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    Canonfire :: View topic - WOTC 4th Edition Forums, Saving Throws and Blogs
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- D&D 4th Edition
    WOTC 4th Edition Forums, Saving Throws and Blogs
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:16 am  
    WOTC 4th Edition Forums, Saving Throws and Blogs

    I just spent some time on the WOTC site trying to glean new information. I decided to gravitate to the Realms and see what their reactions were. It seemed that many (the majority) felt like they were falling to the wayside by being changed and seeing themselves as the new Greyhawk. No put downs on Greyhawk that I read but rather that they felt like they were getting the same type of treatment as we have dealt with in the past.

    Then I read about saving throws in another section and this lead me to blogs. I knew they were going to changed the saving throw concept a lot but not how. After reading forums it was still unclear though I got the impression saving throws as we know it are gone. If I understood things correctly, individual players do not roll saving throws against spells. I have no idea about other things such as poison, or breath weapons, but it was definently different.

    I wasn't able to grasp the concept well because I was reading forum entries. Does anyone else have any information on Saving Throw changes.

    So I went to the blogs of the game designers. I wasn't able to read a lot of it because it was way to much.....But they sure said a lot of nothing. What I did learn is what they ate for breakfast, driving to work, gaming sessions, and so on . When it came to actual 4th edition concrete information....nothing. Just tidbits.

    Anyway, has anyone else been reading these....what was your take on them?
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:35 am  

    I've been getting my 4.0 infomation from ENWorld. What's great about it is that if filtered out the junk from the blogs and articles and gives you a nice lump of concentrated infomation. There is a compiled info page here.

    Couldn't find anything on saves though. Sad
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:49 am  

    You're definitely right about the ambiguity there, Eileen. Even ENWorld's condensation of the info says very little. WotC's approach here reminds me of a deal my company was working on a while back:

    We proposed to several other companies that we could provide a certain type and quantity of land for a particular price. I and my guys refused to go into detail about the proposal, only making vague suggestions that fell short of a promise but led them to believe that we had the land and were willing to let it go for a good price.

    What's the kicker? We didn't own the land yet. I'd found it and had an offer on the table, but no contract had been signed and no money had changed hands. I was trying to sell something that I didn't even own.

    Now, before you start thinking we were being dishonest, let me tell you that this kind of dealing is standard practice - it happens all the time and it's not seen as anything underhanded. My company did indeed purchase the land and then sold it to one of the companies we'd approached.

    How does this remind me of WotC's strategy with 4e? Frankly, I don't think they have much of anything on paper yet. I'm beginning to suspect that all they have is some marketing concepts, some art, and a stack of ideas floating around. When they made the announcement at GenCon I don't think they had even that much. I'm betting that the announcement was done in that way to elicit a strong response that they could use to garner a large amount of information in a short time - it was a concentrated form of data mining. Other than some market research and some pet concepts, I think they didn't really even start writing 4e in earnest until after that announcement.

    In short, I suspect they're not telling us much because there's not much to tell yet.

    But that's just my opinion.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:14 pm  

    Interesting thought. I did get the impression from the blogs that they had been reading the forum quite a bit and were rather surprised at the negativity of their 4th edition project.

    This is something that really bugs me about WOTC.....they assume what they think is the only way to go. If they feel 4th edition is necessary, then so must we the players. The other thing that really gets me is that they act like 3.5 is "well just an OK system, not a great system". Personally I think it is just ok, not the greatest by any means, but when 3rd edition came out they said the exact same things they are saying about 4th edition.

    "We are producing the best possible roleplaying experience one can offer." This is not an actual quote but basically a shortened version of all the "buy it for it is the greatest thing you have ever seen talk they gave us". They almost come down on their current edition, like it really wasn't that good at all.....But I thought they tried so hard...at least that's what they said at the time. So much for supporting their hard work over the past 7 years. And then they act like 7 years is a long time.

    Now I realize they will say whatever they need to in order to "sell' more.
    It's just so interesting how they can print 50+ books and then dump it in a heart beat. Again, so much for supporting your product.

    Maybe they didn't do their best job like they claimed back in 2000.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:56 pm  

    I noticed an interesting dynamic when I was in the computer field years ago: every computer tech I spoke to would tell me that any other given tech was an idiot. Each tech thought he was smarter than the others, and there was never one tech that everyone thought was brilliant. I wonder if the same thing isn't happening among the 4e design team. Since they didn't design 3.5e, and since they would have done it differently, they think it's crap. I'm betting that if you ask Monte Cook, et al, that they might say the same thing about 4e when it's all said and done.

    I think you also hit the nail on the head when you discussed (in another thread) the generation gap that currently exists between WotC's current designers and most of us on these boards. The same gap exists between the 4e team and the 3e team. Interesting, no?
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:25 pm  

    Interesting? Yes! Accurate.....quite possibly. The 3rd edition design team (I'm guessing was a half a generation behind us for the most part.) I met Monte Cook and his age suprised me, younger fellow. Now I'm guessing the next group of folks WOTC employees are about the same age level as what the 3rd edition team was then, placing us about 20 years difference between the older and current generation of writers.

    Naturally everyone has different ideas of what is good and bad. There are no criticisms of writing skill or age in this post. New people, different ideas, younger people different ideas.

    I also think your right about what the 3rd editon team would feel. Some good, some bad, either way it stings to see someone else flush your hard work down the toilet. The same can be said for Gary Gygax when 2nd and 3rd edition came out. I'm sure that it stung quite a bit (I read an interview he had done after 3rd edition and he was polite yet quite frank about how he felt about 3rd edition, holding back when he really wanted to go off.) I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:05 am  

    What I find a little bit cheeky is releasing a hardback 3.5 rules compendium at more or less the same time as announcing a new edition.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:28 am  

    That apparently was their farwell to 3.5 from what I have read. I have zero hopes for this book.

    I haven't seen the Examplers of Evil yet either but was really disapointed that they couldn't take the time to redo classic villains giving them the awesome evilness they deserved. They mention such individuals in their webstite post like Iggwilv, Acererak, etc. but then go on to say they were only ok villains, not great ones. I wish they would have made them great ones rather than all new ones. It is going to take 10+ years for these new ones to develop the reputation of awesome villains, not because they aren't good but because it takes time to create reputations within the gaming community.

    Unearthed Arcana, like the Compedium of Rules had author opinions and input which I really thought was a waste of space and very arrogant on their part. I will review the COR book but I fully expect that it is one of the few I will pass on for the overall collection. Other books which did nothing for me include Ghostwalk, Magic Incarnum, Tome of Magic, Nine Swords. If anyone could do a review on these books I'd appreciate it. Also on the lame list were Unearthed Arcana, Savage Species, Psionics, and Epic Level Handbook. I could have done without these as well.

    After that....well it would be quicker to say which ones I liked.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:37 am  

    Examplers of Evil is pretty to look at, but when I had a flick through a copy I spied in a store I was in, I got the impression that it was a bit light on serious content.

    There was a chapter on making better arch-villians, and on such things as lairs and monions, but then the rest of the book is dedicated to pre-generated villians. Some of them did seam rather interesting, like the incestuous Tolstoff twins, but others seamed a bit bland.

    If I see a copy in a bargin bin in a few months, I may grab it. Otherwise I'ld leave it on the shelf.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:24 am  
    Saving Throws

    As far as saving throws go, in Star Wars Saga (which is more or less a beta version of 4E rules), saves are generally the same, except that base Reflex counts towards defense. Basically they took the D20 modern concept of a class defense bonus and simplified it to be based on the Reflex save. Its actually rather elegant, as far as Saga itself is concerned. Until we see the bare bones basics of actual rules, we can't say much more than that I suppose.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:45 pm  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    There are no criticisms of writing skill or age in this post.


    Well, I definitely wouldn't criticize their skill when it comes to being able to produce books, etc. I'm sure they all have a remarkably good grasp of the English language. From what I've seen they also seem to have a remarkable grasp of corporate conformity.

    Mind you, I'm not making any judgments here since I don't personally know many of WotC's current crop of designers. However, I do know enough to recognize the fact that there aren't many rebels in the bunch. Remember the photos from the old 1e days? TSR back then was full of individuals with long hair, beards, etc., and tons of inventiveness. The creativity scale in those days was through the roof. I just don't see that degree of creativity in this new bunch. It feels to me that the fire of true ingenuity has been replaced by the postmodern passion for productivity over principle.

    But then, I could be wrong...
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:47 pm  

    P.S. Nice alliteration in that last line, eh? Do I get extra points for that?
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:43 pm  

    Nah....your not wrong. Creativity went out the door and I think to some degree they are trying to recapture that by changing all of their fluff, such as backdrops for demons, deties, devils, elves (oh I forgot what was next alphabetically, the list is getting awfully long).

    Of coarse the board meetings ran short and they forgot to discuss the idea of continuality for D&D from one edition to the next, from one generation of gamers to the next, from one book to the next.

    Here's a rebel thought for them.....rather than dividing the D&D community how about designing a D&D game that brings it back to its roots and brings players together......Oh, on second thought it is probably a bad idea....
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:52 am  

    Yes, that would require far too much effort. And besides, we're "customers" now, not a "community". Honestly, community is such an old-fashioned way to look at it.

    <wipes off the dripping sarcasm>

    Yes, I truly do believe we're witnessing the beginning of the end of an era here. No longer will the D&D community be a bunch of off-the-wall folks who would love nothing better than to explore ideas and play together. Soon it will be nothing more than a bunch of teens hunched over computers mindlessly playing video games.
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:45 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Yes, that would require far too much effort. And besides, we're "customers" now, not a "community". Honestly, community is such an old-fashioned way to look at it.

    <wipes off the dripping sarcasm>

    Yes, I truly do believe we're witnessing the beginning of the end of an era here. No longer will the D&D community be a bunch of off-the-wall folks who would love nothing better than to explore ideas and play together. Soon it will be nothing more than a bunch of teens hunched over computers mindlessly playing video games.


    I regretfully see the truth in this trend. My thought is, however, that D&D will fail as an electronic property when put up against the likes of WoW, Halo, Scrolls etc. Compared to companies who do it for a living, Wotc and D&D seem amateurish to me. So, it will be loose (paper and pencil) and loose again (electronic) for D&D, at least until Wotc gets thwaped over the head with their failures by Hasbro come looking for the rent.
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    GVD
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:09 am  

    When I first started posting on Canonfire before the announcement of 4th edition I made a prediction about the forthcoming edition because of changes I had seen in what kind of products WOTC were producing (such as the increase in modules, running out of ideas are we) and I also made reference to computer's becoming far more relavant to the game.

    I should know, Istus told me.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:02 pm  

    WARNING: Unpopular opinions may follow.

    I believe we're not getting any firm details because WotC is still changing the ruleset as they go along. One of the podcasters mentioned that he pulled out a character sheet from about nine months before 3.0 was released, and it was a split-class Fighter/Magic-User. In other words, he was basically playing a gestalt character, and the title "Wizard" had not been adopted. With today's e-documents, instant communications, and versioning procedures, I'm sure they can make greater changes in shorter amounts of time.

    If WotC did give us hard rules, we'd bitch and whine about how they'll break the game or ruin everything, without ever seeing them in their entirety. I don't like being kept in the dark, but frankly I don't believe that's a great way to develop a product.

    Gaming has changes significantly in the last five years. The Indie movement had come (and some say, gone). New ideas and theories have risen (and some have fallen). A new generation of gamers has come and left their mark, or at least tried to. And a lot of older gamers have returned to the fold.

    Sorry, but this next bit may not be terribly popular... When I first signed up on Canonfire, I seemed to be in the minority in that I was playing 3rd edition D&D. Suddenly, there's much wailing and gnashing of teeth that 3.x is going to be replaced. Excuse the raised eyebrow - it's entirely involuntary.

    So, I'm going to keep playing 3.5. I'm going to keep playing Greyhawk. I'm going to keep up on the rumors, and will definitely try out 4th edition. If I like it, I'll adopt it, and change it up like I did 3.5. And I'll drive on.

    What I'm not going to do: Presume the worst of WotC. Assume that change is bad. Guess as to what 4th ed holds. Cast dispersions on the motives of the game designers.

    Again, this may not be the most popular opinion on this site. I'm sorry that I don't agree with many of you, especially those whose opinions and knowledge I value. But I don't like the negative assumptions and rumor-based griping that I'm seeing.

    Telas
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    Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:09 am  

    I agree with most of your points, Telas. The guts of the 4e game are being kept from us as you state; that makes sense on the part of Wotc.

    I think most folks will look at 4e when it emerges, take what they like and leave the rest.

    Where I would respectfully disagree with you is that I don't see anyone presuming or assuming anything. The vast majority of the criticism posted here has been in response to Wotc's past record as a company, or reacting to pieces of information about 4e released by them. Neither is this griping about rumours if it's coming from an "official posting".

    I see no reason to cease moaning about stuff that you don't like the look of, after all it's damn good fun reading opinion pieces, and Wotc are certainly not shy about stating theirs.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:36 pm  

    Mechanics aren't really an issue, at least with me. We don't know much about them and they will probably be reasonable workable given past track records.

    What is an issue is the mindset that the designers have explicitly laid out in their posts, particularly on issues of fluff. I don't think changing long time background material for the sake of changing it is useful. And I don't think simplifying everything down to its "core" combat functionality is all that useful either. D&D already suits itself for hack and slash play, it doesn't really need any further help in that regards.

    Ditching the cosmology because "you can't adventure there"...or, more accurately, the designers apparently can't think of cool adventures to set there... is pretty lame. I guess dropping gnomes for tieflings is reasonable given their relative popularity, but then it results in a comment like "so we needed to think of what sort of world background would justify lots of tieflings in it". The same thing with the religion, which apparently with be a mishmash of fantasy and mythological gods? Ugh...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:12 am  
    Re: WOTC 4th Edition Forums, Saving Throws and Blogs

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Then I read about saving throws in another section and this lead me to blogs. I knew they were going to changed the saving throw concept a lot but not how. After reading forums it was still unclear though I got the impression saving throws as we know it are gone. If I understood things correctly, individual players do not roll saving throws against spells. I have no idea about other things such as poison, or breath weapons, but it was definently different.

    I wasn't able to grasp the concept well because I was reading forum entries. Does anyone else have any information on Saving Throw changes.


    Eileen, you've probably seen this already but the newest Design & Development article at Wotc - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20071005 - discussing the core mechanic seems to be addressing this. From the description in the article they seem to be making Fortitude, Reflex, and Will "passive" like AC is. In other words something to be rolled against by the attacker rather than rolled for by the defender, so yeah it does kind of eliminate savings throws.

    It makes sense to me at first hearing though I'll reserve judgment until I hear more about it. Seeing that the design team is willing to think outside the box and go against tradition in the redesign of the mechanic is encouraging to me although I'm sure plenty of people will hate anything that does that.
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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:55 am  

    The "passive save" is pretty much the same as the "players roll all the dice" option in Unearthed Arcana. Unless I'm missing something...

    the best source I've seen for 4E info is the ENWorld page here:
    http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e

    Telas
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    Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:10 am  

    That's the first Design & Development article that I liked. And no coincidence that it's about mechanics rather than background.

    Thanks for the link to ENworld, Telas. There's a hell of a lot of interesting speculation going on there.
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    Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:03 pm  

    A 4E Stat Block, from the D&D Game Day mini:

    SPINED DEVIL
    Medium Immortal Humanoid (Devil)
    LEVEL 6 SKIRMISHER

    INIT +5 SPD 5 FLY 7
    Senses: nethersight. Perception +5
    Resist fire 20
    Attacks: Melee 2 claws +9 vs AC each: 2d4+4
    Spine Rain Standard; ranged 10; +9 Dex vs. Ref; 1d6+2 + 2d6 fire AND
    Poisoned 5, Slowed while Poisoned
    SKILLS: Spot +10

    AC 20
    FORT 18
    REF 18
    WILL 18
    HP/Bloodied 47/23

    Str +7 (19) Con +5 (14) Dex +5 (15) Int +5 (15) Wis +5 (14) Cha +5 (15)

    ----------

    Speed seems to be measured in squares, not feet.

    Stat modifiers include half the monster's level as an additional
    modifier. A similar mechanic shows up in Saga's skill checks, which is also similar to the C&C SIEGE mechanic. I'm not sure what the stat/skill relationship is.

    Bloodied appears to be half HP. I'm not sure if Bloodied triggers contingencies, penalties, benefits, or a combination. It does look like a bit of "damage track" mechanic as well as "standard" hit points.

    I think this stat block explains how they're merging saving throws and AC. Basically, each attack has to overcome some number, whether it's Armor Class, Fortitude, Reflexes, or Willpower. I really like this idea.

    I notice they are moving towards True20's "stat is modifier" approach, although the "plus half level" makes it awkward.

    Thoughts?

    Telas
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    Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:06 pm  

    Interesting Stat block. Do we know if it is complete? You mentioned D&D Game Day Mini, so is this what appears on the mini card?

    By the way....why do we have to be so lazy and call them mini's......I thought they were miniatures....Sigh!!!! I hate that term.

    Even though we don't know enough about the rules and therefore stats....the seemingly simplistic stats made it feel really dumbed down. I showed the kids here today......Little Eileen is running a game for her friends.....they thought the same thing, probably mechanically better in most ways...but felt dumbed down.

    Thoughts anyone.....
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:09 am  

    It's a short leap between simplified and simple. For me, simplified is good; I like the Ac approach to saving throws and may well adopt this in my 3.5 game-there's nothing more irritating than a fireball going off in the midst of 5 bad guys with different saves. 5 rolls into 1 works for me.
    I'm guessing, but I presume that "poisoned 5" means roll a d20 add 5 and compare with the victims Fort AC.

    Simple I'm not so keen on; If I want a dose of simple I'll dig out my old Tunnels & Trolls stuff. I notice only 1 skill listed in the stat block and no feats whatsoever. Does this mean the end of feats? That would be a shame because many of them really individualise characters when used properly. Granted, for a busy DM some of them can also be a pain to remember to use in the heat of the moment. I'll miss them, though.

    Not keen on movement in squares but that's easily changed and my gut reaction to half your level added to stats is negative also.

    A mixed bag, then. The good thing is there are at least a few things which can be ripped into my game. Looking forward to seeing more and hearing the thoughts of others.
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    Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:09 am  

    I'm mixed on this new format for many reasons, all which are still swirling in my head. The first to drop out is how the pencil&paper rules seem to be veering toward the table top mini rules now rather than vice versa. Take that as you will. Second I read a good comment on ENWorld to paraphrase, with these static saves a fighter standing next to a rogue will never succeed when the rogue fails. This system takes alot of the 'chance' out of the game and turns it into a game of averages. I've been using average damage alot in my Age of Worms game because the dice rolls were obscenely high. Is this the next step? (Sword goes from doing 2d6 dmg to average 7dmg+modifiers)
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    Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:35 am  

    I certainly wouldn't want the game to go "average",mort, that would be truly horrible.

    It's about balance, I guess. Can the game be more elegant and smooth without making everything a foregone conclusion? I'm going to try the saving throw idea in my game and see what happens.
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    Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:06 am  

    Do we have it as a given that there will be one attack roll for multiple targets?

    I'm not seeing that anywhere, but I haven't searched too terribly hard, either.

    Telas
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    Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:56 pm  

    Telas wrote:
    Do we have it as a given that there will be one attack roll for multiple targets?

    I'm not seeing that anywhere, but I haven't searched too terribly hard, either.

    Telas


    Nope, but if they're not doing it that way, why not! It sounds good to me. I'll be interested to see how it works out for anyone who tries it.

    Let us know if you do it Ragr, and how it works out.
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:16 am  

    My players have agreed to give it a go at the next session. Sadly, that's not for 3 weeks but I'll let you know how it went.

    I've not seen anything that says that it's all about one roll either. Reading between the lines, however, it seems the only logical way to go if you have a static fort/ref/will Ac.
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:26 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    I've been using average damage alot in my Age of Worms game because the dice rolls were obscenely high. Is this the next step? (Sword goes from doing 2d6 dmg to average 7dmg+modifiers)

    I don't think we will see this happen in 4e, if only because of the pre-release mini card for Spined Devil. (If you haven't seen it, it can be found here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=937678)

    This has damage listed as Melee 2 claws +9 vs AC each: 2d4+4
    . This makes me think we won't be going to averages, which I think is good, as it would suck a lot the the flavor from the game.
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:05 am  

    MichaelSandar wrote:
    mortellan wrote:
    I've been using average damage alot in my Age of Worms game because the dice rolls were obscenely high. Is this the next step? (Sword goes from doing 2d6 dmg to average 7dmg+modifiers)

    I don't think we will see this happen in 4e, if only because of the pre-release mini card for Spined Devil. (If you haven't seen it, it can be found here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=937678)

    This has damage listed as Melee 2 claws +9 vs AC each: 2d4+4
    . This makes me think we won't be going to averages, which I think is good, as it would suck a lot the the flavor from the game.


    I was puzzled about "nethersight" under Senses in the stat block and followed some of the debate on it in the thread you linked to. No one seems to have connected it with the Nethersight Hound in MM2, which has the ability to see into the Ethereal. Maybe I'm wrong though. We're all just guessing at this point.
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    Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:55 am  

    Yeah I saw the Spined Devil card, I was tongue in cheek referring to 5th edition in a way. ;)
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    Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:34 am  

    Why couldn't you roll one die in 3.5e for a fireball save anyways? You roll a 15-whatever bad guys have an equal or better save take half damage, while those who have a worse save fail. I do this all the time for the chum villains. I only roll separate dice for special villains. I do make a point of not letting my players know this however. We all have our tricks of the trade. ;)
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    Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:16 am  

    Cebrion; they sure as hell know your devious tricks now. If you can't trust your DM, who can you trust?

    I agree with the basic premise of what you're saying; a gaggle of bog standard villains get a joint roll, a group of exceptional types get separate ones. I just want to experiment with what appears to be a 4e concept to see how/if it improves gameplay.

    Another subtle twist is, at present say a character casts a spell at an enemy, the DM rolls the save so the character doesn't neccesarily know whether it has had a full effect or not. With a spell roll by the player he or she has a pretty good idea of how effective the spell was, giving them some mastery of their craft. Now, I might not like that as a DM so I'm going to have to try it to find out.
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    Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:21 am  

    Yup. Fast combats are more fun. If the Saving Throw of the twenty Orcs is approx 50%, then 10 of them make it, etc.

    Also, if a critter has only a few more hit points than minimum damage, I usually drop him anyway (most "unnamed" opponents will surrender/run away at that point anyway).

    That said, the player can always request the rolls. I never want to take away from their moment of glory.

    EDIT: Ragr - I roll almost everything in the open. I've found I fudge less, and it makes the encounters more intense. Try it some time. Wink

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    Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:47 am  

    I've always had mixed feelings about rolling my dice out in the open, but I can certainly see how it would add tension and reduce the temptation to manipulate results.

    The biggest question is; can my players, some of whom display extreme nervous tension during an encounter anyway, take the strain of having those dice fall in front of their own eyes?

    There's more than a hint of chaotic evil in that there suggestion,Telas. Me like.
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:25 am  

    Hiya.

    Just an FYI...waaaaaay back in the days of 1e, there was a Dragon magazine article that had a "group saves" system. I can't remember the Dragon mag number, but it was somewhere after 100, but before 200. :) Maybe someone who has the Dragon Mag CD can do a search? Anyway, it was a nice little system that dealt with mass-saves with a couple of dice rolls instead of the dozens and dozens of individual ones.
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:24 am  

    Telas and everyone else:

    I just finished reviewing much of this thread and thought I would respond to a few things various individuals discussed throughout it. The first thing I would like to mention is to Telas (and anyone else who had a similar view). I personally, can say too much once I get irritated. Normally, I keep things to myself, but every once in a while, I get miffed to put it nicely. The whole 4th edition WOTC thing did that for me. I've taken a chill pill, stopped posting (but not reading on the WOTC site) because I couldn't stand having people try and pick arguements over anything and everything written just to be mean. I'm starting to get the feel that many people on forums do that. It isn't what I'm looking for, I try and keep disagrements I may have to myself. This isn't why I showed an interest in any forum. Anyway, the point is that I was blowing off steam, which I think others were as well. Sorry about that Telas.

    From the bits and pieces I have picked up this is what I understand....

    Monsters and characters will no longer be created in similar fashions, which may explain why we don't see any feats and only one skill on the spine devil's card. From what I understand this is to simplify things in part to make the game go faster and trim the fat off of things most people don't want/need/like.

    Frankly, I am a person who prefers rules that cover most things. But for some reason (which I can't really put my finger on) I was never thrilled with the 3rd edition stat blocks. I felt that they took up to much space and way to much time to create, especially in adventures where there were several NPCs to concern yourself with. I felt this was very evident in both modules and even more so in Dungeon Magazine. I don't particularly want less information but rather a better way of putting monsters and NPCs together in order to expediate this process. Hopefully WOTC was able to achieve this without removing to much information.

    The saving throws are rolled into a type of AC, essentially, if the attack roll hits high enough you missed your save. I then assume that when the attack isn't quite as high, you effectively saved. Also, if more than one person is caught into an effect of some kind (say a fireball), and the rogue (again an example), takes full damage, then everyone does, since in this example, he's got the best chance of surviving the effect based on his ability to dodge. Basically, if the rogue can't dodge the spell, neither is the fighter, ranger, wizard, etc. Appling the same idea to poisons, let's say the entire party consumes drinks laced with poison. The fighter (who I expect would have the best chance to survive) fails, then they all fail. That's my take on how this whole thing works. Now I don't know if poisons would work this way but if it does I'm not so sure I want to see everyone poisoned or burned to death because of someone's high die roll.

    Joke: The whole group dies because the DM rolled over the rogues save AC/DC. Suddenly, the rogue player is pelted with all sorts of dice by the other players because it is somehow their fault. This part could be entertaining.

    I have no idea how saving throws would work in multiple monster or situations. Most likely the same as they do for characters. If the die roll was high enough, everyone under it failed. So I think that for everyone who liked the idea of one save for the bad guys or at least the little bad guys I expect this is the way it will be. With multiple orcs, or other low level monsters I'm ok with this. With more powerful monsters, say giants, it doesn't really make me want to jump up and down and say "YES!"

    This system I pesonally don't care for, the reason is three fold:

    1. I think that various unforseen factors should be a part of the game. Now if the entire party is blasted by a dragon breath or fireball, I think that the chance of taking more or less damage should be based on who had the best chance of success and how great the attack roll was. I like the idea of someone having better luck. I like the idea of someone being on the edge of the breath weapon and having a better chance of leaping out of the way rather than the rogue who may have been standing in the center of the blast. It's all to lumped into one for my taste.

    The DM may be able to apply situational modifiers to the chance of survival (saving) and that's fine. But I still like the random luck and unexplained factors that combat can involve.

    2. The other reason I don't care for this system is because it takes the die roll out of the players hands for what seems to be to speed up combat. In our campaign, combat is slow, that's for certain. Eventually, we got use to it as compared to the old 1st edition days. My Top Secret/S.I. game is just as slow. My gaming group is ok with this. However, I realize that there are many (most) others who would like it to pick up in speed and I can definently understand that (even agree). But by removing the save from the players hand in order to save time just isn't for me. The players I know need or want to have some say in things, especially if the situation goes bad on them. At least they got a save, tried, and failed.

    3. The other reason I understood this is being changed is because we the players "don't need the drama" of having to roll a make or break die roll.
    Personally, I think the occasional make and break die roll is fun.

    One of my best moments of D&D when I was younger was being a 5th level paladin (my first character, so I clearly had little to no experience with RPGs) and going through The Ghost Tower of Inverness. Anyone remember the medusa? Hey, I'm a paladin, I have a 17 charisma, I'll talk to her. Oooops.....time to roll a saving throw. The tension built and without thinking, my reaction was to stand up at the table, roll the die so that it travelled half way across the table, to the center and stopped. Everyone knew what was going to happen if the die roll was missed. It would be the first character death of the group, and frankly even though I was the least experienced player we all were to a degree, so for us, this was exciting. Now my reaction to the situation wasn't intentionally "Hey look at me" . I stood up. made the roll across the table, because I was excited. I was even more excited when the die came up a 20.

    So personally, yes, I want the drama. That saving throw made the night, and here I am 27 years later still talking about it. So I would say this kind of drama is good, at least once in a while.

    Monster rolls are another thing that was a goal for WOTC. Personally, I never had a problem with monsters in 3rd edition other than how the stats were laid out (again could be a little more user friendly). I also think some monster descriptions changed to much from 1st edition or were just not very interesting as compared to others. But that's about the worst of it. I don't feel like I need to know if a monster is a skirmisher, a charger, or battlefield whatever.... Play the monster, enjoy the battle or role playing experience with it, and move on. I don't need predefined roles which keep some great monsters out of the MM because they have that slot filled. (These comments are based on posts by the developers, not my own assumptions). Monster and character roles are very important to WOTC for 4th edition. I never found it confusing, unplayable, or unbalanced without these roles being defined in narrow ways. Again, not for me, although someone else might like it.

    They talk about miniatures a lot as well. Miniatures really seemed to get popular with 3rd edition. I got into them with Top Secret/S.I. and after playing with them all the time, I would never consider going back to not playing with them, with any game, including D&D. For me, they do a lot. Some of the 3rd edition rules I felt were not the best when it came to miniatures. With 4th edition, this is the area I worry about the least. I'm guessing these rules I will like. Miniatures slow the game down, but I think they are worth it.

    Damage on spells will be different. Fireball no longer consists of 1d6 per level. It sounded like the multiple dice idea is gone for things like fireball and I would assume similar type spells. No explanation was given other than time, nor was there any new method introduced. My best guess is that they will go with a certain degree of averages with this. For example, " x" amount of damage per level, plus some other modifier or small random die roll damage. They may incorporate level, the law of averages, or some other thing. The huge randomness I guess is gone. Most likely it will be far more balanced, which is good, but at the same time it's exciting to see someone roll well and occasionally cry out when the roll 9d6 and the best roll is a 3. Both outcomes provide fun factors for me, but again, game balance is very important as well. Basic monster and weapon damage I don't believe will be affected by averages. The spine devil clearly has a random roll involved for damage so I'm not worried that this will go too far. At the most, they may (total speculation here) average out bonuses received with special weapon abilities. Example: Little Eileen has a shocking burst longsword with some other kind or another ability which adds to damage under the right circumstances. I'd expect the base longsword weapon damage will be random but all of the special abilities like the shocking burst part will be set numbers or numbers which increase with character level. Again, strictly speculation on my part.

    I have not read anything about multiple attacks other than the next paragraph below. I don't know if multiple attacks require multiple die rolls. They want to speed things up, so I expect a change, what or how, I have no idea.

    The only thing I read was a post from another player. They wished that WOTC would change multiple attacks so that the ability was purchased through the feat system. I did not get the impression that they read or heard anything, it was just an idea of their own.

    The last thing I wanted to mention (for anyone who is still reading at this point) is that they apparently are going for feat trees. The games I play don't use trees of any kind other than when a character needs to climb or hide so my understanding is limited. I haven't seen WOTC mention it but apparently others had, so it is strictly 3rd hand information here. I have an idea what a tree is but if anyone uses them in a different game I'd love to see a good explanation and example or two.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hope I didn't bore you to much. If I did you probably should have stopped reading at that point.
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:05 pm  

    Eileen: Thanks. We've crossed swords (or weapon/spell/ability of choice Wink ), but I don't think any apology is necessary for showing emotion when one is talking about something near and dear. (But a pre-emptive one shows character and class. Cheers.)

    I haven't been keeping track of 4E stuff as much in the past few weeks; my approach is to use Savage Worlds until 4E comes out, and then pick over it with an open mind and a limited budget of time and money... We'll see then.

    I sincerely hope that WotC's combat mechanic doesn't work the way you described, with one bad die roll potentially wiping a party... Shocked

    I listened to a D&D podcast the other day that described the Monster Roles as "more like a descriptor than a title", if my impression was right. In other words, a critter could be a "Soldier" in one encounter, but a "Tank" in another.

    For the sake of D&D, I hope they get it right, but I'm really starting to like Savage Worlds... (Nerd fashion is so ephemeral.)
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:55 pm  

    Telas:

    I guess I'm naive, what's Savage Worlds? I'm assuming you not talking about the Savage Tides arc from Dungeon. It sounds like it is another game system to me.

    Since we only have snippets of WOTC ideas I'm guessing they will have fail safes built into the system to balance it out. I have noticed an indication that some save effects will be prolonged before dealing out their final say in things, giving a greater window of opportunity to recover from them. For example, turning to stone might take several rounds not just one. If this understanding is correct, it would be welcome. I think they are striving for less character deaths but don't quote me on this. This I like a lot. I think D&D makes it to easy for characters to die and come back. A lot of that has to do with DMing style though. I try and not fudge when I don't have to so I look at house rules to help. but even this hasn't been sufficient. We spend tons of time on character creation and development as the game (whatever game we play) progresses so I'd like to see some good mechanic fixes to avoid death such as progressive as above, or multiple saves, maybe each getting harder than the last, but if you manage to make one you'll pull through, that sort of thing.

    I don't think game balance will be an issue. The problem is we just don't know enough and as you pointed out, it is a topic that is near and dear to a lot of people, so we talk about it. What I posted is my understanding of the information provided thus far. I try to avoid speculation and when I do, make sure that I indicate so.

    Mechanically, I think many things will be better, but for me, upgrading to better rules won't be enough to jump on board, mainly because I made a lot of 3rd edition purchases. I need to get more use out of what I bought. Now if they published Greyhawk stuff, that I would buy and find a way to convert it. I convert a lot of old modules all the time so to do this for 4th edtion Greyhawk stuff would be ok as well.

    I pretty muched skipped 2nd edition entirely. Now If I was going from 1st (or 2nd edition) to 4th edition it is quite possible that some of my views would be different. Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say...sometimes. This would probably be one of those cases and therefore I'd be more open to accepting some changes.

    There are of coarse some things that are changing that for the life of me I don't understand or would be happy about but that's another story. I'm trying to get away from being critical on D&D, it just ends up ruining my day so to speak. What surprised me about 4th edition was my reaction. I talked to a friend on the phone a few weeks ago (an old gaming friend from high school), and we agreed that since we spent so much time playing D&D as kids that we invested a lot more "emotion" into it than what we would have thought. So sometimes you just gotta have a good cry or complaint session to get over it.

    Mechanically, I don't think that the monster and character roles are going to make much of a difference. It was just on the pointless side for me, but that doesn't mean that others won't benefit from it.

    There are many different styles of play and types of players out there. I somehow got to thinking over the years that my way was what most people did not because it was right but because I didn't know what others did. I'm seeing a lot of different ideas from other folks so I'm starting to get out of this little shell. I'm slow to change with everything though, heck, I don't even have a cell phone because no one calls me, they are all for Little Eileen. I have a 18 charisma so I can't imagine what the problem is. The friend I mentioned I called. Anyway, thanks for the post in return. Hope you enjoy gaming, and let me know what Savage Worlds is.
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:20 pm  

    I skipped 2nd ed as well. We really dodged that bullet, eh?

    I'm cautiously optimistic about 4E, but we'll see... My take on the RPG market is that it's trying to emulate WoW and various anime or super-heroic themes. I prefer that RPGs try to maintain some realism, sense of danger, and internal consistency, but nobody likes losing a character. Like everything, it's a balance.

    Savage Worlds is an RPG that is billed as "Fast! Furious! Fun!". It mostly lives up to the billing, and is a fairly simple system that relies a bit on GM handwaving and judgment calls. (All RPGs do, but this one does it explicitly.) It's the basis for Deadlands:Reloaded and Pirates of the Spanish Main. We did a one-shot playtest with seven players (including the GM, we all had very limited experience with the system), and even with rules consults and chatter, we finished it in less time than the GM did with the exact same scenario in D&D. His total "mechanics" prep time was about half an hour.

    Some links:
    http://www.peginc.com/Games/Games.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_Worlds

    Telas
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:34 pm  

    I'd say yes, we both dodged the 2nd edition bullet. They sure published a lot of material for that edition. I knew 3rd would be the same, but I figured I'd only buy one more time anyway.

    I really dislike the comic bookish flave that they seem to be going with as well. Heck, 3rd edtion had to much of that as far as I was concerned. I'll be able to deal with it though, drop some of the superhero feel from the game in order to give it more of a 1st edition feel. I like superhero games, just not D&D that way. I'm very slowly working on a RPG for the Legion of Super Heroes. Trying to get away from all the sterio typical ideas that I know and creating fresh, in order for it to become its own game isn't easy. But I'm working on it.

    So is Savage Worlds a skill oriented game, classes, or some other type? How is it different than D&D?
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    Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:33 pm  

    It's pretty simple; there are no classes, levels, or Hit Points.

    Abilities and Skills are described by a die size (d4, d6, etc), and almost all dice rolls "explode" if the max is rolled (roll again and add). The general target number is a 4, but is affected by a lot of variables and it's more important is to beat the number by 4 (or a multiple of 4), called a Raise, similar to a critical hit or success.

    Edges act like Feats in 3rd edition D&D, and Hindrances act like "Negative Feats", giving points in return for a deficiency or weakness.

    Combat initiative is handled by a deck of cards, and is dealt each round. Basically, you attempt to hit a 4, and then roll damage (Raises deal more damage). If the damage rolled beats the target's Toughness, he's Shaken (Stunned in D&D), and if a raise is gained (by beating Toughness by 4), he takes another step on a Damage Track.

    PCs and named NPCs also roll a d6 with every die roll that they can use instead. They also receive "Bennies", similar to Action Points, that can be used to get a free damage soak, re-roll all the dice in a round, etc.

    There's a "Quick Start" rulebook available here:
    http://www.peginc.com/Games/Savage%20Worlds/Downloads/SW%20Rev/TestDrive4.pdf

    Telas
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    Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:45 pm  

    Telas:

    Interesting, I checked out the PDF on your Savage Worlds game. Bits and pieces kinda reminded me of Top Secret/S.I. which is my personal favorite game. I have to respect any company that provides a trial game.
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