Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby voicedotter » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:10 am UTC

Me and some friends just finished the 4th ed noob campaign for new players after bout 3 sessions. Our DM is now writing his own campaign with his own realm etc. I have seen a bit of the stuff for it and it is going to be interesting. So yea. We had 5 party members and a niceish DM and we killed a level 3 dragon that had well over 200 HP and we were only level 1. Our DM broke a few rules but none of us cared. But yea we have only just started playing.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby torontoraptor » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

voicedotter, that is awesome! It sounds like you have a really good DM, and a good group.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:37 pm UTC

voicedotter wrote:Me and some friends just finished the 4th ed noob campaign for new players after bout 3 sessions. Our DM is now writing his own campaign with his own realm etc. I have seen a bit of the stuff for it and it is going to be interesting. So yea. We had 5 party members and a niceish DM and we killed a level 3 dragon that had well over 200 HP and we were only level 1. Our DM broke a few rules but none of us cared. But yea we have only just started playing.

Be wary of DMs who bend the rules to make things happen. It's nice when it happens in your favor, but tabletop game systems have rules so that you know what you can and can't do. When a DM starts ignoring those rules, it either leads to your characters being able to do anything, which gets boring fast, or never knowing what you can or can't do because everything boils down to how and when the DM decides to ignore or change rules, which is pretty infuriating.

Maybe it's just me, but in my experience the more the rules of the system you're playing in get broken, the faster a campaign falls apart. Especially when dealing with a DM's custom campaign world.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby voicedotter » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:25 am UTC

He didn't bend them much but bent them just enough for a few things to happen that were helpful. Other then those few details he left the rules intact. It was also only one or 2 rules. Mainly the one that you aren't meant to be able to loot the Kobolds bodies from the 4th ed training campaign. Which meant one of our guys had a few glue shots. Other than that he left all the other rules intact.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

The Utilitarian wrote:Be wary of DMs who bend the rules to make things happen. It's nice when it happens in your favor, but tabletop game systems have rules so that you know what you can and can't do. When a DM starts ignoring those rules, it either leads to your characters being able to do anything, which gets boring fast, or never knowing what you can or can't do because everything boils down to how and when the DM decides to ignore or change rules, which is pretty infuriating.

Maybe it's just me, but in my experience the more the rules of the system you're playing in get broken, the faster a campaign falls apart. Especially when dealing with a DM's custom campaign world.


I completely disagree, a good DM should break the rules when they stand in the way of fun. This might be just my experience running Mage, but the rules for most RPGs aren't so much rules as very emphatic suggestions that make sense to follow most of the time. But you definitely should not let their presence stop you from having things function the way you like as a DM.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Windowlicker » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:05 pm UTC

clockworkmonk wrote:
The Utilitarian wrote:Be wary of DMs who bend the rules to make things happen. It's nice when it happens in your favor, but tabletop game systems have rules so that you know what you can and can't do. When a DM starts ignoring those rules, it either leads to your characters being able to do anything, which gets boring fast, or never knowing what you can or can't do because everything boils down to how and when the DM decides to ignore or change rules, which is pretty infuriating.

Maybe it's just me, but in my experience the more the rules of the system you're playing in get broken, the faster a campaign falls apart. Especially when dealing with a DM's custom campaign world.


I completely disagree, a good DM should break the rules when they stand in the way of fun. This might be just my experience running Mage, but the rules for most RPGs aren't so much rules as very emphatic suggestions that make sense to follow most of the time. But you definitely should not let their presence stop you from having things function the way you like as a DM.

I agree. It seems like the whole point of having a human being being in control is to make the game/world as fluid and dynamic as possible. If they're sitting there only to say "no you can't do that" every so often, you might as well go play a video game, eh? It seems like a DM who will always stick rigidly to the rules is far more likely to railroad the game (a la DM of the Rings), while one who lets you get away with things following the Rule of Cool will let the players have more fun/control over what they're doing (Darths and Droids).
For example, in the last game I was in, we had a session or two where we were missing a few players - instead of continuing on, we spent a while thinking of cool modifications to make to our weapons (that were outside of the "official" mods in the rulebook). In the end, I had two of my axes joined to each other, so I could run around like Darth Maul (but with axes instead of lightsabers).
However I agree that there should be limits; if s/he's just letting everything pass with no challenge then it's not going to be fun either.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby TaintedDeity » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:29 pm UTC

Rule 0 exists for a reason.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

Well, what kind of rulebreaking are we talking about here? There's Rule 0 style situations/houserules, which are fine but need to be negotiated/confirmed outside of or between sessions, rather than arbitrarily changing as the situation in game demands. Then there's die-fudging, which can on occasion be useful, but the players must never ever know. (Nor should it be used to coddle them or ensure zero PC deaths).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

agreed. Die fudging is a tool I only use when the fault of the situation lies with me like if I made the fight they were supposed to overcome too difficult. But then I don't really fudge the dice as secretly adjust the hitpoints, ac, stats of the monster on the fly. same effect really. But I have always believed that the PCs should be able to get themselves outta trouble they get themselves into.

About ignoring rules, I think that the DM's Job number one is to do their best to make sure everyone (including and especially themselves) is having a good time. all Rules should have that as the goal, and rule zero exists to ensure fun is being had when used sparingly.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:33 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:Rule 0 exists for a reason.

The rest of the rules also exist for a reason.

Yes, a good DM knows when to bend rules and fudge rolls but, ideally

a.) s/he should endeavor not to let the players KNOW something's been fudged (because honestly you'll feel more awesome if you think you did it legitimately)

and

b.) the motivation behind a broken or bent rule matters. A good DM bends a rule when it doesn't make sense in the current situation, or when it has unfortunate implications for the story. Bending a rule to make something happen that shouldn't have to start with is just railroading, be it benevolent or antagonistic.

I'm not trying to say that any DM who ignores or bends rules is terrible. Tyr knows I've bent my fair share of rules in my day as a DM, but I do so only when I think that I can't accomplish my goals to make a fun and enjoyable roleplaying experience within the rules, because those are the rules everyone has agreed to play by.

If a DM uses rule 0 as justification to just have whatever he wants to happen, happen, you're not engaged in D&D, you're just participating in cooperative story telling, which is fine, but it also means that eventually you'll want to do something you think you can, and you'll just be told "no", with no justification beyond "because I said so."

Bottom line: DM fiat is necessary for gaming, but should only be used when the alternative is disastrous. It's better to do things within the rules than outside of them, the former creates a stronger gaming experience, the latter a weaker. Unless you're playing Exalted, in which case, just go crazy cuz man, any system that has judgements of "awesomeness" for your character's action as a central mechanic is just exempt from this kind of stuff.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby voicedotter » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:50 am UTC

The rule break was that he allowed us to loot the Kobold corpses after we defeated them in the Learners campaign, as we are all learners. That was the only one he broke. I also didn't realize there was such a heated debate about some rules. I am definitively a newbie to D&D.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:58 am UTC

voicedotter wrote:The rule break was that he allowed us to loot the Kobold corpses after we defeated them in the Learners campaign, as we are all learners. That was the only one he broke. I also didn't realize there was such a heated debate about some rules. I am definitively a newbie to D&D.

Hehehhahahaha. Rules Lawyering is a time honored tradition of D&D players. But yeah.. I'd say that if you took out a dragon with 200 hit points at level one, there's either an absolute crapload of environmental information you left out, or the DM...... basically didn't play it right.

Or you just got really, really lucky. I mean, attrition alone should have knocked your party out of the game. So I'm going to assume it's the first thing I said... that there was an ambush and all the environmental variables were in your favor.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby voicedotter » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:17 am UTC

The main item that helped us that our DM let us loot were some Glue shots. There were also 5 of us as well. The dragon was a Juvenal dragon not a full grown one, though it was underground and one of our party glue shotted it and someone else managed to knock it over using one of his powers. I cannot remember everything though.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:27 am UTC

A level 3 solo for a level 1 4e party shouldn't be an insurmountable challenge, especially if it's from MM1 or other early material before they built solos to compensate for action economy. 200 hit points sounded kind of fishy to me, but I checked and that's what a Young White Dragon has.
Spoiler:
Young White Dragon Level 3 Solo Brute
Large natural magical beast (dragon) XP 750
HP 200; Bloodied 100
AC 18; Fortitude 20; Reflex 16; Will 17
Speed 6 (ice walk), fly 6 (hover), overland flight 10
Resist 15 cold
Saving Throws +5; Action Points 2
Initiative +1
Perception +7
Darkvision
Standard Actions
m Bite (cold) • At-Will
Attack: Reach 2; +6 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 4 cold damage (plus an extra 1d6 cold damage on a successful opportunity attack).
m Claw • At-Will
Attack: Reach 2; +6 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 4 damage.
M Dragon's Fury • At-Will
Effect: The dragon makes two claw attacks. If the dragon hits a single target with both claws, it makes a bite attack against the same target.
C Breath Weapon (cold) • Recharge 5 6
Attack: Close blast 5; +4 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d6 + 4 cold damage, and the target is slowed and weakened (save ends both).
C Frightful Presence (fear) • Encounter
Attack: Close burst 5 (targets enemies); +4 vs. Will
Hit: The target is stunned until the end of the dragon’s next turn.
Aftereffect: The target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls (save ends).
Triggered Actions
C Bloodied Breath (cold) • Encounter
Trigger: When first bloodied.
Effect (Free): The dragon’s breath weapon recharges, and the dragon uses it immediately.
Skills Athletics +15
Str 18 (+5) Dex 10 (+1) Wis 12 (+2)
Con 18 (+5) Int 10 (+1) Cha 8 (+0)
Alignment evil     Languages Draconic
Monster found in Monster Manual 1 and Compendium

© 2010 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. This formatted statistics block has been generated using the D&D Adventure Tools.


It's gonna be a bitch--between clawclawbite and the recharging breath the thing can pump damage like crazy--but its defenses are fairly meh and with a dash of luck a party would be fine.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:54 pm UTC

Considering they also had an extra person, if they made decent power choices and still having dailies available I could easily see taking out that dragon. The dragon would have an advantage if it hit the majority of them with his stun, but otherwise a group of 5 alternating dailies could probably lock down the dragon pretty well.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

(I feel like this conversation became "Guys we did something cool" "Nah, statistically, it wasn't that cool." It was still pretty cool voicedotter. Dragons are pretty much always fun to take down.)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "rule" in the starter thing that won't let you loot the corpses. It's D&D : That's the fucking point.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Enokh » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:05 pm UTC

Maybe it's less of a rule and more of a "Yes, these Kobolds you just killed have some awesome stuff, but in order to preserve gear/level balance, events are supposed to transpire that prevent you from looting them for whatever reason"?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "rule" in the starter thing that won't let you loot the corpses. It's D&D : That's the fucking point.

Homicide just isn't the same without robbery. :(
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby clockworkmonk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

Its step two according to Munchkin. Kill the monster, steal the treasure, Stab your buddy.

(that might not be the best advice ever)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

Sounds a bit Dark Kantian.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

I just want to post to express my love for the 4e character builder. Even with all of it's flaws, it makes throwing together characters quick enough that one can play with ideas without needing to find stuff from a dozen different books, and keeps track of the math at all levels. I quite enjoy throwing character ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks.

My current favourite was created after wondering what a John Woo character would look like. Ended up being a Drow Rogue/Ranger hybrid multi-classed into Assassin. Dual wields hand crossbows. Shoots a lot.

As for the Dragon, a level 1 essentials Thief can hit it on a 6, if it's built even slightly properly, and does an average of 15.5 (3d6 +5, with no feat bonus) damage when it hits with a basic attack. Assuming that the rest of the party is balanced, I don't see how the 200 hp would be a problem.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Enokh » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

Absolutely! As much as I dislike 4th edition compared to other editions, the amount (and quality!) of support and tools Wizards has thrown behind it is amazing. Not only is building a character a breeze, but the DM tools make encounter-building easier than ever as well. Not to mention the D&D Insider's searchable encyclopedia for every feat, class, class variant, paragon path etc. It's really awesome.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

I've played both, and now that I'm used to 4e, 3.5 and Pathfinder just seem needlessly complex, but then a lot of people think that the simplification of the game is terrible, and that somehow having robust combat rules will stop people from role playing.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

It seems to me that for everything 4th ed does that I like (Your saving throws are now target numbers like Armor Class? Awesome) it does something I ... really don't like (Skills. And Bloodied. Man, I see what they were trying to do, but my god does that make it feel even more like a video game. "Oh no, it's at half health! It's going to change forms now!")

As I've said to my group and probably on here - mechanically 4th edition isn't bad at all. It's just not D&D. Call it something else and change the flavor a bit and I'd probably play the hell out of it when I'm ready for an alternative to D&D. Now, when I'm tired of D&D and want to play a different RPG system... I could play 4th edition, but.... why bother when I could play Shadowrun or Champions or whatever and get a different flavor?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:As I've said to my group and probably on here - mechanically 4th edition isn't bad at all. It's just not D&D.

I have to disagree, unfortunately, as it says D&D right on the box and is made by Wizards of the Coast.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "rule" in the starter thing that won't let you loot the corpses. It's D&D : That's the fucking point.

Poorly written "powers" for the kobolds in question, you tend to get this when monster powers are described as being the result of some unique equipment they have.

Module: "Yea, they can like, totally immobilize you with these shots they have, for reals"
You: "Wow, that'd be totally awesome for me to have too! I wanna loot them, and then figure out how they make em and make more!"
Module: "Oh!.. uh... no it's... totally only usable by kobolds... totally..."
You: "Hey I'm playing a kobold!"
Module: "Alright look you can't loot the damn things!"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Belial » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:03 pm UTC

it does something I ... really don't like (Skills. And Bloodied. Man, I see what they were trying to do, but my god does that make it feel even more like a video game. "Oh no, it's at half health! It's going to change forms now!")


Okay, we can totally have an argument about bloodied, I get your objection I just see it differently.

But skills? C'mon, depending on what exactly it is you dislike about skills, they either fixed a really dumb system, or they just made the system more honest about the way it already was.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:12 pm UTC

The thing about bloodied, is that it gives a decent mechanical way to see how injured something is. Unless you think that fighting at full strength until you drop dead is not video gamey, I don't see how being bloodied is any worse.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:24 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
it does something I ... really don't like (Skills. And Bloodied. Man, I see what they were trying to do, but my god does that make it feel even more like a video game. "Oh no, it's at half health! It's going to change forms now!")


Okay, we can totally have an argument about bloodied, I get your objection I just see it differently.

But skills? C'mon, depending on what exactly it is you dislike about skills, they either fixed a really dumb system, or they just made the system more honest about the way it already was.
My annoyance with skills does extend to 3.X, I'll give you that.. there's a lot of things in 3.X skills that could have been handled different. I like how 4th Ed's number of skills was reduced. But I don't care for the "You know how to do everything well enough to not make a fool of yourself" approach. Just seems to make every class the same outside of combat. Sure, in battle they have different ways of killing things, but outside of it? All fighters are equally as intimidating as others. All rogues are equally sneaky. All wizards are equally bookwormy. Just seems to strip away out of combat individuality.

Azrael001 wrote:The thing about bloodied, is that it gives a decent mechanical way to see how injured something is. Unless you think that fighting at full strength until you drop dead is not video gamey, I don't see how being bloodied is any worse.
It's.. impossible to discuss this without getting into the abstraction of hitpoints in D&D and how wacky it is. Sufficed to say, I'd respect something like ability score penalties at 25% health more than gaining superpowers because you've had the snot beat out of you/out of something else. But then you end up in a situation where at some point you will be penalizing the player(s) for being unlucky moreso than they're already being penalized. Hence, no reduction in combat ability.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

The thing about the whole "all classes are the same thing" has some merit, but that is mitigated by the fact that people tend to avoid duplicating classes, and where they don't, there can be a significant (up to 10) difference between skill levels of equal level members of the same class, after training.

As for the whole abstraction of HP, I agree that some systems do it better, but if you've got some free time check out the Angry DM blog, specifically the D&D boss fight.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Yes, they could have done it better.

I'd have made utilities two-fold. An in-combat and out-of-combat utility pair. And have skill powers be in there from the start -- heck, maybe replace the entire skill system with a utility system.

You'd roll rituals right into that, and give them out more often than standard.

The downside to this is that it increase the complexity of level 1 characters to some degree if you give them too many utilities. And if you don't, there isn't as much individuality.

Maybe drop the number of skills to 2 or 3, and hand out 1 encounter, 1 daily, 2 at-will powers at level 1, plus 1 utility power per skill? (each skill would have to have 2-3 utility options). Maybe call them skill tricks instead of utilities, to distinguish and give you an allocation of them that doesn't overlap with utility powers from your class.

Ie, at level 4/14/24 you gain training in another skill (and get a skill trick), and at level 8/18/28 you gain an extra skill trick for each skill you have. Then the skill system would be as diverse as the combat system.

One problem is that this runs into the "if you have a power to do something, you cannot do it without the power" problem (or feat, or whatever). But still...
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:00 pm UTC

I've seen good arguments for allowing people to use skill checks to cause effects that mimic powers. The example that was pointed out to me was a rogue using acrobatics to swing off of a chandelier and kicking someone, which, in the DMG (I think, I'm not sure) was stated up almost word for word as that of a later monk power.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:My annoyance with skills does extend to 3.X, I'll give you that.. there's a lot of things in 3.X skills that could have been handled different. I like how 4th Ed's number of skills was reduced. But I don't care for the "You know how to do everything well enough to not make a fool of yourself" approach. Just seems to make every class the same outside of combat. Sure, in battle they have different ways of killing things, but outside of it? All fighters are equally as intimidating as others. All rogues are equally sneaky. All wizards are equally bookwormy. Just seems to strip away out of combat individuality.


I'm with ST on this. Classes lose a lot of their specialness outside of combat in 4e due to the skill system, especially if you have players who like to try everything. Sure I want to give one member of my party a chance to use his or her skills, but another player can, most of the time, jump in and stand a decent chance of doing as well. It leads to situations where your highly skilled warlock stumps out on his arcane knowledge but your ranger just happens to know what you were looking for.

It leads to everyone in your party trying to do any skill you pose to an individual just because they have a half-decent chance of getting it, and there being no cost for trying. In the end it means the only skills that can seem even remotely special are ones with trained only uses.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:08 pm UTC

Yeah, that's a bit bad. A lot of the time "only one person gets to try" fixes this, but it's a bit ridiculous if you're not good at thinking of reasons why.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Decker » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

I haven't actually played 4e, which is too bad. It looks like a lot of fun.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

Getting powers when bloodied is a standard RPG trope (and not just video games) and helps spread out monster powers, rather than having everyone exhaust themselves early on and then just trade at-wills.

SecondTalon wrote:My annoyance with skills does extend to 3.X, I'll give you that.. there's a lot of things in 3.X skills that could have been handled different. I like how 4th Ed's number of skills was reduced. But I don't care for the "You know how to do everything well enough to not make a fool of yourself" approach. Just seems to make every class the same outside of combat. Sure, in battle they have different ways of killing things, but outside of it? All fighters are equally as intimidating as others. All rogues are equally sneaky. All wizards are equally bookwormy. Just seems to strip away out of combat individuality.
Those seem like odd examples to me, since intimidate, stealth, and arcana (or history or religion or dungeoneering) are all skills modeled well in 4e's system. Intimidate, especially, is a skill that some fighters take and others don't, so there are actual differences between fighters. What would you rather see? Some characters are talented chefs and others aren't?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:28 am UTC

You recall Gno Interference's rant on Rogues, yes?

For everyone else, the gist of it was that Rogues in 3.X were screwed over in their skill choices as, while, say.. the Monk could basically take whatever skills they wanted from their list and still contribute their full share, unless the Rogue dumped their skills into the Rogue arts (Stealth, Lockpicking, Trapfinding, Trapspringing, etc) they could not contribute their full share, as the expectation of the rest of the party would be that the Rogue is taking these tasks.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that with the streamlined approach to skills, all classes basically become this. You don't have to worry about the fighter who took the time to dump enough points into Hide to make it count, you don't have to worry about the Wizard intimidating anyone, and the Rogue isn't going to bother knowing a damned thing.

Maybe it's just me and the way I tend to recall characters and so on.. I don't really remember the few "standard" characters I've run, but Fighters with an interest in Art History tend to stick out as being more memorable and more fun to play. Yeah, you can just say that your Fighter is down with art history and play a character who backs it up a lot, but without some kind of mechanical backing to it, it always feels to me like a regression of sorts - like a backslide to playing Make Believe and just pulling shit out of your ass when you think of it.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:53 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:*snip*
but without some kind of mechanical backing to it, it always feels to me like a regression of sorts - like a backslide to playing Make Believe and just pulling shit out of your ass when you think of it.

You know, that's essentially what I was trying to say two pages ago about DMs bending rules to let players do things that they have no business doing
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:49 am UTC

And for some game systems that's perfectly fine. It's how the game system works, and the system was designed with that in mind. D&D is not one of those systems.
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