DnD 4th Ed: Keep on the Shadowfell S-2
Now, playing at a public restaurant has never been so irritating. I recall playing at a local MacD about ten years ago. You won’t imagine how hellish it can get with curious eyes stabbing about, wondering what the freaks at the table are doing.
Fortunately, this new restaurant one of my players found was actually quite nice. In addition to being located near a major college (which means that most of the customers are young, more tolerant of unusual happenings, and won’t stick their nose in other people’s business), the restaurant also has a room that is out-of-the-way and includes a nice giant table for me to lay out the combat map.
So at the moment, my gaming group has found a solution to finding a place which is easy for the players to get to, has a big enough room/table for the players and the maps + miniatures, and supply food and snacks if you get hungry.
Anyways, as I’ve mentioned before in my previous gaming post, running an official module is probably the best way to familiarize myself with this brand new system without having to tear my hair out trying to figure out the exact balance between the number of monsters and fire power, so the players would find hard enough challenges w/o being brutalized or find the whole session to be a piece of cake.
Now, there’s one thing that I’m sure after two full sessions of gaming: 4th ed is a game that forces you and the players to remain GLUED to the tactical map. Furthermore, when everyone is being bogged down my the ‘chess rules’ – no matter how simplified they are – you find out that at the end of the day, there’s really not much room for the essence of the game, aka ROLE-PLAYING.
While I could understand the efforts the design team invested in coming up with an RPG systems that does a good job in simplifying the compendiums of 3.5, they did another dis-service for role-players by attaching a significant portion of the game rules to the tactical map. Nearly everything are to be calculated in terms of square, and half the time are wasted on players (and DMs) trying to calculate the distance of their movement or whether a blast attack would catch all the enemies in one shot. Seriously, this sometimes can get REALLY irritating.
Anyways, as for the game itself, we covered three major encounters during the session which lasted from 2 p.m. until about 9 p.m. The battles scenes included the Burial Site battle and the raid on the kobold lair (though I fused the outside battle with the inside one, hoping to save time).
I must say this is the part which irritates me about official modules – there is absolutely no story lines. In fact, 4th ed module successfully won the honor of being the module with the most unappealing story. Simply put, we have a captured academic who has been missing for over a week, still tied up and gagged at the burial site. The culprit and his underlings are still sitting around at the crime site for no better reason, and using a strategy with a complexity that is good for fooling elementary school students in hopes of ambushing the players. That’s really appealing for the DM, right.
As for the climatic raid on the kobold lair, one of my players finally enlightened me to the 4e wisdom of keeping battle separate. Because, w/o time for a short recovery, players cannot regain their encounter-base skills and second winds. So effectively, the 4e system’s mechanism – simply put – is rationing the skills and spells so players cannot use all of them in one encounter. With this mechanism in place, the party members will still have enough fuels to fight the final boss after, say, 3 or 4 encounters.
Cute, very cute.
3 Comments »
About ME – the geeky author of this blog
There’s not much to know about this subject, except that I’m keeping this blog as a way of forcing myself to write in a non work-related environment and to rant for fun. It’s also a great way for me to keep in contact with my friends, to let them know what’s going on at this puny island on this side of the Pacific Ocean.
- choihani on Japan Trip: Osaka for Otakus
- Fine Art on Pixar Exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum
- marie swaney on Japan Trip: Kurama Mountain
- Natalia Ita Harjono on Japan Trip: Kurama Mountain
- Japanese Onsen (Hot Spring) « Study Abroad Blogs and International Travel Journals | DiversityAbroad.com on Mt. Fuji Part I – Fuji-Q Highland Resort Hotel and Surrounding Areas
Site infoHalfway to NoWhere
Blog at WordPress.com.