4e's Player's Handbook's chapter on skills is 14 pages long and contains rules for the procedure and usage of skill checks.
People yelled that 4e "has no rules for roleplaying."
5e's Player's Handbook's section on skills is spread out across 5 pages.
Nobody yells at 5e for having "no rules for roleplaying."
The argument is often worded wrong. 3e and 4e had loads of rules for role-playing, the issue was that it expected you to use those rules in place of the role play.
5e comes from the side that skill rolls are only necessary for dangerous or challenging tasks, or situations where the RP is considered not enough.
It's more of that the majority of 4e's rules hurt any sense of immersion. The combat exists in a nonsensical world with frayed strings of logic, thanks to a pure and simple "mechanics first" ideology that results in characters that feel less like people and more like video game data sets.
Combat exists in a separate world, and the game is so dependant on it (because exploration is awful in 4e, the out of combat utility abilities are boring, and the fluff is so poorly written) that the game only works for mindless staging of sequential battles.
To top it all off, the combat isn't even good, rapidly getting dull and repetitive even after applying the necessary house rules to fix the awful math.
I haven't read through the 5e DMG yet so I don't know how much it adds to the skill checks part of the 5e PHB.
5e has rules for inspiration in the 22 page section on personality and background. Inspiration is gained when the DM thinks you roleplayed your character well and you use it to gain advantage. Backgrounds also affect your starting skills. There are also very minor rules on downtime activities like crafting and practicing a profession. Finally, the equipment chapter lists a whole bunch of minor items.
That being said, the organization of content in the 5e PHB seems to give the appearance of roleplaying rules and ideas for coming up with your character's fluff as opposed to anything more solid than 4e. Another part is that 3e came out at a great time for a new edition and most people new to tabletop RPGs you joined through 3e thought that was how RPGs should be. Even if they didn't play much or understood the rules. 4e did not come out at as good a time and some people saw the changes and disliked as a kneejerk reaction. People were used to the 3e 'rules for every little thing' approach and didn't like the 4e 'rules for major things like combat but flexible minor rules for less concrete things' approach. 5e seems to give the appearance of 3e roleplaying rules while actually reminding me more of 4e's approach.
>People were used to the 3e 'rules for every little thing' approach and didn't like the 4e 'rules for major things like combat but flexible minor rules for less concrete things' approach.
Which is probably why I've never been able to get someone raised on 3.pf to try the earlier editions.
>The combat exists in a nonsensical world with frayed strings of logic, thanks to a pure and simple "mechanics first" ideology that results in characters that feel less like people and more like video game data sets.
>Combat exists in a separate world, and the game is so dependant on it (. . . and the fluff is so poorly written) that the game only works for mindless staging of sequential battles.
>To top it all off, the combat isn't even good, rapidly getting dull and repetitive
All of this is equally true of 3.5.
This, except 4e didn't even try to promote a One True Path the way 3e did.
You were told from the word go that what was in the book, the "fluff" was second to whatever you, the player, wanted it to be. Numbers do not have character, take the numbers and make the character you want, not what the dev tells you.
No pretending to be what it isn't, no bullshit "some things are actually better than others but we won't make that clear because the people who obsess over the game should profit over those who just want to play".
You know what I hate most of all?
That 4e is my favorite edition, but I know less about the actual mechanics than 3.5, because to make what I wabted in 3.5, I HAD to pore over books like a fiend.
The arguments made against 4e were always in comparison to 3.5.
This is my perspective, having started role-playing games with 4e.
I had always been interested in D&D and the like, but (being a optimizer at heart) was always intimidate at the sheer amount of systems, and system expansion books out there and had no idea where to start or what kind of system would even be for me. But when 4e came out I thought "great, a brand new start of the most iconic system out there, good starting point"
So I read all the rules, made a few characters, and started looking for a group. While hunting one down I tried to expand my characters on the story/out of combat side of things. I found that my characters abilitys were all pretty much useless out of combat rounds, and the only only other things they could 'do' were in ritual or skill challenge form.
So I started home brewing custom rituals and skill uses for my DM to yay or nay for my characters 'story' development. I was finding it a bit of a hassle (and was terrified of OP breaking something and spoiling other players fun), so asked for help, got pointed to 3.5 for same power guidelines, and found that everything I had homebrewed and wanted to homebrew was already done.
Tried making some 3.5 characters and got lost in the endless expansions, prestiges, multi-classing, and feats, BUT that put me on to Pathfinder, where I fell in love with the classes (compared to 4e's where they all felt a bit samey) AND had spells, subsystems, and rules for out of combat character story stuff.
So thats my story on how I abandoned 4e, fell into pathfinder, and have now been playing it every week for 2 years, I've yet to play a game of 5e (just because there are so many builds I've been wanting to try with pathfinder) but I have read it and it seems better with the out of combat stuff than 4e.
4e sucks, Pathfinder rules, 5e looks promising
have a goblin
It's no use, OP, those critiques of 4e are entirely baseless and people just repeat the same memes over and over.
D&D fans have made their preferences clear. Good design, innovation and clear, transparent mechanics 'Aren't real D&D'. Real D&D is bland mechanics under layers of obfuscation, loaded down with pointless legacy stuff that just makes them easier to ignore.
'Real' D&D is a version of 2e where the GM ignored half the mechanics and handwaved it. 3.5 only worked by doing that, so when you hand people a system which actually functioned they whine and bitch and don't know what to do. It's why 5e is all the same shit the rest of the RPG industry left behind long ago.
The complaint isn't "no rules for roleplaying". The complaint is that the abilities/spells aren't suited for roleplaying.
In 5E, 3.5E and previous editions, there are abilities like "you create some acid from your hands" or "you are so acrobatic that you can dodge attacks really well". These are easy to visualize and have uses outside the combat board.
4E's abilities, however, read like "you deal 1[W] damage and may slide the enemy 3 squares". Stuff that's only applicable on the combat board.
4e divides rules text and flavour text. This makes things clearer and easier to understand, but it does absolutely nothing to change how and when you can use them. Nothing is stopping you roleplaying and being creative in 4e in exactly the same way you are in 3.5. The only thing that was explicitly removed is the bullshit possible with 3.5 magic, which is 90% of why that system was broken as fuck.
Unless, of course, it has the acid descriptor, in which case it is, actually, a torrent of acid.
Just because instead of writing "this can set shit on fire, yo" on every single fire spell, they just gave it the "fire" descriptor, doesn't mean they can't be used to start fires.
An ability like defensive roll where you can take half damage from a hit that would fell you once per day if you make a reflex save DC damage you took, that's easy to visualize and useful anywhere. However a utility power that says daily immediate interrupt used when you take damage you take half as much damage is completely combat focused and doesn't work off of the grid.
I assume you are talking about 3.5, right? Pretty sure 4e actually calls the whole thing out ("guys, did you know fire is hot and burns things despite us not putting it on every single fire spell?") either in the DMG or the CRB.
You can use that out of combat. You took damage (probably from the attack of a trap), you use the interrupt, you take half damage.
That you keep making up arbitrary restrictions is not the game's fault.
I've never really gotten the whole 'Immersion ruining' thing about 4e. Sure, it's not a detailed simulation of fantasy medieval combat, but D&D was never that. 4e always felt like a fantasy adventure movie. Your heroes have a few attacks and abilities they use a lot, a special trick or two they bust out once or twice a fight, and then their big, impressive and awesome attack which is used rarely but always has a huge impact.
It's something I love about 4e. It has that same element of pacing that happens in the amazing stories I enjoy watching and reading, so why wouldn't I want the same thing in the RPGs I play?
Okay, you have you have great cleave.
So, imagine there's 2 goblins. They are next to each other, right? So you cleave them.
Now imagine there's 3 goblins next to each other. You cleave them.
Now imagine the middle goblin is missing. Still two goblins. You are now incapable of cleaving the two goblins because they are not in line. You'd be capable of cleaving them better if there was a rat between them. Somehow, a goblin NOT being there makes hitting the two goblins at the same time impossible.
It's the most gamist shit ever, and I say that as someone who loves 4e with all its gamism.
Basically this. It feels like an MMO first. You get a number of abilities sure, but it's flexibility in all the wrong ways. You're strictly confined to working with a combat grid and being tactical about your skill use. It stamps out creativity by giving choice. I don't like the trade-offs. The feel of the game was just.. off.
I still play by the old 2e style of handwaving half the mechanics, except with the 5e twists, and it works well enough. Inspiration is a very simple mechanic that openly supports it. The advantage/disadvantage rules also make it easy to apply a significant bonus that rewards especially good or bad circumstances. Players TRY to be descriptive and stylish, either for sake of RP or purely mechanical bonus, whichever they prefer, but it works either way.
Not the other guy, but PF cleave and great cleave are mechanically involved. For great cleave, you keep rolling to attack against adjacent foes and then take -2 to AC at the end. 4e cleave is direct in that an adjacent enemy automatically takes damage if you hit your target. 4e has other abilities that fill the same niche as great cleave.
Both abilities reflect something from media, one has a more complex interaction that can fail more readily due to chance and take one out of immersion.
What are you even talking about? Nothing in 4e stops you being creative or descriptive. It has more rules for improvising and making things up on the fly than 3.5 ever did, and I've not heard much mention of robust support for it in 5e.
The real difference is mechanical transparency. A lot of the abilities in 3.5 or 5e could be laid out in exactly the same way as 4e abilities without losing any actual information. It's just the layers of obfuscation that people cling to for some bizarre reason I will never fully understand, as if transparent mechanics stop them being able to use things however you like. It's just... What?
The key thing is that there's really no reason to fret about minutia for every single roll. All that does is slow down the game, worrying about tiny little details for an action that shouldn't take longer than a moment to resolve.
> move x squares
> shift here
> teleport here
> swap positions with
> spend a healing surge
> place tokens
It's all very specific and orderly, to the point where I consider it boring. I don't want a roleplaying game where I have a bunch of rules telling me exactly what's going on. I want a game where I describe what's going on and there's a set of rules providing a supporting structure.
Basically, I don't like combat on a grid. I want a dungeon stomp to feel like an adventure, not a tactical effort. 4e always feels like a mechanics-first sort of setup. It was made for someone familiar with MMOs.
You can like 4e if you want. That's fine. But that's why I did not prefer it.
>Basically, I don't like combat on a grid. I want a dungeon stomp to feel like an adventure, not a tactical effort
Then why are you playing a direct descendant of the premier tactical dungeon dwelling simulator?
>4e always feels like a mechanics-first sort of setup.
This is fine and true. Though think about this for a moment: Why do clerics have support spells and wizard offensive spells? Since magic isn't real, they could have anything you could think of. Yet their stuff mostly fits into those broad categories. Maybe it's because the role mechanics came first? Just food for thought.
>It was made for someone familiar with MMOs.
This however, is a non-sequitur.
Honestly? Because of the obfuscation. D&D at its best takes some common tropes ("I want to be a big guy who hits things with swords") and boils them down a package. You want to be a big guy who hits things with swords? Ok. You're a fighter. You're level 1 because you're not too good at it yet. It adds just enough structure to put players into a sense of a role and their purpose, with just a bit of meta about how the typical dungeon party typically works, while leaving many of the details more open.
Because a lot of the nitty gritty is not highly detailed, that leaves it open to interpretation. A basic fighter can be the most interesting and involved character in the group if the player is involved with describing the brutal nature of combat and his artistic swordplay. Theatre of the mind is in full swing. The DM is free to apply bonuses and penalties depending on how things are going. Naturally this relies some on having good players and a good dungeon master, but to be honest, it always has.
But that all applies to 4e. In many ways, its mechanics are more open, broad and flexible than anything in 3.5. And it has the added benefit of, if you want to play a fighter, not ensuring that you'll suck at your job.
Sorry, I know I'm going on about this. It's perfectly alright to dislike a system and have preferences. I'm just struggling to understand the logic behind your points.
>>It's all very specific and orderly, to the point where I consider it boring. I don't want a roleplaying game where I have a bunch of rules telling me exactly what's going on.
Dude. DUDE. FUCKING DUDE.
3.5, 4, and 5E ALL HAVE THE SAME FUCKING RULES.
Nothing about the games are different. They have the same rules for combat, they have the same use of battlemaps, combat mechanics, and character abilities. They are ALL EXACTLY THE SAME.
Why are you pretending somehow that one of these is magically "less rules-intensive" than any other? What you clearly don't like is D&D in general (which is fine), but your criticism comes from ignorance, not understanding of anything.
>Theatre of the mind is in full swing
Wait, what? No version of D&D has ever had theater of the mind as a core mechanic, or even a suggested one. Every edition since AD&D has used battlemats and minis. All of them. And every single one has had spell, ability, and attack descriptions phrased in distinct measurements that are designed to facilitate play on a battlemap.
Just because YOU don't like that, doesn't mean that theater of the mind was ever the way the system was designed.
I'd mostly agree, with the caveat that the ideas behind the rules don't really change at all, just how they're presented and executed. 4e is the best presented of all of them, and you can argue whether 4e or 5e are the best executed until the end of time.
Every edition of D&D being referred to has used the same mechanics: Character classes, class-specific abilities, skill checks, initiative order, the 3-action turn phase (move, minor, standard), and all the other little bits that make it D&D as opposed to something else.
There are surface differences, sure. But none of those are enough to call 4E any different than 3.5 or 5E. They all emphasize different areas and have different writing focuses and problems, but at the core the game is exactly the same. So complaining that one is "too videogamey" makes no fucking sense.
From the comments above, bizarrely it seems like the obfuscation is the key. That layer of uncertainty and confusing fluff text that makes the mechanics less clear and distinct also makes them easier to handwave or ignore, which is apparently an asset for some people?
Because DnD is the power games game. There are options for tactical RP's and story driven RP's. DnD was the only option for power games that just wanted to start small grow big and beat face.
When 4e came out they lost that. 5e did better but not as good as 3.p. Its more of a "At least its not AS bad" situation.
Honestly, to me 3.5, 4E, and 5E are like McDonalds, Wendys, and Burger King. They're three fast-food burger places that ostensibly serve exactly the same food, just with slightly different packaging and some different bits emphasized. "Oh, Wendys uses a square patty! That means it's not a real burger!" you hear from the idiots talking about how 4E attacks were written in card-form, so somehow it's a video game and not D&D.
Like, I have no idea how people look at these products and see something different. They're all grid-based, crunch-heavy combat-centric RPG systems. Why is there any confusion here? They're the same game.
Maybe the day D&D prints an edition where spells and ranges aren't printed in 5' grid square increments, I'll agree with you.
> since ad&d
I have the AD&D PHB right here, and there's no mention of battlemats and minis. The 'example of play' at the very start of the book includes a combat, and it's all using descriptive terms like "narrow" "small room" and "behind you". There's no distances or minis or grid at all.
3e "recommends" it. Many of its combat rules are described in 5' increments. But ultimately none of the class abilities are so different from 2e that you're shuffling around a tactical grid.
4e does require it because that tactical shuffling is happening. So many abilities require a specific knowledge of where you, your allies, and your opponents are, down to a square.
>So many abilities require a specific knowledge of where you, your allies, and your opponents are, down to a square
Yeah, you tell me how you're gonna use a Color Spray spell in your Theater of the Mind game with no map at all.
>3e "recommends" it. Many of its combat rules are described in 5' increments. But ultimately none of the class abilities are so different from 2e that you're shuffling around a tactical grid.
Well, you know. Aside from 5 foot step, AoOs, reach, flanking, cover and concealment rules. But aside from that, yeah, no grid needed. Not at all.
Could you post the AD&D PHB combat example?
I found an article that talked about grids and minis from AD&D. While the game didn't require them, it heavily encouraged groups to get minis and use grids. Some abilities had concrete measurements, like 'gust of wind moves an enemy back 1 to 6 inches'. The comments provide some interesting views.
Am I thonly one who is just down for everything? Born on 3.pf, always down to go back. Been jonesin to try that 5e book I got, would buy the 4e phb if asked, been looking along at ad&d, 2e and basic for awhile now [SPOILER]but things like 5e, dungeonworld, 13th age, shadowrun yadda yadda take presedence.[/SPOILER]
Why does everyone always have to draw lines?
So, you're basically admitting that you don't understand the topic of discussion, yet somehow you think people should pay attention to your opinions?
Are you some sort of ultra-idiot?
da truth. There was a good game inside of dnd4e. If anything the designers didn't dare enought. But it was allready way too much for some people.