Games on the Table – Part 4: Earthdawn 4th edition

Somehow 4th editions of RPGs seem in the 21st century to disappoint. D&D 4th edition was too focused on making combat a balanced set piece, so much the game forgot mostly everything else, and I mostly play RPGs for everything else. Earthdawn 4th edition, however, was a disappointment.

Earthdawn is a curious fantasy-setting, and I have always found it interesting in the way, that it was originally connected to the Shadowrun setting as part of a large cycle of the growth and disappearance of magic. Yet I had never played it, and with 4th edition out, we decided to invest in it, only to discover that this was mostly an updated version of the rules for existing fans than an edition where new players could begin. So clunky, unappealing and dated, though with a slightly interesting magic system, and a rules system that heavily favored certain builds. In order to make sense in the rules and setting, we ended up digging out older editions of the game.

The problem with the 4th edition seems in a sense to be kickstarter, which makes it possible to launch slightly revised editions of older RPGs to the existing fanbase rather than try to create a product, that can draw in new players and create a new or expand the existing fanbase.

I did not have that much fun playing Earthdawn, and I have no intention of playing it again.

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