Page 1494 - Paladin, Paladout

11th Feb 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Paladin, Paladout
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 11th Feb 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
This is probably worth a disclaimer: Unless discussed as a possibility in advance, weakening your players like this is not a good idea. It's not fun to be rendered essentially useless, even as a way to create dramatic vulnerability.

I know it's hard to believe, but Friendship is Dragons is not a How-To guide of best practices for D&D. This is a story where the characters ultimately have more fun than not with a very unusual campaign despite their worst impulses getting in the way.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Digo 11th Feb 2021, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
If nothing else, I learned a good deal about the mechanics behind D&D 4e because of this comic and it got me to question why was there so much hate for it. It's not as bad as 3.5 told me it was.

... really shouldn't get gaming advice from previous editions. XD
Snacker 11th Feb 2021, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
While I've only played it once, my understanding is that a lot of what makes it as disliked as it was is not on display here. Namely the combat is a bit of a slog. I'm going to leave a youtube link here to someone that used to play it and loved it at the time, but points out its faults.

Of course I was a second edition purist for the longest time, and listened to those that said third edition was awful, so always take things with a grain of salt.
Rihtan 11th Feb 2021, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Oh gods yes. The one time my group tried 4e we had some problems but it was the combat slog is what caused us to give up. Encounters that used to take 15-30 minutes suddenly started taking the whole night. As an adult with a job and limited playing time, wasting an entire evening on a minor encounter wasn't an acceptable situation.
Kittoradra 11th Feb 2021, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
The usual "it was different" thing to it all. "It wasn't like 3.5" was a "problem" on its own, and kept people from being interested. It sounds like you had the same problem going from second to third editions.

For me, it felt like it was too much like MMOs and too different from any idea of tabletop games. And when Pathfinder came out, being built off of 3.5 and modified/refined instead of completely rebuilt and changed, players were a lot more interested in moving there instead.

As far as my opinion? Treating it like "the same game" is part of the problem. It wasn't, they aren't, and acting like they are gives unreasonable expectations. Looking it over, after not getting to play **any** system for far too long, I realize I was probably too harsh on 4e. But it also wasn't the style of game I was particularly interested in at the time, and it could be plenty of fun. As long as you know what you're getting into
Digo 11th Feb 2021, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
I've never had the chance to play 4e, but I have played several systems that were thought of to have combat 'slog' mechanics, including one system I still currently play -- GURPS. For me, the combat in GURPS isn't that bad. You just have to think in a different box than you do D&D.
Anvildude 11th Feb 2021, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
From what I heard, the MMO thing was deliberate. WoW was HUGE at that time, and WotC were worried it was going to steal all their market, so they made, essentially, a tabletop MMO.

Honestly, though, it had a LOT of wonderful ideas. I think, handled better, the 'encounter' features and powers could be a very strong gameplay mechanic, one you probably _could_ build a whole RPG around. The Healing Surges got translated into 5E's version of Hit Dice. I still wish the Warlord class had been brought over as another Martial class focused on teamwork and buffing. They brought Goliaths more into the spotlight, and more Goliaths is always good. There's a couple others I can't remember (never actually played it, myself).

But yeah, it was such a wild departure that it really should have been further re-worked and re-branded as another type of DnD or game altogether.
Peliaos 12th Feb 2021, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
Most the features of 4e are in 5e.
-like you said, healing surges got nerfed and turned into Hit dice (there were ways to used HS during combat for quick healing, not just during short rests)
-Encounter powers are class features like Ki that recharge on Short Rest
-Daily powers are class features that recharge on long rests
-They gave Battle Master fighters a handful of the Warlord's powers as Maneuvers
-divorced Warlocks from the abyss specifically (IE: You did not have to be chaotic or evil to be a Warlock, as 3.5 (the first one to actually have warlocks) required because your powers very much came from the abyss in 3.5. There were no other pacts like there was for Archfey and "Star pact"(GOO) in 4e) while also putting it directly in the main PHB instead of a supplemental material.
-no negative racial bonuses, and practically any race you can find in one of the 3 players handbooks has the same racial scores as at least one subrace in 5e
-Aasimar are basically 4e's Deva race instead of what they used to be (a monster with two types, one of them being the original Eladrin).
-Fairly unified Tiefling design instead of the old "A Tiefling could be completely human looking, but there will always be something to them that makes normal humans uncomfortable. Like a smell of sulfur or an unsettling aura" to justify the -2 Cha they used to have pre 4e.
i could go on, but I think i've made my point
Draxynnic 13th Feb 2021, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
I'm inclined to agree. 4E wasn't a BAD system... at least, not once the combat maths got rebalanced once it was less of a slog (or so I hear, I didn't stick with it that long). It was, however, pretty simplistic for people who were used to 3.5. Good system for people who were starting out roleplaying, not so good for the vets. Ultimately, a different game.

Personally, though, what turned me off it was that I increasingly got the feeling that builds were either handed to you on a silver platter, or nine times out of ten you just wouldn't be able to make them work. This became particularly clear in organised play, where it was distressingly common to come up with a new build, rock up to a game to try it out, and somebody else wants to play a character built around exactly the same concept, often down to the race. In 3.5 and Pathfinder, that was fairly rare unless the build was an optimised minmax build or one player had been actively inspired by someone else's character.
BuffaloBrony 11th Feb 2021, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
Personally - I kinda liked it; but I can see how others had problems.

Some people didn't like how it tried VERY hard to render things mechanically similar between classes, with everyone getting Daily, Encounter, and At-will abilities. I will admit it also reduced SOME of the flexibility in roleplaying.
On the other hand, it went a LONG way to counteract the famed "wizard vs fighter D&D balance issues" - where wizards became veritable gods late game because fighter damage and defenses didn't scale the same way wizard damage and defenses scaled...

Combat *could* be sloggy - but I've seen that with pretty much every RPGs *ever*... Once us players and the GM got a hang of things - it played fast enough.

I will say it was one of the few systems that actually let us play well with a completely unbalanced (bad) party composition. Towards the end of the campaign - due to player attrition - we were down to 2 fighters and a cleric, and could STILL convincingly defeat level appropriate encounters.
Tempestfury 11th Feb 2021, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Important cavat needs to be added here:

4E Combat was quite a slog when it was first released. But when Monster Manual 3 was released, the maths behind the monsters was changed, reducing their hit points and increasing their damage to make the combats faster and more enjoyable. Its not that difficult to apply the MM3 formula to the older monsters either, so the game was improved significantly because of it.
terrycloth 11th Feb 2021, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
I loved the combat. That was the part that even the people who hated the system enjoyed.

The noncombat stuff was basically... not there. Except for an unusable skill challenge mechanic that got either retconned or re-explained a dozen times and I DON'T KNOW WHICH IT WAS THAT BAD.
Azureink 10th Mar 2021, 10:42 AM Puffin Forrest is not knowledgeable about 4e D&D. edit delete reply
Puffin Forrest is not a reliable narrator about 4e D&D. He barely understood the mechanics in 4e D&D. He is not that good at understanding the rules as either a player OR DM, even in 5e which he likes. He couldn't even understand what parts of 4e got translated into 5e, and thinks there was nothing that 4e gave to 5e. He is not a reliable source of information on the good and bad points of 4e.
Robin Bobcat 11th Feb 2021, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
I think my biggest gripe with 4e was the overdependence on map and minis, as well as just how hard it was to actually kill a PC. Combat should have an element of danger, but unless you're absolutely overwhelming your PCs, they're just gonna shrug off everything.
aylatrigger 12th Feb 2021, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
I am convinced to like the big systems it helps that someone GMs an enjoyable game for you in that system... I loved 4e after such, and still haven't really liked 5e cause I did not enjoy my first and only attempt. Pathfinder is still my #1 though.
Snacker 11th Feb 2021, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
To be fair, he is an NPC almost as much as he is a PC. He is there only to set up the story for the main PCs, so taking away his power is not as much of an issue
Winged Cat 11th Feb 2021, 11:53 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Also, the DM may already be anticipating how he'll get his powers back - or just trusting that Twilight's player can suggest a way.
Scissors Rock Paper 11th Feb 2021, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Ah, 4e how I miss ye. I've probably spent more time behind the screen than in front of it but my favorite memory (just the one) of being a player was with 4e.

And now for an unrelated but humorous anecdote about the 4e debate. I was in a room FULL of role players. I said, "Raise your hand of you didn't like 4e." A large number of people raised their hands. Then I said, "Put your hand down if you don't like playing a wizard." Not a single hand went down. Make of that what you will.
Thor 12th Feb 2021, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
You're missing an important follow up question though. "Put your hand down if you don't like playing a Fighter." Cause I do both and I wouldn't want to play 4e as either if a game of Pathfinder or 3.5 or 5e was available.
Draxynnic 13th Feb 2021, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, they kinda both lost what made them special. Wizards lost the ability to customise what they had for what they expected to face, while fighters lost the ability to be able to just keep doing the thing they were good at all day if they had to (well, for as long as their hit points lasted, anyway).
Jennifer 11th Feb 2021, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
I screwed up during my first campaign, running for equally-new players. One wanted to play what we eventually established was a human thief with the head of a cat - he'd made the mistake of burgling a wizard who knew polymorph spells. My mistake was in unilaterally deciding that the PC couldn't talk (cats don't have vocal cords). He would have to gesture, or pass notes to another party member. He was justifiably unhappy for the two sessions we played, and by the time I hit on the idea of having a friendlier wizard cast a "speakin'spell" the campaign collapsed and it was too late. I won't do that again!