3E to 4E: Stumbling Blocks


It’s about a year late for this post, but I have some friends who’ve played a ton of D&D 3e, and I thought it’d be nice to send ’em a quick list of the rules changes that tripped me up. If anyone has anything I’ve missed, please comment. Thanks to Bill Brickman for his suggestions so far!

  1. There’s only one kind of saving throw, and your target number is always 10.
  2. Reflex, Fortitude, and Will are not saving throws: they’re defenses, and work the same way as AC.
  3. Standard action > move action > minor action. You get one of each per turn; you can convert down the chain as you like, so you could take three minor actions but do nothing else.
  4. Diagonal movement always costs 1 square (five feet).
  5. There are no five foot steps. You can shift as a move action, which uses your entire move action and allows you to move 1 square on normal terrain.
  6. Unarmed players can help flank.
  7. Opportunity attacks trigger when you willingly move out of a square adjacent to an enemy without shifting and when you make a ranged attack (but not a melee or close attack) while adjacent to an enemy.
  8. You get one opportunity attack per opponent’s turn, not just one per round.
  9. When a dying PC gets healing, count up from 0, not her current negative hit point value.
  10. There’s no penalty for making ranged attacks into melee.

I’m not listing stuff like the lack of Vancian magic; that’s big and up front and people don’t tend to get confused about it. I’m also not listing tactical considerations like Second Wind.

I’m sort of debating explaining Charge. I see new players getting it wrong a lot, but not every character will want to charge, and it’d be a long explanation for what’s meant to be a short list.


4 Responses to “3E to 4E: Stumbling Blocks”

  1. Jack Kessler Says:

    I think I’ve been doing #9 wrong! As for #8, I thought OAs were an Immediate Interrupt?

    #5 was probably the one I had to stamp out the most. No, 5-ft step is NOT a Minor!

    I would add Action Points, but then many of my players know D20 Modern, which has it’s own, totally dissimilar Action Points (4E Action Points are closer to the Heroic Surge Feat).

  2. Bryant Says:

    OAs are not an immediate interrupt, nope! They are an interrupt, but they are not an immediate interrupt. Different sort of action.

  3. foxtown Says:

    Yeah, #8 lead to a fighter in a 5ft wide hallway mowing down a horde of tiny creatures that tried to either attack him or get past him.

    This rule is huge for fighters.

    I think I was getting #6 wrong though it does make sense since a fist is really a weapon…

  4. 4e / GSL I'll get to try out 4e this weekend, advice? - EN World D&D / RPG News Says:

    […] […]

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