Wednesday, June 11, 2008

4th Edition D&D

We've come along way since your character's race was also his job.

I went down to Pandemonium today to check out the new D&D rulebooks I dreamt about buying last week. Sadly, Pandemonium was selling the books for full price ($34.95), and while I understand that Amazon's business model doesn't work for my local indie shop, I still couldn't bring myself to pay full price for all the books when they are still sitting on Amazon at two thirds of that... so I compromised and just bought the Player's Handbook since, quelle surprise, it appears to have all the info you need to learn how to play. I'll order the other two off of Amazon and do the free shipping thing.... thus I save a little cash, support my local independent shop, and satisfy my needs for immediate gratification.

I'll probably blog character creation in the next couple days, once I get a better grasp of it. My initial impression, is that there really don't seem to be that many choices to make customizing your character build compared to the older versions. I can't say whether this is a good or bad thing, but it is pretty shocking for someone who is used to thinking up 3 or 4 class builds for Neverwinter Nights 2. One good thing though, is that I don't have any fears of trying to explain it to my girlfriend or anyone else who has never played. Another favorable impression is that every class seems to have cool things to do all the time... reminds me a bit of Earthdawn in that respect... the Fighter just doesn't say I will "swing my sword at the goblin for the 800th time" but "I will do a Reaping Strike to knock the goblin prone so the cleric can pound on him". Some of it's just terminology, but it's also a melding of spellcasting and fighting into a more coherent idea, which I think it was time for. The Feat concept moved a long way towards making a Fighter as interesting as a Wizard in some ways, but in the end, most of the interesting things you did with your character was picking feats... tactically, it wasn't that much different than it had been before. It seems to me that you definitely have a lot more tactical options here, which has gotta be a good thing for the play experience, right?

I guess we'll see.

photo by flickr user unloveable used under a Creative Commons license