View Poll Results: Will you be moving to 4th Edition D&D?

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  • Yes

    26 20.47%
  • No

    66 51.97%
  • Eventually maybe, but I'm in no rush

    29 22.83%
  • Other

    6 4.72%
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  1. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    First we live in the modern world in which the liberal project to emphasize the individual is achieved. People are not known by their kin groups or their associates as they were in traditional societies. Second, even under these conditions most hires are made from referrals and friends of current employees: insiders.

    Then consider that a medieval society is hostile to strangers. That people are known by their kin groups and social networks, not by their individual achievements. And then it becomes obvious that the fact that some people get hired by strangers in the real world is a meaningless fact with no bearing on the game world. Much like the average commute distance has no bearing in a predominantly agricultural, medieval society.

    This is a modern trope. Older stories about groups who take on adventures are either groups of friends and family, or on rare occasions collections of several heroes in the middle of their career who are known to one another by reputation, achievement, and previous encounters for a single mission.

    One of my central purposes of even playing role playing games is to take on the role play in pre-modern societies. I live in a modern society. Going elsewhere, where things are different, is a part of the escapism of gaming. Simply recreating the modern world in funny costumes is not interesting to me.
    I can understand this, but in my oppinion this argument has the flaw that you can't paralelize so much how we lived in our medieval times to a world where there are dragons, magic and all those types of bizarre stuff going on. There are enough fundamental changes in the basics of the world that both "modern tropes" could be common even if they weren't in our normal history.

    But I can understand your reasoning and why you like it more, it's just that I don't see it more true than the other point of view because sadly we don't have anything to compare with.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    This is power-gaming. I have no problem that you, Vicente, or dundjinnmasta, are very much in the middle of the power-gaming world view. But this kind of mechanical optimization is something I am not interested in. Who can get to 18 in Str is not an important question to me, because no one in my games gets to 18 in Str. The highest possible stat in the elite array is 15. Getting to 18 would require a level 12 character who never stopped to increase that 13 in say Con or Dex. I've seen 18 in Int, Wis, and Cha, the more important attributes, but never Str.
    This has nothing to do with powergaming Kenneth, we were talking about mechanics and they are pretty clear that halflings aren't going to produce the best mechanically possible fighter. Second, I can't discuss about your rules and games because I don't know them, I can only talk about the core books, because they are the middle ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    90% of what makes a character formidable is their class, not their race or even (though they are more important) their attributes. Class level doubles the power of a character every couple of levels. Having a halfling or human or dwarf underneath all of that, is very much a noodling at the margins. Important only to people trying to squeeze that last +1 out of a build because they single-mindedly focus on one thing. I don't reward that style of design by feeding those characters the one thing all the time.
    Agreed it's a small difference, but we never said they are inviable characters, we said they were supbar (not the best possible) characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    If you really think this makes any sense, you and I are simply playing different games. A halfling has the same elite array as anyone else, and whether they go with a 13 Str and 13 Dex, or a 10 Str and 17 Dex, or something else, these characters make fine fighters.
    In 3e halflings have -2 Str (subpar melee fighters) and as small guys they can't use a composite longbow (subpar archers). Of course they can be fighters, but they aren't the best ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    If this were true, I would consider it a flaw of 4e. Every race of people will produce warriors, soldiers, and physical combatants.
    I don't see it as a flaw: every race produces warriors, but they don't have to be of the same quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Fighter is not a viable class for PC's in my campaign. It makes a nice dipping class for people who want to toughen up on combat, but I advise no more than 4 levels in Fighter. Too few skills for normal play, too much emphasis on combat, which sometimes never happens in a session. The game I run is about politics, intrigue, and statecraft. The Shadow World is an always present supernatural parallel to contend with. Characters should be designed to deal with those things.
    Having to optimize for a DM style it's a kind of powergaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    I have written several powers for 4e that would constitute the cool powers for my campaign. They look like this:

    Etymologiea Caulnorum Utility 2
    You have studied and mastered the teaching of the book Etymologiea Caulnorum. You understand the origin and meaning of words and their rhetorical use in argument.
    Encounter * Logic
    Standard Action Debate
    Target one opponent
    Attack thesis skill or rebuttal skill vs thesis or rebuttal skill
    Hit standard and you or an ally receive a debate surge

    Duenia Isagoge Utility 2
    You have studied and mastered the teaching of the book Duenia Isagoge. You know and understand this classic logic primer used by the old Imperial Temple and its successors.
    At-Will * Logic
    Minor Action Debate
    Effect: You gain a +2 logic bonus to any argument attack

    Questioneas Naturales Utility 2
    You have studied and applied the teaching of the book Questioneas Naturales. You understand and have utilized the natural science lessons of this textbook in wilderness locations.
    At-Will * Logic
    Minor Action Debate
    Attack Nature or Dungeoneering vs any appropriate thesis or rebuttal
    Effect: damage die improved one step

    Logica Vetus Utility 6
    You have studied and mastered the teaching of the book Logical Vetus. You know and understand this profound work of logic, the reply of Halmied Alameata to several Avanian scholars.
    At-Will * Logic
    Minor Action Debate
    Target one opponent
    Effect: You gain a +3 logic bonus to any argument attack and your damage die is improved one step.

    Secretum Ruornilia Utility 6
    You have studied and mastered the cryptic teachings of the book Secretum Ruornilia. You know and understand the hidden wisdom of this book.
    Encounter * Logic
    Standard Action Debate
    Target one opponent
    Attack Arcana or Religion vs any appropriate thesis or rebuttal
    Hit standard and you and your allies receive a debate surge

    Ecclesiastica Imperium Utility 6
    You have studied and mastered the teaching of the book Ecclesiastica Imperium. You know and understand the historical and religious development of the Imperial Temple.
    At-Will * Logic
    Minor Action Debate
    Effect: You may attack or reply to any Religion argument with the History skill.

    Tirestean Dialogues Utility 10
    +4 logic bonus any argument attack, damage die improved one step

    Posterior Analyticea Utility 12
    +5 logic bonus to any argument attack, damage die improved two steps

    Quanun Utility 12
    Attack Heal or Religion vs any appropriate thesis or rebuttal (disease, medicine, healing)
    +8 logic bonus to any argument attack relating to disease, medicine, or healing; damage die improved two steps
    Pretty nice argument powers, totally agreed.

  2. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    90% of what makes a character formidable is their class, not their race or even (though they are more important) their attributes. Class level doubles the power of a character every couple of levels. Having a halfling or human or dwarf underneath all of that, is very much a noodling at the margins. Important only to people trying to squeeze that last +1 out of a build because they single-mindedly focus on one thing. I don't reward that style of design by feeding those characters the one thing all the time.
    True.In fact the oldest version of D&D haven't race at all:non human race are considered as class.

  3. #173
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Kgauck, do you have any more of those non-combat powers?

    Kenneth, do you require your players to take those powers in place of combat powers? I wouldn't. I'd let it be parallel.
    I'm working on some Rjurik wisdom. These were more Anuirean. These are all utility powers, so all the combat effects in at-will, encounter, and daily slots are untouched. And if a character wants a standard PHB utility instead, that's fine too.

    As for flawed and crippled characters, I think it's REALLY important that the entire party and DM agree on such character concepts and talk about how they'll fit into the game.
    Absolutely, characters need to fit the game that's being played. No one in their right mind would make a character with a hostility to elves to the table if the other players are playing gheallie Sidhe. Likewise if everyone is doing one thing, part of good play is playing something compatible with that.

    One kind of thing actors like to do is play dissension in the ranks. That works well in cases where everyone knows what's going on, is able to play that, and willing to do it. It can be fun in a Spock-McCoy style of arguing that doesn't ultimately make the team ineffective. But if you can't meet those conditions, players want to do it, are able to do it (some may want to try, but end up with hard feelings), and it doesn't end up getting in the way of other party goals (at least no more than its worth to the party as an opportunity cost).

    While characters might fight or be at odds, the players should be on the same page, if not necessarily in total agreement.

    (aside from 2e and 3e's strong tendency for: oh, you guys have got the fighter, mage, and rogue covered? I guess I'll be the cleric). I also find 4e actively encouraging different party make-ups, just acknowledging and discussing what they'll be better at and what they'll not be as good at. No harm in discussing the impacts it will have on the game.
    Though, the core books make a lot of in-explicit assumptions in these discussions. For instance BR is a setting where magic is more rare, and making opponents mostly from the fighter-rogue side of things means that players can also build parties that reflect those same class choices without being a problem. Admittedly in a high fantasy world where NPC's and monsters use a lot of magic or fantastic powers that aren't countered simply with with reflexes or armor, you need to think about ways to add that magical side.

    I just don't find the core books a good baseline for a Birthright scenario.

  4. #174
    Senior Member Elton Robb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post

    Though, the core books make a lot of in-explicit assumptions in these discussions. For instance BR is a setting where magic is more rare, and making opponents mostly from the fighter-rogue side of things means that players can also build parties that reflect those same class choices without being a problem. Admittedly in a high fantasy world where NPC's and monsters use a lot of magic or fantastic powers that aren't countered simply with with reflexes or armor, you need to think about ways to add that magical side.

    I just don't find the core books a good baseline for a Birthright scenario.
    Birthright is a different animal when it comes to D&D.
    Regent of Medoere

  5. #175
    Ehrshegh of Spelling Thelandrin's Avatar
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    The Middle Ages posts have been split off from this thread. Please discuss the title topic!

    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

  6. #176
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    In terms of the title, as I've gaily gamboled off topic, I should confess that DM's passionate defense has got me thinking about my knee-jerk reaction - I'll finish reading the DMG, particularly the stuff on skill challenges as even if I don't switch, that's no reason not to import. It sounds like PHB2 address some of the issues I have with PHB1 so I may get that too...

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