Comments on: How D&D Essentials Changed 4E… forever! http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever A D&D 4e Blog Dedicated to Dungeonmasters & Players Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:51:25 -0400 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: Scott http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-6917 Scott Fri, 03 Jun 2011 20:36:49 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-6917 Well phil you can go and play Pathfinder if you like, personally i am waiting for my second box set of Dragon Age RPG to get released. I have a bunch of 4e and just am fed up with all the changes and crap, essentials just put the nail in the coffin for me. Well phil you can go and play Pathfinder if you like, personally i am waiting for my second box set of Dragon Age RPG to get released. I have a bunch of 4e and just am fed up with all the changes and crap, essentials just put the nail in the coffin for me.

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By: Scott http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-6916 Scott Fri, 03 Jun 2011 20:35:02 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-6916 Well phil you can go and play Pathfinder if you like, personally i am waiting for my second box set of Dragon Age to get released. Well phil you can go and play Pathfinder if you like, personally i am waiting for my second box set of Dragon Age to get released.

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By: Phil http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-2073 Phil Mon, 10 Jan 2011 19:18:11 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-2073 Am I the only person who thinks that it's totally insane that they need to reprint the core rules now because of all the changes to the system? Apparently... Pathfinder? More and more appealing every day. Am I the only person who thinks that it’s totally insane that they need to reprint the core rules now because of all the changes to the system? Apparently…

Pathfinder? More and more appealing every day.

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By: mbeacom http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-513 mbeacom Tue, 21 Sep 2010 15:58:12 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-513 A couple of points. First, yes, the PHB is sadly now out of date enough to warrant a reprint. I've been a staunch defender of the original PHB for quite some time, arguing that you can definitely still use it productively (and my group does). My point has always been that, regardless of errata, it does a damn fine job of instructing players as to the ins and outs of how 4E works, how to play the game. That's still true. However, a retroactive change to all PHB published racial stat bonuses, is enough, in my mind to warrant a reprint. Callin is correct, that you can definitely still use it. That's true. BUT I think the changes have been significant enough to make a reprint worthwhile. Finally Second, people keep saying things like "The changes brought by Essentials" or the "Essentials Dwarf". Neither is quite accurate. The racial stat change (adding an optional stat bonus) started appearing as a new design philosophy long before we saw anything in Essentials. This philophy tweak was NOT an Essentials change. It was simply a change they wanted to make to 4E that was coincidentally codified in the Essentials products. They've made it clear that this would have been the case with or without Essentials and I take them at their word based on the races in PHB3 and even some in the Eberron and Dark Sun Campaign settings had optional stat bonuses (mul and changeling) long ago. Basically, I think they decided they wanted to do it going forward and made the decision to make the change retroactive. The Essentials published materials was the obvious time to do this in print. Also, most of the rules changes in Essentials were simply existing errata that were compiled and rewritten, but had already been in existence. For this reason, I think it's pretty clear that the first Essentials book, really IS a reprint of the players handbook, while simultaneously introducing new class builds. If you read the book, it reads almost exactly like the first PHB. A couple of points.

First, yes, the PHB is sadly now out of date enough to warrant a reprint. I’ve been a staunch defender of the original PHB for quite some time, arguing that you can definitely still use it productively (and my group does). My point has always been that, regardless of errata, it does a damn fine job of instructing players as to the ins and outs of how 4E works, how to play the game. That’s still true. However, a retroactive change to all PHB published racial stat bonuses, is enough, in my mind to warrant a reprint. Callin is correct, that you can definitely still use it. That’s true. BUT I think the changes have been significant enough to make a reprint worthwhile. Finally

Second, people keep saying things like “The changes brought by Essentials” or the “Essentials Dwarf”.

Neither is quite accurate. The racial stat change (adding an optional stat bonus) started appearing as a new design philosophy long before we saw anything in Essentials. This philophy tweak was NOT an Essentials change. It was simply a change they wanted to make to 4E that was coincidentally codified in the Essentials products. They’ve made it clear that this would have been the case with or without Essentials and I take them at their word based on the races in PHB3 and even some in the Eberron and Dark Sun Campaign settings had optional stat bonuses (mul and changeling) long ago. Basically, I think they decided they wanted to do it going forward and made the decision to make the change retroactive. The Essentials published materials was the obvious time to do this in print.

Also, most of the rules changes in Essentials were simply existing errata that were compiled and rewritten, but had already been in existence.

For this reason, I think it’s pretty clear that the first Essentials book, really IS a reprint of the players handbook, while simultaneously introducing new class builds. If you read the book, it reads almost exactly like the first PHB.

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By: Editor-in-Chief http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-454 Editor-in-Chief Tue, 14 Sep 2010 04:17:36 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-454 @Tony - Yep, the new Rules Compendium will contain all non-Character Power and non-Monster based rules - although rules for monster attributes like insubstantial and what not will also be in the new RC. So even if you never play or DM to an Essentials Character, the RC is a useful thing! @callin - you're right, of course, you could play the game using the old PHB and ignoring Character builder and still have a great time doing it. Then again, the amount of time you'd spend making up Characters by hand would be a little frustrating too. I'd prefer to have an updated and correctly errata'd book to go along with my CB though, rather than leafing through a PHB, and 4 pdfs of errata just to check out a rule or power you find in Character Builder. Sadly, the Rule Compendium will not resolve the updated powers issue we find in the PHB at this time. But even still, I like that D&D 4E is an evolving game, and one which is being constantly tweaked, with new content and game mechanics - it is definitely a flagship among RPGs! @Tony – Yep, the new Rules Compendium will contain all non-Character Power and non-Monster based rules – although rules for monster attributes like insubstantial and what not will also be in the new RC. So even if you never play or DM to an Essentials Character, the RC is a useful thing!

@callin – you’re right, of course, you could play the game using the old PHB and ignoring Character builder and still have a great time doing it. Then again, the amount of time you’d spend making up Characters by hand would be a little frustrating too. I’d prefer to have an updated and correctly errata’d book to go along with my CB though, rather than leafing through a PHB, and 4 pdfs of errata just to check out a rule or power you find in Character Builder. Sadly, the Rule Compendium will not resolve the updated powers issue we find in the PHB at this time. But even still, I like that D&D 4E is an evolving game, and one which is being constantly tweaked, with new content and game mechanics – it is definitely a flagship among RPGs!

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By: callin http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-452 callin Mon, 13 Sep 2010 17:54:14 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-452 While I agree the original 4E PH is outdated (and honestly has been for some time already) I still think it is very possible to play a 4E game using the original PH and ignore the Character Builder. To me 4E is all about everything being modular and standing on its own feet within the 4E system. Every class is balanced within the system. To me, the rules from the original PH still allow you to play a character that is comparable and competitive with the updated rules. As an example you mentioned that races now have more options with attribute selection. There is nothing to say a player could and would not choose the attribute bonus that is listed in the original PH; i.e. forgoing the new attribute bonus option. Not having access to the bonus choice does not make a character unplayable. Another example is the change to Magic Missile. If a player were to use the "older" version would it disrupt or unbalance the system? No. It's a flavor change. (Personally, I wish they had kept the original MM and simply renamed it something else-Magic Dart.) I personally like the fact that WotC is working constantly to update their rules to make them the best rules possible. No rule set is perfect out the door. Intensive play (which takes years) points out subtle issues. As the flagship of RPGs (OK, that's a bold statement from me) working constantly to improve it is a good thing. Is WotC doing the constant updates and tweaks to garner more money? I'm not so sure. If they did release an updated version of the PH, it is not required. They have already released the official changes for free; it just takes an annoying amount of time to manually update everything. If you bought a new version of the PH you are in fact paying WotC to do the updating to your books for you. But, again, it is not a required purchase. I would buy a new version of the PH and I hope they are working on releasing one. Perhaps the upcoming Rules Compendium will do the job of a new PH. .-= callin´s last blog ..<a href="http://bigballofnofun.blogspot.com/2010/09/holy-table.html" rel="nofollow">The Holy Table</a> =-. While I agree the original 4E PH is outdated (and honestly has been for some time already) I still think it is very possible to play a 4E game using the original PH and ignore the Character Builder. To me 4E is all about everything being modular and standing on its own feet within the 4E system. Every class is balanced within the system. To me, the rules from the original PH still allow you to play a character that is comparable and competitive with the updated rules.
As an example you mentioned that races now have more options with attribute selection. There is nothing to say a player could and would not choose the attribute bonus that is listed in the original PH; i.e. forgoing the new attribute bonus option. Not having access to the bonus choice does not make a character unplayable.
Another example is the change to Magic Missile. If a player were to use the “older” version would it disrupt or unbalance the system? No. It’s a flavor change. (Personally, I wish they had kept the original MM and simply renamed it something else-Magic Dart.)

I personally like the fact that WotC is working constantly to update their rules to make them the best rules possible. No rule set is perfect out the door. Intensive play (which takes years) points out subtle issues. As the flagship of RPGs (OK, that’s a bold statement from me) working constantly to improve it is a good thing.
Is WotC doing the constant updates and tweaks to garner more money? I’m not so sure. If they did release an updated version of the PH, it is not required. They have already released the official changes for free; it just takes an annoying amount of time to manually update everything. If you bought a new version of the PH you are in fact paying WotC to do the updating to your books for you. But, again, it is not a required purchase.
I would buy a new version of the PH and I hope they are working on releasing one. Perhaps the upcoming Rules Compendium will do the job of a new PH.
.-= callin´s last blog ..The Holy Table =-.

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By: Gabhran http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-451 Gabhran Mon, 13 Sep 2010 17:12:45 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-451 "Of course, in the minds of some Players, a need for a new Players Handbook reprinting constitutes a new version!" Am I wrong in remembering that the Deluxe PHB had the rule updates (at the time) printed in it, which would make it a new new version? :-) “Of course, in the minds of some Players, a need for a new Players Handbook reprinting constitutes a new version!”

Am I wrong in remembering that the Deluxe PHB had the rule updates (at the time) printed in it, which would make it a new new version? :-)

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By: Tony http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/how-dnd-essentials-changed-4e-forever/comment-page-1#comment-449 Tony Mon, 13 Sep 2010 16:23:02 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=3826#comment-449 Great article. I've been confused by this whole essentials thing from the start. So these rules in essentials DO affect all normal 4e rules? So one should consider buying the rules compendium even if they have no desire to play an "essentials" game? Great article. I’ve been confused by this whole essentials thing from the start. So these rules in essentials DO affect all normal 4e rules? So one should consider buying the rules compendium even if they have no desire to play an “essentials” game?

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