Tuesday, June 17, 2008

4e: first time playing

Last night was our regularly-scheduled Morrow Project Game, but George was out of town. Instead of forging ahead and then trying to reintegrate George to the ongoing game (which he doesn't make easy), we decided to give 4e a spin. There were only three of us, so it wasn't going to be a full-fledged group or anything, but it was a learning experience nonetheless.

I made a human ranger, Garant, who dual wielded hand axes. This synergized nicely, because many of the ranger powers work with either melee weapons or ranged weapons. It gave me a lot of options in combat.

JT made a Dragonborn fighter named Crimson Somethingorother. I was jealous of his Reliable powers that weren't expended on a miss.

Character creation thoughts:
  • I spent a lot of time moving back and forth between sections during character creation. It didn't seem as newbie-friendly to me as people make it out to be.
  • A good summary of character creation on a two-page spread would have been nice.
  • A list of the at-wills that everyone has (basic attack, second wind, grab, etc.) in one place would have made some sense.
  • Tough decisions: There were a whole pile of feats and powers that I couldn't take that I really wanted to - I'm glad I picked a human. The extra feat and at-will are nice
We played through a single encounter - a zombie attack on a tavern. The opponents included 8 level 3 zombie minions and two level 2 zombies. The combat opened with Crimson using his breath weapon (taking out 2 minions). Mostly, Crimson stood in the doorway killing zobies that tried to get in, while Garant killed zombies coming in through the windows. Toward the end, I ran outside and killed some zombies with hit and run tactics.

Play thoughts:
  • The economy of actions is a bit odd and may take some getting used to - on paper it looks more flexible than 3e, but it felt a bit more restrictive. I felt like I was spending a lot of time drawing weapons or pulling axes out of walls (or zombie foreheads). The Quickdraw feat would help with this, but... as I said... there were a lot of appropriate feats to take.
  • The ranger was much more effective when he could maneuver. We started out in a relatively cramped tavern. The hit and run at-will combined with the flexibility of having effective melee and ranged attacks was really nich.
  • I felt like I had a bunch of options. Part of this was having 3 at-will class powers which could each be used either ranged or in melee. I wonder how a build that wasn't built for versatility would feel.
  • I didn't end up using either my encounter or daily power. That's OK.
  • I was a bit worried about 'wasting' an encounter or daily on a minion. I think my generally-recommended house rule will be that if you use an encounter or daily on a single minion and a basic attack would have sufficed to kill that minion, then the power isn't expended.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience.

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