Player Perspective on 4E

2008 August 24
by Stupid Ranger

I realize that a lot of people have posted reviews, etc, about 4E, and that really, it’s not new news. But it was only recently that our group has actually had a chance to play a few short sessions in the new system, and I have a few thoughts to share.

A Brief Non-Disclaimer

When I say we’ve only had a few short sessions, I really mean it. I’ve played one session with only a small part of our normal group, and I played two session of Drunken D&D. Also, our Out of the Box Roleplaying session, but I was mostly a background player and I did more roleplaying than combat in that session. So, in the three-and-a-half sessions thus far, I’ve played two classes, and I am by no means an expert.

My Thoughts on Character Creation

I was extremely disappointed with my first character creation session because it just took so long to fill in my character sheet. Part of it was due to the new character sheet organization… trying to find the places to write down what I knew. Part of it was the new stuff. I did find the character creation list on page 14 of the Players Handbook to be very helpful that first time; by following it, I knew I didn’t miss anything. Fortunately, the next time I created a character (for the Out of the Box session), I was more familiar with the process, and it went a lot faster.

My Thoughts on Character Classes

I’ve only played two classes: Ranger and Warlock. I’m sure none of you are surprised by the fact that I played a Ranger first, but I have tried both ranged and melee Rangers. I didn’t notice much difference, in terms of combat. It took me awhile to get used to the Hunter’s Quarry feature, giving me the ability to mark one of my enemies for extra damage, but it quickly became on of my favorite class features. Plus, as a ranged combatant, if none of my allies were closer to my target, I got a bonus.. yay! I had a great time in my first session as a Ranger, and as I’m more familiar with ranged Rangers, it was a comfortable fit for my first 4E character. I played a melee Ranger in the Out of the Box session, but I saw little combat and haven’t really gotten a chance to try it all out yet.

The Warlock was very different for me. She was my Drunken D&D character, so everything was pre-generated and neatly detailed for me (thanks!), which was great because it would have taken me forever to get that character all together! I didn’t use all of the abilities available to me for that character, mostly because I didn’t know what all of them could do. I used the Eldrich Blast a lot, as it was a pretty easy-to-understand attack. Also, the ability to curse an enemy (similar to Hunter’s Quarry) was pretty fun, especially as you get to curse more than one enemy at once, contrary to the Hunter’s Quarry, which is only effective against one enemy. I will definitely try a Warlock again because it was a fun class to play.

Both of my class experiences so far have been with classes that can mark an enemy. As a player, because it can be confusing after a few rounds of combat, I recommend having some system prepared for keeping track of who is marked. In my first session with my Ranger, we encountered small groups of enemies, so it was pretty easy to keep track, especially as the Ranger only marks one at a time. For my Warlock, it got to be a little more confusing once I had more than one marked. We placed d6’s on the minis for the first session; for the second session, we used the Magnetic Markers from Alea Tools. It doesn’t really matter what method you use: write it down in your notes, place Life Savers over the heads of your victims, make fashionable sashes out of pipe cleaners. Anything will do, just be prepared.

Overall, I have a great time with 4E thus far, and I am looking forward to continuing the adventures with my ranged Ranger.

One Response leave one →
  1. YAX permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Character creation in 4e takes a long time when you’re just getting started with the game.

    Think generating a wizard in previous editions if you had never read a single spell – or if you just plain didn’t know the rules.

    It takes (a loT of) time and it gets quicker with experience.

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