I know it's been a while since I wrote, but I recently saw a post from a fellow game designer in a forum asking if any of us kept a design journal, I thought about the post and realized that's essentially what I do when I write entries for my blog.
It does help to get the thought down by writing them on the blog, even if no one I know ever sees them written, I know that somewhere someone is going to stumble across the topic and may be stirred up enough to ask me a question, which in turn will re-invigorate me.
Lately I've been DMing a D&D Next campaign, The Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle (GoDs for short). To make things easy and to see if they've addressed the high level game mechanics I have been allowing the party to level after each and every session. Which next time will be our 9th session, so the campaign is right around 50 hours long at this point, my estimation is that we'll wrap up about the 10th session.
I have really enjoyed the module, it is way more deadly than any 4E adventure that I've seen, not that I never saw a TPK in 4E, but this adventure has a number for situations that if a player makes the wrong decision, they will likely die, and most likely take the party with them. It's this feeling that gives me a nostalgic feeling while playing it.
I've heard many people bitch about how bad 4E was, but when it comes down to it, I find out that most of them have never even played it, they are just going off of "what they heard". This really annoys me, I really wanted to like it, and in the end I think I had it figured out...if you read my Hardcore 4E guidelines where I discuss changes to "fix" it, and I think if one would adopt my incremental leveling as well, it does make for a near ideal RP system.
The flaws that remain can only be fixed by going away from the d20 mechanic to more of a dice pool, and to limit the class choices...some of the non-PHB1 classes were simply too over powered. Though even the classes that are over powered in traditional 4E might be balanced by adopting the other rules that I outline.
I don't mind the bonus damage that the heroes gained in Next, but I think the HP of the creatures should be increased (especially larger creatures), and most should get a similar damage modifier when attacking the party...And as with nearly every edition, damage is simply too short lived...Am I the only one the feels if the whole party is near death, it should take longer than a single day to recovery from this?
My favorite things about Next is the fact that To-Hit bonuses have been reduced, as well as AC are much lower, and the best part is that AC no longer increases as a creature levels. I also like the new Attune rules for magic items, and that leveling is typically a very quick ordeal.