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Author Topic: [4th Edition D&D] H1 - Keep on the Shadowfell  (Read 36322 times)
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YellowKing
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« Reply #80 on: June 08, 2008, 02:15:28 PM »

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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).

Sure. I'll just run through it by class, to show you some of the things that were going on last night.

Fighter: While mostly attack focused, the new ability to "mark" a target (essentially a taunt) means that when he marks the target, it takes a -2 penalty to its attack roll if it attacks anyone other than the fighter on its turn. So he had a big role in keeping some of the harder hitters off of the mage and rogue.

Cleric: The cleric has some attacks that also bestow bonuses on allies. One of them is an offensive attack that gives an ally a +2 to their AC for their next turn, and another is an attack that bestows temporary HP on an ally. Our cleric also summoned a holy guardian which, if a monster ends its turn adjacent to it, must make a check or suffer damage. Using this guardian, he managed to essentially trap the monsters in a chokepoint.

Rogue: Rogues are still one of the primary damage dealers, and their sneak attack is utterly devastating. One of the tactics our rogue used last night was a daily ability called Trick Strike which allowed him to physically move a monster after hitting it. He ended up using trick strike to maneuver the big boss into a flanking position, where he could deliver a backstab on his next turn.

Wizard: The wizard is considered a "controller" in this edition. He's good at controlling the battlefield through the use of his spells. He used a summoned flaming sphere which, along with the cleric's holy guardian, essentially gave the party two NPCs to surround the enemy with. This actually ended up being the spell that won the day - any creature beginning its turn beside the flaming sphere suffered 1d4 + Int modifier fire damage. By maneuvering the sphere into a pack of enemies, he ended up sizzling off a bunch of minions and becoming a tremendous nuisance to the stronger creatures.

Paladin: Our paladin last night also had the ability to mark targets, and used a combination of offensive attacks and healing when necessary to supplement the cleric. Paladins are very strong in this edition, enough so that our paladin-HATING player (who typically won't even group with one he hates the class so bad), *almost* ended up playing one!

So as you can see, it was much more than "fighter attack, rogue attack, wizard cast magic missile, cleric heal, paladin attack." There were bonuses and penalties flying around, there were some creative uses of spells, etc. I'm not saying that older edition fights couldn't be as dynamic and interesting - with a really creative bunch of players and a good DM they certainly could. I'm just saying this edition makes it much easier on both sides to have some really interesting fights. As I pointed out before, the game hardly ever expects you to make a normal straightforward weapon attack, so there's always something going on. For my group, this made each player's turn not only more interesting for the player, but more interesting for everyone in the group.
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« Reply #81 on: June 08, 2008, 02:43:56 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing
Paladins are very strong in this edition, enough so that our paladin-HATING player (who typically won't even group with one he hates the class so bad), *almost* ended up playing one!

Why does he hate paladins so much?  I can imagine finding a class unappealing to play yourself, but what would be the objection to someone else taking the role?

-Autistic Angel
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IceBear
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« Reply #82 on: June 08, 2008, 03:23:43 PM »

Pretty much every D&D group has someone that at one point in time played with a person who thought Lawful Good meant Awful Stupid and as such don't want to play with a paladin
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YellowKing
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« Reply #83 on: June 08, 2008, 05:15:06 PM »

Yeah, he pretty much just hates goodie-goodies. This friend likes to play rogues and such, and doesn't like to be constrained by laws and morals with a paladin in the group. I tend to enforce roleplaying to a degree, and I won't tolerate inconsistent behavior such as a paladin willingly executing a prisoner of war or blatantly breaking the law when there are other methods.
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« Reply #84 on: June 08, 2008, 05:28:46 PM »

Paladins are annoying, and have always been. It's one of the fundamental laws of nature.

Since they are no longer forced into being lawful good, there's hope for them (and their parties) in this edition.
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« Reply #85 on: June 08, 2008, 11:44:52 PM »

I've never really been a D&D player (VERY aware of it via the geek-verse, though), but Yellowking piqued my interest last week. On the way back home from Houston today I listened to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Penny Arcade/PVP "first run-through" Podcast from Wizards of the Coast...

If YK's enthusiasm and those podcasts don't hook you, nothing will!

When we starting up a GT group? I'm so in that I'm getting the notice, "You must gather your party to venture forth."  icon_wink
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« Reply #86 on: June 09, 2008, 12:48:52 AM »

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on June 08, 2008, 11:44:52 PM

When we starting up a GT group? I'm so in that I'm getting the notice, "You must gather your party to venture forth."  icon_wink

If that quote doesn't bring back memories, nothing will. biggrin

And yes, who here will lead the motley crew that is GT into an adventure of a lifetime?
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IceBear
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« Reply #87 on: June 09, 2008, 11:00:31 AM »

Well, from looking at the various polls and feedback on ENWorld, it doesn't look like 4E is going to do well.  Seems to only be about half the groups out there (if that) that are going to convert from 3.x to 4E.  It looks like the main issue is there are currently a lot of 3.x campaigns running and since 4E isn't really backwards compatible (well, without a lot of work and considering there aren't any gnomes, druids, barbarians, etc yet) people are going to stick with 3.x (at least for the foreseeable future).  I know in my case we are on module #2 of the Rise of the Runelords campaign so it's doubtful we'll be done that anytime soon.

Still surprised at how many people consider 4E "dumbed down" to the point they are considering it a board game they'll play from time to time but will stick with 3.x for "serious" gaming.  I must say though, that most of the full time DMs seem to be the main supporters of 4E as it puts the game back in the hands of the DMs.  A lot of the players don't like it because they don't feel like they have enough feats and powers right now to make all their concepts come to life (doesn't help that a lot of the old classes don't exisit yet) but as YK said, those will come with time just like they did with 3.x

The other thing I'm noticing is a lot of the people that aren't having a problem with 4E are those embracing skill challenges.  I was just reading another thread in which the poster was complaining there wasn't a track skill anymore and how the ranger wasn't any better than anyone else at tracking.  People pointed out that finding tracks was listed under Perception (a rogue / ranger skill). Then a few people mentioned how they'd make tracking a group of orcs a skill challenge using Perception and Nature and they had no problems with it.  I think people have gotten too used to 3E in which there was a rule for everything and forgot what it was like in the past.  As Mike Mearls pointed out when discussing why there weren't craft skills, they would have to come up with a rule to cover as many circumstances as possible (which is impossible as there are limits to book size) and even then there would always be exceptions.  Their intent was to provide a framework for doing things and then letting the groups decide how to handle situations specifically
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 11:19:45 AM by IceBear » Logged
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« Reply #88 on: June 09, 2008, 12:11:19 PM »

I have looked over the new rules, and overall I think things look great.  I'm not particularly happy about the lack of overall spells for the mage, but otherwise I believe 4e looks to be tons of fun.  It is quite obvious, even from just listening to the podcasts and looking over all the skills in the PHB, that battle tactics take on a whole new meaning now.  The way the skills work, and the options the players are given in regards to helping other characters mid-battle seem really cool.  The Warlord class reminds me a bit of a Paragon in a computer game like Guild Wars.  Talk about a seriously awesome support/leader type class that makes everyone else look better!

I'm particularly interested in hearing YK and Icebear talk about how/if your mages and rogues are enjoying the game as you progress further along. 

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« Reply #89 on: June 09, 2008, 12:35:46 PM »

Well, I don't expect to be playing much 4E anytime soon (unfortunately) but even though there aren't a kazillion spells for wizards to pick from (yet, I'm sure there will be more with each splatbook) but the thing to keep in mind is in prior editions wizard players often either held on to their spells too long expecting the next fight to be better for that fireball than this one, or blew them all too soon and was reduced to using a crossbow.  Now at least the wizard can always be casting and that was a positive comment that came from my group (though the guy playing the wizard kept missing so he actually didn't contribute much).  The rogue, in my case, was classified as too powerful.  I had to point out that in our current game the guy playing the rogue (he played both the 4E rogue and the 3E rogue) could do almost the same amount of damage (he does 2d6 sneak attack whereas the feat the 4E rogue took let him do 2d8) if he would just get into position more.  I think the issue was in our current game most things are dead before he can sneak attack while in 4E stuff stays around a bit longer.
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« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2008, 12:58:30 PM »

I really wish I had some friends local that would play D&D.  Oh well, I used to buy the books anyways but I will likely not do that this time around.
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kadnod
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« Reply #91 on: June 09, 2008, 02:22:10 PM »

Got my books this weekend.  After a brief look through, I like that:

1) Books were very well put together.  Nice layout, rules are where they should be, good artwork.
2) Dragonborn are a nifty new "core" race.  I can see lots of people wanting to play one.
3) Warlord class is a pretty cool addition as well.  They're what bards should've been all this time.
4) DM's Guide is particularly well done.  This probably isn't the right term, but the whole thing just seems more "practical" than previous editions of the book.
5) It just looks fun.  The combat rules seem great and I can't way to give them a try.

Things I'm not so fond of:

1) I don't like the tieflings on an aesthetic level.  The rules are fine, but they just don't look right to me.  It's like they're a cross between the draenei from WOW, the villan from Legend and a bad Star Trek race.  I could've sworn they looked cooler in earlier editions (or maybe in Planescape:Torment?).
2) There is a bit too much of an emphisis on using a map and miniatures (and in particular, the offical D&D minis) for my tastes.  It seems like they're lots of "move 'x' squares" powers that would be pretty useless, or at least hard to describe, if you weren't using a map. This doesn't strike me as a particularly big issue.  In fact, a lot of the charm of this version comes from the new style combat.  It's just not what I'm used to.

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« Reply #92 on: June 09, 2008, 02:34:17 PM »

Quote from: kadnod on June 09, 2008, 02:22:10 PM

2) There is a bit too much of an emphisis on using a map and miniatures (and in particular, the offical D&D minis) for my tastes.  It seems like they're lots of "move 'x' squares" powers that would be pretty useless, or at least hard to describe, if you weren't using a map. This doesn't strike me as a particularly big issue.  In fact, a lot of the charm of this version comes from the new style combat.  It's just not what I'm used to.

A lot of people are complaining about that.  I know that the developer's have said it's not any harder to play 4E without minis than 3E.  There are even tips in the DMG for handling playing without a grid.  Someone quoted a passage from the 1st Edition DMG the other day that recommended using minis.  Personally, I'm pretty sure I used mini's right from day one even with OD&D (mind you, it was a chessboard with Stragego pieces) but minis just made things easier to visualize.  Everyone is so up on their conspiracy theories that they are making 4E *require* minis in order to increase the sales for their D&D minis line, but I know they did survey groups and the vast majority of them do use some form of minis so they are just going with the assumption that people are using minis (just like PC game companies are starting to assume everyone has full time Internet connections - ie not on dialup.).  If they wanted to force you to use their minis they'd make them a non-standard size and wouldn't have put any info in the DMG on how to play without minis.  My group plays with minis and other than the ancient red mini that I bought (just because I collect dragons) not one of them is from the WotC product line.  I just happen to have a friend that loves collecting and painting minis so I'm lucky there.  If he and his minis should vanish I'd be using scraps of paper, coins, what have you, but I'd be using something smile
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YellowKing
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« Reply #93 on: June 09, 2008, 02:53:05 PM »

Quote
I had to point out that in our current game the guy playing the rogue (he played both the 4E rogue and the 3E rogue) could do almost the same amount of damage (he does 2d6 sneak attack whereas the feat the 4E rogue took let him do 2d8) if he would just get into position more.  I think the issue was in our current game most things are dead before he can sneak attack while in 4E stuff stays around a bit longer.

I had a question about that. If a rogue does a sneak attack using one of his powers, does he get the damage from his power + the sneak attack damage, or does he just do sneak attack damage? Our rogue the other night was sneak attacking for 2d8 (he had the feat), using Sly Flourish, which was 1[W] + Dex mod + Cha mod. His Dex and Cha mods were like +2 each, so on a critical he could potentially do 16+6+2+2 = 26 damage. I guess that's fair; it seemed overpowered the other night but I guess with the improved monster HP it makes sense.

Quote
2) There is a bit too much of an emphisis on using a map and miniatures (and in particular, the offical D&D minis) for my tastes.  It seems like they're lots of "move 'x' squares" powers that would be pretty useless, or at least hard to describe, if you weren't using a map. This doesn't strike me as a particularly big issue.  In fact, a lot of the charm of this version comes from the new style combat.  It's just not what I'm used to.

This started changing in 3rd edition when they started pushing the miniature rules. I'd say with this edition it's almost essential to use maps/minis to really get the most out of combat. There are some powers that are almost meaningless without using them. As Icebear pointed out they say you can play without them, but for our group personally we didn't think that it would be nearly as much fun.

Oh, and we outlawed Tieflings and Dragonborn in our campaign. We consider them exiles.  icon_lol Sorry, but there is a tiny spark of old-school D&D still flickering in me that just can't handle new core races right now.

It's disappointing that it's getting a lukewarm reception, but I can understand it from the old-schoolers. It really is a significant change in gameplay, and until I played a few sessions I didn't really realize the extent. Fortunately my group fell on the "love it" side, and I think it's mostly because our old 3.5 edition games always seemed to fizzle out due to bogged down, tedious combat. The players feel like they have more to do now, so they tend to stay much more interested.

 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 02:54:40 PM by YellowKing » Logged
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« Reply #94 on: June 09, 2008, 02:56:46 PM »

Quote from: Icebear
Everyone is so up on their conspiracy theories that they are making 4E *require* minis in order to increase the sales for their D&D minis line . . .

That's hillarious.  Only gamers would take a relatively open attempt at an upsell as a conspiracy.  I actually had a conversation with the guy that runs my local game store about this recently. 

Quote from: IceBear on June 09, 2008, 02:34:17 PM

If he and his minis should vanish I'd be using scraps of paper, coins, what have you, but I'd be using something smile

If I ever run this on the table-top, I'm going to have the most sad ass combo of boardgame pieces, offical D&D minis and Warhammer 40k figures anyone has ever seen!  icon_smile
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« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2008, 03:22:15 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 09, 2008, 02:53:05 PM

Quote
I had to point out that in our current game the guy playing the rogue (he played both the 4E rogue and the 3E rogue) could do almost the same amount of damage (he does 2d6 sneak attack whereas the feat the 4E rogue took let him do 2d8) if he would just get into position more.  I think the issue was in our current game most things are dead before he can sneak attack while in 4E stuff stays around a bit longer.

I had a question about that. If a rogue does a sneak attack using one of his powers, does he get the damage from his power + the sneak attack damage, or does he just do sneak attack damage? Our rogue the other night was sneak attacking for 2d8 (he had the feat), using Sly Flourish, which was 1[W] + Dex mod + Cha mod. His Dex and Cha mods were like +2 each, so on a critical he could potentially do 16+6+2+2 = 26 damage. I guess that's fair; it seemed overpowered the other night but I guess with the improved monster HP it makes sense.

Quote
2) There is a bit too much of an emphisis on using a map and miniatures (and in particular, the offical D&D minis) for my tastes.  It seems like they're lots of "move 'x' squares" powers that would be pretty useless, or at least hard to describe, if you weren't using a map. This doesn't strike me as a particularly big issue.  In fact, a lot of the charm of this version comes from the new style combat.  It's just not what I'm used to.

This started changing in 3rd edition when they started pushing the miniature rules. I'd say with this edition it's almost essential to use maps/minis to really get the most out of combat. There are some powers that are almost meaningless without using them. As Icebear pointed out they say you can play without them, but for our group personally we didn't think that it would be nearly as much fun.

Oh, and we outlawed Tieflings and Dragonborn in our campaign. We consider them exiles.  icon_lol Sorry, but there is a tiny spark of old-school D&D still flickering in me that just can't handle new core races right now.

It's disappointing that it's getting a lukewarm reception, but I can understand it from the old-schoolers. It really is a significant change in gameplay, and until I played a few sessions I didn't really realize the extent. Fortunately my group fell on the "love it" side, and I think it's mostly because our old 3.5 edition games always seemed to fizzle out due to bogged down, tedious combat. The players feel like they have more to do now, so they tend to stay much more interested.

As far as I know, yes, he gets to add his sneak attack damage whenever he has combat advantage.  Could be worse, could be 3.x with the rogue having three attacks and in a flanking position so he could sneak attack with all three.  Bottom line is, the rogue is *supposed* to be doing a lot of damage.  The three striker (ie, DPS) classes are rogue, ranger, and warlock so they are supposed to be doing damage.

Actually, reading those threads on the website is a little disheartening for me too, but there were a lot of people saying "we're currently going strong in our 3.5 campaign but once we're done in a year or so we'll probably give 4E a try (especially as there will be more books and options then)" so it's probably the fact that there isn't a nice conversion from 3.5 to 4 like there was from 2E to 3E that's hurting them the most right now.

Edit: Just noticed that they are going to be providing more illusion powers to the wizard in this month's Dragon.  Hopefully that's one of the articles they release this week.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 03:30:46 PM by IceBear » Logged
YellowKing
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« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2008, 05:04:37 PM »

Rules question:

Encounter powers and Daily powers. My understanding from reading the rules is that if I had 2 encounter powers, I can use *each* one once per encounter unless otherwise noted. If I had 3 daily powers, I can use *each* one once per day unless otherwise noted. Does that sound correct?



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« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2008, 05:15:23 PM »

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« Reply #98 on: June 09, 2008, 06:03:42 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 09, 2008, 05:04:37 PM

Rules question:

Encounter powers and Daily powers. My understanding from reading the rules is that if I had 2 encounter powers, I can use *each* one once per encounter unless otherwise noted. If I had 3 daily powers, I can use *each* one once per day unless otherwise noted. Does that sound correct?

Haven't read any of the rulebooks, but that's my understanding as well.
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« Reply #99 on: June 09, 2008, 06:05:08 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 09, 2008, 05:04:37 PM

Rules question:

Encounter powers and Daily powers. My understanding from reading the rules is that if I had 2 encounter powers, I can use *each* one once per encounter unless otherwise noted. If I had 3 daily powers, I can use *each* one once per day unless otherwise noted. Does that sound correct?

I am by no means an expert in 4E, but that would be correct.  The only place it gets weird (I'm pretty sure I'm going to houserule this, but I understand why they did it) is with magic items.  Basically, some magic items have daily powers.  However, from levels 1-10, a character can only activate 1 magic item daily power per day.  So, if you have a magic sword with a daily power and a cloak with a daily power you could use one or the other, but not both.  You could use an action point to get another magic item daily use and you get to use 2 from 11-20 and 3 from 21-30.  The reason behind this is, like a lot of annoying rules, to prevent abuse by those that will want to buy 10 flaming longswords and carry them around in a portable hole or something and use each one's daily power, toss it aside and pull out the next one, over and over.  Given my group I feel I can safely houserule that there is no limit to the number of daily powers one can activate from your magic items without unbalancing the game.
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« Reply #100 on: June 09, 2008, 06:38:54 PM »

Thanks for the clarification guys, I figured I was right but sometimes the wording gets a little vague.

The other exception to the rule you have to keep in mind is Clerics and Paladins have Channel Divinity powers that are class powers and are specifically tagged as "Channel Divinity." Only one Channel Divinity encounter power is allowed per encounter, no matter how many you actually know.

My party should be dinging Level 2 next session, and this is where I'm eager to see how things play out. I think everything seems a touch overpowered now only because everybody is Level 1. I ate lunch with my buddy who plays the rogue today, and we were talking about the devastation of sneak attack. But he made a great point - his sneak attack doesn't improve until Level 11. So while that 2d8 seems huge now, it will be peanuts when used against a 9th level mob.
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« Reply #101 on: June 09, 2008, 06:45:32 PM »

Yeah, they definitely frontloaded a few things to make it easier at lower levels (which was one of their intents - it was just too easy to die due to bad luck).  I mean, you have a lot of hitpoints at first level, but after first level you're only getting a few hitpoints a level so it will balance out.  The 3E rogue can do 2d6 points of damage on a sneak attack by level 3 but since the 3E battlefields tend to be static and creatures die faster I don't think 3E rogues really got a sense for how much damage they could do.

As for the powers, yeah, there are a couple of powers that sort of break the mold a little (like the ones you mentioned) but for the most part you can use your red powers once per encounter and your black powers once per extended rest.
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« Reply #102 on: June 09, 2008, 07:14:34 PM »

Is that 2d8 plus half of character level, or 2d8 + dex modifier, or just a straight flat 2d8?  (regarding backstab)

Just curious.

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« Reply #103 on: June 09, 2008, 07:21:29 PM »

Basically, once per round if the rogue has combat advantage on someone (ie, he is flanking or attacking with surprise / from steath, etc) the rogue can add sneak attack dice to a damage roll.  From 1st-10th level that means 2d6 dice.  There is a feat that lets the rogue change those dice from d6 to d8 (which is what the pregen rogue in KotS has).  Basically, a default rogue doing a sly florish attack with a dagger against someone he has combat advantage against would do:

1d4 (dagger) + DEX mod + CHA mod + 2d6 (sneak attack)
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« Reply #104 on: June 09, 2008, 07:33:19 PM »

The rogue can also take the Brutal Scoundrel tactic (rogue class option) that adds a bonus to Sneak Attack damage equal to your Strength modifier. Our rogue has that option as well so he gets +2 on top of all of the above. He was rattling off modifiers the other night for so long I thought for sure he was cheating.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #105 on: June 09, 2008, 07:37:00 PM »

OK.  Well that all makes sense to me.  Thanks for the clarifications.

And in some ways, it seems to follow some basic principles.  I mean, doesn't Magic Missle also stay basically the same in damage all the way up to level 11 as well? 

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« Reply #106 on: June 09, 2008, 07:39:34 PM »

Yeah, but the thing is, if the rogue gets into position to do sneak attack damage most monsters are going to go after that sob that just stuck them and, in general, rogues aren't going to have the defenses and hitpoints to do that much.

Does your player know about using the Bluff skill for getting a sneak attack without flanking? "Hey Mr Goblin, what's that behind you? *STAB* Made you look and now you have a dagger in your spleen!"

Oh, and if things go badly I think that 2d8 is going to be peanuts against that undead knight.  Also, did you see the web enhancement for KotS that has the Skill Challenge for the last fight?  The general consensus is that your typical party won't be able to do it, but it's at least an option.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 07:52:05 PM by IceBear » Logged
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« Reply #107 on: June 09, 2008, 07:44:03 PM »

Quote from: Lockdown on June 09, 2008, 07:37:00 PM

OK.  Well that all makes sense to me.  Thanks for the clarifications.

And in some ways, it seems to follow some basic principles.  I mean, doesn't Magic Missle also stay basically the same in damage all the way up to level 11 as well? 



It does.  It's just compared to the other pregens in the KotS the rogue does a LOT more damage.  After playing 3E for so long where you could make a farmer a killing machine with the right feat combos, this lead to many cries of "OMG - all we need is a party of rogues" from my group.  Again, 4E has gone back to the days where your class defines what you can do where in 3E what you could do was more flexible.  Now, if you play a fighter (defender class) you can build it so your damage is higher than another fighter taking different feats and powers, but you're not going to come close to doing the damage of a rogue (striker class)
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YellowKing
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« Reply #108 on: June 09, 2008, 08:39:13 PM »

Quote
Also, did you see the web enhancement for KotS that has the Skill Challenge for the last fight? 

Do you have a link to this handy? I'd love to see that.
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IceBear
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« Reply #109 on: June 09, 2008, 08:50:58 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on June 09, 2008, 08:39:13 PM

Quote
Also, did you see the web enhancement for KotS that has the Skill Challenge for the last fight? 

Do you have a link to this handy? I'd love to see that.

Here's the extra encounters from Dungeon magazine:
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/dungeon/155_Shadowfell_SideTrek.pdf

The skill challenge:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080522b

Extra character sheet:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080522a
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Destructor
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« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2008, 12:35:46 AM »

And my Amazon order has shipped.

Now...who wants to DM? biggrin
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YellowKing
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« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2008, 02:08:57 AM »

Thanks Icebear. That skill challenge looks.....deadly.  icon_biggrin

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Arnir
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« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2008, 02:45:50 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 10, 2008, 12:35:46 AM

And my Amazon order has shipped.

Now...who wants to DM? biggrin

Amazon is saying mine should ship tomorrow - I wonder if it will?
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IceBear
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« Reply #113 on: June 11, 2008, 03:14:05 AM »

Well, as far as I can tell 4E is not going to have much of a fan base, at least not according to all the "issues" being found with it over on ENWorld.  Looking for rule clarifications and goodies on the forums is now so depressing it makes me want to shelf my books.  sigh

Basically, since the suggested values for Skill Challenges result in at best a 50% chance of success and in order to complete a skill challange you basically need 2x successes before you roll x failures, most skill challenges will end in failure.  Since such a core mechanic is so flawed it puts the whole edition in question.  Then, since the character abilities are pretty much only combat related and it's recommended to use minis to play it's no long a roleplaying game but a tactical boardgame.  (BTW - that's not me saying this but it's such a common refrain I'm starting to believe it)
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YellowKing
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« Reply #114 on: June 11, 2008, 12:17:02 PM »

Mmmm, I'm not sure I buy the 50% figure. Keep in mind that players can collaborate on a skill. So if you have 5 people, 4 of them could roll skill checks and on each success be able to add a modifier (can't remember if it's +1 or +2) to the "leader's" official check. Because skill encounters are supposed to be a group effort, I don't know why you'd not want to always do it that way, rather than just having the guy with the highest skill roll. I don't know, I haven't crunched the numbers yet. It may be one of those things that holds true for 1st level characters, but doesn't as they level (until a point, when the skill challenge values shift again).

At any rate, I don't understand why this is considered a fundamental flaw of the game. For all intents and purposes, it's a completely optional part of the game. Why can't people just handle non-combat encounters they same way they did in 3.5? So maybe they'll have to use one broad skill instead of 2 or 3 ultra-specific ones. Big deal. Or lower the suggested values. Why do people think this stuff is written in stone?

As far as the minis go; well, I can't argue with that. If you hate minis, then I can see why you'd hate this edition. Personally I love the tactical combat; we used minis in 3.5 100% of the time, so this was an easy transition.

I'm not too worried about it. Our group is loving it, so it doesn't really matter to me if the rest of the world despises it.

[Edit] I went and read the skill challenge thread on ENworld; now I see what they are getting at. That it's not only unbalanced in the "solo" direction, but unbalanced the other way (100% success rate) in the "group" direction. I'll have to look into it some more. We haven't used any skill challenges yet, so I don't have any real world experience. It does look like the system as written has some flaws.
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IceBear
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« Reply #115 on: June 11, 2008, 12:47:20 PM »

Yeah, my point on the skill challenges is I suspect that the numbers in the DMG were meant as a guideline for the DM who should then tweak as needed but as per the written rules they are the hard and fast numbers you're supposed to use.  Hopefully it'll get clarified shortly.  I guess the main point is the designers were saying the new system was supposed to be "math balanced" and playtested throughly, but a few days after the book comes out players are proving the math (in this one portion of the game) is broken so it puts everything into question.  I remember reading that in some of the skill challenges the players had choices of making easy or hard checks with failing an easy check having a nasty consequence and succeeding on a hard provided a benefit.  Makes me wonder if the published skill check rules were something that was the result of some playtesting tweaks but never got much playtesting itself.  Hopefully it'll get addressed by the designers soon.

As for the minis thing, I suppose there is more movement in 4E than 3E but if you could play without minis in 3E you should be able to in 4E.  I will agree that it's not optimial at all, but it could be done.    I do think the published books have too much focus on combat (I do understand that is the most complex part of the game so it would get the most focus) but people are lashing out at the lack of non-combat related options in the game.
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Arnir
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« Reply #116 on: June 11, 2008, 03:13:00 PM »

Just a quick update: a day after the shipping date Amazon just got around to informing me that they won't be able to ship the books until mid-July which is only a full month and a half after the original ship date.  I was kind of expecting that as I didn't expect to be more special than the other guys who got delayed.  Only problem is that I am moving jobs so the delivery address won't be valid.  I can either change the address (deliveries to my new job are notoriously unreliable) or have it shipped home (ditto) or just fire Amazon.  I'm leaning towards the latter.  The books are sitting on the shelf at B&N and I have a B&N gift card. As a player, I don't need the DM guide, do I?
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kadnod
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« Reply #117 on: June 11, 2008, 03:25:43 PM »

Quote from: Arnir on June 11, 2008, 03:13:00 PM

As a player, I don't need the DM guide, do I?

I think you would be fine without it.
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« Reply #118 on: June 11, 2008, 03:28:21 PM »

i'd probably hold off on getting any of the books at this time until we see what kind of response WotC gives to several of the issues in this "well thought out and balanced system"
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Arnir
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« Reply #119 on: June 11, 2008, 03:38:11 PM »

Thanks for the input, folks.

It will be interesting to see how some of these changes in the system work out.  I fully understand being able to use some 4E and some 3.5E rules but why pay for a new edition of rules if they are half-baked?  Back in the Gygax days I felt like they were trying to make the game beter.  WotC comes across as a money making machine above all else.  Of course, this situation may be like a new release of an old software package where the learning curve is the real problem.  I look forward to even more information from you kind early adopters.
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If the road home crosses any landscape features that include words like "forgotten," "void," "razorthorn," "shadowmist," or "doom," then I vote that we take a nap first.
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