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aphilotus's avatar

Any opinions about Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition (vs third and earlier)?

Asked by aphilotus (2926points) November 1st, 2009

Wondering if there are any DnD-Jellies out there, and if so, how do they like the new edition? I personally like it great for combat, though it seems to have abandoned trying to do non-combat, conversation, etc in a mechanical way. Yeah, there’s skill challenges, but they are really just a framework.

Anyway, what do you jellies think about DnD 4E?

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13 Answers

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The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

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Jack79's avatar


it’s good for newbies I guess, and a very nice way to introduce new people to the idea of DnD (and board games in general). Which I think it what they were aiming for.

But by simplifying the game and making it the equivalent of a point-and-click action RPG (ie Diablo), you lose the whole fantasy atmosphere, the details that made people play the same character for decades, the infinite possibilities that could only be hampered by the DM’s imagination. Most hard-core players are against the new edition (after all, it would be hard to accept changes anyway). But I’m sure people who haven’t played it before would find it easier to understand.

Personally, I play 3.5 with my more experienced friends, but I also run a newbie campaign which I like to call “DnD Light” and it’s my own, oversimplified rules (can even be played with just d6 if need be). But I might upgrade them to the new version 4 once my players are ready to understand it. There’s also a DnD board game that is somewhere in the middle and can help (though it focuses more on the battles again).

In the end however, it’s not about the rules and books and miniatures. It’s about the people. And I think that if you have a good DM, you’re always going to have good fun. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter which version you play.

Thammuz's avatar

I briefly surveyed the books. It’s WoW. Half-dragons as a base race is BULLSHIT.

It’s a game appealing to ten year olds wanting to be special, the kind of player who’d pick 3 archetipes at random just so his character is “unique”.

It’s a dumbed down version that tends to rely on fighting and, well, fighting.

Just the simple idea that a character can have “knowledge” as an ability, in the sense that he knows about EVERY FUCKING THING in the universe is ludicrous.
And the idea that characters can have powers that work “once per encounter” is ridiculous, how is it even justifiable? Does one’s body know when all the enemies have been defeated? What the hell!

NewZen's avatar

Here’s my opinion: waste your time here, on fluther, not on DnD. It’s mind-sapping and too time consuming. But if you are gonna play, remember to eat and drink and go to the bathroom.

Jack79's avatar

@Zen :P I don’t need to eat, I have a ring of sustainance +1 :P

Iclamae's avatar

I agree with you. I’m more of a fan of 3.5 for that exact reason. I feel like it should be possible to balance, but it would take some work on Wizards’ part. And even for combat, it felt less like D&D and more like a video game or… Yugi-Oh. <sad>

hookecho's avatar

On the rare occasions I’ll play D&D, we use 3e or sometimes AD&D. Pretty much everything @Thammuz said about 4e nails it. You might as well just play WoW if all you want to do is battle. Good D&D involves storytelling and role play, not just rolling die and counting damage which is what 4e relies too heavily on.

Iclamae's avatar

@Thammuz I <3 your answer.

talljasperman's avatar

I perfer D & D to playing alone on a computer for hours…. but I can’t find many peolpe who play anymore in my small town…even the comic store went out of buisness.

jerv's avatar

Despise it. I want to find whoever thought it was aan improvement and beat them severely.

The characters are now nothing more than a group of index cards with almost no room for roleplaying. Your actions are severely limited by the way that “encounter” and “daily” powers work. Sorry, but if I want to cast a certain spell more than once per encounter then I am fucked unless I take some other odd class power. Or maybe one from a paragon path.

The character creation/advancement is totally fucked up. You need at least three books to get a list of half the stuff your class can do and even then you have to make too many choices for it to be easy. In older editions, it was recommended that new players avoid taking spellcasting classes since the spell lists were too confusing for someone unfamiliar with the system. Well, in 4E, all characters are nothing but a spell list!

Furthermore, the power curve goes from bleh at low-levels to beyond god-like in the mid-20s. Put another way, a 25th-level 4E character has more powers than a 100th-level character from earlier editions.

Sure, Shadowrun made some drastic changes in 4E, which is pretty much a totally new rules set from 1E-3E, but at least they didn’t totally fuck it up like D&D did. And GURPS 4E is basically 3E with a few simplifications and major changes, but quite obviously an evolution rather than a re-do since the basics are the same as they’ve been since 1986.

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