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November 30, 2007


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Doug (not Muir)

What's good about Third? Tho I'm not sure I even made it into Second as an active player. In things D&D and RPG-ish, I'm definitely old skool; I think I could still lay hands on accessories for Empire of the Petal Throne. On the othe rhand, I never actually owned the three little brown books but played with sets owned by friends' big brothers.

Andrew R.

Doug not-M,

3rd Edition is pretty darned elegant in its mechanics. The only number crunching that a player needs to do is basic addition, which the character sheet walks you through. I still am not entirely sure about the battle-mat, which I think in the hands of a sub-par DM can move it into tactical board game territory, but on the whole, the battle mat-centric combat avoids a lot of the ambiguity of:

"I stab the orc chief."

"No, you can't do that, you're standing behind Bob's character."

"No I'm not, I said last round that I step up in front of the orc chief."

"No you didn't..." &c.

My great worry with 4th Edition is that from all reports of what it's supposed to look like, they're going to World of Warcraft-ify it beyond all recognition. And then I'll be forced to quit in disgust and be left with only White Wolf (and I'm still not entirely sold on the new redaction of the World of Darkness).

Doug (not Muir)

"tactical board game territory"

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Ok, we generally had miniatures, or at least something physical to move around when combat happened, so there was reasonably clarity about whether or not Bob's character was between the stabber and the orc chief. Unless magic got involved and confused things...

(And for the record, I'm also a Doug M., just not Muir.)

Gareth Wilson

The problem with the fourth edition seems to be that they're trying to simultaneously upgrade the rules and create a new default campaign setting. The new game mechanics don't seem too bad but the details of the setting they've released are rather uneven. Some interesting ideas, but lots of silliness. They've got a tin ear for naming things too. Of course those are the problems which are most easily fixed by a DM.

Doug (not Muir)

Default campaign setting? I mean, why?

Gareth Wilson

They're probably trying to ease the creative burden on their customers. Not everyone is interested in worldbuilding, so it's understandable from a business point of view. But it's natural for the more serious gamers to find it a bit grating.

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