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A Veteran GM's First Impressions of D&D 4th Edition

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the oooh-glossy dept.

Role Playing (Games) 330

Martin Ralya writes "I spent several hours with the three core D&D 4th Edition books on launch day, and wrote a detailed look at all of them based on my first impressions. Two big takeaways: Yes, the World of Warcraft comparisons are fair (and a good thing), and the way character powers work now will make the game more fun for everyone."

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It is great (5, Funny)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696581)

Yes, quite great. *gurps* Excuse me....

Re:It is great (5, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697253)

Two things I find funny about D&D 4E in comparison to GURPS 4e (my generally-preferred system). Remember when GURPS 4e came out? Everyone whined it was too expensive. Now D&D 4E is over $100 for the PHB/DMG/MM basic set (no pun intended), though of course you can find it online for cheaper. Yet no one seems to be complaining.

On the upside, many of the things that GURPS 4e did right D&D 4E is also doing right. Much improved rules layout and general unification/simplification of "stupid things". I was very much not a fan of d20 3.x for this exact reason; the entire ruleset was vomited into the book with what seemed like little attention to organization. (Remember GURPS 3e sidebars?)

That said, D&D 4E is very much still the quick hack'n'slash ruleset. Of course, it doesn't have to be, but it certainly doesn't have the attention to character personality advantages/disadvantages and all the non-combat skills that GURPS does. But then not much else does, and that's why we all love GURPS, isn't it. ;-)

Re:It is great (4, Informative)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697287)

However, a big part of what I believe is going to push D&D 4e is the D&D Insider Online Tabletop with the voicechat and the rule handling and all that.

We are at a point where tabletopping is ready to evolve, and Steve's reluctance to step in that direction could ultimately doom our beloved GURPS.

I really hope that doesn't happen, but he has a pretty strict rule against anybody else creating online tabletopping software that does combat calculations... yet we really don't see his folks doing it either.

Re:It is great (4, Interesting)

Ripit (1001534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697909)

Doesn't WoW fill this need? Putting DnD online would invite unfavorable comparisons to Blizzard's juggernaut.


Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought that DnD's main appeal was spending time with your friends in person. I really liked it for a couple of years. The reason was that I had friends who were fun to play with, and the funny rituals and habits we had that went along with it.

I've continued to read a little about DnD in the 18 years since I stopped playing. I like to know what's going on with the evolution of the game, but now, my best friends are scattered across the continent, and the thought of playing with my local group of friends is lame.

I like the idea of playing DnD. I just don't have the friends for it anymore. It somehow felt more comfortable to roll a toon on WoW and meet people online to play with, than to head down to the hobby shop on a game night. If I'm going to meet new people in person, I'd like food and alcohol involved.

Re:It is great (4, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697933)

Thats called growing up. Kudos to anyone who still has their friends around to play DnD but most people just dont. Not many people have a group of friends around where they can meet up all at the same time anymore. I still hang out with my old friends but usually not at the same time of day anymore.

Re:It is great (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697987)

That's one of the things that bothers me most about D&D. My favorite characters in Gurps have been because of their disadvantages, something that D&D doesn't have. Healers can be honest-to-goodness healers instead of (arguably) the most powerful fighting character in the game. My fighting character can be ridiculously bad at poetry but always showing it to people. Little touches like that turn the game into a true story instead of an abstract FPS.

Also, the article spells out the combat-oriented nature of D&D, then the writer pretty much says straight up that he's never encountered non-combat situations. I understand there are players and GMs like that, but those aren't the games that I play. Whatever happened to awarding experience/character points for resolving the situation without pulling out your sword (literal or metaphorical)?

It sounds like D&D becoming even more pidgeon-holed into its niche without incorporating the things other games do better. Please, wizards, play a few Gurps campaigns (at least one of which with a pacifist), read a few palladium books, and incorporate what they do well into your products!

Disclaimer: at least 50% of my games are D&D, and I'm currently DM-ing a D&D game. This isn't coming from someone who hates the system, this is coming from someone who wishes the system weren't all about combat.

Re:It is great (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698031)

There's nothing to prevent your Dungeons and Dragons characters from having the weaknesses of a GURPS equivalent. The difference is mechanical - in GURPS you get bonus points for flaws, in Dungeons and Dragons you do not.

Re:It is great (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698143)

Now D&D 4E is over $100 for the PHB/DMG/MM basic set (no pun intended), though of course you can find it online for cheaper. Yet no one seems to be complaining.
... Where've you been? I've heard a lot of complaints about paying for everything again, especially after all the 3.5 supplements/accessories people have bought.

First comment. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696583)

I almost lost it but put my D&D books down just in time to type this.

It's only fun for me when (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696591)

I put on my robe and my wizard hat.

Re:It's only fun for me when (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696683)

I put it in your mother's wizard sleeve.

Re:It's only fun for me when (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696793)

I put on my robe and my wizard hat.
I told you to leave me alone! (Mods, google Bloodninja)

Anyway, Gabe and Tycho seem to like it. [wizards.com]

Good ole D&D... (1)

Upphew (676261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696597)

I never played D&D, but it's still nice to read about true rpgs sometimes. Though I still would prefer Rune Quest or Rolemaster over DnD...

There's no reason not to like 'em all (3, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696851)

Each system has its own flavor of system and setting, and quirks as well. It's possible to like some and hate others, like them all, or be cold on all.

Some may like Rolemaster (and/or SpaceMaster), but others may find its reliance on entire books of tables somewhat daunting. Likewise, Runequest has a very loyal following, although the latest incarnation from Mongoose Publishing just kind of lies there; they focused a little too much on system and not enough on the setting that had been assembled over the course of a decade or two. (Incidentally, I consider HeroQuest to be a worthy spiritual successor to Chaosium's Runequest, moreso than Mongoose's.) D&D has certain strengths over both of them

There's no reason you can't appreciate each system for what it is.

Re:There's no reason not to like 'em all (1)

Upphew (676261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696967)

You got it wrong. I have no hate for any system, because I don't have to play those I don't like. And my preference to other systems stems from history: I played them before I played DnD and found DnD lacking to them. I preferred RQ's world and RM's system over DnD. Just like I appreciate DnD for being first RPG (?), I appreciate RQ and RM more, because they were first RPG's that I played.

Having said that, I really haven't played or DM'd game for... over ten years! Shees, now I feel old!

Not for nothing, but... (3, Interesting)

J'ai Friedpork (1293672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696611)

...having played less than 12 hours of DnD (or any tabletop game) in my life, this is the first time I've ever seen or heard something that made me want to sit down and play DnD.

Re:Not for nothing, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697025)

Yea, last night I was listening to those Penny Arcade and PvP 4th Edition podcasts [wizards.com] and while I have never played any tabletop game in my life, listening to that made it sound like a lot of fun. It's a damn pity that I don't know a single person that plays IRL and it seems that the majority of the online players play there own settings instead of classic Greyhawk.

Re:Not for nothing, but... (1)

Jardine (398197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697277)

Yea, last night I was listening to those Penny Arcade and PvP 4th Edition podcasts and while I have never played any tabletop game in my life, listening to that made it sound like a lot of fun.

I just wish they'd release them faster. I want to find out what happens to Jim Darkmagic (of the New Hampshire Darkmagics).

"Can you have an atheist cleric? I guess not."

Re:Not for nothing, but... (0)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697723)

There are athiest Buddhists and Daoists. They use the spiritual practice and ignore the metaphysics. This isn't even a recent or particularly American development.

Also, you could worship and draw power from the void. That would kind of be awesome.

Re:Not for nothing, but... (1, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697795)

There are athiest Buddhists and Daoists
FWIW, neither Buddhism nor Taoism come remotely close to an "atheistic" religion--neither deny the existence of gods, and worship of gods is common in both religions. Some practitioners may IGNORE the existence of gods, or even not believe, but it's not, if you will, canonical. Roughly equivalent to our favorite American devout Christian atheists--unitarian universalists!

Re:Not for nothing, but... (2, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697177)

I remember when I first started with the "Red Box" way back when. All I can say is, simpler was better and more fun. When my DM started using all sorts of fancy hit charts and other things to add "realism," it took twice as long to do about the same amount of stuff as we had been doing before. I haven't played in like 25 years, now.

Certainly not since WotC bought the rights. By now my son is just about the right age, and he's a nerd like his old man. I think, though, I'm going to wait until fall for the beginners set.

Re:Not for nothing, but... (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697767)

I have to somewhat agree with this. I'd been playing since 1st Edition AD&D. Some of the the changes that WotC brought were just completely unnecessary. Sure, AD&D's combat system was a bit primitive, but 3rd Edition D&D's was so complex that it took three times as long to do anything, and it had a lot of unrealistic restrictions that were created to do nothing more than hinder the players. WotC threw the baby out with the bath water with 3rd Edition, and having looked at the 4th edition books at my local store, it looks that they did a lot of that again. There's a big difference between refining the rules and rewriting them for no good reason. No one at WotC seems to understand this. But then what did I expect? They've never known how to balance the powers players get against each other either; just compare the powers clerics of different religion would be receiving, for Christ's sake. Clerics of a religion that worship death would be significantly more powerful than those that worship, say, the moon.

Do I sound bitter? Yeah, because I loved the game. I remember eagerly awaiting to see the new refinements that TSR was too stubborn to implement, only to wind up with a new system that kept that old and bad while getting rid of the old and good.

Re:Not for nothing, but... (2, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698105)

"Simpler" stuff like: varying XP tables by class with; saving throw charts that didn't follow a simple arithmetic progression; hosts of magical spells to choose from; spell memorization and related spell slot management to contend with; totally random variance in spell ranges, areas of effect, and duration; simple character generation and hit point generation rules that boiled down to "invent your own more fair rules or else just pray you don't end up with a first level Fighter with 1 hit point"; a thieving skill progression chart that likewise didn't follow a fixed, intuitive progression; magic resistance that gave a flat chance to negate incoming spells regardless of whether the spellcaster was level 1 or 36; level drain from undead that meant you had to re-write half your character sheet if your PC got hit a few times.

And of course, you were also much more limited in character and monster options unless your DM made his own rules. Want your Fighter to learn magic? Tough. Want an Orc that's also a thief? Too bad.

I agree that newer editions are painfully complex. But I can't return to original Dungeons and Dragons either - it's simpler than the newer stuff, but even it has a ton of odd and unnecessary complexities and some limits that are very frustrating.

There are many less popular RPGs that learned from older standards like Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, and Vampire: the Masquerade and ended up being simpler, more intuitive, and just as fun.

An everyone game? (5, Insightful)

Zekeums (1300089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696625)

It seems a bit funny to me that they are making it WoW-like in the "everybody can play easily" quality. I never liked that about WoW, because it just meant that a bunch of idiots could sign on and play, but in a tabletop game it will just make it easier for friends who thought it was too complicated before to get into it. Hearing this about it makes me happy.

Re:An everyone game? (4, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696675)

Yes, fortunately you don't have to invite a bunch of idiots to your table in order to get a D&D game going (although in my experience, the complexity of the game never kept the idiots out anyway).

Re:An everyone game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696847)

IMHO the computer based games aren't quite up to old "table top" frp's.
They (at least the ones I played in) were less hack and slash.
Oh, and in the days before PC's I was the GM in a Traveler campaign.

Re:An everyone game? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696805)

At my local gaming store we have a group of metal fans. Think of the lowest, dumbest kids possible, who constantly spout homophobic language and act violently towards each other and you get these guys. They all play D&D3.5 weekly and just do it in their own stupid way, they all play Chaotic Stupid and want to ride the dumbest of animals.

D&D isn't some elite nerds only game, complete idiots can play it in 3.5 just as they can with 4th ed. It allows you to do -anything-, so these kids just act like the waste of semen they are and do so in a fantasy world until they start to kill each other.

Re:An everyone game? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697147)

what does loving metal have to do with it. There are idiots in all music loving groups.

the game has been about mass market appeal since 3.0 so we will get a wide spectrum of the general population with it. It is a give and take.

Re:An everyone game? (1)

GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697179)

I really hated the rules and rolls of D&D. When I used to play it hardly was D&D and more a bunch of guys getting together and collectively writing a fantasy novel than it was a traditional RPG. The emotions and nuances of each person as they acted out the part were a part of that character. We all still keep in touch. Our DM teaches English and Fantasy Writing in Montana. You just can't have the interaction and creativity online that you do in person though. For those reasons I've never really enjoyed electronic RPGs.

Apropos, contact me if the more free form creative collective interests you and you are in the Willamette Valley.

Re:An everyone game? (1)

Zekeums (1300089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697687)

Yeah, the roleplaying gets lost in D&D because of all the rules. I've recently been playing games in the d10 system, and its a lot easier and more fun, with more actual story and character based stuff than rules to hold you back.

Re:An everyone game? (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697875)

A group of us tried a "ruleless" session once. The only person that used dice was the DM, who occasionally made quick hidden rolls to choose from a few plausible outcomes of an action. There were otherwise no stats or rules; everything came down to either the DM's or our collective judgement. It was quite fun, and friendly to beginners like me due to the lack of rules, though I imagine it required a bit more skill on the part of the DM to pull it off.

Re:An everyone game? (2, Interesting)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698061)

Our DM teaches English and Fantasy Writing in Montana. You just can't have the interaction and creativity online that you do in person though. For those reasons I've never really enjoyed electronic RPGs.
Really?

I find it easier. I've got a bunch of friends who play D&D via IRC (which, for the uninitiated, is a text-only internet chat system similar to instant messaging). In text only, I find it's a lot easier to suspend disbelief and see the characters instead of the people playing them. Imagination is a good thing. :)

Of course, by online, you may mean in MMORPGs, in which case I'd have to agree with you.

Wait until you've played it (5, Informative)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696665)

Reading it only says so much. I had my first session today, and I must say that I found it less MMO:ish once you actually started playing it. Sure, some fundamental rules use the same ideas, but, that is in no way an issue when actually playing. I must say I liked DM:ing it, but it will be a while before I learn the mechanics, they are far less intuitive past a certain level since every power is an exception to the very bare core. So, a lot more "studying" is necessary than previous editions if you want to learn it all, but there is a shorter span until you can start playing your first game and understand what you are doing.

Re:Wait until you've played it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697153)

Your usage of colons makes no sense.

Re:Wait until you've played it (5, Funny)

Ripit (1001534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697333)

Looks like Englishv6.

WHAT?!?!?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696699)

and the way character powers work now will make the game more fun for everyone. is that guy high 4th ed is pure %$&(%^

Just went to a local Game Day event... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696701)

...and had a blast. My brother and I have never played D&D, but I have been listening to podcasts and reading about it for the past few months and definitely wanted to give it a try with someone who knew what they were doing.

We had a great time, especially when we essentially tied down an Ice Dragon and our main Fighter intimidated the Dragon into giving up (even without knowing the Dragon's language!) and we won the encounter without even killing it! It was so much more fun than raiding Onyxia, especially given all the freedom you have in D&D. I bought a book and can't wait to rope all my friends into it.

Money is changing hands. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696787)

There's no other explanation for a review this positive to:
a) exist
b) get a slashdot front page story

The 4e books have about 1/4 the content of previous edition books. They have large type, a lot of whitespace, and hell of a lot of repetition and iteration through trivial variants.

Every new power or creature has an embarassingly bad "Magic: The Gathering" style name, which often has only a slight connection to the game mechanic it represents. Many of the powers have rules that only make sense in combat, and the ones that are designed to be done outside of combat are slapdash.

It's all designed around "game balance" (i.e. balance as a competitive tactics boardgame, not as a cooperative role-playing game) to the point of continual absurdity.

I could go on and on, but there is a lot to hate in 4e, and anyone who gives it an entirely uncritical review is either taking money or ignorant of previous editions.

Re:Money is changing hands. (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697891)

They have large type, a lot of whitespace, and hell of a lot of repetition and iteration through trivial variants.
The type is the same size, the white space is where all of the unnecessary extraneous artwork was before, and the repetition makes it ten times easier to find a given rule.

My impressions (4, Informative)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696813)

I posted my review at here [outshine.com] . It seems to be unapologetic in imitating many aspects of MMORPGs. So you can like that or not, but its there. The good news is that unlike previous editions, when 3.5 goes out of print, there will still be many ways to get the rules. 3.5 is open-sourced (kinda). See d20srd.org. Also Pathfinder will provide new 3.6-ish books for new players wanting to try the old edition. Overall it's going to be a better time for all RPGers, even if you don't like 4th edition.

Re:My impressions (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697053)

Just for your knowledge, people are calling Pathfinder "3.75".

Re:My impressions (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698161)

I think several differences between 4e and MMORPGs are crucial:

- 4e PCs are limited in the amount of magical gear they can use compared to earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and (in theory, I haven't read the books yet) less dependent upon their magical gear to be effective. I don't want my high level tabletop character or fantasy MMORPG character to be completely and utterly useless without 2 magic rings, a magic belt, some special magic weapon, and 4 other magic items on his person.

- 4e Fighters and other "tank" roles in the party can deal tremendous damage on their own. In earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons and in MMORPGs at high levels the "tank" classes were meat shields while the other classes did all of the serious damage to opponents.

- 4e Fighters do not "hold aggro". I think that's one of the most boring roles in MMORPGs, no matter how crucial. A 4e Fighter can do some extra damage to opponents that ignore him (which makes sense - if I'm swinging at a guy who tries to ignore me to fight someone else, it's easier for me to get past his guard). A Fighter cannot force opponents to engage him over other members of the party.

- 4e special abilities do not "charge up" like in MMORPGs. That MMORPG feature is actually nice in my book, but adds too much bookeeping for a tabletop RPG. 4e doesn't use it.

- 4e dramatically reduces "Buff" spells, potions, and magical items. Some MMORPGs get bogged down with PCs casting a whole host of spells in preparation for combat. 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons lent itself to that style of play, and it was tedious and a bookeeping headache.


All in all, 4e looks to adapt some good elements from MMORPGs but skips almost all of the elements I dislike.

Is the title correct? (2)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696821)

A Veteran GM's First Impressions of D&D 4th Edition

Should it be DM, or do I not know what GM stands for...

Re:Is the title correct? (5, Informative)

Alotau (714890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696843)

Should it be DM, or do I not know what GM stands for...
"GM" is a "Game Master." So a DM is a GM for D&D. GM is just more generic and doesn't have to be associated with D&D or even this genre of role-playing games.

Re:Is the title correct? (2, Interesting)

Magdalene (263144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697159)

You know its time to hang up the little purple Crown Royal sack-o-dice when people start arguing what the canonical term for Master/Ref is.

I have said this before, but the amount of time one devotes to RPGs is inversely perportional to the time one spends on real 'dates'.

*grin*

Re:Is the title correct? (4, Funny)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697213)

That explains why I stopped playing in my teens, and now that I'm married with a couple of kids, I'm interesting in playing again...

Re:Is the title correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696855)

DM is the DnD specific term - GM stands for Game Master, and is used in all manner of tabletop role playing games.

Re:Is the title correct? (1, Redundant)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696877)

Should it be DM, or do I not know what GM stands for...

Game Manager?

Re:Is the title correct? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697325)

Exactly how is this redundant? The mods need fired.

Re:Is the title correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696881)

GameMaster

Re:Is the title correct? (2, Funny)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696905)

DM is an acronym for, "Downstairs, Mom!" in reference to one's basement dwelling.

GM is obviously a clerical error, as the "G" is only two spaces over from the "D" on a QWERTY keyboard. It would also be a different dialect.

I kid, I kid. But I don't like the 4th edition rules. They simplify things that are handled transparently by a good DM anyway, and it seems to remove a lot of depth.

Pro-Tip (0, Offtopic)

bk_veggie (807894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696827)

When you use acronyms, make sure you spell out the word and then associate it. It wasn't rocket science, but I had to figure out what the heck a PHB was.

Re:Pro-Tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696909)

ha! a nerd not knowing what a PHB is? for once an app is really well documented...
they should make things harder, THEN a nerd will understand in a beat and be happy.

Fear of Girls.... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696865)

As a former player when I was a kid, I recently saw these two videos on youtube and think it's a great parody of the stereotypical DND player:

Episode 1: http://youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI [youtube.com]
Episode 2: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bP3GYdrW450 [youtube.com]

MTV's Downtown FTW!!! (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697451)

No, the best evocation of gamer geeks, ever, was in the late, lamented series MTV's Downtown.

Here's a little taste...

The two kinds of people in the world [youtube.com] .

If you want more, go to Chris Prynoski's blog [blogspot.com] and you will find instructions on how to see the entire series. Including the 5th episode, "The Con" which is what this clip I linked to is from.

"NO! She's revealed the secret map!!! The campaign is ruined!!!"

Something is fishy about this "review" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696869)

The 4e books have about 1/4 the content of previous edition books. They have large type, a lot of whitespace, and hell of a lot of repetition and iteration through trivial variants.

Every new power or creature has an embarassingly bad "Magic: The Gathering" style name, which often has only a slight connection to the game mechanic it represents. Many of the powers have rules that only make sense in combat, and the ones that are designed to be done outside of combat are slapdash.

It's all designed around "game balance" (i.e. balance as a competitive tactics boardgame, not as a cooperative role-playing game) to the point of continual absurdity.

I could go on and on, but there is a lot to hate in 4e, and anyone who gives it an entirely uncritical review is either taking money or ignorant of previous editions.

Re:Something is fishy about this "review" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697993)

Or...they simply feel differently about it than you do.

Why is it relevant that the books have 1/4th the content of previous editions? Is volume of content relevant to the playability or enjoyability of a game system?

Re:Something is fishy about this "review" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23698109)

Is volume of content relevant to the playability or enjoyability of a game system?
Of course not. What a silly thought!

By the way, try my new game:

You are on a quest. Flip a coin. Heads, you win. Tails you lose. Make up a story for how that works out.

BTW, you owe me $100 for my new streamlined game system which is easy to get into and features amazing potential for epic fantasy adventures. For an extra $10, I'll print it on a card and put it in a "slipcase".

Take out the cointoss, and you've got a game that people probably play and enjoy more often than D&D. It's playable, it's fun.

Surely the volume of content won't affect your choice of whether to pay me $100 for it.

Does anybody see the irony? (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23696873)

Fantasy-oriented computer games started out by trying to imitate games like D&D, and now D&D is trying to imitate them.

Re:Does anybody see the irony? (4, Interesting)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697009)

See, I want to take this another level. There was a tremendous amount of experimentation done with online games. How many MUD's are there? I'd bet the best of those MUD's ended up giving their best programmers / designers to online gaming. And so the stuff people liked about MUD'ding got pushed into the online games, and the online games cross-pollinated. This, indeed, has nothing to do with what happened with tabletop games. I've met many, many people with custom systems.... And they didn't cross-pollinate as much. It's just harder to do. So computers made making the game a better process.

Umm, how about No? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697937)

How is this ironic? This manner of interchange of ideas is only natural.

Mozart and Haydn found much inspiration in each others' work. I fail to see irony here.

her? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23696985)

"If a new GM asked me to recommend a book that would teach her the basics, Iâ(TM)d hand her the 4e DMG."

If a new GM was actually a "her", I'd be shocked.

Re:her? (2, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698059)

My friend's wife is GM-ing for the first time, having only played two roleplaying games previous to this one. It happens, and it's getting more frequent as nerds are becoming more mainstream.

Start Reprinting AD&D v2.0 Please (2, Informative)

deweycheetham (1124655) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697005)

Sorry I don't care about your revenue streams generated by D&D v4.0. It doesn't make the game more playable to me. 4.0 D&D is targeting the computer gamers not the 25 year "ONGOING" campaign running DM and Gamers of the past. It's not the same game it was 25 years ago and they're just capitalizing on the old TRS Trade Mark and branding. Just call it something else and leave the Classics alone, instead of improving it to the point that it evolves in to something entirely else at the lowest of standards of mediocrity. You could have named it something more fitting like - "War Craft", "Everquest" or something, but I guess those are taken.

If I wanted to run D&D on the computer with my friends I have lots of options with a hugh variety of choices, and there has been lots of software over the years to do just that. If I want to run a fast moving pen and paper well balanced D&D type game the options tend to get poorer the farther I seem to move farther from AD&D v2.0.

BTW, WTF is wrong with GNOMES? Who was the genius that thought that one up? What's next Orcs? (What a bunch of Stereotypical team of writers and computer jockeys.)

Re:Start Reprinting AD&D v2.0 Please (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697075)

It doesn't make the game more playable to me.
Hey now... anything makes the game more playable than 2.0. I've seen bricks that were more playable games than D&D 2.0.

Re:Start Reprinting AD&D v2.0 Please (4, Funny)

dr00g911 (531736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697651)

I spent the day hashing over the 4E rules, and I must say that just about all the changes I see are very good from a real-world, let's get 5 people together and have fun for 3 hours kinda way.

One of the reasons that I've clung to my original 1E rules over the years (I've got the '70s version and an early '80s reprint of the 3 core books) is that 2E and 3E just seemed to needlessly complicate the hell out of everything. Instead of 15 minutes to fight a party of Orcs, the encounters started taking an hour or more -- OMG skill check, fortitude check, balance check, grapple check, sphincter check. Every single 2E or 3.xE game that I've participated in had house rules to bring combat closer to 1E just so your 3 hour gaming session had some actual progress instead of 2 encounters, loot, nite guys!

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I really think the rules are a basic framework within which to enjoy making a story with friends. I've never really played D&D with any powergamer or rules lawyer types, and to be honest, I'm thankful.

If you want sim-style combat, and save/skill checks out the ass, make house rules. Just don't overcomplicate the core rulebooks!

To sum up: I'm very happy with almost everything I've seen in the 4E rules so far. They mean that I can get buddies and their wives together on short notice and have a game up and running in an hour. Character development is quite a bit more like CRPGs and WoW, which is fine by me! Most people who'd play at my table already understand spec/talent systems from WoW or wherever -- it just means there's less to explain, and it prompts characters to think about goals from the beginning (I love the destiny bit -- getting players to think about their character as part of an enormous story arc is great!).

I've heard a lot about the loss of Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil, but they're honestly still there -- just called Good and Evil now. Part of me misses the old-style 9 grid alignment diagram, but I definitely won't miss having to explain those two apparent oxymorons to new players. I also *quite* like the new Unaligned (instead of true neutral) alignment -- far less restrictive than true neutral used to be. No druids in PHB1, alas, but I'm sure they'll be in PHB2. All of the starting classes are full-on archetypes, and there are none of what MMO types would call "hybrid classes".

The only things I truly dislike about the 4E rules so far is that it seems impossible to do combat without a minigrid. Again, I'm probably in the minority here, but I've always preferred more storytelling-style combat instead of sim/wargame style. It made gaming sessions move much more quickly. We'll see if I end up house-ruling over that after trying it out. I doubt seriously that I'd ever use the loot parcel rule. Magic items in my games are very few and very far between, mostly because the games are about the story, not lewts + power.

Anyhow, this is the first edition since the original that I think I'll adopt. I like the organization of the books, the playing advice/primers and even the DMing advice.

Re:Start Reprinting AD&D v2.0 Please (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697103)

If I want to run a fast moving pen and paper well balanced D&D type game the options tend to get poorer the farther I seem to move farther from AD&D v2.0.
That's odd, because every review I've read of D&D 4th says that it's very balanced, very easy to get into, and the game moves quickly and smoothly. Then again, the reviews I read were saying that the game is made more for the common person (what do you know, a company trying to sell their product to as many people as possible) and not the people who still enjoy THAC0.

Propoganda much? (4, Informative)

bekeleven (986320) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697063)

This "article" is sad in its unapologetic sycophanty. It says that everything in hte book is good.
- Spells are called "powers" (goodbye psionics?) and are detailed in the class section; there is no other"magic" area in the book. Great for a person only playing a wizard, ever, but wtf for people making classes. Horrible.
- No confirm criticals, criticals are just max damage on a 20. Goodbye dramatic tension as you bunch over the faded die, figuring out if you got a 7 or 17 on that confirm roll. Goodbye variability. Goodbye fight-ending strike.
- Most rolls 1d20+1/2 character level+other. Wow, that means that high level people will be able to do everything better than 1st level players! Horrible.
- They increased type size AND whitespace in the books. Yep, less content.
- The PHB tells players how to play AND the GM how to gm. No dice.
- They still didn't simplifiy combat. Good god, I thought that was the reason they made another edition.
- No ranks in skills. So much for making a detailed and unique character, huh? Cookie-cutter it is then.
- Attackers roll saves instead of defenders. Stupid. It takes the fate out of your hands and into mine, not to mention I have to look up the bonus a cliff gets to its reflex attack. wtf?
- No strategy. Instead of having to rest and pray (or study) to gain spells back, they have the equivalent of "cooldown" (which I can forgive in an MMO, but makes no real-world sense). Basically your players can use their best spells every fight. No strategy, no need for lower-level spells at all. Why do they even exist once you pass 5th level (or whatever level it is you get fireball now)?
-On that subject, he makes a big deal of how there is only ONE CHART!!!!! LOL for all classes, and says it is simplifying. Then he says you slip to the section on your class to get, essentially, your unique "key" to help you read the chart. GG.
-"There are fewer types of action, standard, move, minor and free." Given that that's about the same as 3.5 core (full-round, standard, move and free), I wonder about this guy's mental health exclaiming its virtues.
-Diagonal movement works the same as lateral movement". I assume this means they moved to hexes? no? Then I guess you can move faster by moving diagonally in about ANY circumstance. Once again, way to break the world.
-Every class has two suggested "builds". What did I say before about telling us how to play? Honestly, at least leave WHO we play up to us. Similarly, each class has a "role". Not that they are customizable or anything. Nope, it's just like "Do you want a DD or a tank?" all over again.
-Retraining is now not only core, but really basic. So in other words, feel free not to put thought into what skills and feats you take, just get the shiniest ones and clean up later.
- His section on the DMG made me just a little bit nauseous. He was all, "saying that people have to cooperate?! Not only is this idea foreign to the other Dungeon Master's Guides, but nobody but those savants at WotC would've thought of it! I thank them for imparting this knowledge into my undeserving hands."
-Treasure parcels. It's where you get 4 magic items and some money. Before I decided treasure by what the villain would have; how foolish! Now I have learned to make sure everyone gets a magical item every encounter!
-MM has 1 monster per page. In other words, say goodbye to all of the lesser-used guys: lantern archons, rasts, all them things my players would always scratch their heads about when they first appeared. Say hello to there being monsters someone with any time could easily memorize all the weak points to, and just plain not enough to make dungeons flarvorfully unique.
-In the MM section he makes deals over things that ALREADY existed, like a picture for each monster.
-Replaced DR with something that means the same. This guy loves it.
- Everything is just to explain to newbies how to play. No advanced mechanics. No strategy. No fun.

I think you can tell about everything you need about this reviewer when he mentions that attacks of opportunity have been renamed "opportunity attacks" and then follows it up with a, "yay!". Them's some true colors, the color of vomit.

And as for 4e, sounds like they took out the stuff that made it a challenging but rewarding game, and made it into tabletop WoW. Only problem is, WoW has no intelligent god; if you give him a soda he won't level you. Similarly, the goal of "Let's go up levels!" means nothing in D&D. So what are they doing?

P.S. Count the number of times he said 3.x was better than 4 at something. I get one. /rant

Re:Propoganda much? (5, Informative)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697203)

- No strategy. Instead of having to rest and pray (or study) to gain spells back, they have the equivalent of "cooldown" (which I can forgive in an MMO, but makes no real-world sense). Basically your players can use their best spells every fight. No strategy, no need for lower-level spells at all. Why do they even exist once you pass 5th level (or whatever level it is you get fireball now)?
You haven't even read the books at ALL, have you? There's 3 kinds of powers - at will (you can do them whenever, all day, usually low damage/low utility), 1/encounter (you can use these once per battle, and you have to take a 5 minute rest before you can use them again), and 1/day (you have to sleep for 6 hours to get them back). There's also a good deal of variety in the abilities, and yes, there is reason to use Magic Missile after you get Fireball. The system works great, and there is a HUGE amount of strategy involved, it's just very different from 3.5's "everything is x/day". And, come on, did you just try to argue that having SPELLS work on a cooldown system makes no REAL WORLD sense?

I really don't feel like refuting the rest of your post, but mods, note that this guy has never seen the books himself, has never played with the system, and is knee-jerking at it without knowing what he's talking about.

Re:Propoganda much? (3, Insightful)

PrimalChrome (186162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697365)

I get the impression that the poster was addressing the fanboi aspect of the 'review' as much as the odd new edition features he was championing.

The fact that the 'veteran DM' only dated back to AD&D2.0 and his review read like it was written by a dim witted cheerleader made it useless to most readers.

I'd debated buying all the 4.0 books to read through and develop an educated opinion....but most of the reviews I've read so far (particularly those written by fanbois) has totally turned me off of this edition. Maybe there will be a gameshop running a demo that I can watch and get an actual experience without having to spend a few duckets.

Re:Propoganda much? (2, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697467)

While he was arguing against the fanboy aspect of the article, almost all his points are about how ridiculous he thinks 4th edition is.

As for D&D 4th, not to point anyone in the direction of anything illegal, but there might have been a leak of the books you can peruse. Personally, I think it was intentional, as people will be able to read over the books online this way, and then they will be more likely to buy the books (and their friends...) when they see what it's really all about.

I'm no 4th edition fanboy, but I find the system to be very enjoyable - a breath of fresh air, if you will. Just be prepared for some major differences - it is far and away NOT 3.5. It's a "re-envisioning" of D&D. I find many people are already disliking it because they wanted a slight update to the D&D they know, not a full new game. In a few aspects (nothing concrete, this is just a "feeling" for me) it seems to hearken back to 2E.

Re:Propoganda much? (1)

Tokah (859694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697967)

The only 2e-esque thing to me seems the skill system. It seems a lot like proficiencies with a roll high rather than roll low system.

Re:Propoganda much? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697335)

3. .....
4 Go outside. it's nice there.

Propoganda 2 ---SON OF PROPOGANDA--- (1)

Magdalene (263144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697353)

coming back like a bad B film of the 50s it seems.

Review the system, leave your opinion of the other reviewer at the door.

It reflects better on your review if you impart your knowledge/opinion of the new system without being judgemental or opinionated about the writer of the other review just because his review/opinion happens to differ from yours.

Attacking the reviewer not only weakens your well reasoned arguement in the eyes of the reader, your judgemental attitude reflects poorly on your ability to offer a non-biased opinion in the future.

If I had been modding your review I would have been willing to give you an informative until you started attacking the abilities/intelligence/person instead of sticking to what you were essentially attempting to do in the first place, which was, provide your opinion of the new system.

after all, "better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak up and remove all doubts""better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak up and remove all doubts" -Galileo, Samuel Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth the Second and a host of others throughout history.

Re:Propoganda 2 ---SON OF PROPOGANDA--- (1)

Magdalene (263144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697371)

and if you are wondering why the quote is in there twice, its just in case you missed it> :P

Re:Propoganda much? (4, Insightful)

Yosho (135835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697387)

Honestly, most of your post shows that you don't know anything about 4e and are just having a gut reaction based on opinions you've heard. But, I'll go ahead and refute a few of your more blatantly wrong points...

Spells are called "powers" (goodbye psionics?) and are detailed in the class section; there is no other"magic" area in the book. Great for a person only playing a wizard, ever, but wtf for people making classes. Horrible.
Psionics will be in the PHB2. If you're making your own class, you can either steal the wizard's power list (which is what everybody did in 3rd ed) or make your own. No problems there, that's exactly how it's always been -- the only difference is that the wizard's abilities are listed with him rather than in their own chapter.

- No confirm criticals, criticals are just max damage on a 20. Goodbye dramatic tension as you bunch over the faded die, figuring out if you got a 7 or 17 on that confirm roll. Goodbye variability. Goodbye fight-ending strike.
I'm really sorry if the most exciting part of your game is trying to figure out whether you rolled a 7 or 17. Also, you might be interested to know that this was something that was new in 3rd ed, anyway.

- Most rolls 1d20+1/2 character level+other. Wow, that means that high level people will be able to do everything better than 1st level players! Horrible.
- No ranks in skills. So much for making a detailed and unique character, huh? Cookie-cutter it is then.
High level characters are already capable of doing everything better than low-level characters, if they put their minds to it. Also, proficiency and skill focus still factor into your die rolls, so it'll take a very significant difference in levels before a high-level character who focuses on a skill will be able to easily beat a low-level character who focuses on it. Besides, since when have skill ranks made anybody unique? Unless you were intentionally crippling yourself for roleplaying flavor, every class basically had a few skills that they'd keep maxed out and never put points in any others. Dropping skill ranks and making rolls 1d20 + 1/2 level + other effectively produces the same results and eliminates one of the most tedious parts of writing up the stats for a new character.

- Attackers roll saves instead of defenders. Stupid. It takes the fate out of your hands and into mine, not to mention I have to look up the bonus a cliff gets to its reflex attack. wtf?
All they're doing is making things consistent. In 3rd ed, when you make a melee attack, you roll, add your attack bonus, and if you beat the opponent's AC, you hit them. When you made a magical attack, though, the DM got to roll, add the attack bonus (the monster's save), and compare it to the target AC (your save DC). Now it works exactly the same way for spells, too; the attacker is in control of the "fate" of their attacks.

- No strategy. Instead of having to rest and pray (or study) to gain spells back, they have the equivalent of "cooldown" (which I can forgive in an MMO, but makes no real-world sense). Basically your players can use their best spells every fight. No strategy, no need for lower-level spells at all. Why do they even exist once you pass 5th level (or whatever level it is you get fireball now)?
This is so completely wrong that I won't even bother, other than saying that you need to read the book.

-"There are fewer types of action, standard, move, minor and free." Given that that's about the same as 3.5 core (full-round, standard, move and free), I wonder about this guy's mental health exclaiming its virtues.
3rd ed had full round, standard, move, free, swift, and immediate actions. Further complicating things was the fact that you had to combine your standard and move for a full round, and you could trade your standard down for a move action, but couldn't trade anything down for a swift action. 4e removed the full round action and renamed swift and immediate to minor. No more combining, and you can always trade down.

-Diagonal movement works the same as lateral movement". I assume this means they moved to hexes? no? Then I guess you can move faster by moving diagonally in about ANY circumstance. Once again, way to break the world.
I will agree that that's stupid, and it's also super-easy to houserule it away. Or just play on a hex grid.

-Every class has two suggested "builds". What did I say before about telling us how to play? Honestly, at least leave WHO we play up to us. Similarly, each class has a "role". Not that they are customizable or anything. Nope, it's just like "Do you want a DD or a tank?" all over again.
They're just as customizable as the classes in 3rd ed are. Moreso, even, in that at least you get to pick your powers -- what makes any 3e monk or barbarian different from any other, aside from their feats? 3rd ed classes already had defined roles, they just weren't clearly labeled in the book. You're still free to play the character however you feel like.

-Treasure parcels. It's where you get 4 magic items and some money. Before I decided treasure by what the villain would have; how foolish! Now I have learned to make sure everyone gets a magical item every encounter!
And if you go by the 3rd ed rules for determining treasure, every creature has a few random items determined from a massive chart. Who knows why there's a divine scroll and a +1 flaming kama inside the same room as the gelatinous cube, they're just there. Or, alternately, you can still hand-pick what treasure is available where. It's just a guideline.

And finally, to put two of your quotes next to each other just to show how absurd they are...

- They still didn't simplifiy combat. Good god, I thought that was the reason they made another edition.
- Everything is just to explain to newbies how to play. No advanced mechanics. No strategy. No fun.
Yep, they removed all of the advanced mechanics and strategy, and combat is still just as complex. Wait... what?

Re:Propoganda much? (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697625)

so it'll take a very significant difference in levels before a high-level character who focuses on a skill will be able to easily beat a low-level character who focuses on it.
Oops -- of course, I meant to say a high-level character who doesn't focus on a skill won't beat a low-level character who focuses on it.

Stop fighting the troll... (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698117)

He'll just regenerate anyway. :)

Re:Propoganda much? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697389)

Holy Crap! You need to warn people before you go ranting like that. Your post leaked vitriol all over my desk!

I shit you not. As I read it, your vitriol spilled out of the monitor, ate a hole in the table, then the floor, and finally the concrete floor of my basement. I think It still going - slowly eating its way towards the center of the earth. I better go fill that hole with old newspapers so that they can soak up all the lava. I wouldn't want the molten core of the Earth to leak into my basement.

It almost like you believe you won't be allowed to play 3rd edition D&D any more. Are the WoTC police going to come stop you? Did you receive a C&D letter? "Dear Hard Core D&Dr, stop playing 3rd edition NOW. 4th edition is out. 3rd edition so OB-SO-!l33t. We will totally sue you and take all ur away all your funz". Come on man! take a step back. 3rd edition D&D sucked. It was the Star Fleet Battles of Role Playing Games. You should be glad its dead. The only positive thing to come out of it was the OGL.

Here's how I see the new edition. More Beer and Pretzels + Less thumbing thumbing through source books = more fun.

Dear Mods. Please mod the parent up. His post is what Slashdot should be all about. People should be encouraged to post with such boldness.

Re:Propoganda much? (2, Interesting)

Randwulf (997659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697583)

D&D 4E seems more of a miniatures combat game (with computer friendly rules) than a true roleplaying game. It is very much designed to sell 'Core' books, Miniatures, and subscriptions to D&D Insider -- roleplaying almost seems an afterthought. D&D 3.x had it's flaws but I could design a character I wanted to play. 4E gives a bunch of options, but isn't really flexible -- try designing a pacifist cleric of a god of love with 4E rules to see what I mean. I think if designing a truly awesome RPG was the goal they could have fixed the problems with 3.5 with some of the good ideas of 4E without reducing the roleplaying potential. Oh, and the multiclassing rules royally suck.

Re:Propoganda much? (1)

aarku (151823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697593)

And as for 4e, sounds like they
That about sums it up. Pretty please don't ever give 4e a try so you don't ever form an opinion grounded in your experiences.

Re:Propoganda much? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23698099)

I've never played D&D, so forgive my ignorance...

But I just don't understand all the hoopla over the 4e rule changes. What's the big deal? If someone doesn't like a new rule, can't they just ignore it or use an old 3.5 rule?

Again, I've never played, but as far as I can tell, D&D is about getting together with your friends, having a good time, and taking part in an adventure in compelling setting. It's your game, so use the rules/classes/monster/etc. that you want.

Failed Save (1, Offtopic)

lww (323019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697163)

Guess the server failed its Fortitude DC 150 save vs slashdotting...

I for one welcome our... (1)

csoto (220540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697185)

twenty-sided-dice-throwing over... oh wait, that'll never happen!

So my group is moving to 4th ed... (1, Flamebait)

afabbro (33948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697215)

...and I play a monk. No monks in 4th ed. Time for a new character.

I know, I'll play a barbarian...ooops, no barbarians in 4th ed.

Well, if I can't be a monk and I can't be a barbarian...how about the good ol' half-orc fighter. Nope. No half-orcs, either.

I guess I could play a fey Eladrin Warlord. Except that I'm straight.

Re:So my group is moving to 4th ed... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697247)

Boo-hoo, they took some stuff away and added other stuff! Bawww, the game isn't exactly like 3rd edition! Let me play the world's smallest violin for you.

Re:So my group is moving to 4th ed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697431)

Patience young Padawan!

Before you know it, there will be $40 expansion books flooding the shelves of your local hobby store. They will add countless classes, feats, and skills to the game. Soon even the most rabid fanboi will be unable to tell it from 3rd edition.

For now, however, you'll just have to settle for playing a fighter or a ranger and then role-playing a monk or a barbarian. Yes, I know it sucks when game mechanics don't support the way you want to play your character (or your sexuality), but I'm sure you'll be able to adapt.

Starting playing in 89 does not make a "Veteran" (2, Interesting)

ed (79221) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697363)

Original D&D, three white box set and suppluments such as Blackmoor and Gods Demigods and heroes in the 1970s

THAT makes me a veteran

I think I'll avoid this incarnation from everything that is being said

Re:Starting playing in 89 does not make a "Veteran (3, Insightful)

Ripit (1001534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697457)

and bragging about it makes you...

( ) 1) winner of the internets
( ) 2) respected and loved
( ) 3) appear intelligent
(X) 4) an ass
(X) 5) an even bigger dork than the OP

Re:Starting playing in 89 does not make a "Veteran (2, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697495)

No, that simply makes him someone who's been gaming for a while. Me, I started around '83. Traveller. AD&D. Good times. Yes, girls were playing back then. There just weren't a hell of a lot of us. Stopped playing back in '87 or so. Got reintroduced with BESM. Too bad Tri-Stat is pretty much dead...thanks a lot White Wolf. Very cool system of gameplay for "storyteller" kind of FRP campaigns, not so much for "dice weenie" kind of FRP campaigns.

Re:Starting playing in 89 does not make a "Veteran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697599)

No, I've gotta agree with the parent poster. The original poster saying that somebody who began in 89 isn't a veteran just because the OP started with the original white box does, in fact, make him an ass.

Re:Starting playing in 89 does not make a "Veteran (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697717)

"THAT makes me a veteran"

No, that just makes you old.

The largest thing I'm missing from 4e... (1)

aarku (151823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697633)

The largest thing I'm missing from 4e are lots of spells for the Wizard. Looking through them, the majority of them are boring XdY damage of Z type with some pretty lame names. Where's my Grease spell, or my Summon Monster spell, or Feather Fall, or Spider Climb, or that spell that creates a big talking sword to sit in front of me and fight? Did I miss something? I hope so! The wizard, it needs more flavor.

Re:The largest thing I'm missing from 4e... (1)

flymolo (28723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697781)

There are less spells now, because powers for all the other classes took up page count.

But there are 50 rituals in the last chapter that cover a bunch of divination, magic item crafting and weirdness(feather fall, tenser's floating disk)

Re:The largest thing I'm missing from 4e... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697871)

It seems like all the noncombat spells have become "rituals", which aren't memorized and don't have per day limits, other than running out of $$ to cast them. On the other hand, most of them would be just about impossible to cast in combat.

I imagine one of the first addons will be "The big book of rituals".

On the plus side, rituals are a skill/feat so non-primary spellcasters can get some utility spells.

Yet Another Way ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23697805)

... for Slashdotters not to get laid.

It's a collectable miniatures game in book form (3, Interesting)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697897)

Alas, it feels like the collectible craze has finally struck the heart of D&D.

At the risk of sounding like I'm shaking my cane at those dratted kids (and maybe I am), this isn't a followup to the classic game, it's a repackaged version of the miniatures game. Look at the monsters ... they're essentially a card. The actual description, background and mythology of the creatures are negligible. The mechanics themselves are designed to be bound to a board, not played out in the imagination.

On some level I guess I can't blame them. As a system linking MMORPGs, miniatures games and card games, it works. They look at the income of Magic the Gathering or WOW and say "why can't we get a piece of that?!" so they design a game that will allow them to leverage the different merchandise against each other. It's not a bad system if that's what you have in mind and I can see it being very successful in that Microsoft sort of way. I know a lot of people who wouldn't touch this system with a 10-foot pole if it didn't have the D & D name on it, but since it does, they probably won't want to play anything else.

What's really sad to me is how hard it is to dig up any information on what can or cannot be created and distributed by players. They seemed to be starting to get the hang of it with opening the d20 system but this feels like a step in the opposite direction. It's becoming about leveraging their games onto players, not about empowering players to create their own games and worlds. I want tools to create stories with, to build worlds with ... as a gamer, I'm not a consumer of fantasy, I'm a creator of fantasy.

4E first impressions (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23697949)

Some friends of mine were running one of the D&D game days going on today to introduce 4th edition. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I wasn't able to make it in time to play, so when I did show up about an hour later I decided to just hang out and watch.

What really surprised me and I totally did not expect from anything I'd heard about 4E is how much longer combats took to resolve. A little bit of that was clearly, okay, here are people are familiar with 3E and can play 3E fast and this is new so it takes longer, but... more, the amount of hit points everyone has have gone up a lot, the access to healing that everyone has has gone up a lot, characters can heal while doing other things, damage hasn't gone up a lot, and spells and powers that can really turn the momentum of a fight (e.g., 3E slow vs. creatures with a large number of weak attacks) have pretty much gone away.

The D&D game day module was for pregenerated first level characters. In all earlier editions of the game, combat for first level characters will go pretty damn fast. No one has the hit points to take much of a beating, and maybe your cleric has 3 cure spells to throw around. In 4E, everyone at the table is getting healing surges for hit points back all over the place. No joke, in the middle of one combat I left to get some dinner and decided to have a sit-down meal at a restaurant about 15 minutes away. I got back around an hour and a half later and the same combat was still going and no end was in sight. In previous editions that would never, ever, happen with first level characters.

Maybe I'll come around to thinking that's a good thing, but personally, I enjoyed the way 1-3E played at low levels, and the way they played at mid levels, and the ways in which those were different. (If 4E actually did successfully fix how much the game broke down at high levels, I may be able to make peace with this.)

Computer Aided Roleplaying Game (1)

billtom (126004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23698115)

I think that the time is right for what I'm calling a Computer Aided Roleplaying Game (CARPG).

What this would be is a mostly traditional tabletop RPG (not a Computer RPG or MMORPG), but the game would be designed from the ground up with an accompanying computer program and you would be required to have at least one computer at the table to run the software. The system requirements would be very modest (no real-time 3D or the like), so I don't think that it is asking too much for 4+ geeks to scare up one old computer. (An optional form of play would have one computer per player, networked.)

The point of all this is to have the computer take over all the boring game system stuff that computer are good at and let the player focus on the fun, creative stuff that humans are good at.

I'm well aware that there are programs available for most of the major RPG systems that sort of do what I'm saying (and 4E will have some online software of this sort). But the point of a designed-from-the-ground-up CARPG is that you can design the rule systems to best take advantage of the availability of the software; rather than just writing a program that simply supports rules that were designed for humans to manage.

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