Why I’m Glad 4e Exists, Even Though I Don’t Use It

Photo by: Juliana Coutinho

Since the launch of the new D&D rules, I have seen a lot of talk online (and heard a lot of talk in person) about the Pros and Cons of 4e. Some people are in love with the system and are super-excited for each new book release that WotC has planned. Some would rather eat glass than try and figure out when to use their Daily Powers. I don’t use 4e for a variety of reasons, but I am ecstatic that WotC made changes to the game that I love. Let me explain.

It gets more people playing table-top RPGs

Whether you love or hate the new rules, I think it is undeniable: more people are playing D&D than ever before. The aspects of the new rules that make D&D feel more like an MMO are some of the same things that are drawing in new players. In today’s most common type of gaming (video games), players are used to having a lot of choice when it comes to how they structure their characters, they seem to want defined roles for those characters, and they want to feel like there is always something that they can do. It makes no sense to them that there might be level restrictions for certain races, or that an Elf can’t be a Druid or a Ranger (old-school reference, I know, but the point stands). The 4e rules appeal to the video game aesthetic that so many of us enjoy on our computers and consoles, and brings it to the tabletop. That makes D&D appeal to a wider based of potential players, and I will never complain about more people playing tabletop RPGs.

It’s polarizing, and all gamers have an opinion about it

Nothing makes a person work hard on something than a set of passionate feelings. For those that love 4e, the game market is beginning to see a nearly staggering array of materials for 4e. WotC is supporting the product line with 2-3 books a month, the revival of classing settings and a plethora of options for everyone who who relishes the changes that have been wrought in D&D. When people love something, they spend money on it, they talk about it, and they get more people to play and that… well, see my first point.

If you’re part of the group who can’t stand the new changes, then you rant and rave against them. You talk negatively the new product and when you find a different product that you like more, you spend money on it, talk about it, and you get more people to play and that… wait, see what I did there? Maybe you even go out and design your own game system and a whole bunch of new players come to the hobby. If that happens because you were motivated by your dislike of 4e, then take a moment and thank WotC for giving you a push.

No matter what side of the “4e argument” a gamer comes down on, most of us feel very strongly about the game system we like the most. If that causes us to support Pathfinder, Palladium, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, Storyteller, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, or the new 4e, what really matters, what is the most important thing is that people are playing RPGs. I am sure that I speak for many gamers when I say that, for a good long while, I hesitated when people asked what I was doing on Saturday night and the answer was D&D. Now, not so much. More people are playing than ever before, and the broad spread of 4e has helped that. No matter what system is being used, I call that a good thing.

[tags]Dungeons and Dragons, geek, geeks, Role Playing Games, rpg[/tags]

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