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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Role-playing Mechanics: The Third Way

by Ken Newquist / August 10, 2009

Recently Chris Youngs at Wizards of the Coast wrote an editorial pointing out that people can role-play in D&D 4th Edition just fine without any rules actually governing said role-playing:

Fourth edition doesn't include some of the mundane mechanical elements of character building that 3rd Edition did. For example, certain skills (I'm looking at you Craft and Profession) enabled a player to feel like his character had some sort of grounding in the "real world" of the campaign. Odds were good that you never made a Craft or Profession check in your game, but having ranks in that skill made you feel connected to your character's background. In 4th Edition, those skills are gone. Why? Because we feel like a character's statistics don't represent the absolute truth of a character's story. That's right -- one of the reasons those skills (and other such elements from other editions) are gone is that we felt they hindered roleplaying.

This elicited some "Hear! Hear!"-style posts from gaming blogs:

Metamorphosis Alpha plots 4E return

by Ken Newquist / July 13, 2009

 A Raptor in Metamorphosis AlphaA D&D 4th-edition powered version of Metamorphosis Alpha -- the first-ever SF role-playing game -- is being released by Signal Fire Studio. The original game took place aboard the generational starship Warden in the centuries after the vessel was badly damaged, killing much of its crew and mutating the survivors.

RPG Review Digest: Monster Manual 2, Arcane Power, Thousand Suns, Cortex, Dark Heresy

by Ken Newquist / May 20, 2009

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition is seeing a nice publicity bump from its second round of major book releases as PHB 2, Arcane Power, Monster Manual 2, Eberron Campaign Setting and DMG 2 all hit the stands over the next few months. Arcane Power

by Ken Newquist / May 17, 2009

Arcane Power resurrects the illusionist, brings back summoning spells and familiars, and introduces a host of new arcane options for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. Among these new options are new class features offering bards the gift of foresight, sorcerers the chance to wield cosmic magic, warlocks the opportunity to commune with the vestiges of ancient powers, and much more. Read my full review at

Secret Lair #18 Dungeons & Dragons. Wait? What?

by Ken Newquist / December 15, 2008

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition and Star Wars: Saga Edition were the big topics of conversation on my third guest appearance on The Secret Lair podcast.  Hosts Kris Johnson and Chris Miller and I spent about a half hour talking about the latest iteration of the venerable fantasy RPG before launching into why my gaming group decided to ditch it in favor of Star Wars.

D&D 4E to Star Wars Creature Conversions

by Ken Newquist / November 19, 2008

One area where Star Wars: Saga Edition could use some help are its creatures. There are certainly a number of them out there, particularly the iconic ones from the movies, but the system tends to come up a little short with more mundane critters.