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Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Launches

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the when-it-must-be-pencils-and-dice dept.

Role Playing (Games) 159

darkwing_bmf writes "Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition rulebooks are now available. There's a review up at EuroGamer. Unfortunately, the online tools portion, D&D Insider, isn't ready yet."

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159 comments

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History Repeats Itself (-1, Redundant)

pig_man1899 (1143237) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686415)

And so another generation of teenage boys lose out on the opportunity to get laid...

Re:History Repeats Itself (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686457)

Not I. My girlfriend plays DnD with me. Although, she doesn't think pretending to be a wizard with a "Sexuality Wand" +3 is too exciting in bed...

Re:History Repeats Itself (0)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686489)

Cue bash.org quote in 3..2..1..

Re:History Repeats Itself (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686583)

Not I. My girlfriend plays DnD with me. Although, she doesn't think pretending to be a wizard with a "Sexuality Wand" +3 is too exciting in bed...

Considering that the average male's wand is +5 to +6, you should be able to see why she's not getting excited.

Re:History Repeats Itself (1)

pugugly (152978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690415)

Particularly when the average wizard *swears* it's a +12, epic wand - .

Pug

Re:History Repeats Itself (5, Funny)

magical_mystery_meat (1042950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686621)

I bet she really gets hot when you put on your robe and wizard hat

Re:History Repeats Itself (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686637)

Does she at least make you take off your wizard Hat?

Re:History Repeats Itself (0, Flamebait)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686463)

While a generation of boys in their twenties and thirties continue to lose out on the opportunity to get laid...

:(

Re:History Repeats Itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23686601)

Yah, it's tough to roll a 20 each time you want to get laid.

Re:History Repeats Itself (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686807)

So tired of that comment. I ahve has sex before, during and after a DnD game when I was a teen. Sometimes all in one day.

SO wither I am the King of the Dorks* or the stereotype is way off.

haha it occurs to me that just yesterday I was wearing a Joss Whedon Shirt, walking to my car to go to a DnD game while listening to a podcast of a 4E game...maybe I am King of the dorks!

one thing I do know for sure is that I AM BAD*

Big
Ass
Dork

Re:History Repeats Itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23686897)

DURING a DnD game?

That must have been awkward.

Re:History Repeats Itself (2, Funny)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687107)

DURING a DnD game?

That must have been awkward.
No, his dwarf fighter had a really high stamina and strength score, so once he rolled well enough to seduce the elven wizard, the rolls he needed to screw her were pretty low.

Re:History Repeats Itself (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688773)

Actually a left to bang my DMs sister...good times.

Re:History Repeats Itself (4, Funny)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687317)

Yes. Those boys will continue to be virgins. Continuing in the tradition of their fathers, and their father's fathers.

Re:History Repeats Itself (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687589)


This can't be.

Re:History Repeats Itself (1)

sanosuke76 (887630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688617)

If your definition of paternity here involves reproduction via indoctrination, not insemination, then yes this is how geeks have reproduced for many, many years. And geeks reproducing in this manner don't have to expend resources on dealing with the larval stages. :)

Not a review (1)

dr00g911 (531736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686499)

TFA isn't a review: it's an expanded press release.

There's nothing about any of the mechanics of how the game plays, except that it's supposedly easier for newbs and balanced at all levels.

So in summary, there are...

1. New books!

2. New art!

3. Online tools!

Re:Not a review (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686751)

So in summary, there are...
  1. New books!
  2. New art!
  3. Online tools!
  4. New prices!
There, fixed that for you.

Re:Not a review (2, Insightful)

PMuse (320639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686831)

So in summary, there are...

      1. New books!
      2. New art!
      3. Online tools!
    4. New prices!

There, fixed that for you.
Whether you plan to buy these books or not, remember to patronize your local independent gaming store. End of Plug.

Re:Not a review (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686973)

I want to say Mod up, but honestly I can't think of what any of the local game stores has done for me or my kids.
I'm not trolling here, and I usually share your sentimate but honestly the last time I went into one My main goal was to get my son out as fast as possible. What a bunch of foul mouthed SOBs.

Gaming stores aren't for people who want to run a business, they're for people who want to show off their gaming collection.

Re:Not a review (1)

lenester (625236) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687251)

My local gaming store is also a maternity, infant and toddler store. The owner is a midwife. She considers it to be the "total service plan."

Re:Not a review (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690173)

It depends on the store. Some suck, some don't.

Re:Not a review (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686879)

Not really. All three for 65 buck, and considering 1st ED ADnD was 60 bucks for all three, not much of a price change.

Re:Not a review (2, Interesting)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687393)

Well hell, $60 in 1980 is the equivalent of about $170 now.

$60 dollars now was around $21 in 1980.

Seems like a deal to me!

Re:Not a review (2, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686907)


Okay - funny joke, but it's not accurate. Have you checked the price of the new books? I don't know if it's just the US$ to UK£ exchange rate at the moment, but the new books bought together are actually cheaper than I paid for the same three core books years ago when 3.5 came out. WotC (Wizards of the Coast) are hoping to keep on selling further books each year, but right now, the cost to get into the game is really low.

The online tools are $15 a month which may or may not seem a lot depending on how much use they see, but they're Windows only so I wont be using them anyway. Shame, there. I'd have probably given it a try.

Re:Not a review (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686791)

They simplified a lot of things. All combat actions are basically the same now, mage, warrior, cleric, whatever. You declare your attack, be it weapon, spell, whatever, roll your check vs their resist check, and if yours is higher you do damage.

No more memorized spells at all...you learn, "Otlukes flaming bunghole" you can cast it every round like you were swinging a sword.

Some abilities are "per encounter" meaning you can only use it once per combat. Others are "per day", so once per day.

I don't know. I haven't finished going through the rules yet, but I'm not pleased. A lot of things that I never thought "had to be said" are now filled in for you...like the "party role" for your class...Fighters now have "tanking" abilities that "force" the monster to attack them...What the hell is that about? Didn't everyone and their mother used to role play that? Instead of being a simple framework, D&D is more like a complete game.

Some people may be pleased with that, but to me its like someone pre-chewed my dinner.

Re:Not a review (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687071)


My pre-play evaluation of 4e is that the rules are improved muchly in terms of game-play and ease of banging out encounters. There are a lot of nice ideas in it such as Minion rules to make High Level vs. Mooks a viable encounter again. Production values are fantastic. But the role-playing side seems to have been gutted both by a lack of non-combat rules and by character and monster abilities that make no sense at all except for the metagame reason of interesting combat tactics. The latter problem undermines immersion in the setting more than the designers realised, imo. But I wont say more here as I've already posted more detailed thoughts below.

Re:Not a review (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687175)

I think you need to remember that there are a lot of 8+ year olds that ahve never played the game, nor have their parents.
When that occurred to me I found the rules easier to take. Yeah I don't need to know what the roles are, but why should it bother me that they explain it for some who does. When I pick up a programming book, I don't get twisted when it explains the basics of OO.

ADnD was NEVER a simple framework. It was always intended to be a complete game. Many people used it as a framework, and those same people complain about 'balance' when their not even playing the game correctly.

Bottom line, it's a game. Gary Gygax's* animated corpse isn't going to come to your home and devour your soul because you decide to play in a different world, or change some rules.

*in the event of a "Shambling Gygax", throw one complete set of dice out your door and then tell him "Steve Jackson is that way!"

Re:Not a review (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687261)

Used to be you had the "rules" and you had the "setting" and they were different things. Now it's like they rolled a lot of the setting into the rules, and that doesn't do it for me.

I'm hardly a D&D purist...The best times I ever had with D&D were all in systems so hacked up the only way to tell that it was still D&D was the fact that we still used 20-sided dice.

Still I guess D&D has always been the "Starter RPG"; there are still plenty of more complex games out there.

Re:Not a review (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687719)

Cool. Nothing is for everybody.
Personally, I ahve moved away from complexity. I prefer Savage Worlds for good pulp action and strong RP.

Re:Not a review (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687595)

Fighters now have "tanking" abilities that "force" the monster to attack them...What the hell is that about? Didn't everyone and their mother used to role play that? Instead of being a simple framework, D&D is more like a complete game.

Why should the monster do that? It should attack whoever it wants to attack. And the smarter it is the more intelligent its selection and tactics should be.

The whole MMO inspired 'all the monsters wail on the tank, while the rest of the group focuses on one target at a time and burns it down' is the most absurd thing going.

Re:Not a review (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687631)

Yea I agree...Mind you, one of the main jobs of the warrior was always TO tank, but you were supposed to haggle out how you were going to get the monsters attention, and role play it, not just use a special ability.

Re:Not a review (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688813)

The statment is incorrect.

If a monster is target by a fighter, and it decided to attack someone else it takes some damge automatically. It's 3 pts at first level, I don't remember if they scale.
So yes, the monster can attack whomever they like, and there are some rules around targeting. For example if the fighter doesn't attack the monster , the target goes away.

It is in no way like an MMO.

Re:Not a review (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690215)

The Massive Multiplayer Online RPG games usually have the 'tank' as a damage sync whose job is to keep the monsters from attacking other characters while the other characters actually kill or subdue the attackers.

I have only seen a few Fighter abilities listed for 4th edition, but:
A. The Fighter does a very competitive amount of damage. The Rogue and Wizard do not leave him looking like a useless meat shield.
B. The Fighter doesn't have abilities analagous to the "hold aggro" crap in MMOs that keep opponents focused on him. His best way to protect other party members is to just eviscerate the most dangerous enemies - which is more true to the pulp fantasy and epic fantasy that inspired Dungeons and Dragons in the first job.

Re:Not a review (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23689417)

Nothing is "forcing" the opponent to only attack the tank. The starter ability, for the fighter at least, makes perfect sense:

1) The fighter "marks" a target after attacking it (read: scary guy who really knows how to use a sword is actively engaged in slicing at you).

2) If that target makes an attack on someone other than the fighter, the fighter gets a free attack of opportunity (read: if someone is actively engaging you in sword play, it leaves you wide open when you turn to bash someone else).

It's dumb to ignore the obvious threat just because someone else looks like an easy target; you can feel free to attack the easy target, but that doesn't make the obvious threat any less threatening.

d0od (0, Offtopic)

Orleron (835910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686507)

Shouldn't it really be called dUng30nz & Dr4g0|\|Z 47h 3d1T1oN? OMGBBQ!!!!!11one11

I still think that it's a waste (0)

Steeltalon (734391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686515)

I mean, I remember complaining bitterly about T$R when I was a kid. Since being acquired by Hasbro, D&D has fallen much further than TSR ever could have caused it to.

3.0 was pretty bad. Real fixes didn't come until 3.5, which wasn't released all that long ago, and now, before people have gotten their moneysworth out of 3.5, we have 4.0.

Worse, 4.0 has lots of things missing and they'll be conveniently added in the "expansions" for the 4.0 PHB and DMG.

What a load of crap.

Re:I still think that it's a waste (1)

godscent (22976) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686623)

3.0 was pretty bad. Real fixes didn't come until 3.5, which wasn't released all that long ago, and now, before people have gotten their moneysworth out of 3.5, we have 4.0.

I know! I was still playing 3.5, and then they came and took all my 3.5 books away and forced me to start 4.0! Those jerks!

And of course, I didn't want to be playing 3.5 either, except they'd already taken all of my earlier edition D&D books away, too!

Re:I still think that it's a waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23686945)

For people who play the game with their friends it makes no difference.

For people who want to play at whatever the D&D world has for cons or even drop in game at random stores, etc, it's probably more of a problem since if they are all playing 4.0 you need to too.

Seems a bit like an Office upgrade, when those who don't upgrade get locked out accessing everyone elses documents (though this seems to no longer be a problem, 2003 has no problem with 2007 files - with a plugin thing anyway).

Re:I still think that it's a waste (1)

godscent (22976) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687065)

For people who want to play at whatever the D&D world has for cons or even drop in game at random stores, etc, it's probably more of a problem since if they are all playing 4.0 you need to too.

Good point. For those that want to play in the competitions, they are probably out of luck, if they want to continue playing older versions. If they want to play at cons or gaming stores, I bet they can still find older version games to play in, though I'm sure they're rarer. And if they offer to DM a game, I'm sure they'll find players. There are plenty of people who won't switch, or will only switch grudgingly, who would be happy to play an older version.

And I still use Office 2000. :)

Re:I still think that it's a waste (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686951)

I realize there's a bit of sarcasm in your post, but I think you actually hit on a real issue. Unless you have a solid group of friends who all enjoy playing and have/will for years, you end up loosing players and picking up new ones in your playgroup. These new players often times haven't played at all before and don't have all those old rulebooks. They can borrow/share for a while, but eventually you end up with a critical mass of players who don't have a 2nd/3rd/3.5th PHB and your group is forced to upgrade.

Re:I still think that it's a waste (1)

Lachryma (949694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687987)

See also the SRD [wizards.com] .

Re:I still think that it's a waste (2, Interesting)

Joe Mucchiello (1030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686909)

Funny, I spent about $70 on new books when 3.5 came out. After about 12-15 hours of gaming, I probably broke even compared to seeing a movie with friends, buying drinks with friends, going to dinner with friends, etc. I don't play often but name something else you can do with 4-5 other people for $70 that can last hundreds of hours. I can't see how anyone could complain about their money's worth.

RPGs have always been about splatbooks. 4e really isn't any different here.

Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (5, Insightful)

jpatters (883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686535)

New alignment system: Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Chaotic Evil.

um, no.

I would have respected the choice to get rid of alignment, but this is a boneheaded move. The problem with alignment (with bad role players anyway) is that it reinforces trite stereotypes. This just gives you fewer trite stereotypes to choose from.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686713)

Actually, it doesn't. The previously existing stereo types are gone. You would have to go out of your way to fill one.

Having played the game, I can same that it is really fun.
I can also say it is not the same game. It is completly focused on minis, and what you can do as far as moving other players and yourself has added an interesting level of tactics to the game.
The Alignment systems works very well.

from what I had heard about the game I wasn't really looking forward to it, but having actually played the mechanics and the game, I found it to be really fun.

Normally I don't participate in the 'I've been doing it for x years' circle jerk, but since I feel it is relevant to the context of the post I am going to make an exception.
I have been playing DnD for it's entire history, including pre-ADnD. I also have played all the other 'major' systems and I find Savage Worlds to be the superiour RP gaming system.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23687181)

I can also say it is not the same game. It is completly focused on minis
This is getting ridiculous. I don't mind a bit of commercialism in the right place and it made sense in the Italian Job but in Dungeons and Dragons???

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687197)

haha! Well played. That was funny enough for me to break my "No response to AC" rule.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

jpatters (883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689957)

The problem I see is that if you have a character who dedicates their philosophical life to anarchy, they are required to be categorized as either chaotic evil or unaligned. The former is just plain ontologically wrong most of the time, while the latter admits a failure of the system to provide a label for a particular philosophy, even if strongly held and espoused. In spite of its flaws, the two axis system from previous editions was at least broad enough to cover lots of possibilities, even it it was a little simplistic. Now what we have is four specific philosophies along one axis, and everything else is now called unaligned. This all raises the question, why have alignment at all?

I'm sure the new system plays perfectly, if your character concepts fit the ideals intended by the new alignment system. You might just say, well, just make everyone unaligned. but then what's the point of having it?

It is part of the system, though, not just fluff; look in the DMG pg 68 sacred circle, which is a divine circle dedicated to a specific deity. Characters sharing the same alignment as the deity gain a bonus while standing in the circle. Question: Does a sacred circle of Corellon give a bonus to an unaligned follower of Kord? Sounds to me like this just wasn't really well thought out. Since it is tied into the mechanics of the system, you can't just ignore it without modifying the rules. Using an axis of Chaotic Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Lawful Evil would be just as valid, but you would have to fiddle with everything. It's annoying.

Why not Good Chaotic, Chaotic, Unaligned, Lawful, and Evil Lawful? or Evil Chaotic, Chaotic, Unaligned, Lawful, and Good Lawful?

Would Chaotic Good, Lawful Good, Good, Chaotic, Unaligned, Lawful, Evil, Lawful Evil, and Chaotic Evil have been too complicated for kids to understand these days?

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686845)

Most people in the world are unaligned. Having any alignment at all represents an unusual person.

A person who helps others, gives to charity, and always obeys the law is probably "unaligned". The person who devotes his life to fighting evil is "good".

Basically, they have mostly done away with the alignment system. Most PCs should be unaligned. It is a good move.

Are you kidding? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687083)

I have to disagree. Alignment is a mattter of philosophy. Maybe it's just that I'm an optimist, but I'd have to say the majority of humanity is of the "Good" alignment in that they generally hold helping others to be at least equal to if not slightly above personal gain. I'd also argue that they by and large have Lawful tendencies, as otherwise organized society would not work. No, there are very few paragons of these alignments, but to claim *most* people don't favor Good over Evil or Law over Chaos is just silly. Whether or not you devote your life to fighting evil isnt' a matter of alignment, it's a matter of where you get your hit dice...

Note I say this as someone who is most decidedly NOT Lawful Good...

Re:Are you kidding? (1)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687171)

I was talking about alignment in terms of D&D 4e, not previous editions. Unaligned does not mean that you are not good or lawful. It just means you do not devote yourself fully to law or good, or anything else. Unless you fully devote yourself to fighting evil and injustice, you are not Lawful Good. This is not my opinion, this is the way the system works in 4e.

I can not link to it now because it is blocked at work, but there was a article a few days ago on http://www.wizards.com/dnd [wizards.com] .

Re:Are you kidding? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687269)

Well I'm sorry for razzing you, then.

I still think it's dumb, however... The difference between plebs and characters has always been the fact that character have levels in "Character" classes, not the alignment they choose to follow... Making NPCs a uniform mass of grey goo seems kinda dumb.

Also saying you have to be Lawful to fight injustice is downright laughable. Law usually has very little to do with justice...

Re:Are you kidding? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687797)

"Alignment is a mattter of philosophy." That's wrong.

It has nothing to do with 'philosophy" what so ever. It is a rule mechanic in a Black and white game, nothing more.

DnD is a GAME not a representitive of real life.

"Whether or not you devote your life to fighting evil isnt' a matter of alignment, it's a matter of where you get your hit dice..."
that's very...ignorant of the system.

Re:Are you kidding? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690459)

DnD is a GAME not a representitive of real life.

It's a game that to some extent represents a simulation of a fantasy setting. Attributes like "realism" vs. "game balance" and "simulation" vs. "abstraction" are design knobs that RPG designers play with - but any tabletop RPG tries to simulate a setting to some extent; it's a pre-requisite to plot and roleplay.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687195)

While I agree the vast majority of people are unaligned I would look at it more as a true neutral concept. True neutral shouldn't be as it was presented in AD&D V1 (you take the middle road all the time, no matter how ridiculous it is) but rather people who don't go to extremes. Does that mean that if a TN aligned PC goes out of his way to save his pals that he's suddenly good or evil depending on the alignment of those he's saving? Not at all. It's a rare occurrence.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686877)

I know; I lol'd when I saw that...You still have the spectrum, right, because it goes from good to evil and law to chaos, but you're forced to give yourself a number on the evil-o-meter to get an alignment that's not one of the primaries.

Like if +100 is LG then maybe +25 is chaotic good? Then -25 would be lawful evil?

The only thing more meaningless than a two word title (e.g. Chaotic Good) is a fricking number. (I see that thou alignment be a mere 14, I will smite thee not-quite-evil-doer!)

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687059)

Granted, it is a botched system compared to the 3.x versions but WotC managed to eek out a little bit of respectability from me by not presenting it as if:

Good: Even Mother Theresa would think you're a prude.

True Neutral: You're a farking schizo.

Evil: Hitler feels his place in history is threatened.


It's probably one of the few things that I though were completely out of line about AD&D under TSR. But then again, I hate players who put too much value in their alignment. Unless you're a cleric or a pali normally you're not going to go to one extreme or another.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687101)

I have to disagree with the placement of Chaotic Evil on that spectrum... As neutral evil is so significantly more evil than chaotic.

Also holding up Lawful Good as the paragon of virtue that all people should look up to is kinda whacked.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687409)

A lot of this though is in interpretation and role-playing. Are you the (l)Awful good paladin forcing your religious views on the party, making them do things behind your back? Or a monk-style lawful good who dedicates their life to their personal tenets, but isn't hurt/shamed/goes-running-to-the-constable if you don't follow those?

chaotic vs neutral evil is similarly one of style. Are you a fsking nuts psycho killer doing horrible demented things, or a detached, but pure-evil SOB?

It all depends on the local gaming rules and how you're playing the part. I always played chaotic good myself ;)

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23687505)

It's a good move, because the existence of Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil were just encouraging the Libertarian/Objectivist kiddies:

"Oh yeah, I'm good, because I'm akways lookin' out for numero uno! And I don't murder or steal! Well, not often anyway! But those guys who keep enforcing laws, supposedly for the good of society? Those are the ones who are really evil!"

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (3, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687757)

. The problem with alignment (with bad role players anyway) is that it reinforces trite stereotypes. This just gives you fewer trite stereotypes to choose from.

The problem with alignment was it started moving towards this a while ago with LG - G - CG - LN - N - CN - LE- NE - CE becoming a single spectrum. It made it difficult to play a saintly Robin Hood type because for some reason respect for the law (which became confounding with one owns organizational qualities), became compounded with goodness.

While it certainly could be used as a crutch by poor roleplayers, that's not a bad thing. Everyone needs time to learn to roleplay, and the CG/LE removed variants provided nice dilemmas. And, if not that crutch, bad roleplayers will fall into character/race archeotypes anyway.

Personally, I would rather have seen the alignments expand so that you could be Goodish/Evilish/Lawfulish/Chaoticish. Not enough to get affected by spells/effects that target people with that alignment, but enough to give people a clue as to how you lean.

I liked alignment (1)

wass (72082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687849)

It kept things interesting, and made it difficult to play a character at times.

Eg, trying to be lawful when you need to bend the rules, or trying to balance things when true neutral.

But then again, within my group as we progressed from junior high to high school, we did less mindless hacking and slashing, and more role-playing.

Re:Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil are Deprecated (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689727)

New alignment system: Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, Chaotic Evil.
Sounds like all those cameras and metal-detectors in high-school have been having the intended effect.
Or maybe its just all that Ritalin.

Rulebook? (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686553)

I've been following the /. news articles passively about the new D&D 4th ed.

But I have to ask: What is exactly news/newsworthy of this? After skimming TFA I have noticed it only seems to introduce new classes/characters/spells. Nothing about new gameplay changing rules, so isn't this just technically an expansion? Someone please tell me what new rules this adds...

Re:Rulebook? (3, Informative)

Gaerek (1088311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686693)

Let's see:

-No more wizards/clerics/etc saying, "Crap, I just blew all my spells in that one encounter, I need to rest for 8 hours!"
-Much simplified rules for DMs creating encounters and adventures, as well as putting rewards in those encounters. (This is a complete overhaul, and hard to really give too many examples)
-No more random hit point amounts every level, in addition, a larger hit point total at level 1. (No more fighters rolling a 1 at first level, etc)
-New death/dying system, that scales as you level. (ie. no more -10 hp and you're dead crap)

Honestly, if you're curious, go to http://www.enworld.com/ [enworld.com] and look around. They have put together a full preview PHB based on pre-release information. Should give you a good idea of what to expect. 4e is definately not an expansion. It's almost completely overhauled from 3.5.

Re:Rulebook? (1)

Gaerek (1088311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686783)

And how could I forget one of the biggest changes of all. Everyone has the ability to heal themselves, no need for a dedicated healer. I personally like this because it always sucked saying, well, Jim is the new guy, and we need a cleric, so Jim gets to be a cleric.

Re:Rulebook? (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686775)


The new rules are very much more elegant. They play quickly in all sorts of areas, from actual combat to monster customization and NPC creation. Character classes are very well balanced with each other and the "sweet spot" that you got in the mid-levels where you were tough enough to survive with good tactics but not so powerful the game became broken... well the game plays well at all levels now. Production values are also very high and I don't think when you read the books and grok the rules, you can really disagree with any of this. There are many well-thought out refinements to the system.

However, the game, imo, seriously suffers on the role-playing side. Non-combat skills are all but gone, character abilities are designed solely for their tactical interest in combat with little thought to justifying them in the game or whether they make the remotest sense and playing with table-top miniatures is all but compulsory now. There are also serious concerns being voiced about whether the classes are now too balanced for their own good. If you can be a wizard firing off endless Magic Missiles (they're at will now), or a ranger firing off endless arrows and both have similar range and damage, you ask yourself whether everything has become a little meaningless through nothing being better than anything else.

It's a difficult one that will only be resolved through trying it out. There's much good stuff in the new game, but there's a serious worry that it's lost it's sole as an actual role-playing game. We'll have to see.

Selling like Charm Person scrolls on a Saturday night, though.

Re:Rulebook? (2, Insightful)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687019)

However, the game, imo, seriously suffers on the role-playing side. Non-combat skills are all but gone, character abilities are designed solely for their tactical interest in combat with little thought to justifying them in the game or whether they make the remotest sense and playing with table-top miniatures is all but compulsory now.

There still are a hand full of non-combat skills, such as diplomacy and knowledge. But I think the general feeling is the "fluff rules" for non-combat weren't really needed. Do you really need rules to say how long it takes to make a non-magical weapon or how much money you could make playing an instrument in a medium sized village for a given skill roll? Or could you just work it out with the DM and agree on something reasonable for the type of campaign and setting you're in? The later option seems quicker (no need to look it up in a rulebook), less distracting for the other players and truer to the concept of role-playing. Resolving combat is where rules provide the most bang for the buck.

Re:Rulebook? (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687535)


We don't need rules for how much you can earn playing an instrument in a village of population X, there's no argument there. But not only have almost all non-combat skills been removed (incl. the generic catchalls you could use such as Profession), but most abilities aren't even defined except in the context of combat. Fey Pact warlocks can teleport after downing a foe. Can they teleport outside of combat? Under what circumstances? Do they carry round pockets full of bunnies so they can kill them if they ever need to teleport? We don't know, we're never told and there are numerous examples of the world just stopping at the edge of combat. Many players enjoy being able to say that they are a world class card player or whatever. The feeling you get from reading the books is very much that it's all about combat. The emphasis is bad.

Re:Rulebook? (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688031)

I see what you're saying and I mostly agree. I don't see the focus on combat as inherently bad as far as a "rules system" goes, but hopefully the holes will be filled by lore books, magazine articles, fiction, etc... If not, it will depend on good players and DMs to create a compelling world that's consistent with the combat rules in spirit but doesn't involve killing bunnies to accomplish a goal that has nothing to do with killing bunnies. My hope is that the lack of focus on the out of combat aspects of the game in the rulebooks will lead to more freedom and imagination in the non-combat portions of the game and not an elimination of them. *shrug*

Re:Rulebook? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688555)


That would be the ideal and I hope it is the case. I just worry that the designer's long, long experience hasn't blinded them to what it's like not to have that background. Although I've been playing and running games for a long time, I personally need the system to support me in non-combat situations. I'm neither good at, nor enjoy, having to wing and hand-wave it all, but my players prefer the role-playing and story to the combat itself for the most part. I'm not writing off 4e - I want to make that clear. It's great in many ways. But this and the necessity of miniatures are my two concerns.

Re:Rulebook? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689547)

I'm not writing off 4e - I want to make that clear. It's great in many ways. But this and the necessity of miniatures are my two concerns.

Out of curiousity, did you play 3E at all? I honestly can't imagine playing it 'right' without a battlemat and minatures, or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

Re:Rulebook? (3, Funny)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687615)

You, sir, might not remember the 1st edition rulesets and DM tables. There's always room for another table to roll against!

Conflicting Ideas (1)

Lacota (695046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686597)

I can understand WotC wanting to release new material to milk us dry. However, I don't understand the online 'table'. Didn't they say that NWN would be something similar? It's one thing to make a pen and paper RPG. It's another to make a pen and paper MMORPG.

Star Wars RPG (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686639)

I really find it a bummer that WotC is testing D&D rules and system by coming out with a new edition of the Star Wars RPG. I'd be more into the Star Wars RPG, even D&D if they just found a system that worked and stuck with it. I miss D&D 2.0 and the West End SWRPG. = /

Re:Star Wars RPG (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689719)

The West End system was more fun...and so simple that you can easily play it with out the books. You can also find those books around. No reason to trash what works just because WoTC releases something.

Big change from previous versions, but still good (5, Informative)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686673)

I got a chance to view the books early, thanks to some leaked scans, and so far I like what I see; however, many changes may tick off long time players, especially changes to the standard races.

    From what I've read so far, the main good things about 4th edition that I've seen so far are:
  • A lot less book keeping is necessary, especially for high level spell casters. DMs also have less book keeping for high level enemies, as they don't have dozens of spells or spell like abilities and minion creatures do static damage and only 1 hp). If you've ever run a high level battles against a half dozen clerics or wizards, you can see an immediate advantage.
  • Even at first level, characters and monsters are generally tougher, so 1st level characters are living in constant fear of being killed by 1 hit. Some might complain this is lame ("why not just start at 5th-8th level?"), but really, it makes sense, and actually sets 1st level heroes apart from your average commoner.
  • The Cleric is no longer a required party member, as everyone can self heal.

    The main complaints I have so far is that they haven't released rules in the Monster Manual for creating your own monsters from scratch and figuring out appopriate levels, and the death penalty is really almost too minor. Raise dead still takes 10 minutes to cast, and the cost does go up as your level goes up, but the penalty is only -1 to all rolls until you rest for 6 hours. I appreciate that they were trying to lessen death effects and other affects that take your character effectively out of game (Medusa gaze, Illithid mind blast, etc), but by having such a minimal penalty for death, you'd have to wonder why any fears death.
          Some will certainly complain that 4th edition is too MMO like (especially like WOW), but the new character building rules do admittedly enforce character balance quite well through all levels.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686955)

The Cleric is no longer a required party member, as everyone can self heal.

If you looked for a cleric only because he can heal it's no wonder you've seen the those that play the class as a burden instead of a party member. You're treating clerics like most corporations treat their IT departments and you know how most IT employees feel about their companies...

Oh well, just another reason for me to dismiss WotC as the destroyers of D&D.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (3, Insightful)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688247)

I don't look at the cleric only because it can heal, but the reality is that in most 3.0-3.5 campaigns, the Cleric likely spends 50% or more of his spells on various forms of healing (either HP or ability damage/drain) because players are loath to use their healing potions outside of combat, even if they barely ever use them in combat because it provokes AoO.
      The Cleric PC in the campaign I'm running even has the Touch of Healing feat (can basically heal PCs up to half HP for free) and still probably spends half or more of his spells on healing. In almost any campaign I've been in, the decision to rest is usually made because the Cleric is out of healing magic, or the wizard is >90% empty.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (3, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690319)

In editions before 3/3.5 the Cleric's biggest value was as a healer. If you had several of them in the party, they could play different roles but if you only had one, he was mister medic and that's basically it.

3/3.5 replaced that problem with a different one. The designers were so desperate to make the class attractive, it became the most powerful class in the game with good combat skills and hit points, healing magic, and the ability to cast a whole host of effective combat spells and "buffs".

And "destroyers of D&D"? Give me a break. Ever play any of the following RPGs: Warhammer RPG, HERO, GURPS, Rifts, Rolemaster, Vampire: the Masquerade, Middle Earth RPG, or the (original) Star Wars RPG? I believe they all came out well before Wizards of the Coast produced 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons. Each has plenty of flaws, but if you've played a few of them it will give you enough perspective to see that all versions of Dungeons and Dragons have some ridiculous inconsistencies and poor design choices that interfere with or downright euthanize fun gameplay.

Wizards of the Coast didn't destroy Dungeons and Dragons. They just rearranged the problems, and I bet you're mostly angry because you have nostalgia for the particular set of problems you enjoyed when you first played some previous edition.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687053)

I think the book keeping is different, not less overall. There a lot of things to keep track of. Who is targeted? Who is moving back and forth, Has this person been push, pulled or slid?

The hit points level off as you get higher, and contrary to your statement, then CAN be killed in one shot. A lot less likely, but it is there.
My Rogue could do d6+8+2d8

I've read those rules, and the monster creation is pretty easy to do. Bear in mind, a monster is a Monster, not another character type.

It is clearly focused on minis, and the changes make it seem more MMO like, but I don't think that's a bad thing, just a thing. They seem to have implemented it well.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687077)

Thats a first level Rogue, BTW.

Re:Big change from previous versions, but still go (3, Insightful)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23688367)

True, but a first level character really no longer as to worry every kobold or dire rat killing them in one hit (especially the minion types), or at least, being able to take off 75% of your HP in one hit since you only started with 6. The extra HP are a plus without adding the complication of a system like SDC from the Palladium systems, although that is a good system as well.

The main things I noticed book keeping wise are as follows:
  1) Effects are no longer a number of rounds, its either a) until end of next turn, b) until you save at the end of your turn or c) until end of encounter, up to 5 minutes, which are essentially the same thing.
  2) You'll no longer waste 30 minutes as the spellcasters pick their new spells for the day. True wizards still pick their daily powers, but that should go quickly.
  3) Thanks to minions, you have to track HP for less monsters at a time.

I think the effect tracking will be the most immediate increase in game speed. I just ran a 3.5 encounter last night with the following effects:
1) Players cast Haste and several invisibilities before combat started, as well as several buffing spells with durations in rounds.
2) BBEG had several defensive spells with duration in rounds.
3) Other monsters had an ability that caused slow, which would tempoarily negate haste for characters afflicted by it for a random number of rounds
4) BBEG was also a mind flayer, so there were mind blasts used at various times which caused stun for random number of rounds to each target.

      Now, if the combat is quick, this usually isn't a problem; but this fight went for 10-13 rounds, so various effects started wearing off at various times, and with 6 PCs and 3 monsters, and people using delay actions, its really easy to lose track of which round you're actually in and what round and when in each round a given effect ends.

Re:Big change- SPOILERS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23688589)

Last night bought the books and played RPGA with pregen'd characters, it was fun.

If (?) you like to whine, whine about this: Druids and Barbarians are GONE. Spell scrolls are gone. Grey elves are now the whipping boys of the racial soup IMHO.

The statement about clerics being nonessential is misleading. Everyone gets 6-9 healing surges. Once per encounter everyone can get back 1/4th their max HP using a standard action. But once per encounter didn't go far in our adventure. We depended heavily on our cleric and paladin for healing in every combat, in almost every round after the first. Clerics and warlords can heal you using a minor action (think swift action), it uses one of your surges that you cannot otherwise use. Paladins have at-will powers that allow them to attack and grant you temporary hit points or defense bonuses at the same time, and they can spend surges to heal you.

There are two new classes- Warlocks and Warlords. In the new scheme Wizards (formerly known as sorcerors) get the area effects and line-of-effect attacks, Warlocks get attacks that target only one foe but readily exploit its defensive weaknesses. (My Level 1 Warlock had 3 At-will powers, one vs Fortitude, one vs Reflex, and one vs Will. So I was a threat to bricks and blasters alike.) Warlords grant other nearby party members immediate actions and help them heal. Fighters get powers that combine a weapon attack with pushing foes around, knockdown, or allow others to retreat without facing attacks of opportunity. The ability to push was incredibly powerful in our adventure, our fighter just kept pushing one foe off a bridge until he expired. Rogues are a bit more combat ready and have many push abilities, they can also dash in, attack, and dash out in the same round. Rangers lose the feeble forest magic and get better attacks and increased hit chance, their armor is now feeble and IMHO they require stealth and athletics to use the two-weapon form.

Every character gets at-will powers you may use as often as you like, so we used them nearly every turn. About the only time we used a basic attack was for attacks of opportunity. Attacks of opportunity have been drastically reigned in. We fought a chainmaster who teleported through our lines to assault our back row, but he was feeble compared to the spiked chain wielders of edition 3.5.

Our prebuilt adventure was supposed to be too tough and get us all killed in order to demonstrate how death works, but our tactically disinclined party managed to beat everything with only 1 PC knocked unconscious. Our GM had specific tactical instructions in the adventure which he followed to the letter, but the instructions made the monsters throw away their terrain advantages. We defeated a dangerous exploding skeleton by pushing it off a 30' cliff. I pushed a berserker off a narrow bridge into a fast moving river, keeping it out of combat for some time. All characters and monsters are tougher, so you'll get some time to play instead of getting killed in the surprise round.

Halflings are slightly improved in that they can call for an attack against them to be rerolled. Dwarves too, they get to use a Healing Surge as a minor action, freeing up their standard action for better things. Eladrin ((tutu-wearing) grey elves) get to teleport 5 squares once per encounter sorry everyone but they are feeble. Once per combat Elves get to reroll a poor attack roll as a free action. Dragonborn get a breath weapon, but it is only as good as their Constitution- which they do not get bonuses to- and that tends to dictate their career path. Half-elves can take any 1st level at-will power from any other class and use it as an encounter power, but this isn't that powerful, they also give a bonus to Group Diplomacy, which the GM forbade us from doing, so they are feeble. In addition to the extra skill and feat of 3.5, Humans get an extra at-will power at 1st level, which can be nice if you can't decide which powers you want.

The biggest change I saw was the use of ability scores. You can use your Intelligence in place of your Dexterity for both Reflex AND AC without using a feat. Same with Constitution-Strength for Fortitude, and Wisdom-Charisma for Will. This seems to lend power to builds that choose one of each of those pairs to be their high ability scores. Demihuman races no longer subtract points from ability scores. So this method becomes powerful except for Eladrim (grey elves) which get bonuses to Dexterity and Intelligence, one of which would be unnecessary.

Non-combat encounters are done this way: look at your character sheet, pick your best skills, make up some BS about how you use your best skill to solve the problem, then roll vs DC. If you succeed enough times then you, er, succeed. If you fail enough times then you fail. Our creative juices weren't up to the challenge and we failed the non-combat encounter we faced, basically because I tried to make a check I had no business making and blew the whole encounter for the party. I got confused about which skills I was good at and tried one I had +0 for. Sorry guys!

The biggest selling point: my wife, a total noob, loved it and is studying the PHB to put together a build. The girls in the PHB artwork look more feminine yet tasteful. This was a huge selling point with her as she had trouble envisioning a character she could get into. Apparently if you're a girl you don't mind cracking skulls in a fantasy world so long as you can be sexy while doing it.

I'm pleased with the new version and I'll definitely be playing it. However I feel that adventure modules are still feeble and this makes it difficult to find the time to get a decent game together.

I'll write more later, as anonymous because I can't remember my password.

Imagine that! (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23686883)

No, I didn't RTFA but...

WotC fumbled the ball with software AGAIN? Who woulda thunk it? After their very sophomoric attempt at software with the 3.0 PHG and that shame for sale that they passed off as DM Tools I can only wait to (not) sink my teeth into their next software offering.

I've personally written better software for the game on a TRS-80.

Too much of a departure (3, Interesting)

Samy Merchi (1297447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687125)

I'm probably going to pass. A lot of the changes make it "not D&D" for me. It's like learning a completely new game system, like moving on to GURPS or Rolemaster or what have you. Everybody can heal themselves? That's not D&D, you're *supposed* to have a cleric (or a druid, or a bard, or a paladin, or potions) for healing. That's the whole point of the D&D flavor. You can cast magic missile infinite times per day? That's not D&D, you're *supposed* to have a limited number of zots for blasting. That's the whole point of the D&D flavor. Now, I'm not saying these are *bad* changes. I'm fully open to the idea that they may make the game flow better and so on. I'm just saying it's like moving on to a completely different game system. And I haven't been convinced why I should do that when I'm enjoying my 3.5 games highly.

Re:Too much of a departure (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689341)

That's not D&D, you're *supposed* to have a limited number of zots for blasting.

One of the nifty rules added in 3.5 was that you could take a feat to get an infinte number of "zots", but only until you used up higher level spell slots. So, in other words, you can have a lot of power for a short time or a short amount of power for a long time. In reality, this made fighting minions more fun, because you didn't have to stop and rest before you hit the boss.

Where's the Rules? (1)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687243)

The link in the summary that says "4th Edition rulebooks are now available", doesn't point to where I can go look at the 4th edition rules. The Wizards website still says that it's one day away. Could someone please post a link to where I can actually look at the new rules? Or are they not actually available yet?

Re:Where's the Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23687575)

You can get the books from a game or book store today. D&D Day is a special event of promotion and gaming they're having tomorrow at various game stores around the country.

Still Using AD&D 2.5 Edition (5, Insightful)

The Insane One (25793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687345)

As amazing as it sounds, our gaming group, who has been meeting for about 20 years now, still use the AD&D 2.0 edition with the Skills & Powers expansion. Some of the same customization without the lethality and long battles of RoleMaster. Since we all have extensive libraries of these older 2nd edition books, the odds are not good that we'll migrate to YAEODD (Yet Another Edition Of Dungeons & Dragons).

I remember the WotC Slashdot questions regarding the release of the 4th edition. One of the questions was why we should bother to upgrade our libraries since D&D edition 5 is probably just around the corner? The answer was, and I'll paraphrase since I'm getting old, "Because it's just better." Great logic. I read that as "We need more money."

Of course, a lot of our group play World of Warcraft between games and from all indications, 4th edition is tabletop WoW.

Of course they need more money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23689359)

That's generally what business is about. Making money, making a living. No one is going to say, "My kids aren't going to eat tonight, but that's okay, because someone out there is having a fun game of AD&D."

Re:Of course they need more money. (1, Interesting)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690403)

Thats what business is now... it used to be about making *THINGS* not *MONEY*

Now our world is just about greed and new versions.

Re:Still Using AD&D 2.5 Edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23689847)

The answer was, and I'll paraphrase since I'm getting old, "Because it's just better."

No, the answer is because it's more balanced, more streamlined, clearer, and requires far less paperwork and number crunching for the same results. You can have fun without constantly referring to your calculator.

since D&D edition 5 is probably just around the corner?

It's been eight years since 3e came out, and nobody in their right mind will tell you that 3e was even close to being balanced above 5th level or so. How long do they have to wait before it's ok to release a major revision? Exactly how wide are your corners?

Of course, a lot of our group play World of Warcraft between games and from all indications, 4th edition is tabletop WoW.

This is just plain wrong and shows that you don't actually know anything about the mechanics other than superficial impressions and FUD.

Re:Still Using AD&D 2.5 Edition (2, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690405)

Naturally, a tabletop game can't be as complex as a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game like World of Warcraft.

But further, you are incorrect in several major ways:
1. In 3/3.5 DnD, a medium to high level character is defined more by his gear than by his skills. That fits an MMO. 4e reduces the gear characters can use and reduces "buff" gear ("buff" is an item or magical event that makes a character stronger, faster, or otherwise more capable).
2. In 3/3.5 DnD, medium to high level characters preceded each combat encounter with buff spells and potion drinking. That fits an MMO. 4e has far fewer "buff" spells and almost all of them have a 1 round duration.
3. In 3/3.5 DnD, medium to high level classes with melee focus (Fighters, Barbarians, Paladins) really didn't deal anywhere near as much damage in battle as spellcasters. Their primary job was to serve as a meat shield while the spellcasters took out opponents. That fits an MMO. 4e gives all classes more options, so Fighters can actually *gasp* be good at fighting and do serious damage in their own right.
4. In 3/3.5 DnD, high AC meant an opponent was hard to hit and damage reduction (DR) meant some damage was absorbed and negated before the opponent was actually hurt. This made for tedious bookkeeping, which an MMO does for you. In 4e, damage reduction is gone, and AC stands for being both unable to hit an opponent or being unable to hit an opponent effectively.

If you're happy with AD&D 2.0, more power to you and don't change. But the reduced emphasis on magic items and pre-combat spellcasting, the change to make Fighters actually useful and interesting and interesting at high levels, and simplifying many game mechanics moves 4e much further away from MMOs than 3e or arguably even old AD&D (which I played for a few years myself).

How many times is this going to be released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23687755)

Seriously, it seems like I have seen at least 3 or 4 other Slashdot articles saying "4th edition D&D released!".

Penny-Arcade and PvP play D&D 4th Ed. (1)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23687817)

Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny-Arcade fame [penny-arcade.com] got together with Scott Kurtz of PvP [pvponline.com] and played D&D 4th Edition. The escapades were recorded and are being posted as Podcasts. You can subscribe to the podcasts at http://www.wizards.com/dnd/rsspodcast.xml [wizards.com] or download the First [wizards.com] and Second [wizards.com] files directly.

Worst Edition, Ever (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23688267)

And suddenly, it was as if, a million geeks cried out in pain, and just as silently were silenced.
Wow, no really WoW, or World of Warcraft, I can't imagine a pen and paper game more well-dsigned to emulate a video game than this. Don't get me wrong, I love WoW, and haven't played D&D in many years, but I sincerely doubt I will ever play this edition. Damn You WotC, I defended you 8 years ago when people said you were video-gameifying D&D, and you do this, from what I can see, this is WoW in tabletop form, WoW is a lot of things, but it is no RPG, and sadly, neither is this new 4th edition of D&D. Thankfully, Dear old Gary is not here to witness this dishonoring of his memory, surely he is rolling over in his grave.

Who else thinks the 'unaligned' alignment is the new Chaotic Neutral, only worse ("I can do anything, I'm not bound by rules, or ethics or morals, YAY!")?
I can only hope that this new edition does far worse than the last forcing Hasbro to shutter WotC to spare us another insipid edition that only further tarnishes the name Dungeons & Dragons.
I never thought I would say this, but WotC, go back to making magic the addiction, and pokemon, it's all you are now, ever were, and ever will be good at.

Re:Worst Edition, Ever (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23690439)

I answered this above, but to summarize, these changes in 4e make it less like an MMO than Dungeons and Dragons 3 or 3.5 and even less like an MMO than Advanced Dungeons and Dragons:
Melee classes are dramatically more effective in combat at high levels, and not just meat shields for the spellcasters. Buff spells and potions are all but totally gone. Fewer magical items can be worn and PCs are not useless without their magical gear at higher levels.

Maybe eventually... (2, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23689133)

Something about the new edition's been bothering me for a while, and I think I finally figured out what it was.

I've only looked briefly at the rules, so maybe I'm wrong in some of this.

The alignment system isn't as "broken" as it looks. The original frankly wasn't that great, and the new one isn't so very different. It looks silly at first, but only if you're used to the old one, which has been there since 1st edition. Neither one was a hard and fast stricture on how you can role-play your character, despite some people trying to make it that.

The new races actually look kind of cool. And all classes having "powers" which are about the same. For instance, some have pointed out that there's now no functional difference between a ranger firing his bow every round and a wizard firing off a magic missile every round. OK, but there's still a big difference in flavor. Although I'm going to miss them each having their own separate advantages, disadvantages, and different defenses for each.

Out of combat skills have been scaled way back, which is kind of a shame. In 3.5, you could give more information, or make the NPCs a little friendlier based on knowledge or gather information or diplomacy checks, letting a character be a diplomat or master of social situations even if the player wasn't. In 4th ed, it seems like things like this rely purely on the players skill at convincing the DM. Which eliminates all those characters whose builds were focused on their ability to resolve encounters through other than violent means.

The biggest problem, though, is the online component. Maybe if I was playing regularly again I could justify it. But I'm between groups now and will probably be that way for a while. Normally, I'd be getting Dragon magazine during times like these, but they canceled that. But it's not just extra content it looks like. Significant parts of the rules - most of the classes, powers, monsters, etc. - will be online only. Having to pay an extra $15/month to make the core rulebooks complete makes me want to not buy the core rulebooks rather than make me want to pay extra for the online content.

Re:Maybe eventually... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23689663)

I've only looked briefly at the rules, so maybe I'm wrong in some of this.

You're basically wrong about all of it, so I'd recommend actually reading the rules before passing judgement.

For instance, some have pointed out that there's now no functional difference between a ranger firing his bow every round and a wizard firing off a magic missile every round. OK, but there's still a big difference in flavor. Although I'm going to miss them each having their own separate advantages, disadvantages, and different defenses for each.

Uh, there are still separate advantages, disadvantages, and defenses for each. The only thing in common is that they're ranged attacks that can both be done every round.

Out of combat skills have been scaled way back, which is kind of a shame. In 3.5, you could give more information, or make the NPCs a little friendlier based on knowledge or gather information or diplomacy checks, letting a character be a diplomat or master of social situations even if the player wasn't. In 4th ed, it seems like things like this rely purely on the players skill at convincing the DM. Which eliminates all those characters whose builds were focused on their ability to resolve encounters through other than violent means.

First, Diplomacy was horribly broken in 3rd ed. Any seasoned optimizer will tell you that diplomacy builds are a joke -- not because they're bad, but because it's so easy to break it that there's no point in trying. Diplomacy is still in the game, just as much as it was in prior editions, and what's so wrong about players convincing the DM rather than relying on die rolls? This is a roleplaying game, after all. It's important for the DM to keep in mind that the character has skills and abilities the player doesn't have, but at the same time, it's ludicrous for a player to be able to roll a d20 and instantly win any encounter just because their Diplomacy bonus is high enough.

But it's not just extra content it looks like. Significant parts of the rules - most of the classes, powers, monsters, etc. - will be online only.

Where did you hear that from? That's not true at all. The game is still perfectly playable with only the books.
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