D&D 4E Disillusionment from 4E


I came to the realization during a session of D&D Encounters that I was running. The realization is that for the first time in 29 years…I am not having fun with D&D! This feeling kind of scared the begezus out of me. I have loved every edition of D&D since BECMI and each version more than the previous. I have been enjoying 4E a lot… until lately. I started thinking about what was the cause and came to several conclusions. The actions of WOTC with essentials, product cancelations and a less than impressive showing at the GAMA trade show made me actually think about the game future. With that I started to realize that I wouldn’t miss it. I have been unhappy with the quality of D&D for a couple years. 4E’s perceived focus on combat was noticeable to me but not bothersome until a few years of it. Encounters really started showing me that there was something missing, I couldn’t say what, just a nagging feeling. The writing of D&D’s adventures has been falling below what I would consider acceptable for a while now. The entire DDI concept and follow-through has been poor in my opinion. Especially killing the adventure tools and character builder for the online versions, that well, are less than the originals to be nice. Not directly related to the rules, but the loss of the miniature line really got me as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hell out of D&D, but WOTC’s current leadership has tainted the heck out of everything and left me with a bad taste. 4E comes down to an illusion, an illusion of options, an illusion of choice, and an illusion of quality. I mean really, when skill challenges let you use just about any skill to accomplish any task, what is the point of differentiation. Bear with me; I know I’m not giving a ton of good examples, just some highlights of my disgruntlement. After thinking about my issues with 4E, I couldn’t enjoy DMing it anymore…and that is a most impressive feat if there ever was one. I actually threw a celebration declaring the end of my running 4E for good. The ending of playing does seem inevitable as well.

All in all….this has made me reflect on past editions and what made them fun…aside from the friends we play with, what did the rules change?…

Am I alone in my crazy thoughts?

I’m curious if anyone shares similar sentiments.

I’m not interested in an edition flame war or trolling….just some serious contemplation….

Have I lost my game or my mind?

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First Post
You are not alone. Threads like this keep popping up. It seems quite common. 4E just doesn't seem to have the staying power of earlier editions. One of the groups I play with just switched to Pathfinder from 4E because some of us were getting tired of 4E.


First Post
You're not crazy. I had the same exact feelings many months ago and I switched to Savage Worlds. I've never been happier and I have that nostalgic feeling all over again. Don't get me wrong, I've been a D&D player for almost 30 years. If WotC gets the game revamped and streamlined, I may be a D&D player again.

Dark Mistress

First Post
Well if you are not happy with 4e try older editions or other games. There is a ton of RPG's out there, including retro clones. Plus all new games using new systems. I would take this chance to play as many of them as you could and find something you like and start playing it.


First Post
I am getting really disinterested in 4E, especially with wizards over-saturating the heroic tier with stuff while leaving paragon/epic tier to die. As two of my games are almost in paragon tier, I am beginning to notice the distinct drop in tangible and useful support for my games.

It's just getting too difficult for me to remain enthused and interested in 4E DnD anymore.

I've been running a campaign since late 2009. The party is currently lvl 16 and it's been a blast. Throughout all the hum-drum of late, WoTC mistakes, DDI fiascoes, Pathfinder selling like gangbusters, there are only two things that have had an impact on my campaign:

* Combat takes too long.
* The heroes are starting to get so strong that they are difficult to seriously challenge (and if I want to challenge them, the ensuing combat usually takes two hours).

Although I have some other beefs with 4E (magic items are extremely dull, not enough epic support, below average adventures), the two former issues are the most important, IMHO.

I really like 4E, I think it's a great system. 4E made DMing so easy that I'm finally looking at running a campaign from lvl 1 to 30. That has never happened before (in 3E, the highest I got before my brain exploded from the workload, was lvl 12).
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First Post
The heart and soul of any relationship with a game is chemistry. If it's not there, it's not there. Nothing dramatic about that.

That said, I really think running a game in the Encounters format greatly increases the likelihood of generating fatigue with any RPG. I worked on Werewolf: The Apocalypse for several years, and I would burn out on that thing so fast if I were running a weekly game in the Encounters format rather than in the form of a traditional chronicle. The recharge of energy I get from any game comes in the moments when the players plot out their next move, hit up old contacts, work at their community-building projects. I'm still having as much fun with 4e as I did when I first started getting the hang of it, but I admit the campaign structure has a lot to do with that.

Nahat Anoj

First Post
All in all….this has made me reflect on past editions and what made them fun…aside from the friends we play with, what did the rules change?…

Am I alone in my crazy thoughts?

I’m curious if anyone shares similar sentiments.
You're not alone. I've tuned out to 4e, mostly because there are too many moving parts to keep track of, both at character creation and in actual play.

So I'm not in to it, but sadly none of the other editions appeal to me. 3.x/Pathfinder have the same option bloat as 4e. I haven't played Basic, 1e, or 2e since childhood, so I don't feel like I can critique them honestly. However, I look back on those rules and find that I simply don't care for them - too many weird sub-rules, too many different ways to do tasks, and so on. I do like the spirit those older rules and modules have, though.

What I want is a game that's simple to create characters in, plays relatively smoothly while allowing some tactical decisions, and has a great sense of adventure.


First Post
Honestly, man, I think the best thing to do is stop DMing Encounters. Take a break from 4e all together and go play something else. If you eventually come back a few weeks or months down the road, then it was meant to be, and by that time maybe there'll be more there for you, and if not, there's sooo many other great options.

I'm always tempted by the AGE system, personally, though I can't say there's too much support there yet, either.

I think we all get burned out sooner or later, and running a weekly game really designed for new players, lacking the depth a personal campaign might have, exacerbates that.

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