View Full Version : D&D 4e PHB

09-10-2010, 03:05 PM
First let me say, I am in No Way trying to start a D&D version war with this post but I need to vent a little. I am an old school gamer to the core. I haven't even as so much looked at any 3e material. But the times are changing and I want to go with the flow. Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In the few weeks I have been learning the new game mechanics, I have been impressed with some of the new ideas in 4e, at the same time I have been just as equally discouraged.


1. A excellent revision of the core mechanics. I for one am glad they got rid of THAC0 and replaced it with a system that makes sense. I like how they streamlined defenses with AC and how your ability scores are tuned to Fort Ref Will. Who ever thought of that was a genius.

2. I like how skills take center stage. I didn't have a problem with the pages and pages of skills in older editions. Rather I like that fact that your skills are tested in the game and can have direr consequences (or good). It definitely puts puts a twist and some excitement back in the game.

3. Difficulty Class: Its about time they came up with a standard check for various actions and accomplishments. That was one of my biggest pet peeves as a DM. There are to many charts just for the most mundane of tasks. More often than not I would just have a PC roll an ability score check and save myself (and them) the headache. DC checks are so simple (and flexible) that again is genius. Why did this take so long?


1. The new character races, to be blunt I hate them. Dragonborn, Tiefling and Eladrin (like we needed another breed of wine sipping elf's, from another plane no less) seems like a ploy by WotC to attract children to play. I know this is a fantasy game but come on. This is the equivalent of throwing in a cartoon characters in the game. Whats next Bugs Bunny with a +5 Carrot?

2. Powers: At-will, Encounter, Daily, Utility (though I do kinda like feats). I played Magic The Gathering for years and years. I was well known in the tournament circles in VA and DC. So there is no amount of convincing me that WotC didn't mesh the two. They powers even read like Magic cards! IM surprised you dont have to "tap" your character sheet like you do when you use a card in MTG. If I wanted to play MTG I wouldn't have spent so much money on D&D books.

3. What the #$%$#! happened to magic!! This has to be the biggest tragedy on my list. I Just Cant Believe It. They have watered down All Of It to the point of no return. From Mages and Clerics to items and weapons they ALL read like MTG Cards! What were they thinking? Take the wizards spell Comprehend Language (I believe that was a 1lv spell) its now a ritual, huh? Look at the Ring of Invisibility, a daily power that only last till the end of your next turn, again huh? Everything now has a duration till your next turn and on top of that most are daily powers now. Do Mages even carry spell books anymore? I guess not, theres no reason for them to. I should have guessed it was gonna be bad. When I first got the PHB and one of the first things I looked at were potions...all 4 of them...sigh.

Like I said at the beginning of my rant I found good and bad with this edition. I haven't even played my first game yet so everything I said should be taken with a grain of salt. But I do have a good imagination (pun intended) and can put the pieces together. I am playing my first game tomorrow for D&D Game Day in Tulsa. That is if I didn't PO the DM (and my ride). You are still picking me up right, Kirk? Ha Ha Ha IM sure I will have fun and enjoy gaming. I just needed to get this rant off my chest.

09-11-2010, 09:50 AM
I was hoping someone by now would write about what I posted, or tell me IM missing the bigger picture. Dont let my words intimidate you. I honestly want to give 4e a chance, and despite what I wrote above, I find a lot of good in 4e. ANYONE?

09-20-2010, 02:28 PM
Yep, I'm not to keen on the new races either, but some people like them, and not just children. Some of the older guys I know love them.

Yep, I'm not so keen on the powers either, but it does add a little bit of variety to the game, where otherwise I'm afraid it would devolve into a game similar to that of too many 1e games that I played in. Which, was simply "I attack" roll dice and repeat ad naseum. I wish they had done more work in this dept. and taken another direction, but what can you do?

What happened to magic, well it got totally abused in previous editions, so they set limits on things. I think magic was pretty bad in the old editions and like this scheme much better. They moved a lot of the non-combat spells into the ritual category because you usually only use them in non-combat situations, it's still a spell. I would prefer a no magic setting myself, but that's just me.

The ring of invisibility sucks, as do most of the daily powers, won't argue with that. They have been attempting to rectify the problem or at least mitigate it a bit by changing the way the magic items work. Used to be that you could only use 1 daily magic item power per day. Which caused PC's to avoid items with daily powers. Potions suck too, but I suppose it makes PC's rely on their characters powers more than their magic.

With any game, there will be the good, the bad and the ugly. I like the games core combat mechanics and such, but don't care much for the magic, or powers either. It is possible to play the game without the powers which makes it much harder and gives it a much more old school feel, but it takes a little work on the part of the DM and the players.

09-20-2010, 06:57 PM
I understand why they done what they done...character balance and game limitations. At the same time they (WotC) crossed some lines and proclaimed that TSR had no idea what they were doing, at lest in my opinion. They divided the D&D community (perhaps unknowingly) to the point of edition wars. Of course I understand its a business and money wins but I would LOVE to know the bottom line. TSR vs WotC budget and profit margins. If anyone here has a link please share it! I would bet the staff budget alone is half of TSR.

As far as dialing down the game and rewriting magic...I understand WotC concerns. Honestly they took a wrong turn in organization of magic. The problem with over the top campaigns, where every leaf has a magical property, was not caused by the rules. There is only one way a campagne gets like that, one way only, the DM. So no amount of re-writing, formating or new editions will fix the root problem.

I wish they would let me in the dungeons at WotC and let me take a crack at it. I think a balance of 4e and 2e would not only increase there profits, but might also bring the D&D community back together. Uh oh...wish it would happen but what do I know...IM just a bouncer that knows how to type.