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Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow?
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TOPIC: Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow?
#34244
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
The point I was trying to make was that I think different D&D points of reference (old vs new) don't necessarily mix well in a gaming group. That's where I think the differing level of expectations come from.

I completely agree that the DM is, or should be, in control of the game and the pacing of it (encounters vs exploration). New (4e) DMs without the benefit of playing 1st or 2nd ed AD&D (3 and 3.5 are where the mechanics seemed to get cumbersome) don't have the skill sets or experience to understand that there is more to the game than combat alone. I suppose it's up to us "old-timers" to teach the whipper-snappers the nuances of the game and the meaning of "role playing".

I think the heavy duty nay-saying old-timers could step back and even enjoy 4e if they were to accept that it IS a different game. Of course, if I could find a group that played AD&D, I'd move away frmo the 4e game.
Myrthe
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#34245
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
I will cite (again) the GM who gave players experience for "dealing" with monsters/NPCs, whether by killing them, sneaking around them, negotiating with them, distracting them, etc. It encouraged his players to look for alternatives to combat, and opened up more opportunities for roleplaying -- within the group, as the players dickered about the best way to handle an encounter, and between players and GM as characters engaged NPCs or rolled skills against monsters (rather than attacks). I think this style of gaming could make a couple-few paragraphs in a rulebook.

Something that didn't come up (and might be addressed in a rulebook) is what to do about "repeat encounters". If a party has, for example, stealthed their way past a monster and got experience for it, do they get more experience if they come back and kill the monster? Does it matter if the party is forced to return to the encounter (the monster guards the only way in or out of the dungeon), or if the players are metagaming to get double xp by revisiting a monster they've already dealt with?
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#34246
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
Jack, in regards to your second paragraph, I'd say that stealthing past an encounter would be worth full xp only if that encounter is fully avoided for the adventure, OR in rare cases, when the complete objective in the encounter was to stealth past and NOT eliminate the creature(s).

Say for example a group needed to sneak into a castle and rescue someone inside. They would want to sneak in without killing anyone to avoid raising an alarm. If they happened to kill a few people on the way out, that's less desirable, but not the end of the world. Killing the guards on the way in could ruin the mission; killing them on the way out is simply unfortunate.

On the other hand, if you can sneak past an encounter in the wilderness, avoiding it entirely, then I'd award full xp.
libertondm
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#34247
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
4E doesn't effect "roleplaying". There is the same amount of it in 4E as there was in 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, etc... That amount is: What the players and DM bring to the table. The ruleset does not, and cannot, effect roleplaying. Each D&D incarnation covers it in the ruleset the same way. They write a page in the introduction or overview of the DM's Guide and Players Handbook. Something along the lines of "As players, use your imaginations to bring your characters to life. As a DM, don't get bogged down by the rules if they don't fit the situation. Above all, have fun!".

4E is the result of any design review. The developers ask questions like:
- Where is there too much complexity?
- Where is there not enough complexity?
- What can be streamlined?
- Where do players spend too much time spinning their wheels?
- Where do DM's spend too much time spinning their wheels?
- What slows down a campaign's progress?
- Where/when do players feel useless?

and then they come up with a design that addresses the issues to their satisfaction. The result can end up being a vastly different design and sometimes those changes makes people uneasy. Change can be scary.

An analogy can be drawn from the redesign that went into the computer game Team Fortress 2. It had radically different art direction. It got rid of grenades. Etc... The point is: The game was well designed and people love it. However, some people refuse to play it simply because it is radically different than it's earlier incarnation.

4E combat does seem slower to me. But only in the sense that there is much greater tactical element to it than ever before. Which, I think, was an issue that the designers were trying to address with 4E's combat system.
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#34248
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
4E doesn't effect "roleplaying". ...
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point. What I was trying to get at earlier was that, by nature of the game mechanics, namely the slow combat, the game - or the time spent playing it - doesn't allow for NEW players and NEW DMs to develop the Roleplay "skills" that we EXPERIENCED fans have. Yes, Roleplaying CAN be a part of the game ... and in my mind it SHOULD be. However, the focus on combat and the mindset of the newer players, all too often, allow the rolplaying aspect to fall away.

I feel that is a direct result of how the game has evolved, by the specific decisions that the designers made. It IS a different game that has become, at it's core, a Tactical Skirmish Miniatures Game (not that there is anything wrong with that). It caters to an audience that plays the MMORPGs and enjoys the action over the exploration.

I expect the rub comes from trying to shoehorn people with different expectations of the game into the same gaming group. That's where my comments come from. We have the new players that are all about the "hack 'n slash", levelling-up and getting the next best magic item. We also have experienced players who enjoy getting into character, interacting with the NPCs and denizens, exploring dungeons and not just kicking doors in to kill monsters. That's not to say ALL experienced players want roleplaying or ALL new players want hacking ... it's just an observation I've made based on our gaming group and from similar comments from others at our FLGS.

It's been a learning process for all of us ... new rule set and game mechanics but also tailoring the game to appeal to everyone's expectations. We've lost some in the group because they don't want to compromise their game experience - they want their AD&D. We've lost others because they'd rather interact with a "real" fantasy environment online playing World of Warcraft. The trick, and difficulty, is finding a like-minded group of people in a small niche community that has been divided by the changes 4e has brought to the game.

Me? I'm just happy to be playing something !!

BTW, have you seen that Fantasy Flight Games is re-tooling Warhammer Fantasy Role Play ? www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=729
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#34249
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
What I was trying to get at earlier was that, by nature of the game mechanics, namely the slow combat, the game - or the time spent playing it - doesn't allow for NEW players and NEW DMs to develop the Roleplay "skills" that we EXPERIENCED fans have. Yes, Roleplaying CAN be a part of the game ... and in my mind it SHOULD be.
I didn't mean to imply that there should be no roleplaying in a game. I was trying to say that there is no roleplaying in (any) RPG ruleset or in any version of any ruleset. Roleplaying is wholly outside the ability to be governed by rules. It is a purely imaginative endeavor. The ruleset's job is simply to give mechanisms by which combat and other mundane aspects of the game world can be governed. But only at the discretion of the DM.

However, the focus on combat and the mindset of the newer players, all too often, allow the rolplaying aspect to fall away.
I agree that there is a wave of RPG players who fit the description you provide. But I don't believe that 4E made them that way. I believe video games RPGs did. There was no possible way to roleplay in a video game RPG. So the players had to just focus on min-maxing, leveling up and collecting treasure. These people will bring the video game RPG mindset to any tabletop RPG ruleset, or version of a ruleset.

I just think you are trying to establish a causal relationship between the 4E ruleset and these people. Where there is only a corollary relationship.
CRasterImage
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#34250
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
I expect the rub comes from trying to shoehorn people with different expectations of the game into the same gaming group. That's where my comments come from. We have the new players that are all about the "hack 'n slash", levelling-up and getting the next best magic item. We also have experienced players who enjoy getting into character, interacting with the NPCs and denizens, exploring dungeons and not just kicking doors in to kill monsters. That's not to say ALL experienced players want roleplaying or ALL new players want hacking ... it's just an observation I've made based on our gaming group and from similar comments from others at our FLGS.
Are you aware that there is a section in the DMG that speaks specifically to this issue, with suggestions for DMs on how to identify the preferred styles of your various players, and what elements of the game satisfy those players? So that's a printed, core effort made by the designers to address the issue of different styles of play.

Combining play styles is challenging, and it always has been. I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm simply pointing out that what's bugging you isn't an inherent flaw of the game system.

My suspicion is that D&D, as a culture, not simply a game, is experiencing some blowback from its interaction with another gaming culture, namely MMORPGs. That doesn't make either of those cultures good or bad. The more you play, the more you know. You develop preferences, and become less and less married to one ruleset. It's just evolutionary, and again, not the fault of game design. In trying to get my own son into D&D, I'm finding it challenging to hold his attention when he's used to real-time multi-player interactions online with a sophisticated visual and audio element. Storytelling and character-building really need to leverage up to compete.

I still challenge the assertion that 4E combat takes longer to resolve.

Finally, thanks for the Warhammer link. I'm curious to see what they're offering. :)
libertondm
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#34251
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
One thing that 4e does is "rulify" some role-playing elements. The section on making skill challenges to me seemed to silly at first, but when I thought about it, it's really good. It makes it possible to bring role-playing elements to people who have never role-played, and, as I discovered, can easily be applied to a 3.5 ruleset. I recently had a nice skill challenge, and based on how the person role-played the challenge, mods were applied to the dice rolls.
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#34252
Anyone else think 4th ed runs slow? 5 Years ago  
Hi CRasterImage and libertondm -

I can see and agree with your points. As I said, I'm only speaking from the perspective of what I've seen within my gaming group and others from my FLGS. I'm neither defending nor deminishing 4e but, rather, stating my observations, thoughts and opinions.

CR, I didn't read your comments as an implication of "no role-playing", I'm making an observation of the "new blood" that 4e D&D has drawn into the hobby. Yes, a ruleset's mechanics provide the framework for the imagination brought to the table by the players. Then again, the games are called RPGs for a reason.

I repeat my point about having roleplay "skills" based upon experience in earlier versions of D&D. This new version, attracts a new type of gamer ... the computer/ console MMORPG group that brings that mentality and expectation to the game. Of course, all games need to evolve and I fully understand the need to attract new blood and cater to the differing tastes of a new generation of gamers.

I'm also not saying that 4e "made" new players ignore roleplaying. What I am saying is that the designers of 4e made a conscious decision to attract that younger demographic with their different perspective of computer games vs the tabletop game. The 4e game caters to them and the roleplaying aspect isn't their primary focus.

I'm not trying to establish a casual or a corollary relationship between 4e and new gamers. I'm speaking directly about the 4e and what, in my opinion, may be the cause for so much debate about it. We have a discussion going on here that started with a simple question about the speed of play. The 4e is a topic that gets people talking.

libertondm, no, I wasn't aware of that section in the DMG. I'm not a DM so haven't gotten the book yet. Regardless, and this falls back on "skills and experience", if a new DM doesn't have the experience of roleplaying, how is he to provide a good roleplaying experience to the veteran gamer when the game can be played without it? Again, I am not trying to detract from 4e, I am saying that, due to it's mechanics, it caters to a gamer that, before now, would have had no interest in a "pencil and paper" game. I assert that, by it's new combat oriented mechanics, 4e IS a different game from previous D&D editions, one that is a "Tactical Skirmish Miniatures Game". Yes, the game can be enhanced and expanded upon by adding the roleplay aspect but it's just not a necessity (unless that is your prefered style of play) and the incentive to do so just isn't there for the new gamer. That's not necessarily a "flaw" in the system ... but one that many experieneced players perceive is. And yes, the point that earlier versions were simply mechanics governing imagination is a good one, however, after 30 years mechanics and imagination in equal parts have defined the RPG. I still think 4e steps away from that to a point.

Personally, I think that any system that changes it's mechanics so radically and reinvents itself while reimagining iconic creatures is asking to split the community between veteran and new players. But, like all things, you can't be everything to all people and you can't make everyone happy.

Like I said, I'm just happy to be playing. For the record, I'm not a detractor of 4e. Just someone citing his experiences with it. As far as our discussion goes, I think we've all made good points and I appreciate you sharing yours. Too bad we can't sit around a table to talk ... all this typing is a chore and it's easy to loose a point

But, until my group gets more comfortable with the combat rules and all the feats, I'll still say that combat takes much longer ;)
Myrthe
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