The Truth About 4th Edition: Part One of Our Exclusive Interview with Wizards of the Coast

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

The Truth About 4th Edition: Part One of Our Exclusive Interview with Wizards of the Coast

The Escapist sits down with Andy Collins and Liz Schuh from Wizards of the Coast to find out why the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons came out and why tieflings are a core race.

Read Full Article

This is actually an article I have been looking forward to for a long time. It explains a lot. I still don't see why they think what they did with 4th Edition was a good idea. They say that it fits in with the new generation, but I am part of the new generation and I don't like 4th Edition. The complexity of 3 and 3.5 was what made me like the game: having to read up on everything in order to make a great game for your friends just won me over.

Nice article.

As someone who's played and run 4th Edition games, I love the system. I really do think they've streamlined a lot of areas that needed it (character creation being one of them) and I've had a lot of fun with it.

GreyWolf257:
This is actually an article I have been looking forward to for a long time. It explains a lot. I still don't see why they think what they did with 4th Edition was a good idea. They say that it fits in with the new generation, but I am part of the new generation and I don't like 4th Edition. The complexity of 3 and 3.5 was what made me like the game: having to read up on everything in order to make a great game for your friends just won me over.

Nice article.

That's part of my problem with 3.5. There's so much stuff out there for it (and so much that is 3rd party), that's its nice to have this new system that's much easier to get into.

Someone seems to have Mispelled From consistently in this article. Is that a [sic] quotation?

Crimson_Dragoon:
As someone who's played and run 4th Edition games, I love the system. I really do think they've streamlined a lot of areas that needed it (character creation being one of them) and I've had a lot of fun with it.

GreyWolf257:
This is actually an article I have been looking forward to for a long time. It explains a lot. I still don't see why they think what they did with 4th Edition was a good idea. They say that it fits in with the new generation, but I am part of the new generation and I don't like 4th Edition. The complexity of 3 and 3.5 was what made me like the game: having to read up on everything in order to make a great game for your friends just won me over.

Nice article.

That's part of my problem with 3.5. There's so much stuff out there for it (and so much that is 3rd party), that's its nice to have this new system that's much easier to get into.

Well, I will admit that there is a lot to 3 and 3.5, but it is just so much better than 4. We added some things to our games that are from 4, but we don't like it enough to go all the way. It takes forever to learn 3 and 3.5, but it is totally worth it.

I've said it before, but I think it bares repeating. I've never felt that any one edition is better or worse than another. They all seem to do one or two things better or worse than each other and in the end simply cater to different styles of play. Your best experience will be to match the edition with your players.

Slycne:
I've said it before, but I think it bares repeating. I've never felt that any one edition is better or worse than another. They all seem to do one or two things better or worse than each other and in the end simply cater to different styles of play. Your best experience will be to match the edition with your players.

Agreed. 1st edition is more dependent on descriptive players, 2nd ed is for number crunchers, 3rd is diverse but categorized, and 4th is streamlined.

It really struck me about the article that they basically admitted that making the new edition was for money purposes and to set a new starting point for everyone. So rather than make a 3.75 or some such with errata and refreshed categorization built in, they decided to scrap most of it and start anew. What I still don't understand is why they had to poison some of the established campaigns (like Forgotten Realms) with a system designed for new players.

3.0/3.5 gives you a lot of control over the little things, but they often don't matter so much. $.0 offers a much more streamlined approach to combat and skills, which is where a lot of time is wasted. Combat in 3rd edition usually amounted to melee characters hitting something every turn and casters using their most powerful spell. $th edition actually gives every class choices to make during combat.

I like what they did with 4.0, but you can't really directly compare it in its entirety to other systems, though. They focused on different things with 4.0, so if you weren't interested in those things, you probably didn't like the new edition.

This article is pretty interesting but it still doesn't make me feel any better about it. I'm supposed to play in a 4.0 campaign for the first time this summer and after playing so many other tabletop games recently (including 3.5) and after hearing all the bad things about it I am worried it won't be all that much fun. Here's hoping the DM makes up for it.

Current business model: Make your game virtually unplayable without the continual purchase of tons of useless models, maps, and other junk. Restrict your main publications to online format and overcharge for access. Let the money roll in... yep, sounds like a winner.

Beyond the obvious focus on fleecing their patrons of every last penny, it's the dumbing down of every single one of their settings that really irks me. Eberron (a formerly gritty-noir setting) now featuring bollocks like a power that creates a magical springboard so you can jump around the room?! What are we? In pre-school?!

Slycne:
I've said it before, but I think it bares repeating. I've never felt that any one edition is better or worse than another. They all seem to do one or two things better or worse than each other and in the end simply cater to different styles of play. Your best experience will be to match the edition with your players.

Couldnt have said it better myself. Agreed totally.

Interesting article, but they really didnt say why they felt 4th was better then 3.5 for clasic gamers. I own alot of 4th edition books, but I enjoy 3.5 much better. 3.5 is a more complex game, allows more freedom, and generally allows more ability to do waht you want.

GreyWolf257:

Well, I will admit that there is a lot to 3 and 3.5, but it is just so much better than 4. We added some things to our games that are from 4, but we don't like it enough to go all the way. It takes forever to learn 3 and 3.5, but it is totally worth it.

See, that's what I liked about 3E myself. I did get into some of the stuff in 3.5E, but it was kind of pick and choose, really. That aside, with just the three core rulebooks of 3E, you could essentially make any number of different characters. I didn't buy most of the supplements to 3E because they weren't neccessary; you could do everything they were doing with just the right selection of feats and skills and those bits that you couldn't were really simple to come up with on your own. 4E, on the other hand, is built so much like WOW in its character creation and leveling system that all your characters are essentially the same with only minor variations.
Furthermore, 4E is nowhere near as adaptable as 3E. 3E, we could tweak the rules to make the game a lot more gritty and realistic. We even found away to do away with the class system altogether, but still use the basic d20 rules. You can't do that with 4E, because the only thing that has any real complexity to it is the powers. Take that away and the game has nothing. You can't build the game to emphasize skills exclusively because so many of the skills are all lumped together and because they automatically go up with levels, every character of a certain level is going to have the same skill ranking in his chosen skills. You can't choose to emphasize some skills over others like you could with 3E.
But, on the whole, I reject 4E because all the basic materials is divided up among six books, each priced at $40. The special books of 3E cost that much. I understand the concept of making money, but 4E is just milking the customers for every cent it can get and on the whole, it doesn't provide enough new and interesting material to justify the cost. In the end, 4E strikes me as a game that was rushed through production way too fast. Maybe by the time of 4.5E, I'll get into it, unless they simply repeat what they did with 3.5 and most of the changes turn out to be arbitrary, adding little and improving bugger all.

Otterpoet:
Current business model: Make your game virtually unplayable without the continual purchase of tons of useless models, maps, and other junk. Restrict your main publications to online format and overcharge for access. Let the money roll in... yep, sounds like a winner.

Beyond the obvious focus on fleecing their patrons of every last penny, it's the dumbing down of every single one of their settings that really irks me. Eberron (a formerly gritty-noir setting) now featuring bollocks like a power that creates a magical springboard so you can jump around the room?! What are we? In pre-school?!

Exactly.

4e changed too many things for me. I am an old school gamer, from the days of Basic DnD and 4e simply took away too many "sacred cows" which made the game fun. That is why I left Dungeons and Dragons enitrely and now run Shadowrun instead. If by chance I do go back to Dungeons and Dragons it won't be 4e. It will be Pathfinder. Pathfinder fixes a lot of the material that was wrong in 3e/3.5e without changing the game completely. Pathfinder stayed true to DnD roots while 4e did not.

RJ Dalton:

GreyWolf257:

Well, I will admit that there is a lot to 3 and 3.5, but it is just so much better than 4. We added some things to our games that are from 4, but we don't like it enough to go all the way. It takes forever to learn 3 and 3.5, but it is totally worth it.

See, that's what I liked about 3E myself. I did get into some of the stuff in 3.5E, but it was kind of pick and choose, really. That aside, with just the three core rulebooks of 3E, you could essentially make any number of different characters. I didn't buy most of the supplements to 3E because they weren't neccessary; you could do everything they were doing with just the right selection of feats and skills and those bits that you couldn't were really simple to come up with on your own. 4E, on the other hand, is built so much like WOW in its character creation and leveling system that all your characters are essentially the same with only minor variations.
Furthermore, 4E is nowhere near as adaptable as 3E. 3E, we could tweak the rules to make the game a lot more gritty and realistic. We even found away to do away with the class system altogether, but still use the basic d20 rules. You can't do that with 4E, because the only thing that has any real complexity to it is the powers. Take that away and the game has nothing. You can't build the game to emphasize skills exclusively because so many of the skills are all lumped together and because they automatically go up with levels, every character of a certain level is going to have the same skill ranking in his chosen skills. You can't choose to emphasize some skills over others like you could with 3E.
But, on the whole, I reject 4E because all the basic materials is divided up among six books, each priced at $40. The special books of 3E cost that much. I understand the concept of making money, but 4E is just milking the customers for every cent it can get and on the whole, it doesn't provide enough new and interesting material to justify the cost. In the end, 4E strikes me as a game that was rushed through production way too fast. Maybe by the time of 4.5E, I'll get into it, unless they simply repeat what they did with 3.5 and most of the changes turn out to be arbitrary, adding little and improving bugger all.

The only thing that keeps me from spewing foam from my mouth when it comes to 4E is the fact that I only payed $10 dollars for the player manual, which I will probably not ever use. The prices for those books are just ungodly. And if you don't want to pay for 3.5, you can get it for free here. I never would have payed for the thing, but it is nice to be able to look at what you can use in it to fit into your own game sessions.

GreyWolf257:

The only thing that keeps me from spewing foam from my mouth when it comes to 4E is the fact that I only payed $10 dollars for the player manual, which I will probably not ever use. The prices for those books are just ungodly. And if you don't want to pay for 3.5, you can get it for free here. I never would have payed for the thing, but it is nice to be able to look at what you can use in it to fit into your own game sessions.

But you don't even need to pay the ten bucks to look at it. Every element of the 4E player's manual is available online. If you go searching, you can compile all the information into your own file and not pay a cent. But I can't think of a reason why you'd go to the trouble, since there's so very little worth having.
I did like the rituals, but that was something I'd been doing for years already, so there wasn't anything new to me.
And another thing I go on about is how insulting the books are. I'm going to quote something directly from the text:
"Play a dragonborn if you want to look like a dragon."
That's so bloody shallow that you'd think WotC thinks we're all five-years-old. And it does something like that for every race. It just plain bugs me.

RJ Dalton:

GreyWolf257:

The only thing that keeps me from spewing foam from my mouth when it comes to 4E is the fact that I only payed $10 dollars for the player manual, which I will probably not ever use. The prices for those books are just ungodly. And if you don't want to pay for 3.5, you can get it for free here. I never would have payed for the thing, but it is nice to be able to look at what you can use in it to fit into your own game sessions.

But you don't even need to pay the ten bucks to look at it. Every element of the 4E player's manual is available online. If you go searching, you can compile all the information into your own file and not pay a cent. But I can't think of a reason why you'd go to the trouble, since there's so very little worth having.
I did like the rituals, but that was something I'd been doing for years already, so there wasn't anything new to me.
And another thing I go on about is how insulting the books are. I'm going to quote something directly from the text:
"Play a dragonborn if you want to look like a dragon."
That's so bloody shallow that you'd think WotC thinks we're all five-years-old. And it does something like that for every race. It just plain bugs me.

Shhh! I'm trying to reason with the fact that I payed money for the darn thing, don't drop me off the eight-story building that is my shame at wasting money! By the way, have you ever noticed that the 4th Edition book is so hard to read? I mean, it just seems so disorganized, especially compared to the 3rd Edition book. I opened the 4E book and "BLAM!" face full of nothing but wall of text after wall of text. Hurt my eyes reading that thing.

This article only offended me. The canon was closed with 3.5. If I want to play WoW, I could play 4e, but I could also play WoW.

If 4e is built for the ADD gamer (instead of the ADnD gamer) then it is not built for me. Marathon sessions in which liters of Coke or Jolt are guzzled are part of the experience. Let the newbs climb the foothills; I'm going to the mountains. In short, if 4e is for the short attention span, it is not for me.

4e is simply WotC doing a money grab. The fall of WotC as a gaming company can be marked by the fall of the Game Center. They use to be a game company that generated revenue for Hasbro; now they are a revenue generator for Hasbro which "grows" properties inherited by the WotC of old.

Thank God there is so very much material for 3rd and 3.5. I will continue to ignore the existence of 4.

GreyWolf257:

Shhh! I'm trying to reason with the fact that I payed money for the darn thing, don't drop me off the eight-story building that is my shame at wasting money! By the way, have you ever noticed that the 4th Edition book is so hard to read? I mean, it just seems so disorganized, especially compared to the 3rd Edition book. I opened the 4E book and "BLAM!" face full of nothing but wall of text after wall of text. Hurt my eyes reading that thing.

Yeah, they are really badly written and organized. Like I said, it seems to me like it was rushed out too quickly.

Guys, seriously. Enough with the editions wars. I've played both, and they are both enjoyable, in different ways. 4th edition is fundamentally easier to understand, with a simpler core mechanic which makes it easier to get into, and get new people into. 3rd Edition is more open-ended and complex in what it allows players to do, which can be intimidating, but gives very experienced players a feeling of power they don't feel like giving up. 4E focuses on fun and balance, such that even poorly built characters can still contribute, and their players can still have fun in combat. 3.5 is such that there is a massive difference between what an optimizer can do and what an unfamiliar player can do. Even at 1st level, but the difference grows exponentially as levels go up. This eventually can make the game no fun for less knowledgeable players. This is a big problem for new players, as the knowledge required for fun is quite large.

So 3.5 has this added complexity, which if properly utilized can create more interesting and unique characters and ideas. It's more adaptable, but harder to use, with more significant differences between options. Eventually these differences can stack up to make certain players massively more powerful than their comrades.
4E has a simpler, more rigid system with fewer branching options available to the player, instead a lot of small choices you can make. Power levels between players can shift, but it rarely shifts enough to make it game-breaking or unfun.

If you are already familiar with 3.5 and have enough friends who are familiar, go ahead and stick with it. Trying 4E is free, if you'd like to try it, all the basic resources are available online. It is inherently more simple, and therefore requires more creativity to do the same things that could be done in 3.5. The question is: If what you want is exactly what 3.5 lets you do, why change? You set yourself up for disappointment if you come into a new game expecting to be able to do precisely the same things you used to be able to do and more. That's what splatbooks are for. They are two different games.

I've had fun with both editions, and I'm currently playing both, as a 3.5 player and a 4e DM.

GreyWolf257:
By the way, have you ever noticed that the 4th Edition book is so hard to read? I mean, it just seems so disorganized, especially compared to the 3rd Edition book. I opened the 4E book and "BLAM!" face full of nothing but wall of text after wall of text. Hurt my eyes reading that thing.

No, I think you're confusing that with 3rd edition. Especially the spells in 3rd edition. 4th edition is full of shiny colors, short paragraphs and pictures. You, like many others, are suffering from a "what I learned was better" selective memory.

RJ Dalton:

And another thing I go on about is how insulting the books are. I'm going to quote something directly from the text:
"Play a dragonborn if you want to look like a dragon."
That's so bloody shallow that you'd think WotC thinks we're all five-years-old. And it does something like that for every race. It just plain bugs me.

That's the trouble with trying to make something accessible to new players, the old ones complain that it's too simplistic. There's plenty of deeper fluff about all of the races if you're actually interested in learning about them, though it isn't all found in the PHB. (It wasn't found in the 3.5 PHB either.) Bullet points are made to be simple, and they were helpful for getting new players started on picking out their characters. When you're trying to make a character for somebody who's never played before, it's a lot easier to tell them the basics, then let them find out more later. It doesn't make it "made for 5-year-olds" to have it summarized simply.

But in other ways, they are also coming from a background that is short attention span, perhaps, less likely interested in reading the rules of the game before playing.

oh ok thats understandable, wait no **** you give D&D to someone else then. You obviously have no ****ing clue what D&D is about. 3.5 was just fine thanks. You can take 4e and shove it up your ass.

piscian:

But in other ways, they are also coming from a background that is short attention span, perhaps, less likely interested in reading the rules of the game before playing.

oh ok thats understandable, wait no **** you give D&D to someone else then. You obviously have no ****ing clue what D&D is about.

Apparently D&D is about preventing new players from joining because they don't know the rules yet. I thought it was about having fun in a make-believe fantasy setting. My bad.

IridRadiant:

Slycne:
I've said it before, but I think it bares repeating. I've never felt that any one edition is better or worse than another. They all seem to do one or two things better or worse than each other and in the end simply cater to different styles of play. Your best experience will be to match the edition with your players.

Agreed. 1st edition is more dependent on descriptive players, 2nd ed is for number crunchers, 3rd is diverse but categorized, and 4th is streamlined.

It really struck me about the article that they basically admitted that making the new edition was for money purposes and to set a new starting point for everyone. So rather than make a 3.75 or some such with errata and refreshed categorization built in, they decided to scrap most of it and start anew. What I still don't understand is why they had to poison some of the established campaigns (like Forgotten Realms) with a system designed for new players.

because they apparently needed a domesticated Ork minority that could complain about how it's being mistreated now that it's learned to talk. I'm not kidding that's literally the plot of the first 4e book that came out.

Apparently D&D is about preventing new players from joining because they don't know the rules yet. I thought it was about having fun in a make-believe fantasy setting. My bad.

1. Not knowing the rules? It takes like 30min to explain at most. 2. Not knowing the rules and having a "Short attention span" are too different things. Fine make D&Dyaore. Dungeons & Dragons : Young Adults on Ritalin Edition, but don't insult the rest of us.

piscian:

1. Not knowing the rules? It takes like 30min to explain at most. 2. Not knowing the rules and having a "Short attention span" are too different things. Fine make D&Dyaore. Dungeons & Dragons : Young Adults on Ritalin Edition, but don't insult the rest of us.

It does not take 30 minutes at most to explain the rules; I've explained the rules to many new players. You may THINK you've explained all the rules in 30 minutes, but they won't understand you until they've played the game.
I play 3.5 with somebody who's ADD. It just means a lot of random conversation goes on. But you seemed to be saying somebody who hasn't learned all the rules yet shouldn't be able to play, and I was disagreeing with you.

The thing that confuses me about 4th edition is that I didn't think that Tomb of Battle: Book of Nine Swords was that popular. As for everything else, well I get why they did it. I just don't agree with the approach they took and think a middle ground could have been met between the massive well of customization and tweaking that is 3.5(which I love for the record) and the monopoly style character creation(I call Rogue! Awww I guess I'll be the car then.) and overly streamlined gameplay of 4th.

Calatar:

piscian:

1. Not knowing the rules? It takes like 30min to explain at most. 2. Not knowing the rules and having a "Short attention span" are too different things. Fine make D&Dyaore. Dungeons & Dragons : Young Adults on Ritalin Edition, but don't insult the rest of us.

It does not take 30 minutes at most to explain the rules; I've explained the rules to many new players. You may THINK you've explained all the rules in 30 minutes, but they won't understand you until they've played the game.
I play 3.5 with somebody who's ADD. It just means a lot of random conversation goes on. But you seemed to be saying somebody who hasn't learned all the rules yet shouldn't be able to play, and I was disagreeing with you.

no I was quoting the article which states that 4e is geared toward people with "short attention spans". I agree is does take time to get comfortable with DD 3/3.5 rules, but I've read the incredibly short DM campaign guide for 4e and I'm pretty sure the rule book for Final Fight has more depth. Overall it's insulting and I just don't see any reason to use the new books. Fine I can include the shadowlords and spell plague (which is a essentially a ripoff of Dragonlance imo). The rest of it is just a dumbing down of the rules.

That wasn't so much an interview as it was a advertisement for 4th edition.

Wow, you guys are all seeming to think that just because there's a 4th Edition set of rules, you can't play 3.5 anymore. If you feel so strongly that 4E is bad, then don't starting complaining. Just ignore it. That's a perfectly valid and reasonable option.

I enjoy it. It's helped me get my friends, who aren't so big on tabletop RPG stuff, into it. It's got lowered entry requirements. But the amazing thing about tabletop RPG games, each and every one, is that they're open source. All the rules are there for you to mod as you choose. Don't like how much 4th Edition wants you to push and pull people around, so you need a board? Then change those rules.

In my opinion, it's that flexibility that makes it the best. If you think 4th Edition is too simple, then either play something else, or just DM it yourself and mod the hell out of it.

I will agree, though, that it is a very expensive RPG to get into. Older games tend to be harder to find books for, but they're not as expensive. Mind you, I live in Australia, so -everything- is expensive for me. And, hey, if you think it's too expensive, just write your own rules. Totally within your reach.

Calatar:
Guys, seriously. Enough with the editions wars. I've played both, and they are both enjoyable, in different ways. 4th edition is fundamentally easier to understand, with a simpler core mechanic which makes it easier to get into, and get new people into. 3rd Edition is more open-ended and complex in what it allows players to do, which can be intimidating, but gives very experienced players a feeling of power they don't feel like giving up. 4E focuses on fun and balance, such that even poorly built characters can still contribute, and their players can still have fun in combat. 3.5 is such that there is a massive difference between what an optimizer can do and what an unfamiliar player can do. Even at 1st level, but the difference grows exponentially as levels go up. This eventually can make the game no fun for less knowledgeable players. This is a big problem for new players, as the knowledge required for fun is quite large.

So 3.5 has this added complexity, which if properly utilized can create more interesting and unique characters and ideas. It's more adaptable, but harder to use, with more significant differences between options. Eventually these differences can stack up to make certain players massively more powerful than their comrades.
4E has a simpler, more rigid system with fewer branching options available to the player, instead a lot of small choices you can make. Power levels between players can shift, but it rarely shifts enough to make it game-breaking or unfun.

If you are already familiar with 3.5 and have enough friends who are familiar, go ahead and stick with it. Trying 4E is free, if you'd like to try it, all the basic resources are available online. It is inherently more simple, and therefore requires more creativity to do the same things that could be done in 3.5. The question is: If what you want is exactly what 3.5 lets you do, why change? You set yourself up for disappointment if you come into a new game expecting to be able to do precisely the same things you used to be able to do and more. That's what splatbooks are for. They are two different games.

I've had fun with both editions, and I'm currently playing both, as a 3.5 player and a 4e DM.

GreyWolf257:
By the way, have you ever noticed that the 4th Edition book is so hard to read? I mean, it just seems so disorganized, especially compared to the 3rd Edition book. I opened the 4E book and "BLAM!" face full of nothing but wall of text after wall of text. Hurt my eyes reading that thing.

No, I think you're confusing that with 3rd edition. Especially the spells in 3rd edition. 4th edition is full of shiny colors, short paragraphs and pictures. You, like many others, are suffering from a "what I learned was better" selective memory.

RJ Dalton:

And another thing I go on about is how insulting the books are. I'm going to quote something directly from the text:
"Play a dragonborn if you want to look like a dragon."
That's so bloody shallow that you'd think WotC thinks we're all five-years-old. And it does something like that for every race. It just plain bugs me.

That's the trouble with trying to make something accessible to new players, the old ones complain that it's too simplistic. There's plenty of deeper fluff about all of the races if you're actually interested in learning about them, though it isn't all found in the PHB. (It wasn't found in the 3.5 PHB either.) Bullet points are made to be simple, and they were helpful for getting new players started on picking out their characters. When you're trying to make a character for somebody who's never played before, it's a lot easier to tell them the basics, then let them find out more later. It doesn't make it "made for 5-year-olds" to have it summarized simply.

Hmm, you don't quite see what I mean. Take the section on the Fighter class, for example. You have one neat picture and then "Holy crap! Eleven pages of uninteresting text and only one extra picture!" Sure, it has neat pictures every few pages, but the walls of text are horrendous! 3rd Edition had this problem with the spells lists, but how the can you get around that being boring? They both have a lot of short paragraphs, but 4E has a ton of paragraphs just one after another.

If you want something new to play (an updated 3.5) and 4th edition doesn't suit you check out Paizo's Pathfinder RPG. It is 3.5 basically with some upgrades you won't be disappointed!

Who plays base races other than human? No, really. I've seen humans, and I've seen races pulled out of other books. Yeah, the newbie usually uses a base, but other than that, it's usually either a human, something specific like a wood elf, or something weird like a changeling. OK, halflings get used too, and dwarves. I've never even seen someone play a tiefling, and I have played evil characters. I played a wood elf, my friend played a human. We were both lawful evil, so throwing in tiefling "for the evil-curious" is just lame. There's a reason no race (and very few classes) has alignment restrictions. It's so you can do whatever you want.

IcarusPherae:
If you want something new to play (an updated 3.5) and 4th edition doesn't suit you check out Paizo's Pathfinder RPG. It is 3.5 basically with some upgrades you won't be disappointed!

Also this.

Calatar:

That's the trouble with trying to make something accessible to new players, the old ones complain that it's too simplistic. There's plenty of deeper fluff about all of the races if you're actually interested in learning about them, though it isn't all found in the PHB. (It wasn't found in the 3.5 PHB either.) Bullet points are made to be simple, and they were helpful for getting new players started on picking out their characters. When you're trying to make a character for somebody who's never played before, it's a lot easier to tell them the basics, then let them find out more later. It doesn't make it "made for 5-year-olds" to have it summarized simply.

There is a difference between a quick summary and treating your readers like they have the brains and attention spans of goldfish. The little bullet point summaries have nothing to do with the technical details of the race and are pathetically shallow.
And I'll continue the edition wars as long as WotC keeps asking people to bend over and spread their cheeks for them. And it's not just 4E (although that is a very noticeable focus for my wrath). I've been on WotC's case for a long time. The quality of their products has been going down for a long time, with needless supplemental books that aren't worth the paper their printed on because they don't add shit to the game except for more and more prestige classes that aren't very interesting and that nobody really wants to play (except for munchkins and power players, who are the nematodes of role playing).
Of course, it's all futile really, because the best role playing system ever is really Chaosium's Call of Cthulu. Oh, and subsequent editions of *that* game don't invalidate the material of the previous editions, so people who buy a newer edition of the book can still play with people who use the old edition. In fact, now that I think about it, WotC is the only company I can think of that so radically changes the game with each edition that older versions are incompatible with new ones.

GreyWolf257:
Hmm, you don't quite see what I mean. Take the section on the Fighter class, for example. You have one neat picture and then "Holy crap! Eleven pages of uninteresting text and only one extra picture!" Sure, it has neat pictures every few pages, but the walls of text are horrendous! 3rd Edition had this problem with the spells lists, but how the can you get around that being boring? They both have a lot of short paragraphs, but 4E has a ton of paragraphs just one after another.

"How can you get around spell lists being boring?" Well, what they've done is give -every- class a spell list. Every class now has that many options. I consider that to be a huge upgrade. And yeah, they could have used more pictures. But outside of the equipment section, which is also a little bland, the rest of the book is just -full- of pictures. Most of them are irrelevant, but plenty of pretty. It's not a hard book to read.

Also, show me the 3.5 book which is half as helpful as Dungeon Master Guide #2 for 4th Edition. That book is easy to read, and doesn't just gives you tools to DM with; it explains -how- to DM. What you should use those tools for. I've never seen a book like it.

As to depth and complexity, from what I understand, the 3rd PHB for 4th edition will allow players to have something in the realm of that sort of granular control over their characters with Hybrid classes, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

GreyWolf257:

Hmm, you don't quite see what I mean. Take the section on the Fighter class, for example. You have one neat picture and then "Holy crap! Eleven pages of uninteresting text and only one extra picture!" Sure, it has neat pictures every few pages, but the walls of text are horrendous! 3rd Edition had this problem with the spells lists, but how the can you get around that being boring? They both have a lot of short paragraphs, but 4E has a ton of paragraphs just one after another.

I see what you mean there.
However, I see that as compartmentalization and it doesn't bother me. I don't need to be concerned with that unless I'm making a 30th level fighter. Powers really don't bug me as a "Wall of Text" because they are organized in a clear way. I never bothered to read all of them because they're irrelevant to early-level players. You only need to deal with a few powers at a time unless you're planning out your entire character beginning to end, which I'd guess most players don't do. At 1st level, you only need to be concerned with the first page of text which describes your class and the 12 powers you can choose from. Wall-of-text implies a content overload, but since you don't need to worry about anything else until later, it shouldn't really be a problem.
The powers and feats are both organized better than the 3.5 spells and feats were, because they divided them by their class-based or level-based relevancy, rather than just alphabetically.

(On a side note, it's sort of funny how you're complaining about how there aren't enough pictures when everybody else is complaining about it being too simple and made for 5-year olds)

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here