So far I've gotten 3 Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition sessions under my belt. All three times have been a pretty fun experience. Having played the game so much in just a month's time under different circumstances each time, it's safe to say that I can start seeing the ins and outs, ups and downs of the new system.
Though I did not play much of the older edition, I have been fascinated with Dungeons and Dragons since I could flip through a Monster Manual. I was super excited when my dad got me my own set of 3.5 core rulebooks around middle school and they still remain in pretty good condition.
At first, I was shocked to find that Wizards of the Coast had not included my beloved Druid in the first Player's Handbook nor the ranger's pet, but was appeased when I found them in later sourcebooks. Other than that, the way the game was streamlined made it like it would help the flow of the game. Still, combat in 4th edition seems to be oddly long even though I haven't run many encounters with other editions. Because of this, whenever anyone asks me what character they should pick, I usually tell them to pick a striker class. Having characters that do a decent amount of damage could help speed up the game. Another thing I noticed that my group and I usually did was that we attacked what ever was closest to us instead of targeting a single, powerful target. Instead of concentrating the damage, it was spread out and divided among the weaker enemies that ran up to us. Knowing your spells beforehand also tends to move things along. It also helps if you want to plot against the main enemy and play off each other's attacks.
Despite the length of the combat encounters, I had fun with eveyone I played with. My first time playing during DnD Gameday with my dad and brother was enjoyable even though nobody exactly knew what to do. That was more due to the fact that the game started us with 11th level characters so we didn't know the strengths, weakenesses and tricks up our characters' sleeves. The combat took up the most time. The second time, I invited my friend and my boyfriend over to play with my sister, brother, dad and I. Once again, combat dragged on but we still managed to get a good laugh out of eveything that happened ("I use fire breath and...HIT NOTHING?! But I'm in the middle of a mob of goblins!" "I don't know, that looks like a roll of 1 to me...Epic fail."). The last game I played with some friends from my library. Warning, do not do this or else you will only get through one round of combat. Some people were new to 4th edition and took a while to find out the class they wanted or had the sheet for wasn't in the PH1 which was the only player's handbook the library had. It could also be that we went on every tangent possible that strayed away from DnD. Despite only making it past the door, that game was one of the funnest and I look forward to playing with both groups again.
So class, what did we learn?
-Strikers are very valuable in combat
-Concentrate damage on the biggest/most important target
-Collaborate (or at least do some devious plotting)
-Know your spells and abilities ahead of time
-Make sure you have your character made ahead of time or at least have everything needed for your character
Having lucky dice never hurt anyone either.
"Wait, so you said we have unlimited free actions? Well, then, I use a free action to inhale. Now I use a free action to exhale. And I use another free action to inhale..."