4E minatures has tutorials that are fun…4E players handbook has book keeping?

Over at tenletter, they brought up the idea of tutorials in play, which made me think this…

I bought the 4E players handbook – could not get it. It was like reading programming code (which the author hadn’t commented, either). I flipped back to 3.5 and noticed how the first thing the combat chapter does is describe how to do an attack. Ie, something that’s a bit fun. While 4E gets right into initiative, and when to do regen (which no one would have), full turns, half turns…god, they tried to make it more like a video game and yet they made it super book keeping session!

In contrast, I picked up the D&D minatures game starter set. It does have a tutorial – it sets up a fight between one snakeman and one sellsword, basic attacks only. In a few minutes I was hacking (da fun of de hackingz!). It even had a second tutorial – multiple figures attacking (still only basic attacks to keep it simple). Fun – I got to play a green dragon! ROAR!!!

Why they did that with their bloody miniatures line but not with their roleplay line, I dunno.

I’d actually had fun in the first five minutes – to me, that makes it worth perusing the rest of the rules it presents, because the product has shown some worth already. But the 4E players handbook – I’m supposed to digest all that text, for however long it takes, merely on the chance of fun? I’m tired of hoping for fun. And certainly that lots of other people talk avidly about it doesn’t change to from a chance of fun to a certainty. Too many people have different tastes entirely.

Just amazed the miniatures line had tutorials, but 4E didn’t. Keep on the shadowfell isn’t a tutorial – it’s a separate purchase you’d make because either the main book produced some fun for you, or it didn’t and you buy KOTS merely on the hope that it’ll be ‘fun this time, guys!’.

I don’t think that’s a false dichotomy, is it? Either the main book was fun already (then fair enough to buy an expansion), or it wasn’t fun and your just buying expansions in the hope of ‘fun this time’.

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5 thoughts on “4E minatures has tutorials that are fun…4E players handbook has book keeping?

  1. A very valid point. I must confess, I did not notice this in the PHB, as I initially scanned the combat chapter just looking for differences to 3.x rather than giving it a proper read through.

    Perhaps this was a WotC marketing decision. Maybe their target demographics for minis and the RP differs substantially enough (cos RPers are smarter than wargamers :p). However, WotC is releasing a RP starter kit this month. Perhaps the answer lies therein. I’m not gonna buy it to find out though.

  2. I have DMed many 3.0 and 3.5 games but since 4e has come out, I have lost my group so I have not looked into what it takes to DM a game of 4e. Character creation in the PHB seems simple enough but as for how combat works… Perhaps I will give it a look and post my thoughts.

  3. i’m one of those players….you know the one that has everyone else explain what you can do in your combat turn, so i must confess i didn’t notice what you’re talking about 🙂 oh in my defense i do make an effort to learn the rules as they apply to my character – cos i’m one of those players again, the carbon copy class, well not quite carbon copy i try to get it to work differently…………….ok sorry this doesn’t seem related to your post that much, but i figure you comment on ours soooo often that i should pop over here 🙂

  4. Welcome to the blog 🙂

    WOTC released a couple of games for 3rd edition called the ‘basic D&D game’. I thought they were good, and they had tutorial like elements. Given that history, the RP starter kit might be similar.

    As to whether I’d buy it just so I can actually use the 4E PHB, nah. It’d have to draw me on it’s own merits. The basic D&D games did – they had mini’s for a start. Even if you can’t get into the rules, atleast you have some mini’s to decorate the home, gaze upon to inspire imagination, or, of course, bash against each other in mortal combat!!!!!1!

    I have to say with combat, I would want to run it as the product directs. I don’t want to make up my own version based on a vague understanding. Even if I made up something from my vague understanding that was awesome, what I made up would be awesome, rather than finding out if 4E is awesome, average, bad, whatever.

  5. Peasantbutcher,

    Well, gotta post somewhere – posting comments to my own threads doesn’t quite have that zing, ya know!? 🙂

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