Monday, August 8, 2011

D&D Game Day August 6th 2011

Review: D&D Gameday August 6, 2011

Let's start with the admission that I am NOT a fan of 4th Edition in general.  I love roleplaying because you get to tell a story and take on a persona, developing a character and really allowing the story to unwind before you.  That was the appeal of White Wolf when I lived in Atlanta, and it was the major appeal of D&D 3.0 and 3.5 there, as well.  I would spend hours writing elaborate character histories, determining motivations, and determining how my character would respond to various characters or in various circumstances.

D&D 4.0 has largely diminished the roleplay aspects of the game, requiring a set number of successes in the "noncombat" segments of the game, and having a codified system that reminds me more of a computer game with the "I use this attack" "This is the result" pattern.

That being said, I had more fun with Neverwinter than I had with any previous demo of 4th edition.  Partially, I like the character templates.  They at least hint at the idea that a character history, and by extension character development, might be forthcoming.  I played a healer who had a guardian ability to touch another player and shift them once per combat.  I also had a healing ability I could use on anyone within 5 steps as I did something else.  I discovered there was quite a bit to choosing how to use what I had, sometimes physically healing one person, while I used the ability on a second.  Suddenly even movement became something strategic, and I was surprised by how much that opened up what the character could do.  I still want to see more performance and roleplay in the noncombat portions, but this event gave me the first glimmer of hope that a good DM might be able to take the system and turn it into something with enough roleplay to make the game fun.

1 comment:

  1. That's the trick, I think. Getting that nice balance between the role play aspect, (else, why call it a 'role playing' game?) and the strategic. Knowing what you need to do, how you need to be positioned and how to optimize your time, your resources and your role within the group are not things that work well as being fun if one is sacrificed for another.

    And, as you say, a good DM will be able to work to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual as well as the group.

    A lot like herding cats, I suppose.