Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4th Edition D&D, a fun Game

I played D&D 4th edition and had fun. But, it's not a game I'd want to use for role-play. This post describing one team's efforts to "beat" The Origins Ultimate Dungeon Delve demonstrates why. And more than all the speculation, debate, ranting, flaming, defensive whining, et al shows WoTC's vision for 4th ed and exactly what kind of game it is.

More on WoTC's Ultimate Dungeon Delve.

And just to piss off the fan boys, WoTC's Fabulous Future.


  1. Did you have problems reading to the last section of the post?

    "So what did I think of the Ultimate Dungeon Delve? It’s competitive, no roleplaying, only barest hint of a story, 'hack and slay gathering' style D&D."

  2. @anon

    Newp. That sentence nicely sums up about 1/2 of it. It being my "why", WoTC's vision and type of game 4th is.

    Did you have problems reading my post?

  3. I share your issues - I ran a couple 4E campaigns and they were largely all about the powers and not really fun in the long-run, but the fights were cool. The Dungeon Delve sounds just like the board game Descent, which I love. Descent has the advantage that it's a lot easier to learn, more tightly written, and much cheaper to play (since everything is included in the box).

  4. A Delve is a delve, you knew that going in. This is like complaining the sugar cakes were too sweet.

  5. I have to agree with Tom. My point was that it was a Delve, and Critical Hits freely noted that *the Delve* was hack-and-slash, not generalizing to 4e as you did. Using a Delve to complain about lack of roleplay in 4e is a ridiculous straw-man argument.

    "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

  6. Gah, yeah, please don't take my write up of a single event and extrapolate it to "WotC wants to kill roleplaying" or whatever your actual point is. I'm especially sad you decided to skip this sentence: "It’s something that could have been run in any edition of D&D and with many RPGs, but the combat system is robust enough to make it enjoyable."

  7. See, this is why I don't bother posting about 4e anymore--it's like casting "Summon Defensive Fanboy II". ;P

  8. My "Summon Logical Argument IV" trumps your "Logical Fallacy Defense III," sir. ;-P

    It's that casting time difference, is what. And not confusing the powdered silver for the bat guano.

  9. It is a WotC event. Run many places. It is how WotC views the game, it is how they are promoting it.

    wtf is a "delve"? I've run delves that were nothing like that.

    I skipped that sentence because it's your opinion, not mine, and meaningless. You can do anything with anything if you try hard enough.

    You whiners are bringing baggage with you and attributing it to me. Try to read what is said instead of knee jerk reacting to what you assume is said.

    I never complained, see where I said "had fun" you fucking tools. I never claimed there was lack of roleplay. I said it's not the kind of game I'd want to use for roleplay. And I said this is WotC's vision for the game. And it demonstrates the kind of game 4ed is. Very clearly my points.

    The whole post is only a few sentences long. It's amazing how much crap you can imagine is in there. You'll give fanboys a bad name. Try harder next time. And if your egos are so tiny you have to come whining when someone expresses a thought different than yours, stay the fuck off the Internet.

  10. Wow. I see where "Troll and Flame" gets its name from now.

  11. Look, you want to know what I thought your post was poorly thought out? Let me parse out what you wrote. This analysis isn't something I spent hours doing - I'm just slowing down and explaining what I did at a glance.

    A) I played D&D 4th edition and had fun.
    B) It's not a game I'd want to use for role-play.
    C) This post describing one team's efforts to "beat" The Origins Ultimate Dungeon Delve demonstrates why.
    D) And more than all the speculation, debate, ranting, flaming, defensive whining, et al shows WoTC's vision for 4th ed and exactly what kind of game it is.

    For the purpose of your argument, points A and D are irrelevant. The main thrust of your argument is that the Critical Hits post describes why 4e is not a game you'd want to use for role-play.

    For those critical of your argument, a cursory reading of the Critical Hits post would note:
    a) At the Origins Ultimate Dungeon Delve, *multiple teams of players* were all run through the same scenario and were *timed.*
    b) At the Origins Ultimate Dungeon Delve, the encounters were largely combat-based, with one skill challenge apparent at the end.
    c) This was a "delve."

    If you were familiar with what a convention "delve" is, you would know that it's basically just pitting players against hack-and-slash scenarios to see what tactics, etc. work best. This is the kind of simple thing you do at a con when you have dozens of players, want to be fast, want them to have simple easy-to-design fun, etc. They're not meant to be epic quests tailor-made to players' interests and role-playing skills, because you don't know who you're going to get at a con.

    Even if you didn't know what a delve was, though, if one wanted to counter your argument, I would point out that a) the games were timed -- that sounds more like a contest than a typical RPG scenario, and b) multiple teams of players were run through the same scenarios, to see who could get through first -- again, that sounds more like a contest than a RPG scenario.

    There's probably more one could point to, but in any case, it would seem that the argument that the Critical Hits post describes why 4e is not a game you'd want to use for role-play doesn't stand up, because the Critical Hits post was describing a combat-rich gaming session. Somehow you've conflated holding a contest at a con to combat being WotC's vision for the game. The criticism of your argument is that, well, it's ridiculous.

    It would be like watching Casablanca and saying that it was a movie about a casino because that's what you focused on. Your argument's crap.

    Now, if you don't want people to "imagine crap" that's not there such as complaining, you shouldn't add completely extraneous rhetorical statements, like saying that anyone who disagrees with you is "speculation, debate, ranting, flaming, defensive whining." The minute others point out holes in your logic, you start cursing up a storm, but whatever, it's your blog.

    Meh. You've demonstrated poor reasoning skills, confuse logic with opinions (boy howdy, that's weak), and come across as incredibly immature.

  12. It is really hard to get players roleplaying in 4e, and the reason is because of its structure. The system on a micro level supports roleplaying just fine, but the macro focus on "encounters" and fitting roleplaying in as skill challenges is extremely flawed.

    Just like other systems (but more so), you have to zoom out and make the game more fluid by removing skill challenges and finding motivations for characters outside of money and items. When I get a new character, I ask people to give me two things so it's easier to do that...
    A. Something that motivates their character
    B. Something that gets their character into trouble, like a bad habit or general misunderstanding.
    When players start seeking out solutions themselves before you ask, it means something is going right.

    The system of 4e doesn't support fluid play, however, so you have to jump through a few hoops. I think it helps understand "good" and "bad" roleplaying for other systems, though.

  13. I believe the Anon above me has won the argument, hands down.


All Time Most Popular Posts