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Author Topic: [4th Edition D&D] H1 - Keep on the Shadowfell  (Read 36614 times)
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IceBear
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« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2008, 06:24:14 PM »

Personally I like minions.  They allow for very cinematic scenes (like the fighter wading through a horde of orcs), and they allow for a DM to put some goons in the climatic fight with the Big Bad and have them actually contribute.  In 3E, most of the time the Big Bad's henchmen had to be of a much lower level than party in order to keep the encounter level down.  However, this often meant they had almost no chance of actually hitting anything.  This is not the case with minions.  There could be some major weirdness with minions (given that they have 1hp but misses don't hurt them - a fireball for example, does 1/2 damage on a miss, but it would do 0 damage to a minion - done to prevent high level characters from basically killing a room full of high level minions without even hitting them) and as someone pointed out, if you should mind control a minion and have it attack another minion does it still only have 1hp? smile  However, given I didn't actually see a charm person type spell anymore (I noticed most problematic combat spells - mind control, illusions and polymorph - either don't exist anymore or can only be cast in a ritual) I'm sure it won't be an issue smile

For me, I'm going to have fun with minions like they intended - hordes of baddies streaming at the players for them to hack down on their way for the real threat.  The good thing is, if you don't like minions, don't use them; essentially 4 minions = 1 normal monster of that type so it's pretty easy to do
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2008, 07:19:40 PM »

If there's any sort of D&D campaign run by or with members of the forum, please count me in.  I'm really interested in trying this new version out, and I'm inclined to try any class that would help fill out the group.

-Autistic Angel
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YellowKing
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« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2008, 07:36:21 PM »

Yeah, minions are awesome. Our fighter absolutely loves encounters with minions, as it gives him a chance to really wreak havoc. There is something satisfying about one-shotting a critter, and I always describe minion deaths with appropriate violence (you swing your sword, decapitating the hapless kobold in one stroke. His body falls to the floor, still twitching.)

As a DM, the thing I like about them is that they give you a lot of mobs just to dick around with. Whereas I have to be careful about where I position main baddies (I don't want to make the encounter too easy or quick by making tactical blunders with my big bads), I can just send minions out willy-nilly. Attempt flanks, gang up on one character, etc. They are pure cannon fodder, and I love to watch my players' faces when they realize they are coming up against a room of ten kobolds (they are getting a little smarter about what mobs are minions and which aren't though, so they don't act nearly as terrified now as they used to. Maybe I should toss them in a room full of ten *real* kobolds just to see their faces drop when they don't one-shot the first one they hit).  icon_biggrin

I can't wait for this weekend's session. We're finally getting into some serious encounters, we'll be playing with "real" characters, and most everyone will have read the Players' Handbook. Should be a blast.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2008, 07:59:19 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 04, 2008, 07:36:21 PM

Maybe I should toss them in a room full of ten *real* kobolds just to see their faces drop when they don't one-shot the first one they hit).  icon_biggrin

No, no, make the front few minions. Let em have a chance to get comfortable before they find out the hard way that the other 7 aren't minions.
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Turtle
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« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2008, 09:04:45 PM »

"This kobold looks a big larger than the rest, he adopts a fighting stance as you move forward to attack."  smile

I was wondering what the minion rule was, I guess it's just NPCs that have 1 hit point?  Do they have any other negatives in combat?
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IceBear
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« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2008, 09:06:56 PM »

Other than dying in one hit, they are pretty much identical to the full blown monster (their attack numbers and defences might be a few points lower, but not by much).  I think there are some examples of minions on WotC site

Actually, if you click on this link http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/ExcerptUndead.zip you'll see a few zombies from the monster manual, including a zombie minion.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 09:10:24 PM by IceBear » Logged
chaosraven
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« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2008, 09:19:32 PM »

Quote from: kadnod on June 04, 2008, 01:58:44 PM

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

Sign me up to play (for a change)  icon_biggrin
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Turtle
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« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2008, 09:41:09 PM »

You could always start right now using Ventrilo and free tools like Maptool.  I ran a game of deadlands with Arkon and it worked rather well, even though I was still learning the maptool interface.
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« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2008, 11:20:47 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on June 04, 2008, 09:41:09 PM

You could always start right now using Ventrilo and free tools like Maptool.  I ran a game of deadlands with Arkon and it worked rather well, even though I was still learning the maptool interface.

As far as internet map tools go, I'm preferring GlitterComm right now. Yeah, it has a really goofy name, but it's simple to use, all the maps save as far as the fog of war goes, and it's really well done. Never crashed with it either.
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Arnir
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« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2008, 01:01:49 AM »

From CR's games on OO people can tell that I'm way too inexperienced, but I would love to get back to playing.  I'm hoping to get my books next week from Amazon.
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IceBear
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« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2008, 01:30:23 AM »

Interesting.  Just got an email from Amazon.ca saying my 4E gift set just shipped - I might actually get it a day early - yay!
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Turtle
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« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2008, 03:26:53 AM »

Thanks for the tip on GlitterComm, it looks a bit better than maptool.  I'll check it out.
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« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2008, 03:35:32 AM »

BTW - if anybody is interested in DMing a 4th Ed (or 3.5) game, I'm interested in playing (assuming we don't choose a time that I'm at work). I'll have my 4th Ed books in early next week or so via Amazon. Figured it was as good of a time as any to take advantage of my 'Sign up for Prime free for a month' dealie they've been offering me for a while now. biggrin
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Turtle
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« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2008, 06:36:46 AM »

Hm.. well I'd be willing to run it but as Arkon can attest, I'm way out of practice.  I've also never run a D&D game of any kind before.
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Rich
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« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2008, 09:35:56 AM »

Quote from: IceBear on June 05, 2008, 01:30:23 AM

Interesting.  Just got an email from Amazon.ca saying my 4E gift set just shipped - I might actually get it a day early - yay!

Mine arrived on Tuesday morning so I spent the morning out on the patio drinking coffee and looking at them until I realized almost 3 hours had passed by.  It was a bit humid out but I swear the the books instantly warped as soon as I did the old how to open a new hardback book thing they teach in school.  I was surprised also that the PHB was larger than the DMG.  I know it's about the rules but I thought they could have done a better job with the art and general presentation in the books.  I only picked up D&D again a couple of years ago and actually didn't ever get to play much since but I still like to buy the books and go over them but I was left with the thought that these could have used a lot more examples in some parts of the book.  The dummies guide they put out for 3.5 was a good read for me 2 years ago and I hope they release a 4.0 dummies book as well although I think with some closer look at the core books I'll be fine but as a new player I really liked the 3.5 book.


I was also immediately struck with the idea of how some kind of chits or cards would help a great deal with keeping track of which abilities can be used and which ones are on a "cool down" to use some MMO speak.  I could see a market right away for decks of accessory cards based on each class that would contain a separate card for each type of ability and spells and everything else with an add on deck released alongside each new future book.

I have 4 licenses to the Fantasy Grounds table top software programs I'm willing to share with others if there is any way or any one willing to adapt the 4.0 ruleset to work with it.  Even if you can't it still works great as a virtual tabletop and presenting the maps it would just be the character sheets that might not work, I think the combat macros could still be done to represent the new skills.  I'm no DM but if there is one out there interested in running a game let me know.
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IceBear
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« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2008, 10:23:32 AM »

People have already created a template for the D&D card powers and are using a MtG tool to make them.  I'll dig up the link.  As for getting them early, I heard that Buy.com and few other places broke the street date.

Here's the link to building your own power cards:
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=220953

Here are some examples of stuff people have put together already:



I want to use them as I figure they'd help with book keeping, but my group is already calling 4E WoW the Gathering so actually having them use cards would be the final nail, and it's really something that can still be tracked on the character sheets.  As a DM though, with all the marking and saving throws I did order some magnetized colored disks from http://www.aleatools.com/Default.aspx as it will help me keep track of things better:



I'm sure poker chips will work just as well, but I can't control my urge to give love to people that try to help me the DM smile

I feel kind of sad my group isn't that willing to play 4E.  I think the changes are just too big for most of them that have been playing since 1st Edition.  The main refrain has been "It doesn't feel like D&D".  It's too bad, because to me it still feels like D&D and if anything 4E is returning to the 1st Edition roots that a couple of my players prefer - they play but don't like 3E because they feel there are too many rules which get in the way of roleplaying.  The DMG has several examples of handling stuff not covered by the rules just for such roleplay purposes and even have a table to help you decided how best to handle it.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 10:41:13 AM by IceBear » Logged
Turtle
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« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2008, 11:55:53 AM »

Well, you could tell them how much easier it is for you to run games with the new rules, even if you have to relearn them, this would then allow you to create even cooler adventures in your own time.
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IceBear
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« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2008, 12:35:20 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on June 05, 2008, 11:55:53 AM

Well, you could tell them how much easier it is for you to run games with the new rules, even if you have to relearn them, this would then allow you to create even cooler adventures in your own time.

That's why I, the DM, love 4E - it really is so much better for creating and running an adventure.  Less time spent on creating encounters means more time spent on the roleplay side of the game.  Hopefully they'll come around; they were a little resistent to 3E when it came out but accepted it.
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IceBear
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« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2008, 08:01:10 PM »

BTW - there are a few Dragon and Dungeon articles up on wizards webpage for 4E.  They have provided PHB material for playing a warforged including suitable magic items, they have provided information for playing KotS in either Eberron or Forgotten Realms (with some new monsters) and they have provided four more encounters to use in KotS or where ever you want.  Finally, they have an article on Yeenoghu, Demon Prince of Gnolls including some high level gnoll NPCs and some new monsters.
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helot2000
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« Reply #59 on: June 07, 2008, 01:17:56 AM »

After looking at Glittercom and Maptool, is there a free/low cost software program you guys recommend for map & dungeon making for a tabletop session of D & D?  A year ago, my son and I bought Dunjinni and it is so disappointing that we still use pen and paper.  The ability to plot maps and dungeons on a PC & print them would be nifty.  In advance, thanks.
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hentzau
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« Reply #60 on: June 07, 2008, 01:56:31 AM »

Annoyed...Amazon hasn't shipped my order yet.  Grr.
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Turtle
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« Reply #61 on: June 07, 2008, 02:16:13 AM »

There's a few.

Actually, you should look into some of the cheaper, and still good paint programs like Paint shop pro.

However, I think Campaign cartographer has gotten a lot cheaper and more functional these days.
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SpaceLord
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« Reply #62 on: June 07, 2008, 05:22:15 AM »

OpenRPG

Surprised no one's mentioned this. It's an open source TableTop that players share. You can use your own images, and backgrounds. Pretty cool.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #63 on: June 07, 2008, 06:36:33 AM »

We played again tonight, this time introducing a couple of new players to the game. We're starting to get a better feel for the rules now and the flow of combat. Our group is having a really great time with the larger encounter sizes and powers, because there are so many new avenues for strategy. Whereas older editions tended to boil down to maneuvering for best melee attacks, the variety of powers has really inspired my players to get creative. There's also a greater sense of teamwork I think - due to the way certain powers work (maybe an attack also bestows some benefit on an ally), I found the players were going out of their way to be aware of where their other allies were and what they were doing. I'm not saying this stuff isn't possible in older editions, but the fact that we had two new players tonight (my wife and my friend's dad!) who were able to learn the rules and fit right in with the more experienced players tells me that they've done a really good job making the game more accessible to novices without dumbing it down. (While old-schoolers may find the idea of every class having powers and rules being much more streamlined the very definition of "dumbing down," I have to respectfully disagree - if anything, combat has more options now with much more going on every round. As a DM, I've never felt more involved in managing my monsters, as I'm constantly having to figure out what crazy thing my players are going to do next on the battlefield.)

The biggest change I think the game has made is in making the DM's life easier and more fun. Encounters are so much easier to scale now; even designing quick random encounters of appropriate level is cake now. And as I mentioned before, the larger encounter sizes plus the vast variety of player powers really keeps the DM on his/her toes. And the game continuously amazes me by lulling me into thinking the party's new powers just make things too easy. Then BAM! The monsters get a few lucky rolls and the players are frantically struggling to survive. So far the challenge level has been spot on. Certainly easier than 1st level adventures in older editions, where party wipes were a distinct possibility with the low numbers of HP everyone had. But it's been no cakewalk either - even same-level encounters that my players have defeated quickly have left them bruised and battered, and wanting to rest. For once, I'm enjoying being the DM not just for the creative "running the game" aspects, but also for actively participating in challenging combat with my players.

I'm really curious to see more impressions as more people get the game. I'm sure there will be detractors, but for me this is the most fun I've had with D&D since I was a teenager and 2nd Edition first came out. My group agrees - I've had them call me and practically *beg* to play more than the once a week session we're doing now.
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hentzau
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« Reply #64 on: June 07, 2008, 03:43:08 PM »

Son of a...

Got an e-mail this morning that my order has been delayed!!!  Shipping 6/17-7/1!!!

Goddamit!

So now.  I either a)  Wait for my existing order, and hope I get lucky and get it sent before they say,  b) switch my order to somewhere else, and pay for shipping, or c) go to my FLGS which has it for 20% off...not as good a discount, but I can get it today.

Grr.

Signed,
Pissed of at Amazon in Chicago
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IceBear
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« Reply #65 on: June 07, 2008, 06:47:31 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 07, 2008, 06:36:33 AM

We played again tonight, this time introducing a couple of new players to the game. We're starting to get a better feel for the rules now and the flow of combat. Our group is having a really great time with the larger encounter sizes and powers, because there are so many new avenues for strategy. Whereas older editions tended to boil down to maneuvering for best melee attacks, the variety of powers has really inspired my players to get creative. There's also a greater sense of teamwork I think - due to the way certain powers work (maybe an attack also bestows some benefit on an ally), I found the players were going out of their way to be aware of where their other allies were and what they were doing. I'm not saying this stuff isn't possible in older editions, but the fact that we had two new players tonight (my wife and my friend's dad!) who were able to learn the rules and fit right in with the more experienced players tells me that they've done a really good job making the game more accessible to novices without dumbing it down. (While old-schoolers may find the idea of every class having powers and rules being much more streamlined the very definition of "dumbing down," I have to respectfully disagree - if anything, combat has more options now with much more going on every round. As a DM, I've never felt more involved in managing my monsters, as I'm constantly having to figure out what crazy thing my players are going to do next on the battlefield.)

The biggest change I think the game has made is in making the DM's life easier and more fun. Encounters are so much easier to scale now; even designing quick random encounters of appropriate level is cake now. And as I mentioned before, the larger encounter sizes plus the vast variety of player powers really keeps the DM on his/her toes. And the game continuously amazes me by lulling me into thinking the party's new powers just make things too easy. Then BAM! The monsters get a few lucky rolls and the players are frantically struggling to survive. So far the challenge level has been spot on. Certainly easier than 1st level adventures in older editions, where party wipes were a distinct possibility with the low numbers of HP everyone had. But it's been no cakewalk either - even same-level encounters that my players have defeated quickly have left them bruised and battered, and wanting to rest. For once, I'm enjoying being the DM not just for the creative "running the game" aspects, but also for actively participating in challenging combat with my players.

I'm really curious to see more impressions as more people get the game. I'm sure there will be detractors, but for me this is the most fun I've had with D&D since I was a teenager and 2nd Edition first came out. My group agrees - I've had them call me and practically *beg* to play more than the once a week session we're doing now.

Yeah, what you said is why I love 4E, but there are a lot of oldtimers on the various forums denouncing it.  People seem to forgot we went through all of this in 3E too.

As for the map designer,  I know that the mapping tool that is going to be a part of DDI is supposed to be free.  That said, I suspect all that tool is going to be is a way of placing various Dungeon Tiles virtually so you can use them at your gaming table.  I could be wrong (and hope I am), but that's what the pictures look like.  I own Campagin Cartographer 3 and Dundjinni - though I haven't really gotten the hang of Dundjinni I've seen some really good maps made with it
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 07:19:08 PM by IceBear » Logged
YellowKing
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« Reply #66 on: June 07, 2008, 08:04:31 PM »

Yeah, my order was delayed as well. Thank goodness for the leaked books, or we'd all have gone postal by now.

Thanks, Icebear, for that link to the power card template thread. I managed to dig through there, find the templates, and have made cards for all the players for tonight's session. They're going to love them.

As for the denouncers, with changes this big it would be impossible to please everybody. Hopefully most of them will come around as more and more content is pushed out for 4e, and especially once the online tools come out.
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« Reply #67 on: June 07, 2008, 09:28:52 PM »

I picked it up.  Couldn't wait.  I'm so weak.  Amazon just lost a sale...but it cost me $20 more than Amazon...
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« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2008, 10:24:46 PM »

I haven't studied 4E besides what I've read here, but it sounds like they are trying to make the combat more like a scene from a fantasy movie.  Our intrepid heroes slice their way through the countless hordes like a scythe through wheat until they hit the bad guys that have individual credits at the end of the movie.  I'm not really sure if that sounds all that much fun to me, but I won't know until I play.

Amazon hasn't delayed my order yet, but I'm sure that they will.  They still say shipping June 10th on my order but the website says that the product will arrive on the 16th.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2008, 10:53:31 PM »

Quote
Our intrepid heroes slice their way through the countless hordes like a scythe through wheat until they hit the bad guys that have individual credits at the end of the movie.

Not totally accurate. The minion rule is an addition the core rule set you're used to, not an alteration. So all your "normal" monsters are still there, you just have the ability to throw a bunch of minions in with them to make the encounter larger. The problem with previous editions is that you couldn't have large encounters that were survivable by your players unless you threw in a bunch of monsters too low a level to be any threat.

Normal monsters I can guarantee you will not be sliced through like a scythe through wheat. Monsters have been buffed up just like the players (more HP, more powers), so they are still just as challenging as they ever were.

As far as minions go, also keep in mind that it is a completely optional tool. Nobody is saying that your encounters have to be 20 monsters big with hordes of minions.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 10:57:39 PM by YellowKing » Logged
IceBear
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« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2008, 10:54:37 PM »

Quote from: Arnir on June 07, 2008, 10:24:46 PM

I haven't studied 4E besides what I've read here, but it sounds like they are trying to make the combat more like a scene from a fantasy movie.  Our intrepid heroes slice their way through the countless hordes like a scythe through wheat until they hit the bad guys that have individual credits at the end of the movie.  I'm not really sure if that sounds all that much fun to me, but I won't know until I play.

Amazon hasn't delayed my order yet, but I'm sure that they will.  They still say shipping June 10th on my order but the website says that the product will arrive on the 16th.

It doesn't have to be like that.  Like one of my players (one of the ones that doesn't like 4E btw) said - there are lots of other game systems that have been using minion type rules for years; they are just using a proven concept from other systems in D&D.  And, the good thing about them, you don't have to use them, so you don't have to have your players wading through hordes to get at boss monsters.  I don't really plan on using minions much in my games - I can see using them to simulate a horde of zombies wading through town or if an orcish army is attacking a town, but for most of my typical dungeon encounters, I'm probably not going to use them much, so while the encounter size might be a little larger than they are now, it shouldn't be too bad.  BTW - a "standard encounter" (one at the party's level) is just one equal level monster per PC.  So, if you have 4 first level PCs, a 1st level encounter would be 4 first level monsters.  Because 1 monster = 4 minions, I could have a 1st level encounter be 3 1st level monsters and 4 minions, but in general I'm not going to.

Anyway, like all versions of D&D, the type of game you'll end up playing will depend on your DM and your group.  I'm sure some groups will play like you describe.  I'm probably going to keep playing the type of game I've been playing since 1980.  That's another thing that a lot of the denouncers have been saying - this version is all combat.  I'll grant that most of the rules and powers are for combat, and that most of the published adventures right now (only 2 KotS and the one in the DMG) are pretty much just combat it doesn't have to be if your group doesn't want it.  The skill challenges rules will make for some fun non-combat encounters and stimulate roleplaying.  I mean, really, the most complex part of any rule system is the combat so they have to cover that throughly in the rules and in the starting modules, but I'm sure things will grow from there.
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« Reply #71 on: June 07, 2008, 11:03:21 PM »

Now that is what I call rapid response.  It does sound like the system will give DMs more choices and that is a good thing.  A good GM has always been the key to a good D&D experience as we all know.  I have always enjoyed the adventure aspects more than the combat aspects but I know that combat makes for good advertising and excitement generation.  I am looking forward to how people see the new rules affecting non-combat portions of the gaming.
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« Reply #72 on: June 07, 2008, 11:04:51 PM »

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That's another thing that a lot of the denouncers have been saying - this version is all combat.

I genuinely don't understand that. I haven't seen anything you can't do in this edition that you could do in previous editions - they intentionally made the rules simple and flexible enough to accomodate just about any situation. I think people also have to keep in mind that all that's out for 4e is three basic rulebooks and a published adventure. Of course 3.5 is going to have more "stuff" - it's been out for years. Given time, there will be just as many varied settings, alternate rulesets, etc. for 4e as there were for any other edition.

I think people see stuff like the Open Locks, Stealth, Find Traps, etc. skills all rolled into a general "Thievery" skill and they think, "Well, you can't do as much." About the only area I might agree with them somewhat is in the area of magic spells; there are a lot less to choose from now. But my gut feeling is that a lot of the ones they threw out were ones people never picked anyway.
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« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2008, 11:12:39 PM »

The only spells I really noticed that were removed were some of the more "problematic" ones.  I didn't see any charm, illusion or polymorph spells that could be used in combat mainly because a lot of people had trouble keeping those balanced and adjudicated properly - what some DMs considered fine for charm others did not, etc.  I think they just said - too hard to balance right now - out they go.  However, I did read that one of the future splatbooks will feature illusionists and necromancers so I guess they are working on the illusion mechanics as we speak.  I also know that familiars and animal companions weren't in the PHB basically for the same reason - they want to have them in the game but by the time the books needed to go to the printers they still hadn't come up with the mechanics they liked.  That said, I think Dave Noonan said in one of the podcasts from March that familiars and animal companions will be in the sourcebook that has the druid in it which he was currently working on.
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« Reply #74 on: June 07, 2008, 11:24:25 PM »

Quote from: Arnir on June 07, 2008, 11:03:21 PM

Now that is what I call rapid response.  It does sound like the system will give DMs more choices and that is a good thing.  A good GM has always been the key to a good D&D experience as we all know.  I have always enjoyed the adventure aspects more than the combat aspects but I know that combat makes for good advertising and excitement generation.  I am looking forward to how people see the new rules affecting non-combat portions of the gaming.

There was an article on the website covering skill challenges that might be an interesting read for you - I'll see if I can find it as I think it's the same example from the DMG (though I think the DMG went into more detail showing the roleplaying side of it).

One of the things that many people have noticed immediately, craft, perform and profession skills are gone.  This is one of the main things people cite when stating 4E is all about combat.  Seriously, in 3.x with the way skills worked, it was hard to make a character that was any good at the non-combat skills without them suffering horribly in combat.  I mean, in my friend's game I'm playing a swashbuckler so I have Profession: Sailor 10 because I'm roleplaying a sailor, but damn, I wish my Spot wasn't only +2 as I never actually see anything smile  And, for the most part, most of the craft, profession or perform skills never came up in actual play, and I really never met anyone that liked the crafting rules.   What most people on ENWorld have agreed upon is letting people put in their background that "my character was raised by a blacksmith" and then if ever something comes up in game where having someone with a background in blacksmithing becomes important then that character will be considered trained in the blacksmith skill.  Obviously, if I were running a seafaring adventure, then I might create a sailing skill (which I'm pretty sure will be released in some splatbook at some time) or I might just assume all the characters have it and off we go.

Edit: Here's the skill challenges article:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080505a

What's in the DMG is much better.  It's the exact same skill challenge but they show the roleplaying side (ie, what the guy with Diplomancy said, the Duke's response that lead to the History check, then the guy that tried to imtimidate him, etc)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 11:29:55 PM by IceBear » Logged
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« Reply #75 on: June 08, 2008, 12:58:35 AM »

Quote from: hentzau on June 07, 2008, 03:43:08 PM

Got an e-mail this morning that my order has been delayed!!!  Shipping 6/17-7/1!!!

Goddamit!

So now.  I either a)  Wait for my existing order, and hope I get lucky and get it sent before they say,  b) switch my order to somewhere else, and pay for shipping, or c) go to my FLGS which has it for 20% off...not as good a discount, but I can get it today.

For me, I'm sticking with my Amazon order for three reasons:

1) My order was 'only' delayed until 6/10 to 6/13.
2) Getting it via Amazon is dirt cheap (and I'm using my trial of Amazon Prime, so shipping on that is free, verses quite a bit due to weight). I mean, it's less than $20 a book there.
3) I've 'found' the PDFs in the meantime.

So far, I do like what I've read. But it's a hell of a change over what 3.0/3.5 was.
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Arnir
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« Reply #76 on: June 08, 2008, 01:47:27 AM »

Icebear,
I will check out the link.  Much appreciated.
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« Reply #77 on: June 08, 2008, 02:11:41 AM »

Yeah, what's on that website is too dry.  Here's what's in the DMG as an example of playing out a skill challenge:

Quote
Round 1
Jarret: Iím going to try to handle this with diplomacy.
My good Duke, if you grant our petition for aid,
it will not only help us complete our quest, but it will
also secure your duchy from the ravages of the goblin
horde for a season or more. Surely you can see the
sense of that. (Makes a Diplomacy skill check and gets a
success.)
Duke: Hmm, well said. I do remember the Battle
of Cantle Hill. Nasty business. (The DM informs the
players that the History skill can now be used to aid in this
challenge.)
Kathra: Iím trained in History! I make a History
check to see what I know about that battle. (Makes a
History check and gets a success.)
DM: You know that the Duke fought in the Battle of
Cantle Hill before he rose to his current station. It was
a terrible battle between the people of the duchy and
a horde of goblins from the nearby mountains. The
duchy barely won the day, thanks in large part to the
actions of the Duke.
Kathra: Well, then I tell the Duke that I remember
the tale of that battle well, and how he bravely fought
off the goblins to save the duchy. Help us today, and
such a battle wonít have to be repeated!
Duke: Iím listening. Continue. (The DM says that
Kathraís response is worth a +2 bonus to Eliasís check.)
Elias: I get a +2 bonus? Great! Iím going to use it to
help our cause with a well-placed bluff. Duke, I know
for a fact that the goblin leader is raising an army
even as we speak. If we donít enter the mountain and
disrupt that army, the goblins will overrun the duchy
before the next moon rises! (Makes a Bluff check with a
+2 bonus and gets a success.)
Duke: An army? I wonít sit by and let history repeat
itself. Still, you are asking for a lot. . . .
Baredd: Enough of this talking! Itís time for action!
I try to intimidate the Duke into helping us. Look,
Duke, the goblins are the least of your worries. Agree
to our demands, or we might have to take what we
want. (Makes an Intimidate check, unaware that such an
action is an automatic failure.)
Duke: How dare you! I will not be threatened by
the likes of you!
Uldar: Okay, calm down, everyone. Weíre all
friends here. I empathize with your desire to protect
your people, Duke, and I assure you that we want to
accomplish the same thing. But to do that, we really
need your assistance. (Makes an Insight check and gets a
success.)
Duke: Yes, well, I do not respond well to threats
and intimidation. (The DM explains as an aside that such
attempts always gain a failure.) Still, as long as we understand
each other, letís continue.
At the end of the round, the PCs have achieved 4 successes
and 1 failure. The skill challenge continues.
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« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2008, 05:29:15 AM »

Had our first "big boss" fight tonight. I was particularly interested to see how the challenge stacked up, because this was a 6th level encounter and should have been *very* tough for our 1st level party. Up until now we had been fighting lower level encounters, so it was tough to truly tell if the encounters were easy because our characters were overpowered, or if they were easy because they were 1st level encounters.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the challenge turned out to be just about right. The players were very clever from the get-go and used some great tactics to put themselves in excellent shape going into the latter half of the encounter. Knowing this was a "biggun" they used up all their daily and encounter powers, and even spent action points. They basically gave it everything they had, and despite all of these advantages they *still* had two characters almost die. Boss mobs are no joke! As DM I made a few tactical blunders early on that probably helped them out a great deal as well. Still, I saw the fear in their eyes, and when they took the last guy down they actually stood up and cheered. I could definitely see how a less cautious/clever party could have wiped, though.

Tonight I also finally figured out why combat seems so much more fun now. It really encourages people to think outside the box. I tried to think about how this exact fight would have played out in 3.5, and I realized that the vast bulk of the encounter would have been the same people doing the same attack over and over and over again. Tonight my players almost never did the same thing twice in a row. It really is organized chaos - and it was really fun to watch them get so excited about what other players were doing. It's no longer sitting around waiting for the fighter to make his attack roll. Now you're sitting around wondering which of 4 or 5 abilities the fighter is going to use, and how they are going to reshape the battlefield for your next turn. 

My wife and my friend's dad (neither of which had played D&D until last week) had so much fun tonight they have officially signed on as regular weekly players. Crazy!
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« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2008, 01:54:37 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 08, 2008, 05:29:15 AM

Tonight I also finally figured out why combat seems so much more fun now. It really encourages people to think outside the box. I tried to think about how this exact fight would have played out in 3.5, and I realized that the vast bulk of the encounter would have been the same people doing the same attack over and over and over again. Tonight my players almost never did the same thing twice in a row. It really is organized chaos - and it was really fun to watch them get so excited about what other players were doing. It's no longer sitting around waiting for the fighter to make his attack roll. Now you're sitting around wondering which of 4 or 5 abilities the fighter is going to use, and how they are going to reshape the battlefield for your next turn. 

Care to give us some examples about what exactly was going on? I'd love to see how the 'big picture' is as far as combat goes (as in how all the characters' powers work together as such).
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