to test the dying part too much, but the healing rule where cure spells take you to 0 and then apply the Xd8+X works really well in keeping the party in the fight. The cleric and favored soul got to do some stuff other than heal and my party was aggressive and bold. In all it is working so far.
A) I still want to see what a party does when someone is down and there is a chance they are going to die.
B) I also now know that I can ramp up my offensive capabilities of my opposing forces and even have greater numbers and my PCs should be able to hold their own. This is a good thing...
C) My players had fun and they are now looking for "neat" things to try in combat...
The jury is still out on this rule, but it looks promising so far. I may increase the dying range to %33 (or even %50) of total HP (min. -10).
Sounds like you were taking you players through "Forge of Fury". Its a great little module(the best of WotC's 3e modules in my opinion) that fits in any number of places in Greyhawk. I can envision the initial path your players took rather vividly. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Yep, I am running Forge of Fury, heavily modified.
Location: East of the Principality of Ulek between the Suss Forest and Lortmill Mountains.
Background: Glitterhame was created during the Hateful Wars and fell a decade after. Orcs did not find and destroy the citadel, the obsessive need for revenge and a mysterious large black stone captured during a raid in the Suss (yes, they found the Suel City rumored to be there, no, no one is alive to tell the PC's where it is) where the forces that put an end to it..
Tensions were thick among the dwarven warriors (lead by their captain worshiping Clangeddin Silverbeard) and the clan leaders (Durgadin the Black and Arundil, Cleric of Gendwar Argrim).
The stone brought the conflict into the open and when Durgadin and Arundil attempted to use the stone in a forge ritual all hell, or more precisely. "far-realm" broke loose. Only the heroic sacrifice of the defenders and commanded undead by the cleric Arundil prevented a full breach.
Since then, some other folks have come and gone from Glitterhame.
Orcs and Ogre:
I replaced the Ogre leader with the WotC Website version of the Ogre Mage.
All the mooks are War3 instead of War1, the party wouldn't break a sweat otherwise. I added Orogs (Tome of Horrors version, slightly modded) as Sergeants and I have made Orogs the result of Ogre Mages mating with Orcs. I am still deciding on what to do with the female orc adept...
They are gone, I am using the duergar in their place. The duergar have hear rumor of Durgidin's forge and want its contents for themselves. They are members of the cult of Laduguer.
Oh, there is a dwarven mummy in the crypt area... there are magic items in the graves now, but they will have to earn them...
They moved into the Trog slot and now there are animated items, golems, and undead guarding the forge area.
Durgidin is still there, he is dormant in the body of a warforged (unique unless the PCs find a way to wake him).
Dead, killed by an aboleth attracted by the power of the stone. I am going to have fun freaking the party with illusions of the dragon attacking them. Not sure about what minions the aboleth will bring to bear...
All in all, the PCs have make a "new friend" in the Orge Mage and he will be able to assemble 2 Orog Sgts and 12 Orc Soldiers along with the Shaman and her Acolytes... He is not happy. Should be fun.
My feelings exactly Bud. I couldn't have said it better. I am staying put with 3.5 personally. I can't go through with another edition. LOL hurts my head too much to think about it. Greyhawk will live on regardless. D&D will with whatever version we choose to use for it. I say use the edition that works for you and enjoy. EGG always stated, have fun regardless!
I mean really, does anyone’s game suffer now? Will 4th Ed save your game?
My game suffers now. I am a big fan of game mechanics and non-magical or semi-magical characters, but have long since played the various options to death. To try something mechanically new, I have to get ever more esoterical in character concept. The freshness of playing a fighter with untested abilities is exciting.
My primary gaming pal is a big fan of wizards. He has long since become bored of firing his crossbow in combat to avoid playing out his spells. He is excited about always being able to cast magic as we both feel a wizard should.
I have three or four versions of the same outer/inner planes and monster concepts. Carrying the same into 4th edition offers me little new to chomp at the bit. While I am less interested in this than in mechanical changes, at least it offers the potential of freshness. If I do not like the conceptual changes, I can always use 4e mechanics with the same old outer/inner planes and monster concepts.
I like to run adventures off the cuff rather than planning things out beforehand. At around 15th level or so, I cannot mentally keep up with the various mechanics of 3e in my head and have to plan out an adventure beforehand for it to flow. 4e holds the potential of being able to play high level adventures off the cuff, though I suspect that there will be so many options in character mechanics that it will not be as easy as is being touted.
I have a significant 3e library of books. Thus, each additional book that I purchase has a diminishing incrimental change to my gaming experience. As such, I am less and less interested in purchasing more 3e books. However, with the clean slate of 4e, each book that I purchase will offer very significant changes to my gaming experience. That promises each new purchase to offer me more excitement than each new 3e purchase could.
I also fully expect to be ready and chomping at the bit for 5th edition in 5-10 years or so.
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