Reflections on D&D 4e Love & Hate

Whether you are a greybeard or a greenhorn, a dedicated or sporadic player of D&D, you probably have a passionate opinion about the new edition.  I certainly do.  However, I think my opinion has become more tempered since I began scrolling through the heated discussions on various blogs like these two posts (here & here) on Chatty DM, Critical Hits, and another two posts (here & here) on Geek Related.  Hell, just Google or Cuil (a new hip search engine!) “4e sucks” and I am sure you’ll find many, many more.

Here is my synopsis of the situation: Wizards of the Coast changed a the way classes work at a fundamental level.  There were some other changes, but I see them as more of the natural evolution of the game.  The new classes are not as natural… It is more of a transplant.  I think the closest analogy I can think of is if I went to the barber, got a hair cut and a shave but gave me a heart transplant as well.

Eh, maybe not so dramatic.  On second thought, a better line of thought be to make a comparison to my project car.  Right now it is a 1948 Chevrolet Coupe, with a 403 cubic inch small block and manual transmission (never yoiu mind it isn’t currently road worthy!).  Let’s say I can’t afford to drive the damn thing anymore because the premium fuel it requires is too flippin’ expensive.  So I swap the the V8 for a turbo charged inline 4 banger with an automatic transmission.  Does this make the ’48 a pile of crap?

In short, no.  But the hot rod purists would have an aneurysm.  But I have fun driving it, it takes less work (shifting) and I get better fuel economy,  Plus, it still looks bad ass.  But hey, that’s not everyone’s flavor of hot rod.  It doesn’t have to be, and it really doesn’t fucking matter because its my damn car and you don’t have to cruise in it if you don’t want.

Lucky for those old hot rodding fossils, I just happen to prefer my classic iron with a big ass V8 in it.  I’d never do that to my ’48, but I can see the logic behind doing it and wouldn’t bash (too much) on someone who did.  Besides, that’s what my Eclipse GST is for.

Anyways, you might not be interested in cars, turbos, or how many cylinders my cars have.  The point of the long, exhaustive analogy above was to illustrate that it doesn’t really matter if you think WotC f’ed up your favorite game and you abosutely abhor 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.  On the flipside, all the people that fell in love with 4e need not worry about those who are not fans of it.

I’m not a huge fan of 4e, and I certainly do no plan on purchasing what I think are over priced books, but I’m not going to tell you not to play it or enjoy.  4e just might be your cup of tea, and if its ease of use brings more gamers into the fold, AWESOME.  I think everyone should try it and find out for themselves, make up your own damned mind and don’t try to shove your freshly formed opinion down fellow gamers’ throats.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love discussing the finer nuances of game mechanics and discovering why you like this or dislike that.  Rational discussion promotes new ideas which lead to better games.  Just have some reason behind your opinion.

Bottomline: Don’t get your panties in a twist about a fraggin’ game.

8 thoughts on “Reflections on D&D 4e Love & Hate

  1. Why are you getting your panties in a twist over other people’s opinions? I have been following blogs and forums on D&D 4e too, and in the majority of cases there are reasons behind opinions. Heck, even those opinions in every one of your links have reasons. Yet you ended your blog with “Just have some reason behind your opinions”, which is getting my panties in a twist. If you are a closet 4e fanboi pretending to be a rational blogger who dislike other people’s reasons for disliking what WOTC has done then just say so, instead writing this garbage.

  2. Of course, the first comment on my blog just had to be loaded. You completely missed the mark on tagging me as a closet 4e fanboy. I think my statements pretty much speak for themselves as well as the fact that I dedicated the majority of this blog to document the development of my own d20 system, since I don’t like the flavor of the new edition.

    You are a shining example of the point of this particular post. You come on here, calling me a 4e fanboi (ooh, even used the supposedly more heinous version of the word too), and ranting on before could even digest what I was talking about.

    You did present a valid point. Perhaps it did come off like I had my panties in a bunch, maybe I do. But I think I had plenty of reason… which you may read as rationale (and I should have spelled as “reasoning”). You may have reasons… but that doesn’t mean they make sense.

    And I dislike a lot of what Wizards of the Coast has done lately.. but it really has nothing to do with the D&D rules… just their GSL and the motivations behind it.

  3. you did not come off as overly supportive of 4e to me. I liked the car metaphor, I think it nicely sums up what is going on and everyone who doesn’t like 4e is welcome to keep fixing up their old hot rods with vintage parts or brand new components from the pathfinder garage. I for one will run 4e with my group when we finish our current campaign, but I will modify it heavily (as I have done with every version of D&D I have ever played). Rules are made to be broken or ignored if you don’t like them. I do like the looks of the online dungeon creator, and I wish it would hurry up and arrive already.

  4. @Carlgnash: I agree that rules can be ignored and broken; I don’t think I have ever played a vanilla version of any game system. I hope some other company comes out with a dungeon creator that is free (though I would settle for a one time purchase fee).

  5. Agreed on all points, madbrew.

    Personally, I love 4e. I also don’t care whether anyone else likes it or not.

    I only argue about it when someone is either lying about it (which results in less people trying a gave they might enjoy), or trying to pass off opinion as fact. Neither of these are 4e exclusive.

    All I ask of people is that they try a game (any game) before they tell other people it’s (objectively) a crappy game.

    To say you don’t like 4e? Yeah, you can do that based on reading previews. That’s fine.

    To say that 4e is a minis game, a WoW clone, a card game, or just an objctively crap game, and to say such a thing as though it were fact, well, I’d like you to at least try the game before making such accusations.

    (I, for instance, dislike the Pathfinder ruleset, and have read through the alpha releases to confirm that. But I’ll never tell anyone not to play it. I may say that I personally found it to be disappointing, but I’ll never claim that as objective fact.)

    I wish more people thought like you did, man.

    Graham’s last blog post..Pathfinder 24-25 – Speed Run!

  6. @Graham: I don’t know Graham, if more people thought like I did, there wouldn’t be room for the ones that didn’t 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Some months ago, maybe I would have behaved like an idiot and said some improper thing, but not right now. I must say that I respect your opinion.

    I once thought that I could shove my own opinion about D&D (That WotC has corrupted it into a kiddy game just to make more money) into others by sheer willpower, but by force of being kicked in the rear constantly, I have realized that people shouldn’t give a crap about what other people play. They like playing 4th Edition? Fine by me. I’ll play 2nd Edition with my friends, and won’t mess with them. Everyone’s happy.

    Still, I must say that I feel sad with all the changes it has suffered. D&D deserves something better… Or at least, that’s what I think myself. Others can and obviously do think differently.

  8. @Sachiko: I agree that 4e is not what I was looking for in the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and gamers get passionate about their favorite games, so I understand what you’re saying. That being said, I’ve had fun playing 4e, but it doesn’t do what I really want, but if people like playing it, it doesn’t bother me.

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