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Analysis upon first looking at the D&D 4E Player's Handbook...

1. You don't have to be lawful good to be a paladin? And you can't fall from grace? Ever? If you're a bad, bad person, your god doesn't care, and it's up to your order to hunt you down?

...where's the fun in THAT? Where's the "I'm going to turn my back on this locked treasure chest and trust that you will all do the morally correct thing?" How can we wiggle through loopholes if you take away our rope!?

It's a sad, sad day when you find yourself wondering if you can ask the GM to make your religious life harder.

2. Dude, the new skill system nerfs the hell outta rogues. Ouchie.

I've heard outcrys of rage from most of the AD&D players I know... but Im having fun playing my big smashy dragonborn fighter :c

Makes you want to wander out into the woods and beat someone with a padded stick?

Mmmm.... plumbing supplies....

I haven't really played with 4e but the once (it was a 'friend wnats to test the system, is running a module' situation), but I'm at least copacetic with the lawful good relaxy thing, because damnit, I think all gods should get to have pretentious warrior minions, not just the Dudley Do-Right ones.

I confess, I didn't feel Rogues got all that nerfed; they just got shifted in the focus. Rogues aren't the Skillbunnies anymore; the focus is more on swashbuckling and backstabbing.

Also, yay for every god getting to have Paladins without having to get PrCs.

I don't see how Rogues have been downgraded in terms of skills? (Then again, my only interactions with previous editions has been via Bioware games, so I may well be missing something.) Stealth and Thievery now cover the traditional Rogue skillset, and while the system is different, I don't think it makes picking pockets or disarming traps any harder for your average Rogue.

The main difference, that I can see, is that everyone is now welcome to become trained in Stealth and/or Thievery, which is no bad thing in my eyes. I frequently wish the rest of my party had better Stealth, 'cause there's no point in me being sneaky if they're all just going to clatter and bang along behind me!

I flipped through it long enough to discover that it disallows every one of my characters ever.

Pffft. I've had that problem since SECOND Edition.

4E strikes me as a complicated board game, one that tries to compete with a niche that Fantasy Flight's Descent fills admirably.

Though when I first played, I admit I had a lot of fun using rogue abilities to toss enemies between the two party heavies.

Yes. I would say you're right about that, although the D&D name gives it a lot of instant clout.

I couldn't imagine playing 4E without a battle map, and I was able to do that for every other system.

I adore 4e to pieces, but it sure isn't as flexible as 3e is. (I see this as doing a subset of things very well, instead of a whole lot of different things poorly, and consider it a plus. Opinions, obviously, vary.) Rogues, however, I always played as stabby slicy dagger-wielding infernos of DEATH FROM BEHIND, so I'm pretty happy with their changes in 4e. A little lock-picking here, a little stealthing there, and a whole lot o' stabbin between the two.

And not just stabbin', but stabbin' in a variety of exciting ways! I'm still giggling over the concept of a non-magical/arcane character with area attacks.

It's not so much that they nerfed rogues, as they changed the basic utility of the rogue. Before, you had what I call the Rogue Problem. The rogue was (in theory) less useful in combat, and so they gave him a lot of out of combat utility. He was the one who did the sneaking, the lock-picking, the trapfinding. However, while he was doing that, there often wasn't much for the other players to do, so you'd have the rest of the party sitting around waiting for the rogue to finish up.

Now, the rogue is as useful in combat as any other class, and most classes have a chance of participating in any given activity. As well, you don't have the feeling that you [i]have[/i] to have a rogue in the party, anymore than you [i]have[/i] to have a wizard or a cleric. There are other ways to fill that niche.

Totally my books today!! Digger 1-4 and It Seemed Like A Good Idea....


I like my 4E Rogue. I love that I can be Unaligned and be quite mercenary. There are fighters and mages in the party for a reason. They damage people enough so that I can sneak in and take their kills (swipe), while also keeping them occupied enough that "Nono, I'm quite fine here out in the hall. You go on and fight, there's a good boy." :D

As for how they compare to earlier editions, I sadly, cannot say.

I'm a little irritated with how they turned alignment back into a one-dimensional line - Lawful Good, Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic, Chaotic Evil. As if Lawful Evil and Chaotic Good weren't completely reasonable alignment choices.

They nixed my alignment and my race in 4E. I am so sad.

I played in a campaign that house-ruled paladins of other alignments, so I'm glad to see them.

But a big WHUT to the never losing your powers because you failed to act according to your alignment. That's just not what paladins ARE. Unless I misunderstand you...I don't have the books yet, because I'm isolated in NE Ohio without a group.

I've not read the paladin rules in detail, but I think the thing about not losing powers is in order to have it so that paladins falling is more of a roleplaying opportunity - it makes for a much more interesting story to have a Devout Paladin slowly turn into a Filthy Heretic and have to deal with bands of Holy Ninjas Avengers coming after him, rather than just a flat "oops, you did something naughty! bye bye powers! jump through all these hoops if you want 'em back!" result, which is boring and sucks.

Plus, I have many tales of perverse DMs putting paladins in no-win situations just to make them fall, and that also sucks. Giving paladins the option of going rogue (not Rogue) is preferable, I feel.

we've been playing a 4th ed. module for a few months now (we're really bad at that whole 'focus' thing) and have so far been liking it. Partly this may be due to poor experiences with past editions, but we're really liking how straightforward and balanced things are so far. (big problems with munchkins and rules-lawyers in the past.) They've definetly been uh, 'inspired' by World of Warcraft in several areas, though.

I kind of prefer 4e over 3e, for the simple fact that 4e is somewhat easier to get the hang of as a player, and vastly easier to DM. The Challenge Rating system totally breaks my head.

Rogues might have got skill-nerfed but they are immensely stabby now, which gives them much more to do in combat.

Let's be fair - the Challenge Rating system wasn't exactly reliable in the first place. Some monsters were severely under-rated, and it really depended on knowing what your party could do to make a fair challenge.

(Animated chair versus a party of rogue/ranger (archer)/Sorceror/cleric in 3e had a fair chance of being a total party kill.)

How can we wiggle through loopholes if you take away our rope!?

Preach it! /current alt character is a tiefling pally of Boccob; on summer break from the deathlock

Also, healing surges? Seriously? Seriously?

Also, healing surges? Seriously? Seriously?

Absolutely! The healing surge mechanic provides you with a way to work *without a healbot* - meaning, nobody gets stuck doing nothing but healing, and if nobody wants to play a Cleric/Warlord/Bard, the party isn't screwed.

This is quite clever game design.

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(Deleted comment)
This is why I combed the internet for a 3.5 Player's Handbook after giving my old 3 handbooks away a year ago (because I was moving).

So full of fail.

I actually enjoy D&D now with 4e. No more disparate power balance between magic users and everyone else! No more crazy level adjustment or challenge rating crap! No more crazy twinkery (just regularl twinkey)!

And hey, it's not like WotC raided your shelves and burned your 3.x books. You can still play them if you prefer. There just isn't any new material for them.

Well the best supplement was for 2nd any way.


Aww now our rogue is our squishie tank and we tease about his crit ability. Can't roll 1s and crits on anything over a 16..... I have not nice things to say when I whiff.

I had heard many terrible things about 4e, and was very reluctant to play it.'s now probably my favorite system of D&D. It takes away all the really annoying number-crunching of 3.0/3.5 that I always hated, and replaces your basic attacks ("I hit it with my sword!" ... "Okay I hit it with my sword again!") with really badass powers ("Hm, a boss fight, you say? Okay, I'm going to run up the wall and punch in his face-- by the way I get extra hit points for doing damage to him 'cause I'm awesome-- and now I'm going to stomp on him and cut off his ankle!"). It's the only system of D&D where I've actually wanted to play a wizard, because it gets rid of that bullshit "memorizing your spells" rule.

It's much more streamlined, which I like, because combat usually bores me to tears. I mean, combat is when I generally pull out my sketchbook. But it was a lot of fun in 4e.

Of course, I was playing with a DM who let us set fire to a bunch of logs and roll them down the hill towards the enemy encampment, just because it was a ridiculous and awesome thing to do.

Damn, you thought 3rd Ed. was number crunching? 2nd would've made your head explode.

Haven't played, because all my gaming buds are 400 Miles away. btu reports from them are theya re unimpressed as it cheapened the game, and basically became a pencil and paper WoW. A lot of the ROLE PLAYING, which was what theses games were about vanished, with the boardless boardgame paradigm.

Herosystem, much more to my likign anyway ,and I got invovled in a Play By Chat,using loose Herosystem mechanics, and it has been a glowing inspiration for my art. I tend to draw when gaming.


3.5 Forever man!

Then again a couple hundred on books would make a college student say that.

Thankfully, I left my love-hate relationship with dice behind thirty years ago when I entered non-system gaming. Yeah, many things are much more deterministic, but I also don't get the artifact of shooting myself in the foot with the crossbow after sticking the point of the arrow right behind the guard's neck, then making my stealth roll and not being heard by said guard.

I took a look at the 4E books shortly after they came out and was... disheartened. About six months later, I took a look at them again. On the second review, I changed one thing: I stopped looking at it as a Dungeons and Dragons player and just read it as a gamer. That second read, I actually enjoyed it.

I'm in agreement with comments about the alignment system. Lawful Good is not more good than just being Good. It's just different. The law can be used for evil, and in a world where devils and evil gods are tangible forces, for Evil itself.

As a game, though, they have streamlined combat, optimized the builds, so to speak. It is crafted to appeal to and resonate with the current crop of gamers, the ones who have come into gaming expecting clearly-defined roles like "tank," "blaster," "crowd controller," and so on.

As for 3.5, thankfully that torch has been picked up by Paizo. Their Pathfinder product line is essentially "3.5 Plus," as one friend described it earlier today. 3.5 was a fine system; there's plenty of life left in it.

Yeah, I think it's a functional game system; I don't think it's D&D.

I'd have to play with it with more than a pregen character to see what I think about whether I like it, and I don't have the money to splurge on getting the books and gnawing on them. Too many other games to break. ;)

Speaking as someone who has never played a different version of D&D (and also rarely comments here), 4e is very enjoyable. I have issues remembering game mechanics, and it cut down a lot on that, and the different attacks are a lot of fun to choose from.

Plus my gaming group is completely on crack. I <3 my star-pact warlock.

Paladins aren't required to be LG anymore? Good. Finally. I've only been clamouring for this since 2e.

I've always been a proponent of the idea that any god or ideal, no matter what the alignment, should be able to have its own "holy warriors."

However, I do agree with you that paladins should be able to "fall" if they don't uphold whatever their god or ideal happens to be.

Also: 4e suffers from the same problem 3e had: lack of Planescape.

You will take my Planescape when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And survive the Contingency-generated Fireball.

Edited at 2009-07-23 03:32 am (UTC)

That is the most epic tattoo I have EVER SEEN. I love you. <3


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