Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Regular Game and the 4th Edition Rant

My longest-running regular game meets today.  Run by my friend (and best man) Brodie, it's a homebrew 4th edition campaign.  It's story-heavy, which is the only thing that's kept me in the game beyond friendship. The group itself is wonderful. Of the six players, two are women. Everyone is an adult in their 40s with jobs and their own personal living space. I enjoy their company and have socialized with all of them in non-gaming settings.

And yet I have to drag myself to this game -- my loathing for 4th edition is that strong.

The "I hate 4th edition" ship has sailed long ago.  Like many in my demographic, I tried to like it.  I bought the PHB and the Martial Powers warrior builder book.  I have suffered through two campaigns using this ridiculous rule system.  I have a mind to show up today with my Red Box (Erol Otus cover) Basic Set or Pathfinder and dare Brodie to switch rule systems.

My character -- a tiefling wizard I inherited -- has hit 11th level.  So now I must choose a "Paragon Path."  None of the paths in the PHB fit my concept.  My character is an egotistical bastard with an occasional nice streak.  I suppose I'll have to search on Brodie's WotC "insider" program to find an acceptable path from the various supplemental material out there.

The case against 4th edition:
  • "Roles"
  • "Encounters"
  • Everything keyed to challenge ratings
  • Near-impossibility of death
  • Paragon Paths
  • The entire "powers" concept -- I feel like a pro wrestler with my own finishing moves.
  • The game serves the rules, rather than the reverse
  • Tactical wargame feel
  • Combat takes forever
  • Binary Skill system does not allow for customization
  • No saving throws -- DM rolls an attack roll.  "Save" to end an effect.
  • No save or die
  • wholesale changes to established settings to shoehorn Dragonborn and Tiefling into the mix
  • abandonment of Greyhawk
The case for 4th edition:  Higher level play is slightly less bulky than 3.x.  Also, I like the way passive perception and insight are handled in-game.

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