To 4e or Not to 4e

So apparently several weeks absent from the GM seat is enough to ignite the fires of my fledgling imagination again.  My last go round in the “hot seat” was none-to-pleasant an effect that was mostly my fault; a symptom of my own laziness.  For the first time in what feels like forever I’ve actually been able to use my down time to actually brainstorm, if not outright plan, some of what I hope are fun things for my players to do whenever I start my game up again.  However, I have noted in the past a tendency towards enthusiasm regarding the idea of GMing but quickly that I grow disillusioned with the reality of GMing.

One of the people I play has started a Shadowrun campaign which is one of my first experiences gaming without a d20 in quite a while.  It’s been a learning process and quite a blast so far and the last session allowed me to blow up a barge, snipe a guy manning a machine gun, survive a grenade blast unscathed only to be nearly eviscerated by an assault rifle, and “accidentally” kill a helpless worker (to be fair I thought he was a bad guy).   Combat is mean but fun and characters are not nearly as hardy as they are in 4e (grenade blast survival aside it should be noted that my damage resistance dice pool is like 23 which waaaaay above average).  I’m not sure I’m sold on the dice pool mechanic since rolling so many d6s (while keep track of both sucesses and 1s) can be a bit unwieldy, but I’ve definitely been having fun so far. That fun brings me to other GMing problem: other systems.

There are so many other great RPG systems out there that I would love to try that the war between wanting to continue my own 4e game and try something new can be quite distracting.  While it isn’t an enormous list I do own copies of Traveller (the new Mongoose version), the Dragon Age Roleplaying Game (from the fine folks at Green Ronin), Hackmaster Basic (from the always awesome Kenzer & Company), a 5th edition book of Call of Cthulhu that has been gathering dust for quite some time,  I have the free copy of the awesome Swords and Wizardy,  and not to mention a copy of Amber Diceless that I bought for nostalgia’s sake, and last but not least a copy of Savage Worlds that is en route (mainly because I desperately want a copy of the Deadlands setting).  None of that takes into consideration the ton of other RPGs I’m interested in that I’ve yet to acquire: The Burning Wheel (I played a sample game a long time ago that was tons of fun), Godlike always seemed like a cool idea though I fear the One Roll Engine a bit, the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is fascinating though avoidable thanks to its high entry fee and 4 player starter limit, I’ve been constantly curious about All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and Green Ronin’s upcoming DC Comics Roleplaying Game (and the new Mutants and Masterminds rules on the way) are all quite tempting.  I’m also constantly on the lookout for a solid post-apocalyptic setting and/or system (I do own Darwin’s World which is for d20 modern) a quest which WotC’s upcoming Gamma World game might satisfy. Oh, and there is also the upcoming Dresden Files RPG, a major temptation for fans of Butcher’s long running series.

All that is to say that while I want to continue my 4e Eberron Campaign I’m also tempted to try and talk my players into giving something else a try when my turn in the GM’s chair comes around again.  So I do I try to convince myself and my players to take another step into unknown or stay with “old faithful”?

3 thoughts on “To 4e or Not to 4e

  1. I Vote Change! I’m up for something new as I look longingly at my Bloodshadows and Adventure! books sitting in a pile next to me. And there’s always the Doctor Who rpg…. ::Toothy Grin:: …… thank god the internet doesn’t allow the throwing of things yet. LOL And OBVIOUSLY since I’m the only voice in the group, my call goes. :-p

    1. I don’t know if I’m keen on Doctor Who, at least to GM, but Cubicle7’s Starblazer Adventures ( looks like all kinds of awesome!

      ATM, without book in hand, I’m more seriously contemplating Savage Worlds/Deadlands as I enjoyed my all too brief player experience with the d20 version of Deadlands quite a bit (I was a shotgun toting Irish immigrant pugilist….I suppose my characters have a sort of running theme don’t they). Though I’ve probably read through the Dragon Age RPG the most out of my newer acquisitions and given that 4 of us (Bill, Ben, me and you) have played Dragon Age it might be the way to go. But I do love the wackiness that is Deadlands (

      1. lol i actually expected a much angrier response to the Doctor Who rpg.

        Rock and Roll Space Opera?!?! DONE. Well *whew* that was a tough choice.

        Deadlands looks good too. As long as I can play a Snub nose detective/femme fatale (You’re not the only one who’s characters usually follow a theme)I’m good with either.

        btw…do I get to have sex with Alistair in the Dragon Age rpg? I would…ya know… totally be ok with that.

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