How 4e Loses Its Biggest Fans

There’s a good post by Clark Peterson of Necromancer Games on ENWorld where he explains how he got converted from the “biggest non-WotC cheerleader of 4e” to saying “bah” and now planning to support Pathfinder.

WotC has perfected the art of screwing things up with this edition.  Hopefully all of Mearls’ Legends & Lore columns asking people about how they really like to play (hint: not the 4e way, is the general tenor of the responses) will culminate in a better D&D 5e sooner rather than later. And perhaps whoever is in WotC legal (and marketing, and product planning) will get tied to some railroad tracks.

10 responses to “How 4e Loses Its Biggest Fans

  1. At this point, having drunk deeply of the Pathfinder Kool-aid, I have no desire to see WOTC improve anything with 5e. I quite enjoy watching it flounder and want nothing more than to see it fail so I can dance upon its grave. Yes, I know that’s petty, but back in 2008 they all but personally told me to fuck off, that I wasn’t important to them, and I feel businesses should be punished for alienating their fans, allies, and customers.

    • I have to agree on the schadenfreude. I too take a certain glee in seeing them fuck it up even more. They told us we were wrong, the D&D we had played was bad and the way we played wasn’t right, we’re not the right kind of customer, we should be happy when they abandon openness, bury previous edition PDFs, cease-and-desist people… Suck it, WotC. Hasbro can shut you down and just license the D&D “brand” to Nintendo DS games from now on for all I care.

    • I feel exactly the same way. If it were just that the game was now so radically different, I could respect it even if I personally didn’t care for it. But WotC, as a company, has made dick move after dick move after dick move to the point where I now, as a former customer, feel a great deal of ill will towards them.

  2. I think the internet has made WotC’s role in the world of D&D as we know it irrelevant. Paizo is steaming along with Pathfinder and that is probably what has WotC on the defensive. The OSR continues to put out product on a smaller scale. The thing is, 4E appears to be losing ground to its older relatives. I’m not sure that WotC can realistically think that they can recapture this. Given the muscles of Hasbro behind them, what they should really do is take D&D off of the table and into the internet, be it virtual tables, computer games, what have you.

    I honestly believe that D&D as a brand needs to die so its clones can live.

  3. Heh. With a bookcase filled with 2nd Edition, I read this and smile. The old stuff still does the trick on alternate Friday games. And I still get a kick out of reading through Al Qadim.


  4. My favorite part of Mearls’ columns is, shortly after publishing poll results where most people have never played Basic, 1st or 2nd Edition AD&D, 8 of the top 10 modules are B/X or 1st Edition AD&D modules. But there’s no problem with that…

  5. @ The Badger King
    I noticed that as well.

  6. Well, a few of those modules were remade in other editions, such as Tomb of Horrors and Ravenloft, which could have impacted the voting. But it does also point to the noticeable lack of quality modules from 3E and 4E. I’m not a big fan of running encounter-based modules myself – I’m a “big story” guy. Just my opinion, but the format for many 3E and 4E modules also felt to me like it had a lot of wasted space.

    Certainly the main reason I chose to start playing PF was because I had a lot of confidence in Paizo’s adventure paths. And I started running their adventure paths after reading the ‘Curse of the Crimson Throne’ session summaries on this website, so mxyzplk is partially responsible for that decision 🙂

    • I totally hear you, I am definitely a “Big Story” guy as well, as are the rest of my group and friends. That if definitely something that Paizo has done with Pathfinder… it’s a total nod to Living Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms, and so many more… it allows the players to immerse themselves in a living world.

      With the “newer” audiences out there that play these instant-gratification mmorpgs, they lose the epic tale that can unravel around them. Like you say, they are just jumping from encounter to encounter without really knowing why. I mean sure, there might be a goal at the end (rescue the princess, uncover the lost Artifact of Kalshus, stop the orcs from razing the town), but unless that is part of an actual story, who cares?

      I am the co-writer for The Torn World, and we have all of our stuff in the 3.5 OGL and have fully embraced the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system because it focuses on a story, focuses on a world, focuses on the characters and the players that play them. Because really, that is that roleplaying is all about!

    • I always thought Paizo’s Dungeon but out the only good modules for 3.5e. They were so good that when you looked at WoTC’s modules you would throw them down in disgust. This is the reason I believe that WotC kicked Paizo to the curb; they made them look bad and they were taking “their” money.
      Never mind that they pulled Dungeon’s ft out of the fire.
      Never mind that they turned Adventure Paths into something that everyone was dying to play.
      Never mind that they could find new talent that turned into some of the best authors out there.

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