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Recent Posts

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1
3d6 down the line; as Crom intended.

I play DCC. I use the Purple Sorcerer's web-app to create PCs four-to-a-page, have my players randomly draw a page, and then run them through a 0-level funnel.
2
As a DM I would feel it my duty to construct a special level of hell for players who kill their own characters because they didn't like their rolls.
3
I agree.  Most people prefer rolling the dice, even if it turns out badly.  It's more exciting than arrays.

Players prefer to roll for stats because they know that they will ALWAYS have above average stats. Even those advocating 3d6 in order. If your stats are below average, you simply have to get that character killed (a trivial task) and you get a free re-roll. Keep re-rolling until you've got the stats you like.

Which is why, as a DM, I prefer point buy. That way the players can get the stats they want without all the wasted game time.
4
I have not notice combat taking much longer in 4e than it does in 5e. 4e has 30 levels and most of them work. We're up to level 21 in a campaign and we have rituals equivalent to any magic you can do in 5e. The combats take way too long. Like 3+ hours for important fights and 1.5+ hours for anything else. Which is the same for 5e at that level.

It's not worse than 5e, I just hate sitting in initiative and it's no better at that than 5e.

From what I saw of the GW version of 4e combat seems to whizz along pretty fast. Possibly quicker than 5e which is pretty wham-bam-thank-you-mam prompt as well.

The only time either bog down is when you have players trying to either overanalyze a move, or trying to 'optimize' an attack, oft needlessly. Sometimes both at once. And even then it tends not to bog down too heavily.

Combat-wise 5e is unusually balanced in its timeframe for how long an encounter lasts. About 5 or so min give or take from my experience. Without any loss of a sense of danger or action overall unless the players were really strategizing. Which with my group happened with any big showdown they had any chance to plan for.

4e seems to have a similar sort of flow. But is it just me or does using the board game part of 4e slow it down notably?
5
The one thing I remember most distinctly from the arguments about 4e back when it was the current edition were a very vocal group of fans who absolutely lost their shit at the suggestion a DM may choose to not allow oozes to be tripped. "You're taking a class's core competency away and nerfing them!! If a player has a selected an ability with trip, then they are allowed to trip!"

They tried that over on BGG with 5e as well. "If I play a cleric then there MUST be Undead in the campaign for me to turn!" and "If my Ranger takes Giants as their foe then there MUST be giants in the campaign!!!"
6
Sidenote: I really recommend doing SW with miniature combat as default, if you have the space for a 4x4 or bigger play area and once you get the hang of the rules.     

Why do you recommend miniature? With all of this SW talk, I dusted off my SWADE copy and I am planning to run a one shot this weekend. Was going to go TotM, but now I’m curious.
7
There's *always* something a newb player forgets that they take for granted that makes traveling worthy of adventure. not enough food? Time to go out and scavenge. Anyone scouting ahead? Time for a possible ambush? Maybe they do scout and the discover some mystery - remnants of a wiped out caravan, ruins, etc. There's always something to be done in the hands of a good GM that can think on their toes or with a fistful of random tables.

Which makes it weirder, because this thing started out as miniature wargame project and those things you listed are general staples of a warmini campaign (which OSR also have a lot of roots in). I really think there is a market for it to put out, at least, a mini supplement for those type of game.

Sidenote: I really recommend doing SW with miniature combat as default, if you have the space for a 4x4 or bigger play area and once you get the hang of the rules.     
8
(It also doesn't help that the game seems to assume you will use skill challenges to do non-dungeon stuff, but then gives you a set of skills that are focused on dungeon stuff.  If I'm supposed to use a skill challenge to handle defending a city under siege then there really needs to be some skills that feel like they are actually applicable without being overly stretched.)

Which edition handled this well?

Well only D&D actually has skill challenges, so it's not all that relevant for others.

The issue is a skill challenge one, because the system tends toward the broad narration.  Rather than doing lots of things in discrete steps you sort take a broad sweep and then abstract that into a roll.

If you're not using skill challenges the Fighter might just describe what they are doing to improve the defences of the city and the GM might take it into consideration (it may not be as satisfying as having a proper subsystem, but it's not a problem either.)  The skill challenge system basically means that all of that is basically abstracted into a skill roll.  If you succeed on a skill roll then the bolstered defences help lead to victory, if you fail they don't mean anything*.  This means that what skill you roll is important here.  What skill do you roll for this?  Looking at the list, the only one that seems vaguely appropriate is History.  But did the Fighter take History?  Why would the player of the Fighter have thought they would use History for things like this?  And then there's also going to be the issue that Wizard probably has History and a higher Int, so if it's History maybe he should be the one to bolster the defences of the city. 

If you had something like 13th Age style backgrounds you wouldn't have the same gaps.  If the  Fighter has "Student of the College of War" then it's clear what to roll.  Even Profession (Soldier) would be better here. The Profession skills were taken out of 4e because they were regarded as extraneous, but actually they would have given players quite a lot of opportunity to leverage them in skill challenges.

*You can start to see why the basic approach works better in Savage Worlds where you have more of a bell curve to your roll and a metacurrency that you can bring into play if you really want to do this - the D20 roll is just too random here - too often the player describes something cool, which they should be able to do, and the result is completely anti-climactic. 

   
9
Well, it was getting shot down by 3.5 players right out of the gate, so that's the persecution probably. However, that's mostly WOTC's fault for how they marketed which set the tone as it promoted itself by crapping all over all the other D&D editions.
[/quote]

Very much this. Every damn advert and promotional for 4e I saw was so condescending or outright mocking older editions I gave it a hard pass till Gamma World came out.

Really if theyd trotted 4e out and named it instead New Alternity or something else it probably would have gone over better. Well that and not mocked the players of older editions.
10
I have played it a couple times at conventions with J. Talanian as DM

It was a lot of fun: pretty fast moving, with clever integration of "Weird Tales" elements into standard AD&D. I think there was a nice box set available back in the day, and the art is pretty cool. Recommended
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