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Author Topic: [D&D 4e] Balance Issues  (Read 26700 times)
Natespank
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I usually use the male pronoun to mean either sex.


« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 06:13:52 PM »

Quote
The hardest part of "versus" gamism, that is, a GM producing challenges for everyone else, is that you have to constantly challenge the group, which isn't easy if you're not the most tactical minded and power-nitpicky of the bunch.

I can typically out-game them in a competitive framework; I love tactics.

They went to the center of an island of halflings and attacked everything in sight. 3 attack waves of minions/thieves/a solo/ranged attackers converged and every one of them died. Logically, the PCs should have been slaughtered- they faced the equivalent of 8 "standard encounters" all at once. By the way, it was only 2 PCs. In my design phase I couldn't have predicted that given what the books say about how the game works...

I think I need to throw out the DMG and Monster Manual and come up with everything from scratch. I can use the "monster builder program" or something. Run the game off the Player's Handbook and previous knowledge.
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Chris_Chinn
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2011, 07:39:05 PM »

Hi Nate,

Can you give us some specific questions on what advice you feel would help?

From your reply, it still doesn't tell me what would/could help you have a better game.  4E is set up that each encounter is supposed to eat up 25% of a party's resources, so 3 waves is 75%, still do-able.  On top of that, you mention waves of monster types that are low hitpoints (minions, artillery, strikers) and one Solo.  And no mention if there was anything to debilitate player movement, attacks, or actions.

The 4E advice on core encounters is solid- you want a good mix of monsters, you want a good set of terrain.  The two places the core books fall down are:

1) MInions.  Most folks on various boards have argued they should be rated 6:1 or 8:1 instead of 4:1.  But basically, minions take next to no time to take out, and usually don't inflict enough damage to be worth it unless you have some kind of effect they stack up upon.

2) Solos.  Solos are generally underpowered in terms of damage, owing mostly to the fact that players get 4x the amount of actions a Solo does.  There's a good series of posts on that here:

http://angrydm.com/2010/04/the-dd-boss-fight-part-1/

As I mentioned before, 4E is a lot of work, but there is a lot of good info to be found on Enworld, or the WOTC/D&D boards.  You'll probably be best off searching already existing threads.

What advice in specific are you looking for?

Chris
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Callan S.
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 08:15:41 PM »

Hi Nate,

I don't want to lead you on why you want to save your campaign, but you didn't really say why before - just what was in the way, or what wouldn't save it? Is just dropping a campaign a bit like taking a half drawn picture and instead of completing it, tearing it in half and throwing it away? You'd just like to finish the creative process you started, rather than stuff it in a bag along with a brick and throw it in a river? Just what I was thinking, I don't want to lead your answer on that.

Just on this
Quote
Besides, how would we collectively solve the issue? "G., stop making douchebag characters. K., no obnoxious builds that require 50 rounds to end a fight but can't lose. J., don't go through 1-2 characters every 3 sessions, stick with one. C., give your character at least SOME personality." It won't happen.
I just want to note that people are generally taught that words have only one meaning, so people are taught to think that the meaning they have for a word is what that word means in physical terms. Douchebag & personality are two of these words - they really communicate jack, but people are so certain they have a set in stone meaning they will bust up social relations because of that certainty. I'm just second guessing that this option will prove popular with folk and seem (because of the commonly taught perception I just described) to have no flaw to it.
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Natespank
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I usually use the male pronoun to mean either sex.


« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2011, 01:04:12 PM »

Okay, I can use a lot of this stuff come to think about it. There's been some great replies. I think I can specifically ask a few questions.

Quote
4E is set up that each encounter is supposed to eat up 25% of a party's resources, so 3 waves is 75%, still do-able.

Where's it say that? Anyway, using normal rules an extended rest negates the effect of attrition upon the party. I find I need to give quests time limits to still affect the PCs with attrition. Is there another way?

I've also considered the house rule where they begin with 2x the normal number of surges, but regain only 1/extended rest (2 if a defender class). Opinion?

Quote
At all points we chose our risks.  I liked it

A free-flowing, player driven structure like that's great, but it means I can't use the time limits or victory conditions I want to introduce! Or, not easily. Again, could you elaborate on that campaign a little? Do you think it's best to tell the PCs the level of the enemies they're fighting, or to let them find it out by experiment and observation?

Quote
The 4E advice on core encounters is solid- you want a good mix of monsters, you want a good set of terrain.  The two places the core books fall down are:

1) MInions.  Most folks on various boards have argued they should be rated 6:1 or 8:1 instead of 4:1.  But basically, minions take next to no time to take out, and usually don't inflict enough damage to be worth it unless you have some kind of effect they stack up upon.

2) Solos.  Solos are generally underpowered in terms of damage, owing mostly to the fact that players get 4x the amount of actions a Solo does.  There's a good series of posts on that here:

Nah, most monsters are pretty weak, the players have more damage, defenses and range; they make far better use of *most* terrain than most crappy monsters can. Still, I could use some tips for creating interesting terrain.

As for minions and solos, after experimenting a lot this campaign, I'm pretty much in agreement. What's your advice for using them? Instinctively I'm wary about using minions- especially ogre minions (1hp? seriously?!), but I'd like to incorporate them somehow.

Quote
2) Hazards!   Consider one-off hazards that make things hard for the players.  "We're fighing in a blizzard, -2 to all ranged attacks, everyone is Slowed, and monsters that aren't Yetis take 2 damage a turn!"   Change these up, they force the players to constantly re-evaluate how to deal with problems and make the best of bad situations.  Players who find a winning formula find they can't do it the same way anymore.

3) Delay hazards.   Pits, heavy sacks of grain that fall on you, a deep bog, things that you can set up that force players to lose one action or turn.  This is an excellent way to delay the players and incapacitate the heavy hitters a bit.  It adds frustration to the players, so try to spread it out.  It also makes them wary of terrain.

4) Bad choices.  "The easiest place to fight the monsters is in the magic circle.  But in the magic circle, if killed, they rise up as undead versions.   Crap."

5) Divide requirements.  "Someone has to go open the gate on the left path while some one else disables the trap mechanism on the right path, within 2 rounds of each other, otherwise they both reset."   This splits up the party within the same encounter, and also might be a fun skill challenge along with the fight.

6) Pain in the Ass combos.  Get monsters together that really combo well.  Some of the monster groups in 4E do this, but a lot don't.  If you have someone who creates a damaging zone, you want someone else who pushes targets into it, and someone else who immobilizes them there.  A useful trick is to look across the monster board and see if someone has a power that does it, and reskin them appropriately or just pull the power- that way you don't have weird stuff like, "Wait, why is an Aboleth working with these goblins?"

I'll give em a try this sunday. What do you mean by one-off hazard?

Speaking of hazards- river crossing. How dangerous is it/should it be? How much does armor affect it? I want to use bridge/river crossing battles but it's hard to believe the PCs couldn't just swim or ford. How wide should these rivers be?

Quote
I think in chess when the king is surrounded, can't move in any direction and is threatened as well, it's ridiculously unbalanced. I'd actually say winning is about one player taking balance and breaking it over his or her knee.

Well, I've talked about the whole 0-1000 winning track thing. I know it's a pain because you expect to be able to just deligate that responsiblity to the written rules, instead of having bought a product and then write your own game anyway. But I think you don't want things to be balanced forever and ever - you have to determine how they can finally unbalance things and take the king, so to speak.

Anyway, speaking in those terms I'd consider instead of trying to faff about with banning classes, just put a cap on damage output. Also a cap on the number of rounds you can kite, before the enemy automatically closes with you. It's just too hard to try to find and fill in all the little holes, so just put a bigger bag around the whole thing. But still at some point there needs to be a king taker move.

Okay, this post pissed me off, but today I find it very insightful. Thanks for posting it.

I think I've stumbled upon a problem where I'm trying to build a campaign instead of an adventure or string of adventures. When they find a king-taker move and I have them in a campaign, they win the campaign- no good, right? However, if I made my adventures more discrete I could allow them to utterly thwart them without ruining the campaign- next adventure I could adjust things appropriately.

I've also considered time constraints and other victory conditions for both battles and adventures. I'm foggy on how to use them but I think there's a lot of potential there- and besides, even if a PC does get way overpowered, they still may fail the quest or battle condition...

That being said, to play like that isn't as player-driven as I had intended.
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Chris_Chinn
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Posts: 280


« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2011, 12:24:24 AM »

Hi Nate,

Healing Surges

If players are already having an easy time with encounters, giving them MORE surges is a bad idea, even if the surges come back slower.  Leave Healing Surges alone, and consider stuff like Skill Challenges or Hazards that reduce Healing Surges.

Terrain

If you're saying "players can use terrain better than monsters", you're doing Terrain wrong.

For example, you're planning on a river fight.  Why not put in aquatic monsters who have full movement and mobility in water?  Instantly the terrain favors the monsters.

If anything, terrain should be neutral, if not helpful to the monsters.   This could be stuff like having 3-4 minions behind a wall with crossbows and arrowslits they shoot through- the players can't even target them until they break down a gate, and deal with the defenders outside.  It provides a hazard and forces HP attrition.

If you have anything that is damaging by virtue of location ("A raging bonfire"), a fun combination is a monster that can immobilize or slow a character, and another monster that can Push/Slide PCs into the damage zone.   The combination of damage and possibly being stuck there more than a few rounds from status effects is a nasty trick.

Also, "One Off Hazards" are things like: "The Orcs roll a barrel down the stairs if anyone comes up, it will do X damage, and leave the person prone for 1 round".   It's a "one-off" because it's a trick that works once in the fight- the barrel is rolled, then it's down the stairs and either broken or too big of a hassle to get back up the stairs.   

These kinds of things let you give monsters options to do more damage than they normally do as well as inflict status effects they don't normally have - page 42 is the DM's godsend when it comes to this stuff.   You want it to be a one-off because it a) avoids becoming frustrating and annoying to the players and b) the players can't easily turn around and use it back on the monsters.

All of these things don't have to magical or weird, really.   "The goblins drop the tapestry over you- you're blinded and immobilized until you make a Strength check", "The Gelatinous Cube starts knocking over bookcases as it plows forward, attack vs. Reflex and you take x damage and you're pinned", "The dragon has set fire to the town.  If you use anything as cover, there is a random attack from falling burning debris", etc.

Think of great action movies and videogame levels and you'll have a good set of ideas to draw upon.

Battleragers: No

Here's what a 2 second Google Search gave me:
http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/248974-battlerager-experiences.html

When the class was first published, it was decried all around as broken, and I haven't kept up with the errata, but by your account it sounds like they're still overpowered.  Take a read through that thread, there's some folks talking from experience there.

Minions

Minions are annoyance enemies.  The 1-hit-1-kill rule isn't bad, actually, the thing is, as a GM you have to realize they're not good choices if you're ever trying to make an actually challenging encounter.

If you have melee focused minions, they can only really do damage if they're surrounding and laying into a single target- which usually makes them ripe for area attacks.

If you have ranged focused minions, again, they have to focus fire on a single target, which almost always puts them too close together and open for area effects, or, at least, multiple-attack powers.

If you want to make minions somewhat dangerous, the trick is to either have them be mobile enough to attack and move a significant distance away (meaning they can scatter and not get hit with an area attack) or else, they need to do some other kind of status effect rather than damage being the primary point.

For example, if you have a minion type who can Slide a PC, then you could chain them up to scoot a character halfway across the board, perhaps into some highly damaging zone.   But again, this is so gimmicky that it's probably only going to be fun for one encounter at most.

Solos: Don't

If you've looked at the post I linked, and the Angry DM's series on that, basically Solos suffer from not being able to keep up in the action economy.   This requires rules tweaking- but if you can't make a normal encounter challenging, you really aren't in a place to be able to know what kinds of tweaks would make sense for a Solo, anyway.   Even with rules tweaks, Solos are even more terrain dependent for an interesting encounter than a normal one, so wait until you're comfortable with play, in general.

D&D is probably the most well supported crunchy-gamist game out there right now, and there's a LOT of people who have played a lot, and spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff - take advantage of it!

If you take the Battlerager out, and you're still having problems creating a challenge, then something, somewhere, is going wrong - lots of folks are playing and not having trouble giving challenges to groups.

Chris
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2011, 07:30:46 AM »

Hi Nate,

If I understand correctly, you are stating that a conversation like this one:

Quote
Besides, how would we collectively solve the issue? "G., stop making douchebag characters. K., no obnoxious builds that require 50 rounds to end a fight but can't lose. J., don't go through 1-2 characters every 3 sessions, stick with one. C., give your character at least SOME personality." It won't happen.

... seems absurd to you. Whereas to me it looks entirely functional and precisely what you need. I am well aware that our gamer culture regards such conversations as horrible breaches of etiquette, but I also think that our gamer culture (of which I am a part) is ridiculously stupid and digs itself into social holes. If you're not familiar with The Five Geek Social Fallacies, then I recommend thinking them over, especially since gamers engage in a particularly knotted-up, identity-politics version of them.

This is a values issue. It looks to me as if you are serving as these people's donkey buttfuck toy. I may be mistaken, and therefore ignored; or I might be right but you are willing to accept it as the best of a bad job, and therefore I may be ignored; or perhaps you aren't owning up to it in some way.

The reason I'm being so rude and brutal about this issue, and refusing to let the thread subside into the more comfortable zone of talking about rules options, is because you yourself stated that you are at the end of your rope - either something changes, or you stop playing. Having said that, it's not very logical to then insist that you have to keep playing, that you are stuck playing, or to reverse your position to say oh, it's not so bad, which you haven't quite done yet but is what I've observed in similar conversations in the past.

It's a lot like those painful conversations with someone in a messed-up relationship. "I hate this!" (provides many reasons why) "So, end it, be done." "But then I won't have a girlfriend!" ... "And this is bad?" Until the person admits that the situation is already doomed, they'll stay stuck.

The worst thing that could happen is that the game ceases before you are utterly burned-out and bitter, and you won't have to deal with all sorts of passive-aggressive sabotage for months before it ends anyway.

The best thing that could happen is that most or all of the players say, "Huh, I get your point," and improve the game. Hell, even if two do that, then jettison the rest and have a great three-person group.

Not seein' the downside compared to the status quo, from this end of the conversation. And again, that's based on your own assessment of the situation.

Best, Ron
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Natespank
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Posts: 97

I usually use the male pronoun to mean either sex.


« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2011, 10:26:05 PM »

I talked to the players. I need to work out exactly what I want before I push it too much. The one player agreed to try to stick with his current character.

Gotta think about stuff a bit.

Anyway, while I'm at it:

REQUEST FOR ADVICE

-What are some people's favorite rule systems? I realize this is tricky because of the variety of systems out there. I'm aiming for fantasy, gritty, with exploration and discovery. I want some rules that make combat fun, but I don't necessarily want it to be the focus like 4e is. Old D&D is sketchy because of many reasons haha, but I like aspects of it. Rifts too, but only aspects of it. I can try to be more specific but I need to figure out more of what exactly i want.

-Any interesting, challenging 4e modules out there I can read/run for ideas/inspiration? The fourthcore stuff interests me but there's not much of it yet.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2011, 12:15:42 AM »

Nate, try checking out capes. You can download the lite version for free. It's not actually a gamist inclined game, but it has a complete procedure (so you just play - you don't have to tighten the nuts on the engine every five minutes) and it does involve strategic play.

And I know I already said it before, but I think having a chat which says 'Don't play douchebag characters' is entirely dysfunctional. Not because it's rude, but because dude A and dude B's idea of a douchebag can so very easily be very, very different. And that difference goes in so many wrong directions I can't go into it and have a short post! If your not both thinking the same thing, it's not a rule. If you can convert 'don't be a douchebag' into something both parties understand in the exact same way, fully, then that'll work out.
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Natespank
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I usually use the male pronoun to mean either sex.


« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2011, 12:41:02 AM »

Quote
Nate, try checking out capes. You can download the lite version for free. It's not actually a gamist inclined game, but it has a complete procedure (so you just play - you don't have to tighten the nuts on the engine every five minutes) and it does involve strategic play.

And I know I already said it before, but I think having a chat which says 'Don't play douchebag characters' is entirely dysfunctional. Not because it's rude, but because dude A and dude B's idea of a douchebag can so very easily be very, very different. And that difference goes in so many wrong directions I can't go into it and have a short post! If your not both thinking the same thing, it's not a rule. If you can convert 'don't be a douchebag' into something both parties understand in the exact same way, fully, then that'll work out.

Reading the lite version right now.

As for the second paragraph, you're right that everyone has to be on the same page for things to work out. I wouldn't literally word it as "Don't play douchebag characters," but with regard to the battlerager the player knew exactly how we'd react to him and lived it up.

4e should be marketed as a pure-gamist system akin to a board game. Out of the box the rules aren't good for much of anything except combat, magic items and leveling up to fight better. He, in a way, did "win" 4e with that rager. That's partly the game's fault- ie, MY fault, right? 4e is the engine, my campaign's the game. Poor design on my part. Not technically a douchebag move of his, but created conflict.
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Alfryd
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2011, 06:27:42 AM »

-What are some people's favorite rule systems? I realize this is tricky because of the variety of systems out there. I'm aiming for fantasy, gritty, with exploration and discovery. I want some rules that make combat fun, but I don't necessarily want it to be the focus like 4e is. Old D&D is sketchy because of many reasons haha, but I like aspects of it. Rifts too, but only aspects of it. I can try to be more specific but I need to figure out more of what exactly i want.
4e should be marketed as a pure-gamist system akin to a board game. Out of the box the rules aren't good for much of anything except combat, magic items and leveling up to fight better. He, in a way, did "win" 4e with that rager. That's partly the game's fault- ie, MY fault, right? 4e is the engine, my campaign's the game. Poor design on my part. Not technically a douchebag move of his, but created conflict.
While I think that Ron's remarks about having a frank discussion about priorities is entirely fair, I also agree with this position.  If Gamism is about winning, it's unfair to criticise players too harshly for actually going out there and actually trying to win as efficiently as possible, up to and including exploitation of obvious break points.  And some systems with break points *are* patchable without necessarily hitting critical mass.

With respect to gritty-fantasy systems focused on 'exploration' and 'discovery', which I will choose to wilfully interpret as 'go where you want' with a lot of physics-simulation, Burning Wheel or The Riddle of Steel might be worth checking out, which are very complex but very interesting, or Mouse Guard for the 'Lite' version.  True20 is something pretty similar to older D&D, but cleaner.  My range of experience here isn't particularly broad, though, so ask around.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2011, 09:01:02 AM »

Hi Nate,

I suggest that "fault" is not actually an important part of the discussion. Over the decades, I've observed not only that open discussion about the game and group is often considered rude at best and admission of failure at worst, but also that when such discussions occur, people move very swiftly away from what matters - what is being done and why that's a problem - to whose fault it all is. "Yeah, OK, I'm being a dick, but it's your fault for choosing this game, or for letting me get away with it," that kind of thing. Putting that aside, and finding out who is actually interested in actually having fun, and restricting the conversation (and later play) only to those people, is a really good idea.

If you're interested, my essay Gamism: Step On Up may help in thinking about what sort of game would be most fun for you and this group.

Best, Ron
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Jeff B
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2011, 02:20:29 PM »


I have not read the 4e rules at all.  As I read the thread, I am blinking and scratching my head wondering how this game you're describing can possibly be any sort of D&D. 

What I don't understand from the thread is how important this rules system and tactical emphasis is to you, Nate.  I assume you are familiar with the D&D offshoot called "Pathfinder"?  The best I can describe, Pathfinder is what 4e would have been, had it remained the kind of game 3e was.  In other words, closer to the original vision, basically tweaks and small expansions here and there, but without the terrain/tactics/physical layout emphasis that 4e seems to have.  Anyone please correct me if that description is wrong, since I have not actually played the Pathfinder rules, only read them.  I think it's worth a look, if you want a more traditional D&D feel to the game.

If you don't particularly enjoy the myriad rules about setting, terrain, minions, and so forth, then perhaps 4e is not for you.  You would not be alone -- from my readings, there was quite a rift created in the playing community when 4e came out and many have abandoned the system (while others, presumably, embrace it).
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Callan S.
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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2011, 04:59:28 PM »

4e should be marketed as a pure-gamist system akin to a board game. Out of the box the rules aren't good for much of anything except combat, magic items and leveling up to fight better. He, in a way, did "win" 4e with that rager. That's partly the game's fault- ie, MY fault, right? 4e is the engine, my campaign's the game. Poor design on my part. Not technically a douchebag move of his, but created conflict.
This is where I'd suggest the significance of symantics relative to real feelings. I mean, D&D is presented as an RPG (roleplay game), not an RPGE (roleplay game engine).

I'm pretty certain the dudes your playing with, if you were playing chess they'd just play and you'd have a game with them and even if their not full on friends, you'd enjoy the time with them as aquantances. Or playing the card game Magic, they'd just play and it'd turn out fine. I think these guys can do that, fully.

With the campaign you made up, did you break any rule the D&D texts listed, in making it? No, so then you stayed within the rules in making your campaign. Ie, you only used, by the games own texts, valid moves in making your campaign. Your not at fault.

I would extend Ron's advice to this "Find out who is actually interested in hunting down a new type of fun, or creating a new type of fun from whole cloth - ie, those who find it fun to design fun things". The guys your playing with, they aren't wrong for just wanting to sit down and have fun with something - there are shit loads of boardgames which deliver this like clockwork. But by the same token, it doesn't mean they want to be designers. Nor is it bad if they don't - even if that leaves you with no 'player/designer hybrids' at all.

Right now they just play like the D&D texts are already playable and your there, desperately trying to keep up in terms of making a design that actually contains the uncertainty that play can't exist without, instead of a ranger winning from here unto eternity. And then, following standard gamist approaches, they simply come at the text from a new angle, to circumvent your new designs. All the while not doing a single jot of design thinking - because in normal board games you don't, you just have this crazy thing you do - 'play'. I know, you'd think they'd get that it isn't out of the box playable - but the advertising is that it's an roleplay game, not a roleplay game engine. And even if you get past that advertised missconception with them, they may simply not want to design anyway. Which is valid. As annoying as that is to say.

And the thing is, maybe you don't want to design either? Which would be entirely valid as well. Perhaps your looking for a solution from someone because you just wanna get on and play? Which I'd totally get. Or maybe I'm simply thinking of myself in that - in trying to grab onto a certain social scene (and perhaps even a zeitgeist), a socially validated creative outlet, just started trying to get this thing work as a game, but not interested in designing for it's own sake. Or atleast not interested enough to make an entire multi player, complex game without a jot of design help from anyone else. Simple ones, yeah, but not designing complex ones with zero outside contribution.

Your players might just be facinated with RPGE's, which they keep treating as an RPG (because they are advertised as such). And it's really hard to make an actual game that is the same size of 'game' these RPGE's appear to be.
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Natespank
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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2011, 05:36:54 PM »

Quote
And the thing is, maybe you don't want to design either? Which would be entirely valid as well. Perhaps your looking for a solution from someone because you just wanna get on and play? Which I'd totally get. Or maybe I'm simply thinking of myself in that - in trying to grab onto a certain social scene (and perhaps even a zeitgeist), a socially validated creative outlet, just started trying to get this thing work as a game, but not interested in designing for it's own sake. Or atleast not interested enough to make an entire multi player, complex game without a jot of design help from anyone else. Simple ones, yeah, but not designing complex ones with zero outside contribution.

I enjoy design work... I just want a working skeleton to build on, or else I'd just make a homebrew rules system. I didn't anticipate having to tweak the hell out of the existing system just to make it work. In the past I've used homebrewed systems and it worked fine- I was sort of hoping for more out of 4e.

Elfs is hilarious btw. Sounds like a party game- gotta try it sometime... Capes is interesting too.

For now, gonna focus on working with 4e though- at least for a bit. I'm gonna streamline the game in ways, make it more explicitely gamist, run it as episodes that can be won or lost, and use a sandbox organization where they choose the level of the encounters (barring DM's boredom). I'll build the encounters fairly, but I'll run them competitively to try and "win" against them- as per Angry DM's advice.

To do this is gonna take some work though... gotta rescale encounters, come up with death rules, TPK rules, and attrition/healing surge rules.
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Natespank
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2011, 06:19:43 PM »

As for whether "winning" 4e in this context is good or bad:

Players A, B and C go adventuring. Player A builds a god like character and slaughters several towns worth of people. He's broken.

The DM, to compensate for this, ups the difficulty of the game so he fights huge mobs of high level monsters instead of current-level foes. Otherwise this character is a god.

Players B and C get left behind and are effectively useless PCs- they can't meaningfully interact with the strong enemies. They insult player A for powergaming and breaking stuff, and a series of balance "fixes" ensue- otherwise, they're forced to insanely break the system too, and then you get Vampire the Masquerade with my buddy C. who literally do fight lesser dieties somehow.

Which isn't the game we signed up for :(

Just my 2 cents. Off for dinner now! :D
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