Saturday, September 11, 2010

Worldwide Gameday - Red Box

9/11/10 - Next Level Games

Today's Gameday introduced us to the controversial "Essentials" line of D&D products. Essentials is a new line of D&D 4e options that are designed to appeal to new players, and to recapture some of the flavor of previous editions.

I played Brannus, a Human Fighter (Slayer build). He did not have any Daily powers. Rather than distinctive At-Wills, he just had basic attacks which were affected by battle stances. I had a couple of Encounter powers, but I spent most of my turns just making basic attacks.

Sitting next to me was an Elf Wizard, whose bread-and-butter power was the new version of Magic Missile, which uses neither an attack roll or a damage roll. On my other side was an Elf Rogue, who had some great At-Will movement powers to make up for her lack of interesting attacks.

So basically, it's all about simplicity. I can see how it would be a lot easier for someone unfamiliar with 4e to just pick up and play. I, however, missed having more things to do. Still, D&D is D&D, and we had a great time.

The worst mistake made was when the party's other fighter opened a door before we'd had a chance to rest from our recent battle. So we went straight from one encounter into a boss battle without a chance to recover, and it very nearly killed us all. My character would have died if not for grace of the DM. But in the end we survived.

The characters (along with new Essentials-style character sheets) can be downloaded here.
The newest Essentials-related rules updates can be downloaded here.

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