At long last, I have played 4th edition. Actually, it was a preview module with one sheet of rules. Not quite the real thing, but it will have to do until June.
While not the cheerleader that Haaldaar is, I was cautiously optimistic. These are just a few quick thoughts. I will do a more thorough response after I play the real thing in June. This review is very combat oriented, since the preview modules are “dungeon crawls.”
Speed! Damn, combat runs really fast. The action never stops and everyone has something to do every round.
Minions are fun to kill. I quite enjoyed the inclusion of minions that are killed by a single shot. You can have a horde on the table and not blow the encounter’s CR. I like punching through them to get to the “named” bad guy that required some effort. Reminded me of a “John Wu” movie. High action quotient.
WOTC also simplified the combat and casting mechanics in a positive way. Not sure about higher levels, but the fighters no longer needed a autistic savant to calculate their attacks when using power attack. Nice.
Action points. I do not like this at all. Cannot really put it into words, it just bothered me that I had an extra action lying around. I thought it was too powerful. You can really, really do some damage if you can take that extra action.
Diagonal movement only costs 5. This was really wierd. You could reach practically the entire room in a single move. This has to go. The miniatures flew around the board like cheetah’s on crystal meth.
I do not want to go too deeply into it, since it was only a limited demo. Overall, I had fun, which is the only benchmark that matters. There are some aspects of the rules that concern me, but nothing that will make me quit playing…yet.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer