Rant: 3rd Ed D&D vs 4th Ed D&D

Ok so this is one of those times where the term “One Angry Gamer” will actually apply, because I am pissed off and over it. This rant is really springing from a small part of a conversation with a friend of mine this morning. If you read this girl, I am sorry but you just pushed me over the edge.

Basically I am referring to the divide that is apparent between 4th Edition D&D Players and 3rd Ed players. Basically the D&D community was split back when 4th Ed came out, and has not recovered. You have people on both sides of the fence bad mouthing the other game, stating various insults. Most of the insults I see however are from 3rd Ed players in regards to 4th Ed. Some of my personal favorites include:

“If I wanted to play WoW I would”
“D&D is not a video game and shouldn’t be like one!”
“4th Ed is too easy and its players are stupid and can’t take a challenge!”

Those are my personal favorites, but there are plenty others. So, to those 3rd Ed Diehards I have this to say:


I am sick of it! 4th Ed is a different game, and me, personally? I prefer it! As a DM and a player, I prefer 4th Ed. And here is why! The game firstly for me is more fun. Simple as that. No longer do I feel punished for playing a 1st level character. NO longer do I feel, if I play a spellcaster, useless at levels lower then 10. I can play what I want and generally have a good time and be effective.

As a DM the game itself is easier to plan. No more ECL and “What challenge rating is this when combined with this?!” and other such nonsense. For those who like that? Great, more power to ya! I don’t. I want to focus on crafting a great story and let the combat planning go smoothly. 4th Ed allows me this. If anyone has ever played 3rd Ed, you should know that the following usually apply:

Most people never start at 1st level. They usually start around 4th.
After about 12th level and prestige classes the spellcasters usually outclass the melee characters
Before 8th level the Melee characters outclass the spellcasters.

Now does that seem balanced? No, its really not. In 4th Ed each class has a more defined role, and you will excel in that roll unless you suck. I have been playing an Artificer, and he is doing very well in his role, that of a buffer/healer/leader. If I was playing a wizard or caster class in 3rd Ed at this level I would be able to go “Spell on the 1st turn, spell on the second turn, CROSSBOW FROM NOW ON!” Where the hell is the fun in that?! In fact, alot of people will play 3rd ed like this:

Have a fight, rest for 8 hours. Have another fight, rest another 8 hours.

Its called the 5 min workweek. Thankfully you don’t have to do that in 4th Ed. So you fuckers who love your 3rd ed cause you have to do that? GOOD JOB GUYS! YOU ARE SO REALISTIC YOU KNOW FIGHTING FOR 5 MINUTES THEM CAMPING OUT. WHOO HOO. As a DM I hated this, it made timed events and the like hard to plan, cause half the time the party would have to rest every 5 minutes and would run out of time.

Now there are a few things I admit I miss from 3rd Ed, and that is primarily the Skills. However, at the same time there were a MILLION skills (I am exaggerating), but people only used like 10. Who the hell really used Craft or Profession? I know I didn’t and no one I played with ever did in the 4 years I played 3rd Ed. And even then, a good DM can fudge a skill check and use an ability check for it. EXAMPLE! I have a Bard in my game. There is no perform skill. However, he wanted to be able to play his music for people and wanted to actually make it a check. So, I gave him the Perform skill as a trained skill. TADA. PROBLEM SOLVED OMG I ACTUALLY MADE SOMETHING UP IN A GAME OF MAKEBELIVE!

In the end I actually don’t harbor any ill will towards those who prefer 3rd Ed. But I am sick and tired of listening to them bash 4th. Keep your damn mouths shut and play your damn game.

Or hell, go play Pathfinder. Its the new version of 3rd Ed anyway.



One thought on “Rant: 3rd Ed D&D vs 4th Ed D&D

  1. jdvhoskins

    Since I have never played 4th ed., I can neither agree nor disagree with any of the opinions expressed here. My only objection to 4th ed. is that I have no desire whatsoever of purchasing new books.Also, I hate to burst your bubble; but, you did play with at least 2 people who used craft and/or profession.Remora: Prfession – CartographyEthan: Craft – Bow MakingSylara: Craft – Arrow Making


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