One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I found this 4th edition review while stumbling around the WEB. We have several threads assocated with 4th edition and many of them in one way or another cover the same general concepts; what we like or don't like about it and how does or doesn't fit into Greyhawk.
I thought I would post this review and ask Canonfire members to post additional reviews here for the benefit of all. It may help collect worthy insight on 4th edition D&D regardless of whether we are excited about the game, less enthused, or somewhere in between.
I do not know who the author was other than by name so I cannot speak in anyway of their creditials. I just thought it might help a few people make up their minds about their forthcoming D&D expenditures.
That's been up for a while, Prophet. Surprised you missed it with your powers.
What is more revealing than Chris Pramas' comments are Ari Marmel's replies. He genuinely believes that this edition is a return to "classic" D&D (I often find that if you say things enough times, after a while it becomes fact). Well, I'm sure that at some time in the past, I've been ripped off by some or other snake oil merchant, but not this time. Nothing I've read so far bears any resemblance to ANY edition of the game, other than a few names, some of which come from our beloved, but reviled and crusty, setting. This is NOT D&D. It's a new game with an old name (read BRAND). I wish them all the best at Wotc, but I'm not touching it with a bargepole. In fact, I wouldn't touch it with your bargepole, Eileen.
Good Morning to you too! Well I thought this would be a good place to help people out. Yes I just discovered this, no I didn't use my prophetic powers, I save that for important things like, oh I don't know...like knowing you would be the first person to answer and just wanting to say hi! _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
All of this talk lately concerning the various editions of D&D have made me want to play bare bones 1e AD&D (PH, DMG, and MM) Perhaps add skill rules from 3.5 which would be easy to do, it would fit right in. I like 3.5 but I am feeling nostalgic of late.
Funny you should say that, Telemachus. IMC, my players and I have decided to use the Pathfinder/3.75 rules, with some elements from 1st edition tacked on. We all love the feel and look of the 1st edition books and, naturally, have fond memories.
There will probably still be some house rules that we use with the game, but we're determined to cut these down to as few as possible. I'm actually really looking forward to playing the game with no input or influence from Wotc. As has been said to death elsewhere, it was all optional. But, like most gamers, I have completist tendencies, and so would always pick up sourcebooks etc, just in case I missed something really good. Not any more. And that includes any new GH stuff from wizards.
Well I guess that makes three of us then, because I can honestly say that after side-stepping playing D&D for some time that I also got a significant push towards 1st edition. I no longer have the books (a short but sad tale) and so nothing has become of it, but the feeling was there. Perhaps it was because this is where the fondest memories of D&D lie for us. Maybe it is because this is when we were first introduced to Greyhawk, perhaps both.
Now we all knew (or should have, myself included), that many of our earlier posts which where anti-4th edition were not going to be accurate assessments of the game because we did not have the rules nor any play experience. Understandably, such posts were out of frustration due to a company which has lost considerable respect from some of us. It was due to concern resulting from the new rules and fluff appearing very differrent then what we were use to. It came from the idea that as Ragr put it, we suffered from completist tendencies. I know I definently fall under that category. Now so far as I am concerned, these are valid reasons to not choose to tackle yet another edition of D&D, just as was 2nd or 3rd edition, so these folks will get no criticisms from me. For those wishing to support 4th edition, no criticisms will be offered either. Each of us has their own reasons and choices for supporting any edition of D&D, and so long as we are truthful with ourselves, that reason, regardless of what it may be is sufficient and therefore is more than applicable to guide us in our purchasing decisions. Does this mean I have flip flopped on 4th edition? Absolutely not. I see little relation to the D&D I grew to love within the new version. Does that mean it isn't D&D? To me it isn't, to someone else perhaps it is. Certainly from a legal stand point it is.
When reviews first started coming out on 4th edition, I did read but tended to disregard the content because of the individuals admitting that they were under their license disclorsure act. Sort of the idea that "If you can't say anything good, we won't let you say anything at all" mentallity. From WOTC thinking I can completely understand this. However, now that people have actively played tested the game, I put some level of acceptance into reviews, whether they are good or bad. In the above review here is the reason I was prompted to start this thread.
Since the announcement of 4E last Gen Con, a common critique of the emerging rules was that they looked more to MMOs than RPGs. My play experience suggests something else. The roots of the new rules are not in MMOs at all, but collectible card games. Building your character seems much like building a deck in Magic: the Gathering. You have a selection of powers and special abilities that are exceptions-based. Some powers you can only use once per encounter, like tapping a card in a CCG. Character turns have a very specific order, with beginning and end of turn actions used to handle bookkeeping issues. Part of character and party building revolves around power combos. In short, 4E seems to be what people feared was going to happen with 3E after WotC bought TSR, though thankfully without a collectible component.
I have no interest in things like World of Warcraft just as I don't like football or certain kinds of music. I have my reasons and they are sufficient to avoid such areas of entertainment, and this applies to a new version of any RPG as well. I don't have to play it to say I am not interested and I am certainly not somehow compelled to buy it because I purchased previous editions of D&D. Although this is an interesting arguement I have heard others give. Because I am a D&D player I am somehow obligated to buy it and try it, then if I don't like it I can go back to an earlier edition of D&D. No sir, I don't think so. Also the idea that I can ignore anything I don't like is a mute point in trying to sway me to buy it as well. When I purchase a game system I want to enjoy and use most of it in order to get my money's worth. I don't want to spend full price or even partial price for a game in which I would not want to use many of the rules. For me that isn't a very wise consumer choice. Do I need to purchase 4th edition or play test it to arrive at this decision. NO! I don't need to buy the latest music album of an artist to decide it is not for me either. Just listening to the first minute of a new song is sufficient for me to feel good about the Yay or Neigh decision of whether I would like to buy a new album or not, just as is accessing the previews we have been offerred.
Now back to the above quote. The fact that this particular reviewer felt like 4th edition had more in common with a collectable card game than an online computer game I thought was very interesting. I have no interest in card games or RPGs which utilize various cards to assist in actions and implement moves, or give seemingly random bonuses at one point in the game being derived from a turn of the card. My character is a person who's abilities come from skill and learning rather than randomization or some abilities that come and go according to the duration of the event, be it a round, a battle or once a day. I am a completely rounded individual in a make believe world of fantasy kingdoms filled with horrible monsters and legendary quests. My abilities are derived from what I can do as a character on a consistent basis, just as I actually am a real person who can and cannot do things on a continous basis.
In regards to the reviewers comments about 4th edition reminding him of a collectable card game, how do you feel about this issue? I would like to hear from others who agree or disagree with this assessment of the game. If it is indeed the case, why do you think that WOTC took this approach? Will we eventually see rare trading cards to implement into a deck? Will we see players toting 1,2, even 3 decks of different cards to their games in order to keep track of their character? For me however, this is too far of a difference in RPGs to be of any interest. I can honestly say I would take this standpoint had it been a completely different game on the market, say perhaps a super-hero game, espionage, or other genre. Just not my cup of tea. This coupled with the many reasons I have stated in the past for not being interested in yet a new addition of D&D (be it 4th, 8th, 12th, etc). I have what I have, I will be happy with that and use it to resemble 1st edition Greyhawk and the nostalgic feeling it gives me. Not a right or wrong thing, merely an Eileen thing! So post your review of your 4th edition experience, be it positive, negative or somewhere in between. Post a review of another that you agreed or disagreed with. Let us know why you did or did not like it from a D&D perspective, from a RPG perspective, or any other kind of view you wish to offer. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
Eileen; you may have seen this already, but, if you go to the Wotc site and look at the excerpts from the 4e PHB, one of them covers the potential uses of "cards" that I alluded to in my description of Ragr's mighty whipping of the dragonborn (you ain't getting any capitals) in the Backalley thread.
It was these excerpts, and the ones from the DMG and MM, that finally convinced me that 4e was not for me. I'm actually grateful to Wotc for allowing me to peruse in advance of purchase because I probably would have checked all three books out. I now have 40 quid to spend on something else. The kids, probably.
I really haven't read to much on the card thing, some but not a lot. I shall check it out and see if it is the same thing I read somewhere else or not. It is getting to the point where I read some and then say ok, I'm done, lost interest. But I shall check it out for a more detail review. Why no capitals? Am I not worthy? _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
In regards to the reviewers comments about 4th edition reminding him of a collectable card game, how do you feel about this issue?
My playtesting of 4e has only consisted of running some mock battles with what little is currently available, so take from this what one will. There are superficial similarities in a few rules, like the timing of interrupts. However, gameplay is absolutely nothing like Magic the Gathering. Gameplay is very similar to using the Tome of Battle or Star Wars Saga.
I started with 1e AD&D. Is there anyone out there who started with Chainmail prior to the creation of D&D or AD&D? If so, what were the feelings when D&D was first proposed? Were they similar to our feelings of the change from D&D 3.5 to 4.0, or was D&D embraced well by the traditional Chainmail community?
I started with Chainmail as a very young lad of about 10 years old(around 1979 or 1980), but Ireally started with miniatures first a couple of years before that, and the Chainmail rules simply appealed to me as a means to use all of my miniatures in what I thought of at the time as big battles(50 miniatures in total! Woohoo! ).
Anyways, I had heard about D&D, but didn't get into it until many months later when I received the D&D Expert boxed set for Christmas. That was bonus of course, as I was astute enough at the time to know that I needed the Basic boxed set to even be able to use the Expert set. Score! But, prior to this, when I had heard about D&D I was immediately intrigued. Having grown up reading fairy tales, fables, anything having to do with epic stories like El Cid, the Knights of the Round table, Beowulf, and fun stuff like Dr. Seuss and ďWhere the Wild Things AreĒ, I had a good imagination from a very early age for fantasy. Add in watching all of those classic movies like Ben Hur, Spartacus, The Warlord, plus Rankin & Bassís cartoon version of The Hobbit(with its warbling voiced singing narrator and all ) and I was primed for wanting to play D&D. The idea of making up a character that went on heroic quests sounded pretty dang cool to me. Because of my interest in miniatures, everyone who has played D&D with me in any of its incarnations has always played using lots of miniatures.
I canít really relate Chainmail vs. D&D to 3.5e vs. 4e. For one thing, Chainmail is a miniature battle game while D&D is an RPG. Totally different animals really, and I play both types of games for totally different reasons. With regards to 3.5 vs. 4e there is a much more direct correlation between the two solely because they are both RPGs based on the same thing, with the designers of 4e claiming that 4e is *THE* definitive version of D&D(which remains to be seen). I donít really mind them trashing 3.5e to hype up 4e, as they wrote 3.5e too. 3.5 has its issues, but it yet remains to be seen if 4e will really handle things in way that solves these problems while still maintaining itself as recognizably being D&D. Iíll surely check out 4e when it is released just to see how it all works together, and the same goes for Paizoís Pathfinder RPG. I am a bit of a sucker for game systems that way. Basically, itís hard to stay away from the gamer pr0n. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
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