Friday, January 9, 2009

Save vs Negativity Failed

Long time, no blog.

My lack of posting isn’t from a dearth of material to look at. There’s plenty for me to go over (at least when I get the chance to read through Crwth’s digital Dragon magazines) so I’m sure I could pick up a topic or two if I took the time to read it all. The holidays make for a handy scapegoat in the gap in writing but in all honesty I had plenty of time to make up a post.

Case in point. I’ve had the following saved on my computer since late November or early December. I could have posted it at just about any time but hesitated for one big reason. I’m tired of being so negative all the time.

Honestly. I want to like 4e because at it’s core it’s still DnD, it’s still the game that I’ve loved since I rolled up my first dwarven ranger in 1984.

I want to find and focus on the gems of the game. Things like the monsters and encounters. The design of those two areas is greatly improved. I like the rules on disease, poison, and traps. Those rules have been improved over 3.5 by leaps and bounds. I like the emphasis on terrain. The skill system is another tweak that I really approve of. I’ve even grown to like the roles. There are lots of other things that I like that I aren’t coming to mind at the moment, so suffice to say that overall 4E is a good game.

Actually, more accurately, I still have a lot of fun when playing DnD. Is that fun a result of the rule set? No. Absolutely not. Definitely and emphatically no.

The fun comes from our DM ‘s ability to spin a tale and run the game with a nice pace. It’s fun because of my friends. It’s fun because of the off track tangents that inevitably veer us away from the game. It’s fun because of the mom jokes and the pop culture references and Simpsons quotes.

If anything, there’s just one small trifling detail that holds my weekly gaming back in terms of pure enjoyment.

The classes.

I hate them.

Seriously. They bore me. To tears.

I’ve been trying to leave this poor dead horse alone but the classes are all just so cookie cutter. The names of the powers and abilities are all different but the core of their effects are all the same. Some classes lean more heavily on one type of power but everyone seems to have a the same generic options. The extra feats don’t add any spice to the mix. It’s just more salt in an already salty soup. Spellcasters are so dumbed down they are beyond the point of banality.

Even the release of some new classes has done nothing for me. The Swordmage in the FRPG is interesting but barely different from the sword wielding wizard I’m currently playing. The sneak peek at the upcoming Barbarian was ho hum. Do I dare hold out hope for the PHB2?

Sure, there’s no more mindlessly hacking away with sword or axe. Instead we mindlessly flail away with “Holy Smites”, “Twin Strikes”, and “Scorching Blasts”. Whee.

Sure, there’s no more accidentally nerfing your character by multiclassing or missing out on a pre-requisite for a feat. Instead there is no multiclassing, and if you miss a feat, take it next level. Or “retrain”.

Leveling up used to be the penultimate in excitement as all new paths and options opened up. Now it’s just a matter of changing some numbers on the character sheet. The only reason I even bother with bugging our DM about leveling up is for the running joke.

The bottom line is it’s still nice to get out of the house and do some gaming with my friends. It’s just that I’d be just as happy if we were to play d20 Modern or VtM or just about any other RPG out there. The only thing that currently keeps me with DnD is the familiarity factor. That and the high fantasy setting of battling monsters with sword and spell. Other than that avenue of escapism, 4th edition has nothing to hold my interest.

1 comment:

boro said...

Spot on. There is no inspiration any more.