I should say, right off the bat, that this post is a rant about Dungeons and Dragons… if you are not a serious geek you probably won’t understand a word of it. If you are, and you play 4th edition, you probably won’t like it.
My gaming group has started playing 4th edition, or as I refer to it “The retarded step child of Dungeons and Dragons”. I still play with this group, because I like them and I don’t hang out with them outside of gaming lately (life is way too busy for me at the moment). I have actually considered quitting however, because I hate 4th edition with a passion.
Why? Because it is impossible to forget for even a moment that you are playing a game with 4th edition. The rules often have no rationale other than that they make gameplay smoother, they make the players live longer. Healing surges. You get bloodies and worn down, but you can trigger a healing surge and get better right away. Not all the way better, but a lot better. You can do this a bunch of times a day. Action points. You can randomly (at least once a day in game) decide to be faster and pull off an extra attack simply because you want to. It is video game crap and it bugs me, because I want a world that I can be immersed in. I have no problem imagining myself as someone else, but someone who (along with every other adventurer) can suddenly move faster, doing twice as much in one six second span? It strains my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.
They took out most of the harsh, most of the violent, and most of the real, when they moved Dungeons and Dragons to 4th edition. What they gave us was a system that was designed to make people not feel left out, to make sure that every character could be effective in every encounter, that the thief dealt out as much damage as the fighter, that the wizard could take damage as well as the armoured knight (or close enough to make no appreciable difference).
In the end, I will stay with the group (again because they are my friends) and I will wish that my hobby had not been taken over by horrible people that think we should all get a medal, just for participating.