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Gaming, posted by Derek

So, thanks to D&D Encounters (which I think it a brilliant idea – short 1.5 to 2 hour bursts of gaming that anyone can join), I gamed for the first time in a couple years (which surprised me to realize).

It was at a game store in Madison.  I was reminded that game store employees are assholes.  I waited in line for 7 minutes to buy a thing of dice for $9 while someone did a huge preorder, and the guy tried to find it all, etc.  When I called later to find out who had run the game, he just said “I can’t keep track of the people” and was done.


It was an old school game store.  As in signs on the wall that said “Stench is only for Troglodytes” and “If your clothes or hygiene offend patrons, we may ask you to leave.  Hygiene counts!”  And two dudes playing Warhammer with beards down over their bellies.

It was kinda funny, really.

This was my first game of 4e.  I have to say DAMN, they did a good job.  I read the quick start rules, and a pregen character from one of my friends (who should post here, but doesn’t).  That was really all I needed.  It was *very* odd being the guy asking questions about the rules, but the other players were nice, and the basic rules are pretty simple.

I have to say, I’m really impressed with 4e.  I was really skeptical when I was watching it come out, but it’s really well done.  We were all first level, but no one felt like they had to cower in the corner.  Everyone had interesting things to do all the time, and the daily/encounter/at will breakdown was really interesting.  We were very synergistic even without any preplanning (my character is a Warden – having an ability to grant everyone combat advantage made me extremely popular).   We had to look up a sum total of one rule, and it wasn’t even very important (how far you can jump with an athletics roll).  At first level, I felt like I had a character, not a potential.  And there were plenty of things for me to decide on at the beginning, rather than needing 5-10 levels to get it going.

The Encounters system is good too.  I came in, sat down, and got 2 minutes of “Here’s where we are, here’s what’s in front of us.”  Then we jumped in.  There was a minor (very ) minor puzzle, because they’d solved it last encounter.  There was a challenge room where we spent 10 minutes investigating, making decisions, and doing things.  Then there was a big fight with a nasty monster where I got a beatdown, and then we gave a beatdown.  I left feeling very satisfied.

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