Any hope for 4E fandom?

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by shesheyan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:35 pm

Havard wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 am
I think the Nentir Vale is one of the strongest legacies of 4E.
I have also seen new appreciation for certain 4E mechanics such as skill challenges and the minion rules.

-Havard
Yes these two mechanics were very good imho.

I still use the minion rule. I don't tally wounds for grunts. Prior to the game I decide if one or two hits, regardless of damage, will kill them. Lessens my burden as a DM.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:42 am

Havard wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 am
I think the Nentir Vale is one of the strongest legacies of 4E.
I have also seen new appreciation for certain 4E mechanics such as skill challenges and the minion rules.
Out of curiosity, is there a particular place where you see 4e mentioned more, these days? I don't think I've seen much of an uptick, but I only have visibility into my own tiny corner of social media.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by snorri » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:42 pm

I know at least two 4e clones on French. Some 4e mechanics, including skills challenges, regularly appears in french-speaking debates on Rpg mechanics. The idea it was a good tactical rpg and a poor iteration of D&D is somewhat widespread.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by willpell » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:50 pm

I would never use the minion rule. But I did play in a 5E campaign that imported the idea of skill challenges, and while I might quibble with the exact execution, I think the basic idea is solid.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Havard » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:39 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:42 am
Havard wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 am
I think the Nentir Vale is one of the strongest legacies of 4E.
I have also seen new appreciation for certain 4E mechanics such as skill challenges and the minion rules.
Out of curiosity, is there a particular place where you see 4e mentioned more, these days? I don't think I've seen much of an uptick, but I only have visibility into my own tiny corner of social media.
Well, Matt Coleville is one YouTuber who often speaks kindly of 4E even if he's running 5E these days. He was the one who convinced me (through watching a video of his) to try out Skill Challenges. I was also listening to a podcast a few days ago which started off very well with the guys talking about why they loved 4E, but later it turned out that they were edition warriors, talking only negatively about the other editions, just like I have seen many people do about 4E. I am tired of edition wars so I just stopped listening and closed the window. Too bad because it started out so well, I was thinking about sharing it here untill it turned so negative.

Anyway, those are just two examples I could think of from recently.

There is also 13th Age of course, but I guess it doesn't count as 4E?

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by McDeath » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:49 am

Seems crazy now days so many editions to games these days. Just look at the number of rpgs from White Wolf, D&D, Gurps, Star Wars, etcetcetc... Some editions have unique product content I like to sandbox. Tbh, unless you’re a tournament junkie, sand boxing is the way to go for you and your group.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Coronoides » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:52 am

THere is at least one devoted 4e fan within the RPG Review Cooperative here in Australia who organises petitions for WOTC to make and SRD and OGL for 4e, why not since they abandoned it.

Also 4e may have been where tieflings made it into the PHB but they originated in PLanescape, which in my opinion is where they belong. I’m tired of FR stealing all the cool stuff from other settings. ;)
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am

Coronoides wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:52 am
THere is at least one devoted 4e fan within the RPG Review Cooperative here in Australia who organises petitions for WOTC to make and SRD and OGL for 4e, why not since they abandoned it.

Also 4e may have been where tieflings made it into the PHB but they originated in PLanescape, which in my opinion is where they belong. I’m tired of FR stealing all the cool stuff from other settings. ;)
I don't see tieflings in 4e are a bad thing. I mean, the concept of Bael Turath (that is NOT an FR thing) and how tieflings were created in the Nentir Vale world (and how they impacted that world) is way interesting than just "they're the offspring of fiends". That is why FR had to adapt the Nentir Vale tieflings to their lore, as well.

We already have a lot of boring half-somethings, anyway.

As for the topic, I guess 4e will survive on its own as a niche game, and WotC knows it. That's why even if they didn't gave us 4e fans an OGL, they still released all products in pdf format (even if that wasn't a thing back in the day).

I see people making clones just for their own use. For instance, in EnWorld there are people working on at least three different clones. There is also people that considers 13th Age as 4e successor and went there. There is even people that considers Pathfinder 2 as 4e successor as well (the irony). And there is people like myself, that is happy playing old plain 4e (with or without adding Essentials' stuff).

So, I guess it will be just a small bunch of people, but we will still be here.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:17 am

Havard wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:39 am
Well, Matt Coleville is one YouTuber who often speaks kindly of 4E even if he's running 5E these days. He was the one who convinced me (through watching a video of his) to try out Skill Challenges.
That's a good point. I haven't watched too many of his videos, but I've caught a handful, and I like how he's incorporated some 4e design into his DMing advice.
Havard wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:39 am
There is also 13th Age of course, but I guess it doesn't count as 4E?
Even though 13th Age was co-designed by 4e's lead designer, it's sufficiently different that I don't think it's a 4e-based game. It incorporates some of the design philosophies, but it plays quite a bit different. A huge difference is the lack of grid-based combat. That's an element of 4e that permeates so much of its system design (monster design, power design, combat rules, etc.). You can see some of the 4e DNA in there for sure, but there's also some 3.x and narrative "indie" games, too.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:19 am

Coronoides wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:52 am
Also 4e may have been where tieflings made it into the PHB but they originated in PLanescape, which in my opinion is where they belong. I’m tired of FR stealing all the cool stuff from other settings. ;)
I preferred the Planescape tiefling. My wife's first 4e character was a tiefling, but she insisted that it was a Planescape tiefling. :)
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:29 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
I don't see tieflings in 4e are a bad thing. I mean, the concept of Bael Turath (that is NOT an FR thing) and how tieflings were created in the Nentir Vale world (and how they impacted that world) is way interesting than just "they're the offspring of fiends".
I do like the origin of the tieflings in Nentir Vale. I probably even like it better than in Planescape. When I said I preferred Planescape's tieflings, I was thinking about the amazing amount of diversity they offered. There were as many varieties of tieflings as there were different fiends in the multiverse. I liked how no two tieflings were alike. In 4e, the overall look of tieflings became more standardized, and I wasn't a huge fan of the "Klingons with horns and a lizard tail" aesthetic.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
I see people making clones just for their own use. For instance, in EnWorld there are people working on at least three different clones.
I'm interested to understand why they would want to do this. And why they aren't working together. If it's for their own use, what value is a clone? To me, the retroclones are valuable means of allowing publishers to write content for their favorite edition while referring to the retroclone and its 100% OGL content. It sounds like these designers/fans are doing something different -- but what and why?
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
There is also people that considers 13th Age as 4e successor and went there.
I might agree that 13th Age is 4e's spiritual successor. But it's not a substitute. While many 13th Age fans like 4e, they tend to agree that the two games feel significantly different. There are certainly some similarities in things like heroic play from the very beginning, with three tiers of play, culminating in epic fantasy. But there's a whole lot of things that 13A does that 4e did not (and vice versa).
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
There is even people that considers Pathfinder 2 as 4e successor as well (the irony).
I hadn't heard anyone make this connection before. I haven't followed the PF 2.0 blog very closely, but my initial impression was Pathfinder blended with 5e, not 4e. Do you happen to know what parts of PF 2.0 they believe harken back to 4e?
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:55 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:29 am
In 4e, the overall look of tieflings became more standardized, and I wasn't a huge fan of the "Klingons with horns and a lizard tail" aesthetic.
They had to create a standard tiefling look for "commercial image" stuff. They needed tieflings that were reconigzable as a D&D character, not just as a "fantasy human with devil ancestry", that is the thing with Planescape tieflings. They can have a lot of forms, but they are no different from any other half-devil from other franchises.

While you look at a 4e tiefling and you can say: "that is a D&D character".
Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:29 am
I'm interested to understand why they would want to do this. And why they aren't working together. If it's for their own use, what value is a clone? To me, the retroclones are valuable means of allowing publishers to write content for their favorite edition while referring to the retroclone and its 100% OGL content. It sounds like these designers/fans are doing something different -- but what and why?
Beats me.
Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:29 am
I hadn't heard anyone make this connection before. I haven't followed the PF 2.0 blog very closely, but my initial impression was Pathfinder blended with 5e, not 4e. Do you happen to know what parts of PF 2.0 they believe harken back to 4e?
Some people in EnWorld believe PF2 is organically evolving to a blending of 3.x and 4e. I don't have read the whole thing (as I'm not interested in PF at all), but people seems to believe that the way modifiers depend on your character level, the way abilities communicate clearly what they do in combat among other stuff, is more 4e-ish than 5e-ish.

You can read the whole thing here, if you're interested:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2uzmh?Pathf ... -to-DD-4th

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:14 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:55 am
They had to create a standard tiefling look for "commercial image" stuff. They needed tieflings that were reconigzable as a D&D character, not just as a "fantasy human with devil ancestry", that is the thing with Planescape tieflings. They can have a lot of forms, but they are no different from any other half-devil from other franchises.

While you look at a 4e tiefling and you can say: "that is a D&D character".
That's a fair point.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:55 am
Some people in EnWorld believe PF2 is organically evolving to a blending of 3.x and 4e. I don't have read the whole thing (as I'm not interested in PF at all), but people seems to believe that the way modifiers depend on your character level, the way abilities communicate clearly what they do in combat among other stuff, is more 4e-ish than 5e-ish.

You can read the whole thing here, if you're interested:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2uzmh?Pathf ... -to-DD-4th
Thanks for passing along the link. I appreciate it.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by DMSamuel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:13 pm

I think there are still plenty of 4e fans - I am one of them - and I am also that ever so elusive Unicorn... a person who likes 4e and is a lover of old school RPGs. BECMI is my favorite edition because that is what I started with way back in 1982 (thank you Frank Mentzer Red Box).

I can run a basic D&D group through Barrowmaze one day and run a 4e group in the Nentir Vale the next day - wholly different games and play styles and atmosphere, but they both have good and bad points and they are both worthwhile games.

I am not an edition warrior - I think people should play what they want to play, what they have fun playing. Isn't that the key to the hobby?

With respect to 4e, the only reason I don't play more of it is that I can't find a group in my area that wants to play it. I don't see this as a reflection of 4e though - I have the same issue with Traveller, Star Wars Edge of the Empire, Apocalypse World, and Numenera. Part of it has to do with my geographical region and part of it with the difficulty of scheduling time to play as an adult.

Conversely, it is relatively easy to find players for a 5e game - so I am either going to set up a Nentir Vale 5e game, or I am going to resort to using Roll20.

Having said all of that - I don't think 4e needs a retroclone. I can see 3 reasons that a retroclone may be needed for any edition:

1) To have a way to access the rules for new players and old players who no longer have original rulebooks available - the internet has made this a moot need for the most part, for all editions of D&D

2) To have a ruleset written with modern language and layout - this was a big one for 0e and 1e D&D, and to a lesser extent, basic D&D.

Neither of these is needed for 4e - the PDFs are readily available legally, and the hard-copies are abundant and available legally on ebay, amazon, abe's books, book depository, and other online book-sellers who deal in old stock. Since neither #1 nor #2 are necessary for 4e, a clone is not needed - just play the real thing.

There is a 3rd reason for the rise of retroclones, and it is this:
3) To have a ruleset that allows for 3rd parties to create content without violating specific copyrights

For all other editions the OGL allows for #3, but in the case of 4e I'm not sure the GSL would allow a true clone to be produced anyway, so this is a moot issue.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by agathokles » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:11 pm

DMSamuel wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:13 pm
There is a 3rd reason for the rise of retroclones, and it is this:
3) To have a ruleset that allows for 3rd parties to create content without violating specific copyrights

For all other editions the OGL allows for #3, but in the case of 4e I'm not sure the GSL would allow a true clone to be produced anyway, so this is a moot issue.
Actually, OGL only covers D&D 3e, yet there are clones for all editions. The reason why OGL helped in creating retro-clones for other editions beyond 3e is that it offers large swats of text that can be used as-is -- so you don't need to rewrite the text of most spells, abilities, etc, just to adjust the text from the 3e SRD to work with a different rules set. That is because, on one hand, game mechanics cannot be protected by copyright, while on the other, the specific text can be protected. Thus, you can easily change, e.g., the bonuses for ability scores from 12-13 -> +1, 14-15 -> +2 etc, to 13-15 -> +1, 16-17 -> +2 while preserving the textual description of the ability scores. This makes producing a clone for BECMI or AD&D much easier.

Since 4e is rather different from previous editions, in that it has a vastly different set of spells and abilities, it is much more different to produce a retro-clone of 4e by this technique, since the GSL is a much more restrictive license that is specifically designed to avoid clones.

Probably, the best way to build a retroclone of 4e would be to start from the 13th Age SRD, and work back in the missing 4e mechanics (I think primarily the distance/position-based aspects of combat).

Of course, I'm not sure there would be a sufficiently large public to make it worth the effort -- my perception is that 4e raised much less interest than either 3e or 5e, and most 4e players have migrated to 5e.

GP

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by DMSamuel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:15 pm

agathokles wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:11 pm
Of course, I'm not sure there would be a sufficiently large public to make it worth the effort -- my perception is that 4e raised much less interest than either 3e or 5e, and most 4e players have migrated to 5e.

GP
Possibly - but I suspect the real reason there isn't an audience for a 4e clone is that a 4e clone is unnecessary - all of the books and materials are available legally in pdf form and purchasable in hardcover format on the secondary market.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:35 pm

DMSamuel wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:15 pm
agathokles wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:11 pm
Of course, I'm not sure there would be a sufficiently large public to make it worth the effort -- my perception is that 4e raised much less interest than either 3e or 5e, and most 4e players have migrated to 5e.

GP
Possibly - but I suspect the real reason there isn't an audience for a 4e clone is that a 4e clone is unnecessary - all of the books and materials are available legally in pdf form and purchasable in hardcover format on the secondary market.
Probably both true.

The lifespan of editions is worth looking at:
AD&D 1st ed: 1977-1988 (11 years)
AD&D 2nd Ed 1989-1999 (10 years)
D&D 3E 2000-2007 (8 years)
D&D 4E 2008-2013 (5 years)
D&D 5E 2014-

So the lifespan of 4E probably works against it when it comes to attracting a loyal following.

But yeah, you don't need a clone to play the game. And those who enjoy it can still have fun with the game, just like fans of any edition can keep enjoying their favorite edition of D&D. That is one of the beauties of this hobby :)

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:55 am

DMSamuel wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:13 pm
There is a 3rd reason for the rise of retroclones, and it is this:
3) To have a ruleset that allows for 3rd parties to create content without violating specific copyrights

For all other editions the OGL allows for #3, but in the case of 4e I'm not sure the GSL would allow a true clone to be produced anyway, so this is a moot issue.
I think this is where we may see a 4e retroclone someday, when the pendulum swings back, and people crave some of the things that 4e offered. This is totally just speculation, but I don't think WotC will release a 4e SRD for the OGL, and the GSL is too restrictive -- I'm not even sure WotC would accept new supplements written using the GSL, as I believe there was an approval process for GSL works. Maybe that will change if there's ever demand, but if not, some industrious fans could carefully reword things using the 3.x or 5e SRD to emulate 4e with some different verbiage. I keep in mind that someday 4e will be an "old" edition (some people consider it that already), and we seem culturally attracted to restore things we're nostalgic for, these days.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:44 pm

Coronoides wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:52 am
THere is at least one devoted 4e fan within the RPG Review Cooperative here in Australia who organises petitions for WOTC to make and SRD and OGL for 4e, why not since they abandoned it.
I would really like to have seen WotC republish the 4e SRD under the OGL (instead of the GSL).

They wouldn't have to do anything except remove the GSL, add the OGL and put it back up somewhere. But I doubt they would do that.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:47 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
As for the topic, I guess 4e will survive on its own as a niche game, and WotC knows it. That's why even if they didn't gave us 4e fans an OGL, they still released all products in pdf format (even if that wasn't a thing back in the day).

I see people making clones just for their own use. For instance, in EnWorld there are people working on at least three different clones. There is also people that considers 13th Age as 4e successor and went there. There is even people that considers Pathfinder 2 as 4e successor as well (the irony). And there is people like myself, that is happy playing old plain 4e (with or without adding Essentials' stuff).

So, I guess it will be just a small bunch of people, but we will still be here.
I think you are the Michael Knight of 4th Edition D&D fandom Zeromaru X. :D
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:13 pm

Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:29 am
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:49 am
I don't see tieflings in 4e are a bad thing. I mean, the concept of Bael Turath (that is NOT an FR thing) and how tieflings were created in the Nentir Vale world (and how they impacted that world) is way interesting than just "they're the offspring of fiends".
I do like the origin of the tieflings in Nentir Vale. I probably even like it better than in Planescape. When I said I preferred Planescape's tieflings, I was thinking about the amazing amount of diversity they offered. There were as many varieties of tieflings as there were different fiends in the multiverse. I liked how no two tieflings were alike. In 4e, the overall look of tieflings became more standardized, and I wasn't a huge fan of the "Klingons with horns and a lizard tail" aesthetic.
I believe that the 5th Edition designers have come up with some rules for tiefling variants. It wouldn't be too hard to retroconvert that idea to 4th Edition.

However, I think that the idea of there only being one kind of tiefling in Nentir Vale could probably fit in well with a backstory that they all originated in a single type of fiend.

I'm not sure if the same would apply to Forgotten Realms. Forgotten Realms had connections with the Great Wheel back in the 1st and 2nd Edition Eras and they rebooted the cosmology for the 3rd and 4th Edition Eras. And I'm not sure if the 4e origin of Realms tieflings is supposed to be tied in with Toril or Abeir.

Additional types of tiefling could all have backstories that were similar to the elven or dwarven subraces. And if you had a fairly large set of tieflings, based on options from Planescape, people could use slightly different sets of tieflings for different campaign settings.
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:13 pm
I think that the idea of there only being one kind of tiefling in Nentir Vale could probably fit in well with a backstory that they all originated in a single type of fiend.
In Nentir Vale, there was a single civilization that decided to make pacts with devils to gain power against their enemies. I'm not sure if this was a single devil or multiple, but even if it was the latter, perhaps they were all under the same arch devil's hierarchy. So it makes a certain amount of sense that they would all look similar.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:13 pm
I'm not sure if the same would apply to Forgotten Realms. Forgotten Realms had connections with the Great Wheel back in the 1st and 2nd Edition Eras and they rebooted the cosmology for the 3rd and 4th Edition Eras. And I'm not sure if the 4e origin of Realms tieflings is supposed to be tied in with Toril or Abeir.
I believe there was a novel that explained the change to tieflings' appearances in the Realms. Asmodeus was able to exert influence over all tiefling bloodlines, which made the tieflings appear similar to him. In 5e, the explanation is that this is still the most common appearance, but Asmodeus wasn't successful in converting all tieflings, so those who look different are the small minority that escaped that fate.
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ScrivenerofDoom
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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by ScrivenerofDoom » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:26 pm

I'm seeing small signs of life for 4E.

I've become the unofficial keeper of the links to the offline versions of the 4E tools and I'm getting more than ten requests a month for links from people wanting to play again.

Just as 4E was designed to solve most of the problems associated with running 3.xE, it does a really good job fixing some of the problems revealed by long term play of 5E. Heck, get a decent group playing it on YouTube and it may very well undergo a small renaissance.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by shesheyan » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:23 pm

ScrivenerofDoom wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:26 pm
Just as 4E was designed to solve most of the problems associated with running 3.xE, it does a really good job fixing some of the problems revealed by long term play of 5E.
I'm really curious about your 5e statement. Can you expand on what you mean by problems revealed by long term play of 5e - and how 4e solves them.
Last edited by shesheyan on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Any hope for 4E fandom?

Post by Havard » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:23 pm

ScrivenerofDoom wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:26 pm
I'm seeing small signs of life for 4E.

I've become the unofficial keeper of the links to the offline versions of the 4E tools and I'm getting more than ten requests a month for links from people wanting to play again.
You should add a link to those in your signature :)

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