Roleplaying Games Should Be Fun

The fun of gaming

4E D&D – A Review or Not?

Posted by Brett on February 13, 2009

No its not a review for 4E Dungeons and Dragons, if you want a review check out some other very cool blogs.

So if this isn’t a review what is it? Well, its hard to pin it down exactly, but a review this is no, or at least its not intended as one. Lets call it a soap box in stead then. Its my Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition soap box.

To start my box of soap I’ll say this: I like Fourth Edition, its fun, really fun.

Why is it fun? Simple. Its easy to play, and it works for what it was designed to do. So what does that mean to us players and DMs? It means that D&D 4E uses a dead simple design concept and aesthetic to produce an easy to play game, and for DMs and easy to run game, that captures a really good high fantasy feel. That design aesthetic as I see it is summed as basically this: Mechanics should not make an option useless at any time. So for players you are never at loss of something to do in combat because the rules don’t give you something to do (see wizards without spells in previous editions), and for the DM the mechanics of the game make it feasible to give all characters something to do in any situation you care to present.

As for differences, sure there are some pretty big differences from the previous renditions of this venderable game, but for the most part it still achieves the same goals. Have fun with your friends by hanging out together pretending to be elves, dwarves and the rest while smashing bad guys in the face and being heroes: Big Damn Heroes.

That’s why D&D 4E is fun for me at any rate. It achieves it stated goals with finesse and panache. It make it easy for me a DM to run and setup a game from a mechanics stand point, which leaves more time for me to do the fun things like work out how my NPCs will react, and the history of our fictional world. For a player prespective the game adds surivability, but not invulnerability, to the mix allowing for more time to really get into the nitty gritty details of their character, and makes all characters useful at all times. No more linear warriors/quadratic wizards as a game mechanics issue.

As always: Roleplaying Games Should be Fun

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