Some 4E myths

There’s a war going on the internet. In blogs, forums, chats etc. players all over the world are entrenched in their positions and untiringly attacking their enemies. The fight is about what edition of D&D is the best. Especially the 3E advocates are using several arguments to attack the 4th Edition of D&D that obviously come from the lands of myths and fairy tales. And no, I don’t want to tell you that 4E is better than any other version of D&D but I try to bring some rationality into the discussion.

  • D&D 4th Edition makes it harder to roleplay your character
    That’s a common argument against the new edition and it’s the most silly one. No game can actively hinder you from player your character. Heck, back in the days, we even roleplayed games like Diplomacy. You don’t need a special set of rules for doing roleplaying.
  • The 4th Edition is just not D&D anymore
    That’s a harder nut to crack. If D&D it’s all about the rules for you, then this is probably true, but I always thought D&D was about dungeons, dragons, brave heroes, swords, sorcery, epic adventures and things like that. And you still can run adventures in the 4th Edition that are about all that and even more. The latest edition also brings back the epic destinies, something that harkens back to the earliest editions.
  • You can’t play 4E without miniatures
    If you were able to play D&D 3.0 or 3.5 without the use of minatures you should be able to pull this off in 4th edition too. Some classes (like the Warlord) for example benefit from using some kind of combat map, but you are not forced to use miniatures. I played in several D&D sessions and we never used aminiatures. 
  • [Enter class name here] is missing from the PHB, it’s not D&D anymore
    Remember the first D&D? No? Then let me tell you that the first D&D had only three classes: Cleric, fighting man and magic-user. When the above is true, the original D&D is no “real D&D” either since classes like the thief, druid, barbarian, paladin etc. are missing. And there’s another point: the “missing” classes will come back in the coming Players Handbook 2. And the barbarian was already released for playtesting.
  • D&D plays just like WoW now
    So you probably never played 4th Edition or World of Warcraft before, when you think this is true. At first it’s obviously the other way around: WoW and other fantasy MMORPGs were inspired by pen&paper and single-player computer RPGs. And even if there were some similarities in the game mechanics, the gameplay is (or at least should be) vastly different. And if it’s not you have a very unimaginative DM. 
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to force you to switch to D&D 4E. Just play the game you enjoy playing. If you don’t like 4th Edition, don’t use it. The earlier editions of D&D are great games and especially for D&D 3.5 the third-party support is still strong. But there are a lot of misconceptions about 4E floating around on the internet and I wanted to help clearing some things up. Comments are as always welcome, so please let your voices be heard!


UPDATE: I’ve noticed that someone rated this article 1 star without commenting. If you think I am wrong, it would be great if you could give me some hint what you don’t dislike about the post. Is my logic flawed? Is the writing bad? Please use the comment function of the blog.
UPDATE #2: Wow, I think I really opened a can of worms here. This obviously is still a very hot topic and the discussion in the comments is starting to get heated. What astounds me the most is the hate that some people bring down on D&D 4E, people who actually like it and the people at Wizards. Please don’t forget, it’s just a game!