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D&D 4th Edition Details Released 171

Wired is reporting that some juicy details of Wizards of the Coast's new 4th edition for Dungeons and Dragons are being leaked on to the web from the D&D Experience in Arlington, VA this week. "Wizards of the Coast, the current custodians of the D&D universe, have been talking about the upcoming fourth edition of the game for months, but they've been fairly cagey about hard details, preferring to tell us more about how elves love footraces than how much damage a fireball does. They're running actual 4e games at D&D Experience, though, and thanks to people with scanners, you can too!"
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D&D 4th Edition Details Released

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  • Well fuck (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lifyre ( 960576 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @07:43AM (#22609226)
    I'm playing what amounts to a beta release of a pen and paper rpg... It's official. I will never get laid.
    • by imasu ( 1008081 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:42AM (#22609354)
      Wait... just checking... are you blogging the experience too? Because that would be a hat trick. (A hat trick is a sports term from a game called hockey, played on ice by the guys that beat us up in high school, to save you from hitting Wikipedia)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        I only heard of hat tricks in Football. I heard it's kinda like a Killing Spree in Unreal Tournament.
      • Re:Well fuck (Score:5, Informative)

        by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:32AM (#22609460)
        A hat trick is a term from cricket referring to the rare instance of a bowler getting out three consecutive batsmen out on three consecutive balls. From there it spread to other sports (cricket was still widely played in North America when the term came into use, which was also before ice hockey became common). Cricket players don't tend to be violent off the field, although bowling to the batsman's face is considered legal as long as it bounces first.
        • by alex4u2nv ( 869827 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:06AM (#22609556) Homepage
          Actually, a hat trick is when you pull a rabbit out of a hat.

          *drum rolls* Tada!
        • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
          And the reason it's called a Hat Trick is because the bowler wins a Bowler Hat for accomplishing it.
        • An excellent example is the 1930s Bodyline Series between England and Australia - resulted in several Australian players being badly injured and the tactic is certainly frowned upon today (but not illegal).
        • by Rich0 ( 548339 )
          Cricket is just downright dangerous. I know a guy from the UK who plays often and he has had some really nasty hand injuries from catching the ball incorrectly.

          However, it is also entertaining. Particularly when said fellow took time to explain the whole game to an American audience. We found all kinds of new uses for common vocabulary terms like silly, square leg, off, etc...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 )

        played on ice by the guys that beat us up in high school
        The cheerleaders played hockey?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A few weeks ago I was at a mall in LA, eating in the food court. One of the stores nearby was a gaming and hobbyist shop, where they had Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia displayed prominently in the window. A group of geeky-looking guys went in, and came out a few minutes later with a D&D set.

      They sat down in the food court, and started playing. After about 20 minutes or so, a tribe of Latino gangsta scum came over and started taunting them for playing D&D in public. I only overheard a portion o
    • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:54AM (#22609374)
      Of coarse you will. Here's a dating site. []

  • Well here's hoping they go one better than GW did with dark heresy [] and support it after it sells out all over the place instead of dissolving the company that makes it immediately after release. *sigh*
    • Fantasy Flight Games bought the license from Games Workshop and intends to publish the rest of the Dark Heresy product line. [] . On the other hand, the reviews I've read of Dark Heresy were not all positive. Great artwork and production values, but oddities around career path (none of the career choice freedom of the Warhammer RPG) and power level (PCs start out as space farm boys and don't get to be Inquisitors and their lethal retinue until
    • by 2short ( 466733 )

      That's GW. They come out with something; when everyone says it's great, they immediately drop it and wander off in another direction.

      This is WoTC. They'll publish dozens of books; everyone will complain how much they suck; they'll sell a zillion copies and make a mint.
  • Classes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TitusC3v5 ( 608284 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:18AM (#22609310) Homepage
    Even though AD&D was my first PnP experience, I've liked each release less after 2nd Ed. It seems at though every time they try to further the pigeon-holing of classes into certain roles, not unlike MMOs. This edition is no different, even going so far as to actually define these roles - controller, defender, leader, striker (CoH deja vu). As it is, it looks likes D&D is going to remain the system of choice of those who are more interested in flexing the system to make ungodly powerful characters, rather than interesting ones.
    • Re:Classes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Unoriginal_Nickname ( 1248894 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:30AM (#22609330)
      Apart from, you know, 2nd Edition was a brutal hack-job created as an interim measure only to deprive Gary Gygax of royalties. 2E was riddled with terrible rules (THAC0 being one of the more benign terrible rules). I don't know if you're only looking back on 2E nostalgically or if you've just never run a 3/3.5E campaign before, but the newer rulesets are much much much better. The supplements, however, are not. They don't even try to balance things like Psionics, and creating a character using the book Savage Species is a pretty quick way to create an overpowered character. My suggestion to you is to avoid both of these things, and also to get a better DM because 3E, properly run, should be quite a bit harder (or at least more tactical).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by owlman17 ( 871857 )
        The way I see it, a very rough analogy would be like this: AD&D was like the Win9x series, based on top of OD&D. 2E was like WinME. 3E was like WinXP, and 3.5E was like WinXP SP2. And 4E is Vista. The other superior RPGs, (this is subjective, and can't pinpoint a particular game at the moment) like Linux/Mac/BSD. OSRIC, [] an open-source, AD&D clone is probably like ReactOS/Wine. I'm still into AD&D 1st Ed. (And yup, still dual-booting into Win98.)
      • Re:Classes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pokerdad ( 1124121 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:35AM (#22609678)

        Apart from, you know, 2nd Edition was a brutal hack-job created as an interim measure only to deprive Gary Gygax of royalties. 2E was riddled with terrible rules (THAC0 being one of the more benign terrible rules). I don't know if you're only looking back on 2E nostalgically or if you've just never run a 3/3.5E campaign before, but the newer rulesets are much much much better. The supplements, however, are not. They don't even try to balance things like Psionics, and creating a character using the book Savage Species is a pretty quick way to create an overpowered character. My suggestion to you is to avoid both of these things, and also to get a better DM because 3E, properly run, should be quite a bit harder (or at least more tactical).

        THAC0 could have been done better than it was (see 3E), but in 1989 it was a god send. Suddenly there was no need to always have the DMG open to the two page spread that was that the to-hit tables. No more were the unpredictable and illogical entries the riddled the extreme ends of the to-hit table; now a change in AC by 1 always meant the number you needed to roll changed by 1. I honestly doubt that the to-hit system could have been optimized any more than it was, in light of how many people were outraged at the small change ditching the table envoked.

        As for the supplements creating over powered characters - that has always been the way of D&D. Every new edition starts out with a (mostly) fair and balanced ruleset, then the add-ons spin out of control. Eventually they decided to trash everything and release a new edition; rinse repeat.

        I know I'm a bit of a rarity, but I honestly believe that every new edition has been an improvement of the previous. I have many fond memories of every one of them, but I don't equate fond memories to eliquent rules.

        • I didn't have to have the DMG open to the to-hit tables... at least not in later years. I had (if I remember the name correctly) the Dungeon Master's Shield, which was basically two big cardboard "cheat sheets" that had those tables and a few other common ones. You stood them upright in such a way as to shield the prying eyes of the players from your various secret nefarious doings.

          But as to the substance of your post, I think you're pretty much spot on. The older rules were a tad byzantine for my tas
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Yosho ( 135835 )

        They don't even try to balance things like Psionics, and creating a character using the book Savage Species is a pretty quick way to create an overpowered character.

        Psionics was broken in 2e, and broken again in 3e, but the 3.5 psionics presented in the Expanded Psionics Handbook is actually one of the more balanced systems in the game. Psions are certainly less broken than clerics, druids, and wizards. If you disagree, it's because you don't understand how the system works. Go to the Psionics message board [] on WotC's site and post any concerns you have there -- those guys can prove to you mathematically how psions are less powerful than much of the default core mat

      • by delong ( 125205 )

        THAC0 predated 2E by several years. It was standard in Dragon magazine before 2E was ever contemplated. IIRC, it was in Unearthed Arcana even.
      • I don't know if you're only looking back on 2E nostalgically or if you've just never run a 3/3.5E campaign before, but the newer rulesets are much much much better.

        Isn't that a bit of a presumptive statement about someone you've never met?

        The 3ed rules aren't "better"; that's just your opinion. They're different, and so they suit some people (you) more than others (the guy you're responding to, as well as gamers I know personally).

        Many people find the new rules much, much more complex (think about how many

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by XorA ( 147020 )
      If the promises in the preview books made it into the Players Handbook, this is the least pigeon holed DnD edition ever. As characters can take class features from other classes. So you can have the fighter who can pick locks, or the cleric who can specialise in Katana. I always liked WFRP for its flexibility, and I really hope when DnD 4E is released the promises are kept up and it gets more flexibility.
    • I actually don't mind specialized characters that do one thing really well. Jack-of-all-trade characters who are masters of none become tedious in an adventure unless the player is very creative, and such creativity works only when the rule system is open ended (detailed rule systems deny everything they do not expressly permit--I actually enjoyed 1st and 2nd ed's gaps for this very reason) and the DM is very flexible. Otherwise the game becomes a litany of can't, won't, miss, fail, and trivial damage, even
      • by masdog ( 794316 )
        That sounds like my gaming group...almost to a T. The only problem is that we never got far enough into the universe to actually see anything more than hack-and-slash type adventures because the entire group couldn't get together on the DM's schedule. We had an interesting game going, but the group I played with didn't like my character because I tried to roleplay instead of just being a meat-shield.
    • by morari ( 1080535 )
      I've always found that to be the problem with Dungeons & Dragons. It's not a game about interesting stories or characters, it's about leveling up and having the best gear. To me, that's boring. I can go do that in any RPG on the PC. Rifts always presented that problem as well, though at least had a slightly more interesting setting. For me, it doesn't get much better than White Wolf's World of Darkness, even the "New WoD". Vampire the Masquerade was always great if you preferred developing characters an
      • D&D has its roots in the wargaming scene, evolved out of a fantasy option for a game of medieval combat. A way to add heroes to the skirmishes. Thus the concept of levels, from army ratings of Green, Veteran, Elite and so on. It was a surprise success, and personalities now were getting bolted on to the Level 8 Magic-User that was giving the pikemen fire support...

        D&D was always a game, first and foremost. Not a storytelling aid, but a combat simulator that grew personality options. You are right th
    • Even though AD&D was my first PnP experience, I've liked each release less after 2nd Ed.

      Then you've been moving in the wrong direction; try 1ed instead.

      Seriously, pick up the books second-hand. The rules are a mess, the writing is overly complex, the power balance is shot, everything's scattershot, and the result positively crackles with fun and imagination.

      It's not just me - my sister, for example, has essentially the complete 1ed set - and it's not the RPG I've played first, played most, or even like

  • D&D? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ristol ( 745640 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:37AM (#22609342)
    D&D? Seriously? What are you, a bunch of geeks? Now, Hackmaster.. THERE's a game!
  • by cyofee ( 975070 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:53AM (#22609372) Homepage
    1. Cannot base characters off the Ash from the Evil Dead movies.
    2. A one man band is not an appropriate bard instrument.
    3. There is no Dwarven god of heavy artillery.
    4. My 7th Sea character Boudreaux is not the 'Southern' Montaigne.
    5. Not allowed to blow all my skill points on 1pt professional skills.
    6. Synchronized panicking is not a proper battle plan.
    7. Nor is "Kill them all and let God sort them out"
    8. Not allowed to use psychic powers to do the dishes.
    9. How to serve Dragons is not a cookbook.
    10. My monk's lips must be in sync.
    11. Just because my character and I can speak German, doesn't mean the GM can.
    13. Not allowed to berserk for the hell of it, especially during royal masquerades.
    13. Must learn at least one offensive or defensive spell if I'm the sorcerer.
    14. Must not murder canon NPCs in their sleep, no matter how cliche they are.
    15. Ogres are not kosher.
    16. Plan B is not automatically twice as much explosives as Plan A.
    17. I will not beat Tomb of Horrors in less than 10 minutes from memory.
    18. Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate name for a super hero.
    19. When surrendering I am to hand the sword over HILT first.
    20. Drow are not good eating.
    21. Polka is not appropriate marching music.
    22. No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
    23. There is no such thing as a Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino.
    24. Any character who has a sensitivity training center named after him will be taken away.
    25. Even if the rules allow it, I am not allowed to summon 50,000 Blue Whales.
    26. The green elf does not need food badly.
    27. Valley speak has no place in a fantasy setting. Especially if you're the paladin.
    28. I am not to shoot every corpse in the head to make sure they aren't a zombie in Twilight 2000.
    29. The Goddess' of Marriage chosen weapon is not the whip.
    30. I cannot have any gun that requires me to continue the damage code on back.
    31. I am not to kill off all the vampires in the LARP, even if they are terminally stupid.
    32. The backup trap handler is not whoever has the most HP at the time.
    33. I cannot buy any animal in groups of 100 or over.
    34. There is no such skill as 'improvised cooking'
    35. I am not allowed to base any Droid off any character played by Joe Pesci.
    36. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to play R2 units.
    37. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to sit on the same side of the table.
    38. They do not make black market illegal cyberweapons for rodents.
    39. When investigating evil cultists not allowed to just torch the decrepit mansion from the outside.
    40. Dwarves do not have the racial ability 'can lick their eyebrows'
    41. Dwarves do not have the racial ability to hold their breath for 10 minutes.
    42. Dwarves do not have the racial ability 'impromptu kickstand'
    43. Having a big nose adds nothing to my seduction check.
    44. No longer allowed to set nazi propaganda music to a snappy disco beat.
    45. Not allowed to spend all 100 character points on 100 1pt skills.
    46. My character names are not allowed to be double entendres.
    47. Sliver rhymes with silver because the computer frelling says so.
    48. They do not make Nair in wookie sizes.
    49. The elf is restricted to decaf for the rest of the adventure.
    50. Not allowed to blow up the Death Star before that snotty farm kid gets his shot.
    51. Not allowed to use thermodynamic science to asphyxiate the orcs' cave instead of exploring it first.
    52. No longer allowed to use the time machine for booty calls.
    53. My bard does not know how to play Inna Godda Davida on marachas.
    54. Not allowed to start a drow character weighing more than a quarter ton.
    55. Cannot pimp out other party members.
    56. Before facing the dragon, not allowed to glaze the elf.
    57. No matter how well I roll, a squirrel cannot carry a horse and rider at full sprint.
    58. In the middle of a black op I cannot ask a guard to validate parking.
    59. Expended ammun
  • I'm living in a dungeon
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:18AM (#22609420)
    Maybe its my age showing, I dunno, but a good 10 - 15 years ago I too was a very enthousiast RPG player, the main interest lied in D&D. However, when looking back and looking at the 4th edition being launched I can't help wonder if this isn't a mere quest for more money and nothing else. Let me explain...

    What I liked best about roleplaying was that you didn't really need much to have fun. You basically needed a good DM to setup a story and who was familiar with the rules, but that didn't have to cost much. When we started out a friend bought the D&D starters kit which had the basic rules, copied them for us and so began our quest. We didn't need much more; the DM setup the whole stories using using a notebook (the paper thing, not a laptop ;)) and that was it. We all had our own dice but we also used to take turns when playing. SO when adding up you didn't really need much money to get the most fun out of the game. And this is what has always fascinated me about D&D, a very well setup game which didn't require tremendous amounts of cash.

    And when the party grew and we wanted more I eventually stumbed upon the D&D Rules Cyclopedia [] (sorry for the commercial link but its the best I could find). And that was the beginning of the end for us; all of a sudden we had all the rules and every table you could possibly dream of in 1 big ass book. Even better; it even clearly explained how you could expand on the D&D universe to add enhancements of your own. In the end we ended up creating our own imaginary island on which we would live several nice adventures. In the end it wasn't about knowing all the rules or living it strictly as told. We cared about the role playing and the adventuring, nothing else.

    It was also during that time when I got in contact with AD&D 2nd edition. What struck me as odd from the start were the tremendous amounts of books you required to setup a good game, or at least thats how it looked to me. Personally I got completely sucked into Dragonlance. Not so much on playing but reading the stories from Weiss and Hickman. I collected the whole Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends and also many paperbacks with 3rd party stories. Some of those were quite amazing. However, then it suddenly struck me that the whole thing was aimed at a very particular crowd and many stories all centred about a common goal: stopping Takhisis from performing her evil deeds. And all guided by several (many) very strict rules and hints and tips.

    And after checking out dozens of AD&D 2nd edition rule books (not specifically aimed at Dragonlance) I couldn't help wonder about one very simple and basic idea: "Where is the roleplaying in all this?". To me it felt like the whole "RPG experience" was picked up and used to describe a whole different thing. Sure, you had your roleplaying and it wasn't /all/ about rules. But compared to D&D there was much more to gain in AD&D if you at least purchased a basic pack of books in order to know your basics. Was this really only about gaming or....

    Well, its a trend I saw happening throughout the scene. The Dragonlance books I so adored were illustrated mainly by Larry Elmore. An artist who's work I really admired. Its only natural that I bought some of his artbooks ("The art of Dragonlance") which I really enjoyed. But, picture my surprise when I noticed that after a few years (5 or so) they suddenly changed the pictures on the covers. The Elmore pictures were gone and replaced by other stuff. Even the whole TSR logo and approach was different. And it was then and there where I saw that things turned more mainstream (in my experience at least).

    Next you had AD&D 3rd edition (not too long ago iirc, I could be mistaken) and now the next rules have leaked out. And then, to finish up this long story, I cannot help ask myself: "What happened to creating your own story based on existing rules using nothign more but some pieces of paper and your dice". But like I said; it must be my age showing ;-)
    • by Omestes ( 471991 )
      I was heavily into D&D until high school, then a friend of mine got us all playing Vampire: the Masquerade. It was a much better system for role playing than any D&D source (though I still have fond memories of AD&D), because it was based on "story telling" and not just making the DM a "rule monger".

      We had a couple DMs who took the rules as gospel, and made us roll to see if we tripped every time we ran. Which, needless to say, completely destroyed any narrative thread.

      Though the White Wolf sy
      • Uh, I don't think there's ever been a rule in D&D that said players should roll to see if their characters trip when they run...

        I do agree that people get too obsessed with the rules sometimes (including me). The DM should never disallow the character to do something simply because he can't find the rules for it, and it is OK to make up a simple rule for something if it is not easily covered (or found) in the rules.

        I always at the least ended up with a number of house rules when I ran games.
      • "Fuzzteeth's player wants Fuzzteeth to tie his shoelaces. The HoLMeister requires a greymatta check. Fuzzteeth's player rolls snakeeyes. The HoLMeister rules that Fuzzteeth's head explodes."

        • by Omestes ( 471991 )
          Thank you for that, its been so long since I even thought of HoL. Perhaps I should get a group together to terrorize the Denny's night staff like when I was young.

          Must remember to bring Twinkies to LARP Wast'ems.
          • You're welcome. HoL and Buttery Wholesomeness are some of my prized classic RPG books.

            Good old HoL, where 'Smokin' the Pain Pipe' is a legitimate damage level description and each additional 'really' on a 'really really far' shot adds +1 to the difficulty.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CronoCloud ( 590650 )
      Yeah, the Rules Cyclopedia kicks ass. Everything you need, including the skills system presented in the Gazetteers. Even simple easy to use mass-combat and dominion rules in one book. Plus, Classic D&D (the Basic to Master's box sets or this book) is designed to remain balanced even when your characters hit high level.

      Not only that, the book has a short overview of TSR's best and most underrated fantasy world, Mystara. Blows away Greyhawk (Oerth)for comprehensibility, blows away The Realms (Abeir-Tor
    • What I liked best about roleplaying was that you didn't really need much to have fun. You basically needed a good DM to setup a story and who was familiar with the rules, but that didn't have to cost much.

      You still don't; never did, really.

      D&D required a bunch of boxes, or (much later) the very nice all-in-one Rules Cyclopedia. 1ed and 2ed required 3 books (PHB/DMG/MM), although I've played fun games with fewer. 3ed required the same 3 books. 4ed will apparently require those same three books. I can

  • by Mr. Bad Example ( 31092 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:21AM (#22609430) Homepage
    Oh, man...I put on my robe and wizard hat.
  • D&D sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paulatz ( 744216 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:36AM (#22609468)

    Maybe the subject is a bit rude, but I cannot like D&D any more. It is getting more and more cumbersome and unrealistic, it more of a math problem than a simple canvas on which to build with your fantasy.

    It have been a few years now, since I last did some role playing with my friend, in the last period we had much more fun using a simple set of rules we had developed ourselves than any boxed set

    D&D is especially bad as it started as a simple set of rules, with some original points and, and than evolved to gigantic, while keeping it's original inconsistencies and awkward mechanics.

    Anyway I don't I will have much time to play it again until I retire, and it will take, well.. about 40 years

    • "It is getting more and more cumbersome and unrealistic"

      Its a game about zombies, dragons, elves, fireballs and magic swords, and you are complaining that its getting more unrealistic?!?
    • Re:D&D sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:56AM (#22609530)
      Maybe the subject is a bit rude, but I cannot like D&D any more. It is getting more and more cumbersome and unrealistic, it more of a math problem than a simple canvas on which to build with your fantasy.

      I was thinking the same thing about the new rules. I remember at times as a kid in which we would just throw out the rules for simplicity and have a six sided die scale with 1 being you failed horribly at the task and 6 mean you succeeded brilliantly with varying modifiers for success or failure on occasion. It wasn't about playing a game as it was story telling and role playing. Now it seems they just want to take WoW's success and bring it to PnP which is not that great of an idea.

      I was hoping that someday we would see PnP actually go online, but I'm having my doubts.
    • by Jacer ( 574383 )
      adding and subtracting numbers two digit numbers is hard, confirm?
    • by 2short ( 466733 )
      Of course, this new edition throws much of the original inconsistencies, awkward mechanics and years of cruft, and replaces them with something intended to be more streamlined. One can argue the degree to which they've succeeded, but basically, your concerns are much of what they've attempted to address.

    • by Qbertino ( 265505 )
      Torg, Gurps, Skyrealms of Jorune, Exalted, Runequest, Milleniums End, Harnmaster, Palladium, Everway, etc. ... there are *tons* of RPGs out there that are cheaper, more in-depth, have better material, are more flexible, easyer to understand and better to handle than D&D.

      To make an analogy to the IT world: I see D&D something like the SQL of RPGs. It's ancient, unwieldy, expensive, slow, unneccessary and really crappy by modern standards but for the reason of some undiscovered infinetly raging mass-p
      • If you're planning on getting into RPG (again) please *do* check out the alternatives of which I listed some above. They deserve to be considered as a RPG gaming system.

        Over the years my group has used D&D (various editions), GURPS, Palladium, Deadlands, Runequest, Everway, Merps--- you name it, we probably played it. They run the gamut from absurdly abstracted (Everway) to overly realistic (GURPS). Personally, my favorite was Dealands, but probably only because my first character was a harrowed huckster made under the 1ed. rules (drew 2 jokers for character history to get that harrowed trait!). Currently we're running D&D 3.5e and it's perfectly satisfactory. D20

      • by seebs ( 15766 )
        I've played a few of them, some at some length.

        None of them were even close to as good as D&D is at heroic fantasy.

        They're often pretty good at "realism" for particular values of "realistic", but I don't really find much interest in a game that's built around being just like things I could just go do.

        3.5e remains my favorite RPG, winning out over at least a dozen others I've played often enough that I can run games in them. 4e looks like I'll like it better in some ways and worse in others... But it lo
    • If you really want to play some sort of RPG, and have a few friends who feel the same, try Burning Wheel []. I'll freely admit that it took me awhile to figure out wtf was going on, as it's a COMPLETELY different system than D&D. The math is limited, the rules are pretty simplified, and much more focus is put on actually playing your character than anything else. In fact, the only way to advance is to role-play your character well. Advancement isn't based on killing things, finding treasure, or completing
  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:02AM (#22609548)
    I'm looking at the back of that specific Tiefling Wizard's sheet, and it seems to me that conversion is going right out the window. This 1st level character seems pretty beefy to me, in terms of sheer spell face-meltage. Does 'At-Will' really mean "as much as you want, just so long as it is your turn"?

    Likewise it seems the Fighter gets to throw a 3d10+5 blow once per day. Yes, I typed that right. 8-35 damage, once daily, renews if you miss - AT LEVEL ONE?

    If so, wow. Just wow.
    • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:10AM (#22609566)
      Nevermind! I now see that a kobold now has 27 hit points... So that fighter, once per day, MIGHT get to one-shot a kobold.

      I now officially know nothing about D&D...
    • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian&wylfing,net> on Saturday March 01, 2008 @11:23AM (#22609862) Homepage Journal

      See, I actually like it this way. It always bothered me that someone could stand there and take 40 arrows to the chest and keep on fighting. The way it's done in 4e, one arrow from a good marksman is a mortal wound. You need to spend fairly scant resources to keep yourself alive, or think about how you'll cooperate to prevent that marksman from getting his shot off. It's much better, and in the hands of a competent DM, should be far more "cinematic" and fun.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Culture20 ( 968837 )
        Then you'll hate the stats in TFA: Kobolds have 27 HP, and a first level wizard with a 10 Con has 20 HP. Also notice that the wizard heals 5 HP 6 times a day, so now a wizard can take 40 arrows in the chest at first level.
    • by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @11:23AM (#22609866)
      Yeah, HP levels are getting inflated again. It happened during the move from 2nd to 3rd ed, so it's no surprise they're doing it again. Remember when elder dragons had on the order of 80 HP or so?
      • by foo fighter ( 151863 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @12:52PM (#22610292) Homepage
        Yes. And it sucked. Players and DMs had to be very careful or you'd TPK before anyone got to 2nd level. PCs were so fragile you couldn't role-play because you can't waste emotional energy becoming attached to a character that was probably going to die before the end of the session.

        The solution was building characters that started at level 5, or thereabouts. So 3rd and now 4th edition are just being honest and getting rid of the 1st-4th levels that sucked to play, sucked to DM, and actively encouraged min-maxing and not roleplaying.
        • by Rich0 ( 548339 )
          I have to agree with you there.

          A magic user would have on average 2.5 hps at level 1. A magic user could cast exactly one spell all day. A magic user couldn't wear armor. A goblin with a sword would do an average of 4.5hp damage per hit. Do the math... Even a fighter only had 4.5hp on average - good for one hit (granted, a harder hit with decent armor). You couldn't really play the first few levels because one bad die roll would be the end of you, and the magic users basically just had to hide the who
        • The solution was building characters that started at level 5, or thereabouts. So 3rd and now 4th edition are just being honest and getting rid of the 1st-4th levels that sucked to play, sucked to DM, and actively encouraged min-maxing and not roleplaying.

          Just pointing out that an awful lot of people didn't have the same experience of (A)D&D that you did. I know plenty of people - myself included - who had lots of fun with 1st-4th-level characters, and by no means found they provided a less enjoyable ti

    • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @11:40AM (#22609938) Homepage
      Yes. One of the very first things that designers said publicly months ago is that conversions will not be possible to 4E. There's a bit of song-and-dance marketing that "the same idea in your head will now have different mechanics applied".

      This is intentional, because they're trying to break compatibility with last edition's Open Gaming License (inspired by the GPL), and make D&D once again totally proprietary.
      • by debrisslider ( 442639 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @03:27PM (#22611058)
        That's a complete lie. Here's the press release about the OGL for 4th edition []. There is a fee for a prerelease OGL, but once the game actually launches it's free. I assume they charge for the extra work getting the documents to the third party takes, and because there'll be an obvious bonus to other publishers due to the PR frenzy at release. And what's so bad about not being compatible? It's an entirely different rules set, designed to play much differently. It's not like there's a dearth of 3rd edition material that hasn't been played by the average group, and campaign settings have always been described in terms of both flavor and mechanics, so if you're really desperate for new ideas you could just steal them from there (or any other gaming company's publications). Also, I'm tired of hearing people complain about having to buy new books. No one is forcing you to upgrade if you really love 3ed that much, and all your REALLY need to play is the player's handbook (plus DMG and Monster Manual, but that's for the DM). I really wish I had ANY hobby as cheap as PNP RPGing can be; you can buy into D&D4e for less than the cost of two semi-recent video games. Buy a couple of supplements a year and you're still way below the threshold for basically any other hobby. There's plenty of fan-generated material you can get for free on the web, you seriously never have to spend more than $30/$90 plus dice ever to play the game.
      • There's nothing incompatible about 3.5 and 4ed, except that it looks like 4ed PCs get a bunch of extra hps at 1st level, and can't full attack, and so will probably have a much lower high end at high levels. But who knows. The preview scans are all for 1st level characters.
  • Red & Blue books (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bender0x7D1 ( 536254 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @11:54AM (#22609994)

    Give me my red and blue rule books and I'll be off to the Keep on the Borderlands or the Isle of Dread. If I have some time, on the way I'll stop by the Palace of the Silver Princess.

    Sure, the later books filled in a lot of missing material, but the basic and expert sets covered what you needed to start playing and having fun. (I also liked the first edition of AD&D.) If I'm playing a game I don't want to be bogged down in so many details and minutia that I stop having fun. Do I really need to worry about having a sewing kit? I battle orc hordes and packs of bugbears - why should I worry about having spare tabards in my backpack so I look nice for the victory feast?

    Now, a lot of that can be fixed by a good DM, but many start considering the details once they see them in the book. It never would have entered their mind that you need to keep a sewing kit - except that it's in the equipment list, so you should have bought one if you wanted one. Keep things simple. Keep them fun. If I wanted to handle all of the historical details, I'd join a civil war reenactment group. If I wanted to handle all of the details - I'd worry about doing laundry in real life. If I want to role play - I'll start living a second life. With all the new rulebooks, and their inflated prices, it's cheaper to live a double life.

    • Don't play D&D myself (or rather haven't since the early 80's) but a previous slashdot story linked to this [] you might find interesting.
  • Considering how Temple of Elemental Evil was such a flop, and EA/BioWare is quite happy now with their console franchise and homegrown systems, do they have any licensees left? Not that it gets them any royalties, but does Hasbro Interactive even have anything in the pipe vis a vis the D&D franchise?

    Oh yeah there's a MMO, which I actually managed to forget ... as did the rest of the market.
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:38PM (#22610824) Homepage Journal
    There's a glowing playtest review of the game on Ain't It Cool News. Part One [], Part Two []. Part Three should be posted some time today.
  • I see we've returned, at long last, to "News for Nerds."
  • It's clear from reading the comments that most of you don't know what you're talking about in regards to 4E. The rules are far more streamlined, although not to the absurdity known as SAGA. The classes are going to be balanced, but roles will be distinct. However, you will still be functional in and out of battle, even if you're bread and butter roles are mitigated for some reason. Also, no more resting for the night because the mage shot his wad at the first encounter (and burned through his spells). Your

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler