End of an era…

Sigh.. our excellent 4e campaign has come to an epic close. The final conclusion was very well done and for a while it seemed that evil would prevail. But the party managed to barely survive and defeat the god-slaying BBEG (or in this case ‘Big Bad Evil Chick’ or ‘BBEC’). As a sort of unusual “reward” the remnant powers of the gods that had been slain became available for acquisition and my legendary damage-dealing ranger, ‘Kataar’, has now ascended partially into the pantheon of deities as the new Demigod of Hunters and Assassins.

I’d like to thank Rae Vhen the GM for his incredible work as the GM. I learned a lot from him and I am sure my own campaigns will be better for having played in his. I’d also like to thank my playing partners for three years of fun and camaraderie. By the end of the campaign I believe Kataar was the oldest “surviving” character in the party.

Kataar was my first and only serious 4e character I’ve played. I did enjoy playing him, not just because of his crazy damage potential, but also because of his street-savvy and his clever utilization of magical toys and trinkets. He always was able to pull something out of his bag of tricks, and even in the final cataclysmic battle his “wonderful toys” gave us a critical respite from a crushing aura which was seriously hampering our combat effectiveness.

I do think Kataar was a surprisingly multi-dimensional one-dimensional character. Although he had the charisma of a garden slug, he excelled in sneaking around, climbing on or over things, finding stuff, opening things (although at the end of his career we had a more talented thief in the party…) and breaking stuff. He was particularly good at breaking stuff.

Although I have mixed emotions about ending such an epic campaign, I am actually happy to retire Kataar and move on. In the end Kataar may well be the single character I have invested the most time and effort into in my entire career of gaming. I can’t honestly say he is my favorite character (I tend to prefer complex, troubled spell casters over straightforward martial characters) I can say he’s been a blast to play.

Thanks again Rae! Excellent work.

Heh, as I was setting tags for this post I realized I now have to move Kataar from “active” to “inactive” in my categories… sigh.

Role play vs roll play

One of the comparisons I’ve made between D&D 4th edition and Pathfinder for a while is that Pathfinder tends to be more conducive to role playing and 4e tends to be more conducive to roll playing.

What is the difference?

Role playing = The focus is on the story and the interaction between PCs and NPCs in order to advance the story in some way. This behavior is ideally done through verbal exchanges and does not involve rolling any dice. This can occur in combat or out of combat but is generally more associated with out of combat since combat tends to drive behavior towards…

Roll playing = The focus is on the game mechanics and applying specific rules to the resolution of a challenge or obstacle. This can occur in combat or out of combat but is generally more associated with combat. “Roll playing” obviously derives from the ubiquitous game mechanic of resolving something through rolling various dice.

One reason 4e has a reputation of being more “roll” than “role” play is because of the richness of the tactical options available in 4e when compared to Pathfinder. Just the sheer availability of combat goodness tends to encourage play to migrate towards combat.

So, all of that is to lead up to discussing our 4e game session last week, which was almost entirely a session of role playing. We had just leveled up to 21st level, which meant we were moving from paragon to epic level. That, of course, meant we had just completed a major story arc and had to set up a new story arc, travel a long way, do some shopping, talk to some powerful NPCs, etc.

And I enjoyed the heck out of it.

It is possible that others at the table may not have enjoyed it as much as I did. I hope not, but I suspect that to be the case.

Still, I was quite happy to see that role playing is really not much different in 4e than in PF when the opportunity presents itself. I suspect our next session is going to be quite combat heavy though…

Glass cannons…

My character in the campaign I’ve taken to calling the “Kirinth” campaign is a ranger named “Kataar Tarrson”. This campaign is in the fourth edition rules of Dungeons and Dragons. Fourth edition essentially breaks down the party duties into specific “roles” and different classes can perform different roles. The roles are:
– Striker: goal is to do damage to the enemy.
– Controller: goal is to manipulate the action on the battlefield to gain an advantage.
– Leader: goal is to provide support, enhancement or healing to the party
– Defender: goal is to absorb damage and pull attention away from other party members.
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