Mixed Messages

Ah, me.

The more I read about 4e, the less I think I’m going to like it. Maybe I should stop reading :) It’s a shame, as I want to like it, and there’s certainly stuff about it that I think is very good indeed. I keep swinging between finding stuff I think rocks about 4e, then reading up about things that are just plain wrong.

Overall though, the whole things comes across as too darned over-engineered. I don’t want every frickin’ monster to have a whole new set of rules. I don’t want exception-based rules at all, for that matter. That’s just an excuse for an inellegant system. From a design perspective, when exceptions are the norm, the system is broken.

I’ve been reading through The Alexandrian‘s excellent analysis of Shadowfell, and wholeheartedly applaud his depth. I’ve skimmed the scenario and thought it a reasonable, if lightweight affair. He’s taken it apart piece by piece to show just how broken both it and the underlying rules system really is. His coverage of traps is particularly enlightening. Traps that act in Initiative order?! How’s that supposed to work? Traps should be reactive, always. Sorry, 4e. That’s just wrong.

Meanwhile, Trollsmyth points us to this post from Naxxul which leaves me in a weeping heap about the contents of the 4e Monster Manual. Few descriptions? 15th level Drow? Uhhhh please God no let this madness stop!!

Why oh why can’t games designers just fix things that are broken, then stop. Time for me to take a closer look at the Pathfinder RPG again and keep on praying for Mutants & Masterminds Fantasy.


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