Me & my [expletive deleted]

Discussion in 'RPG Discussion' started by prolificvoid, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    For what its worth, this is my take on 4e being viewed with such disdain (disclaimer: I number myself among that group).

    The first and probably biggest is the game's design. The core of the original game was (IMO, and at the time) 4 classes with distinctive and complementary abilities which had to work together to succeed, gradual level progression, and incremental gaining of abilities. Of course, in individual campaigns these tenets were often bent or violated, but they were a baseline. On the strictly rules side, the system was loosely constructed in that individual rules (say Vancian spell casting and melee damage) were not so completely interrelated that a change in one would totally gut part of the rest of the system.

    3rd ed already dramatically departed from this model by being so tightly wound that dropping an annoying rule (say, attacks of opportunity) required dropping entire other parts of the rules system (feats and spells that used that mechanic, prestige classes built around it, etc.). 3rd ed also grew to the point that any class could have virtually any ability - spellcasting fighters, mages who could outfight fighters, etc. That pretty much wiped the old archetypes out in favor of whatever kewl class concept was in the latest splatbook. AD&D 2nd ed had started this trend with the Complete Book Of.. series splatbooks, but 3rd ed made it the norm. 3rd ed was also the first D&D rules set that got so complicated that character generation pretty much needed an automated character spreadsheet to track your stats.

    4e was intended to streamline the system, but instead of just stripping down to the core d20 mechanic (which of itself was a clever idea and worked well) and getting rid of needless rules junk it instead completely changed it *yet again*. The new rules - from what I have seen - are basically World of Warcraft on paper (or for old school types, Gauntlet on paper). Abilities are video-gamish (instant hit point recovery, instant magic abilities available at low levels, etc.) that depart even farther if that is possible from the original editions of the game.

    That, coupled with the consumer backlash from gamers who invested in whole shelves of 3rd ed splatbooks only to find yet another edition of the game on the market - accounts for the disdain, I think.

    Granted, the money for TSR / WOTC / Hasbro has always been in the sales of the players and DM's books - requiring a periodic rules revision to maintain profits. But what the hobby has gained from major corporate ownership pretty graphics and 4-color printing, I think it has lost in rules coherence and long-term market. That's just me though.

    Glad to hear you have a blast playing 4e, but I'd sooner saw off my own testicles with a rusty, crooked pen knife dipped in bleach.

  2. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    Spoken like a true Marine!! Let me go grab some bandages & welcome to the forums Kveldulf.
  3. prolificvoid

    prolificvoid Troubadour

    I can see it now .......

    "Saw XIII"
    "I wanna play a game. For years you've eschewed role playing games with pretty graphics, 4-color printing and mechanics with which you've disagreed. Today, you will test the true level of your gamer elitism. You can play 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons with the others in the room and walk away a free man. The only other way you'll ever get out of this place is to go over to the container of bleach on the counter, remove the rusty, crooked pen knife ... and saw off your own testicles.
    If you choose wisely, various refreshments will be made available as well. PLUS you'll still have your nuts.
    Or, you can prove what a TRULY awesome gamer you are and hack your sack.
    The first encounter will begin in one minute. Make your decision.



    (Personally? I'd "range-walk" over and roll initiative. Easy call - but that's just me.)

  4. MAJ Bill

    MAJ Bill Level 0 Character

    Damn it, Andy! This is just what I was talking about. An already fringe group breaking down into an even smaller set of fringe groups. Now you want to go and create a fringe group that would rather emasculate themselves than play fourth ed. If word of this gets out, you will have a new lunatic fringe of gamers cutting their genitals in protest of 4th ed. This must be contained here before it spreads!! Damn company grade officers! Always gotta be stirring that burn barrel full of $hit. :lol:
  5. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Watch yourself in Iraq! We don't want some local doing that to you for fun!

    As for 4th edition, I can only echo the previous negative sentiments. I am lucky to live in an area where, everytime I turn around, there is another person jumping in to our 1st edition game. But even this cannot hold back the TETSNBN and YAETSNBN attitude. People that come back to the old school from the new school tend to bring some of those habits with them. I get a few people now and again that will only play the archetypical superhero Ranger that can fire 4 arrows a round (at 1st level of course!), or bemoan that they can only cast 1 spell as a 1st level Magic User (and they keep calling them Wizards! :x ). As I usually tell them, roll a high Wisdom and play a Cleric or Druid if you want to cast more than 1 spell at 1st level!!!

    But, alas, I nearly fell into the pit of TETSNBN. After years of not playing, I got back into it and some of my friends that never stopped playing had migrated to 3.5... I tried it, but just like having sex with a goat, it just wasn't the same. Now, some of you may be thinking "Did he just admit to carnal relations with a Oreamnos americanus?" No, I did not. It was a bit of humor on my part. Let me repeat, I have not had sex with a goat. :D

    Thankfully, I found another group that I gamed with for a year or so that played a 1st/2nd edition hybrid. But... they converted to 3.5 so I had to leave em'! I have now found 2 different groups that are strict 1st edition folks (minus the occasional munchkinism that creeps out in one of the games) and I am happier than a pig in doodie.

    The sheer genius of 1st edition is enought o keep me satisfied and happy the rest of my life. 4th edition just seems to be a video game on paper, 3.5 had a few points worth mining, but there is no substitute for the real thing.

    Anywho, enough rambling. I am hoping to make it to GaryCon2 but I have a chance to have my employer move my family and I to Germany (Rammstein AB) for a 1-3 year stint as a contractor. I don't know when I will be leaving as of yet, but if I can, I will fly my tookus to Wisconson in March!
  6. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    Be the first on your block to play the Next Biggest Thing in roleplaying - "HackYourSackMaster"!

    Scheduled for release at GaryCon 2 in 2010, this independent gaming company sensation will amaze you with its return to gaming basics. If you are a 4E gamer and have thought of trying an older RPG, "HackYourSackMaster" is for you! If you are Old Skool Gamer Feeling Guilty After Cheating On Your Old Skool RPG With A 4-Color RPG Gamebook With All The Game Play Of A Slot Machine, "HackYourSackMaster" is for you!

    Just look for the black and white cover featuring an unnamed GaryCon forum poster buggering a goat while wearing a ninja suit (cuz Ninjas are Kewl!)! In line with current RPG business models, purchase of "HackYourSackmaster" will buy you the cover only. Each actual rule for the game will be sold separately on an online subscription basis. No dice are required - just a subscription to the "HackYourSackMaster" online die roller. Play will also require a laptop, Microsoft Vista or higher (sorry Linux users!), and the full Microsoft Office Suite since all rules will be individually sold as PowerPoint Slide presentations.

    Disclaimer: "HackYourSackmaster" does not actually go back to gaming basics, it just uses them as a blatant marketing ploy. Rusty, crooked pen knife and bleach not included. No goats were harmed in the creation of this RPG.

    Andy ;)
  7. prolificvoid

    prolificvoid Troubadour


    Make sure an' have lots of covers ready to go!
    Maybe you can even get Ashley to don the 'mail bikini and sport 'em.


    By the way ... you do realize you've just repeatedly stuck "your sack" in HackMaster, right?
    The Kenzer & Co folks were flippin AWESOME at GC1 - why teabag 'em?

  8. silas

    silas Chevalier

    As a guy who has played all editions of D&D, I can offer the following insights.

    4ed D&D is essentially a tactical combat game built to operate in isolation of greater, more encompassing rules and guidelines. What does that mean? It means that the game plays like the old video game Mortal Combat--who cares about the bigger picture, let's throw fireballs at each other!

    This doesn't mean it isn't fun--it can be, but it is much different than the old-school editions.

    The problem with both 4e and 3.5 is the feats. All the issues with the game can be reduced to this one aspect of the system. As a DM, I couldn't keep track of all the feats (if you include supplements, you are dealing with hundreds of them), and I found that six players at the table were playing by six different set of rules (players would get additional moves, reactions, powers, etc.). The feats also reduced any "realistic" aspect the game might have--PCs become instant superheroes with supernatural powers. The "healing surge" is the most absurd rule of all--what is that exactly? Magic power that comes out of knowhere and heals my wounds?

    That being said, the skill systems in the later editions work well, and are easy for the DM to contend with. Movement is also easy to understand.

    My biggest issue with 4th edition is the length of time it takes to resolve combat. I have done testing in this area and have found that the speed of the game is reduced by 75% vs. basic D&D. In other words, it takes 4 times longer to finish an encounter.
  9. MAJ Bill

    MAJ Bill Level 0 Character

    That reminds me of an "Epic" battle our party had against the big, bad-ass magic user at the end of a story arc. We were using 3.5 rules. The melee ended up lasting 5 hours. In the end we wore him out of spells, grappled him, and stabbed him to death. Not too heroic, and certainly not worth five hours of my life. I thought 3.5 melee was drawn-out enough. If 4 is even worse, I want no part of it!
  10. silas

    silas Chevalier

    Although I should add that the d20 system works great for DC Modern, Call of Cthulhu, and Star Wars.

    Those systems are not nearly as "bloated" as D&D.
  11. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    :shock: :eek: :lol:
  12. chgowiz

    chgowiz Footpad

    You don't want to know where it comes from... :shock:
  13. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    I thought about that after posting. The substitution of "sack" for "hack" was just too easy to make. I don't have a copy, but from all accounts I've heard Hackmaster is a great game. Am a longtime fan of KODT too. No intent to teabag the finee game of Hackmaster was intended : )

    Hopefully the Kenzer & Co folks will be at GC II!

  14. oldgamergeek

    oldgamergeek Level 0 Character

    I have played the edition that must not be named. It just didn't feel like D&D to me and is way to expensive for a lot of people in this economy. So until things change at wotc my group is still using our old stuff. OD&D and 1st edition as well as some retro clones. Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord.
  15. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, Jolly and David are coming to Gary Con and will bring several of the Kenzer Krew with them as well. I am very appreciative of their support. Last year they came to Gary Con with a van load of product to donate to the cause. That went a long way toward helping us pay the expenses of running Gary Con.

    Plus the Kenzer guys are just a lot of fun to have around- and this year I am going actually PLAY some HM with thme!
  16. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    AWESOME!!! Now somebody can show me how to fold up my Hack Master DM screen! :lol:
  17. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    Yeah, they are some great folks and I'm looking forward to coming with Jolly again this year. He and Barb were kind enough to put me up for the weekend. It was even kewler that we had a "game night" at Jolly's place the night before GaryCon.

    If things go well, we'll be coming with them again at GCII. I'm hoping to get some great interviews for my new channel on YouTube so, Luke, if you guys have a central place for people to donate to the memorial for your dad, be ready to share it! I want to help as much as possible.

    Looking forward to next year.

    aka Geekpreacher
  18. Emperor Xan

    Emperor Xan Troubadour

    I know this topic is old and that I'm a bit late to the party, but I have to say that as much fun as one my have playing that travesty that is 4th edition, it is lacking several key components which are essential to storytelling. The purpose of the rules in any given RPG are akin to the game as is the stage is to a play. There is nothing stopping anyone from jumping up and pushing the actors around, but nobody really does it. In the same way, we don't violate the rules just for the hell of it. That suspension of disbelief is crucial to maintaining the fiction, and in a role-playing game it is doubly so in that the only point of the rules is to establish the ground under which we create a shared story. It is why Gary's quote that gamemasters should never be told that they do not need the rules is the true secret of our form of play. 4th edition violates this inasmuch as it closer to metafiction than any previous incarnation.

    With that said, here is a review I did of the game, apologies in advance for any typographical/grammatical errors (I just copy/pasted it) and to those who may find it acerbic.

  19. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    I am glad I did not waste any of my time with this game. I am enjoying running Castles and Crusades right now. I prefer AD&D style best as I am most familiar with it. If I feel ambitious, I will get a Mythus gane put together some day...
  20. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    I also liked Castles & Crusades but it seems every body got caught up into all kinds of other games. I'm planning on picking up their new PHB when it comes out and I hope that that the Castle Keepers Guide eventually comes out!

    I've never played Mythus but think it would be interesting to try out.

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