Play Unplugged reviews The Book of Vile Darkness

By TGN Ross
In News
Dec 21st, 2011

Play Unplugged reviews the Book of Vile Darkness for 4th Edition DnD.

From their website:

Play Unplugged’s Enrico stares into the abyss in search of what will stare back. It’s all in an attempt to better understand the forces at work in The Book of Vile Darkness, Wizards of the Coast’s latest release for Dungeons & Dragons.

  • lordofexcess

    Who still plays 4th edition? Even the die hard 4e fans all seem to have given up. Why won’t WoTC just stick a fork in this thing already? Oh ya that’s right we all have to wait until Gencon next year so they can tell us what we all already know … 4e is toast and they are going to be launching a new version. But after being burned this time .. even the fanboys are going to be reluctant. Who is going to buy the new game? Are there enough random sales at hobby shops to “new” customers to warrant this?? I wish Hasbro would just dump the entire D&D line and sell it off to say Fantasy Flight … maybe then we’d get some quality products. Until then D&D is dead to me. 3.5/Pathfinder is fine but just too much of a pain to pull off anymore for me personally but I know many other people love it and I can see why its solid, well supported and is backwards compatible with all the 3.5 stuff. So for folks who like 3.5 D&D … it shall never die! As for 4e though … that ship has long sailed and sunk me thinks … just my .4 cents though … I’m sure some fanboy will set me straight 🙂

    • IndyMike

      I am curious about your comments. I haven’t played D&D since 1st edition. I keep up with the RPG industry at a distance though. I am not aware of this sentiment about the latest edition. Is this just your feelings or is there a groundswell of discontent with the new version?

      I have an eight year old son that is starting to show an interest in roleplaying. I am going to start him off with the old Heroquest game but I though that would slowly morph into D&D over time. Is this latest 4th edition something I should not consider? Why do you say 4E is dead?

      • ravenburg

        Hi Mike,

        I’d ignore the coments above. There has been a Pathfinder/4E fanboy war going on for a while now, I find it beast to ignore it. It doesnt affect my game in any way.

        4E is a great system for new players to the game. The game is a lot more structured for newer players so should help them a lot when getting into the hobby. There is a lot of stuff out there for 4E but I’d suggest looking at some of the Essentials products or the new Red Box starter set.

        • IndyMike

          Thanks. I just wasn’t sure if there was something flawed with the new system that had everyone walking away or if it was just someone’s personal opinion.

          I am showing my age, but I last played when Hommlet was new and the Temple of Elemental Evil was something we were waiting to be released. I’d love to take my some through a 4E Greyhawk world so he could experience the fun things I did.

  • We play 4E. Lots of it. And if our Tuesday D&D Encounters group is any indication, a lot of other folks still play. My FLGS gets 5 – 10 people a week for that.

    The Red Box WotC makes is a great way to start. It has all of the elements you’ll need to get started.

    You could also go the Pathfinder route; they offer a nice starter box.

    Either way, you’ll get a great product for a young gamer.


  • Lemminkaeinen

    3.5 is mechanically incredibly flawed (codzilla is ridiculous and spellcasting classes are god) and breaks down completely on higher levels with the more dangerous monsters having stat blocks many pages long (and that’s just writing what abilities and things they have, not what they do). I would never willingly DM 3.5.

    4th edition is a breeze to run, balanced and all in all far, far superior mechanically.

    But of course I was pre-emptively trumped by lordofexcess and him calling anyone disagreeing with him “a fanboy”.

    • arcturus

      Not sure why it is difficult for folks on the internet to accept that there might be multiple legitimately enjoyable systems out there.

      I agree with the above. Playing both a 4th and 3rd ed campaign now and enjoying both, but the mechanics of 3rd ed result in frequent facepalms and require a lot of house rules and exceptions. I don’t envy our DM having to figure out how to run all the monsters intelligently, but he’s been running the system for a long time and already paid that knowledge cost. 4th ed is very refined with very few edge cases and strange interactions, though this does result in fewer absurd hijinks on the part of the players.

      Having said that, the DMs for both games make sure their players are having fun, and I have found that in all cases the people that you are playing with have a much larger impact on the quality of a game than the system.