The State of D&D: Present

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Flameshield up, but:

D&D was never a good roleplaying game in the sense of Dogs In The Wineyard or even WoD, to name a popular alternative.

It is, and was, a very, very apt combat simulator, but it is and was always designed as a dungeon crawler, thus combat-centered. It is no surprise that the most fun offshot world of the core D&D concept are those that mock this very attribute (Planescape with the moral matrix taken to the very extreme, and Ravenloft with its l4 fighter pesants and undead cities).

To be qucite fucking honest, apart from the starting spark, D&D has by now made more influence towards the "bad" side, the one emphasising on stats and combat, than on the good side, the one focusing on story, on characters, and on non-combat, non-dice interaction.

:exits the tavern:

Bad for roleplaying or not, I would so dig a turn-based (or even RTWP) CRPG based on 4E D&D.
The combat system is just perfect for it.

I don't need any fancy gfx, just a simple isometric view and handpainted backgrounds ala BG2 and IWD.

veloper:
Bad for roleplaying or not, I would so dig a turn-based (or even RTWP) CRPG based on 4E D&D.
The combat system is just perfect for it.

I don't need any fancy gfx, just a simple isometric view and handpainted backgrounds ala BG2 and IWD.

Yes that. Even though 4th ed is not for me in tabletop format it would be perfect for a turn based isometric video game. I would play the shit out of that.

Thinking about the whole issue of 3.5 verses 4 the biggest problem with it is it doesn't feel like Dungeons and Dragons. 4th edition is a very good system on it own. The core mechanics are very well balanced and the game is fun, but the emphasis on grid based combat, the addition of the skill challenge making straight role playing unnecessary, the major changes to several existing campaign settings, and a lack of materials for creating user generated content strip allot of what I loved about D&D out of the game.

The 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons put combat and characters stats. If you like what it has become go right ahead. IT IS STRUCTURALLY A GREAT GAME. To me though having the emphasis on combat takes the R out of RPG. For me it is not about the choices I get at customizing my characters stats, but customizing my characters story and personalty. I just want a structured way of making my character start out weak and watch him slowly become a God. Otherwise the board is irrelevant. I am not playing a board game. That is where the game fails. 4th edition feels like a board game. 3.5 wasn't much less of a board game, but it allowed each class fulfilled a multiple roles so you weren't worried what you had in your party, items weren't tied to level so there was a question of what you could have when, and it was easy to create a world and adventures tied to you one style of game play. All of this is gone in 4th edition and that if why I find it lacking.

It is sad that pen and paper roles players put such an emphasis on the D20 system. There are so many great systems. That is why I quit Dungeons and Dragons altogether after 10 years of playing and found a new game. They range in scope and scale and have as many rules as you want. I found what I wanted in Earthdawn. Dungeons and Dragons doesn't have to control the genre. Why do we let it.

chaosyoshimage:
I don't know much about 4E or 3.5 D&D, all I know is my brother and I got that Starter Box and had no clue what to do with the game after we went through the included adventure...

Then by the core books of any role playing system you find that you are interested it, learn the system as well as you can, find an introductory adventure set it that system (it exists if you look), and find 2-4 friends that may be interested as well. If you did it right you won't even have to create characters and you will know if pen and paper RPG's are right for you. Come on grab life by the horns. Carpe DM.

For me and my former group, we used 3.5 as a base, and I blended in a set of house rules and adapations that let it be easier for them, mainly beacuse they had no intrest in reading any of the rules, or learning how to make a character.

I never moved on to 4E beacuse I didn't and still don't have the money to get the books, and I no longer have a group to play with, I ended up disbanding the group,

I miss playing 2nd edition. Now it's mostly; "You meet in a tavern and get hired to clear a cave of some goblins, you arrive in the cave and combat begins. <combat ensures> the goblins are dead you get "X" amount of gold. Good game everyone. Anyone else wanna DM?"

008Zulu:
I miss playing 2nd edition. Now it's mostly; "You meet in a tavern and get hired to clear a cave of some goblins, you arrive in the cave and combat begins. <combat ensures> the goblins are dead you get "X" amount of gold. Good game everyone. Anyone else wanna DM?"

Yeah that's still true for a lot of D&D games, regardless of editions.

Danceofmasks:

Outside of combat, the mechanics of skill challenges are, for lack of a better word, ass.
4e played without skill challenges, where interactions are mostly free-form with an occasional die roll, functions IMO better than accumulating points for success or failure (regardless of how well it's masked; the mechanic itself is retarded).

I can't help but agree with you there. I've read some of the snippets on how to include skill challenges in roleplay, something with an example where a party had to convince a duke or king or something via diplomacy checks... I'm a DM for 4e and my party and I are usually a group of freeform roleplayers ((IE, no rules or dice what so ever))that ended up trying out d&d. So I found it troublesome to include a skill challenge in an rp situation when the player characters ended up saying something that I found the NPC in question would respond well or poorly against.

I guess my group has a different outlook over the system as a whole. We tend to rp without any sort of system or stats so it's harder for us to picture the common complaint of "4e minimizes rp" that people tend to make. My biggest worry about the system when it came to the group was the fear that including dice to a group of freeform rpers would end up ruining the experience for them, but now they're level 6, and are eagerly waiting the next chapter I have in store for them whenever I get around to writing it. D:

The quote paints R.A. Salvatore as a guy with a distinct lack of imagination (supposedly D&D4's target audience, if you accept the sketchy paraphrase of Mearls in the "Future" article).

He doesn't get tieflings? They've been around -- and popular -- in D&D for over 15 years, through several editions and, by my count, at least four major D&D-based video games. Where has he been all this time?

He's terribly confused by the renaming of one elf flavor to "eladrin" to allow a further embellishment of the preexisting magic-elf/forest-elf split? (Shall we go back to "hobbits" and "magic-users", then?)

Dude could at least have the decency to get it right and bitch about dragonborn. :/

-- Alex

Alex_P:
He's terribly confused by the renaming of one elf flavor to "eladrin" to allow a further embellishment of the preexisting magic-elf/forest-elf split? (Shall we go back to "hobbits" and "magic-users", then?)

Eladrin are celestials from 2nd-3.5 eds, the quote from salvatore is about how this pair of races from some old material he was given, which were very different back then, are now the same race? you have to take a doubltake there.

Hubert South:

To be qucite fucking honest, apart from the starting spark, D&D has by now made more influence towards the "bad" side, the one emphasising on stats and combat, than on the good side, the one focusing on story, on characters, and on non-combat, non-dice interaction.

No need for the shield, I honestly think you're absolutely right. D&D has always been more combat-centric. Excellent GMs (and I had a couple in college) made some great stories come out of it, but it's still heavy on the fighting. Combat was always my least favourite part of any game, perhaps because my characters tended to be streetwise/intellectual types with Strength as their dump stat. But that's what I wanted to play, and what I had the most fun playing.

I rarely played any D&D system. What I did play was lots of old WoD, a few D&D3 one-offs, and a wide swath of other d20-based (and hence OGL) games. There was lots of character interaction in the WoD games we played, especially during LARP sessions (quit your snickering! We had a lot of acting majors in our group and it made the sessions excellent). Best of all that I can remember, was actually none of these, but a LotR campaign using a system I didn't recognise and never really understood - because I didn't need to. We slouched comfortably in sofas in the GM's living room, hardly ever rolling dice except on the few occasions when she told us to, and storytelling a wonderful adventure (and oh, how I loved playing that silly hobbit...)

I haven't touched D&D4, and I don't plan to. Not because of anything in the rules because I don't know the rules. What I do know is that many of my most fun experiences came from games (like Mutants and Masterminds) that wouldn't have existed without the OGL. It may have its warts, but I'll stick with that. I want to tell stories, and I'll go with whatever system lets me do that best at any given moment. If it's D&D, fine. If it's d20 Modern, fine. M&M, sure. Free-form madness? Great. As long as enough outlets exist that everyone can find something they want to play, I don't think it really matters what happens to D&D.

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