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dmz2112: DMZ2112 (Default)

It’s been a little more than a year since Dungeons & Dragons, 4th Edition, launched, and after six months of playing it regularly and six more of watching it evolve I think I have finally defined what it is I don’t like about it.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy D&D4. I’ve come to terms with it in a way that allows me to enjoy it a great deal as a sort of beer-and-pretzels, fantasy-combat board game, in the same vein as the old DUNGEON! game or the more recent Descent and Runebound. I’m not being flippant – I really do enjoy these games and I consider D&D4 to be one of the best. In a lot of ways, I’ve been waiting for a game like D&D4 my entire life. But I don’t consider D&D4 to be a roleplaying game.

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dmz2112: DMZ2112 (Default)
So it’s been almost two months since the launch of Dungeons & Dragons, Fourth Edition. I’ve run several sessions using the new system. My opinion can be summed up as follows:

The game has its issues: needless complexity is greatly reduced, for instance, but this does not necessarily equate to faster play because rejiggered combat math means higher hit point totals and lower accuracies. Players calling out the same power names in every round and in every combat becomes extremely monotonous, but this is easily circumvented by forbidding players to call their powers by name. D&D4, like Third Edition and 3.5, still builds adventures around encounters, not encounters around adventures, and the rules for non-combat encounters have only made this more pronounced. The tactical reinvention of monsters and character classes means that the use of a battle mat is almost a necessity. But the game is fun. It is simple, engaging, and intuitive, and I look forward to playing well into the future.

Now, when can we expect the release of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Fourth Edition? )
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