You might have caught my review while recording Otaku Drive Time, but I wanted to go into detail regarding a couple of things here and there.
As mentioned previously, I mentioned 4th Edition D&D and got an interesting side conversation from two old-school RPG’ers. The crux of the argument was that the combat was crap and the leveling system was also crap. Because the main aspects of the numbers side of the RPG were so out of whack, the game itself fails.
Here’s the thing, though. One, I like how 4th Edition was pick-up-and-play ready. The uniformity of the classes allow people to make new characters in no time flat. Second of all, an RPG is only as good as its first two letters. If the group you are in isn’t able to tell or participate in a good story, then it doesn’t matter how the combat system works. I played 4th edition and Star Wars: Saga Edition for very long stretches–campaigns for each lasted over a year, if I remember right–and our parties had a lot of fun with memorable characters, In the D&D game, I ended up turning into an Eladrin minivan because I was able to teleport half the group. In Star Wars, not only was I an ace pilot that ended up putting two over on the GM in the final battle (that’s a great story for another time), our mechanic and our Wookiee were two great and awesome characters that would’ve been great in any system.
So while I understand the resistance to 4E, it shouldn’t have gotten in the way of a good game. Any game system can work if you have the right story.