Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Rant about a Review on Youtube

After watching a review of D&D 4th Edition vs. 3.5 Edition (which the reviewer said -- hey, we all know its better anyway), I was kind of perturbed that he said that all rogues are the same.  Blah, blah.  It's like he glossed over the feat selections.

Well, I'm going to prove him wrong. :D

There is something in the d20 SRD called Unearthed Arcana which provided you with all the variants one could use.  In my world, rogues are defined either by being criminals, or government agents (you know, James Bond types).  So you have to your typical thief type rogue, and then the rogues who operate under the Shattered Hand (orcs) or the Impossible Mission Force (The Republic of Devonshire) for example.  Rogues who work in Caithness are part of MI6 and are trained assassins and their code numbers usually start with . . . well . . . 00. :)  In Al-Caria, they are training as Assassins, in Northumberland - your typical spy.  In the Elvish nations, they are trained as quick and stealthy melee fighters who happened to be able to disarm traps.  If they are trained at court (no matter what kind of court), they are courtiers and diplomatic attaches.

Righteousness aside, and Miles Gloriosi aside; it is possible for a 3.5 Edition Rogue to be different and still be classed as a rogue.  So, what can be so wierd about that?  Huh?  In D&D 3.5, you can sell 4th by saying that character customizability was a weakness.  Or you can ignore it and say that it is possible to customize characters in 3.5 every bit as much as you can in 4th Edition.  So, why sell it up that a 3.5 rogue is the same as the next rogue?

Perhaps it is because we are losing a vital part of our play experience and its called imagination? The most important strength of playing RPGs is an exercise in imagination.  Break the rules, do creative things with the game . . . You don't have to play by the RAW (rules as Written).  Greywulf (Robin Stacey) doesn't play by the rules in 4th Edition.  He's a good example of taking a game like 4th Edition and doing creative things with it.  Sorry, who ever said that a 3.5 rogue is the same every time, but you just didn't look at the bigger picture.  4th has blinded you, made you forget what was capable of doing with 3.5 .

Oh and by golly, watch a movie or T.V. series that gives you D&D moments and forget which Edition is better.  Just get some friends together, get some dice, and play (Wizards of the Coast may have a bias, but their commercial is about encouraging people to have fun with RPGs). :)


greywulf said...

Great YouTube find :D

He's exaggerating the point, but it is true that the character classes are more customizable in 4e than they were in 3.5e. Rather than a preset list of "things you get" at any given level, 4e has choices and you really can see your character grow in ability as it climbs the level ladder.

I found it funny that he said he was going to compare the 3.5e Player's Handbook with the 4e Player's Handbook, then chose the Barbarian class - which isn't even in the 4e PHB, it came later :D

Both are great systems with plenty of room for imaginitive play and character customization (though he's right that 4e is superior in this respect). I prefer 4e because it's much, much easier to GM. My players would be happy playing either edition.

Elton said...

Yeah, I know. It irks me that he glossed over what makes them similiar. So I challenged him to compare Apples to Oranges (D&D 4e to Rolemaster).

For me, its not what is in the system that counts, but how it can be used. The GSL sucks. There is no denying that it sucks from my perspective. I didn't buy 4th because it has hardly any 3rd party support.

greywulf said...

Yeah. 4e is good, but it would have been so much better if it had been released under the OGL and Character Builder was openned up for third party support. We can but wish, eh?

Elton said...

I suppose.

That GSL sucks eggs, though. If I were in charge, I'd release each previous edition into the public domain to make the prior fans happy, and then make 4th edition closed.

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