The Truth About 4th Edition: Part One of Our Exclusive Interview with Wizards of the Coast

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RJ Dalton:
And I'll continue the edition wars as long as WotC keeps asking people to bend over and spread their cheeks for them.

You don't need to play 4th Edition if you're happy with 3.5 or Pathfinder, or even something like Call of Cthulu. That's all there is to it.

Cain_Zeros:
Who plays base races other than human? No, really. I've never even seen someone play a tiefling, and I have played evil characters. I played a wood elf, my friend played a human. We were both lawful evil, so throwing in tiefling "for the evil-curious" is just lame. There's a reason no race (and very few classes) has alignment restrictions. It's so you can do whatever you want.

That is correct: you can in fact be an evil anything you like. That's fine. You can be a good Tiefling, too. This is also valid. But different, for different reasons. For the record, I love to play a Tiefling. It's not as powerful as a Human, but it's more fun to roleplay. Even if I'm trying to be good, there's an inherent set of evil impulses and prejudices that come with being a Tiefling. It's more than just what feats I get and what stats there are. The roleplaying is the most important aspect, in my opinion.

Fenixius:

RJ Dalton:
And I'll continue the edition wars as long as WotC keeps asking people to bend over and spread their cheeks for them.

You don't need to play 4th Edition if you're happy with 3.5 or Pathfinder, or even something like Call of Cthulu. That's all there is to it.

Cain_Zeros:
Who plays base races other than human? No, really. I've never even seen someone play a tiefling, and I have played evil characters. I played a wood elf, my friend played a human. We were both lawful evil, so throwing in tiefling "for the evil-curious" is just lame. There's a reason no race (and very few classes) has alignment restrictions. It's so you can do whatever you want.

That is correct: you can in fact be an evil anything you like. That's fine. You can be a good Tiefling, too. This is also valid. But different, for different reasons. For the record, I love to play a Tiefling. It's not as powerful as a Human, but it's more fun to roleplay. Even if I'm trying to be good, there's an inherent set of evil impulses and prejudices that come with being a Tiefling. It's more than just what feats I get and what stats there are. The roleplaying is the most important aspect, in my opinion.

I agree that the roleplaying is most important. I never start with a class in mind. I start with a concept, and build from there, occasionally using a completely different class than the one usually used for similar concepts. My latest is a wild elf duellist made using the Warblade class, wielding a katana, with a bladed cloak as back up(at least for now, I have plans to prestige to a balded cloak-oriented prestige class later). He's refined, yet sarcastic, and equates less refined socialization and a lack of diplomatic ability with idiocy, but at the same time, he can be flashy, and a bit of a show-off (which the bladed cloak totally fits).

RJ Dalton:

There is a difference between a quick summary and treating your readers like they have the brains and attention spans of goldfish. The little bullet point summaries have nothing to do with the technical details of the race and are pathetically shallow.
And I'll continue the edition wars as long as WotC keeps asking people to bend over and spread their cheeks for them. And it's not just 4E (although that is a very noticeable focus for my wrath). I've been on WotC's case for a long time. The quality of their products has been going down for a long time, with needless supplemental books that aren't worth the paper their printed on because they don't add shit to the game except for more and more prestige classes that aren't very interesting and that nobody really wants to play (except for munchkins and power players, who are the nematodes of role playing).
Of course, it's all futile really, because the best role playing system ever is really Chaosium's Call of Cthulu. Oh, and subsequent editions of *that* game don't invalidate the material of the previous editions, so people who buy a newer edition of the book can still play with people who use the old edition. In fact, now that I think about it, WotC is the only company I can think of that so radically changes the game with each edition that older versions are incompatible with new ones.

The "technical details" of the race are listed directly above the bullet points, which are intended to be very basic reasons why a player might choose to pick a race. If they are interested by the first page, then they read further and learn more about it. If they aren't, they move to the next race.

I hardly think that WotC is raping anybody just because you don't like anything new. Complaining endlessly that everything a company is doing is terrible because you prefer a different system is just... tiresome. What is it that you want out of them in terms of new content? Who says nobody wants to play those prestige classes? What about the extra feats? The regional backgrounds? The new items? The new classes entirely? Skill tricks?
They aren't doing a single thing to you if you don't buy their stuff, and you clearly aren't going to buy it because you view all their stuff as crap. Just set up your own campaign and limit the books allowed. Done.

This statement "Of course, it's all futile really, because the best role playing system ever is really..." just makes me thing that you aren't worth wasting time even talking to. It's ridiculously dismissive to say it's futile to release new material because a good game already exists.

RJ Dalton:
Of course, it's all futile really, because the best role playing system ever is really Chaosium's Call of Cthulu. Oh, and subsequent editions of *that* game don't invalidate the material of the previous editions, so people who buy a newer edition of the book can still play with people who use the old edition

Let me know how that's going in 10 years time, yeah? When every single rulebook needs to be balanced and consistent with every other rulebook. This is a design lesson I learned when I played lots of Magic: The Gathering, and read their weekly columns. They have different tournament formats. The most popular one (T2 - Standard) is the one with the smallest cardpool, so that A) people don't need to buy as many cards to be competitive and B) because any big issues or horrendously OP stuff gets rotated out within a year or two, and we can all play again without having to fight off people abusing ludicrously insane combos that they just didn't catch because they're dealing with a thousand cards at a time.

Oh, but they did have other formats for people who liked the older stuff. Vintage and Legacy both used every card ever printed. As such, these were the most difficult, expensive, and painful formats to play in.

If they never retcon/errata/patch note anything up in your Cthulu game, have fun with powergamers breaking your shit.

Cain_Zeros:
Who plays base races other than human? No, really. I've never even seen someone play a tiefling, and I have played evil characters. I played a wood elf, my friend played a human. We were both lawful evil, so throwing in tiefling "for the evil-curious" is just lame. There's a reason no race (and very few classes) has alignment restrictions. It's so you can do whatever you want.

Cain_Zeros:
I agree that the roleplaying is most important. I never start with a class in mind. I start with a concept, and build from there, occasionally using a completely different class than the one usually used for similar concepts.

Awesome. So why does it surprise you so much that non-standard races like Dragonborn and Tiefling and Gnome and Warforged exist? They all allow for very interesting roleplay experiences which aren't easily possible with other classes. And, hey, they add some variety, which is nice.

Fenixius:

Cain_Zeros:
Who plays base races other than human? No, really. I've never even seen someone play a tiefling, and I have played evil characters. I played a wood elf, my friend played a human. We were both lawful evil, so throwing in tiefling "for the evil-curious" is just lame. There's a reason no race (and very few classes) has alignment restrictions. It's so you can do whatever you want.

Cain_Zeros:
I agree that the roleplaying is most important. I never start with a class in mind. I start with a concept, and build from there, occasionally using a completely different class than the one usually used for similar concepts.

Awesome. So why does it surprise you so much that non-standard races like Dragonborn and Tiefling and Gnome and Warforged exist? They all allow for very interesting roleplay experiences which aren't easily possible with other classes. And, hey, they add some variety, which is nice.

True, and I guess making them core does get newer players (or players who's DMs don't have upwards of 30 gigs of books downloaded) to try out non-standard races.

I dont think the article was informative at all, they didnt look into the reason as to why we all think its a total crap system. I read all the posts above me, and a huge majority dont like it, while the ones who do say they can either take it or leave it.

I want to know why they think there was such a huge backlash from the gamers, not why the Tiefling is "cool"

Tieflings are not cool nor are any emo wanna be character classes. If I want to make a loaner character, then I will make one with my own fluff.

Andy Collins, quoted in the article:
The eladrin is more recognition that the elf race historically in D&D has really been too racist - it's been the sort of super-smart, arcane, Elrond style elf, but it's also been the primal, woodsy, archer-Legolas type elf.

Umm... are you sure he didn't say "two races"?

-- Alex

In a 3.5e Eberron campaign I played a Neutral Good Tiefling wizard who had the Eek the Cat mentality of "It never hurts to help!" So she helped a lot of people, at least she saw it as helping. Sometimes it didn't help at all. It sometimes it really did hurt. Also, she wasn't too aware of the laws of the land so to speak. That caused some issues when the party crossed a border into Thane. For some odd reason the Silver Flame people didn't like her.

funksobeefy:
I don't think the article was informative at all; they didn't look into the reason as to why we all think its a total crap system. I read all the posts above me, and a huge majority don't like it, while the ones who do say they can either take it or leave it.

I want to know why they think there was such a huge backlash from the gamers, not why the Tiefling is "cool".

(Tieflings are not cool, nor are any emo wanna-be characters)

Couple issues, funksobeefy. The article wasn't supposed to be a tell-all about how much they wanted to make money. It's always going to be promotion from Wizards of the Coast. It's the design of the game that we're all interested in, and looking for. Of course they'll slip in as much positive commentary about their game as they can; all media is biased. I'm sure there're other articles about why they deviated so drastically from 3/3.5. However, with the huge outcry on every DnD-themed article posted, I think that maybe The Escapist should ask Wizards to write something on the topic? *nudge-nudge >_>*

As to Tieflings, they're not "emo wanna-be's". If you don't like something, don't assume it's not how it should be. Assume that it's not meant for you, because in this case, it's evidently not. Tieflings allow for some fairly complex personification and roleplaying, which other races I feel don't so much try for that. They're all very blank slate, where as Tiefling is blank slate with a twist. That's how I see it, at least.

Cain_Zeros:
True, and I guess making them core does get newer players (or players who's DMs don't have upwards of 30 gigs of books downloaded) to try out non-standard races.

That's it. It's all about letting players try new things, and have cool new moves. Players trying new things is the whole point! It's not like World of Warcraft, where to try something new properly you need to sink 20 hours of gameplay into it. It's an inherent advantage of PnP that you can start at any level, with any gear, with any moves. If you look into the culture of each race, there're lots of opportunities for very unique roleplay. You could be an upstanding member of your society, you could be a deviant who shuns his culture, and tries to fit in someplace else. You could have a grudge against someone in a position of cultural power and work to subvert it. Lots and lots and lots of options is the idea. Just because there aren't 60 different classes to start with doesn't mean you're limited.

Fenixius:

If they never retcon/errata/patch note anything up in your Cthulu game, have fun with powergamers breaking your shit.

Chaosium has been around since the mid-seventies and, so far as I've been able to tell, the game is relatively unchanged since it first came out in 1980. The rules are solid enough that there's nothing about it that needs changing. On top of that, it's supplemental materials are top notch quality, providing intriguing ideas that are well-written, easy to understand and are actually fun to read. The Delta Green Manual sits comfortably in the position of best RPG manual ever written.
It should be clear by now to anyone paying attention that my objection with WotC is not 4E. If people have fun playing it, that's a matter of taste. I've expressed what I don't like about 4E, but what makes me want to protest is the way that WotC is running the company now, which actually started about a year or so before 4E came out. Don't try to tell me that WotC has to go around arbitrarily changing everything in an effort to get us to buy all their books over again just to survive when Chaosium has been around over thirty years now and has changed almost nothing about their game.

And you can't powergame in Call of Cthulhu. It's not possible.

Alex_P:

Andy Collins, quoted in the article:
The eladrin is more recognition that the elf race historically in D&D has really been too racist - it's been the sort of super-smart, arcane, Elrond style elf, but it's also been the primal, woodsy, archer-Legolas type elf.

Umm... are you sure he didn't say "two races"?

-- Alex

You know, that makes a lot more sense. I wasn't quite sure what he was getting at there.

funksobeefy:

Tieflings are not cool nor are any emo wanna be character classes. If I want to make a loaner character, then I will make one with my own fluff.

Actually, one of my friend's best characters was a tiefling. The race can be very good if you don't take the stereotypical attitude of "crazy, emo, demon-spawn loaner." Honestly, though, his other really good character was an Aasimar, so my question is why didn't they add Aasimar as a playable race? Probably because they're *are* trying to play to emo culture.

Fenixius:

Cain_Zeros:
True, and I guess making them core does get newer players (or players who's DMs don't have upwards of 30 gigs of books downloaded) to try out non-standard races.

That's it. It's all about letting players try new things, and have cool new moves. Players trying new things is the whole point! It's not like World of Warcraft, where to try something new properly you need to sink 20 hours of gameplay into it. It's an inherent advantage of PnP that you can start at any level, with any gear, with any moves. If you look into the culture of each race, there're lots of opportunities for very unique roleplay. You could be an upstanding member of your society, you could be a deviant who shuns his culture, and tries to fit in someplace else. You could have a grudge against someone in a position of cultural power and work to subvert it. Lots and lots and lots of options is the idea. Just because there aren't 60 different classes to start with doesn't mean you're limited.

True, and yet not. You aren't under huge restrictions where every character will be the same. And indeed from a character standpoint there still aren't any limitations in 4E. And it's still pretty new, so once it's been around for as long as 3/3.5 there won't be any limitations as far as what those characters can do either. However, I personally am quite happy with what my friends and I have dubbed "3.75" (more commonly known as Pathfinder).

RJ Dalton:

Fenixius:

If they never retcon/errata/patch note anything up in your Cthulu game, have fun with powergamers breaking your shit.

Chaosium has been around since the mid-seventies and, so far as I've been able to tell, the game is relatively unchanged since it first came out.

Really? I'm surprised, then. My apologies! If they've devised a system robust enough to withstand 40 years of updates, then my proverbial hat doesn't just come off to them; it accelerates upwards with such force that it's now in lunar orbit. I don't know how often they update it, but I'm assuming one book a year or so? In order to make money, that'd be enough, if they're well priced, and the playerbase is solid. Otherwise, they're not doing it with the intention of profiting, which in my mind puts them in a different ballpark than Wizards of the Coast. The sort of difference between a modder and a professional game developer. There's no implicit differentiation in skill; just in objective, and possibly in dedication. Modders will tune and tune and mod and mod their product until they're happy with it. Professionals: by definition people who do it for a living, will work on something until they can sell it, and then work on something else until they can make money off of that. Be that a new game, a new edition, a new patch, or whatever.

RJ Dalton:
It should be clear by now to anyone paying attention that my objection with WotC is not 4E. If people have fun playing it, that's a matter of taste. I've expressed what I don't like about 4E, but what makes me want to protest is the way that WotC is running the company now, which actually started about a year or so before 4E came out. Don't try to tell me that WotC has to go around arbitrarily changing everything in an effort to get us to buy all their books over again just to survive when Chaosium has been around over thirty years now and has changed almost nothing about their game.

I'm certainly not going to defend Wizards of the Coast. They're a professional organisation that is trying to make money. However, they're not being huge enormous dicks about it like Activision and Ubisoft are these days. The lovely thing about PnP RPG's is that they're all still there when the new one comes out. There's infinite replayability in a framework, rather than a "game" where most of the mechanics are on the other side of the computer's display. They don't lose anything 'cause there's a newer version. In fact, if you want to, you can port all the new content down to the older mechanics. But you're right; 4th Edition has been very expensive compared to other games.

RJ Dalton:
And you can't powergame in Call of Cthulhu. It's not possible.

Then they have some truly radical game mechanic. I've never seen any system which couldn't be min/max'd to have a higher profit than someone who doesn't. There are systems where it's not worth the effort, or where it's not possible to get a huge advantage, but it's definitely present in every single system I've ever seen.

RJ Dalton:
And another thing I go on about is how insulting the books are. I'm going to quote something directly from the text:
"Play a dragonborn if you want to look like a dragon."
That's so bloody shallow that you'd think WotC thinks we're all five-years-old. And it does something like that for every race. It just plain bugs me.

It's simple and obvious, but you have to admit it actually does speak to why people pick characters. For decades now, people have been playing half-orcs to be big and strong, playing dwarves to crack jokes about drinking in a faux-Scottish accent, playing elves to be Legolas. Heck, the cleric was written into D&D because the creators' playgroup decided they wanted to play a dude out of Hammer Horror.

What did you expect? "Play an elf if you want to explore the themes of lost glory and immortal grief"? That's never been D&D's shtick.

It's definitely crass to write it outright, but what you consider "shallow" really is driving the decision-making process for most players of the game.

-- Alex

RJ Dalton:

funksobeefy:

Tieflings are not cool nor are any emo wanna be character classes. If I want to make a loner character, then I will make one with my own fluff.

Actually, one of my friend's best characters was a tiefling. The race can be very good if you don't take the stereotypical attitude of "crazy, emo, demon-spawn loner."

Even that attitude is just fine to play. It's a little cliche, but so is the magic-loving elf, and the ale-swilling dwarf. Now, as to your revised comment, funksobeefy, what's the issue with a certain race coming with a backstory that lends itself strongly to one roleplay or another? I don't see any sort of issue with that. Indeed, it adds further depth, because you can either roll with it and get a pretty simple story going quickly, which is a useful tool, or you can go counter to it and end up with some interesting personal and interpersonal conflicts.

RJ Dalton:
Honestly, though, his other really good character was an Aasimar, so my question is why didn't they add Aasimar as a playable race? Probably because they're *are* trying to play to emo culture.

Aasimar... now, I never played 3.5 that extensively, but they're essentially the opposite of Tieflings, right? Celestial/Human mix? That seems similar-ish to the idea behind the Deva race, from PHB2 of 4th Edition. They're more like reincarnated demi-celestials than half-breeds, though, so it's a bit different. Of course, for maximum lolz, go make yourself a super-pious, Pelor/Bahamut loving Tiefling Paladin.

Cain_Zeros:
True, and yet not. You aren't under huge restrictions where every character will be the same. And indeed from a character standpoint there still aren't any limitations in 4E. And it's still pretty new, so once it's been around for as long as 3/3.5 there won't be any limitations as far as what those characters can do either.

I think you're right in that 4th edition will "open up" as they print more supplements. If only they priced them cheaper, yeah? I think it'll be Players' Handbook #3 that'll crack it wide open - Hybrid Classing sounds very powerful for fine-tuning your character. Best of luck with your Pathfinder, by the way.

IcarusPherae:
If you want something new to play (an updated 3.5) and 4th edition doesn't suit you check out Paizo's Pathfinder RPG. It is 3.5 basically with some upgrades you won't be disappointed!

Well, you will be disappointed if you actually want "something new". It's a familiar thing with a mild facelift, written for people who want exactly that rather than an all-new game.

-- Alex

Personally, I have no use for the 4th edition rules at all, but that's just me. I stick with the 3.5 rules with some additions thrown in from Pathfinder. My real problem with the whole switch to 4th edition wasn't the actual rules change, I can ignore those after all. It was the rest of the things that went with it. The end of the print Dragon and Dungeon magazines, the termination of pretty much every liscense they had (Dragonlance, Codemoney's E-tools, removing all PDF's from Paizo, etc), that sort of thing. Add to that the false promises that their D&D Insider site was making... it didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. WoTC basically destroyed some of the greatest traditional treasures of the game system (the magazines) to make way for the online system that, after two years, still hasn't delivered everything they promised. Of course, it took WoTC many years just to implement a search function on their forums, so that's no surprise.

Basically, they made it as hard as possible to continue to play 3.5. WoTC could have at least allowed the continued sale of the 3.5 rulebooks in electronic form, if they didn't want to print any more physical copies. If they had been able to, I'm sure they would have ended the right to make any 3.5 edition products at all. Thank God for the OGL being irrevocable. As it is, they added a few things to the liscense for 4th edition to force publishers to choose between editions, rather than publish for both.

Basically, it felt like WoTC was going out of its way to alienate me. I went from a several thousand dollar a year customer to nothing, giving all my business to Paizo instead. I'm no longer a fan of the publisher of the official D&D, and that's a painful thing for an old grognard like me to say. I wish it were otherwise, I really do.

Fenixius:

Cain_Zeros:
True, and yet not. You aren't under huge restrictions where every character will be the same. And indeed from a character standpoint there still aren't any limitations in 4E. And it's still pretty new, so once it's been around for as long as 3/3.5 there won't be any limitations as far as what those characters can do either.

I think you're right in that 4th edition will "open up" as they print more supplements. If only they priced them cheaper, yeah? I think it'll be Players' Handbook #3 that'll crack it wide open - Hybrid Classing sounds very powerful for fine-tuning your character. Best of luck with your Pathfinder, by the way.

Hybrid classing? This is new to me. I assume it's very much different from typical multi-classing.

Cain_Zeros:
Hybrid classing? This is new to me. I assume it's very much different from typical multi-classing.

From what I've read, instead of being some radical new method, it sounds like a souped up version of traditional multiclassing, which was largely absent from 4th Edition. 4th came with a pseudo-multiclass, which let you spend feats every couple of levels to get elements from another class. They're in the back of the Feats section of the PHB, given about a page.

From what I've read, and this was all rumours, Hybrid Classing will work like this: Where multiclassing lets you take one level each in different classes, and you choose which to level when you level up, Hybrid-Classing will let you choose to take half a level in each class, every time you level up. Each class is broken down into a set of attributes and qualities which can be combined with another, so you make your own class which is forged from elements of each. The theory being that you'll be able to make your own class, tailored to your playstyle, but it depends hugely on execution. I have some anxiety that they'll screw it up and make it overly restrictive, but I'm hoping it'll be good so I can bust out a proper Warlock-Rogue for my Tiefling, like he needs.

Fenixius:

Cain_Zeros:
Hybrid classing? This is new to me. I assume it's very much different from typical multi-classing.

From what I've read, instead of being some radical new method, it sounds like a souped up version of traditional multiclassing, which was largely absent from 4th Edition. 4th came with a pseudo-multiclass, which let you spend feats every couple of levels to get elements from another class. They're in the back of the Feats section of the PHB, given about a page.

From what I've read, and this was all rumours, Hybrid Classing will work like this: Where multiclassing lets you take one level each in different classes, and you choose which to level when you level up, Hybrid-Classing will let you choose to take half a level in each class, every time you level up. Each class is broken down into a set of attributes and qualities which can be combined with another, so you make your own class which is forged from elements of each. The theory being that you'll be able to make your own class, tailored to your playstyle, but it depends hugely on execution. I have some anxiety that they'll screw it up and make it overly restrictive, but I'm hoping it'll be good.

So if they don't royally screw it up it'll be like a gestalt, except they're actually giving you a way to do it, instead of you having to do all the work.

Cain_Zeros:
So if they don't royally screw it up it'll be like a gestalt, except they're actually giving you a way to do it, instead of you having to do all the work.

What is a gestalt, and which system is it from?

Fenixius:

Cain_Zeros:
So if they don't royally screw it up it'll be like a gestalt, except they're actually giving you a way to do it, instead of you having to do all the work.

What is a gestalt, and which system is it from?

A gestalt isn't from a system. It's a combination of positive aspects of two things, in this case classes. I've done it before with Mariner and Fighter. Good things resulted.

Fenixius:
What is a gestalt, and which system is it from?

The 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana. You basically shove two classes together to make a super-class, kinda like 2nd Edition multiclassing but without the trade-offs.

Here's the D20SRD.org page.

-- Alex

I started playing and DMing D&D in 1974. I've played each edition as they came out. I played and DM'd AD&D (1st edition), 2nd Edition AD&D, 3rd Edition D&D and 3.5. I played Basic D&D as well, but never DM'd it. Each edition polished the game. Added to it. But it was recognizably the same game. I never had any great problems adopting my home brew campaign to each new edition. Then came 4E. It didn't seem like the same game. Adapting my campaign would basically mean trashing it out and rebuilding it from the ground up. It seems, to me, that they didn't just make changes to improve the game... they made changes just for the sake of change. To reduce backwards compatibility... or maybe just put their own brand on the name. It might be an OK game, but it's not the same game. I think that's the real problem. people expected some changes / improvements... and they got a different game. If they had hung a different name on it I doubt gamers would have been that upset. It does seen to be oriented towards the "short attention span" crowd. Seems to have deified "balance" in character classes as well, although I'm sure time and splat books will change that. Still, just not my game. I'm moving my game over to Pathfinder. 3.5 with some evolutionary change designed to add to and improve the game. Not just to change it. ymmv.

Cain_Zeros:
A gestalt isn't from a system. It's a combination of positive aspects of two things, in this case classes. I've done it before with Mariner and Fighter. Good things resulted.

Alex_P:
The 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana. You basically shove two classes together to make a super-class, kinda like 2nd Edition multiclassing but without the trade-offs.

-- Alex

Ooh, thanks very much for that, guys. It's very helpful. Haha, the 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana rules seem hilariously OP'd, but there is a big section on balance which I didn't actually skim. I assume it works okay? I do like this idea of class combinations. Reminds me a little of the way Final Fantasy Tactics works - you pick Jobs, and you can use skills from ONE other Job in addition to your current one. Honestly, I'd love a PnP Final Fantasy Tactics ruleset, too!

r_Chance:
Each edition polished the game. Added to it. But it was recognizably the same game. I never had any great problems adopting my home brew campaign to each new edition. Then came 4E. It didn't seem like the same game. Adapting my campaign would basically mean trashing it out and rebuilding it from the ground up. It might be an OK game, but it's not the same game. I think that's the real problem. If they had hung a different name on it I doubt gamers would have been that upset. It does seen to be oriented towards the "short attention span" crowd. I'm moving my game over to Pathfinder. 3.5 with some evolutionary change designed to add to and improve the game. Not just to change it.

How is it significantly different in terms of core mechanics? The action seems to work the same; it's just they they've streamlined character creation, right? I did play 3.5, but only very briefly, so I'm a little confused as to what you mean. The simplification of ability choices into "powers" is indeed a major overhaul, but it seems more like they've changed the interface for selecting and using abilities rather than overhauling the core mechanic of the game.

I'd love to hear back with exactly what you mean.

psrdirector:
Interesting article, but they really didnt say why they felt 4th was better then 3.5 for clasic gamers. I own alot of 4th edition books, but I enjoy 3.5 much better. 3.5 is a more complex game, allows more freedom, and generally allows more ability to do waht you want.

Agreed. 4.0 felt like WoW, while 3.5, even rules heavy, actually gives you the freedom to do ANYTHING. Nice to see I wasn't the only one who sees this. We don't play 4.0, we play 3.5.

I myself would prefer if they continued supporting 3 and 3.5, and use v4 as a beginner's version for those who would like to step into the game slower. They continue along this line of thinking and D&D will lose its appeal to a lot of people. And on that day I will mourn.

psrdirector:
Interesting article, but they really didn't say why they felt 4th was better then 3.5 for classic gamers. I own a lot of 4th edition books, but I enjoy 3.5 much better. 3.5 is a more complex game, allows more freedom, and generally allows more ability to do what you want.

That'd definitely be a topic worth having articles written about. I wish Escapist would try to get someone to explain that, even if it's just their own staff.

doctorwhofan:
4.0 felt like WoW, while 3.5, even rules heavy, actually gives you the freedom to do ANYTHING. Nice to see I wasn't the only one who sees this. We don't play 4.0, we play 3.5.

I'd be very tempted to argue that you just need a more creative DM, but it's certainly true that the 3.5/Pathfinder rules do cover more possible situations and circumstances, where the 4th Ed DM has to improvise. I'm not sure if that's good or bad; it means that you can be very badly screwed over in the wrong circumstance unless the DM bends something to help you. It depends how situation-specific you'd want your character to be. But I really find that there's not a huge tradeoff in planning out for a situation which may not happen often.

Fenixius:

Ooh, thanks very much for that, guys. It's very helpful. Haha, the 3rd Edition Unearthed Arcana rules seem hilariously OP'd, but there is a big section on balance which I didn't actually skim. I assume it works okay? I do like this idea of class combinations. Reminds me a little of the way Final Fantasy Tactics works - you pick Jobs, and you can use skills from ONE other Job in addition to your current one. Honestly, I'd love a PnP Final Fantasy Tactics ruleset, too!

Haha, that reminds me of my friends and their plan to make a more DnD-esque version of Warhammer 40k. A plan that got scrapped due to sheer laziness. Much like the plan my DM and I had to make a setting based on the Mongol empire.

samsonguy920:
I myself would prefer if they continued supporting 3 and 3.5, and use v4 as a beginner's version for those who would like to step into the game slower. They continue along this line of thinking and D&D will lose its appeal to a lot of people. And on that day I will mourn.

What would you have them add to 3.5? It appears to have a staggering amount of supplementary rulebooks. I always considered it to be "done", especially when you factor in the fan-edits like Pathfinder.

The ideas behind 4th Edition are to open it up to newer people. There's nothing wrong with them expanding on that, and evolving the game into something more robust than it is now. 3.5 I just find to be so tedious for character creation. Too many options which are perfect for this one specific kind of fight or situation, and not enough which apply more generically. Does that mean I'm just a noob and I'm not building well enough? Maybe, but why should I have to read two dozen textbooks and experience a half dozen failed characters first, before I can make someone fun and competent?

Honestly, I never played past AD&D, y'know, the one with all the tits in it. But seriously, it just changed to much, I'll happily play NWN but for tabletop, I'll stick with what I know.

Cain_Zeros:
Haha, that reminds me of my friends and their plan to make a more DnD-esque version of Warhammer 40k. A plan that got scrapped due to sheer laziness. Much like the plan my DM and I had to make a setting based on the Mongol empire.

Heh, I did look at doing an FFTA-based tabletop game, but there're some problems. I can't reverse-engineer their formulae for combat mechanics and character progression, and it's all PvP which is less interesting for me than a DnD-style game.

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