What is Storytelling? What is acting in the realm of Roleplaying games? Why is it that I'm so hung up on 4th edition?
4th edition is a rework of 1st Edition and a lot of people have taken a liking to it. A lot of people do not feel that it is really D&D. Even myself haven't bought the books and learned the new set of rules beyond character generation (and a lot of the mystique and the magic is lost). The old D&D is over, much of the gambling chance has given over to choosing "cewl" superpowers and customizing your character.
In the OLD DAYS when I had D&D Basic, you created your character by rolling dice. 3 six sided dice to be exact. You created your character, defined his role, and then played him in the scenario according to your role. In the NEW DAYS, a character that is created with dice, randomly created, is unacceptable in the RPGA's living campaigns.
Plus, you don't tell your people what your role is, you just tell them what kind of role you serve in combat in an RPGA scenario. From my point of view, D&D has devolved into a sport. You play your role, you have fun. What happened to roleplaying in D&D?
For me, it's all about the story. 2e provided a way for the story to be followed. AD&D 2nd Edition had lots of options for character generation and optimization for a storyteller/actor game. You actually acted your role in a second edition game. And the DM would tell sweeping stories, most of the time with combat involved. You had character development in 2e. "Cewl" superpowers aren't at all important. After all, campaigns ranged from Crusader Europe to homebrews. Even wierd campaigns, like Eberron, could have worked out in 2e.
Can you roleplay in 4th Edition? Yes. But I'd like to see more options supporting storytellers/actors in 4th edition. More accomodations, more of the fun. More of the mysterious. Points of light? BAH! Commandos with superpowers who go hog wild only seeking to defeat the monsters in a scenario? Not for me thanks.
I want my character to grow and develop. When I play, I want to take on the role of my character, whether he is Cymbeline, MacBeth, Robin of Locksley, or Richard the First. I want to play underpowered characters when appropriate, and godlike characters when I choose. Give me the options to play the roles of a lifetime. Whether it is a craven noble who takes all the credit, even when his companions drag him into a dungeon (I actually did create a noble in D&D 4e, I just DIDN'T want to play by the rules. Because, frankly, D&D 4e character creation rules suck sparrow eggs and howl at the moon!).
Okay, that's my new rant.
NEXT: The New 4th Edition,
What would I change to create options for storytelling fun.