Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ding! Dong!

4E is dead!

Maybe. Sorta. Kinda.

Probably a little more dead than 3rd edition is. At least 3rd has the OGL going for it. All 4th has is a badly watered down version. Nice thinking there WoTC/Hasbro. Maybe you can recoup some cash in the video game licensing that was pretty clearly the driving principle of 4E's design.

Still, 4E wasn't all the crappiness, so the announcement of the 5th edition was bitter sweet for me.

On the one hand, there was the rush of excitement over the next new thing. The promise of gaming perfection that lies before us.

Then I remember that we've had this feeling before.

Ultimately, I'm not sure that I'm ready for another edition of my beloved game. Our mountain of 3rd edition books are hardly crumbling to dust while the 4th edition books are collecting dust. Plus, I've acquired more than a few of the Pathfinder books and that's been just fine in my opinion. Why should I break open the piggy bank for yet another rpg?

True. The concept of a modular plug'n'play core is pretty cool. Having Monte Cook involved is also reason for optimism.

I'm just concerned that we'll buy in and get a bunch of shiny new books and modules all to end up playing 3.5 or Pathfinder again.

Not that 3.5/Pathfinder are blemish free. The higher level play is an exercise in huge numbers and fancy gear. Spell Resistance always pissed me off. Not the concept of SR (I like that!) but the math behind it. I always felt like no matter what I did to stack my odds of beating SR, the high CR monsters were always just a little too high.

Plus, encounter design was clunky and by tenth level all the old favorites from the monster manual were all but obsolete. Unless the DM spends hours leveling up those orcs, kobolds, and gnolls (but see the previous clunkiness comment).

So, I suppose 5E could allow a blending of 3rd's character rules with 4th's encounter rules. Sprinkle in some armor acting as DR and a defensive stat akin to the BAB, and we might have something going. Make race a little more relevant. Fix SR. Rein in the number creep that came with level progression and so on.

In other words, be perfect.

Or we might be back here in 2017, blogging about #dndnextagain

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