Wednesday, February 03, 2010

4e DM-free

When I was paging through the original 4e core books, I couldn't help but think how there was a strong possibility that you could play the game with some well-crafted random charts and no DM. Oddysey recently pointed out to me that there's a section about that very thing in the back of the DMG.

And apparently WotC is seriously pursuing that idea.

If you follow the Amazon link, the cover they show bills it as a "board game" and not an adventure for 4e, so it my be an extremely watered-down version of the core rules, simplified into a Hero Quest type configurable board game. And it looks like the "interlocking dungeon tiles" are flat, so not the 3-D pre-painted terrain I'm predicting will herald the final vanishing of the virtual tabletop.


Dennis Laffey said...

Why does that not surprise me? It seems like the direction WotC has taken D&D since 2000 has been to sew fear and mistrust of DMs.

Part of my recent group's problems getting a decent weekend game going was due to the idea by a few players that the DM was "against them" and wouldn't let them "play their role."

I've got nothing against getting into character and trying to think the way that character would, act that way, use funny voices, whatever. But the idea seemed to be that D&D should be played akin to some Forge creation with 'narrative control' so that nothing bad can happen unless the players say it's okay.

Welcome, DM-less D&D! Nothing bad will happen to your PC in the quest to level up so you can fight more and bigger bad monsters that can't harm your PC.

In other words, I'm not surprised, and I'm a little saddened.

Korgoth said...

According to their podcast from D&D XP, it is just a board game like FFG's Descent... except it's cooperative. The rules are based on 4E, but it's not meant to interface with the role playing game. Just a board game, which they devised because they were sitting around at a cookout but had no time to play D&D, but wanted to play something D&D-ish.

trollsmyth said...

Korgoth: That both sounds potentially cool (a new version of the old Dungeon board game) and disappointing (as I think a form of DM-less play would be intriguing to see for 4e). Thanks for the heads-up.

JB said...

Both I and my brother used the DMG solo rules back in the day. They're quite effective, though game play wasn't nearly as satisfying. IMO

Anonymous said...

If you don't have a GM and want to have some fun, try PVP fights with your miniatures and any edition of the DnD rules. Make up some interesting terrain, split into two groups, with some victory conditions for each side (like "steal the treasure" for one team and "stop them from stealing the treasure" for the other) and have at it. As long as the players know the rules this is no different than any other un-moderated miniatures game.

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