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[Roleplaying Games] Thank God I Finally Have A Table For Cannabis Potency.

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  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    MsAnthropy wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    If I wanted to try to run a game of this delicious 4E that's been bandied about, what books would I need to grab to learn how to run it from scratch and present a decent amount of player-facing options? Any particular adventures I'd need to get?

    Hmmm. If I were doing this I would honestly probably start with the Essentials line (Heroes of the Fallen Land, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom) for players, but add the the Heroes of Shadow\Feywild\Elements if you are running games themed around those, and/or the three PHBs, the various ‘Source’ Power books if people are really clamoring for more complicated characters.

    On the DMs side, the Rules Compendium, DMG2, both Monster Vaults, and MM3 are all very useful. As far as adventures go, the ones I recall doing well at my table were The Slaying Stone and Reavers of Harkenwold. Madness at Gardmore Abbey also looked rad, but I never got to run it. There was also a D&D Insider adventure that was a Heart of Darkness knock-off—I think it was called Heretic—that had a really good reputation.

    Finally I would recommend hunting down a copy of the offline character builder, and the indie-developed DM tool called Masterplan. Those make character and encounter creation/running super-easy. To the point that I could put together level-appropriate challenges pretty much on the fly as needed when running my 4e Planescape game (though I did predesigned most all of my big boss battles, as I liked to create elaborate environments, etc for those).

    So, I just want to see if I have this right, as there are millions of links and products and things.
    Player facing: Now, are these mostly for character options? Settings options? Of the three PHBs, should I get all? One? Which one is the most balanced? If I'm going to get a group together to play 4E that's mostly played 5E, Blades in the Dark, Lady Blackbird, Dungeon World - what would be the books with the least overwhelming series of options?

    DM facing:
    Rules Compendium:
    https://www.amazon.com/Rules-Compendium-Essential-Dungeons-Dragons/dp/0786956216
    DMG2:
    https://www.amazon.com/Dungeon-Masters-Guide-Mike-Mearls/dp/078695244X
    Both Monster Vaults:
    https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Vault-Essential-Dungeons-Dragons/dp/0786956313
    &
    https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Vault-Threats-Dungeons-Supplement/dp/0786958383 (this one in particular I'm not sure about, also [email protected]$200 price
    Monster Manual 3:
    https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Manual-Rulebook-Dungeons-Dragons/dp/0786954906
    The Slaying Stone:
    I can't actually find any legitimate sources to buy this....I found a PDF I think is right?
    Reavers of Harkenwold:
    Same as above.
    Now, which of these would be a good start to learning how to run a game of 4E? Rules compendium? Or is the DMG actually useful here?


    Thanks all! Starting to get a pretty good idea of what I'd need to grab to start deciding if running a game of 4E is in the cards for me or not.

    I agree with Devoutly Apathetic. 5e players would probably find Heroes of the Fallen Land and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom easiest to grasp in terms of class design and complexity of play. I would only add the PHB or Option books if there is a concept they absolutely can't find any other way. I would probably use the Rules Compendium and Monster Vaults as my main DM guides. Reavers of Harkenwold appeared in the DM's Kit Boxed Set--given the prices I have seen on that I would recommend seeing if you can get it in pdf from RPGNow/DriveThru.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    edited September 13
    Personally, I think the PHB is a great foundation to build off of. Run a one shot with the Heroes characters to let the players get the feel for the game, then turn them loose with PHB1 and 2 (Building a character isn't as bad as Essentials existence would lead you to believe). Maybe let them play with the Powers books if they've got a specific concept or build they want to pursue (Ranged Warlord, Illusion Wizard, and Swarm Druid are 3 that come to mind)

    2nding Monster Vault as the definitive monster manual for 4e, though there are also builders online that can help you build challenges from scratch easily. Threats from the Nentir Vale has more stuff to show you how you can tweak monsters in the system to make them fresh and weird while still in the spirit of things.

    Reavers of the Harkenworld is levels 2-5 and is an excellent module. You'd also do well getting a copy of the Red Box for the "Twisting Hallways" adventure to take them from level 1 to level 2, and Madness at Gardmore Abbey (My personal favorite adventure out of the whole line) to take them the rest of the way to 10. From there, it gets slightly more season to taste, depending on if the players take to the game of course.

    Matev on
    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    MsAnthropy
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    The classes in the Essentials books are simpler to play. So if you have players who just want to do a basic attack every round (or who like the design of 5e) then definitely go with those. The ones in the PHB are much more interesting to play though.

    ElvenshaeMatevMsAnthropyJacobkoshjdarksun
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    Matev wrote: »
    Personally, I think the PHB is a great foundation to build off of. Run a one shot with the Heroes characters to let the players get the feel for the game, then turn them loose with PHB1 and 2 (Building a character isn't as bad as Essentials existence would lead you to believe). Maybe let them play with the Powers books if they've got a specific concept or build they want to pursue (Ranged Warlord, Illusion Wizard, and Swarm Druid are 3 that come to mind)

    2nding Monster Vault as the definitive monster manual for 4e, though there are also builders online that can help you build challenges from scratch easily. Threats from the Nentir Vale has more stuff to show you how you can tweak monsters in the system to make them fresh and weird while still in the spirit of things.

    Reavers of the Harkenworld is levels 2-5 and is an excellent module. You'd also do well getting a copy of the Red Box for the "Twisting Hallways" adventure to take them from level 1 to level 2, and Madness at Gardmore Abbey (My personal favorite adventure out of the whole line) to take them the rest of the way to 10. From there, it gets slightly more season to taste, depending on if the players take to the game of course.

    I do want to add that Monster Vault: Threats of the Nentir Vale is almost half campaign guide for the default 4e setting, too. It's not just a monster manual, but goes a lot into the various enemy's motivations and it provides a ton of hooks on which adventures or story arcs could be based. A definite recommendation for someone who is building their own Heroic Tier adventures in that setting.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
    MatevRiemannLivesJacobkoshJustTee
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    I'm sad we never got an actual World of the Nentir Vale campaign guide, there was so much good stuff scattered around the books and I would've liked to see adventures in other regions.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    RiemannLivesMsAnthropy
  • BrainleechBrainleech Registered User regular
    For various reasons I got back into D&D because I got the books for a deep discount for 4th sometime later when the Heroes of books came out my interest had waned for some very sad reasons.
    I really wanted the Nentir Vale book because of the D&D comic I did not know it was from Forgotten Realms as I kind of avoided that series

    I got the books for 5th earlier this summer but due to my very ugly summer I really did not get a chance to do much with them other than read. I have tons of ideas for villains even some I took from a comic you cannot really post most of the time
    94coj63tdfo8.png
    The Learning tree would be a great villain to sneak in as no one would expect it



    A.jpg
    MatevPolaritieBrodyjdarksunRhesus Positiveitalianranma
  • jammujammu Halfling Barbarian (not actual size) Registered User regular
    That would be a great gimmick on how the party meets each other.

    Ww8FAMg.jpg
    BrainleechPolaritieitalianranmaPhoenix-D
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    jammu wrote: »
    That would be a great gimmick on how the party meets each other.

    I am stealing that immediately.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    Phoenix-D
  • AuralynxAuralynx Thirty-Seven Keys Registered User regular
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    Space... what is the point of it? You have no idea.
    og83npmjgeii.png

  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Auralynx wrote: »
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    What do you mean by "the later skill challenge system"? Assume the total information I have about 4E is just what's been expressed in the last few pages...

    I'd also just like to thank everyone for sharing their info and experience with 4E. It's been a little overwhelming (as expected), but at least I have a couple places to start.

    It's sounding like Rules Compendium + DMG2 + a monster vault to start learning how to run, and PHB1 / some of the Heroes Essential lines to give players options.

    Also, it's not that my players don't want complicated options. That's one of the many reasons why we're considering a system change in the first place - most players find lack of options in combat means combat is uninteresting mechanically, and that's disappointing them.

    To be more explicit:
    Player concern for changing systems:
    Spell casting is exceedingly fiddly, spell slot system is annoying (warlock needs short rest, other casters need long rest), battle options limited / obvious choices every round, creative options in combat limited to what they can come up with based on battlefield descriptions. I think they want more defined, concrete options that spark creativity. I try to suggest things, and when they have zany ideas, I try to go with them, but I think they hesitate because they kind of see it as a case of less optimal choices lead to death.

    GM (me) concern for changing systems:
    I'm mostly just looking for easier encounter design math that works. I like to run a game that's a bit crunchy mechanically (I enjoy Dungeon World, but more than a session or two of it and I'm left wishing for a bit...more), interesting tactically, and can run with my expectations. If I throw an encounter at the party that's supposed to be easy, I'd like it (barring any insane die rolls) to actually end up being easy.


    I keep being told that 4E sounds like it's more up my alley, so, that's where I'm heading. So far, I've liked running Blades in the Dark (my players were 50/50 split on it), loved running Lady Blackbird, was meh on running Dungeon World, and would love to run some Stars Without Numbers.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    ElvenshaeMatev
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Had a session last night of my game, and got to wrap up the 3rd of 3 pirate captains in town. If nothing else, my group is completionist when they go for it. Part of my setting involves "emotional weather." In effect, popularity / good PR / leadership can give you (temporary) superpowers. This time I had a lot of fun putting them up against a lot of high-level guys but then upgrading one of their abilities to a ridiculous extent.

    The wizard had previously condensed these high Tides from this city into a usable object, an icy spear that cancels fire magic and movement abilities, but there had never been a good time to use it - about 2 months later, he used it to counter the captain's specialty - summoning a typhoon. The cursed dark knight, who traded the ability to be healed by others for massively increased health, got something that increased that healing even further. He absorbed about ten arrow shots to the chest in a very Boromir manner, but still stood at the end, and got the final blow. The healer of the group, an escaped necromantic test subject, augmented her most powerful healing spell with the ability to execute low-health enemies, halving their opposition at a crucial moment.

    The battle started with the pirates' ship pulling out of the harbor with their loot, but then an ally from a previous adventure, a massive whale, showed up and teleported the ship on top of them (which the players managed quite well, considering). They finally, after 1.5 years real time and 3 months game time, got paid for their first big job, and got a boat they need to name. Freedom from any semblance of rails! (Except the incoming apocalypse but hey, who's counting right?)

    ElvenshaePolaritie
  • FuselageFuselage Bantha Three ValhallaRegistered User regular
    PbtA Players: Could you, theoretically, use Fellowship to simulate a Game of Thrones-esque setting in which multiple players (especially for a large PbP or West Marches campaign) are regional Overlords vying for power, and they're all using the players to torture each other for funsies?

  • AuralynxAuralynx Thirty-Seven Keys Registered User regular
    JustTee wrote: »
    Auralynx wrote: »
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    What do you mean by "the later skill challenge system"? Assume the total information I have about 4E is just what's been expressed in the last few pages...

    I'd also just like to thank everyone for sharing their info and experience with 4E. It's been a little overwhelming (as expected), but at least I have a couple places to start.

    It's sounding like Rules Compendium + DMG2 + a monster vault to start learning how to run, and PHB1 / some of the Heroes Essential lines to give players options.

    Also, it's not that my players don't want complicated options. That's one of the many reasons why we're considering a system change in the first place - most players find lack of options in combat means combat is uninteresting mechanically, and that's disappointing them.

    To be more explicit:
    Player concern for changing systems:
    Spell casting is exceedingly fiddly, spell slot system is annoying (warlock needs short rest, other casters need long rest), battle options limited / obvious choices every round, creative options in combat limited to what they can come up with based on battlefield descriptions. I think they want more defined, concrete options that spark creativity. I try to suggest things, and when they have zany ideas, I try to go with them, but I think they hesitate because they kind of see it as a case of less optimal choices lead to death.

    GM (me) concern for changing systems:
    I'm mostly just looking for easier encounter design math that works. I like to run a game that's a bit crunchy mechanically (I enjoy Dungeon World, but more than a session or two of it and I'm left wishing for a bit...more), interesting tactically, and can run with my expectations. If I throw an encounter at the party that's supposed to be easy, I'd like it (barring any insane die rolls) to actually end up being easy.


    I keep being told that 4E sounds like it's more up my alley, so, that's where I'm heading. So far, I've liked running Blades in the Dark (my players were 50/50 split on it), loved running Lady Blackbird, was meh on running Dungeon World, and would love to run some Stars Without Numbers.

    As printed in the initial release, skill challenges were sorta-baffling and didn't really flow well. They issued a revised version of the system (in DMG2 I think? Someone else will know for certain) that was in force by the printing of the Rules Compendium which makes a lot more sense / works better in practice.

    Having said that, if you have people who don't want spell slots / combat based on a menu of options, 4E may well not be the game your players want. If someone starts complaining about how everyone is Wizards now or something, you'll know it's not going to fly. If their objection is more to the fact that the rules for how things are executed is inconsistent between classes, 4E will go down very nicely. It's quite unfriendly to outside-the-box moves, though.

    Space... what is the point of it? You have no idea.
    og83npmjgeii.png

    MsAnthropyMatevJustTee
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    Auralynx wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    Auralynx wrote: »
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    What do you mean by "the later skill challenge system"? Assume the total information I have about 4E is just what's been expressed in the last few pages...

    I'd also just like to thank everyone for sharing their info and experience with 4E. It's been a little overwhelming (as expected), but at least I have a couple places to start.

    It's sounding like Rules Compendium + DMG2 + a monster vault to start learning how to run, and PHB1 / some of the Heroes Essential lines to give players options.

    Also, it's not that my players don't want complicated options. That's one of the many reasons why we're considering a system change in the first place - most players find lack of options in combat means combat is uninteresting mechanically, and that's disappointing them.

    To be more explicit:
    Player concern for changing systems:
    Spell casting is exceedingly fiddly, spell slot system is annoying (warlock needs short rest, other casters need long rest), battle options limited / obvious choices every round, creative options in combat limited to what they can come up with based on battlefield descriptions. I think they want more defined, concrete options that spark creativity. I try to suggest things, and when they have zany ideas, I try to go with them, but I think they hesitate because they kind of see it as a case of less optimal choices lead to death.

    GM (me) concern for changing systems:
    I'm mostly just looking for easier encounter design math that works. I like to run a game that's a bit crunchy mechanically (I enjoy Dungeon World, but more than a session or two of it and I'm left wishing for a bit...more), interesting tactically, and can run with my expectations. If I throw an encounter at the party that's supposed to be easy, I'd like it (barring any insane die rolls) to actually end up being easy.


    I keep being told that 4E sounds like it's more up my alley, so, that's where I'm heading. So far, I've liked running Blades in the Dark (my players were 50/50 split on it), loved running Lady Blackbird, was meh on running Dungeon World, and would love to run some Stars Without Numbers.

    As printed in the initial release, skill challenges were sorta-baffling and didn't really flow well. They issued a revised version of the system (in DMG2 I think? Someone else will know for certain) that was in force by the printing of the Rules Compendium which makes a lot more sense / works better in practice.

    Having said that, if you have people who don't want spell slots / combat based on a menu of options, 4E may well not be the game your players want. If someone starts complaining about how everyone is Wizards now or something, you'll know it's not going to fly. If their objection is more to the fact that the rules for how things are executed is inconsistent between classes, 4E will go down very nicely. It's quite unfriendly to outside-the-box moves, though.

    Yup. Skill challenges are a great concept with a really bad implementation that... well... got a bit better, but never quite good. I would suggest watching Matt Colville's video on using them in 5e:

    Also, for anybody thinking about running custom-monster fights with one enemy versus a party of PCs, I would suggest looking at the Angry GM's series on 4e boss fights: https://theangrygm.com/series/4e-boss-fight/

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
    FuselageRiemannLivesElvenshaeJacobkoshMatevJustTee
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Skill challenges that don't suck make me think of 13th Age Montage rules. They sorta drop the pretense that the players are going to fail and make the rolls about costs paid to overcome obstacles.

    MsAnthropyMatevJustTeewebguy20Ardent
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    @JustTee the first 4e adventure I ran, Keep on the Shadowfell, is free to download.

    https://www.dmsguild.com/product/110212/H1-Keep-on-the-Shadowfell--QuickStart-Rules-4e

    It's not perfect but is way, way better than anything published for 5e prior to Tomb of Annihilation. Lots of stuff worth reusing even if you don't run it as-is.

    ElvenshaeNipsMatevJustTeeFuselagedresdenphile
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Keep on the Shadowfell is a great little dungeon crawl that I have fond memories of, but it was kind of a bad intro to 4e and didn't help 4e's PR problems, because the adventure is a very traditional dungeon crawl and fights in 4e are not...zippy, so it gave everyone the impression that literally all you do in 4e is move from room to room and fight. The later 4e adventures like The Slaying Stone really turn my crank in part because they present modular, setpiece encounters with interesting, interactive environments that you can drop in at appropriate moments instead of making your players meticulously cover every 5' square on the map.

    SteelhawkElvenshaeRiemannLivesMatevDevoutlyApatheticAuralynxJustTeeMsAnthropyjdarksundresdenphileSleep
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    I’m running Keep (with a couple modifications) with a set of players right now and they seem to like it well enough. They certainly haven’t found everything but it’s been an organic experience and they get better with each session.

    I usually don’t recommend Keep because it can feel a bit grindy without a little bit of fine-tuning (Monster Vault stats and the Orcus Conversion have sanded some of the edges off of it) that you may not feel comfy doing your first outing.

    Twisting Halls was designed later in the cycle and so uses the experience from earlier outings to make an experience more in line with 4e’s potential.

    As noted though, that said, with some care, Keep can be a very good tutorial dungeon to let players learn the basics and can present some fun challenges.

    (I gave the players a trio of choices at the start and they went with this. Looking forward to see which branch they choose to take)

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    RiemannLives
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Auralynx wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    Auralynx wrote: »
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    What do you mean by "the later skill challenge system"? Assume the total information I have about 4E is just what's been expressed in the last few pages...

    I'd also just like to thank everyone for sharing their info and experience with 4E. It's been a little overwhelming (as expected), but at least I have a couple places to start.

    It's sounding like Rules Compendium + DMG2 + a monster vault to start learning how to run, and PHB1 / some of the Heroes Essential lines to give players options.

    Also, it's not that my players don't want complicated options. That's one of the many reasons why we're considering a system change in the first place - most players find lack of options in combat means combat is uninteresting mechanically, and that's disappointing them.

    To be more explicit:
    Player concern for changing systems:
    Spell casting is exceedingly fiddly, spell slot system is annoying (warlock needs short rest, other casters need long rest), battle options limited / obvious choices every round, creative options in combat limited to what they can come up with based on battlefield descriptions. I think they want more defined, concrete options that spark creativity. I try to suggest things, and when they have zany ideas, I try to go with them, but I think they hesitate because they kind of see it as a case of less optimal choices lead to death.

    GM (me) concern for changing systems:
    I'm mostly just looking for easier encounter design math that works. I like to run a game that's a bit crunchy mechanically (I enjoy Dungeon World, but more than a session or two of it and I'm left wishing for a bit...more), interesting tactically, and can run with my expectations. If I throw an encounter at the party that's supposed to be easy, I'd like it (barring any insane die rolls) to actually end up being easy.


    I keep being told that 4E sounds like it's more up my alley, so, that's where I'm heading. So far, I've liked running Blades in the Dark (my players were 50/50 split on it), loved running Lady Blackbird, was meh on running Dungeon World, and would love to run some Stars Without Numbers.

    As printed in the initial release, skill challenges were sorta-baffling and didn't really flow well. They issued a revised version of the system (in DMG2 I think? Someone else will know for certain) that was in force by the printing of the Rules Compendium which makes a lot more sense / works better in practice.

    Having said that, if you have people who don't want spell slots / combat based on a menu of options, 4E may well not be the game your players want. If someone starts complaining about how everyone is Wizards now or something, you'll know it's not going to fly. If their objection is more to the fact that the rules for how things are executed is inconsistent between classes, 4E will go down very nicely. It's quite unfriendly to outside-the-box moves, though.

    Ok, so Rules Compendium is the most up-to-date DM facing book of rules and systems and things? If I just used that + Monster Vault, would I be missing anything from DMG2 that's important?

    As for the players, it's definitely more the second, coupled with them not really knowing when to use up their big powers and such.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Agreed. But in and of itself, Keep on the Shadowfell is a great little dungeon.

    I totally stole it (and the printable .pdf maps) and reworked it into an adventure for the Iron Kingdoms RPG and my mid-level party. Bogrin all over level 1, Undead Thrall and their Necromancer on level 2 and then at the very bottom I made a new crypt map and had an Orgoth death knight and some of his retainers (I showed my party a pic of Nightmare from Soul Calibur as a reference) that was feeding the Necromancer above their secrets in a bid to be freed from their prison.

    It was pretty fuckin' baller.

    MatevJustTeeRiemannLives
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    edited September 13
    JustTee wrote: »
    Auralynx wrote: »
    JustTee wrote: »
    Auralynx wrote: »
    For PHB -a-likes I'd go for the Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Land/Kingdom for a new group. Technically either since there is a bunch of duplicate information between the two. That, the Rules Compendium for the DM and the first Monster Vault is a really solid foundation to build up from. If folks like what they see there then it'd be fine to go and toss in more books later on. Those two heroes books can fill in for the PHB1. The other PHBs do not contain the basic player rule stuff like Heroes/PHB1 do.

    If you need a DMG I'd stick to the first one but I'd do yourself a favor and print out the errata, especially for skill challenges. I think the Rules Compendium covers most of the things that'd do for you though.

    I used to run games almost 100% out of the Rules Compendium when I was doing 4E at the games store. It's a really nicely condensed and indexed how-to game bible.

    The later skill challenge system makes them pretty straightforward, transparent, and easy to handle; definitely use that.

    What do you mean by "the later skill challenge system"? Assume the total information I have about 4E is just what's been expressed in the last few pages...

    I'd also just like to thank everyone for sharing their info and experience with 4E. It's been a little overwhelming (as expected), but at least I have a couple places to start.

    It's sounding like Rules Compendium + DMG2 + a monster vault to start learning how to run, and PHB1 / some of the Heroes Essential lines to give players options.

    Also, it's not that my players don't want complicated options. That's one of the many reasons why we're considering a system change in the first place - most players find lack of options in combat means combat is uninteresting mechanically, and that's disappointing them.

    To be more explicit:
    Player concern for changing systems:
    Spell casting is exceedingly fiddly, spell slot system is annoying (warlock needs short rest, other casters need long rest), battle options limited / obvious choices every round, creative options in combat limited to what they can come up with based on battlefield descriptions. I think they want more defined, concrete options that spark creativity. I try to suggest things, and when they have zany ideas, I try to go with them, but I think they hesitate because they kind of see it as a case of less optimal choices lead to death.

    GM (me) concern for changing systems:
    I'm mostly just looking for easier encounter design math that works. I like to run a game that's a bit crunchy mechanically (I enjoy Dungeon World, but more than a session or two of it and I'm left wishing for a bit...more), interesting tactically, and can run with my expectations. If I throw an encounter at the party that's supposed to be easy, I'd like it (barring any insane die rolls) to actually end up being easy.


    I keep being told that 4E sounds like it's more up my alley, so, that's where I'm heading. So far, I've liked running Blades in the Dark (my players were 50/50 split on it), loved running Lady Blackbird, was meh on running Dungeon World, and would love to run some Stars Without Numbers.

    As printed in the initial release, skill challenges were sorta-baffling and didn't really flow well. They issued a revised version of the system (in DMG2 I think? Someone else will know for certain) that was in force by the printing of the Rules Compendium which makes a lot more sense / works better in practice.

    Having said that, if you have people who don't want spell slots / combat based on a menu of options, 4E may well not be the game your players want. If someone starts complaining about how everyone is Wizards now or something, you'll know it's not going to fly. If their objection is more to the fact that the rules for how things are executed is inconsistent between classes, 4E will go down very nicely. It's quite unfriendly to outside-the-box moves, though.

    Ok, so Rules Compendium is the most up-to-date DM facing book of rules and systems and things? If I just used that + Monster Vault, would I be missing anything from DMG2 that's important?

    As for the players, it's definitely more the second, coupled with them not really knowing when to use up their big powers and such.

    Rules wise, the compendium will be the last version that was released.

    DMG2 is more a great read for the ‘soft’ side of running D&D campaigns, lots of advice on things like structuring group-driven games, designing interesting encounters, customizing monsters, and running higher level games. (IIRC, it’s the only official D&D book Robin Laws ever worked on, and his contributions show.)

    MsAnthropy on
    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
    ElvenshaeMatevJustTeeRiemannLivesJacobkosh
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    DMG2 is more of a gaming Philosophy book through the lens of 4e, and it’s excellent to read through , but Rules Compendium and Monster Vault are the only “must haves” to put together and run a game from the DM’s side.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    MsAnthropyAuralynxJustTeeElvenshaeJacobkosh
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Awesome, thanks guys, I'll start with Rules Compendium and Monster Vault, and will probably pick up DMG2 just for general GM-improvement. Much obliged!

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    FuselageMatevMsAnthropyAuralynxRhesus Positive
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    oh to the question earlier about what would be the "best" fantasy RPG system, I think the best possible results come from a situation where the system and the setting are totally intertwined in mutually reinforcing ways. So that any system which works in more than one setting can never be "best", but any "best" system is going to really suck if used outside of its one specific setting.

    EG: I am very fond of ICE's Middle Earth Roleplaying which was a variant of Rollmaster. It works very well for Middle Earth, much better than any edition of D&D for example. But MERP/Rollmaster definitely would not work for most fantasy settings. Middle Earth is very peculiar and different from most fantasy settings in important ways (it is just about the lowest of "low magic" for example).

    MsAnthropyJacobkoshjakobagger
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    One thing I did in my 4th Ed games was give everyone cards with their moves on them, as per the digital tools, but include an at-will Standard action card titled "Do Something Cool". Attack roll was Depends vs Depends.

    It ensured that my players were always aware that they weren't just the sum of their powers, and would always be up for toppling columns on bad guys, cutting chandelier ropes, setting stuff on fire, Billygoats Gruffing dragons ("Oh you don't want to eat us, there's a party half a mile away with loads more treasure") etc.

    MsAnthropyElvenshaeDarkPrimusFuselageToxRingoAuralynxMatev
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Fuselage wrote: »
    PbtA Players: Could you, theoretically, use Fellowship to simulate a Game of Thrones-esque setting in which multiple players (especially for a large PbP or West Marches campaign) are regional Overlords vying for power, and they're all using the players to torture each other for funsies?
    No. Fellowship is designed pretty strictly to be a Fellowship of the Ring simulator.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • FuselageFuselage Bantha Three ValhallaRegistered User regular
    Ardent wrote: »
    Fuselage wrote: »
    PbtA Players: Could you, theoretically, use Fellowship to simulate a Game of Thrones-esque setting in which multiple players (especially for a large PbP or West Marches campaign) are regional Overlords vying for power, and they're all using the players to torture each other for funsies?
    No. Fellowship is designed pretty strictly to be a Fellowship of the Ring simulator.

    Hey! I think I've established pretty strongly in this thread that I'm more than willing to destroy games and bend their mechanics into unnatural shapes!

  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Fuselage wrote: »
    Ardent wrote: »
    Fuselage wrote: »
    PbtA Players: Could you, theoretically, use Fellowship to simulate a Game of Thrones-esque setting in which multiple players (especially for a large PbP or West Marches campaign) are regional Overlords vying for power, and they're all using the players to torture each other for funsies?
    No. Fellowship is designed pretty strictly to be a Fellowship of the Ring simulator.

    Hey! I think I've established pretty strongly in this thread that I'm more than willing to destroy games and bend their mechanics into unnatural shapes!
    I mean the mechanics are specifically built so that you travel between places to encounter set pieces that the group has to resolve as a team.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    FuselageAuralynx
  • KadokenKadoken I'm an adult I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)Registered User regular
    edited September 18
    My friend is running a DH campaign at my request. Yay! I haven’t played any 40k RP as a player for like three years.

    I am playing a straight up sword-and-board chilvaric knight from a feudal world. He’s a former Rough Rider and has weird superstitions and quirks about stuff like not using chainweaponry because they sound like the machine spirit inside them is angry at him, saving the last tenth of his meal as a figurative offering to his former liege (which is less gross than the published quirk example of spitting out the last gulp of food), and touching the threshold and making the sign of the aquila at every place they sleep in. I’m trying a Shakespearian approach to his language.

    fe: Also at 20 intelligence (in a D100 system where player starting average for stats is 30) he is very, very dumb. Feudal worlders take a hit to their intelligence and then I got a divination during character creation that lowered it even more in exchange for more weapon skill, something Feudal Worlders get a bonus to, but I rolled kind of meh on relatively. I like to think that when he was in the Imperial Guard, a techpriest fruitlessly tried to explain that the chain rurring sound was a good thing but he just kept remembering one time he was scared by an angry barking dog as a lad and insisted the machine spirit must hate him. Although I dislike one-note "dumb" characters so he's not going to be a bumbler. He might be the guy to charge a machine gun nest with just a sword in one hand, a shield in the other, and a prayer on his lips and think he'll probably be fine. Also since DH2E doesn't punish "primitive" weaponry as much as 1E did, I'm starting with near max the amount of armor you could get, and the shield adds +2 to the arm holding it and the chest so most standard weapons have to roll above a 7 to scratch him there. The shield also adds a good bonus to parrying so I got a head start on other characters that need to pump XP into dodge or parry to reliably negate damage. Mid to late DH is a heavy evasion based meta. It is the nature of a game where the GM can get upset at you not dying and send a tank at you. Furthermore, with the feudal world bonus "At Home in Armour", I don't have to sacrifice agility for any armour I am wearing, so I can dance and dodge about the battlefield in my current plate, and even heavy power armour if he lives long enough.

    FE2: I usually play jaded asshole types so I want Sir Lansrick Chaucer to be an idealistic knight fully into chivalry like Straight Outta Camelot even if (when) it kills him in 40k. Well, idealistic, but not naive. Like feeling super priveleged to serve the Inquisition, treating his inquisitor as his proper liege lord, generally trusting his fellows in arms (unless they’re a fething witch), defending the weak, being steadfast to all heavenly virtues, etc.

    Kadoken on
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