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The Right Way to Have Fun

Recent posts at Critical Hits and Chatty DM had me thinking I should post this too. After all, my reader may find this useful (hi Mom!). I’ve been pretty hard on 4th Edition, and with what I think is good reason. Some of the changes were, in my opinion, answers to questions that I hadn’t heard anybody ask. But you know what? Someone was asking them! No two groups have the same approach to playing any RPG and no system supports every play style out there.

I’ve made no secret that I’ll be sticking with 3.5 for the foreseeable future. It fits my play style better than 4th Edition, and while 2nd Edition did too, 3rd Edition incorporated all the house rules we had been using for years already, so why go back? It does not mean that if you like 4th Edition, you’re the anti-christ and want to devour the souls of small children and puppies…well not necessarily anyways. It means you like a different game than me. Is it really that different than people who like D&D and people who like GURPS? Both a different systems. The only difference is that 3.5 used to be the D&D system, and like it or not, WOTC has decided 4th Edition is the future. So be it.

One knock against 4th Edition that I want to address right here and now is that 4th Edition doesn’t allow role play. First, that’s total bull. Some DMs might not, but that’s another story entirely. Nothing in the mechanics for 4th Edition prevents role play. Now, I find the mechanics support a style of role play that I find distasteful, making it harder to create unusual characters with skills within the mechanic, but that doesn’t prevent role play at all. Say you play a Tiefling fighter. How does the rules say you have to play them? It doesn’t! It could be as a tiefling who dispises what his ancestors did and strives to right any wrong to atone for the sins of the past, or as one who thinks his ancestors were on to something and hopes to build a great empire for his kind on the bones off all who oppose them.

Role play is not dead in 4th Edition folks. It’s not even sick. It is not, however, good for my style of role play. It doesn’t make 4th Edition wrong or 3.5 right. It makes them a bit different! That’s all!


Now…let’s go have some fun 😉


July 20, 2008 - Posted by | RPG |


  1. Hell Yeah!

    Thanks for the link… Moderates FTW!

    I think that WotC widely underestimated the clivage that 4e would cause… but with Paizo stepping in with their take on 3.5 OGL I think the Hobby will only get stronger.

    Comment by The Chatty DM | July 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. Agreed! I think Paizo has made a very smart move for themselves as a company, since there are so many who don’t like 4th Edition. Now, we go to Paizo first 😉

    I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll be able to do with it. So far, it looks good!

    Comment by Tom | July 20, 2008 | Reply

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