Final thoughts after marathon 4e release day events

In no particular order:

TPK in a casual release game with casual players unattached to the characters, which wins us prizes and status as the (likely) first post-release 4e tpk in Winnipeg = awesome!!!

People have dissed Splug the goblin for trying to be Meepo (Sunless Citadel) for 4e.  Well, for the short time we were with him, he was better!  Not only did the PCs take to him as a slave quickly, he soon assisted in combat (hitting the enemy none of them were hitting, by swinging a bag of rocks), and then saved our Warlord’s life with a heal check to stabilise her.  After this encounter, someone else took over DMing the game, and I joined in as Splug the goblin cleric, inspired to do more healing!  So much fun!

We played 4e with a random pickup group for 18 hours, as level 1 characters.  Never in that time period did the game stop being fun.  That says something.

We played Keep on the Shadowfell for 18 hours, with 2 DMs, without either of us ever having read the adventure.  The town RP was tricky, but not bad.  But the game never slowed down because of this, especially in battles.  The 4e game is just that easy to pick up and DM.  I predict that 4e will see the return of the true D&D pickup game.

Level 1 has never been so interesting.

People have been complaining about things conceptually online a lot, but these complaints disappear once you’re in the game.  Minions fucking rock, and make the battle that much more fun!  The at-will/encounter/daily power split works perfectly.  Clerics and Fighters are cool again!  I would play either again by choice.  Dragons!  Oh, dragons are so much fun!

The complaints:

Not everything is explained perfectly in the books, causing a bit of confusion.  These are minor, however, and just call for a quick ruling most of the time.

Paladins are… well, unimpressive.  I mean, they’re alright and they do what they’re meant to, but I much prefer the battlefield control powers of the Fighter.  This is a personal thing, though.  I probably won’t play a Paladin any time soon, but someone in my group (or yours) might love it.

That about covers it for now.  Caffieeeeeeennnne!!!!!!!!!!

10 Comments

Geek's Dream Girl  on June 7th, 2008

Grats on the TPK!! :)

ChattyDM  on June 7th, 2008

I only managed a 80% TPK in Shadowhaunt… so you rulez!

Dave T. Game  on June 8th, 2008

So what caused the TPK? Lots of crits, recharges, ???

I agree with you on the Paladin. Very disappointing when I’ve used him. On the other hand, I love playing Fighters now (especially if I get to pick the powers.) They may even be my favorite 4e class.

Graham  on June 8th, 2008

Actually, nobody in that encounter has recharges. A few main things contributed.

- 3e thinking. The players, used to 3e still, spent some encounter powers on the first wave (mostly minions), so when the second, stronger wave arrived, they were pretty weakened. In addition, at least two dailies were spent from the previous battle (which was the first of the day).
- Good tactics on the evil side, worse tactics on the good side. The enemies had some rogue-types and flanked, while the party split a bit too much. This part isn’t the party’s fault, as the goal of the enemies was to get them to split.
- Misjudgement from the warlord. He chose to save his Inspiring Word for one round too many, and was dropped during that round.
- Assuming that some were minions when they were not.
- Poor rolls contributed, of course.

And finally, despite no enemy being over level 3, there were 17 enemies, including 10 minions and a level 3 elite. This was a level 6 encounter. It was doable with good tactics, but there was a distinct chance of TPK going into it. With the above factors, it was basically guaranteed.

But it was fun!

EDIT: The remade party went in fresh to finish the job. They encountered only the remaining monsters. This time they removed the caster fast, but even with only 6 creatures remaining (2 soldiers, 2 skirmishers, the caster, and the level 3 elite brute), it was a tough battle.

On the Paladin, I have to say his flavour is still great, though his mechanics are not all that exciting. And the “I lay hands on myself” jokes abounded.

Damian  on June 9th, 2008

I was the warlord. I saved my inspiring word and 4 enemies (including the 106HP boss) came out of nowhere and charged at me. Before I knew it I was down and there were no healers left.

Game was fun, I got a free mini out of the TPK and we just laughed ourselves to death on that game.

I can’t believe you haven’t brought up Chip the [possibly magical] Nipple Rat… (I’ll let you do the explaining).

Fun gaming with you.

Albert  on June 9th, 2008

I was the warlock after the TPK. I have to say playing Keep on the Shadowfell was really fun, although it really sucks that i fell asleep in the middle of the game. The fight in the cave was really tough, the first time I was playing a bow ranger, and the party left me alone in the cave, I took out my longsword and died a hero. The second time I helped take out the boss and the caster, and it was lots of fun.
Also, don’t forget Jim the pineapple and Elanor the male dragonborn.

Esteban  on June 9th, 2008

Playing with you was just fun all in all man. From the consecutive crits to finding pineapples in boxes and rats that end up being nipple rings it was just a great experience. On my part you made it really easy to understand 4e and I just enjoyed it period. Having gone from Elanor to Chester, not much of a change but it was hilariously good all in all.
A pleasure to have played with you pal.

Graham  on June 9th, 2008

A pleasure to have played with all of you as well, guys. I’m glad you all had fun.

I’m especially impressed that you looked us up here, since I think Christine only mentioned the website in passing. Good to see you around!

- Ah, Chip. Our Ranger (Chester) fell into a pit in the first room of the Keep, and was swarmed over by rats. When he got out, he was still shaking them out of his armour. He asked if he could keep one, and on a whim I told him sure, there’s one still stuck in your breastplate, chewing on your nipple. Thus we got the party pet, Chip the Nipple Rat. He spent the rest of the game hanging from Chester’s nipple.

- Elanor, the male Dragonborn. Everyone had a laugh over this. But more to the point, I referred to Esteban as Elanor for the rest of the day. Laughs were had by all.

- The pineapple. There was a big pile of boxes in the corner of a room. The party decides to look through them all for treasure (there was none).
“What’s in the boxes?”
“Boxes.”
“And in those?”
“More Boxes.”
(from Amanda): “And a Pineapple!”
(The pineapple was then dubbed Jim, and became the second party mascot. The third was Splug.)

Fun times, guys.

LokyCat  on June 12th, 2008

The Game Day dungeon and dragon fight was just not enough for me to make an opinion.

As it stands I don’t like the new system, I don’t like the character builds and character progression I see in the PHB and in game play is more like a miniatures game then a RPG. I just duos not “feel” like D&D.=/

This Friday we are running the Keep on the Shadowfell module with our own characters instead of the premade characters. The GM is making some changes to the story to have a bit more rollplaying. I am still giving it chance and tring to keep an open mind.

Scott’s Corner » Blog Archive » 4e Month One: Links n Stuff organized  on June 26th, 2008

[...] Fred Hicks enjoys it. Rob Donoghue preps 4e: 1, 2, 3, and Plays. Keep on the Shadowfell: Graham GMs, Chris Chinn plays, Ping GMs, as does Doyce. Doyce reports: The DnD 4.0 game with the seven-year [...]

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