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Author Topic: [4th Edition D&D] H1 - Keep on the Shadowfell  (Read 37017 times)
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YellowKing
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« on: May 21, 2008, 06:51:14 PM »

The first official module for 4th Edition D&D is out, and my copy arrived today. This module serves as an introductory adventure to preview and explain 4th Edition rules before the core rulebooks release on June 6th. It takes a party of 5 from 1 - 3 and close to 4th level, but unfortunately uses pre-generated characters. (My group's plan is to play through the module with the pre-gen characters, then transfer the XP to our "real" characters once we roll them up using the Player's Handbook.)

I've skimmed over it and it provides a decent set of quick start rules (much more fleshed out than the one-sheet quick start rules unveiled a few months ago), and the adventure seems meaty enough to provide several nights worth of entertainment. Scale maps suitable for using miniatures are included.

Hopefully our group will get a chance to dive into it this weekend, and I'll try to provide some impressions not only of the module but how 4th Edition plays in general.


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kronovan
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 08:47:58 PM »

I'd be interested to hear how the new rules are for actual gameplay. I almost got in on a 4th Edition preview earlier this spring at a local game convention, but unfortunately WotC pulled out in the 11th hour. I'm really only a Star Wars Mini's and Saga player these days, but having been a player as far back as the AD&D days, I'm always interested in hearing how the games evolving.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 08:57:58 PM »

Just from reading the quick start rules and from what I've gleaned over the past couple of months, this is a pretty radical change. The main focus has been on streamlining the rules and making the game more fast-paced and fun (whether that is actually the case remains to be seen).

I'm pretty familiar with all the basics now, but the list of changes is just too many to even recount. Pretty much every aspect of the game has undergone an overhaul. If you have any specific questions, let me know.

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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 09:37:07 PM »

I'm hoping my copy arrived in the mail today too!  Really anxious to see the changes!

[EDIT] Woo-hoo!  UPS says its been delivered!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 09:39:12 PM by hentzau » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 03:33:36 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on May 21, 2008, 08:57:58 PM

I'm pretty familiar with all the basics now, but the list of changes is just too many to even recount. Pretty much every aspect of the game has undergone an overhaul. If you have any specific questions, let me know.

Once you've had a chance to run it, I'd be really interested in knowing how you feel about the new "minion" rules (assuming they're actually in there).
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YellowKing
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 07:39:25 PM »

They're in there kadnod, though the quick start rules don't reference them specifically. I had to read through a minion creature's stat block to figure out how they were different.

I'm really interested to see how the flow of combat changes. We used to get really bogged down in combat in our old D&D games, but the new rules make it seem much faster paced even as there is a lot more going on. I'm sure some of these revisions seem like borderline blasphemy to old-schoolers (mages not having to memorize spells? Egads!), but as long as the changes make for a fun game, I'm all for them.
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Rich
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 08:01:59 PM »

Has there been any news on when the virtual 3d gaming table service will start?  I bought 4 licenses to the Fantasy Grounds program a few years back to try to do a bit of D&D gaming but other than Crux and myself we couldn't seem to keep a game together.  I'm very interested in the service they showed off at GenCon last summer to coincide with 4th ed.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 08:08:19 PM »

Disappointing news on that front. They just announced beta for the online tools earlier this month, and that beta still doesn't include the character generator or the virtual tabletop (about all it does include is the online rules compendium). From what I've read on the forums, most people think the earliest we'll see the online service is late fall.
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 01:27:32 AM »

I wonder if the d20 site will update to 4.0

I was running 3 games on OO
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 11:27:07 AM »

Definitely let us know how your adventure progresses. I'm curious to hear how D&D 4th runs.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2008, 12:38:25 PM »

Well, we played one session which came out to two major encounters.

My thoughts:

1. Everything has been scaled up: Consider this 3.5 on steroids. A Level 1 mage starts out with 27 hit points. Everyone is tougher, but that goes for the monsters as well. Money seems to be scaled up in terms of encounter rewards, which I assume means prices have gone up for equipment - I can't confirm that until I get my hands on a Player's Handbook.

2. Encounters are bigger: Due to the new minion rule, encounters can get pretty big. My Level 1 group was fighting 7-8 mobs at a time, and these were just the starting encounters. Later ones come in actual *waves.* My group had a lot of fun with this though, as it gave them more strategy to consider when moving their minis around.

3. Combat is faster and more fun: Everyone in the group agreed that combat was not the slog it used to be in older editions. Because every class has unique combat skills, everybody participated in dishing out the pain. It's no longer "everyone hang back while the fighter tanks and the rogue flanks." Even our cleric was sizzling foes with rays of light.

4. Healing surges seem overpowered at first, but they're not so much in reality. When first reading the quick start rules and realizing that everybody could use a healing surge once per encounter to heal themselves, we thought the cleric would have nothing to do. In practice, however, we realized that though healing surges were fine in emergency situations, we didn't rely on them during combat due to the fact you're sacrificing an attack to use one. We also found that due to the increased mob strength, one good blow could wipe out the healing surge you just spent anyway. Clerics will still have to use heals wisely.

5. At will powers - overpowered? The one area we felt might be a little overpowered is the At Will powers. These are powers or spells that can be used every round with no limitations. Magic Missile, for example, is now an At Will power. However, what I found the group doing is always foregoing standard attacks in order to use an At Will power. Our fighter, for example, never straight attacked. He'd use Cleave or some other combat power that at least gave a chance for added damage or an added effect. Why shouldn't he, if there's no cost involved compared to a standard attack? Right now I don't quite understand the incentive to use regular attacks versus At Will attacks.

All in all we had a lot of fun with the new rules, but I still have some major questions that I can't answer until I get the core rulebooks. DMing definitely went a lot smoother with the improved combat flow and streamlined rules. And ultimately, as overpowered as we thought the At Will attacks were, we had two classes nearly die on the second encounter. Seeing as we haven't even touched the harder mobs yet, maybe the difficulty is such that these things only seem overpowered against the peons we've fought so far.

Next session is this Friday, where we'll be getting into some more complex encounters, so I'll keep you up to date on how it goes.




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Dan_Theman
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2008, 01:22:57 PM »

Hmm.  Amazon still has their preorder deal posted.  Tempting ... if only I didn't have a backlog of millions of games, and if I'd played D&D more recently.  I do miss it, however - those were some great times.  I'm glad to see its newest incarnation is shaping up nicely.
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Rich
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2008, 06:15:05 PM »

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 28, 2008, 01:22:57 PM

Hmm.  Amazon still has their preorder deal posted.  Tempting ... if only I didn't have a backlog of millions of games, and if I'd played D&D more recently.  I do miss it, however - those were some great times.  I'm glad to see its newest incarnation is shaping up nicely.

I got my preorder in at Overstock and went ahead and added the H1 adventure to the order, the price was lower than Amazon and I don't get hit with the sales tax but I'll probably have to wait longer on the shipping.
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hentzau
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008, 04:53:48 PM »

I'm torn.  I want to start playing this right way, but I also would rather have my players create new characters that they like and run this with them.  Not sure I want to wait, though.  What to do, what to do...
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008, 06:17:24 PM »

Keep it coming, YK.

Although the chances of me ever having time to play 4th Edition are slim, I LOVE reading about it. 

Thanks!
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YellowKing
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 06:52:05 PM »

Our session has been bumped to Saturday night, so it will be Sunday before I have some more thoughts.

Hentzau; my recommendation would be to hold off. You've only got a week before the core rulebooks come out, and as I pointed out even with a pretty good set of quickstart rules we still had questions arise frequently.

The problem we're going to run into is that the rulebooks are going to be out long before we complete this adventure - it's fairly sizeable, and if you do all the side quests and main quest it could easily take several nights. So we're going to be halfway through the thing and everybody is going to want to roll up "real" characters and change things mid-stride. If I had my druthers, I'd have just waited, but they've all got the bug so bad to play that I haven't been able to persuade them to postpone tomorrow night's session until after June 6.


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Rich
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2008, 07:49:31 PM »

Just wanted to say that I already have a tracking number on my pre-order of the 4th edition books, they left CA at 1:15 AM on Friday(today).
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hentzau
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2008, 05:09:35 PM »

Quote from: Rich on May 30, 2008, 07:49:31 PM

Just wanted to say that I already have a tracking number on my pre-order of the 4th edition books, they left CA at 1:15 AM on Friday(today).

Damn!  Even with my 2 day shipping from Amazon, you're going to have quite a head start on me!  Lucky.
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2008, 06:35:57 PM »

Quote from: Rich on May 30, 2008, 07:49:31 PM

Just wanted to say that I already have a tracking number on my pre-order of the 4th edition books, they left CA at 1:15 AM on Friday(today).

Where the heck did you order them from to get them that fast?

And BTW - from what I've read elsewhere, the three books (PG, DMG, and MM) have all been leaked to the 'net. Heard they were the same copies that went to the printers to actually print out or something.
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Rich
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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2008, 01:43:49 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 31, 2008, 06:35:57 PM

Quote from: Rich on May 30, 2008, 07:49:31 PM

Just wanted to say that I already have a tracking number on my pre-order of the 4th edition books, they left CA at 1:15 AM on Friday(today).

Where the heck did you order them from to get them that fast?

And BTW - from what I've read elsewhere, the three books (PG, DMG, and MM) have all been leaked to the 'net. Heard they were the same copies that went to the printers to actually print out or something.

Got them from Overstock.com the total price was a bit cheaper than Amazon because I get charged tax when shopping at Amazon.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2008, 01:25:03 PM »

Night 2 Report:

Last night we continued our adventure, and things went a lot smoother this time around. I found a simple little initiative tracking program on the web, and this enabled combat to move really quickly. The thing about 4th edition so far is that encounters are typically large - 10 mobs in an encounter is not uncommon, so having a little help to manage initiative and HP for each creature is almost a necessity.

Some of the more interesting things we ran into last night:

Saving throws: The whole magic system has been *completely* revamped. Spells are no longer auto-hit, with a chance for the target to make a saving throw. Instead, spells are rolled as an attack. For example, if a wizard wants to cast Magic Missile, he now rolls an attack + 4 against the target's Reflex stat. If he hits, the missile does its damage, and if he misses, then the missile sails harmlessly overhead. In essence, they have taken the target's saving throw and turned it into an attack roll on the caster's side.

Saving throws still exist to resolve ongoing spell effects. For instance, a Sleep spell. However, they too have been changed. They are no longer based on a character's Reflex/Endurance/Willpower, because those stats are resolved when the spell first hits or misses. Saving throws now are very simple - roll a 20-sided die. If the result is 1-10, the effect remains. If the result is 11-20, the effect ends.

It's an enormous change, but we found it did add to the tension in combat. The wizard is no longer able to sit back, cast magic missile, and be confident that he's going to "unerringly strike his target." Now casting classes get to face the same random chance that fighting classes do.

Class Powers: I said before that we thought At Will class powers seemed a little overpowered. We're starting to understand that there are a LOT of things in 4th edition that seem overpowered on paper, but are actually pretty balanced in actual gameplay. The key thing to keep in mind is that it's not just the characters that have been boosted - the monsters have too. And with powers and spells now having to make an attack roll to land, just because you have a power doesn't mean you're going to pull off its effect in battle. At Will powers seem largely based on your standard weapon attack, so though they may bestow some other slight benefit, we realized they are not necessarily an unfair replacement for a standard attack.

In last night's session, our big encounter lasted well over an hour. However, it was an hour filled with fun and strategy, not tedium. Our rogue nearly died, and probably would have if the wizard had not been incredibly lucky with a sleep spell and managed to knock out 4 opponents. Pretty much every party member got beat up pretty badly. There were some very lucky critical hits that came at the right time and caused cheers to erupt around the table....and there were some very unlucky misses that caused some real fear that somebody was going to die. In short - it was everything D&D combat should be - we were so caught up in the strategy and luck of the dice that instead of the encounter feeling sluggish and "can we get this over with?" everyone was riveted to the map to see what would happen next.

Rogues: Rogues got a lot of things changed to be more simple. Instead of all the separate lockpick, trap disarm, etc. skills, everything has been rolled into one "Thievery" skill. You'll find this merging of skills all over the place. No more Spot and Listen checks - they've been combined into one "Perception" check. It's just an example of how streamlined the game has become. Some may call it "dumbing down" but in almost all the cases we ran into, we found the changes to be a nice simplification without "breaking" the original intent of the skill. It's soooo much easier on the DM now to just roll a general Perception or Thievery check now instead of poring over character sheets looking at 3 or 4 different skill stats. 

My conclusion thus far - the changes are BIG. There are going to be old-school D&D die-hards who feel that somehow this game has been turned into a Saturday morning cartoon version of itself, with crazy powers flying everywhere. They're going to feel that due to the increased power of the characters, that somehow this game has been turned "carebear" or into a "paper MMO."
However, as much as I love D&D and have played it over the years, I'm not a stickler for the old ways. If the changes make it fun, then I'll roll with it. And from what I've seen so far, they bring back the fun in spades. Players feel powerful now. Every class feels like they can contribute. There's real tension in combat again, and numerous opportunities to use unique tactics and strategy.
Things are going to seem overpowered at first. So far, all my players agree that the balance is just right. Our encounter last night could have easily resulted in at least 2 character deaths, and it's still a fairly minor encounter compared to the rest of the adventure.

The best thing I can say about the game so far? My wife, who has never played D&D, sat down at the table and played with us last night. And had a blast. If the game can hook a new player like that, and allow them to learn the game quickly and have fun, then they're doing something right.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2008, 04:43:40 PM »

I really appreciate the detailed impressions, YellowKing.  Thanks for taking the time to write them all up!

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2008, 07:55:24 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on June 01, 2008, 04:43:40 PM

I really appreciate the detailed impressions, YellowKing.  Thanks for taking the time to write them all up!

I fully agree. Keep them coming!
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« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2008, 08:19:19 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 01, 2008, 07:55:24 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on June 01, 2008, 04:43:40 PM

I really appreciate the detailed impressions, YellowKing.  Thanks for taking the time to write them all up!

I fully agree. Keep them coming!

+1

Just pre-orderded my set.  Looking forward to getting back into the game.
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« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2008, 11:18:34 PM »

I got my hands on a leaked copy of the core rule books (don't worry, my retail copy is on preorder and will be shipped this week).

The one thing I'm a bit iffy on right now is that unlike past editions, the wizards don't get a ton of spells to choose from each level. This feels more like an MMO, where they're limited to selecting from a handful of new powers each level. It remains to be seen how that affects our campaign, but our resident wizard was none too happy. smile

Still, we've got a long way to go before we can fully evaluate this edition. We've decided to roll up "real" characters now that we have the rules and substitute them into the current adventure. A little cheesy, I know, but we see no sense continuing play with these pre-gens that nobody really has any attachment to.
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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2008, 04:16:13 PM »

Tonight, for our usual gaming night, we are going to set aside our fledgling D&D 3.5 game and Descent (our backup game when my wife can't play) and using the quick start rules and provided characters and monsters from Keep on the Shadowfell I'm going to set up a simple little dungeon crawl for us to try out the new rules and combat.  That way we get a taste of what is to come, and I can go ahead and run the adventure as is when the players create new characters.  Looking forward to it!
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YellowKing
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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2008, 06:08:34 PM »

Let us know how it goes, hentzau. I'm curious to hear other "real folks'" impressions are, especially someone who has had more recent 3.5 edition experience than I have and can make a better direct comparison.

I'm slogging my way through the rule books now, and I'm still not completely sold on the limited numbers of powers and such available to select from per level. It's worse on casters, however, as they always had the most spells to choose from in previous editions. I guess the problem I have with it is that early on, it makes having two of the same class very redundant, as they will look almost identical. Some variation starts occuring at Level 11 and 21, when you enter your new Paragon or Epic role, however. We'll see how it goes. I guess one thing I have to keep in mind is that with the game just launching, there aren't any variation rulebooks out there that could potentially add a lot of spells and things to the caster classes.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of these changes. Yikes.

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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2008, 06:31:12 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 02, 2008, 06:08:34 PM

Let us know how it goes, hentzau. I'm curious to hear other "real folks'" impressions are, especially someone who has had more recent 3.5 edition experience than I have and can make a better direct comparison.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of these changes. Yikes.

Agreed. As someone that played a bit of 3.5, at first glance, 4.0 seems like they just WoWed the game too much. The impressions so far here though, are really starting to change my opinion of it.

And yes, there seem to be a lot of changes. Here's to hoping they're all for the better in the long run.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2008, 05:05:09 PM »

Quote
As someone that played a bit of 3.5, at first glance, 4.0 seems like they just WoWed the game too much.

All joking aside, that's not a bad comparison. WoW took the basic MMO, streamlined it, made it very accessible to new players, and focused on making the game a lot of fun.

That's pretty much exactly what 4th edition does as well. And to go along with it, they've certainly "borrowed" some things from MMOs. For instance, fighters get a "mark" ability that basically works very much like a taunt, for those familiar with playing a tank in an MMO. Every class gets powers now, just like in an MMO. The list goes on...

Whether you see this as a "dumbing down" of the game or simply making the game faster and more fun to play will depend on your point of view. At this point I can honestly see both sides of the argument. As an adult with career and wife to deal with, I certainly appreciate the simpler, quicker ruleset. It actually allows me to play now and get regular groups going. Somebody who has more time to devote to the game and likes the intricacies and more in-depth character customization of the older editions will probably find aspects of it too "carebear" and easy.

However, I think that ultimately people need to keep in mind that it is very easy to take a simple concept and make it more complex, but it's much harder to do the reverse. D&D has been made more accessible, and in the long run I think that will be a good thing. More people playing = more modules, more rules variations, more overall content.
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2008, 05:21:37 PM »

Great stuff.

YK:  Is there anyplace one can go to read up on the upcoming features regarding the online component of 4.0?  My friends are scattered across the U.S. - and being able to take the game 'virtual' with all sorts of neat doodads would be quite cool.  But I really know nothing about it, nor where to look to find the info.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2008, 07:16:34 PM »

www.dndinsider.com will be the "portal" to the online tools. There are a lot of previews and such on there if you dig around, and the forums have some good info. YouTube also has a lot of good developer videos and demos on the online tools, so do a search on "D&D 4e" or something like that and you should run across them.

The plan as it stands now is that public beta for the online stuff will start June 6, when the core rulebooks are released. Initially, this beta content is rumored to only consist of online rulesets and articles, and will not include the virtual gametable/char generator that most people are excited about. However, those will hit public beta in time.

After the public beta, they will have an introductory pricing scheme for the online tools, and after that it will go to its ordinary $15/mo price (though they offer discounts for buying multiple months in advance, like most MMOs do).

One thing that may make the subscription cost a little easier to swallow is that in one of the dev videos I watched, they revealed that subscribers would pretty much get access to everything. Their original plan was that you would only have access to online books/modules that you had bought physical copies of. That turned out to be a database nightmare for them, so they decided to just open it all up for your monthly cost.

I'm not 100% certain this is how it will all ultimately play out, but that's the info I've gathered so far. It's a bit disappointing that they didn't have the online component ready to go when the books launched, but the fact that the beta will be public makes up for it a bit I guess.
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« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2008, 07:55:29 PM »

OK, so our combat test last night.  My players took four of the characters from the quick start, and I used some dungeon tiles to throw together a really simple little dungeon crawl.  We only had a couple of hours to get ready, explain rules, and then play.  So...

Everything that YK has said I pretty much agree with. 

The concept that it has been MMO-ized was confirmed by my 12 year old.  First time that the Dragon Paladin used his "mark" ability, and I explained it further, she said "Thats kind of like a tanker in City of Heroes."  And after she watched the rogue in action, she said "And he's like a scrapper.  And the wizard I'm playing is like a blaster!  Cool!"

The players were shocked at how resilient everything was.  The guy playing the paladin rolled a critical for the first shot against a Goblin Warrior, and when I just marked down the damage and went on, he went "What???  It's a goblin!"  I said "Yep.  You're tougher, they're tougher!"

Minions are fun to play with.  Just a bunch of guys to get in their way, easily taken down, but can do some damage in groups.

The player playing the Cleric raised the same question that you did, YK...why would anyone use a regular attack instead of an at-will power.  All of the at-will powers did better damage, and had better to-hit chances.  I didn't have a good answer for him.

The cleric player also questioned how different you can make one cleric from another, would they all have the same basic powers?  I told him what I had read somewhere that the choices at the start were somewhat limited, but would open up as they released specific class books.

The first combat was kind of bogged down, as everyone tried to remember the three actions they could take, Standard, Move, And Minor.  Lots of times they would forget that they could take them in whatever order they wanted, they were always sticking with doing them in the order of Minor, Move, Standard.

When we hit the second combat, which was much larger then the first (3 goblin warriors, a goblin sharpshooter, and 4 minions) they thought they were screwed.  And there were several nail biting moments, the wizard left himself open and got two warriors on him and was down to 7 hit points in a single round, but the cleric saved his butt while doing some fairly righteous damage to the sharpshooter himself.  They then started to see the tactics, how to use the abilities and skills properly.

Another extremely telling factor...the player who had the cleric used to hate running clerics.  Now when we get the rules in, thats the first character he wants to create!

Surveyed afterwards, all of the players agreed that they enjoyed the combat more than 3.5 combat.  Just seemed more "fun".  And that is kind of the whole point.  Can't wait to get my hands on the books!

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YellowKing
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2008, 09:02:24 PM »

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The player playing the Cleric raised the same question that you did, YK...why would anyone use a regular attack instead of an at-will power.  All of the at-will powers did better damage, and had better to-hit chances.  I didn't have a good answer for him.

I actually *do* have an answer for this, now that I've had a chance to see the books.

Quite simply, the game does not expect you to use regular attacks anymore!

If you look closely, a great deal of offensive At-Will powers are based directly on standard attack damage, and this attack damage changes with weapon type. So for all intents and purposes, many At Will power could still be considered a "standard attack" - albeit with some minor benefit attached. It's just another example of how things have been scaled up. They took boring regular attacks and turned them into a variety of At Will powers.

Regular attacks are still used for one purpose - attacks of opportunity. An attack of opportunity will always be a regular attack. Other than that, the game rules fully admit that most characters will be using a power every round.
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hentzau
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« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2008, 09:21:02 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 03, 2008, 09:02:24 PM

Regular attacks are still used for one purpose - attacks of opportunity. An attack of opportunity will always be a regular attack. Other than that, the game rules fully admit that most characters will be using a power every round.

Ah-ha!  Now that makes sense!  So for the most part, no regular attacks, unless someone has say a ranged attack that isn't their usual forte or something, and a regular attack comes up if you are taking an attack of opportunity.  Got it!  nod
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IceBear
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« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2008, 12:24:47 PM »

Yeah, YK answered the question about regular attacks.

My group played one session of Keep of the Shadowfell, but unfortunately they didn't like 4E.  Basically, they are too rooted in the past editions - they felt that the rogue was way too powerful, and everyone else too weak.  Tried to explain that unlike 3E where they were a little too giving with options that could make any class a killing machine, they are trying to make sure the system doesn't suffer from as many exploits as in 3.x - one of the ways they are doing that is by the role assignments for classes - a defender class just isn't going to do as much damage as a striker.  I also liked the line that I think Mike Mearls said in one of the D&D podcasts "In 3E you did all the tactical work building your character and then at the table you pretty much said, 'My character does x amount of damage per round' while in 4E it's not what character build you bring to the table, it's how you play the character at the table'"  Basically, the guy playing the wizard missed all the time and felt he didn't do enough damage compared to the rogue (now that I have the PHB, I see that anyone who plays a wizard to do tons of damage should play a warlock in 4E - a warlock is a striker class in 4E which is meant to do a lot of damage to one target and the wizard is a controller - does damage to lots of enemies and can help control the battlefield).  Likewise the guy playing the fighter missed a lot and compared to his 3.5 fighter killing machine felt too weak.  Hopefully, I'll get them to give it another try once the books are out.

I also downloaded the leaked books (hopefully I'll have my real set this Friday, but most likely not until Monday.  I'm VERY happy with the DMG - looks like a DM's dream come true for making encounter building a simple task instead of the convoluted process it was in 3E.

My main problem with 4E is some of the powers seem to computer gamey unless the person using them roleplays well.  I understand with the change in the description of hitpoints, the fighter healing because the paladin hit something can be explained as the fighter getting a morale boost that recharges his fighting spirit, but unless the players act that out it feels too arbitary and computer gamey to me.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 12:28:01 PM by IceBear » Logged
hentzau
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« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2008, 12:34:20 PM »

Yay!  Icebear!  I was wanting to hear what you thought about the new edition!  Welcome aboard!
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YellowKing
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2008, 01:25:14 PM »

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My main problem with 4E is some of the powers seem to computer gamey unless the person using them roleplays well.

I agree. I have been trying to describe attacks in terms of "realistic" combat action. We've also come to an understanding that when my fighter says he points, insults, or in some way provokes a certain mob, then he is "marking" his target. Healing surges in melee classes are described as bursts of adrenalin, etc.

I really don't think any particular class is overpowered, it's just as you pointed out, people have to learn the new roles. And things shift from encounter to encounter. Our first session was two encounters, my players pretty much coasted through them, the discussion around the table was that the classes were way overpowered, the game was too easy, etc. Next session, a harder encounter, our rogue almost died, every class member was severely wounded, and all of a sudden nobody was whining about things being overpowered anymore.  icon_biggrin  What's particularly delightful to me as DM is that they have only scratched the tip of the iceberg of what is coming at them.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2008, 01:33:32 PM »

I wanna play I wanna play I wanna playyyyyyyy!

Anyone want to move to Dallas and let me play? I ordered the books from Amazon, I will read them, shelve them and dream about being able to play, much like I did as a kid growing up in the sticks... none of my friends were dorks enough then either.
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kadnod
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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2008, 01:58:44 PM »

Thanks for the impressions, YK, IB and hent.  Now I'm really looking forward to picking up the books this Friday. 

Quote from: coopasonic on June 04, 2008, 01:33:32 PM

I wanna play I wanna play I wanna playyyyyyyy!

Me too.   And since I can't move to Dallas, I'll try to run an online game for forumites once that component is working.     icon_wink
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2008, 04:10:12 PM »

I found those videos on the virtual tabletop gameplay by searching YouTube.  Thanks for the suggestion, YK.

I'm actually quite impressed with what they showed. This is pretty exciting for friends who are separated by miles & miles and would like to hook up once or twice a month.
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