So lately I've been a little off of the blogging tip.
Lots of stuff going on though.
For one, D&D 4 is now actually out and on the shelves.
I've got myself and seven folks lined up to play. Due to scheduling problems, we're waiting until the 21st to get together to create characters. Wish we could do so sooner, but them's the breaks.
The people that do have their hands on the books are excited. Jason has yet to get his, and has been occupied with other stuff. John and Maddie have been flipping through the Player Handbook some, and Maddie has preemptively started outlining a Tiefling Paladin, though she has one or two backup strategies as well. John is still waiting to see how the cards fall - I think that he has a few ideas about things that he's interested in playing, but is waiting to see what kind of stuff everyone else is putting together. Jason claims to be ambivalent, and Krissi is pretty dead set on a warlock. We assumed that Jeremy Y. would stat up his old 3.0/3.5 mainstay, Corrigan, a fighter, but he's talking about trying out the controller role. Our guesses for Jerry and Andrews characters are pretty up in the air, though I'm betting Andrew will go the Striker route - probably two weapon ranger or rogue, and Jerry will go Leader, or perhaps Defender.
The roles are sortof important in this incarnation of D&D. You've got Controllers, Leaders, Strikers and Defenders. If you create a party that skips on one of the roles, you can still function, but you're going to be missing out on something.
I'm a little torn on dealing with death in the game. In recent times, I've been loathe to let characters die, because it screws up my stories, and punishes the player, and generally brings the fun to a halt. I'm going with a new tactic though, for this D&D game. The dice are going to have to be the boss. I've setup that expectation with my players, so I will rely on them to play accordingly. The difficulty that this still presents though, is that if we do have one or two characters die, it can throw off the role balance of the party. Its been my experience that when a character buys the farm, the player either creates a carbon copy of their recently deceased character, or creates something radically different. If we loose a character, and they create something radically different, it could leave us with a role that is not filled.
I'm working on setting up some framework for a homebrew world. Not for the reasons that I used to do so - which were to immerse my players in a world steeped in history and politics and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsnorezzzzzzzzzzz. I'm doing a homebrew to make my job easier. I don't have to feel compelled to stay on top of all of the details of someone elses world. So I'll be plagiarizing rampantly, and coming up with stuff that seems cool or fun. Its kindof taxing, and alot of work though. While I'm not trying to be an anthropologist about it, I'm trying to do better than having a big white sheet of paper with the town of "Here" in the middle with the river "Amozan" nearby, and a forest marked "Elves", and some mountains marked "Dwarves", and some orcs scattered about in the white places. Anyway.
I'm interested in coaxing my players to keep up with the game, through notes, after-action-reports, and maybe even some actual play stuff. I'll try to keep up with the actual play myself.
So yeah, I'm kinda geared up about getting the game going :)