Now that you've played 4E for three years...

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How do you like the character mechanics (At-will/encounter/daily/utility)? Are you still happy with this basic character mechanic, have you moved completely to a new mechanic (Essentials or psionic, or are there still other types) or do you prefer using various character types?

Myself, I like essential -type characters a lot although I haven't been able to play one yet. Mechanics -wise, I also like how psionics are done, even if I don't like the idea of psionics in fantasy. It will take many games before I'll go back to basic character builds from PHB1 & 2.
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How do you like the character mechanics (At-will/encounter/daily/utility)? Are you still happy with this basic character mechanic, have you moved completely to a new mechanic (Essentials or psionic, or are there still other types)  

Prefer that characters have similar resource management for game and story flow and lime light regulation purposes *ie AEDU does give me this.

Dont like psionic (sir spam alot) and although the combinatorial mechanics in essentials martial classes does have a potential to be fun (like the stances and tricks etc) - I dont like seeing a lack of rarish climactic powers in my heros.(ie give me a dailies that are not daily).

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."


I like it a lot. It's so much more interesting then "I hit it with my sword" and as a DM I don't have to spend 20 minutes discussing physics with my players when they try to use a spell in an unconventional manner.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
I like the 4e mechanics no better today than I did 1 year ago, or two years ago.

I started out neutral.  Figured I'd give it a try.
DM'd it for a year.  Didn't like it.
Ok, I said,  maybe I'll like it better as a player.
Spent another year playing it from that perspective.
Still not a fan.

I've not bothered with Essentials - because, at it's core, it's still the 4e mechanics.  And since I've determined that I dislike those.....
Loved the 4e mechanics when they came out.
Love the 4e mechanics today.

I prefer AEDU / pre-E characters when I am a player.
I love the Eseentials mechanics for my brand-new-to-RPGs or brand-new-to-D&D players.

4e has something for everyone, and nothign that forces any of it on anyone.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I love 4E up through PH2 more than I could ever love a human child.  The AEDU format is great, and the departures we have seen in PH3 and the Essentials are not to my tastes--suspicions proved truths as we saw some of these classes in actual play.

I love D&D more than I could ever love a human child.

How do you like the character mechanics (At-will/encounter/daily/utility)? Are you still happy with this basic character mechanic, have you moved completely to a new mechanic (Essentials or psionic, or are there still other types) or do you prefer using various character types?

4E came out in summer '08 and I've been playing since fall '08.  There are still whole classes I have not really tried out, there are still many concepts of race/class combinations I'm looking forward to trying.  There is a lot of Paragon tier play to do.  4E has a lot of life left for me

How do you like the character mechanics (At-will/encounter/daily/utility)?

My opinion is that it is an elegant and  well-conceived game system.  My only complaint is that daily powers recharge on an older 'leave the dungeon and rest' axiom that needs a more elegant solution.    

have you moved completely to a new mechanic (Essentials or psionic, or are there still other types)

Sadly the psionic classes have barely been touched at our table.  This is mostly because we have not run a Dark Sun campaign (for various reasons) and also because a lot of our group members (none of whom are under thirty) dislike psionics for legacy reasons (psionics in previous editions causing all sorts of balance issues, for example).  Some of us (myself included) have a thematic problem with psionics as well.  A traditional fantasy setting can have a niche for psionics?  Certainly, but it is not for everyone (or us).

Equally sad is that no one seems interested in playing anything Essenti45ls (with the sole exception of the Warpriest).  Whether this is because they are happy with the three PHBs already and feel no need to buy more books or because they don't like how these classes is built varies from person to person.  I don't foresee us ever using these books .. but never say never, right?

Between 1E, 2E, 3.x, & 4E my least favorite is 4E.  I am not a big fan of the way powers are structured to the grid, don't like how fiddly the powers are basically requiring a card for each one, am not a fan of the laser-like focus on balance, dislike the hard separation between combat and non-combat, find the books bland passtime reading, think the magic items are boring, dislike the hit point inflation and healing surges, hate the bajillion different fiddly little feats, find myself restricted from numerous different character ideas, really hate the focus upon encounters, and wish there was some variation in the art style.

I love the core mathematics of d20 + Ability bonus + 1/2 level vs 10 + Ability bonus + 1/2 level, love the concept of every character class having multiple choices each level, love rituals.

At the end of the day, 4E is Dungeons and Dragons and makes a blinking fine.  I am happy enough playing it for now, but don't see myself continuing with it whenever 5E gets released.

It wasn't at-will, encounter, daily, and utility that got me playing. It was that the powers were cool and I could make a cool character with them, exactly the way I wanted. I had not seen a game I could do that as well in since Daggerfall.
As a player 3.5 is still my fave just because of the crazy customization of choices. I have to admit that 4th has become a strong second. I love the pre E stuff. Post E has made me think that maybe kicking up a 3.5 campaign might be fun. Attracting new players is great but making nothing that interests older, more experienced gamers due to the relative lack of choices is bad. 

I have played a few e-style classes but when leveling up holds no thrill for me it doesn't matter how well the class plays. 
The horrible truth - "Their new marketing strategy (Evergreen Essentials) pretty much requires that anything new that sees print refer back almost exclusively to Essentials." Tony Vargas
Pathfinder is my favorite because it holds my attention through all levels of play.  In 4th edition I get really bored at around 9th or 10th level.  I think I just enjoy making the characters more than actually playing them.  For me 4th edition has failed to keep my attention and bring actual fun to the table at a length that I find desirable. 

I'm ready for the next installment of D&D in hopes that it will hit that spot that Pathfinder seems to spark.  
awesome story
Loved 4th edition the moment I picked up the books. The power system is elegant, and is easy for new people to learn. Also having every class function on the same "base" lets more players try more classes, no need to "relearn" everything. I personally find 4e very modular and open, especially when it comes to combat. DMing is actually fun for once. I remember how much of a chore 3e was both playing and DMing. Sure we lost some "freeness" in the edition change, but you know what I LIKE the tighter rules. It keeps things fair and simple.

So overall I love 4th edition and hope it stays around. Now just give me an INT based striker!
Well when I first heard about 4e I was excited, but quickly became disappointed and confused when it was released.    I didn't expect the game to be so radically altered.   So far,  I've mostly DMed 4e games and have found it to be more complicated and time consuming than other editions (dispite its claim to be otherwise).    4e was clearly written for a different style of game then what I am used to.   

For me the transition from 2e to 3e wasn't as difficult as moving to 4e.      I found the game to be far too mechanical for me and because of that it has lost its mystery.  

I am also looking forward to the next installment of D&D.   The way I look at it 4e was just an experiment and a foray into madness.     

The good thing from all of this is that I'm now looking at other systems like Castles & Crusades and Pathfinder.   Sometimes when I look at those systems I just feel at home.   

awesome story

Damn right! I'm up for a Pulitzer! 
  The way I look at it 4e was just an experiment and a foray into madness.        

Nice passive agressive slam there.

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

I really liked the 4e mechanics when the game came out, although I will admit some trying moments adjusting from 3rd to 4th rules.  All birth is painful, and I think we were still trying to hit people when they tried to stand up 6 months in =)

The invitation for melee types to finally join the adult's table with all the druids, clerics, and wizards without extensive houseruling and metagaming was the biggest draw for me, and still is today.  

The tightening up of conditions is excellent, and since accounting was never fun I do not miss the 17 (or whatever outlandish number there is) different types of damage and damage tracks one would have potentially account for in combat.  

I like the class-PP-ED progression replacing prestige classes and the reduced emphasis on multi-multi-(and sometimes multi-)multiclassing, because I feel it rewards people who prefer to define their characters via personality equally well as those who take pride in their system mastery.

I like the monster side of things, and am constantly amazed at how quickly you can build encounters and even brand new monsters.  I like-like the focus on the individual monster's powers, and the realization that most enemies are only going to fight for 4-8 rounds of their entire life, and therefore need far less crazy abilities besides the ones they will actually use.  The fact that you can bust out a red dragon, personalize it's attacks and maybe give it a spell or 2 is a realization I wish I had made in 3e when I actually tried to stat one up for an encounter and got bogged down picking out all the spells available to its 18th level caster self.

Essentials is pretty awesome for fast play with brand new players, or even more experienced players @ Paragon+, unless you are dealing with a table full of grizzled three-year 4e veterans that can whip up a AEDU character off the top of their heads.  I like some of the concepts, like the stances for the martial people giving them an option of "fighting styles" or whatever, but I am one of those grizzled old 4e vets and most of the classes aren't my cup of tea.  Not a knock, I don't enjoy playing most of the classes from PHB 2 or 3 either, but I don't hate other people playing them at all.  Like my grandfather used to say, "If everybody liked the same things, then everybody'd be after your grandmother."

I like that the focus was put on the PC and his stats and even more on his abilities rather than on his equipment, but I wish more magic items didn't flat out suck.  Even more, I wish more magic items didn't flat out suck compared to other similar magic items.  The waist slot is for the most part a vast wasteland (no pun intended) for everyone, and some slots only really have compelling choices for a handful of builds or even subsets of those builds.

I love Epic and Paragon, but then again I have been blessed with a DM and party that buys into the whole mindset behind those tiers.  Low levels bore me to tears, although I am constantly impressed with the power and flexibility of 4e to keep me from being bored to death fighting yet another goblin before my character can advance into a superhero that kills Balors by beating them to death with another Balor.

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

I've been roleplaying for 25 years, and I've played every edition of D&D rather extensively.

Up until this edition, I've hated D&D.  4e is the edition that made me actually like D&D.  Before that, I just liked rpgs and couldn't get anybody to play anything else.  Now, I won't play anything else.  Well, except Star Wars, but that's really just because I like Jedi, I still think the mechanics are horrible.

The only core mechanic that I have always hated and always will hate is anything "daily".  I want players to play their characters who are fighting for their lives to actually feel like they are fighting for their lives... I don't want Joe the Wizard to hold off on doing everything he can to kill the Orc swinging a sword at him because he might run into an Ogre later on in the day.  To me, this is anti-climactic and anti-immersion and, as a DM, hard to write for... but these are small complaints to make.  All in all, I loved 4e both as a player and as a DM.  It is easily the best RPG system I have ever played, and since I have played at least 30 different RPG systems and written qutie a few myself, I consider that a pretty impressive feat.

Unfortunately, I feel that the vast majority of RPG players are... well... let's just say I don't want them at my table.  And as such, I feel like 4e is not for them.  I basically feel like 4e is "before its time", and that the general RPG crowd just isn't "ready" for it.  They are too mired in sacred cows and power-gaming to enjoy it.  As a result, in an effort to chase these players that I don't like, WotC is changing the game, and I can't fault them for that.  I feel like the game really peaked with PHB2, and that it's been all downhill from there.  I think everything in the PHB3 (except the Monk) ranged from ill-conceived to just flat-out game-ruining... and the writing has only gone downhill from there.  Essentials, as an idea, was good.  That is to say, an easy starting point for new-players.  In execution, it was horrible and seems completely amateurish to me.  But eh...  I think many players like it, and so hopefully it achieved at least some minor success for WotC.

In the end, I vote with my wallet.  I killed my DDI and I haven't bought a book since PHB2.  I am sad that I am in the minority, because it means this really awesome game that I love will probably not get any better from my perspective, but at least I still have those books and the awesome game that they made.  I am doubly sad that all the creative geniuses that were behind the 4e that I love are not getting rewarded for their awesome work.  Speaking of which, does anybody know where the original creative team has gone?  Have they moved on to other games?  I'm very curious to see what else they may have written.
I enjoy 4E and its mechanics far more than I did 3E or 2E. Some recent design choices aren't to my liking, but the overall system is still a joy. I even recently picked up a DDI annual sub again after an 8 month hiatus. I've been playing since before day 1... I managed to get a copy of Keep on the Shadowfell before they were supposed to hit the shelves (naughty book store!), and I've been playing or DMing more or less ever since. I'm currently playing in a game, running a game, and running or playing in Encounters (when I can get to it on time... stupid Redmond/Seattle bridge traffic). 4E certainly has its faults, such as the editing problems that have been visible from day 1, or the uneven support for various options, or the feat taxes, but it's still a gorgeous game.
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I wouldn't have it any other way. Every character needs to have many interesting power choices in combat, and every level of every class should have some meaningful choice to make, be it a feat or power. That's why mage is the only E+ class that I could consider playing.
compared to what came before 4th ed? the only time i look back is to see how far we've come, and that's a good thing.

the mentality of old editions, where it said it was simulating a fantasy world but generally failed under scrutiny and wholly gave up when magic was involved, was more hassle then it was worth to me and i'm glad we've moved from the faux-simulation and embraced the abstraction aspect of it, leaving the players & GM to fill in the blanks. 

the frustration of how previous editions gave "options" yet it still limited characters by introducing a large array of options but in the end reducing non-casters to being one-trick ponies or glorified pack mules and gave casters the option to make reality their [female dog] made most of those options moot.  

that being said there is room for improvement.

i honestly feel if we can finally get rid of last vestiges of daily recharge mechanics and switch to encounter or scene-based design the game could be improved and removal of the +X magic whatnot and instead having the magic be added effects to the item... a flaming sword could intrinsically create sheets of flames or launch mini-fireballs, instead of adding yet another +1 to your hit and damage.

i've not yet tried essentials or cared to really. not that i dislike it or the concept, i just have enough design space in the first 3 PHBs and the splats i have that i've yet felt the need to get essentials.
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"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
What I like most about 4e, but what I don't see mentioned much on the boards, is how much of a team game it is.  No one PC can do it all on its own and they are designed to cooperate with each other to form a working team that compliments each other.  I have yet to play with a PC in the group that completely outshined the others and I can only think of 2 times where a player complain that he doesn't feel like his PC is contributing much, but in those rare cases the classes have since received major upgrades.

They other thing I like is that there are so many different classes out there that are well designed, interesting to play, and useful all at once.  I don't like every class or build, but at this point I have played 12 different PCs from 10 different classes and enjoyed every one of them.  And there are still a lot of classes I have never tried or that I want to play again with a different build.  And similarly almost every race out these is interesting and has some useful unique thing about it.

I have been playing this game for 25+ years and this is my favorite edition so far.
Still pleased with 4ed's power structure. I don't think that the Psionic or Essential classes have strayed too far from the AEDU structure, just presented and partitioned it differently.

If AEDU is breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert,
then Psionics is big brunch, dinner, and dessert
and Essentials  is breakfast, early buffet dinner, and dessert.

That being said, I'm not opposed to WotC continuing to tinker with D&D, even to the point of releasing 5ed. All I ask is that, if they do make a new edition, that they extend 4ed as long as possible and playtest 5ed in the shadows, ironing out any and all kinks. I agree with Oxybe's points  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

The only core mechanic that I have always hated and always will hate is anything "daily".  I want players to play their characters who are fighting for their lives to actually feel like they are fighting for their lives... I don't want Joe the Wizard to hold off on doing everything he can to kill the Orc swinging a sword at him because he might run into an Ogre later on in the day.

There's a theme that recurs in stories about powerful wielders of magic: one of the most important qualities of a magic user is the restraint required to not use magic.  On Athas it's because magic is powered by the finite resource of life force.  In the Eddings worlds and on the Discworld it's because every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and those reactions are hard to predict (and 'cause the nameless schlubwubbling things in the Between Place are waiting to ride in on the waves you make).  On Krynn it's because conducting energy fatigues the conductor.  Power coming at a price seems to be a common theme, and characters who understand this and use it as stintingly as possible also abound.

You can use that theme to add gravity to the decision not to burn a daily on an orc because there might be an ogre before bedtime.  Perhaps the character is conserving power not on contingency, but of necessity.  The fact that the daily power doesn't cost anything but itself to use, the fact that it isn't mechanically any more powerful than the barbarian shouting at people and getting really mad are mechanical concerns, and need not contaminate the narrative.  The wizard wields the Awesome Power of Creation as frugally as he can, because he knows that the price of power is often greater than his need to use it.
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
I like the system and find it to be the most elegant of any D&D release. Many of those who remember 1st, 2nd, and 3rd as being easier to run or whatever I doubt have played those according to the full rullset and thus make very unfair comparisons.

Honestly, I didn't like the PHB and DMG when I browsed through them at the store at release. I didn't like square fireballs, I felt that wizards and clerics got absolutely crushed as classes, where was the druid, monk, bard?, the alignment system, healing surges, marking!!!, and all that felt wrong and dumb downed.

Then I looked more carefully at the powers and started understanding that these folks must have chatted with the MtG folks about modern game design and I began to see more of the underlying structure of the game with regards to it being careful to manage party and individual resources to overcome challenges. I began to not care about the square fireballs and I liked the fact that rogue/thief, fighters, and rangers were viable from 1-30 instead of 1-2.

Balance is nice. I like the fact that the character is emphasised and not the player. Each character has the same action economy and on a larger scale basically the same daily economy. This is cool. Old concepts like a druid summoning 1/2 the rainforest, a wizard summoning 1/2 the 9 hells, or a warrior dragging his castle's men at arms into a combat vs a dragon while carrying a bag of holding with wands of cure light wounds was gone. In some way the "realisticness" of being able to make an army or whatnot vs this 5 on 5-10 combat seemed restricting, but in practice as a GAME it works very well.

So, TLDR, I was skeptical at first but pleasantly surprised in the end.

I just hope the new designers don't have second thoughts and f up the new edition whenever that comes out.

I like the monster side of things, and am constantly amazed at how quickly you can build encounters and even brand new monsters.  I like-like the focus on the individual monster's powers, and the realization that most enemies are only going to fight for 4-8 rounds of their entire life, and therefore need far less crazy abilities besides the ones they will actually use.  The fact that you can bust out a red dragon, personalize it's attacks and maybe give it a spell or 2 is a realization I wish I had made in 3e when I actually tried to stat one up for an encounter and got bogged down picking out all the spells available to its 18th level caster self.

This a thousand times. Making encounters to so easy in 4e. I'm a big fan of making my own monsters, and the 4e system makes it possible to do this on the fly with ease.
4E brought me back to D&D as a full-fledged player and DM.

I love the mechanics, structure and flexibility and the emphasis on getting together at the table and playing rather than the emphasis on ridiculous amounts of prep time in 3E.

I'm also a big fan of team orientation rather than the solo play that 3E became. I love that you can't do everything alone and treat teammates like lackeys.

I'm not playing Essentials stuff because I don't like it, the "original" classes are still cool enough to hold my interest.  
I really like the AEDU mechanic for the most part.  I am glad they have added themes to add some variety to low level combat.  I am fine with the essentials versions being in the game and think they work well enough, but am not too interesting playing them.  I also like varieties like what they did monks and the full discplines.

The design parts I don't like:

1. power points, since as it is set up it encourages players to keep low level powers and spam them.  I have no idea how to fix this without forcing players to retrain, which I also don't like.

2. I don't like how classes like warpriests and hexers are forced into encounter powers they will not get much use out of.  Every class should have a meaningful choice each level.

3. The main thing I wish they would have done differently is in assigning at wills.  I would have set up each class build with one at will that they have to take and then give them 2 other at wills they can chose from like what they have done with mages and magic missile, but I would have made it more build specific.  For instance all starlocks would get dire radiance and then can pick from any two other warlock at wills.  Maybe they would not get to pick a build specific power like eyebite, but they would have other choices out there they could pick from.

They have tried something similar to this, but have been all over the place with how they do it: most classes can pick 2 of any, shamans get 1 assigned and 1 other; warlocks get 1 assigned and a choice of 1 of 2 choices, but can take a feat to get another;  mages get 1 assigned and 2 others, rangers get 2, but almost always take twin strike; druids get 1 of a set, 1 of a 2nd set, and 1 of any.  Restricting builds with one choice made for them, while getting 2 others gives the flavor of all members of a class getting a the same choice, but still gives players a decent amount of freedom for their own build concept.
How do you like the character mechanics (At-will/encounter/daily/utility)?

Pretty awesome, really.  They give combat a certain dynamism, allow for a wide variety of meaningful player choices both in and out of combat, and leave characters pretty well balanced both from PC to PC and from class to class.

 Are you still happy with this basic character mechanic, have you moved completely to a new mechanic (Essentials or psionic, or are there still other types) or do you prefer using various character types?

Essentials added daily-less, multiple-use encounter, and late-blooming daily character types.  HoS added the choiceless AEDU, as well.  I'm sure more will be forthcoming.  While a daily-less aproach would be good for encounter balance, it'd only be practical if all classes lacked dailies.  Otherwise, class balance is sacrificed for little gain.   Gamma World went that route (no dailies) and it worked fine.  Multiple-use powers (rather than several powers of the same type) aren't an unworkable idea, and they give an option for a tactically simpler, more dependable character while retaining the same basic power level.   The other 'innovations' just don't add much.  Psionics could have been implemented without an arbitrary mechanical distinction - it just might have been too obvious that it lacks the identity and genre-apropriateness to stand on its own without some arbitrary propping up within the system.  Choiceless AEDU would be a valid aproach to making character-creation easier for new players - really, the same idea as pregens - if it were expandible as the players 'system mastery' grew, or just when another wanted to play the same class. 

The AEDU structure works very well for a wide range of heroic archetypes.  The only thing straying from it accomplished was to open up the field to shoddier designs that are easier to whip up, easier to make 'feel different' through arbitrary mechanical distinctions, and harder to keep balanced.



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I came and left 4e a few times. Each time I come back I see more I like. I like how easy it is to DM. I like the balance so I do not have to worry about killing PCs. My players love making charcters and they really get into the game. WoTC is getting my money. I hope this good design format stays the same. I like what they did with phb3 and Essentials. I am having the time of my life playing this game.
I've only played 4E, and I can conclusively say that it's my favorite version of D&D. 
compared to what came before 4th ed? the only time i look back is to see how far we've come, and that's a good thing.

A thousand times this.

I haven't really played any Essentials characters as a player. I've ran them as a DM, and I've found them to be actually good to use in that regard. (Before you crucify me for running Mary Sue DMPCs or whatever, it was because a player was missing.)

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I am a hero, not a chump.
I was in the pre-order crowd for 4E. I got the core set the day they were released, and dove in as deep as I could. I started converting old adventures and modules to 4E. I released several 3rd party products for 4E. I loved it. I was neck-deep in the edition wars. I fought off the 3.5 haters and nay-sayers. I DMd and played 4E as much as I could. All was going smashingly until around the time the 3rd PHB was released. I started to realize something...if I was spending so much time converting old adventures and creating alternate 3rd party materials for 4E that incorporated things from older editions, then why exactly was I playing 4E? Why was I trying to make it into something that it wasn't? Was I just wasting my time?

Eventually, I concluded that I was, indeed, wasting my time. While 4E captured my interest immediately and held it for some time, it eventually ebbed. I started growing tired of the rigid, strong-armed adherence to balance. I generally dislike the AEDU style. I dislike the need (not requirement, mind you) for cards and scores of minis. I began to feel that, while the various classes certainly played differently in many ways, they played the same in just as many ways. I know that in order to maintain that iron-like balance, there has to be a certain degree of sameness. For the people who require a perfectly balanced game in order to have fun, then 4E is a goldmine, and I hope for those peoples' sakes that 4E is around a very long time.

In the end, I decided that instead of trying to make 4E into something it is not, I would simply leave it alone. I have enough BECMI, 1E, and 2E material to last a few lifetimes. Instead of trying to make 4E more like those editions, I will simply play those editions. Since 4E emerged, I have had plenty of people happy to play the old editions. During the 3E (and especially the 3.5) years, I had a Hell of a time finding players interested in the old editions. Maybe it's a "what's old is new again" thing, or maybe it's curiosity of the older editions. I don't know, and honestly don't care what the reason is. All I know is that I'm happily DMing two 1E games and one 2E game every week, and it's just as much fun now as it was all those years ago. I don't really care for 4E that much anymore, but then I have no need to. As long as I still have a metric ton of old-E material and people who want to play them, then it's whatever. 4E exists outside my interest zone, not in spite of it. I don't mind that some people love every aspect of 4E and want it to be around forever. I don't mind that they dislike older editions. I care about my own interests, and the interests of my players.
4E is far from perfect, and wasn't helped by the decision to try to redesign and rebuild the foundation without disturbing the occupants of the house. Or to attempt to fix the failures of that silliness by redesigning and rebuilding the foundation a second time. (The new foundation design - either version - isn't bad, but a new foundation with a new design needs to come with a new house built on top of it; this would have the advantage that they wouldn't have to worry about breaking the existing house.)

But so far I've seen precisely one complaint about how 4E is worse than prior editions that I agree with. That's the alignment system - which can  be tossed out, and optionally replaced with the earlier version of your choice, with no mechanical impact. I build a fair number of Chaotic Good characters, and a smattering of Lawful Neutral characters, in 4E.

Other than that, based on my experience from AD&D to 4E, there are:
* cases where people are objecting to precisely why 4e is better, e.g. more balanced classes (granting that 4E may overdo something that prior editions underdid, or vice versa; if it's closer to the sweet spot, it's better)
* cases where people are saying 4E is worse, but it's actually the same, e.g. ability to play without a map/grid and minis/tokens
* cases where people are saying 4E is worse, but it's better, e.g. long lists of powers to sort through (try taking every spell block from every spell-casting class in PHB and PHB2, and putting them in one alphabetic list; the classes get lists of spell names by level)
* cases where people are saying 4E is worse, but it's merely enough better organized to LOOK bad without being enough better organized to alleviate the problem, e.g. the long list of feats which get gathered into one poorly-organized place in the Character Builder and Online Compendium but were scattered among many books in prior editions

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I like the playing and the potential of 4E, but I am disappointed with the management of it by Hasbro and WOTC. I tried going back to pathfinder, but found all the 3.5 problems re-occuring. All I can do is wait and see what Hasbro and WOTC will do next. A little consitency, and less PR blunders would help.
Holy crap, Hokus Smokus is back.
I've played D&D from the Red Box across all editions till 4E.
3.x was a big leap forward from all the editions before, but 4E is by far above all of them when it comes to mechanics. Indeed it is the first edition that feels truly and properly designed.

As a DM it makes things very easy to prepare and setup, and above all it makes the game controllable on my side, in that I can provide meaningful and balanced challenges to the players, according to their resources. 

As a player I enjoy trying the different 4E classes as almost all of them presents many options to explore, while being consistent with each other and genarally balanced.
I particularly I like the introduction of roles, which highly rewards teamplay: the party is greater than the sum of its parts and every character is relevant.

I've started a 4E campaign in 2008 with the AEDU class structure and still think it to be the best solution so far. One of my player has tried recentrly an E-class (assassin) and got bored with it quickly, falling back to a Rogue Scoudrel instead. But I can see how E-classes can be useful to introduce inexperienced or very casual players to the game; all in all I guess I can live with them, since some are still articulated enough to be interesting.

Still there are a number of things that can be improved (feat system for instance) but I'm having a lot of fun with this edition. 
4E runs better that it sound. With a little step back, D&D has always been a cooperative game, but 4E enforces it very well. 4E still run like a charm. Its entertaining, vivid its mechanic for Powers and sturcture has it all for everyone. Likes easier PC ? Got one. Prefer more complex one ? Got one. Everything.  4E is dynamic.

Last night i ran The Dymrak Dread on the VT, a D&D 1st edition adventure that i converted to 4E. It went great, was challenging, entertaining and fun.

4E Rules ! 


The Dymrak Dread

Start Time: Thursday July 21st 00:01 AM EST  (23:00 CST / 22:00 MST / 21:00 PST / 04:01 UTC)
Duration: 06:00                                          (CST / MST / PST Time on July 3rd Date and not 4th)             
Campaign System: D&D 4th Edition 
Campaign World: Core
Campaign Format: One Shot Adventure
DM: Plaguescarred
Players Info: 5 players*.    - Microphone required-
Characters Info:  1st Level Legal PC. No Hybrid.                             
                             Themes allowed. Background Skills or +2 only.
                             Starting Gears: 100 gp to purchase mundane gear only.

*Please announce your presence and paste your Character Summary from the Character Builder and i'll invite you to the table. If you join and can't attend, please have the courtesy to advise me ASAP if possible.
Beware this is an D&D 1st Edition adventure updated to D&D 4th Edition.

ROSTER            ***ROSTER FULL*** 

1. zapoqx - Dragonborn Battle Cleric  (Leader)
2. vaulnecro - Githzerai Invoker  (Controller)
3. faea - Dragonborn Barbarian  (Striker)
4. HelyanweDM - Minotaur Blackguard  (Striker)
5. Blackmantle_ - Dragonborn Fighter  (Defender)

Ever since you were children , you’ve heard the frightening tales of the Dymrak Forest . While the human foresters and elven clans who live there are gentle and peace-loving , there are also goblins , and even more terrible monsters! Many of these creatures live in the low , swampy heart of the forest , where humans and elves dare not go. These goblins are not just imaginary , or stories to scare naughty children. The fact that they are real and dangerous has been brought home by the raids in recent weeks that have struck human and elven communities alike. An entire village was destroyed! The leader of the goblin raiders is a war chieftain named Kosivikh , known widely as the “Dymrak Dread” because of the fear he strikes into the hearts of his enemies.

Clearly , it is time to act. Roderick , the Duke’s Lord Forester , has decided that the mayhem must come to an end. He has announced a bounty of 1 , 000 coins of gold to anyone who brings him Kosivikh’s head. The challenge is irresistible for adventurers like yourselves , eager to prove your heroism. Do you dare penetrate the fens and confront the Dymrak Dread ?


compared to what came before 4th ed? the only time i look back is to see how far we've come, and that's a good thing.

A thousand times this.

I haven't really played any Essentials characters as a player. I've ran them as a DM, and I've found them to be actually good to use in that regard. (Before you crucify me for running Mary Sue DMPCs or whatever, it was because a player was missing.)


Truthfully, having played from way back in the OD&D days there's no edition of D&D that has ever had the standard of quality level that 4e has. Every race is playable and interesting (at least to someone, well except maybe the Bladeling... lol). Every class WORKS, a few of them slightly less well than others, but after 30 years of playing versions of the game that literally had dead classes that were almost totally ineffective and others that were way overpowered, we have 30+ classes that can all show up at the table together and nobody needs to laugh. Finally all the 16,000 different types of die rolls are reduced to one simple mechanic and any character can actually do anything well.

The whole game was really thought through, the vast majority of all disfunctions of other editions that could clearly be removed were. That is what I appreciate. Some of the new ways of doing things can still be improved a lot, but compared to many of the giant glaring flaws of past editions the worst of it is better than most of what came before, and the rest is great.

I think we all get caught WAY too much up in miniscule nit-picking and empty gamecrafting debates and forget just how solid a game we're playing with. I've played a lot of RPGs and very very rarely do you find one that has equally good mechanics overall. Hopefully this will continue to be built on too. The new cosmology and such are also really well done and consciously intended to give maximum ease of use. If WotC does do an update frankly I don't hope for some giant upset of the game, just incremental things.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I liked 4E very, very much. In fact I never liked any other edition of D&D before.

I liked the power system, and the way classes were designed. The ability to design your character's way to fight was a big improvement.

I didn't like much the "power and feature encyclopedia" accept. I would have prefered a way for the player to build the powers he wanted himself - by spending points, with a class-specific table of costs, for instance, and a few "pregenerated" powers for the lazy. I must confess, though, that I always like reading through a power list - they give me ideas of situations, characters and encounters each time I do...
I think the feats should have been kept more class or race specific - many feats, but short lists for each character.

I did not like that the game was built, and the power balanced, around the concept of "exploring dungeons" (dailies, rests, so many encounters a day) when I think it should have been thought for more generic adventures and possibilies (investigation, long outdoor exploration, and so on). At least, specific rules for non-dungeon adventures should have been provided, rather than letting the DM houserule for other kind of adventures...

I liked the combat rules. Easy to use, balanced, interesting, with many space for easy improvisation and wild tactics.

Rituals should have recieved more work. Also, I didn't like the insistance on magic items and the christmas tree effect the rules encourage.

I Liked the new D&D universe, cosmology, deities and planes.

I liked the way the "heroic feeling" I felt, when young, playing 1st edition, was recaptured, improved, and made playable, at last.

I don't like the Essential classes,and many other changes introduced. For me they are unnecessary changes in a wrong direction - I think that they should have thought longer and harder, and solved their problems with classes and their "complexity" in better ways.

I think PHB2 was the best of the PHB, wth classes more inspiring, more "consistant" and better designed, than what PHB1 provided - and less prisonner of traditions. (I always eflst that rangers and clerics had no real "concept" behind them other than the fact that they are traditional classes. I think the only "real" ranger is the MP2 version, for instance, while beast master, two weapon raider and archer should have been three different concepts, and not stuffed together in the same class, but that's just me.)

I liked many things in PHB3, but disliked the way psionics were implemented. I often  think that they did never test the idea of psionic points, and just put it out at the last moment for the sake of change, or for the sake of leaving their imprint on the game. But I liked the rune system of the Runepriest, and the concept of Full Discipline - both proof, for me, that the power system was already an "open space" to explore. Also, I liked the concepts of the new classes. Too bad the psionic rules were such a bad idea.

And I liked the team work, too.

Summary :  4E was the best incarnation, for me, of D&d. I still take much pleasure in playing it, even if I had to houserule many things to make the game fit more my own tastes for adventures and stories. I am disapointed to see the game go back in the direction of the "old school" D&D and lose its focus. I don't spend money on the game anymore, as I've seen nothing in the last year that could be useful to me and the way I like to play.

I am not interested in a new edition, as I feel that it will be even more "old school" than Essential.
Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
I like that there was a lot of thought put in to 4e.  It was obvious that there was a plan and the designers were working to that plan.

I like how everyone has their own powers but dont like how everyone was made Vancian with their daily powers.

I think that it was pushed out a few months earlier then it should have been (which would have saved much of that early errata), focused too much on combat and the grid, is tied too closely to balance and still does not know what to do when you are not fighting.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
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