Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Review (7-12-08)

The Spoony One | Jul 12 2008 | more notation(s) | 

While I was in front of the camera, I decided to follow-up on my initial “wait and see” attitude when it came to the new edition of D&D. It’s been several game sessions into my new campaign, so here are my initial observations on the topic.

Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who grew up old-school when it comes to role-playing games.

  • Scout

    Hey I just found your site and I really enjoyed this review. I’ve always wanted to play D&D but I’ve never had a group of freinds to get into it with. Since you seem to have played quite a few of the editions would there be one you would recommend to start out with? It seems like there’s different camps every time I talk to someone. Most seem to be split between second and third edition but there’s just so much info out there if you haven’t been involved in this stuff for a while.

  • Scout

    Hey I just found your site and I really enjoyed this review. I’ve always wanted to play D&D but I’ve never had a group of freinds to get into it with. Since you seem to have played quite a few of the editions would there be one you would recommend to start out with? It seems like there’s different camps every time I talk to someone. Most seem to be split between second and third edition but there’s just so much info out there if you haven’t been involved in this stuff for a while.

  • Kirayon

    I was actually pleasantly surprised to see a DnD review, even though I was positive I saw the books on your shelf. I would have to agree with your sentiment that 4th ed is a streamlined yet slightly “dumbed down” version. At the moment it’s a nice way to ease people into the game before introducing them to 3.5 or 3.0. Honestly what I was really looking forward to was the game table but Wizards really screwed everyone over on that, but I am getting far off subject. Honestly I enjoyed the review and would love to see more reviews like it, or even info on how your game is going (would probably be better if you are the one Dm’ing but anything would be good)

  • Kirayon

    I was actually pleasantly surprised to see a DnD review, even though I was positive I saw the books on your shelf. I would have to agree with your sentiment that 4th ed is a streamlined yet slightly “dumbed down” version. At the moment it’s a nice way to ease people into the game before introducing them to 3.5 or 3.0. Honestly what I was really looking forward to was the game table but Wizards really screwed everyone over on that, but I am getting far off subject. Honestly I enjoyed the review and would love to see more reviews like it, or even info on how your game is going (would probably be better if you are the one Dm’ing but anything would be good)

  • Jariel

    For starters, I’m following your site from quite a while now, and I have to say excellent work, I just love your videos :P

    Then, on topic again, i thought a lot about 4th edition. I always have made 3.5, and I only had experience on the 4th with an online group (there’s this stuff where you can roleplay by chat like you’r on the table…well, kinda hard to explain right now) and I found now what 4th edition feels like for me: It feels like an mmorpg. I mean, in the previous editions we had all those roling stuff, expecially for wizards and spellcasters, like owl’s wisdom, scrying, you know, that kind of stuff now…well, it seems more like you’r there putting the skills on the action bar and pressing the number on your keyboard to use the skill….and for me, being a roleplaying fan, like, trying to resolve stuff in character and stuff like that, I can’t really like that kind of choice…

  • Jariel

    For starters, I’m following your site from quite a while now, and I have to say excellent work, I just love your videos :P

    Then, on topic again, i thought a lot about 4th edition. I always have made 3.5, and I only had experience on the 4th with an online group (there’s this stuff where you can roleplay by chat like you’r on the table…well, kinda hard to explain right now) and I found now what 4th edition feels like for me: It feels like an mmorpg. I mean, in the previous editions we had all those roling stuff, expecially for wizards and spellcasters, like owl’s wisdom, scrying, you know, that kind of stuff now…well, it seems more like you’r there putting the skills on the action bar and pressing the number on your keyboard to use the skill….and for me, being a roleplaying fan, like, trying to resolve stuff in character and stuff like that, I can’t really like that kind of choice…

  • Chris walka

    Sorry I’m late to this one,but yeah I’ve been playing 3.5 edition for a while and to tell you truth I’m kind of glad now I didn’t up grade to 4Th, but also I know this is kind of odd maybe but could you give me some tips on DMing maybe I’ve done it like once and I don’t think I did it right so if you get sometime answer me back thank you for your time mister spoony.

  • Chris walka

    Sorry I’m late to this one,but yeah I’ve been playing 3.5 edition for a while and to tell you truth I’m kind of glad now I didn’t up grade to 4Th, but also I know this is kind of odd maybe but could you give me some tips on DMing maybe I’ve done it like once and I don’t think I did it right so if you get sometime answer me back thank you for your time mister spoony.

  • Benoc13

    Found some of you’re videos on youtube, followed them here. Very funny. As for D&D I’ve always wanted to play, but like Scout said couldn’t find anyone to play. I have read several books from 1st and 2nd ed. and that seems like the way to go. I’ve read forums and things like that and people seem to say 4th isnt really D&D, more like WoW. Now I’ve gotta find some 1st or 2nd books, any suggestions? Also FF8 vids were awesome, that game was horrid.

  • Benoc13

    Found some of you’re videos on youtube, followed them here. Very funny. As for D&D I’ve always wanted to play, but like Scout said couldn’t find anyone to play. I have read several books from 1st and 2nd ed. and that seems like the way to go. I’ve read forums and things like that and people seem to say 4th isnt really D&D, more like WoW. Now I’ve gotta find some 1st or 2nd books, any suggestions? Also FF8 vids were awesome, that game was horrid.

  • http://draconigenae666.deviantart.com Draekaar

    Now, see, the dragonborn is only really a race to match the class dragonfire adept, a 3.5 class in the dragon magic book. almost noone I ask knows about it. Basically a class that has a breath weapon, and is sortof like a dragon sorcerer? makes a good combination with the spellscales. Of course, I've not heard of this race being ported to 4.0… :( of course, an underknown but powerful sortof magic-tank char.

    I have yet to play 4.0 myself, but.

    I do hope that people are inventive about making their characters unique, it sounds a bit generic for dnd.

    YES! the gold distribution in 3.5 at least is good that it's different amounts of starter gold for each character, and i found it was perfect to give my character a tent and bedroll and lantern and a set of clothes and weapon.

    …This sounds like a lot of changes. Took me damn long enough to get the rules for 3.5, lol. I think I'll stick with that for now :)

  • http://draconigenae666.deviantart.com Draekaar

    Now, see, the dragonborn is only really a race to match the class dragonfire adept, a 3.5 class in the dragon magic book. almost noone I ask knows about it. Basically a class that has a breath weapon, and is sortof like a dragon sorcerer? makes a good combination with the spellscales. Of course, I've not heard of this race being ported to 4.0… :( of course, an underknown but powerful sortof magic-tank char.

    I have yet to play 4.0 myself, but.

    I do hope that people are inventive about making their characters unique, it sounds a bit generic for dnd.

    YES! the gold distribution in 3.5 at least is good that it's different amounts of starter gold for each character, and i found it was perfect to give my character a tent and bedroll and lantern and a set of clothes and weapon.

    …This sounds like a lot of changes. Took me damn long enough to get the rules for 3.5, lol. I think I'll stick with that for now :)

  • Jorda75

    The loss of some complexity in the game is where I feel 4th Edition let me down the most. I'm not saying that you should need a Masters degree just to play the game but learning the rules and applying them in game is part of the fun. I feel that 3.5 had a great balance for ease of play and complex rules, it was really simply to get into, but it grew and matured the more you played. 4th edition clearly panders to the masses, especially the vast MMO crowd, and old school or “hard core” table top gamers may not appreciate the simplification.
    I especially agree with the note on wizards. I wanted to make a wizard for 4th edition, but after looking them over I realized very quickly that there was very little difference between my wizard and any other caster or even a character that specializes in ranged combat. Wizards used to be so versatile and you could really be creative with the use of your spells, not it's just so cookie cutter your wizard might as well be a ranger with low HP. All editions of the game have their flaws of course, I just felt that 4th edition made everything far too similar and “dumbed down” for a old school gamer like myself.
    Great video Spoony, I agree on pretty much all points, but 3rd edition is still awesome, lol :)

  • joanim

    This is why whenever I play D and D I use pencil and paper, and we use my brothers 3.5 books. Just a couple nerds playing a game for hours, if we could get past our character making.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Geiss/1199778554 Robert Geiss

    i got d&d the first time i played it. the problem was in 3rd edition wed have to flip through the fucking book to do anything!

  • Anonymous

    That is a problem with 3rd, unless you are very familiar with the rules it can be time consuming to look up all the information, but I think this is a problem that most Pen and Paper games suffer from. You want your games to be complex and realistic, but that also means more and more rules to explain how things in the real world translate into the game (Can I trip someone and how? Can I disarm him? Can I attack his weapon? Ect.)
    I ran into this problem even more in 4th edition however, since noone knew what each of their powers did we were constantly handing around the players handbook. This problem only snowballs in 4th Ed. as well as you get more powers and replace others along with magic equipment levels to keep track of. I think 4th does a lot of things right, but I enjoy the freedom and creativity that 3.5 seemed to accomodate better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Hyche/100001511706825 Christopher Hyche

    15:35…….If you had my DM, you would NOT be saying that. My level 3 cleric got eaten alive by a group of four owlbears.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mursa-ArtDragon/100001067306478 Mursa ArtDragon

      Hehehe My dragon in rifts got eaten by a giant METRIOD QUEEN!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515476575 Glen Graves

    When Spoony mentions Rifts it reminded me I saw a 90′s ad for that game along with a Robotech Role Playing game (like D&D type) on the same page in one of my comics, I was wondering if anyone knows about this or if it was any good because I was very curious about it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SMCR43K7B7ILAPDEYDF2TFAHXQ Beyluna

    thanks for a better explanation of this game I don’t think I’ll be playing this because the more I hear about it (not just from you) weather it be for or against it, just gives me more dislike for it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SMCR43K7B7ILAPDEYDF2TFAHXQ Beyluna

    thanks for a better explanation of this game I don’t think I’ll be playing this because the more I hear about it (not just from you) weather it be for or against it, just gives me more dislike for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mursa-ArtDragon/100001067306478 Mursa ArtDragon

    So you don’t like RIFTS? You always seemed like the type that makes a great techno-wizard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lee-Roberts/1343822522 Lee Roberts

    The inbalance of RIFTS is also what makes it so much fun. Cause anyone who’s played it knows, either you do Mega damage or your nothing :D

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IKWZOWXVFDMODG55ET7A2CSSBY ScottC

    I have your answer: Pathfinder by Paizo. Monty Cook continued to evolve 3.5 and it is actually quite good.

  • Anonymous

    I have to disagree with that “it’s very hard to die” comment he made.  Our DM rolls ridiculously high, and a small band of kobolds was able to knock our entire party unconscious.  My ranger was the only one left, and had to due shoddy heal checks until everyone stopped being so dead.

  • ORCACommander

    working in a 3.5 campaign now as a dragon born from the Races of dragon which has a breath weapon. so they did exist before just need more supplements :P

  • vorpalanvil

    This crap is why I still run 2nd Ed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trenin-Bayless/602530927 Trenin Bayless

      pathfinder bro here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CMNDOHGHF6TUV4BQT4JFETWFYI Jason

    14:54 Spoony casts a spell..watch behind him when he casts it…

  • Adam Norell

    Emm, I believe he made a mistake there, mentioning if FR would implenet these changes. Well the fact is, DnD is NOT a campaign setting, every new edition has a campaign setting as standard though you can of course play anyone, the fourth edition got FR (the third had Greyhawk and so on), so these changes with the Dragon Born and the Eleves are FG changes. Personally I feel they are quite good changes that makes for alot of new stories. And besides, you can still play in the world as of the earlier editions. It’s your choice really :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ilja-Lyubimov/100002379132080 Ilja Lyubimov

    What i like about 4ed is that it’s really streamlined, it has no useless info in it, it’s easy to get and, what is important for me as a DM, it’s easy to prepare and your palyers have somewhat less ways to just screw up the module.

    What i hate is… well most of what spoony said. I don’t like the feel to the magic items, it’s not like “yeah, a magic ring!”, it’s “that ring i need for my build and which i can just create in a sec”.

  • http://twitter.com/erinsbloggyness Erin Weems

    Woot! Gobilins comic refrence! love that webcomic, though wish is had more humor in it. like before. it understandably has gotten a lot darker, but idk, seems rare that any character ever cracks a funny. but w/e it’s still good.

  • Timothy Wheeler

    This is pretty much why I’ve chosen Pathfinder over DnD 4th.

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