D&D 4E Disillusionment from 4E

catastrophic

First Post
4e reduced linguistic complexity in the game engine. There's a unified language for describing game effects now, making it easier to see that the differences are very often cosmetic.

In the past, legacy issues of spell block language versus "I swing my sword x number of times a round" created an illusion of variety in ways to interact with the combat game. If you plowed through those layers of abstraction, it was turtles all the way down, but most people don't do that, don't want to, and don't need to.
Actually, all 4e did was remove a bunch of obstructions that prevented people from understanding the game. With the time that used to be wasted trying to divine the rules through a haze of indecipherable stats and subsystems, 4e players and gms can instead focus on making the game cooler.

I am beginning to see that more clearly, it seems to be quite the subjective topic. More a matter of feel for each individual than objective facts.
This is an easy platitude that doesn't stand up under scrutiny. The needlessly complex, trap laden, minutia-driven systems of previous editions were not servicing some grand illusion- they were just badly designed and hard to read. People sing their praises in order to better bash 4e, but there's no real benefit to complexity for it's own sake- that's just something people say when they're used to something being complex, and don't like things changing.
 
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caudor

Adventurer
While I've been concerned about WotC's erratic behavior, I'm happy with 4e overall.

One thing struck me today...while I was playing D&D 3.0, it was 3.5 that made many of my books seem outdated (just a perception...not trying to state fact).

With 4e, it wasn't a new edition, but instead errata that made many of my books seem outdated. No new version, but the results have been pretty much the same.

I suppose that is the way it goes with printed material for a dynamic game.

Anyway, I'm still happy with 4e.
 

Nahat Anoj

First Post
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.
If you haven't done so already, take a look at savage worlds.
Thanks for the suggestions! Yeah, I have SW and played it over the course of a couple of months. It has a lot of good points. However, our group abandoned it for these main reasons:

-We couldn't shake the perception that Agility was the god stat.
-Players got frustrated by shaken results.
-It wasn't D&D. :D
 

MrGrenadine

Explorer
This is an easy platitude that doesn't stand up under scrutiny. The needlessly complex, trap laden, minutia-driven systems of previous editions were not servicing some grand illusion- they were just badly designed and hard to read. People sing their praises in order to better bash 4e, but there's no real benefit to complexity for it's own sake- that's just something people say when they're used to something being complex, and don't like things changing.

Fail.

Signed, a fan of complex, trap-laden, minutia-driven and well-written previous editions who LOVES when things change as long as they change into things I also enjoy.
 

CM

Adventurer
At risk of de-lurking just to post in a semi-edition-warrish thread, I just felt I had a few things to get off my chest.

As a long-time fan of 1e, 2e, then 3e, and now 4e, I feel that in many ways 4e is the best D&D has ever had to offer.
  • It supports a healthy level of character customization and optimization without delving into the nuclear arms race that was 3e toward the end of its published life.
  • For the most part it has excellent balance between classes (more on this later)--in earlier editions it always seemed to me that the true power lay in the pure spellcasting classes.
  • DM preparation is a snap, such that I can now focus on story/skill challenges and cherry-pick (and reskin) creatures from the DDI Compendium rather than spend three or four hours researching and constructing the creatures necessary to challenge an optimized high-level 3e group.
  • I don't understand complaints that 4e focuses on combat. Dungeons & Dragons as a whole has always been about adjudicating combat. Whether or not your group is heavily into role-playing is a matter of taste and not something the rules need to (or even should) support. Some people have asked for a social combat system, I suppose to help them increase their amount of role-playing. I think the skill challenge fills this role nicely, if implemented properly by the DM.
  • At first the book cancellations concerned me, but then I decided I'm OK with it. One of the downfalls of 3e imo was the furious pace of the release schedule (fueling the afore-mentioned arms-race) with poorly-balanced crunch. I think there is plenty of material in the system currently for our group to keep interested for many years. Dragon is still publishing articles regularly and hopefully this will satisfy any need for new material that is not fulfilled by the diminished release schedule.
  • Did I mention the Compendium? We have never had it this good and honestly I don't know how anybody can complain about it. I would rather spend 5 seconds doing a Compendium search than try to remember which book a spell was published in, look for it in my bookshelf, then look for it in my bedroom, then see if I remember who borrowed the book when that all fails.

Now despite that rosy-tinted picture there are a few things I hope WotC improves on:
  • Please, please release more support for the marginal classes. The warlock playtest is a positive sign. Other classes like the Artificer, Seeker, and Binder are in the same boat.
  • Release a real monster builder. I was really disappointed in the "monster leveler" when it released. I couldn't believe it, at first, and it was a bit insulting. I know it's in progress, but it's hard to wait when it was promised so long ago.
  • Now that 4e seems to be in "standby mode" with limited product releases, I hope the focus shifts to adventures. The framework of the game is there, now just go to the next level and release quality adventures. Adventure support (especially at paragon and epic levels) is one of the most oft-repeated complaints about 4th edition and it seems like one of the easiest to solve. Take the criticism about existing 4e adventures to heart and avoid making the same mistakes.
  • I'm not sure where WotC wants to go with magic items. I liked the limited use of daily-power items in early 4e. Another feature of 3e that I disliked was the christmas-tree effect of magic items with on-use powers and I would hate to see 4e have the same problem. On the other hand I also like the common/uncommon/rare system, with the caveat that some of the existing uncommon items really should be common. Hopefully with Mordenkainen's Emporium back on the table some of these issues will be addressed.

As a long-time lurker that's my take on the state of Dungeons & Dragons. I'd like to think that I'm part of a silent majority (at least on this particular subforum). Overall I am happy with the game and hope that WotC continues to correct the shortfalls while not introducing more.

-Rob
 

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