Dungeon Mastering

DM Tools - CREATE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT       About Us       Contact Us       Advertise                   Subscribe to Dungeon MasteringSubscribe

There’s only one reason to switch to D&D4E (video)

Written by Expy - Published on July 23, 2008

Should you switch to 4th edition? And why?

Plenty of reasons you could switch.

One reason you should switch.

At least that’s the way I see it. Watch the video and tell me what you think…

Switching to 4th edition

Why a movie instead of the usual article?

I’m toying with making videos to make the website a little more dynamic. I realised after making the video that it would be nice to have a transcript, so readers have a choice. Next time…

Anyhow, making a video was tougher than I thought it would be. It was my first attempt at videomaking without help. I’ll get better, but not today! So hopefully I don’t look crazy and you’ll appreciate the effort.

Share your thoughts on the video (and what I say in the video, too!) Thanks.

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

GD Star Rating
» Leave a comment



63 Responses to “There’s only one reason to switch to D&D4E (video)”
  1. Labareda says:

    Ive switched… ill need the transcript to remember the rest and to make comment.

    So about the video. I like that i can do other things while I listen.

    Which is what i was doing mostly because I am hypnotised by moving images and i am trying to cut back… on being hypnotised.

  2. Mike The Merciless says:

    Newness, in my opinion, is not reason enough to switch to 4E. The main reason my group and I switched was, more than anything else, because this is the game that will be supported until 5E comes out, whether we all like it or not. I have my problems with it (Paladins, for one), but I work with it and have already implemented my own corrections. The way I see it, players will come and go, and introducing new players to the table will, chances are, be less of a hassle if we have the most up-to-date system, because as time goes on more people will be accustomed to 4E.

  3. koranes says:

    well actually after playing some D&D 3.5 Edition, my group just switched back to ad&d 2nd edition … I haven’t read the rules fo the 4th Edtion yet, but I hope, they are better than the 3rd Edition. AD&D 2nd edition is much faster, less complicated and (in our opinion) just plain fun. You learn all the necessary rules in like 30 minutes. How long does it take to learn all the necessary rules for 4th Edition?? Some people say, that more rules, means better game, but if you ever played rolemaster you know it is just wrong … (there is even a table for possible birth complications in rolemaster …)

  4. Ravyn says:

    First off, I don’t know about everyone else, but I really prefer blog entries to be in prose. Sorry!

    3.5 isn’t dead, either. WotC may not support it anymore, but the 3rd-party crowd’s still out there; heck, I work for a nascent company that’s created a more than decent fix for many of the problems with 3.x Edition, and even managed to add a couple new mechanics; we’re just waiting for incorporation to release this stuff, and given what I’ve seen on some of the other blogs, including the . People will still discuss 3.x; heck, on some of the boards I’ve frequented people occasionally discuss 2E, and I actually learned to play AD&D 2E after I’d settled down with 3.5. (Don’t get me started on the arbitrary alignment restrictions…) The disillusioned aren’t that hard to find, due to the system’s original popularity. The games are different enough not to be mutually exclusive, so there is no reason whatsoever to switch completely; if a group can, in the course of one session, play a game of Spirit of the Century, do character design for Fourth Edition, and switch into rewriting Exalted mechanics once the one guy who isn’t in that part of the group goes home, there is no reason why a group can’t have simultaneous campaigns running in 3.x and 4E. What’s with all this either/or mentality, anyway? Isn’t that just as much a fallacy as everyone claims the Tyranny of Fun is?

  5. Murk says:

    We’ll probably end up playing v3.75 – sticking with 3rd ed, but stealing the bits I like (there are a few) from 4th.

    “All the new stuff will be 4th edition” just isn’t enough of a reason to switch for me – if something I really like comes out, I’ll do the legwork and port it to 3.75.

  6. Vindictae says:

    I haven’t switched. I had a look at the books, but I dislike the way it returns to the basic dungeon crawling, instead of the variety that 3.5 offered, especially with all the extra books that have been released. Also, I really dislike the Dragonborn and Tiefling as PHB races. They’re too angsty and high-fantasy. I dislike the skills being shortened to only a handful. I dislike the multiclass system.

    Me and my other players/DM’s all agree that 3.5 is still way too much fun and we still all want to explore the various options of all the new base classes, prestige classes, feats, etc. So we will not switch to 4th; instead just wait what a few years from now they’ll come up with for 5th edition.

  7. Chadhulhu says:

    I made the switch on when it came out, most of my gaming crew, where not interested in getting into it. But I figured, nice to get into it feet first. :)
    I am a fan of the shortened skills list ( I think I am the only one, lol) I mean if it makes sense use the the larger skill, like thievery ( if I want to sneak about, roll under that). The classes, I do not like the warlord, ooo a fighting bard. Keep the bard. Also this WOW feel, is lame. leave MMO playing to Blizz and NCsoft.
    I am glad I got it tho, I enjoy trying new things out, and that for 3 books, I don’t need anything else for along time. That was the death of 3.x for me. 1000’s of over priced books. :S

  8. I have not made the switch because I really am not interested in playing World of Warcraft with pencil and paper and that is the vibe I get every time I read the rulebooks. My group has opted to pursue the Pathfinder RPG as an alternative and so far we are enjoying it greatly. If you have not checked it out, head over to http://www.paizo.com for the free download of the Alpha Release rules and see what you think.

    Video is great and I think it will be a good supplement to standard blog entries. Maybe just one video a week or something would be awesome.

  9. Chadhulhu says:

    Nah, I am happy with 4e, I just homebrew it to something I am comfortable with. Pathfinder sounds cool, but I really am not a fan of Paizo. No credit cards, no buy buy.. lol

  10. Joey says:

    I switched to 4e so that I don’t get left behind when Paizo or other companies starts making new and amazing supplements for the 4e that I might not be able to use for 3.5. I think the only problem with 4e is that it is creating a rift in the community between those who accept it vs. those who don’t. If you read reviews, it either recieves a 1 or a 5. I’m sure 4E will have a rocky start, but when they introduced 3E there was probably the same problem.

    I like the video, though. It was great for your “first attempt”, and I really enjoy listening instad of reading. It would be super cool if you switched to videos, and I know I would be a much more avid follower of the already popular Dungeon Mastering website.

  11. Lee says:

    I’ve switched to 4E. Well mainly I’ve kepted the 3.5 skills system. Anyway 4E is pretty awesome. You touched on this a little but the main thing for me is NEW IDEAS. I love having new ideas, new ways to do thigs. That is what 4E is all about to me. I think you hit on a really great aspect of D&D when they keep putting out new ideas and new material it is exciting and fun to play with it and to talk about it with your friends and great places like this online.
    ps I like the video idea, pretty good for your first one.

  12. Guver says:

    I’ve switched, in one of my tables, but not in the other. I must say that I enjoy both editions. I like 4th edition much more for the tactics, and the options that powers provide in combat. 3.5 is more linear in that sense but it also supports much better the monster creation process. I mean, in 3.5 I can create any monster I like, templates, lvl ups, add classes… Not here, but I’m sure that more guidelines about that will come up in the following months, so It’s all about pacience and wait for the rest of the rulebooks.

    Respecting the video/transcript. I like the video stuff, It’s good to be able to listen and do something else…

    Thanks for all, and I hope I win the Forgotten Realms Books, I really need them!

  13. Jeremy says:

    I’ve switched. I’ve played every edition since DnD came out over 30 years ago — I still have the old white box in which an Elf was a character class. 1e was great when I was 12, when we played fast & loose on the rules. 2e was interesting to read, what with all the supplements and rules additions over time, but irritating to play (my opinion). I stopped playing DnD for a long time because of that.

    3e was a refreshing new beginning, albeit with flaws — but much better than 2e. 3.5 had some great fixes, but there were too many rules…too many numbers…too many books with so many feats that all seemed to do the same thing (comb through the Complete series and find how many feats are essentially Sneak Attack by another name). And don’t get me started on the bajillion prestige classes…a power gamer’s fantasy come true. Leveling and plotting a character’s advancement — rather than working within a group to plot & tell a great story about that character — became paramount. I got to the point where I hated planning for it and hated running it, because of the rules (note: I am more into the story than the mechanics; the roles, not the rolls).

    Thus 4e, with its focus on tactical encounters, streamlined character creation and advancement (can I get an AMEN, my bruthas?!), and faster combat (for our little party, at least) is great for me. The MM, with its varied forms of each monster, is a wonderful tool for planning, and I really like skill challenges (now that the numbers have been fixed). I don’t need to be spoon-fed the story — the fluff — and I don’t want to worry at all about the mechanics getting in the way. I think complaints about the MM’s sparse description blocks are unwarranted…come up with your own story about the goblins…you can do it!

    Anyway, I am actually excited about running DnD again because of the changes. I tried out Savage Worlds over the last few months because it offered many of the features I was looking for, but WOTC just did it better, and with the names, themes, and amazing background that I like best. So here I am now in 4e, and happy for it.

  14. Alphadean says:

    From the 1st time I was able to delve into these books I’ve been on the fence. I am a RPG slut. I ove em’ and new stuff always intrigues me. I personally like the powers on the classes with the exception of of my spell casters. I’m going to have seriously revamp how they operate. I like the saving throws vs attacks, in many cases though I feel spell caster have been nerfed. I’ll have to agree with Chadhulhu and the whole WoW thing. I like less rules when they can be comprehensive, I don’t like castration of variety though. I don’t much mind the Dragonborn and the Tiefling, I absolutely love the Eladrin and elves dichotomy. I need my monks, its not D&D without monks so I’m going to have to come up with something for them. I can live without Druids for a time. As far as the Warlord is concerned, he does kinda feel like a Bard without a musical instument. So I guess for me it going to be D&D 4-3.5, I have the the path finder stuff and I like it also, so I guess I’ll be ocombining the two.

  15. Hermeticgamer says:

    Nice job for a first vid.

    I would recommend the transcript be available for access purposes…both for those still on slower internet connections, and for those with hearing disabilities to be able to access your information.

    I’ve not yet switched, but have read through the PHB. One half of our group plays in a slowly developing 4e game one week and the opposite week we are continuing our 3.5 Eberron campaign. I only got to play 3.0 for like a few months, and though I’ve been playing 3.5 every other week for the past year and a half or so, I really have only gotten to play on character so I haven’t barely broken in or fully understood all those rules yet. I’d like to get more mileage out of them before diving in to something new and as yet untested.

    There are things I’m gonna like about 4e if I get to play it, but there are things I dislike. I don’t like the overly simplified skills…seems like there is no room for uniqueness there. I don’t like what others have referred to as the WOW factor, even though I’ve never played WOW, I get the reference and agree with it. It also feels like supplemental rules to DnD minis if you ask me. I also don’t like the mulitclass system. I’ve been trying to translate my 3.5 ranger/rogue and it just doesn’t work well. I’m also not too keen on the defined roles. I think that a group needs to evolve those roles for itself, so if we have a mage who takes on a leader role, or a fighter who is more of a striker, or even a sorceror who likes to knock it around on the front line, a group, including the DM need to help make that character come to life. I think that is where my biggest conflict will be. I’ve never been into the really tactics end of things (but I realize this is a big part of the enjoyment for some). I play to enact a character and really get into their mind space imaginatively. That’s where I get my rush, not move 3 spaces, use my power and try to outmaneuver the opponents. I find that thinking at that level distracts me from getting in my character’s head space and I end up disconnected from the game. Yet I do like that the tactics element allows for more choice and activity in a given encounter. I just am concerned that too many newbs will rely only on the powers list and not on creative ideas that will force the DM to wing it. Some of my fav moments are where I come up with a cool idea for my character to do that fits with his style and the DM, though it wasn’t in the rules, came up with a way to have me roll somethings to pull it off. I fear much of that will get lost. But as Yax puts it…a good DM will not be so limited.

  16. Leon says:

    I have switched, me and my group saw the shiny looking books and couldn’t resist, so far. Things are better the game seems to run smoother for us and characters are more fun to play due to how its easy to all get a piece of spotlight pie.

    Awesome video.

  17. AL says:

    Our group tried 4E and we liked it. Mainly because some players likes the easy way that you can figure “combos” with your powers. We think that the roleplay aspect of any game is up to each one and is deeper as you want.
    I personaly disagree with the freedom of alignment and the ausence of flavor description for monsters. Not all the people that play 4E comes from 3.5, some come from WoD or even from no gaming at all so a little more guidanse in the flavor aspoect could be fine. Even with this cons I think 4E is a great game for people who dont want to spend to much effort or time in have great fun with their friends.

    The video was very well ;D



  18. Micah says:

    We’re still trying out 4E, but so far, I’m not a fan. It just feels too gamey and not nearly gritty enough. I can sum it up in one sentence: You hit an enemy to heal a friend?

    As for video vs text, I liked being able to listen while doing other stuff, but I think I prefer the prose article. Besides, text is more accessible and more google-friendly. If all you do is talk into the camera, it’s probably better as prose. If you’re showing screenshots and that sort of stuff, then it’s a good time for video.

  19. Amaranth says:

    My group and I have decided not to switch until they release more supplements for 4e. Some of our players and myself included try to come up with some of the most oddball characters. Currently, I’m working on a home-brewed divine version of the Warlock class from the Complete Arcane.

  20. Stuart says:

    X is nice, but if you were playing a previous edition you could have something like X anyway with a bunch of houserules and a good DM… so X alone isn’t a good reason to switch.

    Y is nice, but if you were playing a previous edition you could have something like Y anyway with a bunch of houserules and a good DM… so Y alone isn’t a good reason to switch.

    Z is nice, but if you were playing a previous edition you could have something like Z anyway with a bunch of houserules and a good DM… so Z alone isn’t a good reason to switch.

    …but what about X+Y+Z?

    What if you don’t want to houserule everything?
    What if you want to run a game accessible to people who have just read the Player’s Handbook and aren’t in your group right now?

    Personally, I’m still torn, but I don’t think this was a great analysis.

    Also, not a fan of video over text.

  21. Jim says:

    For the time being, my groups and I will continue to use 3.5 as that is what we have invested our money in.

    Besides, we would rather purchase more figures and playing accessories than more books and different rules to learn.


  22. Tom says:

    I’m not switching to 4e for a similar reason you said folks should…excitement. With 4e, I don’t have any. I had it briefly when the books first came out, but the more I looked, the less and less I liked. Yes, I could house rule everything I dislike, but frankly it would be easier to house rule it all into 3.5.

    I’ve had people tell me I should try and play it anyways, but my answer is “why?” If this were any other gaming system, would they say the same thing? Maybe, maybe not. For what it’s worth, I don’t think 4e is a horrible system…it just doesn’t fit my style of play. Since the rest of my group feels the same way, we’re good to go so far as staying with 3.5

    Besides…now I can get all the books for cheap on eBay :D

  23. Elora says:

    I have enough 3.5 material that I’m still excited about to keep me happy and busy for several years. Plus, I’m really digging the huge discounts on 3.5 books! I may buy the 4e books, just because I’m interested in writing adventures for WotC’s Dungeon mag, so they’d be a necessity to own. But 3.5 will rule the day at my table for a long while to come.

  24. Deadshot says:

    Nice video, but it could use some other cut scenes or perhaps bullet point list of your arguments interspliced as you go. Otherwise it could be a podcast with just your picture there. :)

    As for 4th edition, there really wasn’t the enthusiasm for it with my group and they preferred to stick with 3.x edition. We will adapt our game to make it more like 3.75. I would agree with the earlier comments in that the newness and community support factor will not be a big a blow to 3.5 as it was to 2nd and 1st editions.

    There is a sizable community (and third-party publishers) who are sticking with the Open Gaming License and will be making product and discussing modifications to the system for quite some time. You might not get the official products like Forgotten Realms anymore but you will get some neat concepts coming from places like Paizo with their Pathfinder products.

  25. Scot Newbury says:

    For a first video it came out well. I’ve done some video work in my job for a “quick” demo/training session when it was just an information download so I feel the pain you went through to make it and yes it does get easier.

    As for the switch to 4E . . . .

    My group is pretty firm in the decision to NOT make the move to 4E and have decided to stay in the realm of 3.5 (with possibly some Pathfinder in the mix for variety). While we understand the move, we’ve also been through this twice before as a group (2E to 3E to 3.5E) and no one wants to buy another round of books and come up with new house rules to match the way we play – of course we’re also having a blast playing.

    Of course since I have a blog that is related to gaming I still need to sort out what I’m going to do there – got some ideas but nothing firmed up yet.

    The joys of change.

  26. Sax says:

    I’m with Tom here. I got excited for 4e before it was released, I have the books, and I’m running a campaign. I actually like it less the more I run it.

    Combat moves along quickly but it takes more rounds, making it take longer. The tactical features of the game are actually an anti-feature for me: I’m a wargamer too, and dedicated wargames just do it better. When I sit down to roleplay, I don’t want to play a minis game, I want to roleplay. Sure I could run combat-free sessions (I have! They were awesome fun!) but there isn’t much left of 4e characters or creatures when the combat stats and powers aren’t being touched. 4e supports miniature combat with some roleplaying in between rolls, which isn’t how I play. The rules just don’t offer me support for what I want to do as a DM.

    Which brings me to my last complaint, which is lack of fluff. I excused the low fluff factor in 3e because it aimed to be a semi-universal system and didn’t want to write things in that 3rd parties would have to remove before getting supplemental work done. 4e has less fluff and isn’t OGL’d, so it doesn’t get that pass from me. I can’t effectively use old fluff from my 1/2/3e material because the rules (“the way the world fits together”) are so very different in 4e that it’s less work to make new stuff from whole cloth than try to reimagine old material in 4e terms.

    To sum all that up: 4e makes me want to run 1st edition AD&D again. I’m doing that in a small side-campaign, and I’m enjoying it much more. With the OGL, new material and zines are being made for AD&D, so I get the excitement factor there just fine. I can’t really express how giddy I was when I got my eBay-bought 1e DMG in the mail. Finally, the rules aren’t getting in my way because they don’t interlock so tightly; I can prune and add in an effortless, one-small-change-at-a-time, organic way without breaking a dozen different things elsewhere in the rules. AD&D is robust, while 4e’s carefully-balanced rules are fragile.

  27. nikemand says:

    Yax, first, great website, I get the emails from the site all the time and figured it was time I made my first post. Nice job on the video, I like the idea, adds a little “modern touch” to the website and as you said, if you add a transcript as well, it’s the best of both worlds! Anyway, as for the “big switch” I’ve been gaming for 20+ years and have played D&D since 2nd edition came out. I was a bit hesitant to switch to 3.0 at first, then did and loved it ever since and now my current group which I am DM of plays 3.5 exclusively. I’ve already bought the books for 4E, they are sitting on the floor here in my office and I keep wondering when the right time is to introduce it to the group. I’ve read through the books (more PHB than anything) and like a lot of it but there are things I am a little wary of. Anyway, not to make this long and drawn out but at some point we will make the switch primarily because it seems a lot of improvements have been made and I am eager to see the new rules in action. I guess I live by the old adage that you really can’t say something is or isn’t good until you’ve tried it. So, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, happy gaming to all!


  28. Wiz of Ice says:

    Thought that was spot on, Yax. It’s different, not necessarily better, but definitely newer. You point out the positive changes, but that they’re small enough not to warrant the investment (especially since you can add many of them to 3.5).

  29. Steve says:

    I probably won’t switch. If I do, it will be because I have pdf files and everyone else is playing it. I think purchasing every thing for every .0 that comes out is kind of like buying extra light bulbs. How many extra light bulbs are you going to need? I want more DND material! Who doesn’t? But I don’t need another players hand book. Another DM’s or another damn monster manual. They may think they are improving the game. But was it every really broken? The game was about making house rules and doing what works for you anyways. And I think the best things about DND is people creating their own stuff. They used to encourage that. The good old days when people preferred home brew! If I could and had the time. I’d make a home brew website for role playing games. Cause those are the best kinds!

  30. Ninetail says:

    I think you’re working on a faulty premise here: it’s not necessary to “switch.”

    I’m currently playing in a 4e campaign, and running a 3.5e campaign. I’ll probably start running a 4e campaign at some point soon, in addition to my existing one. Occasionally I also play in HERO, Nobilis, and Call of Cthulhu games, at the moment.

    They’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to pick one or the other. You can play both. The games are different enough that the campaigns will have different feels to them even if the base setting is similar.

    Personally, I like 4e. It’s not the best thing since sliced bread, but I’ve found very few problem areas. It’s a fairly elegant system, it’s balanced well enough that every character has fun (and this was among the biggest problems I had in 3.5e — had to houserule quite extensively to keep the melee characters feeling useful), and best of all, it stays out of the way of roleplaying, focusing the rules almost exclusively on combat and conflict resolution. (I know some people point this out as a weakness. I can’t imagine why. For me, it’s a strength.)

    On another note, I’m with the “I prefer text” crowd. Experimenting is all well and good, but text is much more accessible. Providing a transcript will no doubt help, but at that point, the video becomes close to meaningless as far as I’m concerned.

  31. Dave T. Game says:

    I’ll skip over responding to a lot of the anti-4e sentiments here…

    However, I disagree with your opinion in the video. The things that you say aren’t big deals ARE big deals to me. I get paid to game design, so I don’t want to have to do it to a game I buy. The game runs much smoother, so we’re spending more time playing instead of looking up if X spell has spell resistance or not and what its range is. I have limited free time, so reduced prep time to DM is a big deal. I’m spending a lot more time thinking about stories and choosing monsters and making interesting encounters than in 3.5. Plus, the encounter design system works soooooooo much better- I can be a lot more confidant that the combats I put in will work right.

    An example that should be close to your heart, Yax: the finale to my last campaign was supposed to be an epic fight against a colossal red dragon, CR 26, with the party being 13-14 level. I was worried that the fight would be too tough, so I put in all kinds of story things to let them work their way out of a losing fight. The fight ended up being a cakewalk, with no PCs dying (so all my cool planning about other ways around fighting the dragon were for naught.) I mean, come on, Great Wyrm Red Dragon should be an appropriately challenging boss. right? But nope, too easy to min-max spells and powers, especially after they spent an hour in real time buffing…

  32. Wickedmurph says:

    I didn’t switch, exactly. I sorta rebooted. I haven’t played DnD since 2nd edition. A big part of why I didn’t play 3rd ed was because the prep time was extreme, and I was finished college and getting into “grown-up” responsibilities. Encounter and npc generation in 3e is a vast time-suck, and I’d rather spend the time creating fluff.

    So Steve, in my case, 3e was fundamentally broken. It was too much work to build the game parts of the story. And I stopped finding the combat sequences compelling. Too much stuff to track, too much complexity in balancing game enjoyment with the wealth of options presented in the splatbooks. Not fun for me. So I just didn’t bother.

    That’s not to say that it’s broken for everybody. There are tons of RPG’s out there, and you should always play the ones that meet the fun requirements of your group, but in my case, 3e was definitely broken. Out-of balance, tough to approach, difficult to introduce new gamers to, very steep learining curve.

    4e is “fixed” for me because it takes a different design course. It emphasizes balance between classes, playablity, flexibility and for me, as a DM, relative ease of use. Encounters are easy to design, monsters are quick to adjust, things keep flowing in combat and almost never bogs down in combat like 2e and 3e did, plus the tactical focus makes it easier to figure out wtf is happening – especially for new players.

    I like the 4e system, and I got to run my first DnD game in about 7 years with it last week. I had a great time, and all the players, even the total newbies, had a good time and got in some decent role-playing in as well – the simplified skills meant that everyone could contribute, and the rules seemed to favor inclusion of everyone, rather than the highlighting of one character at a time which was characteristic of 2e and 3e.

    Having not bought a 3e book since the first core rules, it was easy for me to shell out some coin for 4e, and that counted a lot too – no previous investment. I have to disagree with the focus of the video/post here, though. “New and interesting” is not sufficient reason to switch RPG’s. “Fun and fits your style” is.

  33. Geek Gazette says:

    Though I had some trepidation when the system was first announced I finally came round. I just couldn’t resist the allure of a new system and my group is pretty much willing to move along with me. One benefit of being the DM.
    So far we are happy with 4e and having played 3 sessions so far we’ve only had a few minor hiccups in terms of switching our mindset from 3e. WotC made a few annoying mistakes with explaining the system, mostly in the PHB, and the Character sheet is not the best, but over all we like it. We like to run big, cinematic games and 4e fits that fairly well. I’ve heard some complaints that the non combat scenarios were sacrificed to improve combat but I haven’t seen that. There is a different feel to 4e and there are things I miss about 3e, but I can see where some of the changes were for the better.
    It is a new edition and there will always be resistance to a new version of a game as beloved and iconic as D&D, but when 5e rolls onto shelves everyone who plays 4e will have reasons to find faults and complain. It all boils down to playing what you want and right now we want to play 4e. If it wasn’t fun we would go back to 3e or play one of the many other systems I own, but for now we like where we are.

    BTW I like the addition of video, at least for occasional articles.

  34. Eric Martindale says:

    Yax, I love the video! Great stuff. Of course, if you post a video – please post a transcript! Not only will that be helpful for accessibility, but it will also be helpful to the search engines. :)

    Keep up the good work!

  35. D&D Nerd says:

    Haven’t switched yet, and currently not sure if I want to switch given the various opinions I’ve been hearing. However, I’ll admit that I’ve been slow with reading the Player’s Handbook, and have yet to read the DMG or thumb through the DMG. Once I’ve finally read at least the PHB and the DMG, I’ll probably give it a test run (or a few).

    Btw, nice job with the vid! =) I think vids can help shake things up a little, since I’m sure there are some readers that can get bored with just text.

    Oh, and what’s wrong with looking crazy? I’m actually purposefully trying to look crazy myself… >.>
    If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, look at my About the Author page. ^_^

  36. Nathaniel Daffinee says:

    I personally, have switched, and I love. As others have said, the whole balancing of the classes is neat, but I don’t understand what they mean about fighters finally getting the light. I think that spell-casters are finally getting useful. In 3e and 3.5, at first level you lasted maybe a total of 5 or 6 rounds of combat before going, “Okay, now I’m out of spells. What do I do now,thwack something with my low strength?” I am a huge fan of the at-will powers. And I don’t see a detraction from the story element. The story has always, in my games anyway, been done by role-playing. Not dice rolling. What changed? Nothing except that feats are not the main focus anymore. Character role-playing is. The powers streamline combat for me and my friends so far, and if it seems like a miniatures supplement, then go back to your skirmishes. Also, I play WoW, and I am not getting this ‘similarity’ at all. WoW is all online and with pixelated icons running around doing mostly solo quests that you get help sometimes form friends. Oh, and there is battlegrounds too. But I see as many similarities as I see between paintball and first person shooters. They are both fun and enjoyable for different reasons.

    P.S. – I also thought the video was a good addition. I think that the once a week thing would be cool. Keep up the good work!

  37. Derek says:

    You both said it for me, Tom & Elora. Besides, if you want the excitment of having new things to look forward to, as well as belonging to a good community, you have the option of Pathfinder RPG, as Alfred alluded to. I will stay 3.5 until I switch over completely to PfRPG. I guess 4e may supply me with some minis, but that is it.

  38. symatt says:

    I havn’t had a chance to game for a few years now then 4e came along and it is the best ever, its fast yet has plenty in it to keep your rule machanic happy too. All i need now is a group to play or run for, this is why im disapointed that the online part of 4e has still not arrived. Wizards, get your finger out and get it sorted.
    Video is a great tool to use so please make more. maybe you could record one of Your games and past it in eppisode like the pod cast they have done on the D&D web site

  39. Yax says:

    My sources tell me it’s going to be at least a few weeks before anything happens with the online tools.

  40. Kurtis says:

    I have over 70 V3.5 books, all scaned onto my laptop so I have instant access to the material. I can not see any reason other then the newness of V4 to switch. With the knowledge gained throughout the years I have played, it seems to me that even though V3.5 was designed with the minatures in mind, it is still more flexible then V4. I have looked at V4 and there is not a lot I like about this version, there are a couple of “nice” features. However, if they actually made this edition based on input from players then they must have been on the marketing and finance commitee.

  41. Kurtis says:

    Here’s an excerpt from page 4 of DMG3.5:
    The D&D game assumes the use of miniature figures, and the rules are written from that perspective. This book contains a battle grid and other tools to help you visualize the action.
    The poster-sized sheet in the back of the book has a 1-inch grid on one side, and a collection of rooms that can be used to represent areas in a dungeon on the other side.

    So even in V3.5 Miniature figures where intended, doesn’t mean you have to use them.

  42. Sax says:

    Sure, 3.5 assumed the use of a grid, but Monte specifically designed it so that it didn’t need miniatures. 4e powers are by-and-large meaningless without a battlemat and miniatures.

    I started running 4e with gushing enthusiasm. The wargaming style of combat eroded that, and my dislike was sealed when I realised getting rid of the mat would be nigh impossible.

  43. DragonKnight13 says:

    I have switched to 4th Ed. I enjoy the v3.x mechanics, there is a lot of diversity that can be put into a PC, but I thnk that (so far) the 4th Ed. mechanics are basic enough to not scare off the newbies and allows us more experinenced players the freedom to pull off the same moves as of old without having the ‘specific rule’ to slow us down and dictate the extension of the action. 4th Ed. has its bugs but so did the rest of the editions when first released.Besides that, I enjoy the felllowship of other gamers and that the Living campaigns offer a diverse group of players is great. And I imagine that the v3.x not being suppoted by WotC will phase out all but 4th Ed. Living Campaigns.
    So in all, many home games will change too. And one other seller for me is the online tools feature (though WotC is being passed by the tortoise at this stage) will save the space on my harddrive and if I can’t afford a specific book immediatly, Hey! what do ya know look it up. Or the internet table top… I’ve moved away from my gaming friends by about 5 hours drive, now I don’t have to miss out on the fun we have had. I think that the adaptation to an old idea is great, doesn’t mean that the oldies but goodies are dead….I still play ‘Hero Quest’
    at times. Hahaha! And by Moridin’s Hammer… Game on!!!

  44. ShadeRaven says:

    Like Nathaniel, I don’t quite get how people could possibly state that the story aspect of running a 4E D&D session is lost. The story, the life, and the flavor of a RPG has always come from the DM. There’s absolutely no reason you should need anything more than basic character details (stats, race, gender, etc.) to roleplay. If you need hundreds of skills, feats, and powers to roleplay, you aren’t getting into character, you are getting into rules. If the DM asks you to make a skill check for every non-combat encounter or interaction instead of simply communicating in character… ugh… I feel sorry for you.

    As for comments about the roles (striker, leader, controller, defender) being restrictive, I am going to have to lay that problem at the feet of the players/DM. I run a campaign with a cleric who is a front-line War Priest and a High Dex fighter who uses maneuverability to Swashbuckle his way through combat. Both are enjoying their personalized roles and are having no problems enjoying the game. I expect more variations to come out as supplements are released. For example, Archers are really limited to playing a Ranger because there’s no path to missile superiority with Fighters. That said, I find this to be more window dressing than a true concern. Whether or not you have Fighter or Ranger listed under class is inconsequential. In the end, what you are playing is an Archer and as long as the skills/powers allow you to fulfill that role, it doesn’t matter.

    As for figurines, I have actually always enjoyed using some sort of marker to show combat as far back as when we were playing Red Box D&D. Back then, it was using dice or chips to show position, now there are fantastic figurines that could be used instead, but are not necessary. I know we all enjoy the added visual aspect.

    At-Will powers are wonderful. Call it MMOish or whatever you like, the fact that our Enchantress (as she prefers to be called) can contribute to battle at all times makes her a happy camper. Same for our Cleric, who can battle AND heal at the same time, much to their delight. And, oh, the surprise and interest that dances in their eyes when foes use power on them. Good stuff.

    Finally, as you go up in levels in 4E, the grind and weight of the system doesn’t slow you down. The game flows at about the same pace at level 10 as it did at level 1.

    4E is not without faults, but on whole we are enjoying it a lot.

  45. Av says:

    i find 3.X and 4e to be similar enough to the point where it Doesn’t matter which one you use. btw, 3.x is just about the minis as 4e is…. and i really don’t get what people mean when they say 4e feels WOW-ish. tabletop could never feel like a comp mmo, unless you suck at imagining. i say, if you like 3.x, use it. the biggest change in 4e is mostly the classes, and you can use 4e classes, but use w/e other rules you want from 3.x. like he said in the video, it depends on home rules. i know that if i had bought 3.x books, i wouldn’t get 4e…

  46. Dire Hamster says:

    While I salute you for trying something new, I have to say I’m not a fan of video at all. I prefer to read the articles.

    I’ve never played 1e, and I messed around with 2ed when I was just a kid but I never really got into it. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance, or maybe it really was just as mediocre as I remember it.
    3.0ed was nice, even with it’s many flaws. 3.5ed was even better! It’s not perfect (nothing is), but it’s very well done for the most part. However, everything I’ve seen and heard of 4ed seems rather disappointing. I don’t know if WotC is trying to create a “WoW on paper” as many people here have asserted…I wouldn’t know, since I’ve never played WoW and have no desire to. But somehow 4ed has given me this wierd vibe that the game has somehow been cheapened or changed for the wrong reasons. I dunno…I can’t quite put my finger on it; I mean, I’m not sure how to describe it but it seems WotC tried to make a game that would LOOK cool and get some superficial “ooohs” and “ahhhs”, instead of making a game that would actually BE cool, work well, and be really fun for fans to play. I don’t know if WotC has sold out, just gotten lazy and created a half-assed game system, if they really did have good intentions and just screwed it up, or if there is something else going on here.

    Regardless, one could argue that there wasn’t even A NEED for a new system. There is, of course, the rumor that WotC needed something to jumpstart their sales figures or whatever and so, *presto*…4.0! Who knows if that’s true, but it wouldn’t suprise me considering the timeline here: Think about it…2ed was around forever, but in less than 9 years WotC has given us 3.0, 3.5, and now 4.0? Hmmmm…

    In any event, my group and I have invested a small fortune in v3.5 and it’s a system we really, really like. We feel it’s a great system (not perfect, mind you, but very good nonetheless), and we really enjoy playing it. So there really doesn’t seem to be any good reason for us to go out and spend another huge bundle of money to invest in a new system that seems inferior to what we’ve already got, ya know?

  47. empty_other says:

    We switched because we found playing it fun, even though my pals didnt believe in the system at first.. Actually, the first hour they tried their best to laugh at every rule (both crunch and flavor), and generally trying to destroy the game. That is what i call a RPG “stress test”. It started with them burning down houses in Winterhaven, and ended by helping Kalarel open the Shadowfell Rift… And by then we realised we have had a fun game!

    On the movie: could need changes. This video does nothig a streaming sound channel (also called podcast) couldn’t do better. IF you want to continue with videos, think about adding some graphics (example: Zero Punctuation).

  48. Dan says:

    Please, no more video — it’s just too long winded. You make a very logical, direct point and it took three times as long as if you’d simply typed the word “excitement” and offered an example or two.

  49. Matt says:

    As a player who plays with “the bubble” of close friends that you mention; I’ll steal some 4ed ideas but won’t be making the switch. My one key reason for NOT making the switch is this.
    You can’t use 4th edition to play anything with a plot akin to a major fantasy novel.
    Heroes are unable to take on anyone at the start, running from anyone. But through their actions and by resolving the conflicts before them, eventually they become successful. I’ve read through 4th edition and it’s a great superhero game…but superhero games have never had the ongoing success of D&D. Champions/Hero system comes closest. I’m seriously worried for the future of this hobby when the game that makes up 80%(?) of sales is copying the style of a game from the remaining 20%.
    I start playing in a new campaign tomorrow where I start as a carpenter…the finale of the last campaign saw my character (who had started out as coffee salesman) and his (dentist) friend arguing over the royal artefact that they had recovered from a planeshifting army by releasing the horde of undead into their midst. That’s character progression; not “never running out of encounter powers”.

  50. Soda Bob says:

    I have not switched. I will switch if my gaming group decides it’s a good idea, but so far there hasn’t been anyone clamoring to switch. We have way too much money and time invested in the 3.5 edition books and rules, and – more importantly – many of our campaigns involve Barbarians, Monks and Gnomes, which 4th edition chose to leave out.

    In my opinion, I think that perhaps the D&D folks will only bring out good editions of the game on odd-numbered editions. 1st was good, 2nd sucked, 3rd was good, and 4th… well, if I wanted to play World of Warcraft, I’d pay my $15 a month and do so! :) So, I may just hold my breath until 5th edition…

  51. Dreads says:

    Switching because it’s new is akin to jumping off a building because the owner of the building won’t fix the elevators. I really don’t think there’s a reason to fret. I think a good many people will switch to the new hotness (as i heard one poster call 4e) but a good deal enough (enough to sustain a system) will stick with 3.5 or a variant there of. As the previous poster said, having characters the equivalent of superheroes every campaign gets boring. It reminds me of my 3..5 campaign when the DM gave us super abilities. We played 8 sessions before the boredom set in.

  52. JR says:

    I started playing in August of 1978 and the first system I was introduced to was a mix of the 1st edition AD&D and the Arduin Grimoire by David Hargrave. Since then, I’ve always integrated a mix of systems into my set of rules, with a heavy dose of the Arduin system (which I really like). As for the 4th edition, I’ve done the same and have been very happy with the results. It’s like a salad bar: Take what you want and leave the rest. That will work with any system if you enjoy the results.

  53. Jason says:

    I’ve made the switch and truly love 4E. My only misgivings is that the powers that be chose to open with Forgotten Realms vs. Eberron, but I’m making do and converting Eberron specific mats over to 4e as needed. I am very much enjoying the digital content coming off the WoTC website too. I’m a bit scared of the DDI tools as it could be a royal failure, but the content alone is fantastic. I also like getting the material on-line vs. a physical paper magazine I have to keep up with.

    About my group, I have two folks completely new to RPG gaming, one guy coming from Star Wars D20, and three experienced 3.5 guys. It’s just amazing for me as the DM to sit back and watch the three folks who really never touched 3.5, just run with 4e. The rules are so much simpler to wrap your head around. I almost feel like it’s easier to pick up the edition if you just drop the old 3.5-isms completely.

    I’ve read the whole roll vs. role debates and don’t buy it. I’ve always felt that regardless of the system from a D6 based system to D20 to 3.5 to 4.0 to whatever, the ROLE playing aspect is what the DM and party brings to the table reglardless of the rule set you use. My favorite memories from gaming are not when I rolled that critical hit (or failure), but the story of my favorite character dying or that cool “Lostian” twist as a DM I pulled on the party. I think you’ll have that regardless of what system you are using.

  54. DigDugeonDM says:

    I have not switched to 4th edition yet, I would like to hear more blogs and option about it. Im sure ill make the switch once FR comes out because of the wonderful story and characters involved in that world. As for the video, I liked it. Cheers to you.

  55. Luther says:

    I saw the 4E books and decided to go with Castles & Crusades instead.

    With 3e, I could at least convert some of my old D&D material over, but 4e isn’t even compatible with 3e. In fact, it really isn’t D&D in anything other than name now, having removed all the things that individualized D&D from other FRPGS in the first place (the sacred cows everyone talks about, like Vancian Magic). They’ve created an entirely different game based on MMOs/CCGS/Miniature Wargames and rely on an intensive hyper-balancing of the rules that sucks all the flavour out of the game for me.

    C&C takes the best of OD&D/1e and D20 and mixes them together in a much more fluid and fun rules set. The ton of rules in 3-4e inspire the players to consider their laundry list of skills and feats and their miniature’s position on a square grid rather than the game environment, their character’s unique background and the types of unusual actions that might be taken by the heroes in pulp novels or fantasy movies.

    The DM is also caught up in this behaviour, using books instead of judgement to make calls, a sad devolution over thirty years of gaming from Storyteller who inteprets player actions to Rules Interpreter who gives a short scene description before laying out the minis and mapboards.

    The other defining points of my decision were cost and compatibility. For C&C, all the older D&D material is compatible, usually with a simply subtraction of AC from 19 or 20, and even 3e materials aren’t too much of a pain to change over. This means that all my old material isn’t wasted. It also means that all I need is the C&C PHB ($20) to play as I have thirty years of monsters, treasures and background material from the entire history of D&D to use. I bought the C&C Monsters & Treasures book anyway because the system is so neat and because it only set me back another $20.

    Finally, it’s EGG approved. Mainly because it is inspired by his original work and captures the feel of that old school gaming paradigm while updating it with more modern rules. It so reminds me of my first RPG adventures that I plan to run my kids, when they’re old enough, through Keep on the Borderlands using C&C so they can have the same exciting introduction to the game that I did…

  56. Supergnome says:

    We’re currently switching to 4e from 3.645732b after i ran one session for them and they really enjoyed it. I made the characters for them so they didn’t have to buy the books, and I take issue with a lot of the limiting factors of the feats. They limit by race AND class AND ability score. The poor dwarven priest was railroaded into his selection just because of the stat loadout. Anyways, that’ll change in no time (or as soon as I change the prereq’s). It plays well and doesn’t suffer from the rules-for-everything approach 3.x did. There may still be many rules, but they’re often -/+ 2or 5 which makes remembering all these thigns easier. We all really enjoyed how different abililties target different defenses… it makes “getting to know” your foes all the more rewarding. I miss the character depth of 3.x, as well as the ACTUAL core fantasy instead of this Dragonborn/Tiefling garbage… BUT, I think 4e PLAYS better. I think a lot of the powers that seem kind of hokey (moving baddies around on the board and all that) are actually very cinematic… feinting to throw an enemy off-balance and lunging in to make them back pedal 2 squares… that kind of thing.

    All that being said, i don’t think 4e is really an evolution as much as an alternative to 3.x. Some things were truly a step forward, but others are just simply different enough to seem like a different game for good or for bad.

    *Pathfinder was mentioned, and that’s a VERY appealing option as it keeps the bredth of option and tone of 3.x but works in some of the better ideas of 4e. If you’re on the fence about 4e, go check it out now. It’s free (the pdf at least) and is now beta! You can buy print copies as well if you’d like…

  57. camazotz says:

    Can’t listen to the liveblog (or whatever it may be called) as I am at work, but I did indeed “switch” to 4E, although I left behind 2nd edition to do so….

    I actually got fed up with 3.5 in 2006, so I’ve been waiting some time now for a new edition to roll along that recaptures what it means to play D&D….and 4E did it for me. If 4E hadn’t shown up, I’d continue to play 2nd edition, C&C, other retro games, or Runequest….but thankfully, 4E came along. I think around this time next year, as the game evolves to suit wider tastes, that we’ll see a lot of the naysayers fall to the wayside, or turn in to official Pathfinder gamers instead. I think I’ll stay away from Pathfinder, too, since it doesn’t actually seem to “fix” any of the issues 3.5 had that I disliked, whereas 4E fixed all of them in one shot.

  58. Jahre says:

    Hey you guys, I’m a DM from Denmark how have tried some 4e and me and my player agreed that 4e in a way don’t bring that many things that we like… I mean the 3,5e have a lot more books and there by possibilities. Second a lot of us have personal feelings about the still in 3,5. Like the time I looked at what they had done to my beloved devil’s I was on the brink of crying…. and i must agsay that 4e is just to much a hack and slash game some of my new players like it for being simpel, in my eye’s it’s to simpel..

    So for my gaming group it’s still 3,5 that will rule….

    Good gaming for DM Jahre Denmark

  59. Name Level says:

    Two things:

    1. 4e may be a great game. But at this point, it is so far removed from the D&D tradition that it might as well be renamed. If it isn’t core D&D, then don’t call it D&D.

    2. This constant revision is just one of several signs that WOTC has taken what should have gone down as a game of tradition and turned it into a collectibles game. I used 1e sourcebooks for over a decade. Since 3e, we haven’t yet gone four years without a major upgrade. This plus the countless supplements, and it’s no surprise that the makers of Magic: The Gathering have been at the helm. I’m an adult. I like buying a game and playing the hell out of it for years. Someday I want to play the same game with my son that I played years in the past. The greatest games ever invented – Chess, Go, Poker, Monopoly, Risk – when is the last time they’ve undergone a rules update? WOTC has combined the collectibles model with the software/video game model to create a constant money suck. Good business, but in the end bad for the integrity of a game that once had an unshakable tradition. Like I said, nothing against 4e as a stand-alone system, but with each new edition D&D’s identity becomes less and less distinguishable.

  60. Overfiend_87 says:

    I perfer sticking with the group I’m in with 3.5 edition. It’s better imo and I don’t like the idea of having classed “Balanced” and using “balanced” encounters. Just making things balanced makes it hard to believe in that world. It would be as if accidents and deaths never happened to innocents, but happened to those who did terrible things which all together keeps the world “Balanced.” sory of like Karma on Steroids.

    I’m sure you all know what I meant when you fear more for you’re characters life if you go against something new that you havn’t fought before rarther than having something balanced so that you know you can beat it.

  61. Nightmare says:

    i dont plan on switching to DnD 4…..i wanna play a roleplaing game not a tabletop game.
    3.0 is a roleplaying game
    4.0 is so clearly a tabletop game.
    im not going to buy a whole bunch of usless figures just because most new gamers can imagine what a dragon looks like.
    if i wanna play a board game ill play Hero Quest

  62. ShortStraw says:

    Not going to play 4th going to play pathfinder. All characters operate in an essentially identical manner which I find rather limiting – hell even wow offers more options for class mechanics (rage + energy + mana). As for 3rd and 3.5 being a powergamers paradise well obviously you have never heard of the word no. It is a simple word that allows the DM to keep things in control but more importantly keeps them making sense.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] What I got was an online video. And in the first minute, all he did was explain who he was, and what he was going to talk about. He seemed friendly. […]

 Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!