Reaction to 4 Edition

I'm presently flipping through the D&D 4th Edition PHB and MM, and thought it would be interesting (for me, anyway) to record my reactions as I had them:
  • Eladrin as a race, huh?  Well, I really liked them in 3.5, so I won't argue.  I wish these pictures of them were cooler, though.
  • Ouch: limited elementals.  This is really, really disappointing, since I was all about elementals in 3.5.  Very sad.
  • I do like the additions to devils/demons.  I always liked both.
  • ...Flipping through the rest of the MM, my reactions are mixed.  They retained some particularly stupid monsters (roper, for example) and lost some really cool ones (interesting golems, say).  I like that they fleshed out some of the lower-level fodder a bit more, and I do like that every creature has tactics.  Part of me wishes they would greatly reduce the number of monsters (instead to focus on variants of a few cooler creatures), but I realize that's not in the D&D genre's canon.
On to the PHB:
  • Wow, the races are totally changed!  No gnomes, half-orcs?  Tieflings and Eladrin get my hopes up that this ed will focus on planar stuff...
  • Am I missing something, or are there no racial modifiers?
  • Warlord and Paladin sound awfully similar.
  • No Monk, Bard?  Probably a good thing.  No Druid?!?  ...Now that pisses me off...
  • I'm not sure I grok the "roles", yet.  I mean, I appreciate the concept, but wouldn't it be better if you could pick any of these per class?  We'll see.
  • So far, I think I could stand to play Clerics, Fighters, Rogues, and Wizards.
  • "If the total of your ability modifiers is lower than +4 or higher than +8 before racial ability adjustments, your DM might rule that your character is too weak or too strong compared to the other characters".  Good rule of thumb.
  • I like the changes to alignments.  Simpler is better.
  • I love the commandments on the deities.  Great idea!
  • Corellon, Ioun, Melora (!), The Raven Queen, and Sehanine (!) rather appeal to me.
  • I like the personality stuff, but this is pretty standard faire.
  • "Ten languages form the basis of every dialect".  Good.  Ten is a good number.  ...I mean, as a linguist, I like linguistic diversity and believe there should be thousands of languages per race, but in a role-playing game, ten is good.  ; )  Besides, It's well-known that technology is a catalyst of reducing linguistic diversity.  Why wouldn't pandimensional magic be the same?
  • "You can learn additional languages by taking the Linguist feat"?  Oooh, I like this idea even better.  Passive learning langauges if you take the feat?  That would be ideal.
  • "a wizard's fireball spell is an Intelligence attack against the target's Reflex defense" WTFBBQ?!?  Mages have to ATTACK now?!?  SWEET!
  • Wow, this attack mechanic is WAY simplified.  I'm liking it in concept, at least.
  • "Paragon and Epic" ... did they do away with those lame-ass prestige classes?  Please say yes!
  • High-level character sheets get too damn crowded.  I'd like to see powers/feats replacing one another as they evolve, rather than piling up.
  • "When your class table tells you to replace a power you know with a different power..."  I spoke too soon.  ; )
  • I like the idea of tiers, to push powers (like flight) off to a specific range of levels.  That makes a lot of sense to me.
  • I am surprised how positive my reactions have been so far.  I'm generally not a fan of this francise, but the decisions they've made in this edition really strike me as excellent ones, so far.  ...I have trouble believing I'm in the majority, though: so many people really love the complexity of D&D, I wonder if there is backlash.  [shrug]  Not that I have a problem with it, if there is: I'd have no problem with D&D downsizing a bit.
This post is getting too long, and I need to get back to work, so I'll leave this as-is for now.

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