Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tomb of Horrors!
Any old-school D&D player could tell you about Gary Gygax's infamous meat grinder adventure module "Tomb of Horrors." The module exemplified everything that was great about old school D&D: an emphasis on roleplaying, a sense of dread that your beloved character would meet it's maker and perhaps most importantly an emphasis on actual puzzle solving rather than rolling dice.
It's no surprise that gamers talk about that module in reverential terms. Surviving the module was a badge of honor among those that played early editions of D&D. It was almost certain you would most, if not all of your party, before you got halfway through the adventure.
So it was with no small bit of surprise that I read today that Wizards of the Coast is releasing an updated version of the module for 4th edition D&D. I'm pretty disappointed with this announcement.
Terabytes of data have been expended in debating the merits of the most recent version of D&D, so I have no interest of hashing that out here. I personally find the emphasis on character balance and dumbing-down of game mechanics to be off-putting. I can't shake the feeling when I play 4th edition games that I've played this game before online when it was called World of Warcraft.
Tank + Blaster + Wizard + Healer for the win = teh boring.
The prospect that you can take a module that contains only one monster but tons and tons of clever traps instead and translate it into the 4th edition rules with it's emphasis on fighting, player survival and rolling dice rather than roleplaying seems highly dubious to me. They're going to have to nerf the damned thing and if they do that they're entirely missing the point.