I revived my lunchtime game, which had faltered after Jess left Flying Lab a couple of months back, to test 4E D&D.; It was going to be 8 players, then 10, and finally 13. Many folks were interested in trying the new edition. I split them into two groups and ran first sessions yesterday and today. Players had quite a range of age and experience. Results so far:
3 players really like it.
3 players really hate it.
7 players are baffled, indifferent, or slightly positive.
Some interest things emerge when we break this down. Of the three that really like it, one is a rules junky, one is primarily a minis gamer, and one is a MMO player who had roleplayed for the first time with 3.5.
Of the three that hated it, one is a 1E grognard, one is a 3E fan who just doesn’t understand why so much had to change, and one is a hardcore roleplayer (though she does also like to kick some ass; see my previous post).
In the neutral group was one brand new roleplayer and two people who hadn’t played in a decade or more. My GMing experience so far has done nothing to dispel my feeling that these rules are not friendly to casual gamers.
Interesting results. We’ll see how it goes next when I do second sessions for each group.
I ran a session at D&D; Game Day and watched one. I didn’t come away feeling like this game was for me. It is so focused on the powers and tactical movement that it just didn’t make me feel creative as a GM. While I feel like I could run encounters with it, I don’t feel like I could run a campaign with it.
It’s hard for me to explain the “why” of it, but it just doesn’t excite me or make me want to run games with it. I think I would play it in a one-shot game or two, but I would likely be hoping to move onto something else rather quickly.
While watching the game on Game Day, I was in the “I really hate this category.” After running it, I’m in the “Completely Baffled, And Still Disliking” category. It just doesn’t feel like D&D; to me.
I’ll take any edition of D&D–and; most of its offshoots–over this one.
Sounds like a 77% success rate. 10 of 13 either liked it, had no problem for the game or wasn’t sure what was happening.