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11 June 2008 @ 07:08 pm
Dungeons and Drags On.  
Out of sheer curiosity1, I have perused the first couple of chapters from the new 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook. I have been a D&D player in every edition since the Brown Box and, while my chances to play are limited right now, I feel I would be remiss were I not to at least take a look at the latest edition. I should at least be familiar with the changes from previous editions, if only to be up to speed on the arguments amongst my fellow dungeon delvers. Herein, I shall keep my reactions as I read through the first few chapters.

For reference purposes, I am including page numbers.

9: Full circle, it seems, is how far we have come. The game that for 30 years has presented itself as a game of imagination, where the board is in your mind, is recommending the use of miniatures and square battle maps right in the first few pages. I fear this is just the first of many system shock rolls to come.

10: From the example of play, I find myself thinking, "What the hell is an eladrin?"

11: Core rule #3: always round down. That will catch a few players by surprise.

11: Hawking a subscription Website for extra game materials within the first twenty pages. I could say, "At least it's in a sidebar," but it's not helping me wash the taste of bile out of my mouth.

12-13: They're burning a lot of page real estate with double-page splash spreads. This is only the second chapter and they've both had splashes.

14: Powers? Players get "powers" now?

14: Dragonborn? Half-dragons are a core player race now? Hell's belles, now I see what the eladrin are, and realize what has been said in some of the gaming Webcomics already: "Elves just aren't special enough anymore?" So they've essentially broken down what used to be called "high elves" and "wood elves" into two races rather than sub-races or even just disparate cultures in the same species.

15: The end of the races list, and they've added tieflings. Half-demons are a player race now but, somehow, they've decided that gnomes and orcs/half-orcs aren't core character quality? Some of my favorite characters have been half-orcs, dammit.

15: Sorcerers, added in 3rd Edition, are gone. Druids, which have been a staple of the game since I think 1st Ed. AD&D, are gone. Come on, guys, you cut DRUIDS? Illusionists are gone, but they've always been hard to define, at times being a sub-class of Magic Users, other times a kit, and finally simply a specialization. They've always merited at least a mention, though. Bards are replaced, it would seem, with a DPR2 "leader" type class. I'd heard WotC was redefining everything in MMO terms, but I hadn't realized just how deeply they were delving with it. No more Monks, either. I'm still burned on dropping Druids.

15: They've added Warlocks as a class.

15: Yep, MMO speak abounds. They've grouped classes together in four roles: strikers, leaders, defenders and controllers. Am I playing D&D or CoX here?

15: The sidebar has just thrown me totally. Players, PCs, are getting at will, per encounter, and once daily powers now? I haven't seen stuff like this since Drow were first introduced as a playable sub-race.

16: The only Controller class is the Wizard, defined here as favoring offense over defense and dealing damage to "multiple foes at once" along with debuffs. I see Warlocks are your magic-using single-target Striker type, alongside Rogues and Rangers.

16: Well, they've certainly addressed the question of low-level survivability. You don't add your Constitution modifier to your hit points at level one; you add the entire score.

16: Healing surges? What, second winds? Hulkamania coming atcha? Your (Warrior we've apparently gone back to) "Fighter" hears Eye of the Tiger and shakes himself out of a stupor?

16: Warlock powers are based on Con? What the...

17: Apparently some Warlock powers are based on Con, where some are based on Charisma.

17: They've kept the three types of saving throws but now let you choose the higher of two ability score modifiers for each one to give you your plus to save.

17: Okay, they just threw me again. The first two methods of generating ability scores involve either just choosing a standardized set of 6 values or starting with 6 lower values and buying upgrades with a point pool. Did I pick up a HERO System book by mistake?

18: They've finally adopted 4d6, add the highest three as an official generation method.

18: Oh, pardon me, no they have not, as they specifically mention that you can't use a character with randomized scores in official RPGA events. Are you kidding me?! This system has eschewed point buys for three solid decades and now you simply CANNOT use randomized scores for official tournament characters? What the hell is going on here?

18: Class powers, again. Also, all characters start with 100 gold pieces. Umm, what? One hundred pieces of gold is enough for most mideval peasants to retire on quite nicely. That's more than most see in their entire lives, but this is what every single adventurer gets as start-up venture capital? Who is funding this?

18: The first time they've seriously tied playing a role into anything. 18 pages in, and this is the first time they've explained what role-playing is.

19: Five alignments? Lawful Good, Good, Unaligned, Evil, and Chaotic Evil as a spectrum from one extreme to the other. Neutral and Chaotic Good are subsumed into just "Good," whereas Law is equated with automatically being a better type of Good than just being Good. Meanwhile, they declare entropy to be a force of ultimate evil in the universe, yet tyranny and hatred are apparently slightly more virtuous in all cases than is a chaotic approach to being bad.

19: Oh, and apparently, if your'e going to choose an alignment at all, choose Good or Extra-Super Good, because unless everyone in the party is being Evil or Ultra-Naughty DarkNasty Unpredictable Evil, you will make the other players mad. Okay, that last part? That's a quote. Playing an Evil character "makes all the other players mad at you." D&D has always had some amount of moralizing here and there, but this is just blatant.

20: Ah, I see. Orcs have gone back to being regarded as Chaotic Evil monsters that desire only destruction and selfish gains. They must have no civilization or families, because Chaotic Evil characters always have a complete disregard for others and destroy anything and everything that doesn't contribute directly to their own interests. Uh huh.

20: Who is the "Raven Queen" and why is she described in the Unaligned alignment explanation like a goth gloom cookie out for death, lace and poetry?

21: They seem to be providing a basic pantheon of gods.

21: Wait a minute, why is the Goddess of Civilization and Laws... of Unaligned alignment? By their definitions of the alignments, shouldn't she be Lawful Good? But then, I suppose this goddess is just as likely to be worshipped by tyrannical despots who are devoted to their countries as she is to be revered by paladins who just want everyone to get along but not cross the street against the lights?

22: Ah, the Raven Queen IS Death. Gotcha. Maybe don't reference deities you haven't introduced yet, next time.

22: The Goddess of the Moon and Autumn is also the patron of illusions, trickery and love. I'm thinking some of the geeks at WotC have finally been laid, but that their girls were hoochies who only wanted their money?

23: While the Good and Unaligned gods got nice pictures of their icons and listings of their commandments, the Evil gods are merely listed. You are told that their commandments are only described in the Dungeon Master's Guide... but then a couple of them list what they expect their followers to do.

23: So, the Raven Queen description specifically exhorts her followers to resist the cult of Orcus, God of Undeath, wherever it might be found. Problem is, Orcus doesn't appear on the list of Evil deities. Continuity checks would be nice, folks.

23: The book provides some helpful hints in developing your character's viewpoint and likely personality traits. This has all the charm of an Internet quiz.

25: In the Languages section, we are informed that all orcs speak Giant, that all devils, angels and gods speak the same languages, and that the demons of the Abyss speak the same language as do gnolls and sahuagin. I'm really seeing some moralizing at work here.

25: The system still uses Difficulty Checks, I see. They've simplified the question is a bonus and what is a penalty: bonuses are always +, whereas penalties are always -. Welcome to Math class.

26: Casting Fireball is an Attack roll, now? It's apparently an Intelligence score attack against the target's Reflex save. You have to hit with Fireball?

26: Oh, yes, attack rolls are very simple now. Just roll 1d20, add one-half the value of your class level (always round down!), the relevant ability score modifier, and "all other modifiers," which are listed 3/4s of the way through the book, apparently. Meanwhile, calculate your tax burden using form EZ-1099, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow of unknown origin (assume it's Unaligned, I guess), divide your weight by the phase of the moon or moons to get your buoyancy bonus or penalty, count the number of ceiling tiles within a five foot radius of your chair and declare the value of anything you did not purchase in the duty-free shop. THAC0 was easier.

26: Skill Checks are figured the same damned way, but they tell you the relevant modifiers 1/4 of the book sooner. Plus, if you're trying to figure out where you've seen that urn before, the urn at least doesn't get to resist with a Disguise roll or something.

26: Ability Checks are figured the same damned way, only they apparently don't plan to tell you where to find all the other modifiers as there's no page reference given. I guess you should know those by now?

27: At varying levels that don't seem to follow any particular pattern, you get to bump two ability scores up by one. Two times on the chart, all your scores get a bump.

27: At levels 11 and 21, you get to choose a "paragon path" or an "epic destiny." Umm, what now? Prestige classes, or something?

27: Two at-will attack powers at 1st level. If you decide later on that you don't like them, it references "Retraining." I'm thinking these are closer to being combat feats than "powers" as we used to think of them?

31: As the book illustrates the character sheet, there's mention that you get to make saving throws vs. death when you are "dying." Fail three and you die. From the context, I'm guessing a success just means that you make another the next round or something, and that round, you didn't creep closer yet.

31: I see Action Points have carried over from Ebberon. I had a feeling that setting was going to eventually turn the game in a direction it hadn't gone before, and it seems to be coming true.

31: Space has been left on the character sheet for a listing of "Rituals" your character knows.

32-33: Another splash, another chapter, this time discussing Races.

34: Dragonborn: the strong, likable berserkers with breath weapons you've always longed to play. Seriously. +2 Str, +2 Cha, a breath weapon usable once per encounter, and a +1 to attack rolls after you take damage. Sheesh. Way to cater, there, WotC. Throw in some pictures of big breasted blondes to really satisfy the fanbase, too?

35: No tails or wings? Oh well, that just ruined it for me, entirely.

35: A character description includes mention of a paladin in service to the goddess of civilization, who was previously mentioned as being Unaligned. Okay, without having gotten to the Classes chapter, paladins can serve non-Good gods now? Are paladins themselves no longer automatically Lawful Good or something? Oh, my heart is aflutter: can they be merely Good, perhaps?

36: Well, Dwarfs are still stumpy and sturdy, but they're apparently far more wise than they used to be. Instead of a Str bonus, they get a Wis bonus now. Also, they're like locomotives; they get to move at their full (slower than everyone else) speed even when they're encumbered. Plus, they're apparently hard to shove around or get past when they don't want to move.

38: Eladrin, smarter than you and able to bounce around the battlefield like a blink dog. Oh, and they now officially do not sleep.

39: Yep, I was right. Eladrin are what used to be called "high elves" or "gray elves." They get a bonus with the longsword but not with bows. I'm guessing plain-old dirty, woodsy Elves will get bow but not sword bonuses, now.

39: Oh, there's the hook for the special special snowflakes who can't feel special enough being high elves. There are "noble eladrin" who get to transform into "entirely new creatures" that are described as reflecting natural phenomena or seasons. I was under the impression that seasons are natural phenomena, but this must not be the case in Dungeonsworld.

39: Elven names have become no easier to pronounce in elevation to a more mystical-sounding race name.

39: Mention of a "ghaele" of winter who was served by one of the example eladrin characters. This one must be the vengeful sort, because she dreams of walking the path of destiny against her former employer. I'm guessing that "ghaeles" are one of the "entirely new creatures" the crazy-high-level eladrin get to become.

40: Yep, Elves get bow bonuses, no sword bonuses. Also, they're not as smart as Eladrin, but they're wiser. They look like wood elves, just like I thought from seeing the Eladrin.

40: Legendary elven accuracy lets you reroll one attack roll per encounter, but you have to use the second roll even if it's lower. Wouldn't legendary accuracy be better represented by letting you take the higher of the two rolls? What if the second roll is a natural 1? Feeling really accurate there, pointy ears?

41: Eladrin were perceived as being distant and arrogant, but are really the "still waters run deep" type. Elves are flighty and wild, quickly passionate. Okay.

42: So, I'm confused. Elves don't get Con bonuses and I kind of doubt that humans do, either. Cross-breed humans and elves and you get hardy souls who are liked by everyone. Yes, they have stated on the page that half-elves get along in both human and elven communities. Gone, the angst of being of both races but accepted by none? Goth players are going to have to hope that tieflings can satisfy their need for dread and misery.

42: Does the phrase "half-elven paladin" make anyone else think of hours-long arguments about what races could be which classes? If so, hail and well-met, fellow wanderer. Long has our road been, and miles to go before we roll.

43: Half-elves get natural grace and I'm guessing rhythm from the melding of the two races... and no Dexterity bonus to show it. Oh, but they get a Diplomacy bonus. Also, they grant all members of the party a Diplomacy bonus. Umm, okay, just being around a half-elf makes you craft your words more eloquently?

44: Halflings are fearless, agile, likeable, and get the same problem with forcing rerolls that elves had, only it applies to making an enemy who hit you roll again, "even" if the roll is lower. Well yes, that would be the idea. On the other hand, the enemy could roll a natural 20 on that reroll. Are critical hits still a part of the game? I think I find that out in the latter quarter of the book, from the looks of things.

44: Some weapons are "versatile." From context, they seem to be talking about the ability to wield a weapon with one hand or two. Normal, Grande-sized characters get a damage bonus wielding these weapons with two hands, whereas the miniscule Tall-sized ones have to use two hands to wield a "versatile" weapon and don't get any damage bonus. I suppose your Venti-sized Giants can wield two-handed weapons in one hand?

44: Halflings favor the Rogue, Ranger, and Warlock classes. I'm sorry, I don't think of deadly mages amongst the burrow-homes of the hill country. Then again, I didn't take the movie Willow as seriously as some people.

45: Halflings are prone to having luxurious sideburns. Combined with the Charisma bonus they get, I'm seeing a lot of boufant hair-dos and sequins on adventuring gear.

46: Humans get two less bonus points to abilities. However, they get to choose where their +2 goes and get an extra one of everything else. Yeesh. Min-maxers will finally be coming home to humankind.

48: Tieflings get a bonus to attack targets that are already hurt. Also, if you hit them, they can hit you back and add their Charisma modifier to the damage roll. Yep, Goths. Piss them off and their vengeance is directly proportional to the amount of drama they can inspire in others.

49: Humans and tieflings can interbreed, but the offspring are always tieflings. Humankind will be subsumed under the horned races. Tieflings are, therefore, Goth Mexicans.

49: Oh my yes, Goth as can be. Some tieflings choose a concept as a name, hoping to embody this concept or illustrating it as a major influence on her life. Examples include Art, Carrion, Fear, Music, Nowhere, Poetry, Sorrow, Torment, Weary3, Darkness, Misery, Bitchery, Ravenblack, Absinthe, Suicidey, and Overdramatic.

Okay, I'm stopping here. 50 pages and 3 chapters in is far enough for the snark to have settled... for now.

1: I have no gaming group. If you think finding a group in an online MMO is hard these days, try finding a tabletop group in a town where you hardly know anyone.
2: Damage Per Round.
3: If it tells you anything, all the examples after this are the ones I made up. All the earlier ones are actually in the book, and aren't even all the examples presented.
Tags: , ,
Current Mood: feeling somewhat out of place
Richardxochizlan on June 12th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
I don't know if you caught the little post I put up the other day about it, but my 4E set is sitting in the box still, essentially untouched. I brought the PHB to work one day, read a few pages of the introduction, had my kids at school I game with peek at it and laugh, then put the book back in the nice slipcase. I flipped through the MM and once I saw that drow now line up to be driders thought it best if that went home to the slipcase. I haven't looked at the hardcopy of the DMG yet.

If you haven't been looking at the Paizo site lately, go to http://paizo.com/store/downloads/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8253 and see what they're doing with the 3.5 rules. It's where my D&D games will be going for the foreseeable future.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
I hadn't seen that entry, no. I'm still drilling through the 4E PHB, not a lot farther in than I was when I ended this entry. A friend of mine had described this edition as WotC and Hasbro's way to make the tabletop game seamless to integrate with online games, either Web-based tables with automation features like some envisioned the Gleemax site to be when it was announced, or outright MMOs. Imagine for a moment an RPGA-sanctioned MMO, where your characters can be used in the MMO or at tournament tables offline, with gains and changes importing back into the MMO. That seems to be where they're trying to go with the crunchy bits of the game I'm seeing.

I'd heard Paizo was planning to move forward as an ongoing 3.5E supporter, and that they were calling this motion "Pathfinder," but that was the last I'd heard of it. I downloaded their free Pathfinder alpha rules. I'll take a look at them eventually. Thanks to a friend's shopping skills at AKon a couple of weeks ago, I have cheap-as-free, mint condition copies of Exalted and Marvel's self-published RPG to dig into, as well.
Richardxochizlan on June 12th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
They're tweaking the 3.5 rules. Just a little in some places, a bit more in others (Grapple? It's not that I didn't understand grapple, but it took a lot of time before. Now? Piece of cake.) . The point is though that they want 100% backwards compatiblity when the final version of Pathfinder RPG is released next summer (this August a print edition of the Beta will be released, followed by another ten months or so of playtesting).

4E is a great system. I've played it, and as a RPG it was pretty good. But as D&D it's a pale imitator. It's like passing off the XFL as pro football. Too much of what was fundamental in the flavor, not the mechanics, of the game has changed and it doesn't feel like the same game anymore. I hope it's great for WotC, because the gaming industry needs D&D there as the flagship, but I'm sticking with Pathfinder.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
So it seemed; 3.5E gets to live on, supported by a company that doesn't think it's close to being tapped out as a marketable and playable game system. Meanwhile, D&D continues to evolve.

I'm glad to hear that you do find 4E to be a good system, though. I found 2E to be a sham compared to 1st Ed. AD&D, what with all the kow-towing to those who wanted to cleanse the game of "negative" a/o "satanic" elements back in the day. I'm always nervous when I hear that a game I like is being rebooted, and it's all thanks to that mess. Don't misunderstand; 1E had flaws and needed to be overhauled. It just didn't deserve what was done to it by TSR's 2E.

Anyway, as I said in my footnotes, it's mostly academic for me. I've no group and no realistic way to find one.

Richardxochizlan on June 12th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
I liked 2E- mostly. I understood the need for them to do what they could to avoid what they called the Angry Mother Syndrome. I even liked some of the changes, like calling the fiends Baatezu and Tanar'ri (a change that was presented in a way that made sense to me- denizens of the Primes knew almost nothing of the races so called them "devils" and "demons".).

But 2E was just a band-aid over the festering wound that was AD&D. I used to have a grimoire of house rules for 1/2E that I found the game almost unplayable without. I have yet to find any human being who can explain to me why an elf, who are always portrayed in fantasy as being otherworldly and mystical by nature, had a level cap at level 15 as wizards. And that is just the random, inconsequential ice cube at the tip of the iceberg.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
Racial level caps never made any sense to me, either. I argued against them with my friends, some of whom trotted out the "game balance" argument.

Elves could live ten times as long as a human being. To balance this, humans could achieve far more power.

Thing is, that argument made no sense. Elves gained XP at the same rate as a human being, assuming both had the same class and same prime attribute to avoid the old XP bonus causing an artificial disparity. In the fiction of the game, there was never a good reason to say that elves could not achieve the same heights of power as a human being, especially given their racial preponderance towards being magic-users. Why a human could achieve more in no more than 100 years than any elf with 900 more years to devote to the same practice was beyond me.

I hated the response to Angry Mom and Pissy Preacher. I hated Pat Robertson for arguing against the game on his show, yet buying his way into the company to make them meet his demands. Most of all, though, I hated all those people for attacking the only thing that had helped me have any friends. They took it away from me, just the way that people like them had been taking anything they could from me, and for irrational, trumped-up reasons that no sensible person could fail to perceive to be lies and propaganda.

There's very little those people can take away from me now. I still intend to live to see Robertson and his ilk lose everything they claim to love. Mostly, I want to see them lose their money. Their followers and religion are as secondary to me as they are to them.
Ace Lightning: full moonacelightning on June 12th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
"...a goth gloom cookie out for death, lace and poetry?"

dammit, now i have to wipe iced tea off my monitor...

Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Heh, sorry.
Ace Lightning: goth roseacelightning on June 12th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
i either know too many goths or too many gamers, or maybe both ;-D

Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
You can never know too many of either. You can conceivably be exposed to too many of either at once, however.
Ace Lightning: moondragonacelightning on June 12th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
and then there are all my friends who are both...

Steve McKnellydenali1 on June 12th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
While my D&D gently weeps...

Just no.

Hell no.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
Re: While my D&D gently weeps...
You know, as I read further, I'm trending towards agreement with xochilan in that 4E is a good game system. It's just not D&D, to me. It's not the game I grew up with, nor is it the game I've come to treasure over the last 8 years.

I would suggest what he did: check out Paizo's Pathfinder. 3.5E will live on.
Blind Zen Archerbzarcher on June 12th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
What's sad to me is that while I could see myself trying 4E with some friends later on for shits and giggles, the 2-3 DMs who semi-regularly get me into their games REFUSE to run anything other than 1st Ed...

Oh, well. At least getting books from flea markets is easy.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
Now that really is sticking to one's guns.
L A: Big Kittylouisadkins on June 12th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Wow, what a waste of dead-tree..
It sounds like they got a lot to do before I would consider buying anything 4th. (of course, the whole leaked memo thing regarding 5th edition coming out in only like 3 years was also a turnoff for me)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Re: Er..
I'd missed any mention of a planned obsolescence for 4E.

As I read the book, I can't help but appreciate the combat system. I say this mainly because, so far at least, there isn't much else TO appreciate. It would appear to be one big combat system. As an example, the wealth of spells we are used to in previous editions, some wacky, many useful, but almost always interesting and effective when used in the right place at the right time, just are not there. Everything I've seen is either used in combat, out of combat to repair from combat, or out of combat to prepare for combat.

The dungeon crawlers, the hack-and-slashers, seem to have gotten their way. I can't see where the book does much to actually encourage playing a role, really fleshing out your character. Certainly, a gaming group can bring these things to the game, but I got used to a game that went out of its way to encourage that.
L A: Down and Seriouslouisadkins on June 12th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
Re: Er..
The memo was mentioned to me by someone who does a lot of free-lance work for WotC, and confirmed by another person that I know who does similar (and owns a bookstore.) WotC denies it, as I understand it.. but they've been trying to convince people that they will be a while on 4th, so as to get the books bought.

As Omi points out, this sounds like a non RP game - if we want this, we can load up Diablo 2, or similar.

I had heard they really worked the combat system up to a good system, but from the sound of it they over-simplified it. Hell, it sounds as if there's more flex in a M:tG game, now. Yeeg.

I hope that most of the people who buy this can get some good out of it, but it's not going to have any interest for me. If I can't get to try out creative ideas, what's the point.

"I cast < Misc. Attack Spell, rank 3 > - < Misc. Mob > takes < damage roll >. < Misc. Mob > is dead! I loot the mob. I collect < Whatever > XP and < Whatever > loot. I walk down the hall. I see < New Misc. Mob > - I cast < Misc. Attack Spell, rank 2 > ..."

4th Edition casts < sleep, rank 10 > - zzzzzzzz
Gramalkingramalkin on June 12th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
Re: 18

RPGA play has not allowed random attribute generation as far back as the 3.0 days. Maybe longer, but I only got involved with RPGA just before the official conversion to 3.5.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
(raised eyebrow) What was the sanctioned RPGA attribute generation method, then?
Gramalkingramalkin on June 12th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
For 3.5, it was point buy (28). It was the only way to keep everyone on the same level. Which is pretty much what kills RPGA for me. EVERYTHING is done to keep every at the same level, and rule enforcement is a big deal.

Scenario A: Module says if PCs help NPC group A, then they get a reward, but B hates them. If they help NPC group B, they get the hatred of group A and the warm fuzzy of doing the right thing. I had a group that had a creative solution to the problem that let them help B, but still got the reward from A without the hate.

I was told that shouldn't be possible and was a bad monkey for allowing it.

Scenario B: Two human NPCs suffer from religious crisis, and are in love. PC dwarf cleric evangelizes to them of the wonders of Moradin and does a great job. I give him a Charisma roll which he rolls a natural 20 on. I declare the two NPCs are converted and the PC cleric holds an impromptu wedding ceremony, thus solving one of the problems of the module.

I was told that went outside of the modules intent and that I was a bad monkey.

Scenario C: I'm a PC this time. The wording of a module alludes to the GM being able to make up encounters if the PCs try to leave an area. Said GM explains to the party that it means he can keep throwing fights at the party until they are all dead and declares everyone in the party is toast. Game over.

I was told that death is always a danger in adventuring and we're terribly sorry for the three months it took you to get to 3rd level. Please roll a new character and join us next time.

Conclusion: Having fun is not explicitly allowed by the rules and creativity should never be rewarded unless that solution was already outlined in the text of the adventure. GMs going out of their way to kill PCs though is part of a long tradition and I should suck it up.

... we hates it.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 12th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
You're reminding me why I let my RPGA membership lapse LONG ago.
Jeremiahjfargo on June 14th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)

I mean, just amazing. I knew it was going to be a whole new game, but this certainly makes me glad I didn't take the offer from a local game store to trade in 3.5 books for a discount on preordering 4. (They made this offer pre-lauch, I guess so we couldn't read it...)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on June 14th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
It's not a bad game, that I can tell. It's just... it's NotD&D.