Tuesday, January 10, 2012

| RIP 4e

Yeah, that didn't last long. I'm actually looking forward to a new edition. I was pretty excited about 4th ed at first but I got really burned out on it. Me and Enron played quite a bit of it with the game group. (Speaking of Enron, where is that guy? You playing Earthdawn or what, dude?)

What I liked:
- Amazing ease of use for creating encounters. Just an incredible system.
- Wizards that don't suck at level 1.
- Classes get fun stuff at every level.
- Skill check system had some really good potential, although the actual implementation was fail.

What I didn't like:
- Too many mechanics that are obviously just mechanics with no explanation for how they work in the context of the game world, breaking immersion. Ie, why does every town sell magic items? How is it that each PC can heal themselves? (This is actually something they lifted from Earthdawn, but in Earthdawn it makes sense because everybody knows magic.) Why exactly can a fighter use a given power only once per day?
- Really stupid player races.
- Really awful setting background. Just lazy and generic.
- Long, loooong combats. In one of our recent sessions we fought 12 zombies and I think it took about 2.5 hours.
- Too much whiff factor. The way the DCs are set up, and using a d20 as your main resolution mechanic, you're very likely to have runs of absolute shit luck. Getting a miss and fucking up your daily power was incredibly frustrating and all too common. There was one painful session where I missed every combat roll and did absolutely nothing. In fact, since encounters were built around number of players, I actually hurt the party just by showing up that day. It was like a Jared Fogel performance minus the sweet grappling.
- All the emphasis was on set piece encounters and not on actual exploration.