I'm mixed on this new format for many reasons, all which are still swirling in my head. The first to drop out is how the pencil&paper rules seem to be veering toward the table top mini rules now rather than vice versa. Take that as you will. Second I read a good comment on ENWorld to paraphrase, with these static saves a fighter standing next to a rogue will never succeed when the rogue fails. This system takes alot of the 'chance' out of the game and turns it into a game of averages. I've been using average damage alot in my Age of Worms game because the dice rolls were obscenely high. Is this the next step? (Sword goes from doing 2d6 dmg to average 7dmg+modifiers)
This has damage listed as Melee 2 claws +9 vs AC each: 2d4+4
. This makes me think we won't be going to averages, which I think is good, as it would suck a lot the the flavor from the game. _________________ Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
This has damage listed as Melee 2 claws +9 vs AC each: 2d4+4
. This makes me think we won't be going to averages, which I think is good, as it would suck a lot the the flavor from the game.
I was puzzled about "nethersight" under Senses in the stat block and followed some of the debate on it in the thread you linked to. No one seems to have connected it with the Nethersight Hound in MM2, which has the ability to see into the Ethereal. Maybe I'm wrong though. We're all just guessing at this point.
Why couldn't you roll one die in 3.5e for a fireball save anyways? You roll a 15-whatever bad guys have an equal or better save take half damage, while those who have a worse save fail. I do this all the time for the chum villains. I only roll separate dice for special villains. I do make a point of not letting my players know this however. We all have our tricks of the trade. ;) _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Cebrion; they sure as hell know your devious tricks now. If you can't trust your DM, who can you trust?
I agree with the basic premise of what you're saying; a gaggle of bog standard villains get a joint roll, a group of exceptional types get separate ones. I just want to experiment with what appears to be a 4e concept to see how/if it improves gameplay.
Another subtle twist is, at present say a character casts a spell at an enemy, the DM rolls the save so the character doesn't neccesarily know whether it has had a full effect or not. With a spell roll by the player he or she has a pretty good idea of how effective the spell was, giving them some mastery of their craft. Now, I might not like that as a DM so I'm going to have to try it to find out.
Just an FYI...waaaaaay back in the days of 1e, there was a Dragon magazine article that had a "group saves" system. I can't remember the Dragon mag number, but it was somewhere after 100, but before 200. :) Maybe someone who has the Dragon Mag CD can do a search? Anyway, it was a nice little system that dealt with mass-saves with a couple of dice rolls instead of the dozens and dozens of individual ones. _________________ ^_^<br /><br />Paul L. Ming<br /><br />("L" for "el Grognardian")<br />
I just finished reviewing much of this thread and thought I would respond to a few things various individuals discussed throughout it. The first thing I would like to mention is to Telas (and anyone else who had a similar view). I personally, can say too much once I get irritated. Normally, I keep things to myself, but every once in a while, I get miffed to put it nicely. The whole 4th edition WOTC thing did that for me. I've taken a chill pill, stopped posting (but not reading on the WOTC site) because I couldn't stand having people try and pick arguements over anything and everything written just to be mean. I'm starting to get the feel that many people on forums do that. It isn't what I'm looking for, I try and keep disagrements I may have to myself. This isn't why I showed an interest in any forum. Anyway, the point is that I was blowing off steam, which I think others were as well. Sorry about that Telas.
From the bits and pieces I have picked up this is what I understand....
Monsters and characters will no longer be created in similar fashions, which may explain why we don't see any feats and only one skill on the spine devil's card. From what I understand this is to simplify things in part to make the game go faster and trim the fat off of things most people don't want/need/like.
Frankly, I am a person who prefers rules that cover most things. But for some reason (which I can't really put my finger on) I was never thrilled with the 3rd edition stat blocks. I felt that they took up to much space and way to much time to create, especially in adventures where there were several NPCs to concern yourself with. I felt this was very evident in both modules and even more so in Dungeon Magazine. I don't particularly want less information but rather a better way of putting monsters and NPCs together in order to expediate this process. Hopefully WOTC was able to achieve this without removing to much information.
The saving throws are rolled into a type of AC, essentially, if the attack roll hits high enough you missed your save. I then assume that when the attack isn't quite as high, you effectively saved. Also, if more than one person is caught into an effect of some kind (say a fireball), and the rogue (again an example), takes full damage, then everyone does, since in this example, he's got the best chance of surviving the effect based on his ability to dodge. Basically, if the rogue can't dodge the spell, neither is the fighter, ranger, wizard, etc. Appling the same idea to poisons, let's say the entire party consumes drinks laced with poison. The fighter (who I expect would have the best chance to survive) fails, then they all fail. That's my take on how this whole thing works. Now I don't know if poisons would work this way but if it does I'm not so sure I want to see everyone poisoned or burned to death because of someone's high die roll.
Joke: The whole group dies because the DM rolled over the rogues save AC/DC. Suddenly, the rogue player is pelted with all sorts of dice by the other players because it is somehow their fault. This part could be entertaining.
I have no idea how saving throws would work in multiple monster or situations. Most likely the same as they do for characters. If the die roll was high enough, everyone under it failed. So I think that for everyone who liked the idea of one save for the bad guys or at least the little bad guys I expect this is the way it will be. With multiple orcs, or other low level monsters I'm ok with this. With more powerful monsters, say giants, it doesn't really make me want to jump up and down and say "YES!"
This system I pesonally don't care for, the reason is three fold:
1. I think that various unforseen factors should be a part of the game. Now if the entire party is blasted by a dragon breath or fireball, I think that the chance of taking more or less damage should be based on who had the best chance of success and how great the attack roll was. I like the idea of someone having better luck. I like the idea of someone being on the edge of the breath weapon and having a better chance of leaping out of the way rather than the rogue who may have been standing in the center of the blast. It's all to lumped into one for my taste.
The DM may be able to apply situational modifiers to the chance of survival (saving) and that's fine. But I still like the random luck and unexplained factors that combat can involve.
2. The other reason I don't care for this system is because it takes the die roll out of the players hands for what seems to be to speed up combat. In our campaign, combat is slow, that's for certain. Eventually, we got use to it as compared to the old 1st edition days. My Top Secret/S.I. game is just as slow. My gaming group is ok with this. However, I realize that there are many (most) others who would like it to pick up in speed and I can definently understand that (even agree). But by removing the save from the players hand in order to save time just isn't for me. The players I know need or want to have some say in things, especially if the situation goes bad on them. At least they got a save, tried, and failed.
3. The other reason I understood this is being changed is because we the players "don't need the drama" of having to roll a make or break die roll.
Personally, I think the occasional make and break die roll is fun.
One of my best moments of D&D when I was younger was being a 5th level paladin (my first character, so I clearly had little to no experience with RPGs) and going through The Ghost Tower of Inverness. Anyone remember the medusa? Hey, I'm a paladin, I have a 17 charisma, I'll talk to her. Oooops.....time to roll a saving throw. The tension built and without thinking, my reaction was to stand up at the table, roll the die so that it travelled half way across the table, to the center and stopped. Everyone knew what was going to happen if the die roll was missed. It would be the first character death of the group, and frankly even though I was the least experienced player we all were to a degree, so for us, this was exciting. Now my reaction to the situation wasn't intentionally "Hey look at me" . I stood up. made the roll across the table, because I was excited. I was even more excited when the die came up a 20.
So personally, yes, I want the drama. That saving throw made the night, and here I am 27 years later still talking about it. So I would say this kind of drama is good, at least once in a while.
Monster rolls are another thing that was a goal for WOTC. Personally, I never had a problem with monsters in 3rd edition other than how the stats were laid out (again could be a little more user friendly). I also think some monster descriptions changed to much from 1st edition or were just not very interesting as compared to others. But that's about the worst of it. I don't feel like I need to know if a monster is a skirmisher, a charger, or battlefield whatever.... Play the monster, enjoy the battle or role playing experience with it, and move on. I don't need predefined roles which keep some great monsters out of the MM because they have that slot filled. (These comments are based on posts by the developers, not my own assumptions). Monster and character roles are very important to WOTC for 4th edition. I never found it confusing, unplayable, or unbalanced without these roles being defined in narrow ways. Again, not for me, although someone else might like it.
They talk about miniatures a lot as well. Miniatures really seemed to get popular with 3rd edition. I got into them with Top Secret/S.I. and after playing with them all the time, I would never consider going back to not playing with them, with any game, including D&D. For me, they do a lot. Some of the 3rd edition rules I felt were not the best when it came to miniatures. With 4th edition, this is the area I worry about the least. I'm guessing these rules I will like. Miniatures slow the game down, but I think they are worth it.
Damage on spells will be different. Fireball no longer consists of 1d6 per level. It sounded like the multiple dice idea is gone for things like fireball and I would assume similar type spells. No explanation was given other than time, nor was there any new method introduced. My best guess is that they will go with a certain degree of averages with this. For example, " x" amount of damage per level, plus some other modifier or small random die roll damage. They may incorporate level, the law of averages, or some other thing. The huge randomness I guess is gone. Most likely it will be far more balanced, which is good, but at the same time it's exciting to see someone roll well and occasionally cry out when the roll 9d6 and the best roll is a 3. Both outcomes provide fun factors for me, but again, game balance is very important as well. Basic monster and weapon damage I don't believe will be affected by averages. The spine devil clearly has a random roll involved for damage so I'm not worried that this will go too far. At the most, they may (total speculation here) average out bonuses received with special weapon abilities. Example: Little Eileen has a shocking burst longsword with some other kind or another ability which adds to damage under the right circumstances. I'd expect the base longsword weapon damage will be random but all of the special abilities like the shocking burst part will be set numbers or numbers which increase with character level. Again, strictly speculation on my part.
I have not read anything about multiple attacks other than the next paragraph below. I don't know if multiple attacks require multiple die rolls. They want to speed things up, so I expect a change, what or how, I have no idea.
The only thing I read was a post from another player. They wished that WOTC would change multiple attacks so that the ability was purchased through the feat system. I did not get the impression that they read or heard anything, it was just an idea of their own.
The last thing I wanted to mention (for anyone who is still reading at this point) is that they apparently are going for feat trees. The games I play don't use trees of any kind other than when a character needs to climb or hide so my understanding is limited. I haven't seen WOTC mention it but apparently others had, so it is strictly 3rd hand information here. I have an idea what a tree is but if anyone uses them in a different game I'd love to see a good explanation and example or two.
Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hope I didn't bore you to much. If I did you probably should have stopped reading at that point. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Eileen: Thanks. We've crossed swords (or weapon/spell/ability of choice ), but I don't think any apology is necessary for showing emotion when one is talking about something near and dear. (But a pre-emptive one shows character and class. Cheers.)
I haven't been keeping track of 4E stuff as much in the past few weeks; my approach is to use Savage Worlds until 4E comes out, and then pick over it with an open mind and a limited budget of time and money... We'll see then.
I sincerely hope that WotC's combat mechanic doesn't work the way you described, with one bad die roll potentially wiping a party...
I listened to a D&D podcast the other day that described the Monster Roles as "more like a descriptor than a title", if my impression was right. In other words, a critter could be a "Soldier" in one encounter, but a "Tank" in another.
For the sake of D&D, I hope they get it right, but I'm really starting to like Savage Worlds... (Nerd fashion is so ephemeral.)
I guess I'm naive, what's Savage Worlds? I'm assuming you not talking about the Savage Tides arc from Dungeon. It sounds like it is another game system to me.
Since we only have snippets of WOTC ideas I'm guessing they will have fail safes built into the system to balance it out. I have noticed an indication that some save effects will be prolonged before dealing out their final say in things, giving a greater window of opportunity to recover from them. For example, turning to stone might take several rounds not just one. If this understanding is correct, it would be welcome. I think they are striving for less character deaths but don't quote me on this. This I like a lot. I think D&D makes it to easy for characters to die and come back. A lot of that has to do with DMing style though. I try and not fudge when I don't have to so I look at house rules to help. but even this hasn't been sufficient. We spend tons of time on character creation and development as the game (whatever game we play) progresses so I'd like to see some good mechanic fixes to avoid death such as progressive as above, or multiple saves, maybe each getting harder than the last, but if you manage to make one you'll pull through, that sort of thing.
I don't think game balance will be an issue. The problem is we just don't know enough and as you pointed out, it is a topic that is near and dear to a lot of people, so we talk about it. What I posted is my understanding of the information provided thus far. I try to avoid speculation and when I do, make sure that I indicate so.
Mechanically, I think many things will be better, but for me, upgrading to better rules won't be enough to jump on board, mainly because I made a lot of 3rd edition purchases. I need to get more use out of what I bought. Now if they published Greyhawk stuff, that I would buy and find a way to convert it. I convert a lot of old modules all the time so to do this for 4th edtion Greyhawk stuff would be ok as well.
I pretty muched skipped 2nd edition entirely. Now If I was going from 1st (or 2nd edition) to 4th edition it is quite possible that some of my views would be different. Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say...sometimes. This would probably be one of those cases and therefore I'd be more open to accepting some changes.
There are of coarse some things that are changing that for the life of me I don't understand or would be happy about but that's another story. I'm trying to get away from being critical on D&D, it just ends up ruining my day so to speak. What surprised me about 4th edition was my reaction. I talked to a friend on the phone a few weeks ago (an old gaming friend from high school), and we agreed that since we spent so much time playing D&D as kids that we invested a lot more "emotion" into it than what we would have thought. So sometimes you just gotta have a good cry or complaint session to get over it.
Mechanically, I don't think that the monster and character roles are going to make much of a difference. It was just on the pointless side for me, but that doesn't mean that others won't benefit from it.
There are many different styles of play and types of players out there. I somehow got to thinking over the years that my way was what most people did not because it was right but because I didn't know what others did. I'm seeing a lot of different ideas from other folks so I'm starting to get out of this little shell. I'm slow to change with everything though, heck, I don't even have a cell phone because no one calls me, they are all for Little Eileen. I have a 18 charisma so I can't imagine what the problem is. The friend I mentioned I called. Anyway, thanks for the post in return. Hope you enjoy gaming, and let me know what Savage Worlds is. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
I skipped 2nd ed as well. We really dodged that bullet, eh?
I'm cautiously optimistic about 4E, but we'll see... My take on the RPG market is that it's trying to emulate WoW and various anime or super-heroic themes. I prefer that RPGs try to maintain some realism, sense of danger, and internal consistency, but nobody likes losing a character. Like everything, it's a balance.
Savage Worlds is an RPG that is billed as "Fast! Furious! Fun!". It mostly lives up to the billing, and is a fairly simple system that relies a bit on GM handwaving and judgment calls. (All RPGs do, but this one does it explicitly.) It's the basis for Deadlands:Reloaded and Pirates of the Spanish Main. We did a one-shot playtest with seven players (including the GM, we all had very limited experience with the system), and even with rules consults and chatter, we finished it in less time than the GM did with the exact same scenario in D&D. His total "mechanics" prep time was about half an hour.
I'd say yes, we both dodged the 2nd edition bullet. They sure published a lot of material for that edition. I knew 3rd would be the same, but I figured I'd only buy one more time anyway.
I really dislike the comic bookish flave that they seem to be going with as well. Heck, 3rd edtion had to much of that as far as I was concerned. I'll be able to deal with it though, drop some of the superhero feel from the game in order to give it more of a 1st edition feel. I like superhero games, just not D&D that way. I'm very slowly working on a RPG for the Legion of Super Heroes. Trying to get away from all the sterio typical ideas that I know and creating fresh, in order for it to become its own game isn't easy. But I'm working on it.
So is Savage Worlds a skill oriented game, classes, or some other type? How is it different than D&D? _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
It's pretty simple; there are no classes, levels, or Hit Points.
Abilities and Skills are described by a die size (d4, d6, etc), and almost all dice rolls "explode" if the max is rolled (roll again and add). The general target number is a 4, but is affected by a lot of variables and it's more important is to beat the number by 4 (or a multiple of 4), called a Raise, similar to a critical hit or success.
Edges act like Feats in 3rd edition D&D, and Hindrances act like "Negative Feats", giving points in return for a deficiency or weakness.
Combat initiative is handled by a deck of cards, and is dealt each round. Basically, you attempt to hit a 4, and then roll damage (Raises deal more damage). If the damage rolled beats the target's Toughness, he's Shaken (Stunned in D&D), and if a raise is gained (by beating Toughness by 4), he takes another step on a Damage Track.
PCs and named NPCs also roll a d6 with every die roll that they can use instead. They also receive "Bennies", similar to Action Points, that can be used to get a free damage soak, re-roll all the dice in a round, etc.
Interesting, I checked out the PDF on your Savage Worlds game. Bits and pieces kinda reminded me of Top Secret/S.I. which is my personal favorite game. I have to respect any company that provides a trial game. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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