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 Post subject: D&D Experience
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:45 am 
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So...anyone attending the D&D Experience this weekend? Give us the scoop!

On another note, I saw a link on Enworld to a 4E review on AintItCool News...I thought others might be interested in reading it:

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35776

and Part 2

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35799

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:01 am 
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*bump over teh spamm3rz*

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:22 pm 
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I live not too far from Crystal City, VA where they hold D&DXP. (I used to walk from home to the con but now live a bit farther away.) I have been to all of the Winter Fantasy/D&DXP in Crystal City.

There are tons of info on ENWorld and you can digest much of what happened there. I played the 2 LFR previews and the Delve 4 times(4 ed) and all the LG mods(3.5 ed).

My impressions of 4th ed haven't solidified quite yet. It is starting to get late here so I will do my best to gather my thoughts and post some coherant judgements and observations tomorrow.

Quick gut feeling: I am far from sold on it, though everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) I played with or talked with at the con, Loves it. Everybody was gushing so much and acting as fanboys/fangirls. That is part of the reason I need to contemplate what I experienced at D&DXP; I am not nearly as enthusiatic, but not wholly disappointed either.

More Later,
Eric.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:39 am 
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Thanks Eric.

I've been posting/lurking on Enworld for years now, and I haven't found a better place for 4E information. I've been reading many of the reviews there.

I was just looking for a review from the perspective of a Goodman Games forumite as well.

As the reviews come out, many are favorable, while a few highlight concerns that I admit to having...but we always make house rules, so I see no reason why this edition would be any different.

Either way, I'm definitely eager to read more.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:49 am 
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fathead wrote:
Thanks Eric.

I've been posting/lurking on Enworld for years now, and I haven't found a better place for 4E information. I've been reading many of the reviews there.

I was just looking for a review from the perspective of a Goodman Games forumite as well.

As the reviews come out, many a favorable, while a few highlight concerns that I admit to having...but we always make house rules, so I see no reason why this edition would be any different.

Either way, I'm definitely eager to read more.


Well, okay. Here's a GG Forumite's major concern...

It looks like they're giving more things for characters to do on the battlefield (which is good), but it also looks like they're sharply limiting abilities to be used in a certain way--for example, I'm pretty sure a lot of the rogue abilities have to be used with a weapon like a shortsword or a dagger or something.

And that's just not cool. 3.x has its flaws, but one of its good points is how you don't have to play an archetype if you don't want to (usually).

Oh, and I have some doubts about the system of magic items and how they work.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:02 am 
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Here are a few reviews I've pulled from EnWorld (which, I think, cover a few of the points that I'm interested in):

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=220433
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=220403
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=220320

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:13 am 
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Arek wrote:
Well, okay. Here's a GG Forumite's major concern...


Thanks Arek. Did you attend the D&D Exp and get in on some games?

Like I said, I do have concerns of my own, but I'm eager to give this edition a shot. At first, I was upset to hear about the new edition...then I warmed to the idea...then (after hearing more details) I became worried again...now, I'm somewhere in between. I like the idea of making the combats more interesting, strategic...and maybe even more "boardgame" like. Combats have always been the slow portions of my campaign, so I tended to use them sparingly (and often for climactic, pitched battles).

If I can house-rule the portions that I don't like, while still increasing the gaming experience, I'll be happy.

If not...we'll either continue with 3.5, or make a switch (we've been talking about a 1E/2E/Hackmaster combat rules blend, or giving C&C a try).

But...I'm still hoping that 4E matches what I was looking for.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:56 am 
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fathead wrote:
Arek wrote:
Well, okay. Here's a GG Forumite's major concern...


Thanks Arek. Did you attend the D&D Exp and get in on some games?

Like I said, I do have concerns of my own, but I'm eager to give this edition a shot. At first, I was upset to hear about the new edition...then I warmed to the idea...then (after hearing more details) I became worried again...now, I'm somewhere in between. I like the idea of making the combats more interesting, strategic...and maybe even more "boardgame" like. Combats have always been the slow portions of my campaign, so I tended to use them sparingly (and often for climactic, pitched battles).

If I can house-rule the portions that I don't like, while still increasing the gaming experience, I'll be happy.

If not...we'll either continue with 3.5, or make a switch (we've been talking about a 1E/2E/Hackmaster combat rules blend, or giving C&C a try).

But...I'm still hoping that 4E matches what I was looking for.


I live in entirely the wrong part of the country for conventions (Deep South), and really I'm an impecunious college student. However, after I get my bachelors in Geology, I will be in a position to become very pecunious indeed and be able to attend conventions.

To get back on it, the more I look at the rules of 4E, the more I'm starting to hear two words in my head.

Those words are "Final Fantasy".

Seriously. Characters have lower HP but do moderate damage, and monsters have high HP but do low damage. When someone goes down, you can Phoenix Down them right up, or they can get back up on their own.

Killing a monster seems to be mostly achieved by inflicting (in some cases, lots of) damage on it. Wizards are the glass cannons who do damage to all the monsters at once. The classic Save-or-Die spell is noticeable by its absence, or, if it's there, it has a very tiny chance of working.

Don't get me wrong. Final Fantasy games are great and all. But if I wanted to play one, I'd fire up my Gameboy Advance and play Final Fantasy VI, or borrow my cousin's PS1 and Final Fantasy VII.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:07 am 
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Arek wrote:
Those words are "Final Fantasy".


...but doesn't this all get a little circular?

Numerous video games were based on D&D from waaay back, so if they start seeming 'samey' isn't that par for the course?

I'm not a big video/computer gamer, but things I've played always seem to bear some relationship to D&D, from where I sit. If I were a big vid gamer, I imagine it'd happen the other way round, too.

It's like parallel evolution, like from Star Trek.

The difference is that you can decide how you want to play D&D... :)

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General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:22 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
The difference is that you can decide how you want to play D&D... :)


this is what i came away with. it was VERY cool, for the people i played with, that the cleric wasn't out sucking air for the battle, waiting for folks to get hurt.

played well, every character had a crucial and exciting role in combat. played poorly, the party got tpk'd. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

the disappointment for me, was that all we really saw was combat (and a very limited experience of combat). we didn't have the time to scout around and use the "out of game mechanic" tactics that a real game would have. this was due to the nature of the event, more than the game system, but i think they suffered for this.

it really wasn't a 4e playtest. it was just a 4e COMBAT playtest. i had fun, but i wanted to see the REST of the game.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Warduke wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:
The difference is that you can decide how you want to play D&D... :)


this is what i came away with. it was VERY cool, for the people i played with, that the cleric wasn't out sucking air for the battle, waiting for folks to get hurt.

played well, every character had a crucial and exciting role in combat. played poorly, the party got tpk'd. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

the disappointment for me, was that all we really saw was combat (and a very limited experience of combat). we didn't have the time to scout around and use the "out of game mechanic" tactics that a real game would have. this was due to the nature of the event, more than the game system, but i think they suffered for this.

it really wasn't a 4e playtest. it was just a 4e COMBAT playtest. i had fun, but i wanted to see the REST of the game.


What's ironic is that a cleric doesn't have to be the Band-Aid. Or, at least not in 3.x.

If I played a cleric, I could definitely cheese it out, by, say, taking up Necromancy for fun and profit, or convert to the worship of a god with a bow as a favored weapon and turn into the Cleric Archer. Or I could take the feats Extra Turning, Divine Metamagic, and Persistent Spell, and turn into the group's primary melee fighter by Divinely Persisting that jewel of a spell called Divine Power.

Not to mention the joys of being able to Planeshift or Gate a BBEG into a free vacation to the Negative Energy Plane. Or the Abyss. (A very climactic finishing move)

Truly, a cleric doesn't have to do anything, except maybe cast spells.

And that's why I like 3.x. Your class doesn't automatically tell you what you're doing outside of combat, or even in combat.

Whereas 4e seems to be more pigeonholing, from the stuff they've been showing.

And that's why I'm worried about it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:44 pm 
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you might be right about the pigeonhole. it's tough, not knowing what decisions were made in the specific pc creation. (maybe this was the "aid" character build, unlike the "heal" or "beat down" build)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Well-met Arek, I got my Masters in Geology many years back.

As Warduke mentioned, we really didn't play 4th ed as you would in a campaign or adventure sense. All we did was move around some D&D tiles and fight stuff. You really could say we played D&D miniatures more than an RPG. But as 4th ed previews, it was the combat they wanted to show, and is very likely the easiest part to show in a Slot at a convention.

Also, as mentioned, from 1st ed to 4th ed, the players and DM work together to create the gaming experience they seek. Whether it be Role heavy or combat strategic heavy, I guess D&D should be able to satisfy both extremes to some extent.

The ability to customize and home-rule not withstanding, the rules do influence the game. In their execution a particular game style is suggested and the rules likely excel and shine when implemented a particular way. And convention play must always work from a standard rules set, you can't simply get together with a few friends and decide what to keep and what to jettison.

The rules of combat and style of play I saw at D&D XP for 4th ed do not excite me. I am not decided on the matter and will explore at least a little more when they become fully fleshed out and available. But, I am not enthusiastic about what I saw.

4th ed strikes me as a superheroes type game. I have never played in that genre, but if at 1st level you have many outlandish powers that can be used all the time or some of the time or once in awhile, then that sounds like superheroes play. Just as each superhero has their own signature moves, so does each class in 4th ed. I think the background of each 4th ed. character has got to be akin to growing up with adoptive parents that found you as a baby in a crashed meteor. The funky powers and their execution are just wildly over the top at first level. I've heard others say that more survivable 1st level characters are good; I don't see anything wrong with being fragile at 1st level myself though. Heck, DCC thinks 3.5 1st level characters are too powerful and created 0 level to juice things up*. But if you want to be Harry Potter, 4th ed. is for you.

Some I talked to at D&D XP loved this aspect. Many said they never played D&D lower than 3rd level since it wasn't any fun. I never felt that way however and I often found 1st level play to be very rewarding.

The whole thing just doesn't feel like D&D to me. I don't see anything wrong with an RPG evolving, but this has gone a bit over the edge.

The party roles or pigeonholing of characters mentioned in earlier messages above could be a positive or negative. I have recently looked into C&C quite a bit and it prides itself on upholding those iconic characterizations. 3.5 allows characters to be customized to a great extent. 4th might be trying to pull back a little and make sure the various classes really do have their own niches to fill. I'm open to either method of characterization.

Still formulating my impressions of 4th,
Eric.

*I do not actually know why 0 level adventures happened. I am just positing one possible reason.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Me and a buddy were at D&D Experience this past weekend. We played both LFR 4E previews, a ton of delves and 2.0 minis. We both came away with overall very positive opinions of 4E and the way the games played out. Not everything is nailed down and perfect but overall the combat mechanics made for a very fun and action packed game. There is a lot to like and we are not afraid of moving the hobby forward. :)

The streamlining of the rules and the increase in player activity/action appeals to us and I know will to several member of our gaming group.

We have a solid 7 gamers in our group and we alternate between 3 campaigns, I DM one of them, set in Aereth (DCC: Saga of the Dragon Cult) :). I am going to finish that out over the next 2-3 months and then end 3.5. My next campaign will be 4E for sure.

The other campaigns are in Paizo's Pathefinder and Eberron. Both those will end over the next months and I believe both others will start new 4E campaigns as well.

We do every week (alternate Aereth/Pathfinder) and every other Sunday (Eberron).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:54 pm 
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I'm a little bummed out that there were so many GG boardites there and we didn't think to hook up and run through the Delve together. I did run into a few tournament fans (which was uber-cool), but that was about it.

Next time, I say we coordinate!

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 Post subject: Not what I thought it would be
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:32 pm 
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I've been playing D&D from the first boxed set way back when and started DMing at AD&D one thing I have always built my campaigns around is character development and bringing the fledgling hero wanna bees from nothing into being great characters with a rich history and all the players actually caring about their characters.... it totally makes the low levels worth it when you have to claw and scrape to survive before getting really good abilities etc at higher levels. It always made you feel like you earned it.

With what I've seen of 4th edition and the experience the new edition seems targeted at a totally different crowd. One that wants an instant fix. It's like hey I want the really cool powers but I don't want to earn them. Also the DCC Line has always been about story and character development and saga.... a storyline that didn't revolve around pushing minatures around the booard and popping in and out of exsistance (teleport) just because you killed something.

I understand some of the healing but being able to magically do it without a cleric present just doesn't make sense....in fact alot of the new abilities don't make sense. Call me old fashion but me and my play group of 12 will not be switching.

We only hope that GG keeps supporting 3.5 with DC's as it seems the people converting will be split.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:05 am 
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Is all 'insta-heal' magical? I hadn't seen that...

I assumed, that since hit points are an abstract summation of more than just bloodloss, that the healing abilities were along the lines of a second wind or adrenaline rush...

I suppose a houserule could make it so.

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Well,

I did not go. Gotta save those vacation days for GenCon!

But... I did read all the PDF's of the characters that were posted on the www.dndinsider.com forums.

I have held the opinion for a while that 4e DnD is not Dungeons and Dragons. It bears no resembelance to the earlier editions of DnD.

Wana play a Warlock...err... Cleric... err... no... that is a Wizard.

Bah.

One of the nice things about DnD is that you can play low-magic through high-magic campaigns by controlling magic items, access to spells, and components for those spells.

Now all the power is in the character so it looks like we are all now in High Magic/Fantasy mode. Where a cleric can smite their oppoents with holy strikes every round. Or was that a the warlock...

No... it was the Cleric.

*sigh*

I will buy the 4e edition PhB so I can participate in the DCC tourney, but as of right now I am out on 4e and will be staying in 3.5 or looking at C&C/Hackmaster.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:01 am 
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Hamakto wrote:
Now all the power is in the character so it looks like we are all now in High Magic/Fantasy mode.


Yeah...that's the impression that I'm getting as well. I was remarking to my gaming group that it reminded me of Eberron or playing in the D&D Open. Oh well. I'm still going to give it a shot. What it will come down to (for me) is this - is 4E more fun? If it is, I'll work with it.

Hamakto wrote:
I will buy the 4e edition PhB so I can participate in the DCC tourney, but as of right now I am out on 4e and will be staying in 3.5 or looking at C&C/Hackmaster.


I'll be looking at C&C while we're at GenCon this year. I believe there is a C&C game (or two) being run for free by the KFG.

Hackmaster is like 1E/2E, with a ton of additional rules. If you plan to run a 2E game, pick up Hackmaster and incorporate the combat rules (specifically the critical hit charts and penetration damage). They make combats A LOT of fun. However, it is also a parody of D&D, so the core rules include a lot of joke material. I would pick up Hackmaster, incorporate the elements that I like and make them house rules (but still use the 2E books primarily).

In any case, I believe that they run frequent "Learn to Hack" games at their GenCon booth. I would be worth stopping by and dropping in on one. If you want a DMG and PHB, we have extra...I'll trade them for a round of drinks. ;)

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Last edited by fathead on Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:17 am 
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fathead wrote:
Hamakto wrote:
Now all the power is in the character so it looks like we are all now in High Magic/Fantasy mode.


Yeah...that's the impression that I'm getting as well. I was remarking to my gaming group that it reminded me of Eberron or playing in the D&D Open. Oh well. I'm still going to give it a shot. What it will come down to (for me) is this - is 4E more fun? If it is, I'll work with it.


After reading all the reviews, that's my biggest gripe too. I don't generally like high magic superheroic fantasy. I don't want my characters teleporting and fighting dragons at 1st level. Levels 1-6 are the ones I most enjoy in 3.5, and it sounds like they've totally cut that out of the power curve.

Don't get me wrong, it sounds like it's a pretty fun game and they've made some positive changes...but ultimately it doesn't matter if it's fun if I can't run the sorts of games I like to run without modifying the rules. House rules are all well and good, but I'd rather just pick up a game that already does what I want it to.

The jury is still out, obviously, and I won't write it off without giving it a chance, but the more I hear about it the more I think maybe it's not the game for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:39 am 
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How is it we have people playing the game all over the place and no one knows about the SRD/OGL/LGD whateveritscalled?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:20 pm 
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mythfish wrote:
Levels 1-6 are the ones I most enjoy in 3.5, and it sounds like they've totally cut that out of the power curve.

I've been reading lots of good comments that certain things can be "toned down" and houseruled to make the game a little less gonzo.

I wouldn't get too concerned....at least, not yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:35 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
mythfish wrote:
Levels 1-6 are the ones I most enjoy in 3.5, and it sounds like they've totally cut that out of the power curve.

I've been reading lots of good comments that certain things can be "toned down" and houseruled to make the game a little less gonzo.

I wouldn't get too concerned....at least, not yet.


Good to know.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:39 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
mythfish wrote:
Levels 1-6 are the ones I most enjoy in 3.5, and it sounds like they've totally cut that out of the power curve.

I've been reading lots of good comments that certain things can be "toned down" and houseruled to make the game a little less gonzo.

I wouldn't get too concerned....at least, not yet.


Hey Ogrepup,

Could you post some links to threads containing those comments? I'm not being snarky...I honestly would like to read them.

If there are ways to tone down some of the "high magic" part of the game, that's great to hear. It's what I planned to try anyway, but it would be good to read others thoughts on it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Location: Hidden Base in the NJ Wilderness
well, goodman games IS the home of the zero level adventure, so i'm not too worried. if anyone comes up with a good toned down version, i have faith that it will be our boys.

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