Saturday, June 07, 2008

UK Dungeons and Dragons 4e Launch Night

A less than stellar effort by Leisure Games and WotC that required standing outside the London Dungeon on a rainy London Evening for 45 minutes after the posted kick off time, just to get some poor food and a demo of the new game by someone who hated it, had control issues and read the box out text in the halting manner of a nine year old.

Despite this the new game is excitingly different but the design team have created a monster. Rob Heinsoo declared that the team's goal had been to "create the game that we thought D&D was as kids before we played it". He may well have succeeded but for the people who have come to love the game as it was written the new version is anathema as it throws away a lot of the conventions that emerged from the rules rather than being part of the setting. At the same time it isn't an action game that is as fast and free-flowing as Exalted, d6 or the "fu" games.

The biggest example of the problems is that grinding tactical combat against monsters really doesn't fit with the new game. The streamlined D&D minis rules allow that but the RPG has more complexity that isn't justified without greater acceptance of genre conventions. If as a GM you can't say "that's cool, it should work" you shouldn't be playing edition.

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