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


In 3.5, my shining moment as a martial character was outglowed, like a candle to the sun, by a wizard and psion who both had Fly and Greater Invisibility. That took a lot of Intelligence.


Where I'd spend half the battle at unconsiousness, whilst the afore-mentioned wizard and psion did their usual abilities (which also happened to outglow my daily shining moment), and won the day continually for us. All the time. And I was presented with the "oh, we have 8 more rounds until you die, we can kill them all by then" attitude? *


3.5 is clearly skewed towards those of magical abilities, leaving the martial classes in the dust aimlessly swinging a sword doing "full round attacks", with only one daily ability, if they were lucky.


I think 4.0 levelled the playing field. It is much more exciting to play a martial class in this system than in 3.5. We all want to play heros; we all want to be the deciding factor in a battle, and such. It's why combat is such a big thing in the game. But I hated playing 3.5 martial characters (except for Rogues) because if we hit levels higher than 8, the wizard, sorceror, psion, etc, can now take down the entire field and not blink an eye (well, we can't see them blink an eye since they're Greatly Invisible). I became a sitting duck, relegated to cleaning my fingernails with my greatsword whilst walls of ice surrounded us, and bursts of stinging clouds and overly powerful Fireballs blasted at the enemies around. The blood I got on my sword was my own when I nicked the quick on accident.






* Interestingly, that attitude is still prevalent in our 4.0 games, even with the three failed saving throws scenario. Two people have died in my campaign by the inactions of his teammates wanting to kill all the baddies first, then look after their friends. Some habits are hard to break.

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I have always thought that powercreep ruined DnD as characters attained higher levels. Everytiem I ran adventures, I made it a point to kill or maim characters once they reached 8th level. That, or the next adventure was unrelated and the players ahd to make new 1st or 2nd level characters.

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I have always thought that powercreep ruined DnD as characters attained higher levels. Everytiem I ran adventures, I made it a point to kill or maim characters once they reached 8th level. That, or the next adventure was unrelated and the players ahd to make new 1st or 2nd level characters.


I don't think that's the right context to use "power creep", you're just talking about the characters getting more powerful through levels. This became fairly exponential at around level 9 for the spell casting classes in 3.x. I think the progression is more linear in 4.0, so you get used to it more gradually. But I'll concur with you that in previous editions, I enjoyed levels between 3-9 more so than the other levels.

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I never liked higher levels of combat where survival came down to whomever rolled higher in initiative and who actually hit first, thus dealing 300 points of damage and wiping all enemies off the board, whether that be the PC's or the DM's minions.


My favorite level of play was always between 5th and 12th. You got some of the cool SA and a few feats, but combat was still about tactics, instead of just telling the wizard to lob in a 20d6 fireball to clear the room. Or the vegomatic fighter running in with their prestige class that allows 10 attacks with a matched pair of longswords.


And the risk of death was real, but there was always that chance of escaping or scratching out a win at the last minute if things got dicey. Nothing like, you enter a room. Surprise round. You're dead. It could still happen, but usually it went at least a couple rounds and either the dice or the DM had it in for you, or you happened to be monumentally stupid with decision making.

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With the exception of the PbP game here run by haldir (great job btw Randy), I only get to play 2-4 times a year, with my old group from High School. I don't play enough to invest (money or time) in a new system. 3.5 (and now the Paizo beta) work fine for me. It was the most prevalent system that everyone knew, so it is easy to run a one off for the infrequnt times we get together. If I played more would i look at 4th? Not unless that is what wveryone else is playing. I don't game to enjoy a system (most of gaming time was spent with a home brew system), but to enjoy the time spend with my friends. That is the key requirement for me. Anything that gets in the way of that (rules or not) is the deal breaker for me.

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I moved on (or back since it is a retro system) to Castles & Crusades.

I still have a bunch of AD&D stuff and 3.5 stuff laying around so technically I have bunch of supplements for C&C.


I just a started a campaign a few weeks ago and we jumped from 2 Players and me as CK to 6 Players plus me by the second session. Guys who played AD&D with me actually came back to the gametable for this. Most played 3.5 but they just like the feel of C&C better.

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Sounds familiar, Maceswinger.


Around here, money and time are both so scarce that even if we had all heard nothing but glowing reviews of 4e, we'd likely not invest in it simply because the play-value-per-dollar ratio.


WHICH is why we've turned to an online freebie PDF called Swords & Wizardry. Basically the core rules is the original D&D (courtessy OGL), only better organised. Some add-ons are free. Others cost around $2 or $3 to download..a fraction of traditional modules.


Having taken a minimal look at the 4e book, the game strikes me as being far more combat oriented and a tad on the PC-gamey or DDM side.


On the other hand, I've not yet played S&W. The oldest edition of D&D I've played in was 2nd edition..which I enjoyed except for the unnecessary mathematical processes that THACO introduced. But from what I can gather, the intent of S&W is to leave more of the "referee calls" in the hands of the GM rather than quantifying every single probability and outcome with charts and tables.

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I have the 4e core books + the books up to last month's releases (I didn't get anything last month). I don't mind the new system, as I'm a MMO player & I can see where Wiz took elements of MMOs for the new edition. Various quest givers + goals, the ability names, etc etc, but I'll stick with Paizo's Pathfinder when it comes out. Not because of the system rules but for the background material & the quality of the product that Paizo puts out. Yes, I could convert things but why. Right now, not worth the time (as I don't have a sit down group) & cash is tight right now for me (can't see myself getting 4e products anymore, even Paizo products are starting to feel the axe.)


Anyways, I have nothing bad to say about 4e. Its a new system, some people will love it, some people will hate it. At least I have a Player's Guide in case I'd like to join a 4e group, but I doubt I'll ever DM a game of it, but you never know.



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I gave up on wotc with 3.5. I have many other games I enjoy more. I have no interest in buying a new set of rules ever again. Anything I want to play, I have a ruleset for already, or a generic set of rules (like GURPS or Savage Worlds) that can be adapted.

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I bought the Intro version just to see how the rules are organized. I plan to implement what seems useful into my ongoing campaign. I am OK with leveling as a RPG staple, particularly in a heroic fantasy venue. It is up to the GM to find balance and state when they no longer wish to develop adventures for particular characters. I think most incarnations of D&D have been loose enough to do amazing things, and this latest version stays in that mold.

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I'm running a 4E game and loving it! I wasn't a big fan of 3.5, or any edition before 4E for that matter. 4E is great though.


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.


Well, my group has a Dragonborn Fighter with Axe & Shield, Dragonborn Cleric with Bastard Sword, Tiefling Warlock and Eladrin Wizard with Orb.


The two Dragonborn are Reptus with simple weapon swaps (Reptus Grunt & Reptus Female Cleric), the Tiefling Warlock is Damien, Hellborn Wizard. THe only model I'm having trouble with is the Elf Wizard, there's very few wizards with orbs in the range, and no elves. I'd use the Citadel High Elf with Annulian Crystal, but the local GW didn't have one, and by the time I got over my impulse and looked at the online store I realised it cost four times as much as a reaper fig..


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!!




GW Lizardmen could make good Dragonborn, I suppose. You can sometimes pick up old Mage Knight figures cheap, the Draconum figures work passably (they did have a line of metals but they're rare). You could also use a mix GW of beastmen and human plastic parts to make Tieflings. Personally the Reaper options suit my needs just fine.

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