Thoughts on 4th Edition D&D and the Polychotomy
i’ve just got the books, and have only barely started reading through them. as i do, i’ll be putting up notes about the idea of running a 4th edition campaign in this setting. from go, i’ve got a few observations:
- the polychotomy has always been about ridiculous levels of diversity – that’s built into the setting from the ground up. at the moment, 4th edition feels rather, well, small. there are only eight classes, and eight races (plus a few more only partly developed in the monster manual). at this point, playing certain phyles (Green Way, anyone?) would be tough. with time (and the release of subsequent volumes of the PHb) this will, of course, be ameliorated.
- the tighter integration of a default setting to the core rules raises a few issues. for example, it hews fairly closely to the standard d&d approach to religion, which the polychotomy doesn’t. it has a default cosmology that’s fairly closely tied to a number of monsters. are these going to be serious problems, or are they flavour that can be filed off? i’m not yet sure.
- the epic destiny concept may be tough to incorporate. at least, an epic destiny that turns you into a demigod likely won’t work. i think.
the revised critical rules aren’t obviously/easily compatible with our house rule for Open ended d20son further reading, the rules work together just fine. to score a crit in 4e, you have to roll a natural 20 (or 19-20, etc, with appropriate feats) and end up with a modified roll that genuinely hits the target’s AC. in terms of our open-ended rules, that amounts to: you have to open-end up and hit.
- further on the religion topic, the feats that let clerics and paladins pick up religon-specific encounter powers would minimally need to be reflavoured for the polychotomy, and likely there’d need to be new ones as well. a divine power book (which i suspect will be coming out at some point) would help with that, as would some guidelines on balanced power creation
- i like the way rituals are implemented in 4ed
anyway, check back here for further ponderings.