So, we’ve been playing a lot of 4th edition. I mean A LOT. Something like twelve sessions in the last eight weeks. For someone who hadn’t played an RPG at home for something like six months, and only sporadically for more than a year before that, this is is a whiplash-inducing change of pace. I’ve been enjoying the game. But, as a game designer, I find myself compelled to dig at the cause of WHY I’m enjoying the game.
Due to time constraints, I’m going to have to stretch these posts out over a number of days.
WHY I NEVER THOUGHT I’D LIKE D&D4
Having read the early reviews and AP reports in May and June, I was sure this was NOT my type of game. Kat virtually had to beg me to pick up the core rulebooks. I had researched and knew that it had lots of unique powers, and LOTS of combat, and NO room for roleplaying. And I knew that I didn’t like those things. My desire for gamist thrills is small, so the new kewlness held no appeal. Plus, it had been 13 years since I’d run D&D and I was so glad to see the backside of that cobbled-together, purposeless, hidebound monstrocity called 2nd Edition. I had no desire to go back. I had discovered (and designed) great games that bore no resemblance to D&D, whose pleasures were as far as one could imagine from kicking in doors and slaughtering orcs. Unlike a number of my fellow indie game enthusiasts, I had no nostalgia for D&D. I never wanted to build “D&D the way I had always wished it was.” In short, if someone came up to me 3 months ago and offered to bet me that I would come to like D&D again, I’d have taken that bet, and said that a fool and his money are soon parted.
And I would have been right, except that I’d be the one in the jester’s cap.