Not exactly earth-shattering in it's import, but news it is. I mention this in a post because I want to talk about the reasons why.
As my regular readers may remember, I launched this blog as a public sounding board for my hare-brained projects. Whenever I am too lazy to write about them, I just spout off some other random crap that is generally entertaining at the very least.
My current obsession/project is a re-boot of a classic 2nd edition boxed set that introduced me to the joys (and travails) of Dungeonmastering. My goal is to re-write it using the new mechanics, and improve it enough to make a case of it not being a copyright infringment. Luckily, this is pretty easy if you actually invest a little time.
Thus was born ASSAULT ON THE LIGHTLESS DEPTHS, a combination of all the cool stuff that I want to see/play/run in a campaign.
Epic storyline? Check.
Evil villains? Check.
Stupid adventurers? Check.
Pretty simple right? Well, not so much. I have yet to find online tools that I am comfortable with to generate most of the encounters, so I have been manually creating the stat blocks and encounters myself...3 signatures have never been so necessary to prevent someone from becoming a danger to themselves or others. It has been AWFUL!
Here's an example. My BBEG at the very end is going to be a class 0 or 1 deity. How long do you think it takes to create a CR 22 Aberration Paragon Deity? So far, 4 1/2 hours. I have three full sheets of notes, a very basic set of skills, a very long list of desired powers and attributes, a proposed list of nearly 15 feats, some flavor text, and not much else. See, I've been hunting through 13 books trying to piece together a coherent whole. Looking forward, I am seeing the halfway point off in the distance...
THIS is why 4E will succeed. It isn't torture to design within the system anymore. Simplicity is not always a bad thing. In fact, in product development, it is usually paramount! So why is it so derided here? Entrenched nerdism gone sour? Fanboy FTW mentality? Wish-I-was-still-a-late-teen angst? Oh well, it's never that simple is it? (pun intended).
After perusing my 4E DMG, I see that the same creature would take more like an hour...tops. Minions? 20 minutes for the base critter, another 20 minutes per variant for the actual named NPC monsters. I don't know about you, but my time is becoming increasingly precious as I get older. It used to be acceptable (hell! it was a badge of honor!) to spend 10-16 hours prepping for a bi-weekly game. I simply do not have that option anymore. Between that and the incessant prodding from Graham @ criticalanklebites, I simply have no reason to hold on to a system, that while it holds a number of fond memories, was still a prison cell disguised as another 10 X 10 room.
My players are cautiously optimistic. I feel honored that they put more stock in my DMing than they do the rules it is built from. This said, I choose the product that is designed specifically to get me away from the hours and hours of homework, and back behind the screen where I belong.
BTW: I got called a 4oron on the Paizo boards the other day! Should I have been mad? I wonder if the mild amusement tempered with pity was the intended response? Somehow I rather doubt it : )