Oct 9, 2008

F*** the edition wars. Sometimes you just need to play.

I just noticed it has been entirely too long since I last posted. Having been given "someone else's" job at work has had me pretty busy. No excuses! My public demands a post!

This last Sunday, I had the satisfaction of running a one-shot 4E game for a small group of friends. On autopilot, in true seat-of-the-pants mode, it ended up being a total out of my ass game. While sounding rather unhygienic, it was a blast!
I decided that I wanted the whole enconter to take advantage of my Tavern flip-mat from Paizo.com. HIGHLY reccommend the flip mats, they are GOLD! We started with the party as members of a caravan guard squad, dispatched to the far-flung north to guard a midsummer train as it winds it's way through the dales and valletys of the north.
Stopping at the tavern for an eve's rest, the normally baudy festivities are interrupted by an old man crashing through the door. The heroes investigate, and the old man (in tattered purple robes) gasps, "Don't let them get the stone!" before passing out from his numerous wounds. The wounds appear t be deep scratches and...human bite marks!
No sooner do they discover this, when a low, anguished moan sounds outside - near the stables. It is answered by many more from the darkness. Soon the shambling forms of zombies begin to traipse forward. The patrons immediately freak out, and the doors are closed and barred. Soon the thudding of fists on wood punctuates the sounds of crying and praying inside the tavern.
Sitting around in a tavern with a bunch of scaredy cats is NO FUN! So I smashed down the back door, and allowed the horde to enter. The encounter consisted of 3 consecutive waves of:
1 Corruption corpse
6 zombie rotter minions
Due to bad luck and planning, they soon had all three corruption corpses atacking simultaneously. After a very touch and go fight, the heroes triumphed. MY favorite part? When the bar patrons who had been lunched by the zombies started to twitch before rising as new minions! The party didn't see THAT coming!
The result? MORE STABBY! We went on to do a plain old trash fight with some goblins, so the players could take their training wheels off.
Ironically, this game was this groups first exposure to 4th edition. They LOVED it. Books were only broken out once, to clarify the grappling rules. Everyone had several options to use every round. The power flavors were spot on. These folks used the quick start characters from KotS to circumvent the 1st time character creation blues, and now all are wanting to make their own.
Despite the still lingering criticisms from many 4E opponents, these long time gamers loved it. Squares instead of feet as movement? No problem! Laser cleric? No problem! It was fast paced, and most of all FUN! In fact, it served to remind me of how long it has been since I actually enjoyed DMing. 3rd edition, and to a lesser extent Pathfinder have been slowly driving me away from gaming for a couple of years now. 4E has been a breath of fresh air!
For those of you who are new here, I used to be a card carrying 4E hater. I trolled several messageboards. Spammed a few great blogs, and was finally shown the error of my ways. I can't tell you all how good it was to forget all the stupid edition war crap. Wait a sec, I can, It's GREAT!
So let this little tale be an example/lesson/whatever. The edition wars are bunk. They exist due to a small minority of gamers being angry and wanting the rest of the hobby to agree with them. A surefire cure for it? Sit down. Shut up. And just roll the dice!
Next up: We'll have to find out more about the old man and his mysterious stone.
PS: LOLCats (and hamsters) rule!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!

Honestly, the whole edition wars thing is such dross. I participate in such things on message boards because contention is like my natural habitat, but I always tell people to steer clear of it. 3.5 has Pathfinder to continue its lineage (whatever of that yet remains), so I don't see a lot of people's need to lash out at 4e for not doing that.

Similar to what you said, 3.5 and Pathfinder were slowly taking me away from D&D. 4e came along at a time where I was so weary about the direction 3.5 had taken, and it was so refreshing for me. I know at least, with 4e, I will always be able to just play Core (and Homebrew, since it's so easy now!), something which I didn't feel I could do with 3.5 since it was so difficult to add your own stuff.

Anonymous said...

The two times I have played 4e have been completely the opposite of that - zero description, zero flow, and books books books.

Also indestructible characters and no sense of threat.

Also the wizards were really really weak.

So maybe you just had a really good adventure, and a DM who didn't care about the rules...?

Donny_the_Dm said...

LOL, I was the DM.

I have found it to be a lot more like OD&D than 3E, it leaves a lot more to the imagination.

I think I will write a follow-up post on that, it seems to be a common denominator (by no means the lowest).

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps you had a really bad DM, Faustus.

Benjamin said...

I stick with my belief that Dungeons & Dragons 3.0,3.5,and 4th are combat systems for a roleplaying game. Both have rules for non combat situations but be honest the majority of the rule books are for combat. I have played and DMed pathfinder and in my personal opinion it is no better nor worse at noncombat then 3rd or 4th.
As for the edition wars in general we need to stop this nonsense and concentrate on what is important. Having a good time with this hobby regardless of system or edition and bringing new people into it. These wars and arguments only cause trouble in the rpg community and detracts from the community as a whole.
I hope the above does not sound condescending it is just my 2 cents on the matter.

Donny_the_Dm said...


Agreed completely.

You are not coming off as condescending either :)

I keep trying to tell folks that we should all just relax, and play whatever game we prefer, but the haters and fanboys are CONVINCED that I am just missing that ONE little piece of information that will make me jump up and say AHA!!

And tell them they are right. That is what it comes down to. The intelligent folks have already figured out that it's just a game...the less inclined, well, we know about them too.

Steve-o said...

This is why I love 4e. It's got that old time feel and is just fun. I just ran my first 4e game 2 weeks ago, and we all had a blast. Sure there were issues with rules, and if we thought they didn't make sense, we fixed it on the spot. We did the same thing with all the other RPG's/editions we played so i see no real difference. And the Role play vs roll lay is more a matter to GMing styles I believe. there is no need for rules for non combat gaming. We love 4e, though we would have fun playing anything. And like one other poster said here, it was definitely getting tiresome the direction 3.5 was going. Glad to see a clean break and new rules with that old ODD feel.