503 – You Can’t Go Back: 10


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A refrigerator was moved into a conference room for later cleaning in the AT&T office building in San Jose California. Some time afterwards (apparently long enough to be embarrassing since no one would tell exactly how long) one of the AT&T workers volunteered to clean out the fridge… which had been left full of old employee lunches. The smell of the rotten food combined with that of the cleaners the woman was using began to seriously stink up the whole of the building. One office full of people tried to deodorize their space with a can of Lysol, but unfortunately AT&T places little priority on hiring people who can read, and instead they sprayed carpet cleaner on everyone. 

In all, seven people were taken to the hospital, twenty eight were severely sickened, and three hundred fifteen people (everyone working that day) was forced to evacuate the building. The only person unaffected was the woman who had volunteered to clean the fridge. She suffers from extreme allergies and had undertaken surgery to completely remove her sense of smell.

Sounds like a superpower to me!

15 Responses to 503 – You Can’t Go Back: 10

    • I wouldn’t say that (in fact, DnD Insider subscribers will be getting exclusive access to the new 4e assassin class … soon-ish?). But yes, rogues do a lot more damage now. Of course, everything in 4e has a ton more hit points than in other editions, so it really kinda balances out.

  1. No sense of smell? Sounds like Invulnerability to bad odors to me. And Invulnerability is a superpower, right?

    DnD 4: One of the things I hated about DnD are the gazillion HPs, and the fact that, while at low level your armor, dexterity… save your life, at higher ones, these are more and more useless, replaced by simple capacity to “take the hit”. And you’re saying this has become worse? 🙁

    • Well… sorta?

      While low level HPs are much higher, you get a set amount every level based on class. 6 for tank types, 4 for wizards, and 5 for everyone else, and no per-level bonuses. So things quickly average out, and then at high levels, your HPs are actually going to be a little lower than typical.

      Also, the damage capabilities of certain monsters is pretty sizable, and all your hit points are not going to last. Your ability to “take a hit” is about the same at tenth level as it was at first. The biggest difference is that at higher levels you have more options on how to respond to that hit, or how to avoid taking it at all.

      I am a 4e convert. I really like the new system, and the new feel of the game. I really, really like the fact that a new player can be reasonably competent in fairly short order, and an experienced player can still be discovering new combinations and tactics a year after picking it up.

  2. As a 2nd Ed diehard, I’ve yet to play 4th Ed. I’ve looked over the rules some, enough to know I don’t understand them, but have talked with others who are familiar with the system.
    Most agree it’s basically WoW in table top.
    That holds zero intrest to me.

    • I have to disagree with the people you’ve talked to. I play WoW, and I’ve played D&D for nearly thirty years. 4e is D&D, with some nods to the current culture. Yes, they did steal some of WoW’s innovations that brought the form forward, but they have kept everything important that made D&D what it was and is.

      3e was accused of being a rip-off of Warhammer, largely by the same crowd that now contends that it was the “true D&D” and that this version is simply a rip-off of WoW. My opinion of this is simply that if D&D does not continue to innovate then after the next “golden age” it will stagnate and die. Every edition has it’s own sweet spot where people really get the game and dig in, followed by a tapering off of interest as the newest crop of gamers comes in and finds the next big thing. Obviously, this is bad for WotC, and bad for D&D, and I would argue, bad for us. I would much rather ride these waves and become a part of the innovation. I want to bring new folks in, not close ranks around an aged (and much beloved) product and exclude everyone else.

      2e wasn’t all that much different from 1st edition AD&D, mostly some new rules and refinements on top of the old system. I played it, and I loved it. But look around. What percentage of young players new to the hobby do think are going to choose 2e over 4e? 4e is easier to pick up, is less rules and math intensive, and operates along lines that will be much more familiar to consumers of contemporary fantasy products. (i.e. them.) You could make the well placed point that this is a superficial argument, and you would be correct. But that doesn’t change it from being true.

      Finally, and on a separate subject, WoW is just a more user friendly version of electronic D&D. If not for Gary and Dave, there would certainly have never been a World of Warcraft. The biggest difference is that D&D can take you anywhere you and the DM want to go, while WoW is stuck on the rails. And that is true no matter what version of D&D you’re playing.

      • Now, here we hit my main issue with 4e. We started with tabletop RPGs and video games. Then we made the video games to be more like the RPGs. Now we’re making the RPGs to be more like the video games that were themselves made to be more like the RPGs. I feel like we’re stuck in a recursive loop, and that maybe the creative process that goes into making the games in the first place may be stagnating. Now, I freely admit that there are, and have always been, aspects of video games that would go well into tabletop gaming, and vice versa. I just wonder where this feedback loop is going to end. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with winding up with a tabletop product and a video game product that are exact mirrors of each other. But if that’s the direction the industries are moving, for Athena’s sake, WotC, just tell us that, and finish blending the two styles of reality already! This is a purely emotional gripe, and I realize that, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. The other issue that I have, is that I’m still aggravated with WotC for co-opting the name and some of the settings without keeping much of anything else. 3e was -not- a revision of the previous versions of AD&D; it was a whole different game. I’m convinced that they had a game they were going to try to sell, and when the TSR label became available they jumped at it and slapped the name on their product purely for name recognition purposes.

        • I think you’ve assumed a logical fallacy, Misha. When you say, “I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with winding up with a tabletop product and a video game product that are exact mirrors of each other. But if that’s the direction the industries are moving, for Athena’s sake, WotC, just tell us that, and finish blending the two styles of reality already!” you are assuming that the end product is not in fact the end product, all evidence to the contrary. But it is. WotC was not trying to make a video game, they were making a video game flavored D&D. The “two styles of reality” are finished blending.

          You are completely correct in that your emotional argument is valid, but that makes it your unique argument. Valid, yes, but valid for you. It would be beside the point for me, since my perspective is radically different than yours. I personally do not care what the source material is, be it previous iterations of D&D, other tabletop games, movies, or video games. Hell, I wouldn’t care if the whole thing was taken from the LSD-induced ramblings of the lead designer’s 6-year old daughter, as long as the game was fun for me to play. (Not that I’m advocating giving illegal drugs to kids. Well, not unless you think you could make some money or it was really funny.) Whether or not the game is fun trumps all other considerations, assuming they aren’t printing the rules on the skin of jews or using the profits to fund bombs for abortion clinics or something like that.

          I liked how much different 3e was from 2e, and I feel similarly about this edition. I’m having a lot of fun playing, and I’ve brought new people into the game who had turned their backs on 3.5, and are now really enjoying themselves. And if I might be a little presumptuous, I don’t think that any of them care where the game came from, only that they are having a good time playing it.

          Oh, and on the issue of the creative loop… games that stay inside the loop and do not bring the hobby forward are going to be ignored and die. It happens a lot. On the other hand, games that innovate and add something to the discussion… that step outside that loop… will attract players and become the Next Big Thing. But every Big Thing creates new loops, and a new crop of imitators that will not succeed. 4e, in my opinion, is a Big Thing. It has created something new, and with it, your creative loop. That loop will only exist until someone else does something new and great and we all want to play that. Time will tell who that will be. 😉

  3. I can see how someone who is used to spellcasters Ruling All might be disappointed with 4e, but I happen to see a game that’s actually playable at full strength with no wizard or cleric. Not many editions can say that!

    Granted, there are some “broken combos”, but most of them assume 30th level. Guys that high SHOULD be doing something a little “broken” in my opinion!

  4. Well, if having no sense of smell makes you superhuman, then I’m freakin’ Superman… Was born with nerve damage and have never had a sense of smell, and for the most part it IS a great super power. Sure, sure, I’ve never smelled a flower or the fresh scent of pine cleaners, BUT… I’ve also missed out on all the OTHER crap you folks with sensitive noses complain about. As a casual observation, I hear WAY many more complaints about smell then accolades. Also, I can eat just about anything with no complaints from Mr. Nose, as well as do battle with the worst diapers in the world.

    Having no sense of smell ROCKS, man…