Tuesday, 13 December 2016

A reader asks about running 4e

"Hi Simon,

I been browsing your blogs and post on 4e. Congrats on completing the 4e campaign, must have been rewarding. I am planning to start one but having difficulties adjusting to the playstyle. I play mainly BD&D style dungeoncrawls/hexcrawls. Do you have any tips on making 4e adventures?"

My answer:

Hi - I had some blog posts:

4e doesn't do crawl type exploration well. I find it works best to think in terms of strong characters and scenes, the 4e DMG advice is actually good for the 4e game if understood in context, so do go over that. Battles are best as big epic affairs, but you don't need to railroad PCs into encounters - I found a few Paizo battle maps and perhaps 2-3 different enemy encounter groups lets me largely improv a 4e session, with battles occurring naturally. A big dungeon is I think best skipped over the way Peter Jackson filmed trekking through Moria, rather than room by room/corridor by corridor movement, and go to a dramatic 'bang' such as the orcs being alerted when the PCs are deep in the dungeon. It works well as a Hollywood fantasy combat scene game. But there should be non-combat interpersonal scenes too. I don't recommend Skill Challenges as written but the idea of a dramatic non-combat scene with opposition & stakes works well.