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4th Edition Thoughts

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I finally had a chance to hear/read all of the noise made at GenCon about the unveiling of 4th Edition D&D. I'm somewhat excited about the things they mentioned – all but one.

Things I liked were streamlining of combat. Their focus on removing (or at least reducing) interruption in the flow. They also mentioned re-organizing the information in the books making things easier to find for the novice. That was the one thing I disliked most about the new books. If they were going to treat combat as a seperate "tactical" game they should have structured the rules as if it were a tactical game. There was no initial overview. Show a diagram of how combat will go. List the phases and what can happen in each phase, making a full round.


Part 1: Roll for Initiative

Part 2: Characters Turn


    Action 1

    Action 2

    Free Action

Part 3: Next Characters Turn - go to Part 2.

Then go on to the particulars of each round/phase. That way you havea basic understanding of how things go before you learn the details. The way it is now you start off knowing how to figure out how to hit someone but no idea of when your supposed to hit somone.

They could have also spent another 40 hours or so proofing/improving the Index. Many concepts are hard to find with no listing in the Index, making one have to think laterally about how else I would phrase a certain idea. Saving Throws against magic is a fine example.

So I'm all for the new edition and pretty much welcome it with open arms and pocketbook). So now for the part I'm not crazy about. Subscription-based content. I'm sorry if I'm not hip to the new craze of paying for something - and then continually having to pay for it or lose it. If I buy it, it's mine. I like to take it home with me, use it offline if I want – 3 months from now, or 5 years from now.

Now this may work for large corporate software like MS Office where a single company is using upwards of thousands of copies but I'm not sure this is the right way to go for such a slintered user base. I'm aware that the move is most likely prompted by two things. Security against software piracy (understood), and the appeal of a streaming $$ flow each month from regular users.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all rolls out. I like the looks of the "virtual map" system, I just don't want to pay for it each month I want to use it.



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