Monday, May 26, 2008

Playing 4E for the first time

Well I got the family campaign together on Saturday, for the first time in many months (my sister had a baby and my brother-in-law, the one married to my wife's sister was finishing up college) and we played some 4E. It was a little bit rocky as you might imagine, with it being everyone's first time, but overall people seemed to enjoy themselves. When I went around the table asking for peoples opinions after things were over everyone was complimentary and most of them were basically ready to jump right over to 4E. A few people including my #1 daughter thought it played a little bit too much like a video game.

I can see that criticism. But I also think that our little test was skewed by the fact that all we did was combat, and that the little abilities are definitely more prominent when you're just starting to get used to them. Additionally with the concept of skill challenges that have been introduced in 4E I think there's quite a bit more potential to craft interesting non-combat encounters that move things forward in interesting ways... Which is a fancy way of saying I need to see the complete books before I can form a definite opinion on how video-gamey it is.

I will say this however, lots of people have talked about how 4E borrows from WoW, but I don't really see that. What it looks to me like is that it has borrowed a lot from the miniature skirmish games that have been popular recently. There's lots of movement abilities, like getting a free move if one of your enemies moves, or being able to push your enemy back a square, etc. I think overall the learning curve for someone to play a 1st level character is higher, but I think after that abilities and additional stuff comes at a slow enough pace that it's probably easy to pick up.

In any case this is just my preliminary take on things, I think that getting the full books will be required before I can really give my full opinion on it, but for now I'm pretty happy with it and my players are pretty happy.

I know I didn't explicitly warn you that this was another D&D post, but it should have been obvious from the title


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