Monday, July 7, 2008 - 1:46 PM

My second session of 4ed went sliding by this past weekend, and already I'm finding a definite feel for the system. Judging from other opinions and what I've read, skill challenges seem to be a much larger part of the system than the way I have been using them. This seems to be a sort of compensation for the lack of out-of-combat mechanical options given to the players, at least at lower levels.

Overall, the game went smoothly. There are some design decisions I'm still attempting to figure out (the charging rules seem odd to me, for example, though I understand how they are supposed to work), but in general the rule sets were easy enough to pick up. At this point I need to absorb the quirks of the system and bend it where it needs bending.... there's no system in the world that doesn't need bending somewhere, after all.

I had mixed reviews from players about 4ed. Some really don't like it. Others do. Some are neutral. The major complaints, in general, have been the editing/content of the books (which I agree with), and the lack of sufficient mechanical support for anything not having to do with tactical combat (which I agree with in part).

My own opinion has moved into a reasonably neutral one. There are some ideas here which I like, and which I can translate mechanically into my 3.75 campaign (never trust 3.5 by itself). As a system, 4ed is solidified in my mind as a tactical wargame with RP enhancements tacked on. It is a reasonably quick system with a good, solid balanced system foundation. Character options at the moment are very limited, but that also keeps things streamlined which in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, there are some bits and pieces in the rules text which are just not written very well, and I expect as time goes by more rules arguments are going to crop up about things which the designers probably did so many times they figured nobody needed clarification on them. Lastly, I am certain that the foundation of the game is going to suffer when the publisher dumps a horde of new character options into the next set of rulebooks. I hope my certainty is ill-founded... but I'd say it's a safe bet, judging from what I've seen happen in other games time and again.

On the tweaking 3.5 note, I'm very much enjoying the Pathfinder material that has been coming out these days. The Paizo group has been consistent in their creativity and quality, in my opinion, and I see no reason to cancel my subscription with them, even though I don't game nearly often enough to make use of everything I get from them. Even so, spinning source material through my brain always leaves a trail of seeds that burst into something new, and I enjoy that well enough. Integrating some of their rule changes and adaptations for the standard 3.5 system is something I'm playing with at the moment.

As far as playing is concerned, I'll be posting some information about the 4ed scenario that I was testing out this past weekend... and the continuation of that scenario, as well. In this particular adventure, I am adhering strictly to the guidelines presented in the 4ed books, to see how they play out in practice with the sorts of players I run games for. Also, more Paths fiction is on the way.

Until then...

Labels: ,


Links to this post:

Create a Link