Saturday, March 20, 2010

4E Complexity

4E has officially hit the point where I am no longer comfortable with its complexity.

With the core PHB, it was ok. I could pretty much grok what all the classes did, what the major class features where, etc. I knew that Clerics & Paladins had Channel Divinity, Defenders had marks, etc.

I'm playing in an online 4E arena game where out of about 16 players, teams of 4-6 are put together on an adhoc basis for a series of 3 encounters. Everyone is in the low or mid levels. At this point I just can't keep track of what abilities everyone else has. Luckily, WOTC has actually done a decent job of enforcing role boundaries so I know what I expect a defender, striker, leader, or controller to do. But they have not done a good job of enforcing power source boundaries. Plus, the plethora of new powers makes it hard to keep track of the options for just one class, much less the rest of the playing world.

I think a better approach would be to have a series of "menus" with limited (5-9) options. For example:

  1. Pick a role (Defender, Leader, Striker, Controller, perhaps multiclass)
  2. Pick a power source (martial, divine, arcane, primal, psionic)
  3. Pick a style (offensive, defensive, balanced)
Each choice from the menu could give a specific feature. That lets players customize but keeps the choices manageable. Such an approach will not sell many splat books however so I understand why WOTC has not gone this route.

Dark Tower

Sorry for the lack of posts. I just had a week of vacation, then a week of catching up after vacation, plus tax time. So its been busy. Plus, any limited spare time I had was being used rocketing to the end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Worth a read!

Perhaps next week I'll get some thoughts up here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Sorry for no posts recently. I've been reading about the tarot, which is a nice mish-mash of all the renaissance neoplatonic ideas I've been talking about lately. Maybe some posts/reviews later!