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Desc:As nice a eulogy as 4th edition can expect.
Category:Humor, Video Games
Tags:Dungeons and Dragons, Dice, 4th edition, pen and paper, Dark Sun
Submitted:Pillager
Date:07/10/14
Views:1248
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Comment count is 20
EvilHomer
Nice try, guys. Real smooth opening with all that negging, trying to get around my Nerd-Bitch-Shield (Beard-Shield?). I'm not buying any 4e supplements. Not even if they released a 4e Ravenloft.
cognitivedissonance
Ah yes. Fat guy with fat arms and his buddy, skinny guy with weird glasses. They form the eternal Dungeonmaster Syzygy.
Gmork
They've slain dragons, dude. Lots of them.

Lef
Gmork, these are for you

Scattersane
I've downloaded the free rules for 5th and am already figuring out my house rules. It has left me in the usual condition: Loving old school feel, but writing my own rules to actively counteract old school bullshit.

Also, I think I sort of like these guys. They have a positive attitude.
EvilHomer
So is 5e any good? What have they fucked up the most? The least?

Scattersane
It has a "Proficiency Bonus" system that replaces base attack, saving throw, and skill bonuses. Pro Bonus is determined by your level and nothing else, and your race/class/background determines when you get to use it. If you're crazy good at something you get to use it double. It scales very slowly, making bonuses from other things (stats, magic items, Fighting styles, circumstances) actually really matter, and it keeps AC from becoming irrelevant at higher levels. There are several of these "universal" mechanics built in that I really like, that cover a lot of ground while still allowing fiddly bits.

Races have neat subrace options built into them. I really like how the Human works- all the demihuman races get crazy specific neat little things, Humans just get a straight +1 to every stat. There's also Backgrounds in addition to Races and Classes, that let you add some history to your character (as well as some more skills and sometimes a bit of starting equipment.)

Wizards have a more versatile spellcasting system- you prepare a pool of spells you can use for the day, and then you spend your slots to use spells from that pool. If you spend a higher-level slot on a lower level spell, it gets advanced features. So, sort of built-in metamagic.

There are also some fun random tables, like the Trinkets table where you determine a random weird item your character starts with, which can range from a mysterious map fragment to a handkerchief signed by an Archmage to some old socks. I play with a group that loves seeing silly things like that, so YMMV.

Some Fuckups: Spellcasting balance still consists of "Weak at early levels, crazy stronger than everyone else at later levels" and this is definitely a major problem. My personal solution is to figure out extra features to add to non spellcasting classes, and maybe rework a few spells (like making Knock a skill roll rather than automatic, poor Rogues). A lot of the other fuck ups are just things that D&D has never seemed to address... like many weapons just being objectively not good choices compared to others. I have a BECMI Weapon Levels based homebrew thing I use to solve that personally, but would have been nice for them to not have just skimmed weapon stuff. Still, this is Basic.

Scattersane
Oh, other fuckups: The saving throw system is based on stats, which is neat and sometime I liked in Castles and Crusades, but from what I've seen a lot of the stat saving throws just plain don't get used. It's Fort, Ref, Will in all but name so far.

EvilHomer
That actually doesn't sound too bad! I like that they've went ahead and made all wizards into sorcerers, and I take it mandatory miniatures are a thing of the past?

I haven't played D&D in years; over a decade now, in fact. But this looks promising!

Spoonybard
I just read through the pdf on wizards.com. I agree with most of what Scattersane said, except about the casters being a problem. Compare the spell slot tables: they get far fewer spells per day than they did in 3.5, and I didn't see anything about bonus spells based on attributes. Having only three second-level spell slots should make even a 20th level wizard think twice about blowing one on Knock if it isn't strictly necessary. As for the spectacular power of that one ninth-level spell, that's what being a wizard is all about - 4e tried to even the score for the sake of balance, with the whole powers-based combat system, and I think that was what turned me off the whole game.

What does the rogue get to beef her up from 3.5? A more powerful version of Finesse built into the basic rules, a class feature at level 2 that's basically a more versatile version of Mobility, easier flanking for sneak attacks, and freedom from the gimped base attack bonus. If it turns out you can sneak-attack undead - and there are no exceptions noted in the description - I'd say the "poor rogues" are in no dire need of house rules to save them from redundancy.

Seriously, just try a new system rules-as-written BEFORE trying to fine-tune it. Assume the people who designed it have some idea what they're doing.

Scattersane
Hm. Noted! You're right, I'll see how it plays out first.

I do definitely like that BAB is gone, yeah. Everyone can take a physical whack at something, Fighters just have an extra edge on it.

Jet Bin Fever
I most recently played a 1st Edition game, which turned into a "EVERYONE POKE SOMETHING WITH A TEN FOOT POLE BEFORE PICKING IT UP" game, because of how bullshit everything is. We got killed anyway when harpies flew down a chimney (yes, a chimney) and killed us.
EvilHomer
That's why my dungeons have traps that trigger an effect ten feet away from the tripwire.

Scattersane
I was very recently running a 1st ed/2nd ed thing using a dungeon I downloaded for free off of DriveThruRPG that sounds suspiciously familiar, although my party defeated the harpies.

Jet Bin Fever
This was a really old campaign designed by Gygax, I think. It was a beginners one where you had to find some evil guy (named liek Bognor or Balgar or something, can't remember) in a fort filled with Kobolds and the aforementioned Harpies. I still don't see how you fly down a chimney with wings.

Syd Midnight
Bargle! Bargle the chaotic 5th level magic user. Holy shit that just dialed my memory back 25 years... that was the adventure in the D&D Basic boxed set, the one with the red cover. It was for levels 1-3, with a players handbook that let you learn the game playing a solo adventure exploring a cave, and the DMs guide stretched it out into a mini-module where the party chases Bargle into a ruined keep full of kobolds, giant centipedes, yellow mold etc.

Search for a torrent named "TSR D&D Products" and you can get all that great old out-of-print stuff: D&D, AD&D, and 2e.

Jet Bin Fever
YES BARGLE. We cut off his head. It was pretty fun, despite said harpies.

Jet Bin Fever
holee shit, he has fan art and fan pages and shit. Fun to see that people remember this stuff after 30 years.

Nikon
Pathfinder is enough if you want something with a D&D feel, and there are plenty of non-class based rule systems (Unisystem, BRP, Gurps, Storyteller)if you want something else.
Pillager
I enjoy the lovecraft-lite background to Pathfinder & the high adventure/low rp content of their adventures.

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