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DnD5e Anyone?


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#21 Lockhart

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:30 AM

It's amazing how devastating dropping the ball with a popular rpg can be. If people do not convert to the new product, they will either stick with the old or go out to find their own favourite game, and good luck getting them back after you failed to bring them in with your last edition.
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#22 Thing

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:53 AM

I'm going to try and give it the same chance I will any new system that peaks my interest. That isn't quite true as it has a lot to live up to in my mind to be D&D to me, but I am going to try and give it a fair chance, it will need to be pretty spiffy keen enough for my friends to want to spend money on new books though.
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#23 dualshock71

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:39 AM

While I know this game is a ways off, a question arises.

A good number of the most active producers on the site have chimed in to express their complete and utter apathy for the new product, even if it turned out golden. So, are any more of us planning to pick it up, maybe put out an actual-play review, just so the mildly curious can see how it goes?

Also, hi there Annatar, welcome to the wonderful world of posting! :) We don't bite. Okay, some of us do, but not hard. ;)
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#24 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

It's amazing how devastating dropping the ball with a popular rpg can be. If people do not convert to the new product, they will either stick with the old or go out to find their own favourite game, and good luck getting them back after you failed to bring them in with your last edition.


PDFgate didn't help matters any, either. What did they think that would do? 4e or the highway?
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#25 Lockhart

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:49 AM

Yeah, I'd probably sign up to run a review game when its out, depending on the material they put out. I think the designs of the modules released with the game say alot about the game itself. They set the basis of what is 'right' for the game.
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#26 Vaeron

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:55 AM

So, are any more of us planning to pick it up, maybe put out an actual-play review, just so the mildly curious can see how it goes?


I already have shelves full of 1e-4e products and a whole seperate shelving unit stacked with minatures... That tells me I've spent enough money on official D&D. Now, if one of my groupies buys it and wants to try it I'm willing to experiment. But WOTC will be getting not one more penny of my personal money.
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#27 Balgin

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:12 PM

I think it's no coincidence that they recently sacked over two thirds of the 4th edition design team.

PDFgate didn't help matters any, either. What did they think that would do? 4e or the highway?


It really didn't. I'm just grateful that Sword & Sorcery Studios (a subsiduary of White Wolf) own the rights to the 3rd ed Ravenloft pdfs and have kept them up. The 1st & 2nd ed Ravenloft pdfs all vanished 'though :(.
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#28 Daniel

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:37 PM

Even if 5e is amazing, WotC as a company with their policies and practices are not.

Things like "PDFgate" and WoTC general policies pretty much makes me think of them as the EA of the tabletop world. As a company their products are generally quite solid -- I really have nothing more than apathy towards 4e, but as a product range it does really hold its own -- but it is the company's image, attitudes and actions that let it down and ultimately will have cost them sales.

At the end of the 3E era, I was really burned out on that edition, and that is the reason I never found the path (hehe) to Pathfinder. Pathfinder is too much like 3E to hold any appeal to me, although I appreciate what I see about Paizo from afar.


The interesting thing about 3e is that it fell into the exact same pit-trap as 2e before it: that of too many splat-books. Splat-books, used & produced, responsibly can really enhance a game and help create variety. Unfortunately too many splat-books just makes a giant mess where players (and GMs) can be overwhelmed with the sheer weight of rules and options - not to mention that balancing everything becomes a herculean task bordering on the impossible.

And now onto a matter far closer to my heart...

The 1st & 2nd ed Ravenloft pdfs all vanished 'though :(.


Please don't tell me that's true...? Not even through less official sources that I can never endorse? :(
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#29 Thing

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:12 PM

I think some of the issues come to trying to do a sustaining business model with D&D. I guess this really isn't about 5e but rpg publishing in general

For core rule books you only sell each player/GM each book once (outside of replacements,etc.) and for a lot of groups players don't buy their own rule books. TSR was smart into separating books into player books and GM books, but it is still a limited market unless you keep bringing new people into the system and since that usually happens with new players joining an existing group that will limit new book sales, unless you try and manage it like a software product, constantly updating the rules so people need the latest books. Unless the changes actually fix problems with playing and enjoying the game it is a hard sell.

The other market for churning out books and new sales becomes adventures and settings. Settings is a 1 time per group sale in most cases and with fairly limited adoption, and adventures are much the same.

Also the fact that once people have been playing a while a lot of GMs love creating their own settings and adventures, so that limits your continuing sales to things like miniatures, dice, etc. Character sheets used to be a product, but home printing fairly negates that, and most people can write up a character on notebook paper happily.

So in my mind it is a hard model to keep a good quality staff writing and publishing the same game. Its easy to do when it is a growing market, now that peoples RPG dollars are going to a lot of different publishes/systems growth can be limiting, unless you are tiny.

Not sure how it works without a rabidly loyal fan base.
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#30 Balgin

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:06 PM

And now onto a matter far closer to my heart...

The 1st & 2nd ed Ravenloft pdfs all vanished 'though :(.


Please don't tell me that's true...? Not even through less official sources that I can never endorse? :(


Not being a frequent user of such "less official" sources I couldn't vouch for them but I suspect the files are still available somewhere.
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#31 Peanuts

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:06 PM

Having read both the articles here I can say I'm curious, and will be checking things out at some point. I actually started playing with 4th, and there were definitely aspects of it that I enjoyed (the tactical battlemat stuff appealed to me, even if it was limiting in some respects.). More importantly though was just the lack of flavour to it all. after playing 4th for... I dunno a year or so? I finally started to check out pathfinder which some of the members of the 4th ed group were playing (most actually)... The difference was significant. I joined up midway through a Rise of the Runelords campaign (3rd book, Hook Mountain Masacre) and soon after we dropped the 4th ed stuff. Having run part of one of the 4th ed modules, and then checking out Golarion and the Adventure Paths I was hooked :) So, I think partially because I never experienced any of the previous versions of DnD (not including Pathfinder obviously), I think I'm willing to give 5th ed a go at least. Would love to hear some actual play sessions from the guys around here too :)
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#32 Telemergion

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:29 PM

Alright, it has been too long since I last graced these hallowed boards with my "wisdom", "insight", and "third thing". Therefore I shall return amidst a discussion that mirrors one I've been having with a couple members of my gaming group.

As DualShock can tell you, I successfully ran a fairly long running (2 years or so) 4E game online with a handful of friends. I had wanted to record it and put the thing up here but my players were shy so that fell through. There were some initial hurdles to over come, such as some classes not coming out right away and a few respecs and rewrites to accodate them when they did, but overall it was very successful. We tend to be a group who gets very excited about builds - whether trying to break the game through optimization and minmaxing or simply trying out something that looks fun and effective - and 4E was great as new powers and mechanics being released led to increasingly more toys for us to play with. We personally never encountered the criticism that the classes turned homogenous in some way, and indeed each player in the campaign had 2 characters, in most cases vastly different from one another, set in two different parties.

As time went on, however, I began to be aware that there was a problem growing with the system. It was far too rigid: a table-top war game it excelled at being but when you and your group want to roleplay and get through more than one, maybe two small encounters in a night the rules and countless powers that had to be referenced and replayed on that grid bogged the fights down and they became painful slogs. I'd had fights like this before in previous RPGs and could not remember how they were overcome when one of my players looked at his sheet and said "Well, I've used all my good powers so I can't really do anything. I just try and hit him".

This was a player who in previous editions of this very game would go on, at length and in great detail, about each swing of his axe in battle now letting his actions and imagination be dictated by powercards. That was the moment when I really became disillusioned with the game. i sought to make it more interesting, or at least more exciting in the fights by constantly adjusting monster stats, but eventually I just gave up on it. 4E in my mind succeeded too well at the wrong things.

Last night we played a session in a system that I still do dearly love, Mutants and Masterminds, and we have since taken up with Pathfinder, as many others did. Both of these games are so much more enjoyable for me to run and my players only miss our 4E game for the story which they have no (yet) completed. I hope 5E does figure out what it wants to be and managed to not marry itself too strongly to mechanics and gimmicks when what I want is a roleplaying expereince that lets me and my friends play around with numbers until we get blue in the face exlaining "Oh yeah? Well guess what I can do!"
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#33 Balgin

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:43 PM

This was a player who in previous editions of this very game would go on, at length and in great detail, about each swing of his axe in battle now letting his actions and imagination be dictated by powercards. That was the moment when I really became disillusioned with the game.


And that is what is wrong with fourth edition.
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#34 Annatar

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:34 PM

Oh my, this really went on to be a large post:

Yes, Telemergion, your experience mirrors mine very well. In my group, we grinded through this abysmal adventure 'Keep on the Shadowfell', everyone using their powers and *nothing else*. The quantification of every single action and ability in power card form stifled not only any form of imagination, but destroyed suspense of disbelief completely. "Why can't I tumble away from them?" - "Well, you are a ranger and not a rogue and only the rogue can do it, once per encounter!" - "[...]"
Add to this the elimination of every aspect of the game not conductive to or directly associated with combat, the quantification into a combat-like mechanical approach to role-playing (a.k.a. skill challenges) and you get this great fail of a game that called itself a role-playing game.
And the argument of the apologist of the game that role-playing does not need to be defined in the rules does not hold water, because the game is not only hard and fast rules, but also the fluff as written in the game is very important at how the game is viewed and played, e.g. lists of equipment, tidbits of information, etc. Just look at Rolemaster. In its basic approach (mechanistic description of everything in the game) it is very similar, but then you have lists of herbs, equipment detailed, funny descriptions of critical hits (which sometimes in game do not make sense and therefore also can break the suspense of disbelief) and you get a game that is just being able to get the right mix.
Someone mentioned the class splat books of AD&D 2nd Edition. These splat books never bothered me - at all! Because apart from crunchy rules, you also got a lot of fluff that enhanced the game. Fast forward to 3rd edition and you get these splat books that have nothing but crunch. In a way, if you look at 3E and its splat books and compare them to the 2E era splat books and then to the 4E splat books, you can already see the 'evolution' of the game taking place in 3E that directly leads to 4E. In hindsight, I would say that the game already went on the wrong tracks during 3E, which led it to hit the wall with 4E. In the attempt to codify and describe everything in the game, the soul or spirit of the early games got lost.
Example: Whereas no one bothered to think creatively and try to envision the world in the game during our 4E phase (e.g. just looking at power cards and how they could be used on the grid), now with Basic D&D (no grid, nearly nothing codified), people start to come up with crazy ideas in combat and try out different things. And how are these ideas solved mechanistically? Just roll a damn d6 or whatever, tell me what you rolled, I tell you if it succeeded. No I add +6 from my skill to the circumstance mod of +4 and the synergy bonus of +2 and get a 18 on my d20 to compare it to the DC of 15 + 2 for the slippery floor, the +3 for the wind to get a DC of 20. This is what stifles suspense of disbelief and creativity. And it already began with 3E!

Anyway, I nevertheless will give 5E a chance and look it up, but I am not very confident that it will be able to get the game back on track.

One last thing, because I mentioned Rolemaster: I think, Rolemaster only works with a very good GM, who is able to keep all these mechanics behind the screen. The players just roll their dice, add something to it and tell the result, the rest is told by the GM. The Rolemaster campaign gm'ed by Hal is a perfect example of how a mechanical game like Rolemaster can work really well. But as soon as you lift the curtain and show the gears and whistles of the game openly, it will fail. And this is what 4E is doing.
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#35 dualshock71

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:31 AM

Yeah, Telemergion's story pretty much encapsulates my own problem with 4e. I still remember the first combat of my first game. I was pretty much playing blind, so I didn't have a firm handle on the powers yet. My character charges in to help the group fight off a powerful enemy, lets loose a lavishly described basic attack, and gets looked at like he had a third head. In retrospect it was kind of silly at the time, but it set me off on a bad start regarding 4e. In the hands of a good GM who knows the system well, it can be quite fun. But most of those successes I found came when the GM played fast and light with the rules.

My favorite 4e session of all time involved a war sequence wherein the GM decided to essentially let my spellcaster use his Arcana skill to propel himself into the air and come down on the enemy army, raining fire and lighting as he came, repeatedly, before crashing into the water and launching a magically-powered one-man amphibious assault to clear a path for our forces to get at another bunch of them. Now, by all rights, I probably shouldn't have been able to do this, but it was fun, and my one awesome moment that entire campaign, and so he let it happen. And that, for me, is what 4e should have been about the whole way through. Far too often, sessions kind of dissolve into "oh yay, another combat, let's just chuck whatever highest-level abilities we have left at it, eh?". Not everything has to be as awesome as my favorite session, but a game should never get to the point where a life-or-death struggle should be formulaic. At that point, it's stopped being a fun game and started being just something you do to keep your brain occupied while you hang out with your friends.
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#36 Telemergion

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:54 AM

my one awesome moment that entire campaign


I want to correct this, I really do, but I can't think of a single other example. :P

I'm glad you liked that session, though. I was quite happy with how that one turned out. I should say, however, that I basically stole the basis for it from Jon's game.
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#37 5monkeys

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:57 AM

I found 4E pretty bland. At lot of this had to do with the fact that two of the groups I played it with decided to run through Keep on the Shadowfell. So I got to play through the same boring module twice. This was after I'd already listened to Hal, Lindsay and co. play through it on audio.

It was frustrating. In both cases I was playing the game purely to play with my friends. I did start another promising game of 4E later with an original campaign and game world, but the DM moved to Japan to teach Engrish. :(

EDIT:

I found 4E to be a fun skirmish game though.

3.x and 4E were kind of alien to me. The idea of requiring a battlemat to play is an annoyance. Having a (rough) map to give an idea of relative size is useful and obvious when describing at combat locale. However, counting squares/actual distances is a bit much.

I like the way WFRP (and I believe Savage Worlds) do it. It's possible to use minis if you want but nothing is lost by not using them.
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#38 Daniel

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:59 AM

I like the way WFRP (and I believe Savage Worlds) do it. It's possible to use minis if you want but nothing is lost by not using them.

I can confirm Savage Worlds does this. <3 me some Savage Worlds.
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#39 Balgin

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

Add to this the elimination of every aspect of the game not conductive to or directly associated with combat, the quantification into a combat-like mechanical approach to role-playing (a.k.a. skill challenges) and you get this great fail of a game that called itself a role-playing game.


GM: There's an old man sitting on the bench outside the inn.
Player: I'd like to go over and talk to him.
GM: Okay. Roll initiative bitch!

4th ed really felt like that at times too.
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#40 Lockhart

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:59 AM

GM: There's an old man sitting on the bench outside the inn.
Player: I'd like to go over and talk to him.
GM: Okay. Roll initiative bitch!

4th ed really felt like that at times too.


Yep. I think this was largely a fault of wotc modules, which were basically giant railroads towards battle with nothing substantial in between, in fact I think at least two of the modules were basically 'the PCs are stuck here until they fight their way out'. Basically, unless a GM went out of their way to make non-combat a focus, it didn't exist, and when that did happen the players were basically unarmed in these situations as 90% of items and abilities were geared towards combat and not utility. In any event,

In news more relating to the topic, it seems like they're gonna try and learn from the bad OGL changes they made in fourth https://plus.google.... ... 8xrVxqxEzz
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