Posted by: Andy | June 21, 2008

D&D: 4th ed

So I noticed the new books out in a B&N over in the Clackamas Town Center/Mall last week or so, and barely had time to skim it, but it looked interested.  It “looked” like the streamlined things and made them much more accessible to newcomers, as well as highlighting the leveling curve and “making each level count”.

I saw the book in another B&N today over in shitcouver and wanted to skim it, but we didn’t have time, so I picked it up.

I really like some of the ideas behind what they did – the whole Hero/Paragon/Epic leveling zones is a good  idea & play mechanic.  But somehow the features they attribute to the class & prest—err paragon classes just seem rather blah.  I can’t put my finger on it…ok I can sort of:

They made D&D into an MMO.  Or rather, they made it play much more like a cross btw. an mmo & a miniature game.  The ability system & equipment “slots” feel very mmo-ish, as do labeling classes “strikers, controllers, x, & y” (forgot what x & y are).  Lots of emphasis on positioning and miniatures – an aspect of D&D I never liked – if I want to play a mini game I’ll play one bitch!!  Now get your pewterines offa my gaming table!!

But seriously…so yeah, the racial streamling and accenting looks good, as do some of the classes, but I’m left with some questions, such as:

  • Why do we need a separate Warlord class?  This should be a subset of fighter somehow.
  • With the changes they made to the Cleric class, why do we even have Paladins?  Clerics are basically Paladins now – they can heal, fight & turn undead…
  • WHERE’S MY GODDAM MONSTER SUMMONING???  OK, they are probably in there, I’m sure I just missed them because I only skimmed the “spells”, but you’d think I would have seen a Monster Summoning I-X in there somewhere…

It looks like the game will be fun to play, provided your into minis…I was excited about it (not that I have anyone around to play with), but the focus on minis (probably so WotC can peddle more shit) really sours it for me.  You can probably still make the minis stuff optional, but so many of the feats and abilities involve pushing things around that it seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth.

Just haul out the trusty 1st ed…wait…shit you mean I sold all my 1st ed books years ago in a fit of religiousity or something?  Sheyat!  Those things are costly on ebay.  Oh well, I wasn’t going to play anyway.  CoH/CoV & MtG (and now MtG: Online…but that’s for another post) do a nice job on my freetime as it is.



  1. We’ve all been discussing picking up 4th ed and rolling some dice. Sadly I have no 1st ed books, but I do have all my 2nd ed and 3rd ed stuff hidden away with my warhammer books.

    The minis aren’t all that bad, I used them on occasion when DMing 3rd ed games, it just made working out all the attacks of opportunity and crap that much easier to visualize. But I also have hundreds of warhammer minis, so its easy to represent anything I wanted (orcs, elves, dwarves, vampires, dragons, giants, ogres, name it, I probably have it!)

    Clearly one of us should relocate to enable our dice rolling in groups.

  2. Clearly!
    Unfortunately, we’re trying to buy a house, so we’re stuck here for another 5+ years…
    I hear it’s cheaper here than SB…. *hinthint*

    It seems like D&D is already time consuming and the minis just make it more so. Also, I’ve always wondered if all those opportunity attack & flanking things really added anything to D&D other than making it more like a mini game…

    Warhammer was one of those things I always wanted to get into, but am rather glad I didn’t…but I’ll gladly play with someone else’s minis!

  3. HEY. I miss you.

  4. Well, we already know the answer to that non-question: move to Portland! ;p

  5. Man, that’s just the same answer you always have, isn’t it?

    I do have to get up there and visit. I toured the east coast and Denver recently to see if I’d want to live there, I can always add a northern search as well!

  6. Yeah, I think we’re going to Montreal instead. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss you.

  7. Yes, yes I’m sorry, I’m selfish and demand that everyone be near me.

    No, actually we just don’t make enough money/time to visit everyone that we want to..and we pretty much CAN’T leave (unless another magical very good job just incarnates itself for me) for a while so yeah.

    Move up here.

  8. Hahahaha. You know I love Portland. But I have that dang temperament that won’t be satisfied. Plus you know we’re nomadic for this season of our lives. If three places in three years didn’t tell you… 🙂 All for a reason, bien sur, but yeah. If you guys stay in Portland for ever and ever, we’ll no doubt spend a stipend o’ time there, too.


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