Thursday, September 4, 2008


Seems one of my posts has incited some additional activity from The Geek Emporium.

..."Now, I may be calling maestrod out, which isn’t my intention, but it was a catalyst that forced me to realize that not everyone knows how I, and my group, play D&D."

"Maestrod" is me, I really should be consistent about my blogger tag. My original comment was on this and was in direct a response at “…the roles are something I can’t stand about 4e…”

Now where do I start?

I like 4e. But that isn't because I don't like 3.X. I like for 4e for what it brings to the table that's new and different. And because it's a new, it has renewed my interested in classic fantasy role playing. The fact is, I still have a shelf full of 3rd edition rules, and dozens of other games. (plug for Dark Heresy here!)

When I play a game, it is for what it *has* is not what it doesn't. Everyone (unless you're running something within a larger organization such as the RPGA) is free to write house rules and ignore any rule that they're not comfortable with. For example, I've long ignored any alignment rules that D&D has used. They just do not interest me.

One thing that's very apparent in all of the 4e rule books is that there's an obvious effort to spell out everything that more experienced gamers may take for granted. Just like the oft-repeated "What is role-playing" section in the intro chapter, much of this effort is not aimed at experienced gamers. I appreciate this content even though it's really not for me. The class commentary that explains what ability scores a particular class build should focus on is wasted in the eyes of an experienced gamer, it's *not* wasted on someone like say... my wife. For her, an explicit instruction saying "A warlock's main strength is dealing damage at range" and "choose constitution, charisma and intelligence as you ability scores" for an infernal-pact warlock is what she needs.

I don't think that these hints and instructions and labels make 4e any less flexible for the experienced gamer than 3.X or 2nd ed, or Advanced or Basic/Expert/Companion/Master, especially if you're okay with throwing the rules you don't like out the window and writing your own house rules.

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