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 How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?

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Felorn Gloryaxe
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PostSubject: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Sun May 26, 2013 3:05 am

I've been trying to figure this out for some time. It seems that every time I bring up how good of a game 4e really is with some old school players I play with immediately blow it off. If there anyway that I can show oldschool players how much fun 4e is other than getting them to play? I'm sure if I could get them in a game they would love it; but doing that isn't exactly gonna be easy. Does anyone have any tips on how to get them interested in trying it?
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Mon May 27, 2013 8:37 am

Hmm...try showing them their favorite classes 4e rendition, and the various cool powers it can get. That might help.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Mon May 27, 2013 3:07 pm

That might work, but old school gamers tend to be stuck in their ways. Not all of them, but the vast majority I've seen are.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Mon May 27, 2013 4:54 pm

Offer to run it as a one-shot, or a two-three session mini-campaign. That way they won't feel like they're gonna be pressured to stay with it if they don't like it. If it works, give whatever you run an old-school-feel, to help smooth the transition.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Tue May 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Take their favorite old-school module and convert it to 4th edition. Run them thru in the classic dungeon crawl style to give them that old-school feel mixed in with the 4th edition rules.

Just make sure you have good experience DMing 4th ed so that it goes smoothly. First impressions for a system are important.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:22 am

Run something for them that would fall flat in their favorite edition. Leverage the great ease of doing ad-hoc resolution, build highly interactive environments, and encourage the PCs to take big risks and have lots of thrills and spills.

For instance I made up an adventure where the PCs were sent to a village that turned out to be under attack by the spirits of ancient shape shifters. The best scene was one where the PCs had to ride logs down a log flume to get into the saw mill where the BBEG had the young woman who was the reincarnation of his girlfriend tied to the saw, lol. It was awesome pure spray-on cheese with super action. The PCs got to have a fight while they were balancing on floating logs, pushing bad guys and such. Then they came sliding down into the main encounter area in a dramatic splash, fought the huge wolf-guy while he was trying to cut his 'girlfriend' in half, and etc. There were a bunch of other good scenes in that adventure, but that one was the one that would be very hard to pull off with AD&D.

Burning buildings, runaway vehicles, sinking ships, collapsing mines, climbing around in a big construction site, all sorts of stuff like that works REALLY well. Leave the dungeon crawling to 1e, it does it fine and 4e really has little to add to that experience (though you can pull it off OK).
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:01 am

Yes. I've noticed AD&D players really enjoy big time action with loads of opportunities to do cool/stupid things in their environment.

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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:52 am

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Yes. I've noticed AD&D players really enjoy big time action with loads of opportunities to do cool/stupid things in their environment.

This. (Although who dosen't enjoy that? Razz )

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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:01 am

CHIA wrote:
Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Yes. I've noticed AD&D players really enjoy big time action with loads of opportunities to do cool/stupid things in their environment.

This. (Although who dosen't enjoy that? Razz )

Well, there are some players who are more into things like intrigue, politics, etc. 4e might not be the ideal system for a group who does very little combat, likes to make oddball "can't fight his way out of a paper bag" characters, wants super deadly combat (though you CAN do it with 4e the default is more "dramatic challenge" than instant death) etc. Most AD&D players though I agree really like the gonzo almost-supers type of play, it really contrasts with the high attrition low-heroism early edition play. IME most players were kind of grinding through that looking for some more open-ended play you got at mid-high levels in AD&D. You can get that right off the bat in 4e and still have a nice power curve. 4e presents its own interesting challenges too, but man do my players love to go stunting all over the place!
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:02 pm

If they haven't actually tried it, don't tell them its 4e, invite them over to try a new game you've worked up. Tell them you've created pregens for the first session because you want to test out the rules, and make characters along the lines you know they like to play.

Gloss over some of the more drastic changes until after they've gone an encounter or two, and then incorporate those changes as if you just thought of them as new rules.

Play without a battlegrid (4e fans know it can be done, despite the naysayers)

Use lots of minions in the initial combats and make them short and punchy, and fill the rest of the game with more role-play situations. Use skill challenges, but don't present them as such.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:12 pm

Shamanstarr wrote:
If they haven't actually tried it, don't tell them its 4e, invite them over to try a new game you've worked up. Tell them you've created pregens for the first session because you want to test out the rules, and make characters along the lines you know they like to play.

Gloss over some of the more drastic changes until after they've gone an encounter or two, and then incorporate those changes as if you just thought of them as new rules.

Play without a battlegrid (4e fans know it can be done, despite the naysayers)

Use lots of minions in the initial combats and make them short and punchy, and fill the rest of the game with more role-play situations. Use skill challenges, but don't present them as such.

This is such a good idea. cheers 

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PostSubject: Re: How do you get old school players to try D&D 4e?   Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:56 pm

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Yes. I've noticed AD&D players really enjoy big time action with loads of opportunities to do cool/stupid things in their environment.
Yeah, create an interesting environment - personally I would use a grid and miniatures - and then throw in lots of minions and let them go crazy.

Have a wizard BBEG protected by some soldiers up high with the PCs having to climb stairs guarded by soldiers to get to him while artillery minions from balconies fire crossbows at the climbing PCs. And before the PCs can get to the stairs they have a wade through a bunch of minion brutes.

That's the sort of encouter we ran in 1E but it was never quite satisfying because the combat rules, particularly relating to movement, simply sucked as written. But in 4E it works... and it rocks.

If an old school player can't get excited about playing through an encounter like that then 4E is simply not for him (or her).
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