Sunday, February 14, 2010

4e Feedback

After Action Review:  How did you guys think the game went on Saturday night?  What did you think of the system?  Any comments or criticisms on the dungeonmastering?  The adventure?



Nathan McKinney said...

I stand by my suggested rule to eliminate distractions during our games.

blact - when you buck the usual thinking, and indeed go back.

Degolar said...

I like flavor text.

I missed the role-playing, of course, but I thought the mechanics worked well. For all my complaining about the changes, I can't really think of any that I thought were negative. My preference is to not be quite so heroic at first level--it made things too easy, I thought--but that's a stylistic quibble and not really a negative aspect to the game.

The DMing lacked confidence and experience, but those are the two easiest things to improve. Well done.

I'd argue that the distractions are a stylistic decision as well. It's bad when individual multitasking turns into the group's attention being diverted, no question about that. But I've never been able to sit still very well and actually focus on my immediate environment more effectively when there are multiple things going on to hold my attention. Otherwise my mind drifts off.

Hadrian said...

I've always felt that 1st level characters were annoyingly underpowered and that as a result the game was too difficult to actually be fun. You guys, though arguably more heroic than 3.5 characters, were put in real danger the other night, and not because you were out of magic missiles for the day and had to hide behind the fighter.

I agree with Nate on the game table distractions issue. I don't mind a little off topic conversation and joking, but having the TV on, in my opinion, is awful. Saturday night was a casual one-off let's play with the new system kind of game, so I didn't feel the need to insist on turning it off... that will be different once I'm running a campaign. Personally, I get overloaded with too much stimuli, cannot concentrate, and start getting really agitated and annoyed. Seriously, if subjected to too much I kind of snap and have a rage reaction-- and then have to spend a long time calming down. Not pretty, not fun.

Degolar said...

The leftover Chinese that one of you abandoned in my fridge is really quite bad.

Hadrian said...

Yes, yes it is.

Degolar said...

"But I've never been able to sit still very well and actually focus on my immediate environment more effectively when there are multiple things going on to hold my attention. Otherwise my mind drifts off."

Of course I'm happy to do what's best for the group, but since I brought it up on my prism blog* I wanted to reiterate that I'm not just being difficult and inconsiderate when I try to quietly switch on the TV or things like that. They really are my coping strategies that work for me.

*We live inside our heads.
We frequently zone out. We get lost in thought and spend much of our time inside our heads. If our immediate reality becomes boring, we will retreat into our minds, and you might have to shout our names repeatedly to get our attention so we will come out again. And no, sorry, but you can’t come into our heads with us. You wouldn’t last five minutes there. You’d be driven insane by the nonstop cacophony of overlapping voices madly free-associating from one idea to the next.

Aerin said...

I fucking loved it. In 4E even at level 1 you actually feel...HEROIC, rather than a barely competent glass figurine who can *almost* do 1 thing. TWO at will powers for your mainstays for a bit of variety at any time, an encounter power so you have some extra umph to help you make a real moment in a fight at the time of your choosing rather than the 5-10% chance of a crit, and a daily power for the 'oh shit' moment or to make yourself a 'hero'.

We didn't get into any of the opportunities, but the skill challenges are a good chance for non-combat encounters that are worth real xp instead of a random 50-100xp that most of us who have DM'd dole out randomly for this and that. Most skill classes are weaker on combat, but while their skills are put to use searching for hidden doors or jumping across a crevasse to secure a rope for the rest of the party, there really isn't any mechanic for rewarding the group for these services that are every bit as valuable as a greatsword +1. These same challenges seem like a nice framework to work skills into a bigger roleplay opportunity, because players tend to be more willing to think creatively if they know there is a mechanic for rewarding them.

As to distractions, meh. The other night was a sort of freefun night in my opinion, some laughing at the olympics while getting some D&D in and experimenting with a new system (which, by the way, seemed to be understood waaaay easier than 3rd edition for beginners)

Hadrian said...

Yeah, I didn't find the distractions to be that big of a deal in that game, since it was just a one-off. Distractions are more of a big deal in an ongoing campaign where you expect some story and character development.