Chris Pramas crystallizes one of the things that bothered me about D&D 4th Edition but I couldn’t place.

No Newb Class: In every previous edition of D&D there has been at least one easy-to-play class that you could start people off with, fighter being the classic choice. 4E gives an equal number of powers to all classes, which means that playing any of them is like running a spellcaster in previous editions [emphasis mine]. There are at least some suggested builds for each class, so that’s something but playing a 4E character for the first time still requires a more decision making than I think is advisable for new gamers.

5 Replies to “Spellfighter”

  1. I thought the same thing. I’m a nerd and bought the box set just cuz and in reading through it felt this was miniatures game with an RPG tacked on. Which is great if that’s your thing. Lots of folks (Jon/Duncan I’m looking at you) really appreciate the tactical game, but it does seem to increase the barrier to new players. A recent review at RPG.net really nailed 99% of my feelings over 4E.


    I do like the new design of the layout. Very clean and easy on the eyes. Needs better index and glossary!

  2. Well, he’s partly right. You certainly do have to pick your abilities like a spellcaster at the start, but you begin with only a few rather than a huge spellbook full of them, and the rules surrounding them have been simplified.

    I’m going to be running some D&D 4E and Jim’s girlfriend will be joining us and she’s never played a roleplaying game before, so that should be interesting. She is wicked smart though, so I don’t forsee any problems.

  3. I’ve played 3 times now in an on-going campaign and he’s kinda right. I’ve played a lot of rpgs in my day, but my 2nd level paladin has so many options that it’s actually tricky keeping track of them all–and he has far, far more than a 2nd level wizard in 3e.

    In fact, there are so many powers for my PC, I rarely, if ever consider doing something other than firing off my powers in melee–like leaping down on enemies, swinging from a rope, knocking things on to enemies, etc. One of the other players in the game pointed out that the new Skill rules make it really easy to do that kind of stuff, but Ay! how can I when I’m trying to remember the difference between Bolstering, Enfeebling and Retributive Strike?

    It’s also kinda hard to visualize what’s happening when I hit a bad guy and simultaneously give my friend +2 to AC. But I think that’s just experience.

  4. “It’s also kinda hard to visualize what’s happening when I hit a bad guy and simultaneously give my friend +2 to AC. But I think that’s just experience.”
    And that ‘s a big problem I have – when mechanics strategy tweaking ruins verisimilitude it really takes me out of the virtual world.

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