Dee and Dee Fore

I don’t go on therpgsite basically because between RPG.net and Story Games I’m already wasting more than enough of my life on RPG forums. By a lot. Stuart in SG linked to this thread, where people mostly bitch about D&D4e. Personally, everything I’ve heard about 4e makes it sound like it’s moving more towards something I might actually actively want to play. Some of the responses on the thread make me want to play it just to spite them. (But then, I usually feel that way about people who can’t make a point without profanity). But mostly it’ll come down to whether or not one of my friends wants to run the game.

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6 thoughts on “Dee and Dee Fore

  1. Personally, I was never interested in D&D. It’s simply not “sexy” enough ;)

    I can’t really say whether I would like that new edition, but I doubt that they’ll change enough to make me interested in me. I’m not a big fan of these class-based rpgs which look more like they’re ripped off some dungeon-crawler.

    And it looks like they’ll keep up with their tradition to force players to buy at least 3 books in order to play the game. Pretty funny if you consider such systems like BESM3e…

  2. Well, if you want to know about what’s been announced for D&D4e, EN World has a page collecting everything that’s been said so far. And ever since it had a coherent business model, D&D was about getting people to buy new books. 3.5 got kind of silly, with books just about adventures in cold places or in deserts. But, you can definitely get by with just the three core books.

    One thing: You do realize that classes originated in D&D, which is in turn why they’re a standard feature of CRPGs, along with HP and EXP? Personally I don’t mind classes if they fit the game/setting/genre in question, and for D&D style fantasy they do definitely fit. Granted, people have done stuff with d20 where classes either don’t really fit or require some mechanical gymnastics to work, but D&D isn’t one of those. F.E.A.R. (the Japanese game publisher) has made classes and levels work really well, probably better than D&D has, as a tool to speed up character creation.

  3. Wow, that thread hurt my head.

    Honestly, if I could draw a good comparison it would be Resident Evil.
    The Resident Evil titles are fun, but there were alot of “player problems” (intentional design choices to fit theme, like tank controls, small inventories and fixed cameras) with the game series.
    In comes Resident Evil 4. It removed zombies, auto targeting, fixed cinematic cameras, puzzle pieces taking up inventory, real puzzles, and then put “dragons lair” style segments, a store and tons of ammo. It changed from a tactical management horror game with action bits to a full on action shooter with creepy monsters.

    Was it good? Oh yeah!
    Was it the same game as the previous 7/8 Resident Evil games? Not really.

    And that seems to be the big complaint for 4e- it’s not DnD1 through 3. Well, yeah… that’s why they’re calling it 4th edition.

    And also like RE4, it seems to be designed around bringing in people who normally despised the series specifically because its particular design quirks and mechanics, while trying to keep around the old fans.

    Hell, I’m now looking forward to when DnD 4e is released and I’ve vehemently avoided the game’s previous versions because of it’s uber-crunchy and silly design choices.

  4. @Mike:

    Yeah, that’s why I never liked the old RE games. It doesn’t matter fore me how good the story is if the controls simply suck. But I also never touched RE4. Guess I’ll like it better…

    @Ewen:

    Honestly, I don’t really know whether D&D came before those rogue-like games or vice verca, but I do know that the D20 system was originally a wargaming system called “Chainmail”.

    And I know that some JRPGs also have a class system, but AFAIK (which is not much due to my nonexistant knowledge in kanji, hiragana and and the like) these systems from Japan are very rules-light, like in F.E.A.R. where you’re just picking a combination of 3 classes.
    On the contrary, D&D is a real behemoth, with rules for anything you never wanted to know. And it also uses any dice imaginable (well, I guess D&D invented most of them), which is not a big plus cause I prefer systems with just 1 or 2 dice types.

  5. You’re absolutely entitled to your opinions, so this post is to point you towards factual information rather than to sway your opinions. So:

    The original Rogue was in 1980, six years after the very first version of D&D (1974). Whatever flaws it might have, D&D was in there first, and its influence is HUGE. On the other hand it was actually an evolutionary step from wargames. Wargames started a realistic military simulations with little counters, and gradually brought in recurring characters, stats rated in points, character improvement, etc. over time, and D&D was actually much less of a jump than people seem to think. It was basically an expansion for Chainmail (which was innovative for stuff like brining fantasy elements into wargaming), and took a while to become an independent game.

    d20 is the system of D&D3 (released in 2000), and there are huge differences between it and the versions of D&D that preceeded it. It’s at once more complicated and more internally consistent. Part of why I’m potentially interested in the new edition is that they’re supposedly trying to simplify somewhat, and in particular reduce some of the overhead for the GM. OTOH there are a fair number of people who swear by the Rules Cyclopedia version published in 1991, and Castles & Crusades (a simplified and more old-school game based on d20) has its adherents too.

    The number of die types doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with complexity. Savage Worlds is a fairly simple system, but it uses everything from d4 through d12. Although D&D3.x does get pretty complicated, the varieties of dice aren’t the reason why. In d20 you use the 20-sider the same way for every kind of check (attacks, saving throws, skills, etc.) and the d4 through d12 are for rolling damage and such. (Hence some of the OGL games, notably Mutants & Masterminds, were able to remove the other die types entirely). It’s the zillions of feats, class abilities, magic items, spells, classes, prestige classes, races, etc., and how they all interrelate that makes D&D3.x so complex.

    Wikipedia has some articles on this stuff, and it’s actually pretty interesting to learn about the hobby’s roots. You’d be surprised just how much you can learn from older games (especially the stuff like Ghostbusters and Prince Valiant that was ahead of its time).

  6. Thanks for the information!

    I’m already looking for infos about old games, but I managed to avoid D&D most of the time. Not that the new info will change my opinion about the system. Okay, so most rogue-likes are based upon D&D. Could this be the reason why I like japanese console-rpgs more ;) ?

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