So far, so good. I’m actually going to respect the NDA a little bit and not go into too much detail.
Overall there is a very throwback-y feel to it. A lot of the bones are 3.X era, with a fair helping of AD&D ligaments. Some of the nervous system is 4E. Little bits and bites.
There are a couple of what I’d call glaring flaws. I’m largely ignoring flaws in the characters, because this is a general rules phase of the playtest. But I have to point out that there are no longer attacks of opportunity. If there’s ANY penalty for leaving a square adjacent to an enemy I haven’t seen it. I could just be really dense. But there being nothing can turn the game into a run-and-gun affair. Which is fun in its own way, but seems cheap when the party just leapfrog and covering fire maneuver their way in circles around some of the slower monsters.
Unrelated to the meat and potatoes of the playtest I found it amusing how quickly we slid back into 3.X mentality. We were playing a much ‘smarter’ game, insofar that our tactics depended very strongly on mobility and placement. In 4E your party’s tactics are built up by creating synergy between your individual powers. There’s only so much synergy possible between ‘I hit with my axe’ and ‘I cast magic missile’, so we fell back into ancient habits to compensate.
Not the only habit we fell back into. Maybe it’s just one-shot syndrome, but I don’t recall having seen quite that much wanton cruelty directed against kobolds since the actual 3.X days.
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