Halfway to NoWhere

Ranting and Complaints of Life in Taiwan

DnD 4th Ed – First Campaign

Well, after taking a long break for almost eight months (the previous campaign was called off due to over-focusing on one of the players who decided she was going to quite right before the last two sessions), I’m back into DMing once again.

This time, with the release of 4e, I decided to run the first official 4e module published by WoTC (Wizards of the Coast – publisher of DnD). Of course, I’m still trying to read all the core handbooks, but the players are anxious to start. Therefore, still shaky on how the game is managed, I called the first game last Sunday.

As we were unable to book a room at a local university due to the short notice, the first game took place at a restaurant around National Taiwan Normal University. The one good thing that happened was that we’ve managed to book a room with a huge table – allowing enough people to sit around it while still having enough room to lay out entire maps.

This edition, as expected, put an overwhelming emphasis on miniatures and maps (bringing DnD back to its Chainmail origins, I suppose). Therefore, the bad news for the DM is that you have to bring a lot of boxes, maps, and books – as well as your notes and stuff. Conclusion: back pain from the underworlds.

As for mechanisms… well, every player gets to do things every round, with mages being able to fire off magical attacks every round. Can we say ‘automated’ characters?

IMHO, rather than saying its a DnD game, I prefer to call it “a game combining talk sessions and independent sessions of Battle Lore.” For the DM, integration of the RP part and the Combat part is pretty awkward. For those who have played traditional Japanese SRPG, you understand that kind of queer feeling.

Again, it might be the fact that I’m not familiar with the rules yet, so I’m willing to give it a couple more tries. But definitely, I agree that 4e is a move in the right direction, after the Bring-your-computer 3.5e. Maybe removing certain individuals from the design team does make a difference.

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July 11, 2008 - Posted by | Role Playing Games

3 Comments »

  1. You see! We all knew GURPS was the right design for roleplaying all along.

    Flexible skills and character creation system. Combat can be as detailed using hex maps and miniatures or as abstract as D&D v1. Magic users more than just a one spell pony at low levels, etc.

    DnD is just playing catch up, all these years… No new innovations there.

    Imagine what GURPS would of been like today if Steve Jackson had access to WotC’s marketing team and artists…

    Comment by Jonathan Wong | July 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. I love the hex maps, but what we really need is a 50″ plasma TV for a table to display them… 🙂

    Comment by Bard | July 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. Sure. While you’re at it, why not get a personal jet for a chamber dedicated to gaming? I definitely won’t mind gaming in that kind of environment.

    Comment by ronderick | July 22, 2008 | Reply


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