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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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When I read the rules, I felt that wotc was trying too hard to break from traditional D&D just to do it. I felt that they were trying to warcraft things up a bit. After running it for the kiddies, I am convinced that I was right. I've never been a fan of d20, but 4th is even worse. The only d20 system I like a lot is Conan. Conan makes combat dangerous while keeping it heroic. THe magic system is far better than 3rd edition and much more intersting that the video game style in 4th. Black company has some nice rules for 3.5 as well. IT's a good thing Gary Gygax didn't live to see what's become of his brilliant game/genre/world.

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I've been running and playing 4e for some time now. For me and my group, it's the best rendition of D&D yet. We love the cinematic aspect of it which allows for looser descriptions of actions, and how everyone gets their per encounter and daily shining moments (coined as "munchkinized" by most). We like the more streamedlined rules, we like how easy it is to create and customize monsters. We also like the tactical aspect of it (pushing minis around).

 

From a roleplaying perspective, it has changed absolutely nothing for us. We did the same roleplaying when we played versions 2, 3, 3.5, and other systems from Rolemaster, to Over the Edge, to Shadowrun.

 

The game system is just supposed to take care of conflict resolution. I feel 4e does this fairly elegantly and for us, it has just the right depth of tactics, cinematics, and heroics to keep us entertained.

 

I've been a fanboy from the start (clearly), and after a few months of play, my perception hasn't changed. I'm a bit nervous about power creep for all the expansions coming out, but historically I have rarely bothered with splat books. I doubt that will change much for me. Besides, I understand the game well enough to block any potential future options that will not fit my campaign.

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That's really what it's all about, innit? Having a good time with friends, meeting new players, creating a story within a framework and getting to roleplay a bit. Sounds like 4.0 is a good fit for you and your group.

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IT's a good thing Gary Gygax didn't live to see what's become of his brilliant game/genre/world.

I'd imagine he would have preferred to live long enough to see what became of his brilliant game/genre/world. I certainly don't know what Gary Gygax would have thought of 4E - and I rather doubt you do either.

 

Ishil

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...nd how everyone gets their per encounter and daily shining moments (coined as "munchkinized" by most).

 

Not going to comment about whether it's munchkin or not, but here's the thing: you get your shining moment, but not because of clever or innovative use of spells, resources, or other things, but because you hit, doing 3(w) damage and push the figure around the map (or such). Now everyone get's their shining moment, not because they're smart, but because their character sheet says so...

 

Damon.

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I'm in agreement with Ranz. Having read some interviews from the man, I'd say he was not into computer games, or the direction RPG's were going by becoming more like computer games.

 

From his obituary in The New York Times:

 

These days, pen-and-paper role-playing games have largely been supplanted by online computer games. Dungeons & Dragons itself has been translated into electronic games, including Dungeons & Dragons Online. Mr. Gygax recognized the shift, but he never fully approved. To him, all of the graphics of a computer dulled what he considered one of the major human faculties: the imagination.

 

"There is no intimacy; it's not live," he said of online games. "It's being translated through a computer, and your imagination is not there the same way it is when you're actually together with a group of people. It reminds me of one time where I saw some children talking about whether they liked radio or television, and I asked one little boy why he preferred radio, and he said, 'Because the pictures are so much better.' "

 

Now this is about computer games, but the way 4.0 is shaping up from all of the criticism, it seems like the best aspects of the old school D&D I grew up with have diminished.

 

He would be happy that people are getting together and enjoying whatever version of the game is being played, but he didn't ditch it and start Lejendary Adventures for nothin'.

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Not going to comment about whether it's munchkin or not, but here's the thing: you get your shining moment, but not because of clever or innovative use of spells, resources, or other things, but because you hit, doing 3(w) damage and push the figure around the map (or such). Now everyone get's their shining moment, not because they're smart, but because their character sheet says so...

 

There is no candy for anyone who is not smart. Resource management is extremely important, and unless you make proper use of those resources, you may find yourself running away, or dying, or in some other way failing. Those powers are not kiddie gloves. They are tools of survival. They just also happen to bring a character to focus after a successful use.

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Actually, EGG wasn't a fan of WotC. 4.0 or anything else...

 

Meh, as I thought, 4.0 is not for me. Completely reinforced when I got to read the books (but then I was paying attention to what Mike Mearls was posting, so I wasn't surprised).

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I wonder if there will be anyone breaking as much ground as him, ever again.

Ed Pugh.

 

Come on, I mean it. How many other mini company 'execs' are known by a lot of gamers by name?

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My take on 4th ed. is that the character options are very narrow. No doubt that will change as the edition is fleshed out in more books- but even taking just 3.5 PH and comparing it to 4.0 PH, there is a world of difference in the directions you can take a character. I'm talking about rule/battle mechanics here, since the personality and "character" of a character doesn't really depend on the edition. But for so many of us the personality and the fighting ability of our characters are closely tied together. I like a character who gets into things, but can also support his friends - so I favor divine classes since they're a good mix of those areas. A friend of mine likes wily characters, so he's often the wizard who uses his spells like a precision tool in each situation.

 

So back to my problem with 4.0 - When you play a fighter, it's a fighter. There are two "paths" as it were for the classes, so you do have some variety, but so far what the classes do is pretty cookie cutter. In our 3.5 campaign, there's been three PC clerics. One was brash and quick to act, often achieving greatly to begin with and then petering out towards the end - focusing on damaging spells and healing. Another was more timid, and tended to hide away in the rear until she was absolutely needed. The third is on weed I think, and is always doing something unexpected. Each character is very different, and the mechanic of 3.5 allowed them to be so different and yet not be underpowered. In 4.0, you need to take a look at your stats and your powers and match them up. Later if you want to take a power that isn't based on your stat of choice, you can take it, but you probably won't have much success with it.

 

Again, perhaps as more books come out there will be more options. Really, what it boils down to for me is this - I have lots of 3.5 books, I like 3.5, and I have no need for a new edition. I won't be playing it. Some friends of mine all like 3.5 better, but also enjoy the supported event aspect of the game, so they also play 4.0 for those events, since 3.5 isn't supported anymore. That's fine for them.

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So it winds up sounding like simply another RPG option.

 

TSR put out lots of supplements for ADD & 2nd. That's part of why they needed the WotC buyout.

WotC/Hasbro put out lots of supplements for 3rd & 3.5. They even let other companies put out supplements under the OGL system.

 

We can expect the same for 4th. It's the business model that many companies are using for RPG's.

 

I can't villify WotC for holding back on material for later books now, when they've done so in the past with other editions, and so many other companies have been doing the same for years. I'm not fond of changing a system drastically, but they are certainly not the only company that has done so, even amongst the RPG companies.

 

The good news is still that people don't have to buy any of the books that don't appeal to them. That includes the core rules. That also includes online special access stuff.

 

4th works for some groups, and won't for others. That is no different than any other system out there.

 

Some groups don't want to change to 4th, and they don't have to. There is plenty of material available through normal channels and 2nd hand stores to supply gamers for decades to come. I was at a used book store yesterday, and saw plenty of material from AD&D through 3.5 on several shelves. Pathfinder, or even Hackmaster, will continue to give options for earlier edition fans.

 

Other groups have been happy to change to 4th, for a variety of reasons that work for their groups.

 

If someone wants to play in official sanctioned events, they'll have to play with the current rules, including whatever supplements are currently in force. That's no different than any other game system running official events. Some people might not like it, but there is no requirement to play in those events to be able to have fun with a game. One of the prices of playing in official events is that you have to play by their rules.

 

Play what you like and have fun. This is a game we're talking about, and gaming is about leisure time fun.

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From Gimp: "Play what you like and have fun. This is a game we're talking about, and gaming is about leisure time fun." That's my take too.

 

I think the thing that diminishes the fun the most is that there aren't any official metal models for the Tieflings and Dragonborn.

 

For me, it's no problem, as I'll convert anything, and have not played with an unconverted character model in about seven years, but for those who don't have the time or know-how to make their own, they are left with a few choices of proxies from Reaper. They're good, but selection is limited right now.

 

I'm sure there are some other companies models out there to use, but I'm not putting any effort into finding them for a game I don't play. I'll leave that to the 4.0 gang.

 

If someone can show me otherwise, drop me a link!!

 

Cheers.

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I have added a Poll to this thread.

 

 

HOW DARE YOU!!! Oh wait.....

 

Now everyone get's their shining moment, not because they're smart, but because their character sheet says so...

 

 

That is certainly an off putting thought.

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