As I mentioned in the last post, one of the players has asked me and the current DM if he can run an Essentials character. For me, this has come more or less out of the blue. The group has had an understandable break over Christmas/New Year (and we’re currently in one, as out venue won’t be available again until after the 24th), and we’re only just started to get into gaming mode again.
And I thought that the group was more or less in agreement with me on Essentials: that it’s an oversimplification of the rules as well as a marketing ploy by Wizards of the Coast to get us to spend more money on a rules edition a lot of us feel rather comfortable with.
But this player has been absent for a while, is much welcomed back, and wants to use Essentials. Even after I explicitly told him not to.
So I am in a quandary for two reason. Firstly, I’m not the current DM so it’s not completely my call. The other DM is in a similar mindset to me, but he’s running it at the moment and has a bigger say at what happens in his games. And secondly, I have always had the opinion that players are responsible for their own character creation-barring any specific things I don’t want in the game.
So it’s going to fall down to how his character plays out, as that’s the real test of workability. Then and only then will the final decision be made, and I have a sneaky feeling he is not going to like it. Hopefully we’ll be able to find some sort of solution if it goes that way.
As for my views on Essentials, I reckon Mike Krahulik sums them up well:
As a DM there was really no difference in adjudicating the Essentials game. I can see how someone could play an Essentials character at a table of 4e players with no difficulty. The Red Box is a great product and it really does give you everything you need to play Dungeons and Dragons. They have succeeded in stripping away everything that is not “essential” to playing D&D. The end result just happens to be something I’m not interested in. – Mike Krahulik
And for the record, I am no longer a DDI subscriber but that’s another story.