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Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

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  • Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

    Many of you ol' tabletoppers know that the landmark new DnD edition is going to be released on June 6. I'm actually pretty excited about it as I've been waiting for a good time to jump back into the genre. Seems like now is the time.

    What's really got me excited though is the new DnD Insider that comes with the release. Basically, it allows you to digitally create your characters along with monsters, maps, etc. (graphically). Not only that, but you can save this stuff to their servers (for a subscription fee). Couple all that with the ability to play tabletop style online with those saved characters (along with VOIP and a full graphical interface) and you've got a pretty neat product IMO.

    Rules-wise, from what I could glean it's a much smoother system then 3.5 and seems more exciting and fast-paced. You're still more or less playing the "system" rather then the GM, but I dont mind this as much especially when an online format is available. The creative license is always there to use at will of course though... but the league-style, tactical gameplay value is also there.

    Anyways, I was hoping eventually TGers could come together online and play... could be a lot of fun. Maybe even worthy of a forum...

    edit: if you're interested in buying 4.0, I suggest you pre-order from Amazon. It's only $60 (shipping included) if you do it this way (for all 3 corebooks). If you wait to buy from your local gaming store, you'll probably pay over $100+tax.

  • #2
    Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

    I felt that 3.0 was too much of a step away from... well, from role-playing. 3.0 kind of just spelled it all out for you, seemed less encouraging of creativity. If 4.0 is going to be even more streamlined and fast paced... well, I'll stick with AD&D, thanks.

    PS - Still think feats are a dumb idea. If you want to cut a guy in half or jump really high roll a strength check!

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    • #3
      Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

      I don't know much about RPG games. I played a couple of the Elders Scrolls games, Morrowind and Oblivion, because they were first person shooters with archery and lightning bolts... but that's about it.

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      • #4
        Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

        Originally posted by FrankManik View Post
        I felt that 3.0 was too much of a step away from... well, from role-playing. 3.0 kind of just spelled it all out for you, seemed less encouraging of creativity. If 4.0 is going to be even more streamlined and fast paced... well, I'll stick with AD&D, thanks.

        PS - Still think feats are a dumb idea. If you want to cut a guy in half or jump really high roll a strength check!
        I'm in somewhat aggreance with you there. Matter of fact, there's a big time resurgence in interest in "old school" gaming right now. Check out OSRIC for OGL-style ADnD stuff.

        Thing is, I look at 4.0 as just another game... not a blasphemous version of DnD. If I want old-school I'll just buy it (ADnD) or a similar style game. What interests me is the streamlining of the game itself and the marriage of technology with roleplay.

        But, to each his own I guess. I'll admit, my collection of 3.5 stuff has never been opened because I was of the same opinion of you about it. But with 4.0 I figured I might as well give it a shot.

        Regardless, my gaming collection is chock full of more old-school style games... but, i'd still like to add the new DnD to my wares.

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        • #5
          Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

          Shadowrun 3.0 will always be my baby :(

          I fully agree on the D&D 3.0/3.5. I adore Shadowrun because it's rather an extremely open game. The skill system is intuitive and complements attributes nicely without a lot of fuss, and allows plenty of room for creative freedom. D&D 3.5 felt like it was trying to snag a 'new generation' of RPG players the same way modern games all appeal to a 'new generation' of gamers. They just feel DUMB. Too much framework, too many unnecessary rules, hand-holding, and the like. Rules for something in Shadowrun like how damage for grenades is calculated is one thing. Rules for specifics of every type of movement... just throw (Quick)d6 + Combat Pool if you want to dodge ffs.

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          • #6
            Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

            3.0 and all its derivatives suffer a severe form of rules OCD. You need to know how every one of your feats or special abilities work and how and when to apply them in game. The GM then has to know every permutation of those possible powers and how they would apply in any given situation, requiring a seperate worksheet just so you know when to apply bonuses and when not to. IMO, it shifted the focus of the game from a fairly balanced system of simple comparative numbers (roll to hit, do damage, move on), to a system where characters start looking for any excuse to use one of their cool powers, often in the face of logic or to the detriment of the story. Gotta squeeze that Bull Rush in there somewhere! Whoo!

            That being said, my Rogue build totally rocked in boss battles once the enemy got flanked.

            Anyway, I'm kinda interested in 4th, mainly because the people I game with are all going to pick it up, but I'm not crazy about what I've heard. It looks like they've evened out some of the disparities in classes (Druid: "I have class abilities that are more powerful than your entire class!") and streamlined level advancement, but it looks like they're taking an MMO approach to character customization, with feat trees and racial abilities and such. More rules lawyering - not interested.
            In game handle: Steel Scion
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            • #7
              Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

              I too feel intimidated by the switch to the d20 system, which seems to encourage more min/maxing than ever. However, the group I game with sticks to 3.5 pretty religiously, and after being initially VERY excited about 4.0, have since become disillusioned and switched to Pathfinder.

              I just shrug, and follow along as well as I can. I was always in it for the story and character interaction, not the combat rules and how hard I can tweak my character to pwn. Whitewolf suits me better.

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              • #8
                Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                See, thing with 4.0 is it really tries to get people to use their computers alongside their gameplay. With all the crunchiness involved it's almost a necessity to at the very least have a laptop by your side at the table. Good thing? maybe not. But, it does expand gameplay in a certain way... a certain direction many of us may not like.

                I've fooled with systems like Fantasy Grounds (www.fantasygrounds.com) before and they're actually pretty darned cool. But of course, it was expensive and not well supported. At lest WotC is taking the bull by its horns.

                They've even moved Dragon magazine into DnD Insider (online). Kinda made me whimper a bit, but I understand... and I'm not even a DnD player really.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                  I just don't see the value in paying a monthly fee for what should ideally be a stand-alone app. For what has traditionally been a stand-alone app created by fans, up until the point when WotC decided to start cracking down on thrid party character generators (see d20 Star Wars' Okina-Rdae).
                  In game handle: Steel Scion
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                  • #10
                    Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                    4.0 would be worth more if instead of a flat 16/mo fee you could purchase the services you wanted for 2 dollars here, 4 dollars there.

                    They could open it up to independent companies for their own widgets and charge some crazy licensing fee.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                      Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                      I just don't see the value in paying a monthly fee for what should ideally be a stand-alone app. For what has traditionally been a stand-alone app created by fans, up until the point when WotC decided to start cracking down on thrid party character generators (see d20 Star Wars' Okina-Rdae).
                      You're not required to use DnD Insider... it's just a tool. And the reason there's a subscription is because they have to pay their writers (for the magazine) along with maintaining bandwidth for your gametable, maps, characters, adventures, VOIP, etc.

                      I agree though, it should be standalone... but having everything available online is still kind of neat. Heck Fantasy Grounds is "standalone" but then you have to charge each of your users a fee just to play with the "lite" client (it's like $30), that doesnt even allow you to actually run/create anything. And all that info. is maintained only the GMs server.

                      Look at this whole thing as a "hybrid" game-genre. It's not online fully, and it's not tabletop fully. That's what I like about it... it's a small shove towards augmented reality.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                        I'd be a little worried about integrating computers to that degree. NwN showcased the problem pretty well. What if a PC decides they're going to planeshift to the 59th level of the abyss, and you've only go maps for level 1-58? What if they manage to decapitate the main baddie in a throw away encounter and the DM has to rapidly draw up a whole new dungeon? And how does the DM lie, cheat, and fudge dice rolls if it's being done transparently, by a computer?

                        I can see the appeal of having most of the nitty gritty rules hashed out by a computer, but personally I prefer doing things on paper, so that you can occasionally perform a tactical halfling toss without having to consult the books. Som ultmately, good for whoever wants to take up forth, I'll stick with my old school stuff and make derisive comments at you from the safety of my Rascal, you uppity kids!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                          Originally posted by Augustus Gloop View Post
                          4.0 would be worth more if instead of a flat 16/mo fee you could purchase the services you wanted for 2 dollars here, 4 dollars there.

                          They could open it up to independent companies for their own widgets and charge some crazy licensing fee.
                          Already done... it's called Fantasy Grounds - and it's suckage... believe me.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                            Originally posted by FrankManik View Post
                            I can see the appeal of having most of the nitty gritty rules hashed out by a computer, but personally I prefer doing things on paper, so that you can occasionally perform a tactical halfling toss without having to consult the books.
                            Agreed. Really, if I wanted server-side maps and die rolls I'd play WoW. IMO, of course.
                            In game handle: Steel Scion
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                            • #15
                              Re: Dungeons and Dragons 4.0: Thoughts?

                              To me, AD&D wasn't really about the rule-set, it was about the settings. The D20 system is terribly unrealistic, but it works when your focus is on the RPing.

                              Shadowrun 2.0 was where I took the time to modify some of the rules to make it more realistic and fast-paced. Then 3.0 came along and pretty much did the same.

                              I never played 3.0+ D&D, but I've heard good and bad things about it. Like I said, I found Shadowrun handled combat (among other things) much better than D&D 2.0. In fact, years ago I ran a D&D campaign set in Forgotten Realms using Shadowrun 2.0 rules. Man, that was one deadly game.

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