Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dungeons and Dragons 4E

UPDATE: I've now added a detailed post on my thoughts on 4E after reading the rules.

SECOND UPDATE: I've now added my final verdict on 4E after playing the game.

Anyone who cares already knows this, but I just had to say it. It was announced at Gen Con that Fourth Edition is coming out starting May 2008. I have mixed feelings about it. At first, it was shocking, given the statements WotC has given thus far, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

In the end, they had to go there. And it is not like one has to stop playing 3.5E. I am curious to see what they've done with it - it sounds like there will be a lot of changes. I have other thoughts on this, but I'm too tired from chasing around a toddler to type much. (That seems to be the case a lot lately).


armagh444 said...

They announced this where?


Well, in an alternate universe maybe.

There is no GenCon any more, and there hasn't been since WOTC took over and decided that over two decades in Milwaukee wasn't enough tradition to honor.

They can call their new yearly con "GenCon" until the cows come home, but it won't change the fact that GenCon unless it's in Milwaukee.

DBB said...

I take it you disapproved of the move? Did you go to it when it was in Milwaukee and after and was it better before?

I've only gone once, before the move. I have some friends that just got back from going this year (I could not go - toddler anchor...) They said they had fun, but are troubled a bit about the 4E announcement.

armagh444 said...

Well, I grew up in the Milwaukee area, so I'm more than a little biased on that front.

Still, while I haven't gone since the move (I flat out refuse to go, or even to acknowledge the faux con's existence), I went twice before the move, and it was wonderful. (Okay, I was a pretty girl at an RPG convention back when we were still pretty damn rare, so I had a few advantages.)

Granted, Milwaukee isn't the garden spot of the universe, but it had been there since day one, and there was a lot of tradition bound up in it, both for the attendees and the vendors (certain bars you always hit, certain shops you stopped by at, certain folks who were always there).

Replicant said...

Lol, so you guys aren't talking about 4E at all.

Personally I doubt 4E will be very good. I really dislike 3 and 3.5 to be honest. They've made the game into a muchkinfest, with the "what can I get for my character next level and how many things do I have to kill to get there" mentailty dominating overall.

D20 Modern and Future are jokes, I mean you need a feat to fire an automatic weapon in burst mode?? Please. And all modern weapons have a worse crit threat than a scimitar, crossbow or katana?? WTF??

And the new Star Wars Saga is even more of a joke. All they did was make it different, not better. The got rid of crit threats, any natural roll in the crit range of a weapon is a crit. No skill required. That's got to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. so a 1st level noble can score a crit just as easily as a 20th level soldier?? There's a complete lack of logic for you.

No, I'm no fan of Wankers of the Coast, especially after their marketing agenda with the minis. Screw the gamer, let's create a false collector's market and make everything random. Oh, and we'll purposefully make some of them rare so people will end up selling them on eBay for a hundred bucks. How does that help the person who just wants a Darth Vader mini for their game, and not to leave in the package and sit and rot on a shelf? Gamers? Who are they?

Yeah, WotC sucks balls.

DBB said...

I'll reserve judgment on 4E until I actually see it.

On the plus side, if all one wants to play is 3.5E, as of the end of this year, you know there will never be another book to buy for 3.5E. Given the amount of material released, that means you could play probably for the remaining decades of your life and never run out of material (unless you have no job and can play five times a week).

As for the minis - well, that is a whole post in itself.

Replicant said...

Screw waiting. It's too fun bashing WotC without seeing the product, lol.

armagh444 said...

Personally, I doubt I'll ever pick up 4E, though my husband might want to. Well, he can wait until after I catch up on my Talsorian stuff. Once we actually get back to disposable income land, I would much prefer that some of it go to Talsorian than WOTC. Talsorian at least respects gamers.

Oh, and Replicant . . . Wankers of the Coast is one I'd never heard before. Absolutely classic!

DBB said...

WotC isn't so bad, IMHO - they are a company - they are not printing books for their health, they are in it to make money.

Given what TSR did to D&D out of greed back in the 1980s to 90s, it is hard to wax poetic about "the good ole days."

All I care about is - is it a good system that I would have fun playing. If it is, I'll play it, if not, I won't. If WotC makes money off of my enjoyment, so be it.

Hell, it isn't even that much money, relatively speaking, if you buy all of the damn books they put out. I probably spend more on daycare in a single month then I spend on books over several years.

Replicant said...

You're right, DBB, they are in it to make money. But screwing customers isn't a good way to make money. They're apparently not learning from the mistakes of TSR and others.

The last WotC product I bought was the 3.0 PHB and DMG, nothing since then, it's all been third party stuff. And I try to play other systems whenever possible (though all my gaming is forum-based, since I don't have time for anything else.)

In reality it's not the system that makes playing fun, it's the game, the GM, and your friends. The system shouldn't get in the way of the game, and in my opinion 3E+ does.

DBB said...

I have played 1E, 2E, 3E, and 3.5E. I must say I like 3.5E best. It is better balanced than the prior editions, it is more detailed, and yes, there are more rules to cover more situations. That makes for a more predictable game - you know how things work and can act accordingly. One of my frustrations with 1E and 2E was the rules basically were silent about so much it was really up to the whims of the DM what happened or not most of the time, and that also gets in the way and can lead to arguments.

That's not to say I didn't have a lot of fun with 1E and 2E, but that didn't stop me from having even more fun with 3.5E.

Truly, if you don't like the system, you are not obligated to play it. If I don't like 4E, I won't play it. I played Shadowrun 1E and 2E - I really liked it, especially 2E. I've seen 3E and now 4E, and I really don't like either as much and I wonder if, were I to start playing it again, I'd end up doing 2E. But not having played 3E or 4E, I don't know for sure if I'd like them or not.

In the end, getting mad at WotC for putting out more books is really just getting mad at them for giving you more options. No one puts a gun to your head and tells you you have to buy a book or that you have to play a certain edition a certain way. That's one of the major advantages of RPGs - unlike a computer game, the skies the limit and you can do anything. Plus there is the social component of hanging out with friends while you do it.

Anyone who likes 3.5E - there's enough material out for it now to last a lifetime, and it will be a complete system, with no more books produced for it. What more could you ask if you like that edition? And if you don't like it, maybe you will like 4E. One could at least keep an open mind about it until you actually see the system. Complaining about it sight-unseen doesn't really seem to have much credibility - what exactly is there to complain about the new system when you don't know anything about it?

Replicant said...

Getting mad at them is really about venting with some of the silly concepts within the system. I mainly dislike feats, I think they're pretty ridiculous for the most part.

I really dislike the crit system, it should be solely skill-level based and not weapon-based.

The HP system is extremely outdated, the concept that you can go from 100 to 1 HP over the course of a battle (not in one hit) and you're perfectly fine, then when you reach zero you plop to the ground, then when you reach -1 you're unconscious. There should be consequences for taking damage and it should be cumulative. Most systems these days have such damage penalties as you incur hits. D&D is much too cinematic in that respect. There's just no way to simulate the great hero being damaged injured, backed into a corner with a broken shield arm, ony to make a heroic last effort and kill the bad guy.

I just don't see anything new and innovative coming from WotC. I suspect that the Star Wars Saga edition is what 4E is leaning towards, but you're right, I don't know. I remain skeptical.

I've started playing Runequest, and while it has some similarities to d20, it's got some very nice differences, and seems well-supported.

DBB said...

I've played Runequest - I enjoyed it, too.

The hit point thing was an artifact of 1E, one of the many things they kept to keep it still 'D&D' despite all of the changes.

I really like feats - it allows a level of customization that simply does not exist with just the pure class system. Anything to get out of cookie-cutter characters is a good thing.

It will be interesting to see what they do with 4E, given that they said they want to cut ties to anything in the original system that simply isn't fun or doesn't really work. With 3.xE they tried to keep the legacy intact, and they were also in a hurry when they did it. 4E they had much more time to think about (and they learned from 3.X as well) so perhaps this really will be an awesome revolutionary system. I'm very curious to see what they've done.

Replicant said...

I actually prefer levelless and classless systems like EABA or Action! System. Each character is a collection of their skills, attributes and advantages/disadvantages, instead of prefab archetypes which shoehorn the character into a mold which doesn't always make sense.

Hit points aren't the problem, just about every system has them in one form or another. It's the lack of consequence for taking cumulative damage that's the problem. you're down 30% of your HP, that should affect you somehow. Down 60%, that should affect you even more. 90%? you should be really hurting and all your actions should reflect that.

Replicant said...

Meant to also add, with levelless/classless systems you can also create a character who is very good at something right off the bat, instead of first level where you're terrible at everything. With d20 you can't make a former Navy Seal unless you're going to make a 10thlevel soldier at the start, and how time consuming would THAT be?

John said...

I must say, I've enjoyed 3.5 well enough, if only for the feats it provides. But I was happy with 2nd edition, even with asinine THAC0, and I doubt I'll rebuy everything, especially as I have something now I never did when they switched to 3E, that is a credit card and Rather than swap out for something new, I'll just buy those 3E and open content books I could never afford. While I know WOTC is just a company trying to make a buck, I wouldn't mind if they learned the hard way that an RPG isn't a video game and shouldn't be handled as such.

squarecircle said...

Replicant said: "And the new Star Wars Saga is even more of a joke. All they did was make it different, not better. The got rid of crit threats, any natural roll in the crit range of a weapon is a crit. No skill required. That's got to be the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. so a 1st level noble can score a crit just as easily as a 20th level soldier?? There's a complete lack of logic for you."

That's funny, I could have sworn that right before you said this, you said you hated 3e and 3.5. What was it you said? Oh yeah: "I really dislike 3 and 3.5 to be honest."

Let's think for a minute here. Before 3 and 3.5... THERE WERE NO CONFIRM CRIT ROLLS.


Anonymous said...

We as pro-lifers are against this: A young girl say 16 goes into Planned Parenthood pregnant looking for help...(ps this is from their website) They pretend to give them viable CHOICES but right after they say you could adopt the child out they shoot it down by saying it's too hard to do that...2 they say you could keep it but then say being a Mother is not easy and maternal insticts do not exist---well maternal insticts do exist and then 3. They say abotion is easy and always safe- thier Job is to sell Abortion to girls for money---(just read former abortion workers quotes on the net) So the girl CHOOSES the easiest sounding option--after all they are Doctors---and after she gets to the clinic --they do an ultrasound and do not let her see it--they tell her that the baby even at 12-21 weeks is just a "blob" (say former abortionist) and they don't say he/she has fingers, toes, eyes ect. And if the girl ask they say no to any of the above...most clinics don't even say what happens at all... they just kill it fast so she won't change her mind---afterwords the girl is left alone--to fell the reality of what she CHOSE to do---most of the time even seeing the dead boy/girl...WE JUST WANT GIRLS TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING...Abortionist just want money....Planned Parenthood made 117 million last year and say they are a non-profit charity..
What happened to your wife and /child is protected and will be even if ROE?WADE is overturned. Even the lady ROE is PRO_LIFE now.
Women today are even delivering live babies at home and when they go back to the clinic the baby is killed...I PROMISE THEY ARE ONLY THERE FOR THE MONEY!! PS. God loves you and has your Baby with him...please remember that and dont hate people who love life...all anti-abotion laws protect in life/death cases...WE JUST WANT TO PROTECT BABIES WHO WANT TO LIVE...c

DBB said...

Pro life girl - first, you're posting in the wrong thread for this - but I'll respond anyway - really, what you are reading from sounds like a false story told by wide-eyed pro-lifers to scare people. If that's all you have in support of your movement - false scare stories, what does that say about your movement?

Maybe there's some projection there - after all, you complain the pro-choice side isn't giving a choice when the exact opposite is true - ONLY the pro-choice side offers a choice. I'd write more, but I don't expect I'll be hearing from you again now that you've done your drive-by b.s.

Erin said...

So I was thinking of you the other day...

DBB said...

... Erin ... slipping and falling and landing in the wrong... hmm... I guess one would have to be hot at the time for that to work right... ;)