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.