D&D Essentials Red Box
by, 09-11-2010 at 04:19 PM (1220 Views)
So for Saturday, I attended the D&D Redbox game day at Game Empire, Pasadena. My goal was to take a look at the red box system mostly to see if it would serve as a good easy system to use for my program for after school activities. So, in may case, I was interested only on how it would work in that setting with beginning gamers.
In this game, I played the pregen Dwarven Fighter Slayer, which had an interesting set of powers. Most notable of the character was the lack of dailies, the reduction of only 1 basic melee, two at will stances (minor) that either added +2 to damage or +1 to hit with melee attacks, an encounter (Free) that added an extra die with a hit with your weapon, and an encounter which added 5 temp hitpoints if you turned bloodied (Minor). All the other standard dwarven abilities were present (Dwarven resilience, Cast iron stomach, etc.)
As far as roles, the fighter was basically a striking class, having a good hit and damage potential. In around, you could deal significant damage. What was gone was marking, combat superiority, etc.
As far as the dynamics of the group and play, I believed the removal of defender role makes the game less like iconic 4e. For my purposes for my program, which wants to heighten the "teamwork" in the game, I found, IMO, that elimination not so good.
As for our group of 2 fighters , a wizard, and a warpriest (Basically a cleric/pally) we met out end at the last battle against a blackdragon and its orc minions. We slew the dragon (not before the wizard bit it) and were taken out by overpowered orc minions that got a standard action if they were dropped to 0 (The DM would have them charge us if we shot them from distance, and we would take about 12 points of damage).
While like the simplification of PC powers, I am a little hesitant to invest in this route if the role criteria is basically whittled down. I felt the 4 roles provide a better framework for discussing and utilizing strategy at the combat level. Perhaps seeing the actual rules set and PC creation options would give a different opinion.