The Chatty DM blogged about how Wizards of the Coast … well, just read it, it’s quick. Or not. Anyway, in a reply to one of the replies to his blog, he says this:
I kept seeing, up to last week’s Wizard’s post on monsters ‘how in 3.5 it was just so much harder to…’
To which I answer:
We GET it, OK! Leave 3.5 alone and let 4e live on it’s own merits.
And that seemed very relevant to me. The game should stand on its own merits. When Wizards talks about 4e, they should talk about what makes it fun, interesting, and good … not what makes it more fun, more interesting, and better than 3.5.
In the USA 2004 presidential election, John Kerry’s main message was (or appeared to be) “I’m not George Bush, I’m a better candidate than George Bush, I’ll be a better president than George Bush.” Voters basically had the choice between George Bush and “not George Bush.” It got old. It wasn’t informative. It had no lasting power. And, as history shows, it wasn’t enough to sway enough moderate voters to gain a win for Kerry.
So now we have 3.5 and “not 3.5/better than 3.5.” We get it. You’ve been telling us the flaws in 3.5 for about two years now. Now tell us why 4e is great without comparing it to the game we’ve been playing for 8 years. Tell me why I should play 4e without telling me why I shouldn’t be playing 3.5. Don’t succumb to Hollywood’s problem (“well, this movie is like MovieX, but with drummers instead of cheerleaders,” or “this movie is like MovieY, but with Irish guys in Boston instead of mobsters in Los Angeles,” thus movies greenlighted from major studios tend to be derivative). Sell me on 4e for being 4e.
Yes, I’ve already started to build an opinion on 4e … based on one playtest, one 1st-level game, and all the “compared to 3.5…” marketing. I can set all that aside if you can just tell me why I should play this game.
P.S. And if you’re going to make Dungeons & Dragons commercials for TV, maybe you could show a dungeon. Or a dragon. Or perhaps people playing a game of D&D*. Instead of A beholder waiting for a bus, at a coffee shop, and so on. Because if you want non-gamers to give D&D a look, you might actually want to show them that it’s fun to play this game. With dungeons. And dragons.
* You know, like this old D&D commercial. Look, they’re actually playing D&D! And the characters are in a dungeon! Fighting a dragon!