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So, 4e at the NYS was entertaining enough that I've looked around, found a nearby shop that runs modules on Wednesdays, did some reading, rolled up a couple characters (and believe me, Essentials-only is hard to break, which I believe is the point), and I'm headed there tonight.

If nothing else, it's a different player pool than the MtG shop to recruit from for a Mage game.

I don't think 4e will ever be my favorite system, but it does seem to have hit a point where I'll enjoy playing it.

Date: 2011-01-05 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
I think it's pretty hard to break 4E in general, nowadays. I mean, you've still got weird half-elf twin-striking Avengers or whatever, but they're so fidgety to build that they're usually no fun to play in lower levels at all and exist almost entirely as exhibitionary concepts.

Date: 2011-01-05 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lowbeyonder.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's the impression I've been getting reading 4e CharOp. There's clearly a continuum of better to worse options (which is unavoidable), but nothing much stands out the way druids or level 5+ wizard spells did as crazy broken.

The Essentials enchanter mage seems really good, though, with Orb Expertise. It can combine good slow and immobilize effects with amazing pushes as early as level 3 and just Tekken-juggle the hell out of things. Once daze shows up in the 5-9 range it's off to the races.

I'm also convinced that at levels 10+ there's a way to abuse the hexblade ability to apply implement magic properties to their melee weapon, but I haven't found it yet, and the class seems underwhelming in a vacuum.

Date: 2011-01-05 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
Also key is the "nowadays." There were some 4E elements that were released really horrendously broken, but the Errata has been really good for the most part. I still disagree most strenuously with the free-action-attack restriction, but even that was done with good intentions...just executed extremely poorly.

Date: 2011-01-05 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
I am still appalled at the apparent level of errata. If they are going to change how magic missile works, they need to ship me new free books, I declare.

Date: 2011-01-05 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
But that will not fix THE BOOKS. Or the POWER CARDS I bought.

Date: 2011-01-05 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
You bought power cards? Hahahaha!

Date: 2011-01-05 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
They're sort of awesome, though! And yes, I'm sure you could print out your own blah-blah but I don't have time for all that.

The fact that they fucked up their ruleset, though, well.

Date: 2011-01-05 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
Most of it is not fucking up, it is fixing. Now, the change to Magic Missile...that was huge, and it was a huge controversy to make that change, and I still don't much like it. But once you accept the idea of bugfixes to a P&P game, it's unquestionably superior. I mean, just look at the fucked up shit that was the original Stealth rules. You don't need a new edition for that, you just need errata.

I've been using this for my cards for forever. Using card stock on a duplex laser printer means my cards look pretty slick, and it's easy to update.

Date: 2011-01-05 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
"Fucked up" in the sense that the original rules were so bad they felt they needed to fix them. To me, errata is for misprints "it says 1d4, it should say 1d6" not for ACTUAL DESIGN CHANGES. That is a new edition of the game. You made your decisions about magic missiles, now suck it up and live with it.

It really drives home how sloppy the D&D team must be within WOTC, though. I mean, the Magic people have to create tons of new rules ALL THE TIME and make sure they're balanced enough for hardcore abusive tournament purposes, and they RARELY fuck up. The D&D people put out a new ruleset, what, once every decade? And they fuck it up so bad that they immediately need major patches?

As for the cardstock thing, my printer has issues printing on cardstock -- the toner doesn't fuse on properly. Not sure why.

Date: 2011-01-05 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
Well, let's compare it to MTG, then, eh? There are over 7,500 Powers in 4E, not including most class features. Over 3,000 feats. Several thousand items (I'm guessing...the way the compendium lists each level of an item as a separate item makes it difficult to get a quick number there). Each of the above has properties that can interact differently with each other and with your player class and race.

MTG has approximately 13,000 distinct cards, and while they will interact differently with each other to some extent, from what I recall there is also quite a bit more functional duplication than the variation present in 4E powers, and because the gameplay mechanics that any card can alter are so vastly fewer in number than what even the vastly simplified world simulation that D&D offers there are not nearly as many bizarre intersections that lead to abuse that developers could not have foreseen (I'm thinking of Arcane Feyslashers here, if you know what that was, which you probably don't).

Date: 2011-01-05 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
Well, but there wasn't that much AT FIRST, and they're retconning PHB stuff.

Date: 2011-01-05 08:38 pm (UTC)
ext_12920: (gaming: 6 damage)
From: [identity profile] desdenova.livejournal.com
Yeah, I agree. As a player (and not a GM), I am completely not down with constantly-changing game mechanics.

Date: 2011-01-05 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
If the price is consistently fixed mechanics, it is more than worth paying, IMO.

Date: 2011-01-05 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] montoya.livejournal.com
That is what new editions are for. If you want to make D&D 4.5, then do it. Don't change the rules of 4e.

Date: 2011-01-06 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prince-corwin.livejournal.com
I'm not morally opposed to it, but I'm not changing my own game in mid-stride to reflect the new rules. Then again, I don't have a group of players, four of whom decided that they wanted to play Dragonborn Paladins, per previous anecdotes. A decent group of players is way, way, way more important than the individual or even the aggregate rules.

(Granted, Dragonborn have no room in my game and would not have been allowed even if they weren't self-evidently broken. But that's for world-building reasons.)

Date: 2011-01-06 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
Why do you feel they're broken, now?

Date: 2011-01-06 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prince-corwin.livejournal.com
They might not be now, but in the original 4e PHB, a racial power that is a blast 3, 1d6+con bonus is a little out of league of the other racial bonuses, don't you think?

Date: 2011-01-06 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skwidly.livejournal.com
With the +2/+4/+6 attack bonus progression and almost no items or feats to advance that, though, every time you get into the tail end of your tier you basically stop being able to hit with it. Ever. And 1d6+Con per encounter is almost negligible damage by 3rd level. Most people just about ignore it past early heroic unless they're a defender who can use it for multi-marking or the like.

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