A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

15 February 2014

[D&D 40th Anniversary Bloghop] Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen: What was the first edition of D&D you didn't enjoy? Why?

{GROAN}I've been dreading this question. To me, it smacks too much of a lighted fuse on the powder keg of Edition Wars. No, really. I'm going to stay in my own little corner of the internet today and not read the other bloghop blogs because, frankly, I hate the edition wars. The answer, for me, is settled. To me, there is only ONE "correct" edition of D&D.

That's the one that you enjoy. That's any edition you find fun.

Now that's out of the way, I guess I need to provide an answer. If I were to pick out ONE edition that I've played that I don't enjoy, I guess it would have to be Fourth Edition (4E). Honestly, I can't pick out exactly one reason for that feeling. I've played several times in several different settings with several different DMs. Every game was different in nearly every way. It was a pleasant way to pass a few hours; at least, it beat a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. That's less than a rousing endorsement, I know, but it's the truth. When I returned home, my wife asked "how it went"--my response? "It was O.K."

Maybe it was the DMs' styles. At the time, i thought that they were all different. Looking back, perhaps they were closer than I thought. There was very little intellectual buy-in with the encounters/adventures and some other stylistic issues. But I also kind of disliked the (possibly perceived) tendency in 4E to make all characters exactly the same, regardless of class, race, etc. I had a DM once who preached the absolute gospel of "BALANCE". (Hopefully you heard the great, booming god-voice there.) Everything had to be balanced. All I have to do use use "the B-word" around one of my current group who also experienced the other DM...and if I do use "the B-word" around him, I have to run from his flailing fists. But I digress....

"Balance." You have fighters casting spells through rituals. You have everybody healing themselves, and not with expendable potions. And yet, you seem to be pigeonholed into specific roles in the party, and each role is "necessary" for an adventure to "work." Again, this may only be a perception, based on limited play, so please don't flame me. I'm not trying to tear 4E down, but merely explaining what I didn't like about it.

I'm at a writing conference today, and have been here since Thursday. I wore my Pathfinder shirt on the first day; one of the first people I ran into was a teenager who looked at my shirt and said, "At last! Someone who plays the REAL version of D&D." As a Grognard and a member of the OSR, I snickered at him, considering I've been a gamer nearly twice as long as he's been alive. I just smiled in response and shook my head. I said it above, 4E is not "bad." It's just not for me.

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