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 Worst Parts About 4e?

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Felorn Gloryaxe
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PostSubject: Worst Parts About 4e?   Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:31 pm

4e, it was an edition that pushed free-form roleplaying, fun for everyone, and balance. But did it really do everything right? If your an avid player/follower you've probably noticed 4e had plenty of mess ups in its history. Some would argue that some of these mess ups damaged 4e's reputation and even shortened it's lifespan. I for one agree that some choices did damage 4e and possibly made it easier to kill off. But anyways, on to the point of this topic...

What do you think were the worst parts about 4e? These can be anything, from simple things, like the font of the words in the books, to big design flaws.

- I hate the way 4e presented itself in the books. 4e to me was a very dry read. Flipping through the PHB feels like your flipping through the manual of a new car. I really wish they would have either taken the classic D&D feel that 3e felt like when reading it or went with a more relaxed, or informal way of presenting information, like 1e did (In case you didn't know reading the 1e PHB felt like Gary was talking to you). Though on the plus it made learning 4e easy.

- I really hate that WotC made so many empty promises with 4e. Near the launch of 4e they had all these great things lined up like a character visualizer, and a 3D virtual tabletop (The PHB even has ads of these!). It really made quite a few fans mad to see how little WotC cared about the launch and basically just assumed people would buy it regardless. 

- 4e felt very sterile. I mean sterile in a literal sense. The books literally felt bleached and too white. It made them feel very generic and un-D&D like. I really enjoyed flipping through the 3e PHB because it had a Tome like design.

- I felt that 4e needed more 3rd Party support and that the GSL was worse than the OGL. The OGL led to abuse of the d20 system *cough cough* Pathifinder. But the GSL made people uninterested in creating anything as it was too restrictive.

- More Skills, or a more customisable skill system.

- The fact that they made magic items mandatory in PC progression flusters me greatly. It makes it feel rigged when you aren't playing with inherent bonuses. 

- I never liked the add 1/2 level part of the math behind 4e. I feel that it's a pointless part of the systems math. You can remove the 1/2 levels from everything and have a perfectly fine game by just using the level 1 DCs for skills and checks. 

- Much of the stuff for 4e is scattered. Some things are in Dragon, some are in Dungeon, some in PHB 1, 2, & 3, etc, etc. It just feels like its impossible to actually have all the material in 4e. As most of the really good stuff is in Dungeon and Dragon magazine.

- The use of the word  "squares" instead of "feet". This really felt like an unnecessary change. Plus it drove people away by making some think its too board game-ish. Every gamer knew that 1 square = 5 feet. They could have said that somewhere in the beginning of the combat section, and continued to call everything feet and saved a few letters worth of ink during printing.

- More out of combat Utilities... I can't say this enough... I get the idea of attack powers, but why do so many utilities revolve around combat? Why can't a fighter (or any other class) have some that relies on other things than combat. 

- This one kinda falls back on the "its because WotC are big killjoys" type thing, but I really wish they would have released some of their stuff they said they would. Anyone remember the Class Compendium, that got practically full made and even had a listing but never got printed? Or how about the Nentir Vale Gazetteer? They had loads of products lined up but never actually acted upon them.


As you can see my list is mainly about the little things in 4e. But there are a few things in there about the system itself. So what are your thoughts? What did you hate most about 4e? And what do you think could have been done to make it better?

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:06 pm

For as much as I love the system, there's quite a bit I didn't like about 4e. Though if I had to choose my biggest of pet peeves, it would probably be the bloat the game suffered with more and more mechanical options. I suppose it's the price we pay when we call for more crunch with every book, but it would've been nice if at least half of the crunch was actually worth a damn...
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:26 am

That's very true. Most of the crunch is worthless... I wish we could have seen more cool crunch make it into books like the Unearthed Arcana stuff. Another book about Castle and Stronghold building would be awesome. That and new MCing rules and 0th Level PCs... Makes me wish we would have had a real Unearthed Arcana.

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:39 am

I agree about 4e's use of 'squares' rather than more 'natural' measurements. I would have much prefered "15 foot burst within 50 feet" to "Area burst 1 within 10 squares". A grid works fine in a dungeon, but is actually very awkward for large outdoor encounters. Being able to just set up some individual terrain pieces and minis on a tabletop or an area of the floor and measure distances with a measuring tape is much better than trying to find enough squared paper to cover a large enough area for the sort of really big encounters I like to use. Converting everything to work without a grid isn't exactly difficult, though.

The only other thing that really annoys me about 4e is the Red Queen Effect created by the way all the numbers inflate so massively with level. Having to spend a significant chunk of your character's feat slots on just keeping your attack rolls, damage rolls and defenses up to par with the monsters and their hundreds of HPs, rather than on stuff that's fun or interesting or flavourful, is my (and my players') single biggest complaint about the system.

This, along with the way NADs work, also makes it almost impossible to "play against type" (i.e. to specialize in something outside your class' traditional sphere of competence) except at low levels. A stealthy wizard or a well-educated rogue are perfectly viable when your primary ability modifier is only two or three points above your lowest, but not after ten or twenty levels of DC inflation when all but two of your ability scores are only increasing by one point per tier. A level 1 wizard trained in Stealth might have a +7 total in that skill and have a decent chance of sneaking around. But that wizard won't be increasing his Dex at the rate he increases his Int, because he needs to keep his Fort and/or Will defenses up. So, in ten or twenty levels, it's not worth his while to even roll Stealth checks anymore, because the DCs have been inflated on the assumption that a Stealth-based character started with an 18+ Dex and increased it every four levels. I think it's unfortunate that the system basically forces every good rogue to be as dumb as a post, every optimised shaman to be an antisocial loner, and every powerful warlock to be a terrible judge of others' character and motivation (which seems to me to be a rather significant flaw for someone whose powers depend on making bargains with devils and archfey).

Other than those issues, though, I think 4e is pretty much perfect. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:14 pm

I also agree that the seemingly endless amount of feats that the math required you to take was unnecessary. Is the Red Queen Effect fixed by the inherent bonuses rule?

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:31 am

Quote :
Is the Red Queen Effect fixed by the inherent bonuses rule?

Not really. From the DM's PoV, it helps a little because you no longer need to constantly hand out magic weapons/implements/armour/necklaces. For the players, though, the difference is purely cosmetic. They still have to spend their feats and ability score increases in the 'right' places dictated by their class and role rather than their character concept.

Handing out Expertise and Improved Defenses for free also only patches part of the problem. Essentially, it's mitigating a symptom rather than addressing the underlying disease.

IMO, no numerical value should be going up by +1 per level, or even +1 per half level when the level range is as high as 30 and you're rolling d20s. My preference, at least in the 1-20 level range, would be for everything being a potential threat to everything else. In other words, a level 20 PC should view a level 1 monster as a threat (even if not much of a threat). Likewise, a level 1 party should have a chance (albeit a very low chance) of beating a level 20 dragon. Epic levels, being the realm of gods and god-level beings, can (probably should) still be out of the reach of heroic-tier creatures, though. But that is more efficiently handled through a rule (e.g. "gods can't be harmed by non-epic characters", which already exists anyway) than by the tyranny of inflated numbers.

Turning lower-level monsters into higher-level minions and higher-level monsters into lower-level solos sort of mitigates the problem, but it's hardly a very satisfactory solution. The idea that a given NPC will have a different statblock depending on whether the PCs meet her at level 1 or a few in-game weeks later at level 20 works fine from a purely mechanical PoV, but it's terribly jarring from any other standpoint. And IME players notice this, and it spoils their sense of immersion.

I realise the numbers have to increase in some manner with level in order for 'level' to mean something, but I think something like a total +5 over the first 20 levels feels about right to me, rather than the +20 we have now.

I also think feats and magic items should put you (slightly) ahead of the curve, rather than being required just to keep pace with the monsters. I'd probably limit magic weapons, for example, to +1 per tier, with the monsters' defenses and HPs calculated with the assumption you don't have a magic weapon at all.

I'd also change the way PCs' ability scores increase. I don't like the disparity between your two highest abilities increasing by +8 (+10 with the right ED) over the same time that your other four only go up by +3. As I mentioned before, this leads to most of the skills you might potentially want to use becoming obsolete at high levels. It enforces specialization in an obnoxious fashion, IMO, and makes certain character concepts (e.g. the cleric who knows more about religion than the wizard, or the graceful swordmage who seems to dance through combat) unnecessarily awkward to build.

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:32 pm

Actually some of my favorite 4e suppliments came out of the GSL, basically anything by Diasexmachina, his amathyst setting, ultramodern4, neurospasta and the soon coming apex.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:24 am

My only complaints relate to the electronic tools:

- When the online tools were mangy, motherless dogs with fleas it got really frustrating not having anyone in WotC's "leadership" clearly addressing the (valid) complaints. Anyway, they work now but...
- The online tools really need to have offline, downloable, up-to-date versions. After the Christmas that follows the release of (choose one of: Next/5E/Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition), most of the D&D staff will lose their jobs and those that are left are hardly going to champion a relic of the edition that must not be named. I would like to have official, legal, legitimate other options before that happens.
- I really do wish there was a way to add custom content to the Character Builder, whether it be feats, powers, items or even entire new classes.

And that pretty much covers it. Until 4E came along - and, more specifically, getting the maths for monsters correct post-MMIII/DSCC/MV - I had never had an edition of D&D since 1981 where I was spending more time fixing it than actually playing or running it.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:22 am

Scrivener of Doom wrote:
- I really do wish there was a way to add custom content to the Character Builder, whether it be feats, powers, items or even entire new classes.
Have you heard of CBLoader? People have put a lot of work into coding all the new content (its more up to date than even the online builder) and even developing custom content for the program, which wraps around the old offline character builder.

The program itself is entirely legal (though WotC hates it) because it never actually modifies any of offline builder's files (i.e. if you started it up without CBLoader running it would function just like WotC originally provided it). The legality of using files which have WotC's newer content coded is more up in the air though (and why CBLoader doesn't provide any such files itself, though they're pretty easy to find). If you don't mind sticking with pre-Essentials WotC material and adding your own content to that though, you're 100% free and clear.

Frankly, I don't think WotC is going to put any effort into policing what people decide to do with a 'dead' system's old e-tools... especially if they pull the online 4E tools. Going after that sort of stuff in the game/hobby industry would be roughly akin to Marvel or DC going after fanfic sites because the writers there are using their characters; the ill will generated just isn't worth the benefit because all the content is fan-created freeware.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:25 am

Yeah, I have heard of CBLoader and probably have the file for it somewhere. I haven't set it up yet, though. (Similarly, I have a copy of the offline Compendium which I really must set up one day.)

Can it really do all of that and also have all the up-to-date official content?
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:33 am

Scrivener of Doom wrote:
Can it really do all of that and also have all the up-to-date official content?
In a word. Yes.

Version 1.3 of CBLoader has an indexing feature that allows the data files to look for automatic updates. If you can get the right index files you'll literally have everything character related there is to offer. It auto-downloaded the code someone had done from the August issue of Dragon (the new themes mostly... yes, CBLoader lets you pick themes) within two weeks of the magazine coming out. Heck, they've even built the DMG2's companion character rules into it.

As to custom content...

- I've got a home-built file that changes the inherent bonuses checkbox to automatically add in feat bonuses to attack, damage and defenses at 3, 11 and 21 and the appropriate masterwork armor bonuses based on the tables from Essentials (basically light armor gets +1 AC at level 16 and 26 and heavy armor gets +1 AC at 6, 11, 16 and 21 and +2 at 26).

- I've got a Wild Sentinel class that replaces the Sentinel Druid's animal companion with normal encounter powers and a file that changes the bladesinger's encounters as dailies into normal encounter powers. I've also done fixes like adding the new monk flurry of blows powers from Elemental Chaos into the options for the monk multiclass feat and made the archer warlord option available to the hybrid warlord (as it should be by the rules, but was never implemented by WotC).

- I've got home-brewed Aasimars (because a player didn't want to refluff a Deva), Blight Pixies (think flying piranha) and even, at a player's request, a Kender (with their taunt as a minor-action mark and custom kender weapons like the Hoopak, Polpak, et cetera).

- I've got home-brewed feats such as Attuned to Nature which allows the other types of Druids to pick up a few of the Protector druid's primal attunements and modded a number of the feats so they'd appear in different categories (such as all the general heroic feats that modified martial at-wills being moved to the lesser-style feats section).

- I've added new magic items (specifically one from the Book of Vile Darkness that I realized had been left out) and modified a few others (for thematic reasons I wanted to give one of the players a Summer Sword that wasn't a heavy blade).

... So you really CAN add whatever you want to the builder and it'll work.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:11 pm

Thanks for that really informative reply. Clearly I've got to get cracking on getting CBLoader up and running. I'll make that a job for this weekend.

(BTW, the kender's taunt as a mark is a great idea.)
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:16 pm

Actually, one other question if you don't mind.

Alternative rewards are a huge part of my games. I would love to be able to create my own but also to rename the existing ones as I can do now in the character builder. Can this be done with CBLoader?
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:25 pm

I've got a link to CBLoader 1.3 if you're interested.

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:38 pm

I don't have strong feelings about squares vs. feet, but for whatever it's worth I have taught the game to a few foreign folks, and it's a little easier for them to translate from squares to meters than feet to meters.

I would have loved if 4e had been designed with no +X items from the start, but inherent bonuses are a reasonable compromise to a game that has always been married to item necessities.

My two big complaints about 4e are the math holes -- really, how rushed must the release have been for them to miss that glitch? And of course the stealth errata feat taxes we got instead of actual errata.

I also feel that all the post PHB3 classes were a missed opportunity -- instead of more fun options, we got a bunch of questionably balanced retro classes, all in a vain attempt to capture PFers and TSR holdouts.

I have other nitpicks of course, but those are the only two big ones.

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:38 pm

Scrivener of Doom wrote:
Actually, one other question if you don't mind.

Alternative rewards are a huge part of my games. I would love to be able to create my own but also to rename the existing ones as I can do now in the character builder. Can this be done with CBLoader?
Easy as pie. Before I figured out how to change the inherent bonuses check-box directly I had created a series of boons that did the same thing (one for light armor and one for heavy armor). Indeed, if you've got different sets of house rules in different campaigns using Boons to impart those changes is a great way to add them without having to change out your part files on a regular basis.

If you're serious about doing it yourself, you can open the file called "combined.dnd40" from the offline character building using a text editor like notepad (it's just ASCII text inside) and do text searches in it for any game elements similar to what you're trying to do to use as a model for your new elements. The .part files that CBloader merges use the exact same code and will overwrite any of the original code if you copy a rules element into a .part file and change it (that's how I moved the location of various feats to other categories so I could find them easier).
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:00 am

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
I've got a link to CBLoader 1.3 if you're interested.
Thanks but I will need to find a link to the offline CB first.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:37 am

My biggest complaint was how short-lived 4E was. I've been playing D&D since 1981. I taught myself and my friends from reading the old basic "blue book" and we went from there.

In my experience, the 1e/2e (and apparently some refer to a 2.5e) were more or less the same system. They had minor changes, but the overall system was identical. For those that remember the old AD&D "to hit" matrices, if you look, THAC0 was simply replacing those charts with the math that generated the numbers on the chart... Anyway...

I played that system from 1981 until 1999. That's almost 2 decades. And any changes with a "new edition" were relatively minor and easy to incorporate into the way we were already playing. In other words, there was never a major overhaul of how things worked.

When 3rd edition came out in late 2000, I was thrilled. When I saw that finally they had fixed my one "big complaint" and numbers all followed the "higher was better" progression I was ready to start a new campaign. And we did. Our group got going on a new 3rd ed campaign immediately. And we played many over the next eight years. And when 3.5 came out, those changes were relatively easy to roll right into our ongoing campaigns.

I was at GenCon in 2007 when they made the official announcement of 4E. And though I was disappointed at the prospect of having to replace all of my books (I have a massive 3.x library), I was hopeful that they would fix all of the issues that we had been working on house-ruling in the 3.x system.

In my opinion, they did. Since I've started playing 4E, I've had so few issues with party balance and it has been a snap to throw together encounters for the players. In short, I've LOVED it every bit as much as I LOVED playing D&D when I was 11 years old, oh so long ago.

But when the announcement of a new edition to "unify all of the editions" was made in 2012, I decided that I wouldn't switch. I got 5 years of what arguably is the best version of D&D ever made.

So that's MY complaint about 4E. It had too short of a run. That's why I'm here on these forums. I hope to keep in touch with others that enjoy 4E as well.

That all being said, I believe I saw a mention of an offline compendium. If anyone would like to send me information on that, I'd be very interested. Also, I have CBloader running but I really hate how the character front sheet looks. If there is anyone out there that would be able to modify the character sheet I'd really like to chat about that as well!

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:17 pm

skwyd42 wrote:
Also, I have CBloader running but I really hate how the character front sheet looks. If there is anyone out there that would be able to modify the character sheet I'd really like to chat about that as well!
Actually you can rearrange the items on the offline builder pretty easily. You just have to unlock the panes (there's an icon at the top of the character sheet display) and you can move them around, right-click to add/delete/modify the panes and even add extra pages if you want. It's a TON more flexible than the online builder in that regard (although not quite as pretty since the non-power card pages are all black and white except for your portrait). The only thing it can't really duplicate is the Essentials style sheet where the skills are positioned under each of their parent attributes.

That said, I haven't used either builder for my actual character sheets since 2009. I just use them to get my math right and pick through the options and then type it up by hand because there is just no reason ever for a power to take up more than a line or two, much less 1/9th of an entire page. Instead I use variations on the following layout.

Winged Horde (standard, at-will): Burst 1 within 10 (targets enemies); +4 vs. Will; 1d6 psychic damage and cannot make OA's (ENT).
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:32 pm

I know you can rearrange the panes, but my complaint is that the individual panes just look bad to me. The whole front sheet feels cluttered. I don't use the Essentials-style layout, but I do like the look of the standard sheet on the current online builder. It is just a matter of preference to me. However, I have several rookie players in my current campaign and when they saw the off-line builder's front sheet they all said something to the effect of "ewww". So I keep hoping. I actually looked into HeroLabs offering, but since it doesn't play nicely with ALL of the classes I don't see it worth my $30 to purchase it. I know the product is solid and a lot of people really like it. Plus I worked with some of those guys on the old 3.x excel character builder and they were really awesome to work with.

Anyway... I need to install the off-line builder on my laptop so I can fiddle with it. Right now it is only on my desktop and I rarely use that machine because that's what the kids are always using!

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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:54 am

skwyd42 wrote:
I know you can rearrange the panes, but my complaint is that the individual panes just look bad to me. The whole front sheet feels cluttered. I don't use the Essentials-style layout, but I do like the look of the standard sheet on the current online builder. It is just a matter of preference to me. However, I have several rookie players in my current campaign and when they saw the off-line builder's front sheet they all said something to the effect of "ewww".
I'll agree it is less clean than the online one, but then again I don't use the online one either.

For the last three years or so I've actually used character sheets laid out very similarly to the 4E monster stat blocks using 10-pt Mentor Sans (the font used for the actual 4E monster/power blocks)...

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-initiative, hit points and defenses in an upper left block
-senses, speed and languages in an upper right block
-abilities mods with scores in parenthesis on a single line beneath that
-trained skills (or otherwise improved beyond the base ability) and their bonuses on the line(s) beneath that.
-any special elements like critical dice, conditional skill bonuses and the like on the line(s) beneath that.
-powers (and power-like elements) sorted by action type (triggered, standard, free, minor, move) and written out like monster powers (with green, red or grey title bars to denote usage) on about two lines each. Check-boxes on the power's title bar are added if the power can be used more than once per encounter/day (ex. healing word, lay on hands, power strike, et cetera).
-a miscellanea section at the bottom with gear, rituals, unused powers in a spellbook, or anything else that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Feats aren't listed directly since they don't usually come up in play, instead we just apply their effects to anything relevant (skills, defenses, attacks, et cetera) or list a feat out as an actual power if its necessary.

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I know from experience that an 18th level human mage can fit onto a single page using the above layout and would only need anything more if they actually swapped out their spells on a regular basis (though I've yet to meet a wizard/mage player who actually does so).

My experience has been that having your party be able to reference your entire character without shuffling papers is well worth the time it takes to actually type them up (once you have a template down you can cut and paste a lot of it and when you're leveling its pretty quick because it often just +1 to some numbers and adding another power or the effects of a feat).
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:44 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
(snip) For the last three years or so I've actually used character sheets laid out very similarly to the 4E monster stat blocks using 10-pt Mentor Sans (the font used for the actual 4E monster/power blocks)... (snip)
I did that once for a DMNPC that the players insisted become an extra member of the group for a while. I cannot believe what a HUGE difference it made to running the character.

If I run a game for beginners, I'm going to take the time to prepare their character sheets in the monster builder. It's just so much clearer.

If only 4E had a couple of more years and maybe a competent software guy....
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:58 am

Scrivener of Doom wrote:
I did that once for a DMNPC that the players insisted become an extra member of the group for a while. I cannot believe what a HUGE difference it made to running the character.

If I run a game for beginners, I'm going to take the time to prepare their character sheets in the monster builder. It's just so much clearer.
If ANYTHING deserves to be kept by editions going forward it should be 4E's monster stat blocks (especially the revised ones that separated the actions out by type).

They also really highlight how much space is just flat-out wasted on the character sheets by displaying things like ability scores (which never come up directly in play... only their modifiers) in extremely large fonts while squeezing things that come up all the time (like skills and power descriptions on cards) into spaces where the text is practically microscopic.

Doing characters up in monster-style format where everything but powers might take up 8-10 lines in total and leaves room for around 20 powers (presuming 2 lines each) just really helps put things into context for me and its why I'll NEVER go back to any of the official character sheet layouts.
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:35 am

Chris24601 wrote:
f ANYTHING deserves to be kept by editions going forward it should be 4E's monster stat blocks (especially the revised ones that separated the actions out by type). (snip)
I simply couldn't agree more.

I was looking at the latest playtest packet for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition (aka Next aka Previous) this morning and looking at the stat blocks again made me wonder out loud, "How is this good design?" And then silently, "I would still have to look up other books all the time if I used these!"

Hopeless. Three cheers for going back to Gygaxian un-clarity.

Quote :
(snip)They also really highlight how much space is just flat-out wasted on the character sheets by displaying things like ability scores (which never come up directly in play... only their modifiers) in extremely large fonts while squeezing things that come up all the time (like skills and power descriptions on cards) into spaces where the text is practically microscopic. (snip)
Yeah, that's why I mentioned about wishing 4E had a couple more years and a decent coder devoted to it so the character sheets produced by the builder would actually increase in utility.

And, in such a perfect world, they would print out looking like monster stat blocks. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Worst Parts About 4e?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:45 am

Scrivener of Doom wrote:
Yeah, that's why I mentioned about wishing 4E had a couple more years and a decent coder devoted to it so the character sheets produced by the builder would actually increase in utility.
While its beyond the scope of my abilities, the fact that both the save files and datafiles from the character builder uses a pretty standard plain-text markup language (i.e. its all ascii and more or less decipherable as to what each section does... which is how the folks behind CBloader were able to decipher it so easily) it should, theoretically, be possible to actually write a new builder program, or at least a new character sheet display program, that could read those data-files.

That said, the return on the investment of time probably relegates it to the level of pipe-dream, but its nice to think that it COULD happen.
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