What’s Wrong With D&D 4
I think this quote from The Dragon Editorial Archive sums up everything that is wrong with The current versions of D&D and how it is being made even more wrong in 4th Edition.
Quite simply, the math behind the game is so rock solid that I’ve been encouraged to play my character as a genuine, action movie, one-liner quoting hero. I’m not rushing to open the door because I know I can survive the fireball trap on the door. It’s that I know that the trap on the door isn’t some ruthless save or die effect that will punish me for rolling a 1 on my save. I still don’t shy away from danger, but I find myself taking even more risks with my 4th Edition character than I did before. I don’t dread the finger of death, wail of the banshee, or worst of all, energy drain effects that so permeated previous editions.
— From the Dragon Editorial Archive: Fearless
I’m just shaking my head. It sounds like they’ve taken all the risk out of the game. What’s the fun in being able to act like “a genuine, action movie, one-liner quoting hero” in a game if there are no risks at all of failure, let alone of severe failure? Playing a god-like character in a group of other god-like characters, all of whom get even more god-like with time sounds like it would get boring fast.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the cinematic style of gaming where people don’t regularly die from a single bad die roll and can do lots of heroic things. I’ve always ran my D&D and other fantasy games like that. But there was still risk and lots of things that any player should dread. Cakewalks not only get boring fast, but players don’t feel very heroic at the end of one, no matter how successful the characters were.