When it comes to hot topics in the tabletop gaming space, the high and low points of particular editions is probably right up there. Everyone always has a preference, quite often it’s the edition you came into the game with, other times it’s simply the edition that you’ve found fit you best. It’s a topic that seems most prevalent amongst the role playing crowd – particularly the world famous Dungeons and Dragons.

4th Edition (or 4e) was definitely a controversial edition and possible one of the biggest leaps any established tabletop game has taken in terms of fighting the status quo. Many (including me! -Ed) where not overly happy about the changes made and avoided the edition altogether, switching back to an old favourite or something new entirely.

However, did such cries have merit? Were we just having a knee jerk reaction to bold and new ideas? These are the questions that Bell of Lost Souls contributor JayArr seeks to answer in a recent editorial:

…So what is 4th Edition’s philosophy? Well it’s definitely more that the game itself should be fun to play. Everyone should have an interesting turn–characters should be about on par with each other (and to date, this Edition has dealt with the disparity between Wizards and Fighters (for example) the best.

No longer were characters bound by differing bonus tracks–the death of BaB/varying THAC0 scores was one of the greatest moves. It let them retool for balance. And while 4th Edition did not have it perfectly, by any stretch of the imagination, this idea helped bring the disparate parts of the game closer together. Being able to reliably figure out player’s attack bonuses and chances to hit meant they could better plan adventures and encounters…

JayArr – Bell of Lost Souls

The article does a great job showing the best of 4th edition, and the conclusions are hard to argue with – especially in hindsight. Looking back at old editions like this certainly has some benefits, it allows us to asses what we believe worked and can even act as a cautionary tale for the future. Sometimes, maybe we judge a new edition and it’s changes a little too harshly  and often there is a price to pay for progress (just keep your hands of my Paladin!! – Ed).

Have a read of the full article here. Let us know what you think!


Source: Bell of Lost Souls

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