August 11, 2008

[D&D 4E] Opinions

Out there a lot of people are talking about the D&D4E.
Now it's the time I give you my opinion about it.
First of all: Things I don't like

  • Magic object uses: The fact you can't use magic item powers freely, but only one power between all of them every encounter just sucks.
  • Keep on the Shadowfell: One of the worst adventures published. Just a nonsense dungeoncrawl. Sigh.
  • Random Miniatures: Because a colossal red dragon is cool, but I need MORE FUCKIN' KOBOLDS! And goblins. And orcs. And gnolls. And so on.
  • Conditions: A pain in the ass keep track of them.
  • No one is needed philosophy: You can go without a cleric, you can go without a rogue, you can go without a wizard. The result? A lot of strikers.
  • Tieflings: No way! My tieflings will be Planescape-like.
  • Cosmology: No way! My cosmology will be Planescape-like even if players don't know it.
  • Druids: are not there. I miss them and I think that druids have to be controllers.
  • Narrative style of play will be difficult: I love DMing narrative style. I like combat, don't misjudge me, but really epic stuff happens without rolling any dice. 4E adventures and sourcebook doesn't help at all. For now WotC have published just encounter compilations and that sucks.
  • Hero style: I don't like PC to be born heroes. I like them to become ones.
  • D&DInsider: D&DI is real shit, you know? It's so shitty I still don't believe it.
Now: Things I like
  • Monsters: They are fun to use. You can do strategies that are not only useful, but also fun. All the combat is way more entertaining and unique. Fighting a kobold is now different than fighting a goblin or an orc.
  • Environment: You have to use it and use it the smart way and that's fun.
  • No more batteries class: You can't run out of spells. That's cool.
  • Creating monsters: It's easy, inspiring and quick.
  • Traps: Now you can disable them, break them and outsmart them and it's cool.
  • Community: The RPG community was woken up by the 4E and that's simply fabulous!
  • Gnomes are missing: Fuck them. I've always liked halflings more.
  • Faster learning: I play with a lot of beginners so that's great for me! Really awesome! That's a issue so big for me that I can have switched just for that.
  • Balance: You can't plan your character progression to be leading to uber-character. That's fine for me.
  • Barbarians and monks: See gnomes.
Things I don't know if I like
  • Skill challenges: Good idea on the paper, I have to try use them before judging.
  • Multiclassing: At 1st level you chose your life path. Mmmmh.
  • DMG: Good for beginners. Pretty useless for me after almost 20 years of DMing. (If I was a beginner the DMG will have changed my life AND my games)
Said so, my new September campaign will be a D&D4E one. And I'm pretty excited about it.

Picture credits:
Wayne Reynolds


  1. I pretty much agree with everything you said. Especially the Gnomes... creepy little bastards.

  2. I think the conditions are much more easily tracked now than in 3rd edition, specially because of the standardized durations. What was your issue with them?

  3. Mostly that in 3.x conditions was not common as in 4E.
    Is true that duration now is standard but now is very common to have to track down 6/7 conditions with multiple occurrences in every combat and that's a pain in the ass
    (es. paladin and warrior mark, hunter's quarry, warlock curse plus spells and monster's ones every combat)

  4. Well, maybe my table was just way too much spell oriented, but to track all blesses, prayers, stat buffs, oponnents debuffs and melf's acid arrows damage was quite challenging as well! :D

  5. I agree with conditions - little condition tent-cards are very helpful for that, by the way.

  6. @docbadwrench:

    You can find those condition table tents at Dragon Avenue.

  7. My opinion is that conditions are better than they were in 3E, HOWEVER, there were so many other painful things in that edition that conditions took a back seat. Now that so much has been cleaned up, conditions stand out more as something that is a bit more of a hassle.

    This is a good thing, because it means to me that they haven't cleaned the game up to the point of removing anything fun from it whatsoever. There has to be SOME tedium for it to be D&D, and now conditions are filling that role. :D (half-snark, half-serious)