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Anctici … pation

June 3, 2008

To say that I’m looking forward to Friday would be a gross understatement. At the end of the week the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons is set to be released, a big marker in my 18 years of playing tabletop roleplaying games. Fourth edition, or 4E, is a big deal(tm) to tabletop nerds for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s easy. It’s by far the most simple rulesset that the game has ever had.
  • It’s fun. These simple rules are very focused on the combat elements of the game, and bring to life stale game elements that have bogged down previous editions.
  • It’s fast. Playtime has been significantly cut down. I know it seems odd for a non-tabletop gamer to envision, but with previous rules events that took place in a matter of minutes inside the game world could take hours to adjudicate in real life.
  • It’s online. There’s an entire online component to the game that I find alternately fascinating and frustrating. My hope is to be able to play a game via this system sometime soon.
  • Most of all, it’s clean. I’ve spent the last four-odd years mulling the design decisions of MMO devlopers, which has given me an appreciation of game design in general I didn’t have those 18-odd years ago. The way these new systems interlock, the care they’ve given to making simple rules fun and flavourful … oh yeah.

I’m almost done with Cryptonomicon, and despite the staggering amount of work I’m doing this week I’m going to try to finish up before Friday. I really want to crack into those books without wrecking my (still chugging) Kindle-based reading initiative.

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One comment

  1. I look forward to 4E very much, as well. Of course. But I’m not buying the books yet. I’m waiting to see whether there are reams of errata in the first printing. I learned my lesson after the error-riffic first printing of 3.0. That, and the first printing of 3.0 tended to… fall apart. They used some awful glue for the binding that just didn’t work. I ended up having to purchase the second printing of 3.0… and then, of course, 3.5.

    I read they’ve already ordered the second printing of 4E before the books have even officially released. Apparently the demand and level of pre-orders exceeded all expectation. Which means, I suppose, I’ll have to wait until the THIRD printing in order to see errata correction, if that is indeed an issue. *sigh*



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