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Final round: Opinions on 4th ed--

Okay, I've had time to page through most of the books in the new 4th ed trilogy now.

Overall, I love what they've done to sleek down the basic rules engine, and character design and alignment have a "back to basics" feel that I admire. I worry that, with just the basic rules, there's not enough options to keep characters from looking pretty similer, once a group has worked out what the best combinations are, but that's a minor issue.

My biggest gripe--they've left out a lot of magic items, they've left out a lot of signiture monsters, they've left out a lot of main classes, and in each case, there's a "but they'll be coming up in future books!" I feel a bit like I spent more money for a lot less content--the fonts are bigger, the pictures take up more space, and they've just told me that I'll be able to purchase what I feel like I'm missing in my core book. So, they've clearly got their release schedule filled out for the next few years.

Illustrations...meh. Not as good as 3.5, definately not as good as 3.0.

These books are great on the mechanics front, but I'm finding them very dull to read. I'm not sure I can sustain interest to spend the $$$ on a full library, though I'm sure I'll get the Book of Fighters and Wizards when they come out.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
After playing a session of it, I've found that if you know how the game works, then it is indeed very "sleeked down". Several times during a combat I'd be surprised that it was already my turn again, since I felt like I'd just acted a second ago.

Where it got bogged down was when we weren't sure how things were supposed to go, and then had to try finding the relevant rule. Even with searchable PDF versions of the books, this took way too much time.

Example: Kobold is standing on the edge of a 10 foot ledge, and in the square 'below' him is another kobold pinned into the corner by the party. You bull-rush the kobold off the ledge. Assuming he doesn't catch himself, what happens? Can you be pushed into a square already containing another ally? Can you fall into a square with an ally? What if you fall into a square with an enemy?

And assuming you're there, you're prone because someone else is in the same square. What can you do while prone? Crawl, sure. Stand up, if the square is unoccupied. Can you still use at-will/encounter/daily powers? Cast spells, attack with your sword? All we could find was that being 'prone' gave you a penalty to hit and a bonus to defense from being shot, but nothing else.
Jun. 12th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Yah, the plus side of having a very finite list of powers spelled out for you is a good one. Particularly if you can print them out on a few sheets of paper. If you know what your options are, it's much faster to pick your action and go. But if you've got to muck through the rules, that'll slow things down at first.
Jun. 12th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Actually, I've got the idea of putting each power your character knows on small cards (maybe the size/shape of playing cards), so you can have them handy at all times. Maybe with a piece of art representing your character using the ability, along with the already provided 'flavor' text.

And I have this idea of a unique mechanic: when you use an 'encounter' power, you rotate the card sideways, which I'm calling 'tapping'. When you take a short rest at the end of the encounter, you can then 'untap' all of your encounter powers.

Daily powers will probably need some sort of flip/unflip mechanism...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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