Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4e, Comedy and Choreography -- Rolemaster and Tragedy

Despite how I feel about the PHB1, the whole of D&D 4th Edition gives me this feeling, illustrated by Danny Kaye and who is supposed to be Basil Rathbone.

In other words, I can't take 4e seriously for serious Roleplaying in certain genres.  4e is light hearted.  It's built for comedic roleplaying.   And they happily lived ever after!  Although the Court Jester is still epic, it's epic comedy.  In other words, you can take it seriously for family entertainment.  So, this makes D&D 4e family friendly.  It's great for a light hearted romp in adventuring.  That's why it's so deceptively simple.

To compare it to Rolemaster is to compare Danny Kaye's The Court Jester with Shakespeare's Henry V.  Shakespeare, when he writes a comedy, its light hearted.  D&D like.  But when he writes a history, like Henry V, he doesn't hold back.  And neither does Kenneth.

When you play Rolemaster with the right GM, you're possibly going to be in for a treat.  Rolemaster is built for Epic Roleplaying.  Both tragedy and comedy in built into Rolemaster's framework.  Although the comedy might come after a lot of pain and hurt.  Although D&D 4e can go that far, it wasn't initially built for the possibility of Tragedy unless your DM is out for a Total Player Kill.  Danny Kaye was transformed into the best swordsman in England due to hypnotism: a level 20th bard under the D&D 4e rules.

For this representation of Agincourt, however, King Henry the Fifth is young, so he can't be more than a 7th level fighter.  He faces fighters on the French side with more experience (8 through 10) and slays many of them.  However, if you look around, there are fighters on the English Side more experienced than he -- and they are slain.

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