It Draws NearER!

03.2008 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

4E Lite

Above is a link to a full preview of the fourth edition of Dungeons and Dragons, as mentioned in a previous post, but may not have had the attention it deserves.

With skills reduced, less description for class roleplay, and a large focus on combat roles, I think 4E is appearing to forsake actual roleplaying. I don’t believe this is true – they will probably add more class roleplay information into the actually PHB. I’ve always found that whatever system we use or whatever DM is working the game, combat is where we get hung up and combat is where we fight the most. I like how 4th edition has streamlined combat, afterall, the battle hangups are always over something stupid and something both people saw differently. 3rd Edition has made me yearn for a cleaner, smoother combat system – ugh grapple, turn undead, modifier after modifier, etc. Maybe it was their plan all along to make us hate the craziness of 3rd, so we’d be ready to fully embrace a 4th edition.

I did, however, notice an increase in race description, including a section on how to play each race. This leads me to believe that they are designed a template world, a basis for life from which a DM can build his own world – “The elves are like this and humans are like this, now we dare you, even prod you, to break from the norm!”

After reviewing the experience section, I’m more optimistic about the roleplaying aspect of 4th ed. They have now taken into account that players receive experience points for roleplaying, finishing a quest, and succeeding in an action, as well as for vanquishing a foe. Every encounter and difficulty has set experience point awards.

It is regrettable that they have lessened the skill list, but I think they are focusing on the more playable skills, ones you can physically use during play – combat or otherwise.

I think it is a good thing that they are focusing on combat. I don’t want to get hung up on combat, because when we have to stop and think about what we roll or where that item is in the rulebook, we lose the atmosphere of the game. The creators of DnD rely on the knowledge that the players and DM are quite capable of adding their own roleplaying. I don’t remember any rulebook showing the player how to roleplay multiple personalities, high racist arrogance, complete disregard for others, full-immersion in a map-drawing golem, extreme religious fervor, happy-go-lucky annoyances, singing about lizards glowing, lighting your face on fire, deadpan laughs, fear and love of magic and other forbidden arts, fearless fury at the expense of your own body, voices – oh the voices. Our players make choices based on roleplay. I’ve seen players make choices that will harm them, but they do it, cause their character would do it. I’ll trust Wizards to make a good system, and I’ll trust my players to do the roleplaying.

Feel free to comment on things you like or dislike about 4E Lite.


Entry filed under: Scouring of the Shire: d&d evolution.

Making the Connection strawberries, eggs, butter

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