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Sci-2

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I haven't heard about 13th Age before this thread - it seems pretty good. I already promised my friends to DM an Eberron game some time soon, let's see if I can convince them to play it with 13th Age :D

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I have a hard time imagining 5E making a serious dent, but then again, I've mostly been ignoring the online fandom since 3E died and 4E came out... and died. That said, $50 for a core book is really not that abnormal. The pathfinder core book costs $50 (less if you buy it at Amazon, but the paizo site has it listed at 49.99), there were plenty of semi-vanity, extremely expensive releases during 3E and the old Warhammer 2E books were usually incredibly thin and cost almost twice as much as similarly sized books from other companies. So, to me, it comes down to page count and content. The PF core book is worth it because it crams the DMG and PHB into one beefy piece of dead-tree. If the 5E book is going to be something similar and not just an update of previous PHB's, then it might not be too bad.


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Why is 5e so controversial anyway? $50 seems like a lot regardless.

My Dungeon World group finished our campaign yesterday, had a lot of fun with that. Probably going to be starting an Apocalypse World campaign with the same group next weekend, looking forward to that :)

Not really controverisal, but more pointless. 4E was a paradigm shift away from the prior editions, and really wasn't D&D any more (and sorry, it wasn't: D&D has always been about asymmetrical classes balanced over time rather than abilities; removing that in 4E removed a lot of the flavour of the game). Pathfinder picked up the slack and ran with it. It puts WotC and 5E in an impossible position: revert to a pre-4E paradigm and lose the people who really loved 4E (not a huge number, but still their current audience who are still paying their bills) whilst probably failing to make any impact against Pathfinder, or carry on down the road they were on, which lost WotC a lot of market share. WotC have now slumped to below both Paizo and Fantasy Flight in RPG sales and I wouldn't be surprised to see other companies overtaking if 5E fails.

Their plan seems to have been to gone for a modular rules system so people can play it more like 4E or more like 1-3E. The problem is that all that will do is spur arguments in groups over what rules to use, and I don't think that plan is such a priority any more.

Also, the Pathfinder rulebook is also $50 (from what I understand) but it's huge (500 pages) and large-format. If the 5E PHB is like the previous ones, it'll be half that size at best. And 4E's artwork and cartography were terrible, I hope they've moved away from that style.

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Not really controverisal, but more pointless. 4E was a paradigm shift away from the prior editions, and really wasn't D&D any more (and sorry, it wasn't: D&D has always been about asymmetrical classes balanced over time rather than abilities; removing that in 4E removed a lot of the flavour of the game).

I loathe D&D essentialist bullshit like this, because you pick the sort of crap apart by picking just about any arbitrary thing and say that this change means that Edition X therefore is not "True D&D," though certainly a "True Scotsman." Also keep in mind what Gary Gygax (Strategic Review 2.2 1976) said:

Magic-use was thereby to be powerful enough to enable its followers to compete with any other type of player-character, and yet the use of magic would not be so great as to make those using it overshadow all others. This was the conception, but in practice it did not work out as planned. Primarily at fault is the game itself which does not carefully explain the reasoning behind the magic system. Also, the various magic items for employment by magic-users tend to make them too powerful in relation to other classes (although the GREYHAWK supplement took steps to correct this somewhat).

...

The logic behind it all was drawn from game balance as much as from anything else. Fighters have their strength, weapons, and armor to aid them in their competition. Magic-users must rely upon their spells, as they have virtually no weaponry or armor to protect them. Clerics combine some of the advantages of the other two classes. The new class, thieves, have the basic advantage of stealthful actions with some additions in order for them to successfully operate on a plane with other character types. If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D & D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly, or the referee is forced to change the game into a new framework which will accommodate what he has created by way of player-characters. It is the opinion of this writer that the most desirable game is one in which the various character types are able to compete with each other as relative equals.

Pathfinder picked up the slack and ran with it. It puts WotC and 5E in an impossible position: revert to a pre-4E paradigm and lose the people who really loved 4E (not a huge number, but still their current audience who are still paying their bills) whilst probably failing to make any impact against Pathfinder, or carry on down the road they were on, which lost WotC a lot of market share. WotC have now slumped to below both Paizo and Fantasy Flight in RPG sales and I wouldn't be surprised to see other companies overtaking if 5E fails.

Which ignores the fact that WotC stopped producing new 4E materials several years ago, so Paizo and FF surpassing WotC in RPG sales is not exactly a surprise.

Their plan seems to have been to gone for a modular rules system so people can play it more like 4E or more like 1-3E. The problem is that all that will do is spur arguments in groups over what rules to use, and I don't think that plan is such a priority any more.

What happened to DM discretion?

Also, the Pathfinder rulebook is also $50 (from what I understand) but it's huge (500 pages) and large-format. If the 5E PHB is like the previous ones, it'll be half that size at best. And 4E's artwork and cartography were terrible, I hope they've moved away from that style.

That, I agree with.

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I loathe D&D essentialist bullshit like this, because you pick the sort of crap apart by picking just about any arbitrary thing and say that this change means that Edition X therefore is not "True D&D,"

I actually liked the rules as rules for a tactical miniatures-only wargame - which D&D is not - or for a specialised combat-only RPG - which D&D isn't either, despite attempts to reduce it to that - but it was not really D&D in flavour, effect or form. As the stampeding hordes moving away from WotC to Paizo show, the majority of D&D fans agreed.

I do agree, however, that the 4E fans certainly should have their wishes listened to as they are WotC's current audience, and WotC ignoring them in favour of the 3E crowd which long ago moved away to Pathfinder (and has little or no incentive to ever come back) could itself be a colossal mistake which could very well end in the failure of 5E as well, regardless of how good the rules are.

Which ignores the fact that WotC stopped producing new 4E materials several years ago

But it has continued with reprints and producing new edition-agnostic adventures and materials ever since. Paizo and Fantasy Flight have done more, true, but the reason WotC stopped producing 4E stuff was because it wasn't selling.

What happened to DM discretion?

If you force players to play with a rules set they hate, they are not going to want to play the game. Once in-game the DM should have the final arbritation (unless it's something flat-out batshit insane), but the decision on what game to play, who is going to DM and what house rules to use should always be decided cooperatively beforehand. Our group stopped playing D&D altogether because one part of the group hated 4E after trying it out over multiple campaigns, so instead we compromised by playing other games (Deadlands, Call of Cthulu, a few others), which led to some fine campaigns. The DM is in charge of the campaign, he shouldn't be the King of the Group unless something has gone very wrong and weird somewhere.

Edited by Werthead

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Part of the problem with 4e was initially advertising spent a good bit of time criticizing and outright mocking previous editions, not just crunch but fluff.



Follow that with the Spellplague fucking up the Realms, something they are now hoping to correct. Hopefully they can retcon Dragonlance's 5th Age as well.



Hoping to see more love for Darksun/Spelljammer/Planescape. I know they are going back to the Great Wheel cosmology so that's a step in the right direction though I think they shouldn't put too much focus on any particular cosmos as IIRC most groups use the FR cosmology or a homebrew.


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If they're going back to the Great Wheel, the Realms will also likely return to it, since the Realms is now apparently the default setting (not that means very much, Greyhawk was the default setting for 3E and barely anyone noticed outside of the names of the gods). And if they are reinstating the Wheel, I wouldn't put it past them to see Planescape resurrected, at least as a single book or adventure or something. WotC and Hasbro might have been paying attention to how much money the Torment Kickstarter raised.


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Not really controverisal, but more pointless. 4E was a paradigm shift away from the prior editions, and really wasn't D&D any more (and sorry, it wasn't: D&D has always been about asymmetrical classes balanced over time rather than abilities; removing that in 4E removed a lot of the flavour of the game). Pathfinder picked up the slack and ran with it. It puts WotC and 5E in an impossible position: revert to a pre-4E paradigm and lose the people who really loved 4E (not a huge number, but still their current audience who are still paying their bills) whilst probably failing to make any impact against Pathfinder, or carry on down the road they were on, which lost WotC a lot of market share. WotC have now slumped to below both Paizo and Fantasy Flight in RPG sales and I wouldn't be surprised to see other companies overtaking if 5E fails.





This is a really weak argument. D&D has been about a lot of things to a lot of different people over the years, that's why it's persevered. Some people dungeon crawl, some are deep role-players, some run modules and pre-planned adventures and others run only their own material. Who is playing D&D the correct way? None of them, they're all playing D&D. This is true even if someone homebrews, ditches the Great Wheel, adds guns and makes humans the only playable race. It's still, in a sense, D&D. Now, you can say that 4E changed the flavor for the worse and you know that's an entirely defensible position, but claiming that it's not D&D anymore while Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, Red Steel and Ravenloft all somehow fit under the umbrella is incredibly weak.



As for the asymmetrical class balance, two things: 1) A person could also, based upon the rules of 2E and 1E, also claim that D&D is about having an incredibly shitty ruleset, so why change and try to improve. 2) Anyone who's run a high-level Pathfinder or 3E game knows that the imbalance still exists, it's just been flattened a bit. The Pathfinder Core Rules are pretty well done, admittedly, though the balance still tends to break down at higher levels. 4E goals of balance are laudable, but both 3E and PF had the same goals as well, it's just that 4E's methods were just not very good.






Hoping to see more love for Darksun/Spelljammer/Planescape.




I think there's a significant faction of people who will happily buy anything with the Dark Sun or Planescape name on it. They'll probably bitch about how it's handled but they'll buy it, regardless. :)



However, I could live happily for the rest of my days without ever seeing anything from Spelljammer ever again. That is a setting that deserved to be shuffled off and put on its own. It never seemed like it really fit in with the way the cosmos were set-up, plus it was just such an abysmal setting.



I know they are going back to the Great Wheel cosmology so that's a step in the right direction though I think they shouldn't put too much focus on any particular cosmos as IIRC most groups use the FR cosmology or a homebrew.



FWIW, whenever I ran FR, I don't think I ever used its core, 3E cosmology. I just plopped it down into the Great Wheel. That said, none of my FR games were particularly planar-heavy, so outside of a few references to the Abyss, the Plane of Shaodw or the Nine Hells, it just never came up.


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I played my first game of Pathfinders yesterday.

Having never played any kind of table-top game before, I fucking loved it. Our GM had a full story arc planned out and we completely skipped over complete sections of it.

We were supposed to follow a ship down the coast and have a fight in the forest, then ride horses further down the coast, and sneak up on a fort.

We sacked the ship, stole it, destroyed a small fleet, and are currently hiding out in their cove under the fort.

Needless to say, we improvised.

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D&D 5th Adventure launch campaign.



Stripping the release of the three core rulebooks over four months, each book costing $50 each, and inserting two adventures inbetween at $30 each seems a bit much. Especially as we'll almost certainly be paying a lot more in the UK (WotC's grasp of the exchange rate has always been a little bit flaky). It's also a little bit concerning that the first release of the game will be in less than two months and WotC haven't even started a proper advertising campaign for it.



The good news is that apparently the PHB will include more stuff normally in the DMG and even the MM, so it should be possible to play off the bat (I remember 3E did something similar, and that did work in tiding us over until the main books came out), and WotC are sensibly outsourcing a lot of the adventure module and miniature work to other companies.



But still, I'm detecting an enormous amount of apathy towards the game, compared to the higher (though still not outstanding) levels of interest during playtest.


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I played my first game of Pathfinders yesterday.

Having never played any kind of table-top game before, I fucking loved it. Our GM had a full story arc planned out and we completely skipped over complete sections of it.

We were supposed to follow a ship down the coast and have a fight in the forest, then ride horses further down the coast, and sneak up on a fort.

We sacked the ship, stole it, destroyed a small fleet, and are currently hiding out in their cove under the fort.

Needless to say, we improvised.

As a GM myself I'd say that virtually no plan works exactly the way a GM plans it.

:cheers:

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Picked up the Numenera core book earlier this week and I've been reading through it. Man it seems awesome, I love the setting and the rule system. Trying to get my group to take a break from D&D this weekend to try it out :lol:

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Picked up the Numenera core book earlier this week and I've been reading through it. Man it seems awesome, I love the setting and the rule system. Trying to get my group to take a break from D&D this weekend to try it out :lol:

I am curious to hear your experience with it. I have been played a ton of Pathfinder and switched to FATE core which I am really enjoying.

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Picked up the Numenera core book earlier this week and I've been reading through it. Man it seems awesome, I love the setting and the rule system. Trying to get my group to take a break from D&D this weekend to try it out :lol:

I have the books, and I too have been dying to play this game as well. Monte Cook Games also has a new setting using the same system - The Strange - which is coming out in a month or so.

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I've heard conflicting things over Numenera, some think it's brilliant and others think it's poor. I'd be interested in picking up the book (no time to game though) to get some background for the computer game next year, which looks awesome.


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Anyone have advice for RPGs that allow PCs to run kingdoms?



I recall Birthright from way back, and Paizo had an adventure path with some kingdom management, but beyond that not sure what's out there.



Thanks!


Edited by Sci-2

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Anyone have advice for RPGs that allow PCs to run kingdoms?

I recall Birthright from way back, and Paizo had an adventure path with some kingdom management, but beyond that not sure what's out there.

Thanks!

Funny that you mention this. I've been working on system that does exactly this. I got sick of waiting for someone else to do it. I'm no where near finished but I could send you what I've got so far.

As for a real system Birthright is the closest that I've seen.

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