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4E Stats Leak

Interesting, a stat card for 4th Edition. Looks like the 3E trend back toward the minis/wargaming roots is continuing. It reads almost like a 1974 Chainmail unit card.


( 13 sutras — Your wisdom )
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Was that really your impression? I was quite happy with it, just because it seems so much simpler than the 3.5 version; it never even crossed my mind to think that it was "more wargaming-like" than its prior incarnation...
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
You say that like it's a bad thing. More Chainmail like is all to the good. ODD, 1E and 2E thrived on simpler stats.

I didn't say I was unhappy with it at all, just that they are returning to the hobby's roots.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Ah, okay. My apologies. I've spent too much time on boards where "wargamey" is up there with "videogamey" as an assumed insult. :-}

Mea culpa.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
Well, no worries. Though it's weird how gamers draw lines between the subcultures. I'm a videogamer (less now, but still), a tabletop RPG player and GM, a recovering TCG gamer, and a Euroboardgamer. Depends on my mood.

Actually, the 4E move toward more minis elements may make the hobby easier to explain to outsiders.

And I certainly appreciate the business need for Hasbro to push the plastic, even if I don't buy it myself and prefer an RPG largely without minis. Different strokes; it's easy for me to ditch tactical elements for encounters that don't need them. It's hard to scratch-build that if a game doesn't have it baked in at the start.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Though it's weird how gamers draw lines between the subcultures.

Indeed it is. (I'm occasionally guilty myself, though I try not to be.) Not entirely sure why that is, though I suspect it has less to do with gamers and more to do with human nature in general.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
That thought had occurred to me as well, although I'm sure it's not a conscious harkening back to the old days so much as a reinvention of the wheel (though not the Great Wheel, of course, because we all know the Great Wheel sucks and is confusing and only silly grognards think otherwise).

No, no, I'm not bitter.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, they are torpedoing some 1E core elements that matter to the planes. OTOH, they are making some 2E Planescape elements core.

I'm not sure whether to be delighted. My reaction will depend on the execution.
Oct. 13th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Execution means a lot, to be sure, but the specific content also matters to me. Mind you, I'm no longer the target audience for D&D, so I'm not sure my opinion makes any difference.
Oct. 14th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Over at my D&D blog I posted my analysis of the card. I agree with you that D&D seems to be moving back toward its simpler mechanical roots despite doing away with classic thematic elements like the elemental planes.

D&D with simpler stats doesn't necessarily entail a dumbing down of the game. Compare chess with go, a game with only one type of unit which is arguably more involved than chess' six unit types. Go is simple enough to be played by beginners, but strategy can become complex enough to hold the attention of advanced players. Perhaps we'll see this pattern replicated in D&D 4e.
Oct. 14th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I'd like to add my recommendation for miniatures. They do add a valuable tactical element to combat - I've known players who complained that non-miniatures combat is just a matter of throwing down dice to see how many hit points and spells each encounter costs you.

The drawback to miniatures is that they're expensive. I'll take the Dungeon adventure "Raiders of the Black Ice" as an example: in a relatively short adventure, the minis count runs as such: twelve snow goblins, eight worgs, six tiny snowflake lichens, four small snow spiders, three human zombies, three "frost folk" including one wizard, a custom fey, a Huge wooly mammoth, a medium snow spider, a dire wolf, and Oskari Lodestar - perhaps forty distinct miniatures, one of which is Huge sized. On top of this you have minis for the players, any human allies or hirelings they recruit, and any creatures they summon.

So there's an economic issue with minis. Combats may run thick and fast in 4e, but the focus on miniatures could be costly. Alternatively, we're going to see 90% of gaming groups playing "pretend this orc is a zombie".
Oct. 14th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Well, sure, expensive minis is the reason why WotC needs them to become as central to the game as possible. They are a better way of parting gamers from their dollars than, say, sourcebooks or adventures. So it makes sense that they will continue to make them.

I enjoy the tactical side of minis at a low level, but I'm with the "these green dice are orcs" crowd. I can't be bothered to buy, sort, and organize the things, though I appreciate those who do.
Oct. 14th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
I like minis, both painted metal and plasticrack, but one of my best RPG purchases ever is Fiery Dragon's Counter Collection CDRom. Every monster in the SRD, tons of PC-types and lots more for you to print out on your inkjet. I can't recommend it highly enough. And for those pesky WotC non-OGL monsters, they put all the art on their website!
Oct. 15th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
This is precisely the challenge Wizards faces: if even dedicated dungeon masters tend to make do without the right minis, who's going to buy them?
( 13 sutras — Your wisdom )

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