Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Future Return to 4th Edition D&D

It actually hasn't happened yet, but I'm looking forward to it. My group hasn't played 4E in months, partially because of my D20 Modern campaign (Spectrum Shock) and partially because we've been playing a ton of Warhammer 40K lately.

Even though I was a player in the last campaign as well, I've got a feeling that this one will last longer if we ever get it going for one reason: Matt is planning on using published adventures. What does that mean? It means that he has a lot less work to do on the front end, so burnout and/or busy schedules won't be as much of an issue. It also means that the "What should happen next?" dilemma that I sometimes get myself stuck in probably won't be an issue either.

Most importantly, though, this means that I won't be the DM for awhile. It feels good to pass on the reins. I've been DMing since 6th grade with very few opportunities to experience the other side of the screen. But honestly, if someone hadn't shown some interest in DMing, we would likely have given up RPGs altogether until work slows down some for me. While I might have time to work on campaigns a little here and there, I certainly don't have the time to keep a respectable campaign running right now. As I said about a month ago, RPGs are just harder to set up and organize than card games and war games.

So where does this leave me? With plenty of time before the campaign begins to figure out what type of character I want to play. Normally, I'm the "I'll play whatever role the party needs" guy. I fill that role for quite a few reasons, but chief among them is that I always have a tough time choosing between a bunch of different character types that I want to try out. Perhaps it's because I usually DM and get to play whatever I want whenever I want (albeit always on a temporary basis). In any case, waiting to see what everybody else is playing tends to trim down my list.

I don't want to be that guy this time. I'm going to be a little more selfish this time and choose first. It's not like my brother is going to make a character before the day of the campaign anyway...

So, knowing that Matt has a new campaign is in the works, I downloaded the latest Character Builder update and looked over the new options. Just clicking through the first few sets of options (race and class), I generated this list of ideas:
  • an eladrin swordmage/wizard (an outcast githyanki would be cool, but probably too "out there" for our group)
  • an update of Talon Ebonblade, a half-elf ranger with delusions of grandeur (thinks he's got half-shadow dragon heritage)
  • a dwarf leader of some sort (probably cleric/invoker)
  • a roguish drow follower of Vhaeraun that will likely be some multiclass and/or hybrid combination of cleric, rogue, and avenger
I'm going to try hard not to be a GM Gone Bad Powergamer, but optimization is just part of my personality. I certainly don't intend to pick skills and things without a story-related reason. However, I am guilty of refusing to play a character whose racial bonuses don't compliment his class, and I like to multiclass a lot more than most DMs are comfortable with. Because I encourage the players to optimize when I'm running the game, I doubt Matt will even notice a difference when I optimize a little for his. We shall see...
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