ToL #2 11: Black as Ink

ToL #2 11: Black as Ink

Have a happy happy Valentine’s, folk, and remember that if you’re single during Valentine’s, and you believe someone thinks less of you for it, cut that person from your life. Your worth is not determined by your ability to attract a ‘mate’, dude.

I wanted to talk about D&D 4th Ed today, for no other reason than I am running a new campaign in it. I’ve been playing D&D since 2nd Edition. I learned enough to be able to understand THAC0 and fight. Then 3 and 3.5 came out. We stuck with 2nd for a looong time. Eventually we did switch. While a lot of things were simplified (Thank you, AC!), I still could not even consider playing a spellcaster or a Cleric. My mind just isn’t rigged to remember all the spells in the book and the duration, components and AOE of each. Just wasn’t going to happen. That meant that I could also never really run the games as a GM. When Star Wars Saga edition came out (I like to consider it 3.75 edition), I really took to it. Still, creating encounters very quickly proved to be something I just couldn’t do. I would redress the same encounter, just adding or removing HP or opponents.
The problem with all the systems above is that I felt that unless you had the kind of brain that remembered everything, or that had the patience to sit and read through each rulebook, you couldn’t run those systems. My husband has that type of brain. He reads through something once and he gets it. I read it, remember the general gist of it and none of the numbers or rules associated with it. There’s also the issue of time. When I was a teen with long afternoons to myself, yeah, I’d try and read the DMG or the PH. But I have a life. I have obligations and errands. I don’t have that sort of time anymore. No way no how!

Then there’s 4th Edition. Yes, there’s a lot people can say to the system’s flaws: It’s cookie cutter, it’s limiting, it’s World-of-Warcraft on paper.
I say, yeah, that’s correct, but it’s also really easily approachable for new players (I have 2 never-before-played players in my game), and I can GM the darn thing. Admit it, no one wants to GM! So no one ever does. Don’t knock a system that actually allows relatively new players to GM it for you! With the online tools currently available I can create encounters and a whole session in half the time of Saga Edition. I understand the rules because they’re consistent. If you try to tell me that 3/3.5 rules are consistent I will ask you to explain multiple attacks past level 6 and Power Attack. Theeeeere you go. Suddenly not so consistent with anything. Yeah, the rules make sense, but each of those rules operate on a different set of rules.
With 4th I can concentrate on making a great story, fun NPCs, and exciting encounters and actually do so while being an adult with a life and new players.

I won’t call 4th Edition ‘Casual’ because it still takes 4-6 hours to play a session, and the depth is brought by a good GM and dedicated players.
If you don’t have a game going right now, and no one has the time to GM, I recommend you picking up 4th edition and running it. And invite me! I haven’t played in a game in… 4 years now? I NEED MAH RP.

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