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D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials 
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Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:50 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Consonant Dude wrote:
Yeah, it's a matter of perspective, I guess.

Totally is. :)

Consonant Dude wrote:
My point of view is that Essentials has been pimped as a reworking/re-imagining of the core 4e line that could be interesting enough, on the surface, for certain veterans of the game. But when you described the Monster Vault as some sort of monster manual packaged with tokens, it turned me off.

Well, 4e is what it is. If there might be steps made towards veterans of the game, like more differenciations between classes, or selective adjustments of powers to reflect a more traditional game play (at least that's what I'm hoping we get out of this), the core of the game remains ze same: it's a tactical miniatures game through and through, with as much role playing added to it as the group of players would care to play. That's not going to change, especially when the marketing of WotC relies of various lines of miniatures, power cards, tiles, counters etc etc. It'd be killing the cash cow, for them.

I'm personally going to check out the starter set and if it hooks me, then I'll invest in Essentials, all the while keeping in mind that this game is made for a specific, focused game play. In other words, I wouldn't use Essentials to run the same games as AD&D. I just accept this change.

Now my beefs with 4e are still there, but if Essentials makes a few steps towards my own inclinations in gaming, I'll take that opportunity, and reward it with a few bucks thrown WotC's way to confirm that yes, they are on the right track as far as I'm concerned. If not well, I'll have another starter set collecting dust on a shelf. No biggy.

Consonant Dude wrote:
My understanding is also that DDI is now going to focus on Essentials. So even though we can split hair and say it's some kind of alternative to 4e, it also acts as a replacement in some respects, as far as support is concerned. (maybe I got that part wrong, though). I get when you say WotC are taking a smart financial approach while offering some kind of bang for the buck but from my perspective, it doesn't look that way, especially for a veteran. Most gamers will already have tokens and/or miniatures of some kind. Overall, I totally understand the need to keep people buying but there are ways that are more elegant than others and the whole way they've handled 4.x, over its run, is really alienating me as a gamer.

Conceptually I see how DDI can be appealing to some gamers, but it's never been to me. The updates sound cool, but when you have your core books basically obsolete in terms of rules minutiae in a matter of two years, or that you have two tables playing the same game but with different updates, this just points out to me that there's a problem with it. I don't care for updates and official fixes. If I have a problem with any game, I fix it myself with the players as we play the darn thing. This whole "official" bullshit is part of a smoke and mirror game Wizards has been playing for some time (we know better, trust us) that just runs contrary to the hands-on nature of role playing games to me. Hence, no DDI for me, whatever the case may be. As for Dragon and Dungeon in e-format - blrrrgh... sorry. I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Consonant Dude wrote:
Now, if one essential product was a big box full of token while another was the monster manual? That would be cool. I like a company that covers every need possible.

From the sound of it (I might be wrong) they are going to cram dungeon tiles, monster tokens and other crap in a lot of these Essentials products. To me, that just really sucks.

It's just part of the game. I use miniatures fairly often with D&D, and the possibility of having portable tokens and shit to take away with me to play the game is an actual feature, not a flaw. YMMV, obviously.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:04 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Don't even get me started on what they are doing with Gamma World... :(

Well I exaggerate for rhetoric, but it still does seem like they are going with materials and production value over substance once again. Mutations will be in card form and while there will be a full deck with the core game, they will also start selling core packs. There is a neat rule where if certain random events happen, you may have to switch your mutation on the fly. I do like the wacky fun inherent in that, but using booster cards to do it leads the game down a whole different path than where my own personal PA roleplaying style is interested in going.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:16 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
CD's post kind hits the sweet spot of criticism for 4e in some ways.
When the game came out, people bitched and bitched and bitched and bitched about having to buy miniatures- now we have a fix for that- and a very economical/portable fix at that and we're told that most gamers already have minis.
I don't, btw, not a single one. (My son does own heroscape, but that's another matter entirely, we didn;t buy those minis for D&D.)

I'm not dissing CD here, either, though. He may well be right- however, his comment just goes to illustrate the trouble any company is going to have that holds the top spot. No matter what they do, someone is going to get hacked off.
Many people hold a platonic Ideal in there head about what WoTC should do. The problem is everyone's ideal is different.

Now, I'm going to say this, but I don't expect it to come across, because I'm a bit jaded after reading twenty five billion of these threads on the internet of the last few years-

1. Everything I've read leads me to believe that the monsters in the standard monster book will still be usable with essentials.

2. The Monster Manual (the hard cover book that came with the core) presents variants of many types of monsters. For instance there are three types of minotaur; two kinds of purple worm; two kinds of giant scorpion; seven kinds of orc and so on.

3. The monsters presented in the vault will be new variants of some of these monsters. You'll still get Orcs, but they'll be different. This means that somebody buying the Vault who has the MM doesn't get loaded up with duplicate monsters, they get new content, and the beginner gets a range of basic classic monsters. I think that's awesome.

4. The set is 20$.

5. The set is 20$.


I just don't see the crime here.


Last edited by Aos on Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:43 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
walkerp wrote:
Don't even get me started on what they are doing with Gamma World... :(

Well I exaggerate for rhetoric, but it still does seem like they are going with materials and production value over substance once again. Mutations will be in card form and while there will be a full deck with the core game, they will also start selling core packs. There is a neat rule where if certain random events happen, you may have to switch your mutation on the fly. I do like the wacky fun inherent in that, but using booster cards to do it leads the game down a whole different path than where my own personal PA roleplaying style is interested in going.



Think about what I've said about down loads, and consider why they might be going this way.

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about Gamma world either, I'm going to wait and see. However the cards don't bother me- but ask yourself, would you be as bothered about a book of new mutations? Then ask yourself who is getting obsessed with material production over substance.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:49 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
@ Ben- RE: Dungeon and Dragon and DDI. I'm completely ambivalent in regards to all three. I don't want any of it, but I've got no problem with it all being out there.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:52 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Aos wrote:
I'm not dissing CD here, either, though. He may well be right- however, his comment just goes to illustrate the trouble any company is going to have that holds the top spot. No matter what they do, someone is going to get hacked off.
Many people hold a platonic Ideal in there head about what WoTC should do. The problem is everyone's ideal is different.


Didn't think you were dissing at all and I think you're right, you can't please everybody and someone will always be bitchin'.

I have more thoughts on 4e but I don't feel it's the right thread for me to express them.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:16 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Aos wrote:
4. The set is 20$.

5. The set is 20$.

The prices for Essentials are super competitive, no question about it.

Aos wrote:
@ Ben- RE: Dungeon and Dragon and DDI. I'm completely ambivalent in regards to all three. I don't want any of it, but I've got no problem with it all being out there.

I have no problem with there being a character generator, updates and such. I mean: if people want to be suckers for planned obsolescence, and find themselves modifying tidbits of their game every week-or-so for no other reason than "the designers know better" and "a problem might maybe perhaps in twenty two sessions arise if a character uses this particular power this particular way in this particular situation with this particular build", then fine, let them be suckers.

Dungeon and Dragon mags, however. Well, they killed my only two print RPG magazines when they took back their licence, so I'll freely admit I am *still* bitter about that.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:33 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Objectively, I really have no complaint with Wizards' pricing schemes. And if I do have an emotional one, I have no leg to stand on because I'm a pretty big fan of my own form of RPG consumerism. If I only played WotC games, I probably would end up spending about as much as I spend now on small press games and supplements.

My issue is the gameplay. It's just not for me. And I really don't care about 4e but I did have some minor hope that they would do something cool with Gamma World. I don't even mind the idea of cards and random mutations. It's just that there is nothing about the setting. The two maps that come with it are encounter sized and utterly generic. All anyone seems to want to talk about is the booster packs and how characters do more damage and heal less. Where is the evocative description of the world after? The mysterious ruins? The hints of a glorious but overly-ambitious past? I bet I get more actual gaming material from one of your Metal Earth blog posts, Aos, than the entire Gamma World rulebook.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:10 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Also, is it me or did they completely neuter Dark Sun? Weren't Halflings cannibals in the original version?

Edit and to Craig in Act sorry to completely derail your thread.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:32 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
According to the reveiw I read today, they still are.

"The halfling tribes vary, but cannibalism is strongly associated with several such desert dwelling tribes. "
In fact everything I've read indicates that it is a very well done adaptation. I should find out tomorrow if the book comes in from amazon.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:14 pm
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