Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 – The Day that Music Died

A few weeks ago, I got my Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 Player’s Handbook (PHB for short).

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really looking forward to 4.0.

We’ve been playing with 3.5 for a while now and I managed to get over the frustrations of moving to 3.0 from ADnD and the griping agony of switching to 3.5 what felt mere moments after having purchased 3.0 books.

While the bulk of my frustrations with 3.0 was simply due to my comfort with ADnD (and the nice few books I had), I appreciated it from a game designer’s point of view. Not that I’m a professional game designer, but I love game design and am a professional software designer (which basically means that my job consists in creating boring by very useful « games »).

My group got their hands on a few PHBs and I just couldn’t resist – my curiosity was too strong.

We haven’t played any 4.0 yet – we have a 3.5 campaign on the way and we’re still exploring the idea of switching to 4.0.

I’ve had to cast aside the pain from leaving my comfort zone – it seems that nothing in life that you really want sits within your comfort zone (otherwise you would already have it).

Once I managed to do this to some extent, I was quickly seduced by the elegant, streamlined rules and the new flavors the 4.0 brought.

The downside to converting our campaign:

  • One of our member’s race – the gnome – is gone.
  • One of our member’s class – the bard – is gone. And I’m that particular member.

Since I’ve long passed the age of throwing fits, I’ve jumped into the rather intriguing quest of finding a class that fits my character’s stats, skills and attitude while working in tandem with the rest of the group. Not to mention trying to find story elements that would justify why Quendy would drop his mandolin and strike up a pact with the fey.

I am also looking forward to introducing the new rules to my better half. I have a feeling that the simpler rules will alleviate the confusion of battle and stimulate creativity.

I’ll try and document my journey to 4.0 (and Quendy’s journey from bard to warlock) as it progresses.



5 thoughts on “Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 – The Day that Music Died

  1. Bards are gone from the core classes.. should be back in another book a bit later

    gnomes, on the other hand…. :\

  2. I heard rumors of PHB2 (and PHB3) which would bring back other classes too (I kind of miss druids, bards, monks and sorcerers).

    I’m not sure if I would prefer extra PHBs or smaller books, 1 per class.

    I remember having similar frustrations when 3.0 came out – my favorite class from ADnD got nuked: no more priests.  If I wanted to play religion, I was stuck with the cleric, which back then felt like a paladin wannabe.

    I still have my Priest’s Handbook from ADnD – once one of my most treasured DnD-related possession 🙂

    I guess they could bring back gnomes in an extra volume… but I have a feeling that they just didn’t find any specific rules to put on the gnome to justify it being an extra race.

    I guess we could home-build a gnome race… or just use the halfling template and call it « gnome »!

  3. Nah the gnome is pretty much officially a monster race now with ‘hints on how to to make it a PC playable race’ from some article on the main sites… *shrug*

  4. So, after looking it over and (possibly?) playing 4E – how in your opinion does it all stack up now? Thumbs up? down? or.. still undecided?

  5. For me, its a definitive thumbs up.

    Most people I hear complaining about the changes are people that are really used to 3.5 – and possibly invested a lot in 3.5 material. 

    To this, I say: there’s nothing wrong with that.  And the arrival of 4.0 doesn’t mean that you have to update from 3.5.  And I don’t think anyone actually really need constant updates and fresh material for 3.5 – if you love it so much that you don’t want to change it then, by all means – keep playing it 🙂

    That being said, I love 4.0 a lot.  I love the streamlined rules.  I love the simplified combat that is more tactical than in previous iterations.

    With 4.0, I managed to get my wife more involved in the game than she ever was in 3.5.  I managed to introduce the whole concept of table top RPGs and DnD within 30 minutes of explaining to a group of 5 10 year olds.

    It feels to me like a solid system.

    I’ve yet to play and explore it as extensively as I did ADnD and, to a lesser extent, 3.5.  But 4.0 is now my system of choice.

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