4DVENTURE! The Fourth Edition Story….

So now that I have posted all this info on 4th Edition…what are my honest thoughts on this new edition?

Let me tell you where I began…so you can see where I am going. So I have been playing for 23 years. Yes that means I was 8 years old the first time I ever picked up the dice and tossed them on the table in a vain attempt to kill a dragon. An older brother of at the time a friend of mine played…we were busy on the Atari playing Berserk (a great game at the time), and he asked if we wanted to help kill a dragon. While we were young and didn’t really understand we jumped at the idea. After that very eye opening encounter I saved my little pittance of an allowance until I could buy my very own copy of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons players handbook. The rest as they may say is…History.

So I moved on to AD&D 2nd Edition…Where the works really started to really “gum” up as it were. Lets me be perfectly honest I played alot of diffrent RPGS during this formative time of my gaming “career”…Robotech, Rifts, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk…just to name a few. And I always returned to D & D as my game of choice. But 2nd Ed had alot of problems…Weapon Speed Factor, THAC0, Class Kits, a very lame attempt at using a battle mat with miniatures, and then Came the Complete Books….Followed by the death knell that was Combat & Tatics, Skills & Powers, and Spells & Magic. 86,000 campagin settings and no real direction. I had to mirco-manage D & D so much that it really stopped becoming fun. So my great friend Steve made a novel suggestion…lets play Original D & D…a near 7 year campaign later…And it was time for something new.

The year 2000 brought us 3rd Edition. In many of the talks I had with other gamers they all seemed to say the same thing “I’m bored with playing the same character classes!” 3rd edition was fresh and exciting. It had much simpler rules concepts (“You have to role higher… for everything… Wow”), but a more complex and colorful character gen process. I felt it was a vast improvement from the retarded and clunky and extreme outdated AD & D 2nd Ed. It also had quite a few corelations with Original D & D…like you could have a 14 in a stat and it actually mattered. Okay so I’ve spent hundreds hell perhaps even thousands of dollars on D & D up to this point. But everything about 3rd Edition felt right and I made the switch without a second thought.

But was 3rd Edition perfect? No but it was leaps…bounds…heck worlds away from 2nd Edition. They made a lot of good changes. They made a game that I really liked into a game that I really loved. I bought almost every book Wizards of the Coast produced…then I got the word that they were making a revision to the rules…the called this new “revision” 3.5…when in truth it was really more like 3.125, I griped…gumbled…and bought all the books. So its been 5 years…and countless dollars spent, we get the word the 4th Edition is coming…I knew it was coming…I went to GenCon and knew that they were going to announce it. Then they did!

At first I was angry…not pissed…just a healthy anger about alot of spent money with as it seems nothing to show for it. So what am I gonna do? Make the switch with out a second thought. I spent quite a bit of time asking a lot of questions and hearing a lot of really good answers. So far every single thing about the rule changes I’ve learned about are reason enough to make the change. I really like the fact that with the D & D Insider, I am going to get Dungeon, Dragon, a virtual tabletop, a 3D character designer, grid mapper with light effects, access to my purchases in a digital format both as the source and as datasets to the character generation, DM tools, inside looks at the creation process to help me balance my homebrew stuff with the rules.

It makes sense then, that after lacking any real computer support in the last seven years, someone finally woke up and said, “You know, I think that computers are here to stay, maybe we should write some programs that will help folks prepare the game faster, so that people can play the game.” Someone else said “Yeah that would be great, but very cost prohibitive for the company to sink that much time and energy in a product that has almost lived its life cycle. We should really do the 4th edition, and come out the gate strong, with good software tools, a solid rule set, the ability for people to opt-in to a digital environment, or play the way they have for years, we could give more people what they want.”

Somehow this seems to have translated into Greed, some sort of lack of commitment to the “gaming community”, Lying, and other crap that has been thrown around the WotC message boards over the past 72 hours. So yes I will upgrade…with out any hesitation. I want the software to do the math for me, that’s what computers are for. I want to think up great stories and have the stat blocks done for me, without having to type it all in or write it all down. I welcome this with arms wide open…and my pocket book willing.

And just so everyone can see that this edition thing is not unheard of.

1974 – brown box
1977 – first edition of dungeons and dragons
1978 – first edition of advanced dungeons and dragons
1981 – revised basic dungeons and dragons – red box
1989 – 2nd edition
1995 – rulebooks revised, the options books (2.5 ed)
2000 – 3rd edition
2003 – 3.5
2008 – 4th edition (9th if we are really counting)

Nobody Saw This Coming, give me a break it’s practically overdue.

Keep up the good work Wizards of the Coast!!! 23 years and counting…I appreciate your efforts and I understand business concerns, like making money so you can keep making the game that you…and I love!


~ by lyoncage on August 20, 2007.

2 Responses to “4DVENTURE! The Fourth Edition Story….”

  1. It’s funny, you’ve practically painted a mirror of my experiences. I’m a little leery of the digital rights agreement that they’ve set up.. It’s a tad draconian. We’ll see how that shakes out. Overall though…I’m w/ ya, I’m ready for a change. Maybe this is it.

  2. I’m a gamer from way back when that packed away my dice long before the miniatures went from lead to plastic, but I’m really excited about this new edition and I’m hoping to get back into it. Its been about 25 years, but all of the new material out there is bringing back some great memories.

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