March 10th, 2009

runechild (Arcana Evolved)

(no subject)

!Disclaimer: I do not want a holywar and I don't think that I hold an absolute truth. On the contrary, I want to get a clearer picture and to hear meaningful opinions and ideas. I want to improve my vision of D&D 4th edition.

Ok, the thing is: I'm trying to understand the D&D4. From reading, playing (although the group wasn't great) and attempting to houserule it, I got a horrible impression. I fix my expectations to positive again and try again, but still unsuccessfully. This paradox (so many reasonable, RPG-loving people play it and have fun, and I can't!) drives me crazy. I must be wrong, but I don't see where.

This horrible (wrong, I guess) impression is: only real distinction with a boardgame (a wargame) is that you have a character that you constructed and control throughout the scenario. The combat is abstract and assumed to be main part of the game (minis are necessary), and out-of-combat situations are mostly role-played with least system support. I can get the same effect if I attach between-duels role-playing to M:tG (which I do sometimes). And the character generation seems to be so limiting that I couldn't construct most of concepts I wanted - also a videogame/boardgame quality.

Now, I love squad-tactics RPGs (although the class powers strike me boring no matter how I look at them; no success in houseruling them either). I love diceless role-playing. I like all kinds of gameplay, that's my thing. I should have understood and get to like D&D4 as others do.

Summing this up, I have two issues (these are really questions, not blame):
1. What makes the new edition an RPG, as comfirmed by huge D&D audience? They must know a good gamist RPG when they see it. They couldn't have mistaken a boardgame for an RPG. I'm overlooking something...
2. How can I use/houserule it to make it interesting to me? I want characters to be incarnations of the concept, not just a combat function. It seems that narrativists have no problem with that one either.

Well, and third: is there an RPG with 4E feel, but without these limitations? Maybe I should just play it, if there is.

Advice for my first game

Hi! I've been role-playing for about five years now - I started with LARPs, went to tabletop, and then others from there. I was an actor before then, and I've been a writer for over ten years. I have just now, though, decided to start my own game. I'm nervous about it, so I'm running it as a forum based RPG until I get the hang of it - I have pipe dreams of one day turning it into a LARP, but thats not for a long time.

I'd love advice though. Its a modern-day RPG set in Concord, MA. Its a supernatural setting, something similar to World of Darkness or Midnight. The theme of the game is set in truth; learning, discovering, and twisting the truth. I'm trying to walk a line between supernatural and real life; there is a fiction/fantasy aspect to it, but for the most part the magic, legends and myths in the game are things I'm taking from real life. Magic isn't like Hollywood, its more like paganism and modern day witchcraft. There are supernatural plots, mundane plots, and some that combine the two.

Like I said, I'm nervous. I've never run a game before, so anyone who has any words of advice for me, I'd greatly welcome them. Tips and ideas for dealing with players, creating plot, keeping things balanced - whatever you got, I'm willing to hear. Thanks so much for anyone's help in advance!

~ Angela