Saturday, February 20, 2010

The perils of 4E and Power Cards

There's a good thread going on over at about a recent promo video posted to YouTube in which the DM, a WotC employee I won't mention by name because I think he seems like a good DM and innovator aside from this cited instance everyone's ganging up on, made what seemed to be a debatable call about a D&D power card that a player wanted to play. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, especially on a game as open to interpretation as D&D, and that's not where my concern is. But, if you read through the below thread, you'll see that the objection many more of us are starting to have deals with the actual 4th Edition powers themselves. If a player can or can't do something based upon a series of actions built into the rules, that kind of limits the game. Sure in AD&D, a wizard was only as good as his spell list, but typically he/she had other ways to contribute (at least after 1st or 2nd level...). But to this poster's point that I quote in my response, below, it seems that in 4E, you spend a few hours debating what card justifies what, whereas in many other RPGs, you'd be well into the adventure by that point.

Original Post By WarlockLord on Enworld:
This mentality needs to die

This. This is videogame logic, the logic that won't let you get past the Ragecandybar man despite the fact that you have 2 dragons and a ghost in your pocket. Tvtropes. Why is this considered good? And would you want your DM to do it?

Quote from another poster, and my response:

Originally Posted by nedjer View Post
WTF? Did I just watch someone spend about a month not opening a door. Wasn't even an interesting door. I assume the guy who left the table popped out to hang himself.

Was playing rules light with a kid last night. In almost the same amount of time as that video she knocked out a couple of goblins, then wounded, healed and befriended a timber wolf, duelled with a goblin shaman, interrogated another goblin who told her to drink from a fountain. Didn't drink from the poisoned fountain but evaporated some of the water to form a blade venom and . . .
Bingo - and that's the problem I'm finding the more and more I run 4e. It becomes about "but I have a card that does this" rather than, "Wouldn't it be cool if I tried this action that's vaguely justified by this elaborate game of pretend we play?"

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