release the rage

06.2008 at 1:43 am 2 comments

With the near-release of Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition, they made changes to the Forgotten Realms campaign setting – something about a living campaign world. Knocking off deities, destroying lands, and ravaging the world and its magic, has caused some rage directed at Wizards.

Similar feelings have surfaced with the announcement and development of 4e D&D. There has been a leak of the 4e books on the internet – surprise, surprise – so the three core books are available for review. I’d like to give my first impressions of the new edition Wizards has given us, and I’d like to know what the impressions of others are too. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the new edition, either no with the internet version or when the you have a chance to view the hardcopy version.

Please, no rebuttals of the comments of others. I believe only constructive things should be said, as this is now what D&D is. 3e will no longer be produced, so I’d like to look to the future in a positive light.

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

prestige to paragon where did all my options go?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. riphoudouso  |  06.2008 at 3:07 am

    First impressions…

    I thought I’d get the ball rolling, mostly cause I’m the only one in my gaming circle that has extensively looked into the core rule books – internet pirate:(

    My first reaction included fear and worry. I was worried that 4e doesn’t meet the standards that 3e has set. I was afraid that my gamers wouldn’t want to learn to play 4e. I even considered cancelling my order for the core books collection. My thinking wasn’t clear, until I read more into the books and thought about where I was coming from, my bias.

    I was coming from a world where 3e was extensive and established. Of 3e, we know the classes, the rules of battle and enounters, the spells, the abilities, the enemies, the allies, the campaign worlds, the ways to use the rules to our advantage, the way to succeed with battle and skills, how to make a character in ten minutes, and so much more. Essentially, we know the feel of 3rd edition dungeons and dragons; it’s in our Guts – guts – gut feelings. Here’s the conclusion I came to, 4e is still 3e D&D, but to play it, I’d need a mental change.

    The classes, races, spells, abilities, feats, skills, character sheets, and even equipment have a different feel and need a different approach than 3e, while the game play, itself, remains almost the same. The switch to 4e is much like beginning an Eberron campaign. 4e is a different world, a different take on all that makes up a PC.

    As promised, I believe they have definitely streamlined the game system itself; that is, the rules for combat, maintaining a character, and other things that have bogged the game down, are now approached at a different angle. I like this. I’ve said “screw that rule” on many occasions for the sake of the game, so it can only be positive.

    There are new races and classes, and the old stereotypes have been broken. This was extremely similar to what Keith Baker did with the Eberron campaign world. Essentially, the races and classes are the same, but they are approached from a different point of view.

    Regarding classes, the non-wizard classes have a lot of variety in their class abilities, though I feel the wizard’s flexibility has been restricted. For instance, there are only a few schools of magic you can focus in. The idea of the specialist does not exist. I believe Wizards will produced more branches for the wizard. On the other side of that coin, the wizard is much more effective and long-lasting in battle.

    As mentioned above, the classes like fighter, ranger, rogue, paladin, cleric, and the new classes, warlord and warlock, have all been given a variety of abilities and paths to choose. You have a lot of control over your character’s development, as opposed to the set ability gains for 3e classes and prestige classes. I’m not sure what to make of the paragon and epic paths yet, except that there needs to be more choices.

    In fact, that is a general comment – there needs to be more choices. A couple let downs were the feats and the amount of classes. Where is the bard, the druid, the barbarian, the sorceror, the monk? Wizards has noted there are supplement books to come with those classes, but it is a bit of a bummer to not have them in the PHB. Also, there needs to be more feats. The limited feat list is a disappointment. Feats are new; that’s cool, but many feats are class or race specific, which narrows your choices even more. They really need to work on the feats.

    In retrospect of what I just said, again, I have to change my thinking. I’m used to having dozens of 3e books to choose classes and feats and this and that from. 4e has one, 300+ page book. I’m hoping I’ve rattled off something of substance here. I will probably think of things I could have said later, but, for now, those are my first impressions of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. Honestly, I haven’t played 4e yet. I’ve made a few characters, read the books, but I haven’t seen 4e in action. To sum it all up, I’d have to say that I’m looking forward to the changes 4e has introduced. I think the game has been brought to a really fun level, for DMs and players alike. Choice may be limited, right now, but the game itself is looking up.

    Reply
  • 2. truth9  |  06.2008 at 3:15 pm

    I’ll give my first impression of my very brief perusal of the 4e books.

    It’s overwhelmingly different. In changing from AD&D 2e to 3.0/3.5, I was able to make the changeover very easily, and I was interested in the differences. I don’t find that with 4e.

    While I can see some major aspects of the game being tweaked positively, I can see tons of things that I outright hate.

    To be fair though, I think I tend to place more value on what others call fluff than do a lot of more hardcore D&D fans.

    What I do find is a system that might make playing the (as-yet-unannounced-but-inevitable) Neverwinter Nights 3, or other D&D based PC games interesting. But what I look for in a tabletop rpg is not what I look for in a PC RPG.

    At the same time, I think that that DMs will find a much easier time working with monsters in this new edition. They’ll definitely benefit from the prebuilt critters, and the ability to throw any monster at a party and know exactly who it’s aimed at is very nice.

    Reply

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