D&D 4E Disillusionment from 4E

Mr. Patient

The topic has been covered pretty well over the last few years, but for what it's worth, I'm nearing the end of my 4e interest as well. It has nothing to do with WotC's releases or lack thereof, nor their management of the brand. It's just that after an 18-month campaign, I'm finding the game not to my tastes anymore. I guess I need a little more swinginess. And yeah, better adventures.

ETA: I think Trailblazer is probably closest to what I want in a ruleset. I may feel differently after I play it extensively, but for now, it looks like what I want.
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You're not alone.

But... you're also the only person who can fix this issue. Either play something else you do like, or shake up the group a bit for a different dynamic, or try a different campaign format, or something!


5ever, or until 2024
4E burnout is interesting...

Its not like 3e. We also had lots of these posts from back then, but they were more like "I am DMing 3E and GOING CRAZY".

Clearly, WotC is an issue. I have posted so much on that, and others have in this thread, that I won't rehash, this time.

Turning back to the game, it is built on the idea of "stretching the sweet spot", especially in the context of playable, balanced encounters. It does a good job (though they can take to long). But I could see some sameness and repetition creeping in. Something that 4Es (at least early) adventures made much, much worse.

I am not having that problem, though I do have to challenge and deviate from the metagame implied in (early) 4E. And to be fare, the DMG and the stuff the WotCies have posted on DDI is full of great DM advice, that could certainly liven up any campaign.

To bad they didn't do a better job of following it in many of their products. (oops, gripping about WotC again).

Mr. Patient

But I could see some sameness and repetition creeping in. Something that 4Es (at least early) adventures made much, much worse.

The great thing about 4e combat is that a 15th level fight takes pretty much the same amount of time as a 2nd level fight. The problem with 4e combat is that a 2nd level fight takes pretty much the same amount of time as a 15th level fight.
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It sounds like you may have built too much of your life into gaming, and need to branch out a bit. It's one thing to be interested in the growth of an edition because you're enjoying it, but if the growth of the edition is NOT fun for you, don't get so deeply involved. The only reason that future materials should be a concern for you is if you've managaed to burn through most of the old ones already, which is unlikely unless you've been tearing through epic games like Aegeri has.

If you're not enjoying your game time because of a focus on combat then you should flat out stop running Encounters. It is very specifically an introduction to D&D through a combat encounter, and if you're hurting for RP it is about the worst thing you could be doing. If you still want to play a game during this time, look into story-telling games; there are quite a few of them these days.

Another option is to stop (or reduce) your DMing and instead try Playing. Think of it as a Work/Life balance thing. Personally, I DM every other Saturday, then play the OTHER Saturday, and I basically show up to Encounters as emergency backup - if they need a PC or a DM, I fill the spot, if not, I just let everyone grab one of my many minis and hobknob with the store owner for a few hours.


First Post
Remember, a 2nd level character only needs about an 11 to hit. But then, a 15th level character still needs about an 11 to hit...

I have gotten to where I feel like every encounter is the same. The monsters have different descriptions, but they are all starting to feel the same. I know technically, it was the same in every edition, but there is something about 4e...

I have been playing in 4e since day 1. Several campaigns, several settings, etc.

I just feel like 4e is bland. The classes feel the same, the monsters feel the same, the magic items are boring. I don't feel like I used to when it comes to gaming. I used to dread missing a game, now...meh. It is the same group. The same DM. I like the plots and story and I like my fellow gamers. There is just nothing that really leaves me feeling inspired.

Maybe it is that all of the classes are built the same. You get X powers at Y level whether you are a fighter, rogue, wizard, or farmer. In every other edition, your class determined how many "power options" you had. I'm not trying to bash an edition and every edition has its faults (3e grapple and feat interaction complexity come to mind).

I think I have rambled enough, did any of it make sense?

I think part of the problem is that unlike at least 2e and 3e and far more so than other editions of D&D, 4e is dripping with flavour. It simulates a genre (large pulp action) very well. And if I want to play a game in that style with moderate crunch, I can't think of a better system.

But I like a change now and then. Because older editions were much more incoherent they could be used for almost anything - albeit without the ruleset adding much. (If anything the ruleset is IMO a slight hinderance to anything, and it says a lot that the 4e ruleset is a better match for Dark Sun than the edition for which it was written).

Getting burned out on 4e is like getting burned out on Dread, Dogs in the Vineyard, or Fiasco. All three of them are incredible games - but I wouldn't want to play them all the time. (4e isn't as extreme). Older editions are more like slightly overcooked pasta. For all its faults you can throw almost any sauce you want on it to keep things fresh. But although I like a good steak, I wouldn't want one for every meal and there are plenty of sauces it won't take. Therefore more burnout.


First Post
4e is the only edition I've ever consistently enjoyed from session to session, campaign to campaign, player seat to DM seat. But I can only imagine Encounters would be burnout city if you do much of it, especially from the DM side.

Hiatus is good for the soul. Play something else a while. I took a break to do several weeks' worth of indie game one-shots in between the heroic and paragon tiers of my game, and it was a delightful breath of fresh air. Between paragon and epic we're planning to play through a phase or two of Burning Empires. Maybe doing something like that would give you a chance to recharge your batteries, and whatever you find yourself missing about your D&D games will be something you can focus on (house rule to support, if you have to) to better enjoy it next time. And if you don't find yourself missing D&D after a while away? Hey, you've just freed up a huge chunk of your life for something new! Find that something and exult in it!


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.

Have you (or the OP) tried Savage Worlds? That's the first thing that popped into my mind form your description of the game you want, and you can get the core book for only $10. Its a little "gamey", but if you were OK with the level of Gaminess in 4E it should be no problem. Otherwise it hits all of your needs pretty well, and has a number of fun campaigns/settings out for it.

Personally I'm in the opposite boat from the OP. I played a 6 month game of 4E when it first came out, really enjoyed it, and kept buying stuff for it after the campaign ended, but dropped out when Essentials was released. I recently picked up the Essentials stuff and it rekindled my love of the game, so I'm currently running 2 4E games.



First Post
I dont understand the comment:

"2nd level character only needs about an 11 to hit. But then, a 15th level character still needs about an 11 to hit."

In previous editions or in other games does this change? when you level up is it harder or easier to hit things? as you level up did you just stop rolling because you could never miss or did you eventually give up because it was impossible to hit things?

Edit: Perhaps it was in previous editions non AC defenses were quite swingy with saves, a save could vary by 20 if depending on the roll.

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