Over at AICN they have more than just nerdy movie reviews, it’s a full nerdapolooza. So imagine my excitement to see a D&D review for the 4th edition. Now, I gave up on D&D after High School, because the system of gameplay was so damn complex that it wasn’t a game anymore, it was Math Homework. Apparently that has been fixed.
I’ve waited a long time to write this review. And let it be known now that what you’re about to read isn’t from someone who has gotten a hold of a bootleg playtest copy and gave it a quick once over. No. This is a long time coming. I’ve been playtesting 4th edition since late October. Long under an NDA, my excitement for this new edition has been bubbling over into something of a churning froth for the better part of four months now. Every Saturday of those four months (holidays be damned) our group (comprised of three married couples and a single friend) has gotten together to nosh some potato chips, guzzle some coffee and roll some god damned dice.
But my real shame came in reading the review, because as he explained the details, I still understood the issues and complaints. It was like a life time of nerd data rushing back.
That is the single most important change to this system. I don’t care what you’re playing, whether the party’s wizard, its cleric, the fighter or its rogue, you will always have the option of doing something useful. You will never be forced (as long as you’re conscious) to simply sit and watch everyone else play because you’ve run out of spells or don’t have a high enough Spell Penetration or lack a weapon property to get through DR. Those days are done. Clerics don’t just hide behind the fighter waiting to stand them up any more. And you can actually successfully run a party without one now. Oh, and the retarded notion of having to rest for the day because the wizard blew through his spells too quickly (even when the rest of the party is full up)? Over and done with. In redesigning the way the character classes work, they’ve managed to eradicate most of the stupid tropes that we ’ve all just kind of sighed at and tried to ignore in the context of role playing.
Did that make sense to you? It did to me. And it was cool.
I can still remember 6th Grade where we all has plywood boxes to carry the minimum needed, a full set of dice, Lead figures, the DM’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual. For I while I carried around the Fiend Folio as well, Apparently my 1st edition that I had is worth a ton of money today. Bummer. We’d camp out at recess and avoid anything even resembling exercise. Then the bigger kids would smack us with the red rubber playground balls in the head and call us geeks. We were social outcasts.
Of course, I (and several of my 6th Grade D&D buddies) work at Microsoft now and the big kids work at Dunkin Donuts. Fuck them.