Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's This Game About:: 4e

Odyssey has a very interesting insight on monitoring the ebb-and-flow of 4e combat:

I've noticed, running 4e, that PC hit point totals don't really matter. On a round by round basis, yeah -- if they're bloodied, or if they're low enough that a monster can take them down in one hit, that matters. But just paying attention to their hit point totals doesn't let me know how they're doing, what the pace of the fight is, or how close they are to defeat.

It's a trap I could see myself falling into if I tried to run a 4e game. "What?!? You're out of healing surges? Oh, um, yeah, I guess this is gonna be a short adventure then..." It makes my brain itch to find a way to ditch hit points entirely, and instead give the entire team some form of resilience score based on healing surges and what-not, further melting the individual character into the gestalt of the team.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps something like Mutants & Masterminds damage save...?

trollsmyth said...


But the big deal that percolatin' in my brain is that the party as a whole would save for damage, not just individual characters. Honestly, the way 4e seems to play, and the prevalence of multiple characters per player that we're seeing with this game make me wonder if the most sacred cow to die in 5e will be the your-character-is-YOU-in-the-game theme that 2e really pushed so hard. Will we, instead, see the assumption that each player will have a team of characters, built around a particular task or set of powers? Even now, it's hard for me to build a 4e character and not think in terms of two or three character synergies.

- Brian