Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Year-and-a-Half Later...

I've just moved all my D&D-related blog entries from my general blog to this one. From now on, this will be my total D&D blog.

Several years ago, I picked up a copy of "Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated". It was so funny, I had to pick up a copy of their regular magazine. The comic strip in the magazine, for those who've not read it, basically shows these guys sitting around the table, playing Hackmaster (an RPG based on AD&D). These characters really made tabletop role-playing look fun to me. Between that and the old "Dead Alewives" sketch, I think I found my first itchings for a similar game.

I started reading up on D&D, which was on version 3.5 at the time. I bought a starter set, and read "D&D For Dummies". I started collecting miniatures and tiles. In 2007 I went to GenCon Indianapolis, and played my first (and so far only) 3.5 game. It was just a one hour "Introduction to D&D" game, but I finally knew that I really liked the game. I just didn't know how to get in one.

Playing Neverwinter Nights helped satisfy my RPG urge, but I continued to look for a PnP group. The problem is, I'm shy. It's hard for me to put myself out there and meet new people. So while I knew about the bulletin boards at my local game stores, I didn't want to call anyone up out of the blue to ask about meeting them.

When D&D went to 4th Edition, I knew I wanted to get in on the ground floor. So I googled around a bit and found out that a former co-worker of mine was the organizer for Nashville's "Living Forgotten Realms" games. I e-mailed him a lot of questions, and signed up for the next LFR session (along with my friend Bryan). We played our first D&D 4e game on 11/22/08.

At the time I wrote this blog describing my first impressions. Since then, there have been a lot of changes. The game has had so much errata that the PHB is almost obsolete. The invaluable Character Builder has been released. A lot of supplements have been published. The "missing" classes (Bard, Monk) and races (Gnome, Half-Orc) have been restored. The whiners are finally quieting down (out of boredom or out of acceptance, I really don't know).

In the past year-and-a-half, my feelings haven't changed much. I've played in LFR games and home games, I've been a player and a DM, I've played it with and without miniatures, I've played both rules-as-written and heavily-houseruled.

I still love 4th Edition. It's a fun game. I still don't think it's as good a system as 3.5, and the LFR sessions especially feel a bit too much like board games at times. I still wish they'd kept 3.5 going and billed 4e as a spin-off, calling it something like "D&D Heroes" and marketing it to the Mutants and Masterminds crowd.

But so what. I could babble all day about mistakes they made, what I would have done different, and why previous editions were better. But the bottom line is, whenever I sit down to play 4e, I have a lot of fun. And out of all my complaints, my biggest gripe is that I don't get to play it often enough. So they must be doing something right.

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