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.