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4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:52 pm
by dulsi
I stumbled on this project. They are attempting to recreate 4E D&D. I've been tempted to start a similar project just because people said 4E won't ever have any retro-clones. However, I don't have enough time for my existing projects.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:51 pm
by Tim Baker
It doesn't look like it's been updated in a while. I wonder if they could use some of the 13th Age SRD, which already handled some of the labels for things that needed to be renamed from 4e. At least that way the community would begin to use the same language for mechanics from 4e (healing surges become recoveries, second wind becomes rally, etc.).

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:22 pm
by Big Mac
Tim Baker wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:51 pm
I wonder if they could use some of the 13th Age SRD, which already handled some of the labels for things that needed to be renamed from 4e. At least that way the community would begin to use the same language for mechanics from 4e (healing surges become recoveries, second wind becomes rally, etc.).
Sounds good. And that lot is already released under the OGL.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:17 pm
by agathokles
Tim Baker wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:51 pm
It doesn't look like it's been updated in a while. I wonder if they could use some of the 13th Age SRD, which already handled some of the labels for things that needed to be renamed from 4e. At least that way the community would begin to use the same language for mechanics from 4e (healing surges become recoveries, second wind becomes rally, etc.).
That would be a good idea, considering that 13th Age is already an evolution of 4e.

GP

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:40 pm
by kinokopress
I’ve been wondering how a 4E SRD could be made viable but I think ulimately, it’s not worth the effort. If you want to play 4E, you can still get the books second hand (and WotC will release them as PDFs sooner or later if they haven’t already)

If you want to write a 4E inspired RPG, you can just do it, there’s no real need to stay 4E-compatible and the biggest legal hurdle, the D&D IP, is accessible through various open licenses.

With 10 years of hindsight, there’s a bunch of things I’d change from the 4E formula.

- Grid: I’m not actually a fan of grid-based play, but it’s so central to everything 4E does that I’d stick with it

- Rigid mechanics: One of the biggest weaknesses in my eyes. 4E always stays within the framework. It never gives GMs and players the license to just go make shit up the way (for example) 13th Age does.

- No power scaling: That one was pretty baffling. You have something like 80 powers per class, but the number is hugely inflated because you can’t just take a 1st level power and slot it in at 5th level at +1D damage or whatever. I haven’t counted how many high-level powers are just reprints of low-level ones, but it’s a lot.

- Push / pull / slide: There’s too many powers that rely on these. Positioning should be part of the mechanics, but not everything

- Update to 5th gen mechanics: There’s a bunch of innovations “5th gen” games (5E, 13th Age, Shadow of the Demon Lord, PF2) came up with that could make a 4E rewrite feel more fresh. Advantage (roll twice take higher) is pretty much a must, but I’d also add things like the escalation die, basic attack scaling, backgrounds (not sure if 5E style or 13A style) ...

- Feat bloat: Too small, too niche, too many. I think all in all they had like 1500-2000 feats? That’s silly. I like the idea of small customizations, but there’s got to be a limit that keeps it focused and prevents the bloat.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:50 pm
by kinokopress
To maintain the balance of the force, here are a few 4E things that I think no other RPG has done as well:

* Epic destinies. There’s just something mindblowing about the rules text “once per day, when you die”. 13th Age in Glorantha is probably closest. (And Glorantha / Heroquest may have been the inspiration, now that I think about it)

* Marking mechanics. No other game has made playing tanks that cool.

* Game balance. No other game has ever had such a strict focus of keeping all available options within such a narrow power band. I’d argue they overdid it, but still, I think it increased the quality expectation gamers have to rules sets and balancing now.

* Interesting additions to the D&D lore. 4E sucked when they tried to work with old-school D&D material (poor Forgotten Realms), but added cool new options like Shadar-Kai to the game.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:14 pm
by Big Mac
kinokopress wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:40 pm
I’ve been wondering how a 4E SRD could be made viable but I think ulimately, it’s not worth the effort. If you want to play 4E, you can still get the books second hand (and WotC will release them as PDFs sooner or later if they haven’t already)
There was a 4th Edition SRD.

But it was released under the GSL, rather than the OGL. And the GSL is a bit tricky.

I was hoping that WotC might rerelease the 4e SRD under the OGL, but sadly they have not decided to do that. So it's just the 3e and 5e SRDs that are available under the OGL.

I think the main reason people want a OGL 4e SRD is to enable them to create 4e-compatible content, and use the OGL.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:16 pm
by Big Mac
kinokopress wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:50 pm
To maintain the balance of the force, here are a few 4E things that I think no other RPG has done as well:

* Epic destinies. There’s just something mindblowing about the rules text “once per day, when you die”. 13th Age in Glorantha is probably closest. (And Glorantha / Heroquest may have been the inspiration, now that I think about it)

* Marking mechanics. No other game has made playing tanks that cool.

* Game balance. No other game has ever had such a strict focus of keeping all available options within such a narrow power band. I’d argue they overdid it, but still, I think it increased the quality expectation gamers have to rules sets and balancing now.

* Interesting additions to the D&D lore. 4E sucked when they tried to work with old-school D&D material (poor Forgotten Realms), but added cool new options like Shadar-Kai to the game.
I've heard good things about epic destinies.

I'm not so easy it would be to clone these things. They seem to be less generic RPG concepts than some of the other rules I've seen people copy.

Re: 4SRD: Four Sons of the Rising Dawn

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:19 am
by Tim Baker
kinokopress wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:50 pm
To maintain the balance of the force, here are a few 4E things that I think no other RPG has done as well:

* Epic destinies. There’s just something mindblowing about the rules text “once per day, when you die”. 13th Age in Glorantha is probably closest. (And Glorantha / Heroquest may have been the inspiration, now that I think about it)
I love epic destinies. I also like the additional layer that themes and paragon paths provide in Heroic and Paragon Tier, respectively. I always enjoyed being able to add something to my character that was in addition to the normal class progression. Feats were generally too crunchy/fiddly to provide much flavor, but these other elements were one more thing that differentiated my character from others.