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More 4e Info [gaming geekery]

More info.

This new edition will stick with the d20 system, but the designers see many elements that can be improved. One big emphasis has been on streamlining turns to help the game get around the table a bit quicker; they know there’s nothing the rules can do to keep a party’s mage and barbarian from wasting 15 minutes screaming over tactics at the start of every combat, but at least they can get you out of grappling details a bit faster. And the mage and barbarian might get along a little better thanks to revamped spell recovery rules that won’t do away with the need to rest to replenish spells, but will give players more options to recover spells and in-game incentives to do something other than call nappy-time every two encounters.

In essence, what you’re going to see mechanically is the d20 system evolved: rebuilding the clunky parts, greasing the wheels and polishing the chrome until you can see your character in it. Part of that polishing includes ramping up the coolness factor on some of the less-popular character classes to make sure that every class has a unique and essential role in a well-balanced party; you might see some of the traditional classes fall out of the base book in favor of sexier roles. The same thing will happen to the races covered in the core books, where the half-demon tieflings will claim a place at the expense of an undisclosed race—we’re guessing a half-elf, gnome and halfling were shut up in a dark cave with some paring knives, and no questions were asked of whoever came out…heck, there might even be three new races in the new edition! Not to worry; Slavicsek promises that any beloved races cut from the core books will appear in early Fourth Edition expansions.

Not all of Fourth Edition’s changes will add to the game by subtraction; many rules tweaks they’ve experimented with in books all over Wizards’ RPGs will show up as well. For example, Slavicsek tells us that “The Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords book, which gave fighter-type characters the same types of options spellcasters do by basically giving them spells for fighters,” was received very well. “That idea has been extremely popular, and we’re adopting something similar for Fourth Edition.”

Heh. :)

-TG

Comments

the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
re: the thri-kreen, the answer is you pick one and stick with it -- the others are all different sub-races! ;)

I think for new DM's, and DM's who have the money to spend on the online stuff, it'll probably be good. For those of us who already invested in a bunch of stuff, it's more problematic.

-The Gneech
rogue_richek
Aug. 17th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
I think in the end though it comes down to this:

You and others like you have been playing for easily 30 years or so. Maybe less, but still, a fair amount of time. As such, you are used to and can use with considerable skill, a large arsenal of different rules and whatnot. You have enough experience that in the end, even a major change to the play system is just going to be a minor annoyance that may take you a campaign or so to iron out. Its not like every book you have bought thus far is now bunk, or at least, the vast majority of them wont be.

however, new players, and especially new DMs, need that little bit of extra help in order to place themselves on what I could jokingly call 'equal footing.' The new races will allow those who are weak in their RP style (as I have noticed most of the current generation is shakey at best in their RP) to get to a place where they can comfortably interact in a world without having to spend $120 buying the various books needed to do it in 3.0. Additionally, it gives the newer DMs a chance to flex their story telling muscles without having to bend rules and fight the often vague and confusing monster to PC rules.

This is not to say that the new edition will completely leave the older players out to dry, as I seem to recall some trepidation over the feats category a few years back when it was introduced. I'm sure there will be some higher level things to keep you and others interesting and engaged.

Its a bummer for the old hats like yourself to be sure, and I do sympathize, but for new players like myself, its something to look forward to.
the_gneech
Aug. 17th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't described myself as bummed about it. If it weren't for the death of Dragon, Dungeon, and E-Tools, I'd be perfectly happy (although probably still not inclined to switch over). FWIW, I'm interested to see what they do with it.

-TG

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