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1  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: I've seen the Fourth Edition PHB and MM on: May 29, 2008, 07:55:05 pm
But I think this is the most telling section.

"Playing without a DM"

It's entirely possible to play D&D without a DM. For fun and exciting combat with no plot or purpose a random dungeon and encounter deck is all you need.

It goes on from there. Opinions?
2  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: I've seen the Fourth Edition PHB and MM on: May 29, 2008, 07:43:05 pm
I have now seen a copy of the dm guide and what the pundit says is true. I'll paraphrase/quote so that I don't get into trouble passing on info from a book that's not been released yet. One of my friends for some unknown reason has received his copies early. Don't know why, don't want to know.

Here's the pertinent passage: dm guide page 32. If the game come to a halt while a rules lawyer tries to find a particular rule invite him to take as long as he wants to search for it.....his character essentially  steps out of game for as long as that takes. Monsters don't attack him and he can delay indefinitely.

The purpose for this is so that the rest of the players can keep playing without him.

3  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: Welll, that didn't go well.... on: May 28, 2008, 11:29:33 pm
I agree with what you are saying randalls. In point of fact the OD&D, 1e and 2e players kept complaining that the rules were too rigid for them to do anything that they wanted to do in a fight and succeed. And that's a key point. Sure, you can do something a little off the wall but you're not going to be helping anybody else's tactics and use of daily/per encounter/at will powers which will do more damage to help you win the encounter.

I think that the thing that bothers me about the high profile tactical rules is the lack of abstract combat. See, to me it's like the rides at Disneyland. Now we all know about the animatronics involved with some of the rides that makes dead presidents, pirates and ghosts come to life. If you take the "skins" off of those animated figures they're just metal frameworks with hydraulics, wire and what have you showing. They stop being presidents and pirates etc. I prefer my rules to be well hidden so that they don't interrupt the "suspension of disbelief" that rpg's run on. If your rules are too high profile it can become a game of Yahtzee  with d20s. (IMHO)
4  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: I've seen the Fourth Edition PHB and MM on: May 28, 2008, 09:04:11 pm
I've seen them now as well Randall and I think you have called it fairly. They are very pretty to look at but there's not much of the same feel as the earlier editions.

They have all the names in there, heck the DM's Guide even has the "Invulnerable Coat of Arnd" in it. But there's this overpowering feeling of "dungeonpunk" badboy about everything. You half expect one of the characters to say "Yo yo yo whut up dawg? I got some fiiiiine eldar steel here gonna cut your sorry death knight heinie." j/k

But seriously, it has changed quite a bit. I'm not sure if it's for the better but it's sure for a different target group IMHO.
5  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: Welll, that didn't go well.... on: May 28, 2008, 08:52:41 pm
Well, I'm not trying to be mysterious or anything, the games were just a debacle. I'll just start with my impressions as a DM.

4e is not the D&D I've known and enjoyed in it's several incarnations. It wants to be, but too many things have been changed. The way that the rules are set up and designed for combat and interaction it seems to be more of a type of board/miniatures game along the lines of say, Warhammerquest or Descent in its execution. Characters have specific Moves, Powers and Abilities that are all "key-worded" so that you know when you are allowed to use them. By "Key-worded" I mean like "interrupt", "at-will", etc. There are rules for how to know when each of these things get "triggered" by the actions of the other players or NPCs. And, let me tell you now that the secret to succeeding in this game is knowing your tactics cold and knowing your "place" in the "tactics chain triggers".  I'm reminded of playing "Final Fantasy Online" with a friend and finding out that there were these things called attack chains. When one person attacked with a special move, someone with another special move could use it at the right time and set off an "effect" like an energy blast or something that would do 10x the damage as normal. It reminds me of that.

Now, I know that we had incomplete rules, but holy cow, we had some serious scraps over interpretation. I have since visited other forums and found people arguing about the same things and expressing 5 differing opinions about how to run them. Like the kobold encounters. They have been given a "shifting" power that allows them to effectively move out of the way when attacked. We argued about that all night on or off each time we played. The rules were not clear enough for us to settle it conclusively and it caused some aggravation around the table.

More later.
6  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Welll, that didn't go well.... on: May 27, 2008, 08:46:04 pm
Sorry I've taken so long to post anything about our 4e playtesting but I decided to let the group grapple with the rules for several sessions just to be sure.

It didn't go all. Tongue

And I think that's the end of this group from what I've seen. Cry

I've got company over tonight so I'll post tomorrow.
7  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: I'm Not liking D&D 4E at All on: May 21, 2008, 08:15:03 am
Sure, posting a report will be no problem.  Wink

I'm interested to see how the different players respond to the rule set. We have two younger newbies, one od&d fan, one 2e player and a 3e die-hard munchkin powergamer and myself of course. A real cross-section going!  Grin

Fiery Dragon has put up a download of counters for the Keep for free so I've got that. I've photocopied the pre-gens and fixed the errata corrections. (Yes, they already have errata up for it on the Wizards site. It's funny but I don't recall "Keep on the Borderlands" having errata released for it anywhere.  Wink) I've made up the "quest cards" to hand out to players (little props to remind them what they're supposed to be doing so they don't get sidetracked! wtf) and read some of the other playtest reports.

All I have to do tonight is order the pizza.  Grin
8  Side Discussions / WOTC Fourth Edition D&D / Re: I'm Not liking D&D 4E at All on: May 20, 2008, 10:16:17 pm
Well wish me luck! I purchased a copy of Keep on the Shadowfell and am running my group through it tomorrow. We're curious about it and trying to be fair-minded but it sure doesn't feel like the D&D I've come to know and love. I've read through the two booklets that come with it and looked over the flip-mats. It sure was produced on the cheap IMHO.
9  Retro Game Systems / Retro Fantasy: WOTC Dungeons & Dragons 3.x / Has anyone heard of E6? on: May 11, 2008, 11:42:34 pm
Someone was telling me today about some sort of house-rules set that limited 3e to just 6 levels.

It sounds interesting, and fool that I am, I wonder if it might be an answer to my old group's dissatisfaction with 3e.

Have any of you heard of this or have an opinion about it?
10  General / Roleplaying Games: The Meta-Discussions / Re: Nostalgia is overwhelming! on: May 11, 2008, 11:35:48 pm
Sounds like you've rediscovered the point of the game - fun. Great result.  Smiley

Thanks, Greyharp! It has been a looong time since the fun and laughter was there alright. Also, the other thing that the players most commented on was the freedom they felt in choice of response to the adventure. For example: they were up against a fairly powerful monster and instead of just hitting it with a spell which probably would not have damaged it very much the mage blasted at the overhead stalactites to bring them down on the creature's head.

He said to me, "It's been a long time since I thought outside the box like that!" Just a little thing but it really pleased everyone at the table immensely.
11  General / Roleplaying Games: The Meta-Discussions / Re: What's Wrong With Not Liking Current RPGs? on: May 11, 2008, 11:26:05 pm
I'm not sure about this point of view that "no sales = dead system". I can understand the reasoning, but it's definition of dead is very narrow. What do you think? Is this a large part of what decides if a system is dead? Or only one point of view? Is it only sales and being serviced by some company that decides it?  I have recently been reminded by boards like this that the point of the original rules was to make you independent as far as house-rules, design and adventures were concerned. When I bought the magazine "Fight On" from it reminded me with it's crudely drawn maps that this was something that I could do myself. And have great fun with! I had spent so much money on 3e I had forgotten this. (I was cleaning up after a game and had, no joke, 14 books under my arms. I said to my daughter, "Hey, how about a quick pickup game of D&D?" We both laughed.)

I'm going to look at this Labyrinth Lord, it sounds interesting.

Interesting thread topic.
12  Retro Game Systems / Retro Fantasy: TSR Dungeons & Dragons / Re: What Versions of TSR D&D have you played? on: May 11, 2008, 10:36:58 am
If you add 3e to Philotomy's list that about sums me up!

And, by the way, I owe this current wave of nostalgia for earlier version gaming to Philotomy's site. That and 3e burnout!  Grin

Thanks, Philotomy! Are you still updating your campaign notes?
13  General / Roleplaying Games: The Meta-Discussions / Re: What's Wrong With Not Liking Current RPGs? on: May 11, 2008, 10:30:17 am
Honestly, from your description it sounds more like a rant than any sort of reasoned argument. With such an untenable position as the fellow you speak of I'd say he's got the "fanatical fear-mongering" down cold.

His use of the terminology "fragmenting the hobby", "harming the hobby" is the type of white-wash/tar-us-all-with-the-same-brush attitude that does FAR MORE HARM than what he's ranting about.

As far as I'm concerned it's this type of "Cultic" thinking that is going to do the greater damage by forcing us all to take sides where there aren't any! It's as ludicrous as telling crafting hobbyists that the grognard "sock puppet enthusiasts" are fragmenting the hobby by not taking up "scrapbook making" instead. Why don't they get with the program....rant...rant. I can see it now. Dozens of flame wars on sock puppet and scrapbook message boards.

Let's put this in perspective for heaven's sake! This is getting to be utter, unforgivable nonsense!
 Roll Eyes
14  General / Roleplaying Games: The Meta-Discussions / Re: Nostalgia is overwhelming! on: May 11, 2008, 10:13:45 am
Thanks for all of the insightful responses! Sorry for the long absence. I really appreciate the points of view and ideas presented as it really helped us decide.  Smiley

I really should have given some background with my original post. The group I gamed with until recently has disbanded due to constant bickering and arguing about 3e rules! We struggled with this for the last 5 years! People coming and going, campaigns derailed, and no small amount of bitterness. When we started there were 14 of us, all enthusiastic for the new edition. Most left within the first two years, citing the rules had become insufferably stifling to creative thinking. I wish I had left back then, but I stayed and tried to help "fix" things. Well, that didn't work. To this day I still have no idea what went so terribly wrong with 3e for us. The games seemed a blur of rules, rules, rules with very little adventure or fun. If you succeeded at something you didn't feel like you, as the player, had done anything yourself. Rather it was cleverness with stat manipulation that made all the difference. None of us were new to D&D. I've been playing since '74 and most of the others were a mix of 1e and 2e. I'm so burned out now from this disaster that I don't even want to LOOK at anything 3e!  Roll Eyes

I'm now starting up my own little group consisting of several old-time friends and my two oldest daughters who have always been curious about this game their dad has played. I've gone over the rules with them all and they think they like the rules-lite style of play that the old games offered so I'm going to try them out on OD&D just using the three original booklets. They're looking forward to it. I'm running them around an old Tunnels & Trolls adventure of mine and there is much laughter at the table. This is more like it! We recently were looking at snippets of the new 4e and it honestly reminded us more of an episode of Power Rangers, LOL! I'm not sure it's for me, but I'll look at the quick start rules.  Wink

Well, sorry about the rambling post. Thanks again.  Grin
15  General / Roleplaying Games: The Meta-Discussions / Nostalgia is overwhelming! on: April 01, 2008, 02:00:17 pm
As I've posted elsewhere I am currently trying to make up my mind which previous edition of D&D would be the most fun for my group. I am fortunate to have all the pdfs of many of the books and I own several 1st and 2nd edition and the Rules Cyclopedia.

I am having difficulty deciding just from nostalgia alone! I can remember many happy times with OD&D which the RC would probably do fine for. I also have great fondness for AD&D. I've heard that the RC isn't truly "Gygaxian" and so forth. Does this matter? Is it even true? What do you people think?

May you always make your saving roll.
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