Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kill the Wizard Reviews the Keep

James has posted his review of 4e/Keep on the Shadowfell over at his blog, Kill the Wizard First. He gives us the good, such as:

This is the first time that the idea of hit points as tactical abstraction has ever really seemed built into the system. Partly it’s because hp totals were very swingy — something would hit for a pile of damage, then an equally large pile would be healed. Anyway, it worked.

He gives us the bad:

I can’t lie to myself any more: it plays like a videogame, and that’s that. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, and I think it will make fantastic con or beer und pretzel games. But the rules don’t seem to have much depth to them — most of the classes seemed pretty similar, with the major difference being whether you called your ranged attack “crossbow” or “magic missile”.

And he gives us the ugly:

Well, here’s an issue that will be resolved when the actual book comes out: it’s a demo adventure. It’s slightly missing things like item prices to spend your loot monies on.

All in all, I get a strong "meh" vibe from him. I'll be curious to read his thoughts when he's finally got the entire game in his hands.

3 comments:

James said...

There's a certain amount of "meh" involved. The sessions were fun, but I'm not sure if the game itself can hold my attention over the course of a campaign.

I've actually seen the books now, and have some reaction articles in the works. Some stuff is great (the art), some bugged me less than I thought it would (dragonborn are weirdly growing on me), and some is just bad (the magic item/treasure system still makes me cry blood).

trollsmyth said...

I'm getting a strong anti-campaign vibe from all of this, honestly. Especially what I've heard about the MM. Nope, still haven't seen the books, so I may be crying wolf. But I get the odd feeling that things like the treasure packets and the paragon paths or whatever they're called are supposed to be the campaign. That the campaign is meant, like the plot of a shallow but fun action flick, to be a thin thread that binds together your encounters, with all their cool tactical toys.

Yeah, I know, the campaign has always depended on the players and DM to make it happen. Don't mind me, it's early and I still haven't slept. ;p

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the books, after you've had some time to digest 'em.

- Brian

Randall said...

I haven't seen the DMG yet, but from the brief time I had with the PHB and MM yesterday, I also get the impression that a campaign is really supposed to be little more that a long string of encounters of ever-increasing difficulty. I hope to get a look at the DMG this weekend. (My friend got it in the mail today, but I will not be able to see it until this weekend sometime given our schedules.)