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Top 10 reasons D&D4E will be the best RPG ever

Written by Expy - Published on November 27, 2007

Borrowing from MMORPGs

I think this is a good thing. Leveling quickly and up to LVL30 should be a lot of fun. Here a great article on the MMORPG-ness of 4e.

Faster gameplay

WotC claim that gameplay will be smoother. Maybe we won’t need a rules compendium for the next edition!

No boring level up

Who cares about the logic behind “racial” level ups when it guarantees that you won’t have to wait 3 levels between new feats or 4 levels between attribute increases. The current fighter’s 6th level is great (2 new feats) but the 7th level is boring (rolling hit die… I got 2 more HP!).

New books

Buying new books is always exciting! And you can also get cheap undervalued 3e books that will look good in your library for years!

Online tools

I’m especially excited about getting a pdf version of the books I buy for use with my laptop during games. On the flipside, carrying books to the game keeps me in good shape right now!

Streamlined mechanics mean less prep time

In case you haven’t noticed I am obsessed with spending my time gaming, not preparing. Check out these projects if you haven’t done it yet:

No more wrestling with the grappling rules

The d20 stays

There’s some stability there – seems like the d20 is not going anywhere and will still be the cornerstone of the mechanics.

Characters will always have something to do

Sweet! My players will stop smashing crates when their characters are out of spells!

More accessible to new players

The process of introducing new players to the game will be smoother – see above point about simpler mechanics.

What are you looking forward to in the new edition?

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25 Responses to “Top 10 reasons D&D4E will be the best RPG ever”

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  1. rekres Says:

    Someone made an online version of 4th Edition D&D already…

    Download the client here… http://www.progressquest.com/dl.php


  2. Doug Says:

    Whatever else it is, 4th Ed is fun to talk about. For the most part, I like what I hear about rules changes, and I hate what I hear about how WotC is treating local retailers, who I try to support to a fault. Here are my thoughts so far

    Borrowing from MMORPGs

    I dunno. I prefer table-top far more than MMORPGs, so I hope the borrowing is just of the interesting aspects. More on this below, but if you want a MMORPG, there are lots of those out there already.

    Faster Gameplay

    Please, God, yes. Anything to make D&D faster to run. 3rd Ed is like quicksand when you hit combat, and combat is the main thing its built for. If they deliver here, it’ll be worth the price of admission alone! Also, modifiers need to be simplified. Keeping track of deflection, luck, enhancement and so on bonuses on all of your rolls makes my eyes bleed.

    No boring level up

    I like every class having cool decisions to make across the board – a good direction to take this game in, definitely. Talent trees and whatnot will be a big help here.

    New books

    Yeah, now is the time, though announcing 4th E before Christmas will absolutely kill their holiday sales of 3.X books.

    Online tools

    This doesn’t excite me at all, really. I think the online gaming table looks awful, but it might be superior to trying to run D&D in a chatroom or something. Its a *long* way from replacing play at an actual physical table, though.

    Streamlined mechanics with less prep time

    Again, please God yes. D&D is absurdly time-intensive compared to other systems for DMs. It’d be nice if DMing well wasn’t a part-time job :)

    No more wrestling with the grapple rules

    Yeah, no one likes these. They can take attacks of opportunity with them. And they’re changing turn undead, which is absolutely necessary.

    The D20 stays

    Woo! Gotta keep it, its iconic.

    Characters will always have something to do

    Yeah, I like the tactical changes they’re making to give everyone cool stuff to do in combat all through their levels. Again, if they deliver, this will be great.

    More accessible to new players

    This is crucial, and I’ve always thought they should release simplified D&D rules for starting players who don’t want to go cross-eyed at all the rules and modifiers they need to remember. Something like Mythus Prime back when Gygax tried to create his own tri-stat system….of sorts. But there needs to be a starter edition of the D20 rules – ease these newbies in or they’ll just stick to simpler systems…or not get into gaming at all, which is even worse!

  3. Yax Says:

    @rekres: I’m not sure about the online RPG you referred to. Are you saying that it’s built on 4e mechanics, or just some of the same concepts? I didn’t see any mention of D&D on their website.

    @doug: Yes, 4E is fun to talk about. And since we don’t know anything for sure we can’t be wrong until May!

  4. dberg_usa Says:

    As for progressquest.com here is an excerpt for flak magazine about it. It is not a real rpg system.

    To quote,” You don’t actually even play Progress Quest. You just turn it on, and watch your characters stats and equipment increase as they massacre a text-based countryside of monsters.

    That’s not even entirely true, even. You don’t even have to watch. You can just turn it on, go have a sandwich, and come back and check on whether you’ve upgraded that +40 Heavy Pronged Halberd yet.

    Progress Quest is more than just a joke, though. It raises a couple of interesting points about videogaming, and videogamers.

    Progress Quest most obviously makes a point about the current trend in RPGs. It has stripped out all elements that require any type of personal involvement or interaction with the player, and left only the character building elements.”

    There are other sites/software applications out there that do nearly everything that WOTC is trying to do with 4E & GLEEMAX. They are attempting to capitalize on some really good industry ideas and using 4E as a ground breaking period to launch them. They have full control of the content and can assure that others in the industry can’t migrate or develop for 4E. Its a very clever and a well thought out strategy. From a capitalist point of view, you have to admire it. Historically, WOTC has made some excellent business decisions. I’d say way better than when TSR owned the content. However, most of the ideas they seem to be using stem from current creations based on their open gaming license and d20. Unfortunately, I’m betting there will not be any pdf versions of the manuals or muchr free online 4E content like you find with d20. That would be too difficult to control and would undermine their ability to control this segment of the market.

  5. Yax Says:

    Thanks for the great insight and the clarification on the progress quest thing.

  6. rekres Says:

    “@rekres: I’m not sure about the online RPG you referred to. Are you saying that it’s built on 4e mechanics, or just some of the same concepts? I didn’t see any mention of D&D on their website.”

    It was my attempt at subtle humor… I guess I rolled a critical failure.

    A lot of people refer to the changes to D&D as ‘dumbing down’ the rules. That game, Progress Quest, is basic hack-n-slask without any player interaction… about as dumbed-down as you can get…

  7. Yax Says:

    Ah! Now I get it! :)

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  11. Russell Says:


    OK here is my beef with 4e. Its too soon. I’ve been playing D&D since June 82, and while I miss the old days of 1st edition, AD&D to those who played it, I like 3e or 3.5

    Now what did I mean by too soon? We just had to shell out a bunch of money for all new books (PHB, DMG, MM) a few years ago just a few years after 3.0 came out! We played 2e for over 10 years. What killed that market was TSR flooding the market with useless material. WotC is doing the same thing.

    That’s not saying 4e will be useless, but the d20 system created with 3.0 is just fine. Me and most of my players don’t have enough money to replace already expensive rulebooks every 4 or 5 years. 4e comes out in 08, so when does 4.5 come out? 2010?

    There is nothing wrong with 3.5
    Wizards just wants to attract new players but while they do so by making tabletop D&D into a MMO, they are alienating players who, 1. Have families and don’t have a lot of disposible income. 2. enjoy 3/3.5.

    So why don’t I just keep laying 3.5? I would, but you know that I am going to come across some group or player who has 4e and insists on playing it. And eventually any new material will be for 4e and may be useless with 3.5

    I don’t like the online stuff either. I am not sure how it is supposed to work, but I don’t want to have to have a computer nearby to play or have it where the only way to access certain book/information is online.

    Sorry, I had to get that off of my chest, but I am not happy about this.

  12. Yax Says:

    Don’t be sorry – A lot of people told me that they don’t feel the need to switch. With the internet you should still be able to get any 3.X you want.

    Thank you, Internet!

  13. dberg_usa Says:

    I do agree that it seems too soon to release 4.0, but I think that generating revenue is only part of the motivation. D&D minis are getting revamped rules too. I’m guessing that there is a trend to bring the two systems closer together and simplify the rule sets for both. That will allow cross platform users to more easily transition from one genera to the other. 3.5 is a complex rule system and it simply doesn’t apply well to miniature gaming. The good news with simplified and cross platform rules will be an increase in the number of people that play. That means it will be easier to find players for both systems. Lets face it, we have all seen the way that society views gamers. Part of that “uber geek” image comes from that fact that the rules are so hard to master. Most people won’t even try. A simplified play system and larger user base may allow the game to take root in the mainstream population much like MMORPG have in the past decade. That translates to a larger fan base, more people with whom to play, and even the possibility of cheaper products. Personally, I’ll just be happy to see the uber geek image vanquished from movies like Shrek 3 and cellphone commercials.

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  16. Nobita Says:

    I didn’t think it could be dumbed down any further but they managed it, it seems. The 4th edition is just a marketing ploy to sell more miniatures, that’s why they are tying their use in more closely with this version. You don’t need this new version, people. Fair enough D&D is what got many people into the table top hobby, respect is due, but after 20+ years in the hobby I can tell you, D&D is basically just a wargame with occasional roleplaying elements. It’s for munchkins who don’t understand what roleplaying really is, and only become fully erect at the thought of hitting the next level and getting a cheesy new feat.
    It doesn’t have the depth and thought required in more cerebral rpgs out there. Do some digging kids, there’s a world of fun out there.

  17. rekres Says:

    “but after 20+ years in the hobby I can tell you, D&D is basically just a wargame with occasional roleplaying elements. ”

    Learn your history, bub. D&D STARTED as a wargame with occasional roleplaying elements.

    It is dumbed down? Have you ever actually read some of the original rules from OD&D? I have… talk about ‘dumb’. I played in a demo of the 4E rules last Friday. The rules are a lot simpler… but simple != dumb.

    And many people complain about WotC using this as an excuse to sell more books. Well duh! They ARE a publishing company. If they want to make money and stay in business they HAVE to sell more books.

  18. Dodger Says:

    “Learn your history, bub.”

    Uhm, how old are you?

  19. rekres Says:

    Old enough to have played AD&D 1st edition…. back before it was called ‘1st edition’… ;)

    Plus there is an excellent reference on the history of roleplaying games and D&D in its many forms. ‘Heroic Worlds’ by Lawrence Shick. The first part of the book is a overview and history of RPG’s, the remaining 2/3 of the book is an obsolete, but comprehensive (at the date of publishing) listing of all the modules, supplements, and rulebooks available for just about every system ever printed.


  20. CinnamonPixie Says:

    As if the joke about the online tools isn’t the laughing stock of the gaming world already… you actually cite the following as a reason for 4e being “the best RPG ever” ?!

    There’s some stability there – seems like the d20 is not going anywhere and will still be the cornerstone of the mechanics.

    You’ve got to be kidding?! There’s never been ANYTHING to suggest that the d20 was going away or losing it’s importance in the game. Heck the 3.5 rules are even called the “d20 system.” Guess that makes pretty much ANYTHING that uses a d20 as a major component of the system mechanics worthy of being “the best RPG ever” eh? Well, let’s face it, as bad as 4e is everything else looks that much better… So maybe you ARE on to something. ;)

  21. rekres Says:

    CinnamonPixie: Have you even looked at what’s available online? DnD Insider has the Compendium… an online searchable database of the entire PHB (and hopefully the Monster Manual eventually). Both Dungeon and Dragon magazines have been putting out some rather interesting stuff… as good as or even better than the print versions from a year ago.

    Of course you don’t care about 4E so you’d rather hide your head in the sands of ignorance.

  22. Antipater Says:

    @ rekres… D&D 4E has its place and is a viable role playing game like many other but your abrasive defense makes you sound like you have some vested interest in its success. 4E is NOT the end-all be-all D&D game. That game is whatever a player prefers as new D&D editions are rolled out until either the company goes under or table-top rpgs become obsolete (god-forbid!). I personally like 3.5E and 4E equally and prefer to play them with the occasional divergence to AD&D for nostalgia or another system/genre for a change.

  23. rekres Says:

    “abrasive defense”

    Well, if by abrasive you mean like a cleanser clearing away misconceptions. I was simply trying to counter some of the negative points raised with some more accurate information. I prefer the term “passionate” rather than “abrasive” but to each his own.

    Oh and congratulations of responding almost a full year after my last post…. ;)

    “Two of the greatest fallacies of mankind. Something is better because it is new. Something is better because it is old.”

  24. Antipater Says:

    @ rekres, yes, it was quite shameful for me to only find this article now and not a year earlier. I appreciate your quote at the end which sums up most of my point, sans player preference being the ultimate factor. I understand your passion and applaud it, I merely define an intolerant and derogatory stance as abrasive. I have found people are more likely to listen to what I say when I respect their viewpoints and argue the facts instead of ad hominem and bandwagon tactics. Maybe we’ll run into each other at a convention and get a chance to play some 4E together, I would really enjoy that!

  25. Scry Says:

    I have been spending the last 2 months going thru endless threads of why this is good, why this sucks, 10 reasons this will fail…it’s a pain. But I will say I found allot of useful information here. I myself am working on a new Table Top RPG, well old to me. The project has taken 7 years. i know my post is a little late but because i noticed time doesn’t matter in this thread i wouldn’t mid getting in contact with any of you via Email, to talk about what makes a Table Top a Table top, my main goal isn’t to make profit, but rather to bring back the old RPG gaming style with a few new tricks. i to played every Ed of D&D but this last one, with all my recourses going to my game it’s been a hassle to pull money out from publication costs. But if you feel like chatting you can contact me at Incarnum11@hotmail.com

    Ps. this is not a post left for gamers who feel you should get endless power within one game, and think there is a mountain of gold behind every door. In fact if you don’t understand how to play a game without winning it, you and me may not find much to talk about.

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