A blog about the many neat things in life, along with the many other things that are lying around. Categories include: political things, philosophy things, design things, template things, garage things, music things, and lots and lots of other things!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

D&D 4e

So, this last Tuesday I had an opportunity to play Dungeons & Dragons, 4th edition for the first time. I have played D&D since very late into 2nd edition, but I had heard exciting things about the new version and was looking forward to it. Overall, I was surprised at how much fun it was, even at 1st level, and look forward to playing more - though there are some parts from the old editions I will definitely miss.

First off, I haven't had a chance to memorize every rule, monster, and spell yet - so if I miss something obvious, cut me a little slack. Also, I got to play in a different setting than I usually play in. I usually play with a group of friends I know personally, for no real reason other than enjoyment. This time, I went to an RPGA meeting - a continuous world consisting of hundreds of campaigns across the country all set in the Living Forgotten Realms world. The idea of the RPGA is that characters are transferable across games, and larger games have the ability to affect each other. For example, the RPGA will give out a large quest that culminates in the destruction of a god of evil, then that act will be reflected in other games across the country. It's a neat idea to create a shared world - something MMO's don't get into very much.

I played a first-level wizard. In previous editions, this is a pretty boring part to play - you can cast 1-3 spells that actually do anything, then you're done until the end of the day, which is usually the end of the adventure. However, 4th edition changes the game a LOT for wizards. Instead of picking out spells at the beginning of the day, then losing them once they're cast, you pick spells when you level up. There are three kinds of spells - at-will (which you can cast every round, if you like), per-encounter (which you can cast once per fight) and per-day (your biggest and nastiest spells, which hearken back to the old system).

This means every round, I have a couple different options I have to pick from. And I never have to choose "Do nothing, save my spells for the big bad guy." Wizards spent significant time doing nothing at lower levels in the older editions.

From what I saw, fighters have the same sorts of choices to make. All types of warriors - from sneaky rogues to spiritual paladins have abilities that let them target certain enemies, move around the battlefield, and affect the encounter. No longer are fighters condemned to "I hit him with my axe" every single round.

Also, certain new mechanics (Healing Surges and Second Wind) allow all characters to heal themselves somewhat, so the cleric is similarly not confined to "I heal whoever's hurt" every round.

So, even though it was a low-level adventure, it FELT like a higher-level adventure in 3rd edition. I read interviews from the designers of 4th edition where they stated that 5th to 8th level was "the sweet spot" in 3rd edition, and they really tried to make the whole game play more like those levels.

Overall, it was a very fun experience. I intend to go back this week, and may start DMing 4th edition in the near future. Probably more updates to come in the future.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008


Originally uploaded by agius.
They sell pinecones in grocery stores here. You know, since they're
not around anywhere. Just Coconuts! XD


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Anti-Technology Field