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Musings on 4E [yet more gaming geekery]

Been reading up on 4E stuff. It's rife with speculation, disinformation, and a lot of just plain nonsense, but there are some hard facts and if you have a discerning eye and have been paying attention to trends coming out of Renton for the past few years, you can make some educated guesses.

There is a lot of stuff to like about what they're doing, but a lot to dislike, too. Piles of magical gear being downplayed? Awesome. Sliding backwards to the 1E/2E world where monsters followed one set of rules and characters followed another? Lame. Fighters and rogues getting "combat maneuvers" that allow them to do nifty things? Could be good, could be bad, depends on the implementation. Wizards and clerics getting magical abilities on a "per encounter" basis rather than "fire three spells and you're done for the day"? Awesome. Tieflings as a core race? Lame. And so on.

And of course, killing Dragon and Dungeon in order to inflate Digitial Initiative numbers transcends lame and jumps right up to "I want to knee you bastards in the groin" level.

So, all in all, still "meh." I think going forward I'm pretty much going to ignore it until October/November or so, when more actual hard data starts showing up. But initial indicators point to a giant, "So what?"

-The Gneech


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 25th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, what I heard was that the nonhuman-PCs rules will be more smoothly integrated into the level system, and nonhumans will get racial abilities over time, as they progress. That's in some of the optional systems now, but they're going to try to build it in. No more ECL? That's Awesome. They're also going to extend that to pretty much most of the humanoid races, and possibly into more exotic stuff. That's Awesome.

They've also flatly said that really exotic stuff like Beholders are flat out. "They're just too powerful to play" = "it's too hard to think about". That's lame.

Just HOW lame it is depends on which side of the line Dragons fall, of course. RAAR!
Aug. 25th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
I would like to revisit my vegepygmy ranger someday....but overall I'm not real impressed with what I've heard. The whole Diablo-esque fighter special abilities thing seems a little over the top. Cool abilities? Sure, I can see plenty of room for those. the Cleave feat was a great example of the sort of thing I think appropriate. Actually, a lot of the fighter feats. Anything that has to be refered to as 'spell-like', not so much in my book.

Also, I liked the piles of magic items. No matter what rules they use to limit them, the basic details are going to end up the same in almost every campaign. One good weapon per character, one good piece of armor/defensive magic each, maybe some extras. Where the 'piles' usually came in was in the High part of the High Fantasy setting, and were mostly things like 'Thimble of Infinite Sewing +2'. As far as number crunchyness goes they're not really going to manage to change the curve. Sure, plenty of people enjoy low fantasy settings. Dandy, there are plenty of them out there. No one is stopping anyone from playing them. The setting was just fine back under 2nd edition. If the setting was the problem, a single 20 dollar sourcebook (back when they cost 20 bucks, dammit) would have solved it.


Sorry. I think I got ranty. Nothing personal.
Aug. 25th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
I just keep thinking "three editions in six years seems like bullshit to me." The folks in charge of production seem to think that producing RPGs is like producing cars - you release a new model every year or so. Nope! And considering that each of those editions has featured hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars worth of supplements (both from WoT$Bro and from other D20 publishers) and countless legalistic rule systems, these "upgrades" demand a LOT from their fans.

But who cares, right? After all, we've got bills to pay. Let's just soak the kids for all the money their parents can afford. It's not like they didn't have it for CCGs, after all...

Huh. I keep recalling all the accusations that we at White Wolf were "just out to rip off the fans" when the Second Editions came out - even through all five Second Eds were ginormous improvements over the original editions. (Don't get me started on the "revised editions, though...) And yet, "the kids" will bitch and moan and buy all the new D&D 4E stuff anyway, just as the WoT$Bro executives know they will. Glad I don't play D&D anymore...
Aug. 25th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
when is 4e coming out?
Aug. 26th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
As for the magazine cancellation point, shall I ready your +5 vorpal sword of eunuch making?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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