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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 8 (DnD Session 19)


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#41 PhanXu2

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 04:59 AM

"That would be the problem then, the defense bonus from the amulets don't add to AC."

Which is why after playing 4E since it came out, using official WOTC adventure modules, and through five levels that I came to the following two conclusions.

1. WOTC is getting no more of my money for 4e products

2. 4e sucks ass


Really? Of all the things one can find wrong with 4e it was the amulets not adding to AC that pushed you over the top? You do realize that amulets add to the other 3 defenses right? AC too might be over kill.

hehe I'm just kiddin. I understand what you meant and it's not the first time I've heard it.

Honestly though I like 4e and feel it would be more fun than 3.5 for me I'm finding it hard to convert my 3.5 players to it.

In the end I think I'll have to take one of three approaches if I want to play 4e.

1. bribe my 3.5 players into playing 4th.
2. recruit players who never played 3.5 or earlier editions.
3. wait 10 years for the WotC Game Table to be finished (just in time for the announcement of 6th edition) and play online.



I like 4E for what it is. It is a shame that they cannot produce 2 D&Ds at the same time. Allot of the new design elements in 4E would vastly improve 3.5 if it was updated.

Perhaps they could make the 2 versions D&D DEEP and D&D FLASH.

EDIT:

Magic should use the same mechanics as everything else. The only reason magic is run differently in any system is because they design a combat system and then just bung on some shoddy magic system when they have finished.
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#42 PhanXu2

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 06:09 AM

"
Also what's up with the daily powers? Really? I mean is this combat the last combat of the day? Should I use my daily now or risk a party death? But, if I use it now what if I need to use it later in the day to save myself?
What if we are surprised during the night before I have fully rested and I need to use that daily power but I can't, because I used it when I was in the shit earlier? Does a ranger somehow forget how to do some whizbang shit with his bow after using a particular daily power?


I agree with this. If you have 2 daily powers why can't you use the same power twice and not use the other one. I rationalize daily powers by saying they are so exhausting you haven't got the strength to keep doing them all day, but why haven't you got the strength to do a power twice and forego another.

Also - why do you forget a power and have it replaced with another? Why, if a lower power is more useful than a higher in any given situation, can't you use that power? Why? Because you forgot how to do it. The reasoning they give is book keeping! What D&D RPG geek have you ever met that has a problem with book keeping?

The answer is non-D&D Rpg non-geeks. They have made a board game for normals and shafted the rest of us up the arse because there are more of them than there are of us. Money. Kerching!

Wow that turned into a rant.

4E is good for what it is. D&D Basic was good for what it was. The difference that annoys me is that D&D Basic could be turned into D&D Advanced 1E, 2E and 3.5. 4E is by its nature stuck as a board game. The only way to adjust 4E so it is fully playable by adult high IQers is to take an axe to it.
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#43 MadMac

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 06:18 AM

Also - why do you forget a power and have it replaced with another? Why, if a lower power is more useful than a higher in any given situation, can't you use that power?


Why can't your 1st to 3rd edition Wizard replace a higher level spell with a lower level one? Why does he have different spell slots instead of just casting whatever spell he wants? Every game has it's quirks, but most people get used to them after playing the game for so many years.

There's a real amount of "Gamer Logic" that has built up over the last 30 years, where gamers start to confuse "realistic" with "How Roleplaying games have done things in the past".

But to actually answer the question, because it's more fun to use different powers rather than just spamming your best power all the time. And it makes the game more challenging as well, when you are forced to find uses for different powers instead of just using the best power for the situation over and over again.

The only way to adjust 4E so it is fully playable by adult high IQers is to take an axe to it.


You really don't want to go there. You may not like some parts of the game, but that doesn't make people who disagree with you less intelligent.
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#44 Merlin

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 07:48 AM

The way I look at it is every system has it's own world. We, the roleplayers are the ones who need to design it. When I play rolemaster I have to play the world around that combat sytem. When I play rifts I have to change for that world. So, why is it that when WOTC changes the edition it has to be the same world. There are millions of DND worlds out there built around 3.5 combat system that are homebrewed. In 4 or 5 years there will be millions of homebrew worlds for 4th edition. For a gaming system to survive is for players to create their own world around the combat system. Just like the world changes with each generation. This genereation we live in now is built around the "combat system" of technology. We have the choice of living in previous generations but it will be harder for us to understand the new generation.


I have to agree with this. I think 4E is still young yet, and that the system, for all of its foibles, has some great potential. I think that any system needs tweaking by both the players and the DM to really work for everyone, and that it's just going to take some time with 4E. The RPGMP3 group seems to already be changing some rules to fit this game (jumping distance on awesome skill checks, magic item dailies, etc.) and i think that's a step in the right direction.

I think this is one of the reasons Rolemaster is so much fun (to listen to, at least), Hal has already houseruled things and has a great idea of everything in-system, so his improvisation is top-notch. I think that 4E is getting better by the session for the same reason, excellent improvisation both by players and Hal. Gwind's mad jumping skills and Splug's acrobatics are good examples of this. Actually, i think that the lack of a party-healer has led to more dramatic fights in general, and it leads to some theatric heroics. Down with the Leader role! More Strikers and Defenders! It makes better cinema. :starwars:
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#45 MadMac

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:02 AM

I think this is one of the reasons Rolemaster is so much fun (to listen to, at least), Hal has already houseruled things and has a great idea of everything in-system, so his improvisation is top-notch. I think that 4E is getting better by the session for the same reason, excellent improvisation both by players and Hal.


This is so very true. The difference between the first session and the latest one is gigantic, which is to be expected when you have everyone, players and DM, trying to break in a new game at the same time. I can honestly say that every session Hal posts is even more fun to listen to than the last. [/i]
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#46 Telemergion

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:24 AM

Also - why do you forget a power and have it replaced with another? Why, if a lower power is more useful than a higher in any given situation, can't you use that power? Why? Because you forgot how to do it. The reasoning they give is book keeping! What D&D RPG geek have you ever met that has a problem with book keeping?


Well, if it bothers you that much you don't need to forget an early power. You can choose to keep it, or learn an even lower level one if you prefer. :P Seriously, though, I too have questioned the need for a cap on the number of powers you can have. But I came to terms with it. In the Heroic Tier you feel the pinch but you get up to around Paragon and have a full arsenal, you're not going to need a Daily for every fight since you'll have a good assortment of Encounters. Save the Dailies for a BBEG, or a fight where the shit hits the fan. As someone said earlier, you can rationalize it as an extra-awesome effort on your character's part, which is why he gets so few of them.

But, on the flipside of the coin, if it still really bothers you, simply ignore the rule that says you have a cap on powers. Keep everything you learn from lvl 1-30. Heck, make them all At-Will, since you seem to want to do them all the time. I can't think of any way that would break the game. Especially not barbarians.

The answer is non-D&D Rpg non-geeks. They have made a board game for normals and shafted the rest of us up the arse because there are more of them than there are of us. Money. Kerching!


Well, yeah. They kinda want money. When they noticed sales on all their 3 and 3.5 books had were slowing they decided to make new books and reach out to a wider audience. I don't think it's a bad thing that they're trying to initiate a number of new gamers to tabletop RPGs. And if you thought the bazillion supplements to the last edition of DnD weren't mainly about money, I think you need to make a Will save vs Illusion. Or some nerdy thing.

4E is good for what it is. D&D Basic was good for what it was. The difference that annoys me is that D&D Basic could be turned into D&D Advanced 1E, 2E and 3.5. 4E is by its nature stuck as a board game. The only way to adjust 4E so it is fully playable by adult high IQers is to take an axe to it.


I agree with a lot of what you say. My least favourite thing about 4E is that it demands you use a mat and minis. My favourite games have always been those that involve me and my friends languishing on random comfortable furniture in one of our living rooms with a coffee table between us for dice, a handful of papers, and nothing else. It's possible to play 4E like that, but it's certainly not intuitive or desirable. It is, as you say, a board game.

However, your last sentence confuses me. You're complaining that the game is so simple that smart people can't play it to its full extent? Sir, I challenge you to a game of Go Fish!
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#47 woojitsu

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:45 AM

D&D is what you make of it. The newest edition hasn't changed that. Hell... I'm playing in a 4E Spelljammer campaign right now as a middle-aged alchemist who uses Ray of Frost to refrigerate food.

When I DM, I prefer to run 3.5, but that's just a matter of familiarity and economics (I can't afford any new books and I have some really expensive ones from which I intend to get full use). Both systems are equally good for roleplaying purposes.

I am trying to convince my gaming group to play one or two of the story-based systems introduced to us by the Whartson Hall crew, though.
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#48 James

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:56 AM

I am seeing a lot of good feedback on this topic.

Everyone has well thought out points of view on this subject.

Keep it coming!
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#49 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 02:41 PM

One thing I didn't like about 3.5 was it's tendency towards mini's and mats. You could kind of figure stuff out, but it was somewhat difficult.

4e took it to the next level it seems, but took a step back. Everything seems to be a square! (Correct me if I'm wrong, since I don't have the books).

For me, having not GM'd a game of Rifts in a decade, it was actually a nice change from the battle mat systems that are 3.5 and 4e. (Even if the system if awful)

Even having said that, I like dungeon tiles and 3rd party products that let you build a city or what have you. It's kind of metagaming, but I think that's a part of the game too.

Roll vs Role, however, I think is a matter of preference. Some people prefer Rolling. The newest gamer in my group is very much a roll player in that she relishes her abilities and doesn't have much of an in-character persona. I would have thought she would have been more of a role player, but it turns out I was wrong.

So, it's a matter of preference. I don't think any one game/edition/system is any better or worse than another it just depends on what type of game you want to play. I only played Toon once, but it was a great game for what it did. I wouldn't try to use Toon for my Fantasy RPG, but no one is going to make me.

In some ways, I think 2e captures more of the feel of D&D than 3e, but I base that on more on the forgotten realms/dragonlance novels that came out of that era. So for me, the system that captures that feel will be more appealing. (I know it's kind of circular because the books were based on the system, but hey, it's all about the money, right?)
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#50 PhanXu2

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 02:41 PM

But to actually answer the question, because it's more fun to use different powers rather than just spamming your best power all the time. And it makes the game more challenging as well, when you are forced to find uses for different powers instead of just using the best power for the situation over and over again.


You just agreed with me - that was exactly my point. If you forget a lesser power then you never get to use it agian and then just end waiting to use that one high power ability you have replaced it with. Having the option to use a lesser power does not make a character any more powerful. In fact when a pc uses it they are giving up a little power because it happens to be more strategic and 'intelligent'.

Also having more book keeping requires more intelligence and effort than a tiny handful - which 4E has. Which ever way you look at it they have dumbed it down in some ways (streamlined it in lots of others which I like) in order to sell it to more people (plebians) who have not the time, inclination, and ability to learn a more difficult system.
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#51 PhanXu2

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

However, your last sentence confuses me. You're complaining that the game is so simple that smart people can't play it to its full extent? Sir, I challenge you to a game of Go Fish!


My problem is its lack of scalability - it is entrenched without good reason. I understand their need to make money as a business, but I do feel they threw out some of the baby with the bath water, maybe just an arm or two. There is nowhere a socially innept, pedantic, sexless, old nerds that have nothing to do but think all day to go with this system. (I'm not talking about me BTW. I have women hanging off me all the time. Admittedly it is just their heads, but to be fair that's my favourite bit.)

Just to clear up - I like the 4E system almost totally.
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#52 Telemergion

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:21 PM

I have women hanging off me all the time. Admittedly it is just their heads, but to be fair that's my favourite bit.)


...ew?

I'm with you on everything but the severed heads.
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#53 Ecnal

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:23 PM

I’ve played very little 4th ed so my opinion is based mainly on podcasts and books.
Two aspects I want to comment on briefly are combat and the skill checks.
I have tended to think of 4th ed as the D20 version of white wolfs ‘Exalted‘ rpg.
Heros are bigger than life with over the top combat moves.
It’s become highly cinematic and dropped realisms a bit.

The way they have portrayed combat needs to be looked at from a certain point of view ( as Kenobi would say).
If you think of the PCs hit points as merely fatigue and REAL hit points in the form of your healing surges. Blows in combat land against your armour, force you to dodge run jump out of the way. Leaving you with scrapes, bruises, minor cuts, and winded up until the point where you become bloodied. How many movies has the hero taken a nasty blow, wiped the blood from their mouth then proceeded to beat the villan to a pulp.
The rules feel as if they have been boiled down to just what is needed, from a combat point of view.

And to tell the truth, non-combat has been done better than most other rpgs with the skill challenges. These appear as a way to merge ‘role’ playing with the systems ‘roll’ playing.
The challenges are now group activities utilising a number of skills and even a failure allows the story to continue. What (in many systems) has been one roll and ‘opps you lost the tracks’ or ‘the merchant takes offences and now wont talk to you’ , now has you tired and hurt or with half the reward but still on track.
These can be played out in as much detail as your group wants, from a few quick ‘lets get on with it’ dice rolls to a half hour debate over the reward and resources available.
And you get rewarded xp for non combat!

I do agree that the balancing mechanism makes magic look weak in relation to it’s previous incarnations. But it is just that, a balancing mechanism, equal fun for everyone.
And the one Encounter/Daily powers working like forgettable spells is debatable, BUT there were never this many easy options in earlier editions. It was all house rules or rules layering to pull off the fancy tricks.

It’s not ‘Old school’ D&D.
It isn’t the most realistic system.
But it is damn good for what it is.

Ok with exchange rate that was probably 34c worth.
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#54 MadMac

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:10 PM

Having the option to use a lesser power does not make a character any more powerful.


Of course it does. If it didn't you wouldn't want to do it. Flexibility=power. :P
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#55 Godryk

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 07:33 AM

Umm not wanting to wade into the 4.0 - 3.5 discussion, I thought I'd bring it back to the game.

Gwind! Love her... not literally of course. It's great when you start to roar... you sound like a sick Tarzan... And I mean that in the nicest sense not sarcastically.

Keep up the great work!
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#56 Tengu

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 07:27 AM

i have a question due to the pervious conversation.. is the group going to continue with 4e or is thunderspire the last installment?
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#57 Merlin

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:11 AM

i have a question due to the pervious conversation.. is the group going to continue with 4e or is thunderspire the last installment?


I hope they continue because pyramid of shadows looks to be wacky and awesome, but that's their prerogative.
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#58 MadMac

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 10:25 AM

I hope they continue because pyramid of shadows looks to be wacky and awesome, but that's their prerogative.


I don't have Pyramid of Shadows, but King of TrollHaunt Warrens (P1) is the best 4E adventure I own. 8)
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#59 Merlin

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:07 AM

I hope they continue because pyramid of shadows looks to be wacky and awesome, but that's their prerogative.


I don't have Pyramid of Shadows, but King of TrollHaunt Warrens (P1) is the best 4E adventure I own. 8)


I read a review of PoS online and it sounded. . .surreal. I liked it a lot. Glad to hear that the paragon line starts strong. I'm not super impressed with KoTS, but Thunderspuire sounds like there are some cool spots. I'm really digging some of the latest cinematic fight scenes.
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#60 James

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:30 AM

If I remember correctly Hal has already purchased the PoS to run us through.
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