This post was originally written by me for submission to Gamecrafters.net. Thanks Brian for giving me an outlet!
Marcelo Dior wrote a wonderful column a few months ago on speeding up combat in 4E. It took the bold position of questioning whether or not speeding up 4th edition combat is really as vital as internet message boards would have us believe. It really got me thinking, and based on Marcelo’s well reasoned treatment of the subject, I’d wager it did the same for a lot you.
So I asked myself, “Do I need to speed up combat?”. A year ago, you’d have heard me give a resounding, “YES!”. I was still youthful in my experience as a DM in 4E, having spent most of my time running far simpler versions of the game decades ago. I was a strong proponent of gridless combat and theater of the mind. I avowed collaborative storytelling and eschewed what I understood at the time to be a heavily mechanical design shift underpinning all of 4Es combat. To put it simply, I thought combat took too long. And, embarrassingly, I endeavored to recreate the combat of previous editions in my 4E game. (more…)