Okay but I wasn't badmouthing Palladium.
And I really hope you're joking. The only thing more simple than the Palladium rules is a choose your own adventure book. I always liked it because there wasn't too much fiddling with things, the head gets to concentrate on the story, not being a rules lawyer.
Check out FATE, Savage Worlds or Feng Shui, they do the same thing only better. Rules Light games that let you focus on story. Though I suppose Palladium does do one thing well, it leaves a lot open to interpretation, which can lead to either a lot of creativity, or a lot of boredom.
That's precisely what I loved about Palladium. I was able to mold the rules into anything I wanted to make. Really, all you needed was the one book and you could build off that.
It is true that if you don't like 4E you can just keep playing 3.5 or Pathfinder. However, D&D tends to shape the PnP industry as a whole. In fact, D&D pretty much IS the industry. So I lament a future where hard-coded 'builds' and powers that all read 'make an attack and move' become the norm.
Wrong answer, play World of Darkness.
I completely agree. I think the thac0 issue is more myth than reality, and it is usually used by people who never played a game that actually used thac0. Most current systems aren't any less complex when it comes to combat. You usually have to compare a die + str + combat modifiers against a die/number + dex + armor + defense modifiers.
Out of curiosity: was this the game with Chris Brackett?
Well, we don't play in a game *with* Chris Brackett. But in the game we've run at the office we've made extensive use of dungeons created by Chris and had an absolute blast. Thus when we started the "High Adventure" column series, I reached out to Chris to ask him to do Dungeon World as a series of new modules.
Ah lucky kids, I always wanted to get into table top rp gaming but there was never a group around that i could join
I took a look at 4E. As per what many of you are saying, I can see how it would appeal to younger players. That said...
I started D&D with 3.5 at the age of 15 and I'm now our resident DM, at 18. As a DM, 4E gave me a headache. Literally, it hurt.
There are only three unpardonable sins in 4E:
1. What Grampy bone said. If you want to do something weird, you need a power from it. It constricts the player.
2. SPELLS. Where did they go? 4E's lack of spells beyond the most basic, generic stuff actually led me to start a mages-only 3.5 campaign, as I realised just how good 3.5 magic was.
3. Anti-standardisation of character creation (this takes a bit of explaining):
In 3.5, monsters were characters. They had an average statline and had a class like Undead or Dragon, which was called their Racial Hit Dice. There was a full set of rules to give ANY monster PC classes, or for a PC to be any monster (balence issues aside). One campaign, I wanted to be a psion that had been reincarnated as a parrot (it was a pirate campaign). There was rules for that.
In 4E, monsters and characters are two different things. They are incompatible. They followed two different sets of rules. As a programmer, this could be considered repitition of code (rules) that does similar things, and thus BAD design.
As more minor gripes, basic races had 3 types of elf (half-elf, elf and 1.5-elf (eldarin)) but no gnomes, and wtf is with teifling and dragonkin? They used to be cool, more powerful options to make an interesting character, now they're standard. That sucks.
Ok, /rant. Sorry. Anyway, in summary: I have many personal issues with 4E that makes me hate it, but I can see how it would be a compelling option for the first-timer used to video games where they do the work for you, at the cost of creativity.
It's great to see lots of Dungeons and Dragons people here, weighing in. But as some people are giving complaints and comments about 4th Edition, the one I prefer, I'll try to answer some.
But I should be clear up front: I'm just another DM, and I like 4th Edition. I've no intent to convert people, or make people rush out to buy it. That's the wrong impression totally. But I find it to be a versatile, fun rules system, and lots of people are giving up huge complaints.
Hopefully, if people have any questions, disagreements, or comments, they'll post them back here with a quote of what I said - that way, I get a message about it and will notice.
Like I said before, I'm not trying to sell it to the people here, just to answer their comments with my experiences. But I definitely think that everyone should enjoy whatever system they like.
This posts contains a number of inaccuracies.
A game is only *dead* when no one is playing it.
The best game is one that you can make your own. Rules exceptions don't make the blindest bit of difference to anything. Nobody cares about this theoretical nonsense. All anyone wants out of any game, is *fun*. Don't ever lose sight of that.
For the record, I recommend trying out Labyrinth Lord. Nice, simple, expandable in anyway you like. I increase the spell count with spells from various editions of AD&D in my home-brew campaign. Combats are indeed fast and furious. I have DM'd a battle with three characters facing 200 skeletons on a pirate ship in less than an hour, and a fight against waves of zombies that totaled a hundred in a tower against four player characters in about the same length of time. Simple rules let you scale things up which is *fun*.
I don't get into edition arguments particularly, but...
i) old editions of D&D aren't dead, in fact there are lots of products coming out. See for example the reviews on the Grognardia blog ( http://grognardia.blogspot.com )
ii) Swords & Wizardry ( www.swordsandwizardry.com ) is based on the original 'white box' rules, but fixes many things that people found confusing, including descending Armour Class and weird saving throw categories. On the forum someone put a 'background professions' rule which addresses another problem people had, that "my Fighter is a noble knight, and yours is a scurvy pirate, but mechanically they're identical."
I dunno what it is but I just cannot get into 4E. I quite enjoy Star Wars Saga and that is very similar, but the complete change of the way abilities work has me... distanced. Also the fact that the power level is quite frankly silly. You are a demi god from level 1. I personally have been loving Pathfinder, fixing the flaws of 3.5 but staying as a Role Playing Game rather than the role playing GAME of 4E.