I guess its just me…or more accurately it is how I think.
I LOVE D&D 4TH EDITION!
Now let me take a step back.
Started playing D&D about 25 years ago. I was 8…did I understand the Player’s Handbook? Not really. Did I know how to make a story driven, background laden, deep PC? Nope not a chance…In fact my very first character was in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D for short). Sir Richard, a Cleric/Wizard clad in plate mail armor with a two-handed sword and a crossbow! 100% against the rules. But I was 8, give me a bit of a break. We played almost every day during that summer and we loved every minute of it. In fact it pretty much help shape who I was. I am a D&D-phile. I am a fanatic. I love the idea of traipsing through a old moldy dungeon in search of wealth, fame, and adventure!
D&D was also a gateway for me to become a Gamer! HOODY HOO! I took to other RPG’s and Board Games with abandon. I organized a Gaming Club in Middle School…thanks a lot to my 6th Grade Teacher Mr. Jaeger. We played a ton of old Avalon Hill Bookshelf games and a plethora of random RPG’s some cool some…well some we only played once.
But I kept coming back to D&D, when AD&D 2nd edition came out I was over joyed! Things changed but I loved the change. I loved the upgrade as it were. Some things went away, but it felt like some things were made better. It was minor but I still fell completely in love with it.
So it was interesting when my best friend in high school and I started talking about D&D and his only experience to that date was OD&D (Original Dungeons & Dragons) well to put a more finer point on it The Basic, Expert, and Master edition released in 1983 by Frank Menzter. We talked and talked for days about what we loved about the game, our favorite characters and exploits in game up to that point. He was currently running a group of us through TSR’s Marvel Superheroes campaign. Its not the best game system, but we had a great time. So I said “Hell man run D&D, I am sure we can get a group together!” And we did…for 7 ½ years the adventures of the Riders Seven were all that filled our minds. 7 ½ years of playing D&D with the pretty much the same core group, and the same characters. It was an Epic feat…that will be hard to ever replicate. As the game wound down to its conclusion 3rd Edition was on the Horizon.
And the game evolved. It was HUGE! A massive change…no more THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class Zero), this new mechanic of Feats, a new level of character customization that was just outta this world by comparison to older editions. I fell in love again! Well I never stopped loving D&D, we just went on a 2nd Honeymoon. So with reckless abandon we threw ourselves into 3rd Edition and sigh 3.5 (which I never really ever called it…it was still 3rd edition to me with a few tweaks)
So 8 more years of D&D roll by and they announce 4th Edition. And for the first time I feel trepidation about a new edition, I kinda groaned a bit. I thought it was gonna be a straight update of 3rd and we would have 3.5 all over again. So I go to the Q&A session at GenCon ’07 and my fear begins to go away…and total excitement sets in. All the little nagging problems of 3rd Edition start really making themselves known. I really start to find a mechanical dislike of 3rd Edition. Plus I took stock of the power creep, ugh!
So I wait…and wait…reading little tid bit after tid bit of 4th Edition. And Finally the books hit! HOODY FRIKEN HOO!!! I Love 4th Edition! It was a REVOLUTION of the game. It made broad sweeping changes, yet to me it still was D&D. There is almost nothing about the new game that I dislike…and dislike is too strong of a word really. Sure I miss a few fluffy parts from older editions of the Monster Manuals, but I still own them so if I need to look up a fluffy part I can. So really what am I driving at with all this history and rambling?
I am a veteran player….just because I did not really start playing “hardcore” D&D until I was in my teens doesn’t really mean anything. I have still been playing for 25 years, and I have adapted and accepted each and every change they have made. I have continued to approach the game with the childlike glee that I had when I was 8 years old. So you see I have enjoyed the evolution of the game. Seeing it grow under different peoples visions. I love Gary and Dave for bringing this game to world…and I am proud to be apart of its rich history by being a player through the edition changes.
What I don’t understand really is that others who have played as long as I have or even longer can be so resistant to even try any of the new editions. We hear the age old argument ‘I play <insert edition here> Edition, and will never play any other edition. EVER!’. I myself fall into that category, like I said I really can’t see myself playing AD&D 2nd Edition again. But to all those that haven’t played 3rd or 4th, to you I say ‘At least give it a try’…and if you don’t like it no problem. You still have the books at least your playing D&D! And for that we will always be brothers-in-arms of a sort.
All in all this had just been a stream of thought that really had no real direction, just that I don’t get the resistance to change or the unwillingness by many to try something new and different. And I know I pretty much never will.
I will end this with We all need to Keep Rolling them Dice! The world is really a better place if we do!
Oh and I LOVE 4th EDITION!