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More 4e Info [gaming geekery]

More info.

This new edition will stick with the d20 system, but the designers see many elements that can be improved. One big emphasis has been on streamlining turns to help the game get around the table a bit quicker; they know there’s nothing the rules can do to keep a party’s mage and barbarian from wasting 15 minutes screaming over tactics at the start of every combat, but at least they can get you out of grappling details a bit faster. And the mage and barbarian might get along a little better thanks to revamped spell recovery rules that won’t do away with the need to rest to replenish spells, but will give players more options to recover spells and in-game incentives to do something other than call nappy-time every two encounters.

In essence, what you’re going to see mechanically is the d20 system evolved: rebuilding the clunky parts, greasing the wheels and polishing the chrome until you can see your character in it. Part of that polishing includes ramping up the coolness factor on some of the less-popular character classes to make sure that every class has a unique and essential role in a well-balanced party; you might see some of the traditional classes fall out of the base book in favor of sexier roles. The same thing will happen to the races covered in the core books, where the half-demon tieflings will claim a place at the expense of an undisclosed race—we’re guessing a half-elf, gnome and halfling were shut up in a dark cave with some paring knives, and no questions were asked of whoever came out…heck, there might even be three new races in the new edition! Not to worry; Slavicsek promises that any beloved races cut from the core books will appear in early Fourth Edition expansions.

Not all of Fourth Edition’s changes will add to the game by subtraction; many rules tweaks they’ve experimented with in books all over Wizards’ RPGs will show up as well. For example, Slavicsek tells us that “The Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords book, which gave fighter-type characters the same types of options spellcasters do by basically giving them spells for fighters,” was received very well. “That idea has been extremely popular, and we’re adopting something similar for Fourth Edition.”

Heh. :)

-TG

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
gothkat
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Am I the only one left who actually MISSES THAC0?
the_gneech
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
I couldn't say ... I know that I never missed it. D&D previous to 3.x gave me hives.

-TG
gothkat
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I started D&D back in the late 80s, when I was only 9. I've been DMing since I was 12.

Honestly, once you got used to it, the old system was quite good, and didn't make powergaming and munchkining anywhere NEAR as easy as 3.0 did.
the_gneech
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
I started D&D in the late 70s, when I 10. ;) So I remember the old system well! The version I started on was a pre- "Advanced D&D" boxed set w/ a blue cover, but I forget exactly which incarnation that was. I do remember that the "d20" included was actually cardboard chits numbered from 1-20, and you "rolled" by pulling one out of the box. :)

-The Gneech
gothkat
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Heh, that's awesome. I played the old D&D game at one point, as well. Back when they had Basic, Intermediate, Companion, and Expert box sets, and then the ugly tan God set.

I think I was 8 when I started on those, then moved up to AD&D because it was more interesting.
dilletante
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
at some point i picked up a bunch of the old basic-intermediate-companion-etc rulebooks and found a lot of subtle fun things in them, even though i'd always assumed that it was sort of the cartoon gloss of ad&d. the skill system and pc monster races and paying xp to make magic items and a bunch of other innovative stuff that later came through in 3rd ed was tried out first there.
gothkat
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
Not only there, but in the earlier AD&D editions, as well. You just needed the right sourcebooks. ;)
aj_hyena
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
I miss those books...

Ageis J. Hyena, signing off, over and out.
mecampbellesq
Aug. 16th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
You're thinking of the first Boxed D&D set, circa 1976-78. That's what I started with too :)
(Deleted comment)
the_gneech
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
Well, if it is based on SWSE and Book of 9 Swords, then it's going to be pretty significantly different -- far more different than 3.5 was from 3.0.

-TG
botrytis
Aug. 16th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
3.5 was significantly different from 3.0 in places. Spells for example, where we're still (five years on?) discovering changes from what we thought to be the case.
babsbunny
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
Hey, email me at babs@angel-hare.com I need to ask you something!!
the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
Okay!

-TG
dilletante
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
yuck. i loved the old [basic/expert/etc] d&d's foray into pc monster races ("you mean this world has 100 intelligent races in it but pcs can only be from 7 of them, and two of those are human half-breeds? say what now?"), and 4th ed d&d's steps in the same direction; but tossing out traditional pc races in favor of gimmickier new ones just sounds annoying.
dilletante
Aug. 16th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
er, 3rd ed's steps in the same direction, i mean.
mecampbellesq
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see that someone out there agrees with me. Making drow a PC race just smacked of munchkinistic pandering to me, and this new 'part-demon' race doesn't seem much better....
laurie_robey
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
I haven't heard anyone who's like, "4th edition! Yay!"
kesh
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
*raises hand*

If they follow through with their talk of borrowing heavily from Star Wars: Saga Edition and Book of 9 Swords, then I'm all over it. Like others, I've been planning my own homebrew D&D/SWSaga bastard child. All Wizards is doing is making that child legitimate. n.n
rogue_richek
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Two words: Tiefling Rogue.


also, I LIKE nappy time!
rogue_richek
Aug. 16th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
I should point out, now that I have made my silly comment, that having some monster crossed PCs will be nice, in sted of having to get one of fifty books that often contradict each other.

For example, I played a Thri-Kreen monk my last campaign and there was a lot of confusion as to what some of my characterisitcs were since the DM, MM, and Psionics handbook all say different things about them and how to make them PCs.I dont expect that there will be much clarification on the matter, but a little help would be nice, ya dig?

I happen to have started playing with 3.0 so my experience is limited, but it sounds like this is going to help things out a little bit for the unexperienced DM.
the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
re: the thri-kreen, the answer is you pick one and stick with it -- the others are all different sub-races! ;)

I think for new DM's, and DM's who have the money to spend on the online stuff, it'll probably be good. For those of us who already invested in a bunch of stuff, it's more problematic.

-The Gneech
rogue_richek
Aug. 17th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
I think in the end though it comes down to this:

You and others like you have been playing for easily 30 years or so. Maybe less, but still, a fair amount of time. As such, you are used to and can use with considerable skill, a large arsenal of different rules and whatnot. You have enough experience that in the end, even a major change to the play system is just going to be a minor annoyance that may take you a campaign or so to iron out. Its not like every book you have bought thus far is now bunk, or at least, the vast majority of them wont be.

however, new players, and especially new DMs, need that little bit of extra help in order to place themselves on what I could jokingly call 'equal footing.' The new races will allow those who are weak in their RP style (as I have noticed most of the current generation is shakey at best in their RP) to get to a place where they can comfortably interact in a world without having to spend $120 buying the various books needed to do it in 3.0. Additionally, it gives the newer DMs a chance to flex their story telling muscles without having to bend rules and fight the often vague and confusing monster to PC rules.

This is not to say that the new edition will completely leave the older players out to dry, as I seem to recall some trepidation over the feats category a few years back when it was introduced. I'm sure there will be some higher level things to keep you and others interesting and engaged.

Its a bummer for the old hats like yourself to be sure, and I do sympathize, but for new players like myself, its something to look forward to.
the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't described myself as bummed about it. If it weren't for the death of Dragon, Dungeon, and E-Tools, I'd be perfectly happy (although probably still not inclined to switch over). FWIW, I'm interested to see what they do with it.

-TG
rhanlav
Aug. 16th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
So are we getting D&D Saga Edition? Is that what that means? I can't tell.

--Salen
the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
Kinda sorta. Not exactly. But expect overlap.

-TG
rhanlav
Aug. 17th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
I started to think about it and figured it might be what they were doing, since I know they wanted to reduce some of the "crunch" time for generating characters and stuff as well as reduce attack numbers and stuff. Hmm. Well, I guess we can only wait and see.

--Salen
jamesbarrett
Aug. 17th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
what'll happen is, I'll get the PH. Take a look at it. I own at least one copy of every PH ever made. Might as well round out my collection. But I'll still stick with 3.5 cause I like it and personally don't feel it needed to be changed (unless the changes are really, really good). my two cents...
jamesbarrett
Aug. 17th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
oh, yeah. Not sure about other races but Teifling rogues are really cool. Still like the traditional halfling rogue, but Teifling rogues are awesome. ;) -Frisk
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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