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


4e D&D  

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  1. 1. Rate 4th Edition D&D

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

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

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Combat, unfortunately, is a very large part of my 4.0 campaign. I would love nothing more but to make it a political intrigue-type game, but the majority of my players are that type of player that would instantly hit the combat route before anything else. One, in particular, gets upset if things can't be resolved with combat. And yes, he's one of those that build their character to 30 without taking regard to storytelling elements. He also woofed that we rolled for stats instead of point-buying them (he frequents the optimization boards), and doesn't like it that I have NPCs in the party because then "the party is useless and the DM controls the game through the NPC."


I've just had to work with it; I, as DM, work with what the players want, not what the DM wants.


Granted, the party is mainly full of squishies, with one tank and an NPC healer that I had to stick in because no-one would play a healer. Because of this, two players constantly have to create new characters because their old ones die due to the fact that they play a tank & healer, and they're the ones that take the beatings.

The reason they always die is because the rest of the party is too focused on killing the baddude than looking out for their teammates. A simple heal check works wonders.


On the flip side, each combat encounter is perilous and has the potential to be deadly. 4 PCs have died already. It's become a running joke.

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I've just had to work with it; I, as DM, work with what the players want, not what the DM wants.

IMO, this is a good way to get GM burnout. While the players wants must be considered, those wants should really have some considerable overlap with the GM's wants. Otherwise, how is the GM having fun?


As a GM, I want to tell grand stories of heroism in collaboration with my players. IMO, combat is a part of telling stories of grand heroism, but there is much more to it than that - I want my players to care about why their PCs are fighting. I want the players to care about the world their PCs live in - which means exploring it - without destroying everything they come across. If I was forced by my players to run combat after combat, I'd wind up moving to a miniatures game, and just design various scenarios each week. Because if I'm not having fun telling my stories as a GM, I would feel no desire to GM.

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Just killed a player character in a skill challenge. O_O


I like skill challenges. It makes good use of skills where my players neglected them before. But no-one seemed to take it seriously that there may be peril involved. Until a wizard failed the skill roll, failed the reflect roll, then failed the second skill roll to fall from a narrow walkway into a volcano.

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Ultimately, I think my problem with the new version is that it is finally diverged enough from first edition that it doesn't feel like D&D any more. I tried it for a year, but we've drifted over to Pathfinder, with bits and pieces from 3.5 thrown in for comfort's sake. Regrettably, Pathfinder feels more "old and familiar" than the new edition.

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