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Thoughts on 4.0 now that the fervor has died down a bit

4e D&D  

129 members have voted

  1. 1. Rate 4th Edition D&D

    • I'll stick with a previous version of D&D
      43
    • I'm going to play a different RPG entirely.
      24
    • My group plays it, but I'm not a fan.
      3
    • I like it. I'm not giving up my old systems, but there's room on my bookcase for this one, too.
      36
    • I'm probably going to get rid of my old stuff, it's really good!
      9
    • Best. Version. Ever.
      14
  2. 2. Have you actually played, or just read about it?

    • I've only read the internet and heard some anecdotal reviews by friends.
      20
    • Read it. Haven't played, though.
      31
    • Played once or twice.
      29
    • Have a campaign with multiple sessions so far.
      49


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I thought it might be interesting to gauge the general feeling of D&D 4 no wthat everyone has had the chance to actually play it.

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Play in two different 4e Games. I enjoy it a lot, alhtough it is not my favorite system of all time. It has strengths and weaknesses, but I think it is far more strong than weak. As always the composition of your group is the biggest factor - players who are munchkins and don;t RP are going to munchkin the system, and players (like myself) who are into RP are going tospend hours each session talking in character and only rolling dice when the fighting begins....

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I still haven't played it yet, still not interested in buying into it. At some point, I'm sure I'll take an opportunity to play, just not in the foreseeable future. Still playing 3.5, still happy with it.

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Since my initial repulsion to what I had read and seen, and various previews, I have tried to justify the notion of getting into it and discovered I'm even more repulsed by it. I guess in 3.5 terms you could say I took initial and secondary damage from it.

 

Personally, I can't find the benefit in trying to adapt a large group of casual gamers to a new version that is so drastically unlike the versions they have been playing for decades. More work than it's worth. And more to the point, it just isn't D&D. They should have called it something else.

 

However, the question seems really directed at people who have played the game. Since I have not, I can only offer this:

 

I don't personally know a single person, out of scores of gamers, who has played it more than once. Everybody I know (and I don't just mean my group) is 3.5 loyal or has moved on to another system. And of the people in my group who also play with other groups that I am not associated with, they indicate the same thing is happening there.

 

I'm sure people are buying and playing 4th. I just haven't spotted such a creature in my neck of the woods. Like bigfoot.

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I've only dabbled, but then, D&D hasn't been my primary gaming system for some time. I'm currently working with Deadlands 1st and Dark Heresy.

 

There's the opposite reaction to Bruunwald's here, based on discussions in local stores. A lot of people are really liking the change from 3rd.

 

I haven't bothered trying to find out about actual sales figures, but the game is still selling, so people are playing. Sales of the core books would be hard to compare to sales of the full product line available for 3rd.

 

I'd be happy to see 3rd continue through OGL and Pathfinder, and 4th prosper as another draw for gamers. If the change also brings more life to other good systems, that won't be a bad thing, either.

 

4th is still very different than 3rd, but 3rd was very different than 2nd, and while people complained then that 3rd was no longer D&D, it still continued and became accepted. GW has been redesigning their games every few years for some time, and they're still considered the same games, so WotC isn't doing anything new. It's not a business plan I'm incredibly fond of, but I don't have to support the games if I don't like the changes.

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I've played in three different games so far in 4th edition. Everyone has been fun. It's bizarre to make characters without having to roll any dice, but I love that there's always something for everyone to do.

 

As with most things, we tend to see the published rules as a framework upon which to build our games, as opposed to a rigid set of rules which constrains them.

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I've played it enough to confirm my initial thoughts (several multi-hour sessions with players I like gaming with):

 

It has some pretty good ideas, though many of the best were "borrowed" from other, better games.

 

The biggest problem is that everybody is a warlock. You have tricks you can spam as much as you want, but you have very limited breadth of options. This is fine if you want to play a warlock, but there aren't really any other choices available. And since I played a warlock beyond the point of boredom in a 3.5 game, it doesn't work for me.

 

My bottom line:

 

It's a good convention/pickup game and a poor campaign game.

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Campaigns are what you make of them. The choices don't always have to be about min-maxing. In our group, more often than not, they're about building the character you want to play as opposed to building the one that's most effective on the combat grid.

 

That's why my Rogue favors the crossbow for ranged attacks instead of shuriken, even though shurikens are much more versatile in the mechanics, with far more powers that are associated with them.

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My group has pretty much switched over to 4e, even though I was not really interested in changing over. They convinced me to give it a try and I have to say that I like it. It does feel different from 3.5 (which felt different from AD&D for me). We have found that it is a good structure to base your games on. What makes our games fun is the fact that we are 4 friends hanging out drinking, eating and spending time together. We do some role playing, some combat, some joking around, some pizza scarfing, and we have a good time.

 

My biggest problem with it is that the choice of classes is so constrained, especially compared to 3.5. I think that will be improved in the future though.

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Both my 3.5 groups have stopped playing 3.5.

 

One group, we just wanted a break, and are currently playing some d20 Modern. So far we haven't committed to crossing over to 4.0. This group I think is less likely due to the amount of money we all have invested in 3.0/3.5.

 

The other one has made the switch to 4.0 and we are really enjoying it. We have a big enough group (7+ players) that we have a nice variety of the classes. One of the things we like (especially the DM) is that it's really quick and easy to on the fly scale an encounter up or down based on how many people have shown up for a given session. We're all for the most part experienced players, and it was pretty easy to make the transition. We had some growing pains as some of us played classes we have always played, and had to learn to handle them a bit differently. We haven't gotten nearly as much into the RP yet, but the combat has gone nice and smooth. One of the things that made it easier for us all is that we printed out cards for our powers. So when we use an encounter power, we just flip it until the end of the encounter, etc. What we all really like is that once the character is made, you don't have to endlessly refer back to the book for everything. We all are looking forward to the expansion books so there is more options and variety in powers, feats, and even classes. When my Wizard dies (and my characters ALWAYS die) I plan on taking the Swordmage from the new FR PLayer's Guide out for a spin.

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I've played in one campaign game and in several sessions of RPGA modules at the Asylum, and I think it works great for both. I love the fact at level one every single class has a much wider variety of actions than in 3.5. Fighters do more than endless Full Attacks, wizards don't cast one spell and sit in the back for the rest of the gaming session, clerics don't suck wind until someone gets a scratch, etc. While I've always liked a lot of the D&D style, setting, and mechanics, a lot of it never made sense to me both from a logical and gaming standpoint; 4.0 fixes all of that for me. Earlier versions of the game were "don't get killed while you wait for the fighter to kill everything" in the early levels, followed by "don't let the wizard get killed before he kills everything" at higher levels. Now everyone in combat not only has things to do, but reasons to discuss their action with the other players to help figure out the best tactics at the moment. Before 4.0 it always seemed players/characters talked a lot outside of combat but didn't have much reason to during it.

 

And I still think the slim and trim skills, Acrobatics on down, are great. Even with various people and DM's nothing has come up we couldn't quickly agree on a skill to roll against. My campaign game usually tends to lean more to the RP side, quite naturally, as we only have five hours to finish a RPGA module before the store closes, so I've gotten to see how both minimal rolling and lots of rolling to complete skill challenges affects the flow of the game.

 

I'm still upset some of my favorite classes aren't around yet (I really want mah Bard) but all in all I still think 4.0 is the most enjoyable version of D&D to me.

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When 4.0 our LGS owner would not allow it to be played in his store and would not stay open for us if we switched the 3.5 game he was in to it. Also he and one of the vest players has sooo many 3.5 books that they refused to switch.

Me on the other hand I only own the 3.5 book, so I was open.

 

That being said...my entire group did eventully switch. When the LGS owner found out the rules allowed him to do 1d8 damage with an Orange to the head he was set! Right now my entire store is running 2 or 3 4.0 games. We all think it is a solid system. The belif was you could not Role play with the new system, or so we hold. Of our initial 6 hour session 2 hours was combat, 1 was us joking and the other 3 was solid roleplaying.

 

The fact is people will complain no matter what, so forget them.

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4th Ed looks and feels like D&D for online players - it's way too Munchkin for me. I'll be sticking with 3/3.5. The artwork is nice, though. Why'd they take out Half Orcs and Gnomes?

 

Paizo's pathfinder looks good - I have a Beta playtest version and so far I like what I see.

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