Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another look at D&D, review and guest blogger

So last time, I went into a bit of detail about the differences between 4th Edition and 3rd/3.5 Edition of D&D.  We talked briefly about how the powers differed between the two, using the fighter as a basis.  Another big change between the two is how saving throws and stats such as Reflex work.  In 3rd/3.5 Edition, basic attacks would go against a characters AC (armor class) and things such as spells, traps, effects and the like would target a players Will, Reflex or Fortitude saving throw.  The Dungeon Master (the person running the world setting) would give the player a number, and if they could beat it by rolling the dice and adding their respective save against it. They either would negate the effect, or the effect would be lessened if they managed to roll a total equal to or higher than the DC (difficulty class) the Dungeon Master had set for them.  When dealing with AC, the DM would roll the monsters attack and if they beat the players AC, the attack would hit.  In 4th Edition, every attack hits a certain stat, be it AC or Reflex or Fortitude etc.  If the attack hits that value, then the attack will go off.  Poison attacks hit Fortitude, some ranged hit Reflex, etc.  So this means that a player has a base defense stat, and the DM has to beat it, the player does not have to roll the dice and add numbers to it.  Savings throw still exist but function differently.  An effect will hit a target; slow, poison etc, and at the end of the players turn, they roll a d20 die.  If they get a 10 or higher, the effect will end.  (Some classes get to roll twice or may get bonuses to certain rolls)  This makes combat flow smoother, and players need to worry about less numbers, which defense stat is needed to save against an effect, if it only gets halved etc or another effect goes off.

So we've talked about how powers work, a bit about combat and some basic other feature differences.  After playing with both systems for awhile, my basic conclusions are thus.  4th Edition is much more streamlined.  Numbers have been simplified enough to make combat and skills easier to flow with, without sacrificing too much of the customization people want in the game.  Meanwhile in 3rd/3.5 Edition, customization is much more prevalent, but comes with the price of having to keep track of a lot more information, depending on which books you are using, what are allowed and such.  Honestly, I enjoy both systems so far, and see myself playing both systems for awhile.

So in my last post, I mentioned I was going to review Elemental, War of Magic (by Stardock Entertainment Official site)  Due to time constraints and other life things going on, I have not had enough time to give this game a good play through, so I'm going to hold off on the review until I have some more time to play through it.  What I will mention though, is I will be having a guest blogger join the site soon.  He'll be adding articles around the same time I am, and also commenting and adding his own thoughts to what goes up here.  Until next time folks.

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