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So Why'd You Get It, If You Don't Like It?

So I've bought some 4E stuff this week. Specifically, I bought Keep on the Shadowfell (the "quick start" adventure) and the Martial Power Handbook (i.e., "the 4E fighter splat"). Given my railing against 4E, you might wonder why I've done such a rash thing. The answer boils down to experimentation, combined with the old "buying stuff for gaming is sorta like actually gaming" syndrome. I am seriously jonesing to be a player just now, and when I get into that state I find myself thinking about all the neat things I could do with this build, all the neat things I could do with that build, etc.

To that end, I've been looking at the 4E warlord class, which is seriously mis-named but fills a role that people have been trying to shoe-horn into the game for some time. In some ways it's a second pass at the 3E marshal, a class that was rather shafted by A) being lackluster, and B) being put into the Miniatures Handbook instead of a book that people might actually buy. Essentially, it's a buffer, like the bard or cleric, but without the "singing minstrel" or "religious zealot" baggage of either of those classes. Frankly, "marshal" was a better name for the class, although "captain" or even just the straightforward "leader" would have worked better. "Warlord" implies a bloodthirsty horde rather than a heroic archetype.

I'm looking at the warlord for two basic reasons, first being that sirfox has made the occasional rumbling noise about doing something with 4E, and second being that I might like to build a 3.5 retrofitted warlord-equivalent instead of a marshal in case any more 3.5 gets run. S&S Saga already has an equivalent class in the noble, although I'm probably going to rename that to "captain" for the next iteration myself. If the warlord has any particularly nifty bits, I might steal them as well.

-The Gneech


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Good luck to your sanity trying to retro convert that shit.
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Well, it wouldn't work as a 1-to-1 conversion; more like building a new class using inspiration from the other.

-The Gneech
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
From having read through the player's guide, and now delving into the DM's guide, it feels like the most challenging aspect will be keeping track of all the various effects. I've seen some clever ideas so far, like making cards for your once per ________ encounters and flipping them over as they become available, and disposable notecards for players n' baddies for purpose of keeping track of Stuff. (like the goblin knows he's gotta take out the healer, and the tank has all sorts of aggro-magnet stuff applying which now has the goblin at -6 because the goblin is ignoring him... and then crossing all that out when an ogre comes over the hill and the tank's focus changes.) Aggro management looks like it'll feel a lot more comfortable for people who've dabbled in some of the online fantasy MMORPG's and know how best not to let the squishies cause the Big Nasty Thing come and eat their face.

I'm betting that some software exists for it as well, but i haven't explored this yet. If it does, and if it'll take away most of the bookkeeping headaches, it might be the way to go.
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
once per _______ abilities, even.
Jan. 15th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Well, there's a Javascript 4E Character Generator here, which I assume is fairly accurate.

The hard part of 4E for me, so far, has nothing to do with the rules and has everything to do with the presentation, bad nomenclature, meta-setting, and "C'mon, teen gang, let's turn it up to 11!!!one!!" vibe.

But as long as I can remember that green is an "at-will power," red is an "encounter power," and gray is a "daily power," I'll be on the right track.

Why they can't just be, y'know, labeled, is beyond me, except perhaps that might add a tedious 0.01 second of reading. ;P

-The Gneech ("'Exploits?' How dare you, sir! My dwarven paladin doesn't exploit anyone! Defend yourself, cur!")
Jan. 15th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
Fortunately, all that stuff is largely up to the players and how gonzo-flashy they want to behave.
Jan. 15th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
You mean these cards?


They're very useful. I started with 3x5 index cards, but these are colorful and pretty and all. Aside from that, yeah, it's a hassle to keep track of otherwise.

In the good news part, I don't have to look them up in the book every single time now. Yay.
Jan. 15th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of different things I could say to help you become a player of generic fantasy again, but my thoughts are scattered all over the place today. Also, it would take me far too long to get any of my ideas whipped into shape to help you be able to do anything about it any time soon.

But I will help if/when I can!
(Deleted comment)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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