Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I weep for the newbs

One of the people in my group from this year's Cthulhu/Pendragon group is in his mid-20s and came to RPGs via Fourth Edition D&D. Although he is hardly a 4e partisan, it's his "home" system and he has his own 4e group that he runs weekly games for; I don't know any details about his group other than they're fairly into 4e as well.

So this is one of his latest tweets:
Apparently suddenly implementing secret doors in my campaign is infuriating. Need to do stuff like this more often. #dmwoes
This is what it's come to for the latest generation of D&D players? Secret doors are somehow considered "Evil DM tricks"?

I tried Fourth Edition. It wasn't for me, but I ultimately decided I didn't want to engage in any edition wars and just sort of let my reservations about the game's current iteration lie. But when I see stuff like that, I'm reminded of why 4e drove so many older gamers into the arms of the OSR; it just seems to operate in a completely different universe. One where secret doors aren't assumed, but added as a nasty trick. I mean, to me D&D and secret doors go together like chocolate and peanut butter, but a Google search seems to confirm that they're vanishingly rare in 4e; the top two results deal with secret doors in Third Edition, most of the other links on the first page deal with secret doors in old school D&D, and the few 4e-specific links are all about "how to do it" in that edition. Most tellingly, another link is to a forum question asking "what's the point of secret doors?" Fourth Edition isn't just another flavor of D&D; it's mutating the system on a molecular level. I weep.

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