Monday, June 23, 2008

You whippergamers, get off my lawn!

Jolt Country reviews D&D 4th edition.

Now I was actually a fan of 3d edition - I thought they did a good job of streamlining the game and avoiding some of the problems with the earlier editions. Of course, my main experiences with 1st and 2d edition AD&D were playing premade modules (including the original Ravenloft module) and SSI's "gold box" games; I didn't really get into serious campaigns until 3d edition had been released and popularized.

4th edition appears to be heavily influenced by MMORPGs, especially World of Warcraft. I'm not sure what to think of the "role" system and how it's tied to class (the 3d ed. multiclassing system, which was the only one that ever made sense to me, is scrapped), or the idea of "aggro" (does this mean it's not DM's discretion who gets attacked? Are heavily armored rodeo clowns now a viable combat unit?) The "powers" seem overpowered (a cleric can get an unlimited-use ranged attack that also works as a one-time bless at level 1? Seriously?)

While that sort of thing does solve the ages-old problem of magic-users being useless after they've used their daily spells, it really does seem to be an entirely different game at this point. And since they already have a World of Warcraft tabletop RPG, I don't seen the need for this kind of rewrite.

[Addendum: they changed the alignment system! "When they Chaotic Good is outlawed, only outlaws will be Chaotic Good..."]

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