Tuesday, June 24, 2008

4th ed, 2d look

I took a quick read of the 4th edition Player's Handbook last night, and looked at a few more reviews online.

From a comment by rentagurkha at a review by Chris Pramas:

D&D is inspired by, and should be able to feel like, the works of Lieber, Howard, Burroughs, Vance, Tolkien, and Moorcock, among others.

That's the big issue so far for me, I think. This edition of D&D doesn't feel like it's inspired by them, but rather by the computer-based RPGs that were themselves inspired by D&D.

Some of this is game mechanics (the Vance-inspired spells are gone, as are the Moorcock-inspired alignments). Some of this is just an instinctive feel - AD&D always had this 70s/80s vibe to it. This edition seems meant to appeal to the folks who think Conan started with the Schwarzenegger movies, and would criticize Elric as being a ripoff of Drizzt.

Will I use 4th Edition? It depends. If there's enough people around to start a new campaign (and now that I'm near the university, that's likely), and that's what they want to play, then sure. Though it doesn't really have the same feel, it looks like it could be a fun tactical combat game. (On the other hand, I wouldn't be at all surprised if 4th Edition turns out to be the RPG equivalent of Windows Vista.) If it's totally up to me, I'd rather use a classless, more freeform system like FUDGE or FATE, and a non-fantasy setting.


SunflowerP said...

Just as there are quite a few folks who've stuck to 2nd ed and refuse to have anything to do with 3/3.5, and even a small contingent of Original AD&D (i.e., 1st ed) aficionados, there's likely to be people who are "old-school" 3/3.5 players.

Seems to me that university proximity would mean above-average concentrations of all of the above, so while you'd probably find enough people wanting to play 4th if that's what you wanted, you similarly wouldn't have to settle for that if it's not what you want. And, another plus about being near a university is high turnover - fewer long-established gaming groups, more individual players who left their group back in Ohio or wherever.


jfpbookworm said...

That 3d ed can be called "old school" makes me feel ancient.

I'm still on the fence about this. I suspect the off-and-on gaming group I've been a part of here will stick to 3d edition, though I suspect that DM would have an easier/better time running a combat-heavy 4th edition campaign. For more story-based campaigns, or ones that want the game world to have the same "feel" - Clerics and Wizards are *very* different, and Druids, Bards, Barbarians, Monks and Sorcerers have been replaced with Warlords and Warlocks.

Renegade Evolution said...

i hate the new rules. bleh.