4th Edition Combat Fixes?

Hi folks--

I've finally found a couple of fellow gamers willing to give Ars Magica a shot--I've had third, fourth, and now fifth editions sitting on my shelf unused for years, but my particular group has hitherto been D&D-centric. Although I understand 5th Edition to be streamlined and by all accounts Just Better, for now we are going with 4th Edition which, being available for free, is readily available to everyone. My aim is to share my fascination with the game--maybe later set the hook and move on to fifth ed.

I have seen here and there rather strong criticisms of 4th Edition combat for being cumbersome and for giving advantage to, I believe, a naked man armed with a stick over a fully armored knight. My question--are there any house rules floating around that address these concerns? For that matter, are these concerns game-killers, or can they be safely ignored for the time being with a little light humor and emphasis on other parts of the game?



It's been so long since I actually played 4E that I've forgotten any problems that actually came up in play, but looking back over the rules in the free .pdf the only thing that really stands out is that you should decline from subtracting Encumbrance from the characters' Attack and Defense stats which would seem to be the biggest contributor to the problem you've referenced.

Incidentally, if you haven't seen it, David Chart described the fixes he made with 5E @ atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/Dsgn1Combat.pdf Obviously it won't be directly applicable, but maybe it'll help you find what to look for when instituting your own changes.

I agree. Ignore encumbrance. If you're using 4th edition (and being free is a fair enough reason) then I'd keep it simple and just use the rules as they are... just ignore encumbrance. That will make it simpler anyway. Even in 5th, my old troupe tended to ignore it anyway.

Excellent idea!

Thanks, folks!