All of this bitching about the length of time combat takes surprises the hell out of me. After playing two modules in 4e I must say I felt the combats ran must faster than 3e or 3.5e. Yes the monsters have a ton of hit points. Yes the player's could do a little more damage to speed things along. All in all though the turns ran relatively quickly. Once player's and judges alike have a better grasp on the system I think everyone will see how quickly and efficiently these modules can be run through.
I played 2 games with Matts PC, a fellow paladin and I can tell you from experience he was absolutely
correct. The monsters had a ton of hit points and there were times when we thought that a TPK was
just one downed PC away from happening but we pulled thru by the skin of our teeth. I was standing
face to face with Matt against a guy that started the combat with over 200 hit points and I rolled a
natural 20 to crit him and finally put him down. Oh yeah, and I did it with 5 hit points left and no healing
ability left, be they powers or second wind. The thing is though and as Matt said, I noticed that as we
began to get more aclcimated with our powers and abilities that things did speed up. This is still a new
system and I know that as I get more used to my PC, I will play him faster, as will msot people. One
suggestion I would make is for people to photocopy their powers and put them on index cards and use
them this way. It's faster than constantly opening a book and requires less baggage.
Oh and Ralph, The Godfather of DnD in Miami, did hit the nail on the head with what he said about a balanced party and area of effect.
In 4.0, you really need a guy or two that can lay the beat down on the enemy from a distance and not
just with weapon attacks like a bow or sling. If you build a party where you constantly have to be in
the enemies face then I suggest you load up on healers and healing potions because you will get you
peepee demolished. Example - Remember that cakewalk chimera from 3.5 with the base 72 hit points?
Well in 4E, we welcome the new and improved "I will tear your balls off and wear them as earrings"
chimera with 366 hit points. Oh yeah, and he gets mutliple attacks in one round I think. He's so special.
Also, the better you are in tactics, the faster things will go. In 4E, this concept is much more prevalent
than in 3.5 because the teamwork idea is reinforced into the game. Try being a glory hound in 3.5 and take
on the world by yourself and you'll be taking a dirt nap in no time.
People kept saying "Oh well in 4.0 it's hard to die" and lsited a number of reasons for saying so. But at our
games I was very close to death once or twice, Ramon went down in a horrid series of attacks, Mario our
cleric went down once, and Ralph, The Godfather of DnD in Miami, was as close to death as I've seen anyone in 4E so far. So while one could
say that it's easier to regain hit points, the way the monsters are jacked up makes up for it. I mean, when
in 3.5 do 1st or 2nd level characters ever fight something that nas 200 hit points?
Signed- Rene' Alfonso