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Wow, just played 4e from the other side of the DM's screen!! 
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Red Cap

Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:00 am
Posts: 233
Post Wow, just played 4e from the other side of the DM's screen!!
Well, lately I've been kinda' burned out DM'ing 4e, so I let one of the other guys in our group take over the reins of DM for a while so that I could experience 4e from the player's side. Wow! This is the first time I've played a game where I'd say it's harder for the player to play the game than the DM! Now it could be that I didn't know my characters very well, but playing a 4th level character in older editions (even 3.x) wasn't nearly as time consuming. Half the time is spent figuring out how to best use which power and when.

The first encounter we fought was with a group of 60 zombie minions (zombie breakout) from the local cemetery. Obviously being minions I figured the fight would go quickly, but even controlling two characters a piece it dragged on for about 15 minutes or more (most likely more as I wasn't keeping time). Then came a fight with about 8 stirges and 4 ghouls. That took even longer and saw the wizard with one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel! Normally this would be cool except that it's hard to get into character when you're constantly fumbling with powers deciding which to use when. Maybe I have to become more familiar with my characters like I said, but with the somewhat large gaps of thumb-twiddling here and there waiting for other players, it gets kinda' boring to be honest. Factor in marks and extra ongoing damage, plus the powers from magical items and it's overwhelming.

I never had to remember this many things in 3.x and prior. If I was a fighter I swung my big-#ssed sword and did damage. I didn't have to worry about combat challenge, five or six different powers, magic item powers, did I take a short rest to regain my encounter powers, etc. Maybe this just shows I'm getting older or 4e isn't the system I thought it was. You know it's a bad sign, however, when the barbarian player has to use the back of his character sheet to determine how much damage he just did........
I was going to continue using 4e as my game to DM since it's really easy to DM but I may switch to C&C for my game and let the current guy continue to run his and just rotate off and on. This was his first time running 4e, so I don't think he's caught on to the art of 4e encounter design yet. I hope it gets more interesting, but I can only see things miring even more. Just figured I'd share my experiences with the system as a DM turned player. As a player at this point, I do not like the system as simpler systems get the same results in a faster amount of time and get on with the story. Not so with 4e....yet.

Sat May 09, 2009 8:57 pm
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