Today I want to point out an excellent article by fellow blogger Zachary the First. In his post “On the 4e Edition Wars, Blogging, and Levels” he divides the various discussions about the different D&D editions into four levels. In the end he hopes that we will all reach Level 0, with rational edition choice discourse and well-reasoned discussion. I know from my own experience what can happen, when you open the can of worms and try to defend your position in the edition wars. And I fully agree with Zachary, that we should try to bury the hatchets, calm down and discuss like civilized human beings.
- D&D 1974 – Rulebook 1 Men & Magic
- D&D 1974 – Rulebook 2 Monsters Treasure
- D&D 1974 – Rulebook 3 The Underworld Wilderness Adventures
- D&D 1974 – Supplement I Greyhawk
- D&D 1974 – Supplement II Blackmoor
- D&D 1974 – Supplement III Eldritch Wizardry
- D&D 1974 – Supplement IV Gods Demigods and Heroes
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.