D&D 4E Character Conversion

Word on the street is that you will not be able to simply convert your favorite 3.5 D&D characters to 4th edition characters. According to an Ampersand article:

…this is a new game. It uses all of the trappings of the current d20 System, but it approaches all of the rules from a new and exciting perspective. That means that while you’ll know how to make attack rolls, skill checks, and damage rolls (the broad concepts), you won’t necessarily know all of the nuances of the fighter class or the arcane power source, or the death and dying rules (the details).

What does that mean to most of you? Does that impact your acceptance or denial of the new edition? For me it’s not a big deal but I guess thats because I am willing to start fresh with a new 1st level campaign when 4th edition hits our table. I’m still pretty excited about it!

Ampersand says:

In essence, using the 4th Edition rules, you’ll be able to rebuild your character around the same concept and backstory as before, but there won’t be a magic formula that says, “change this number to that number” or “this power to that power.”

So I’m curious what kind of impact this will have (or not have). Will you be willing to say good bye to your 3.5 edition characters or be satisfied with a conceptual rebuild? How many of you are planning new 4th Edition campaigns already.

I think I have to admit that my favorite class is the Wizard and when I read this little preview about wizards in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition I was quite intrigued – but also a little reserved.

Any wizard can use an implement to increase the effectiveness of his spells. Just as a warrior gains a benefit when attacking an enemy with a magic sword, so does a wizard benefit from using a magic orb, staff, or wand with his spellcasting. In addition, each implement focuses magic of a particular discipline or tradition more effectively than the wizard would be able to accomplish otherwise. As a result, wizards are rarely without at least one of these tools.

The orb is favored by the Iron Sigil and Serpent Eye traditions. Serpent Eye cabalists use orbs to focus powers of enchantment, beguiling, and ensnaring. The mages of the Iron Sigil, on the other hand, employ orbs to guard themselves with potent defenses when invoking spells of thunder or force.

The staff is best suited to the disciplines of the Hidden Flame and the Golden Wyvern. Servants of the Hidden Flame wield fierce powers of fire and radiance through their staves. Golden Wyvern initiates are battle-mages who use their staves to shape and sculpt the spells they cast.

The wand is a perennial favorite for wizards who favor accurate, damaging attacks. Emerald Frost adepts use wands to help channel powers of cold and deadly acidic magic, while Stormwalker theurges channel spells of lightning and force through their wands.

A wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses: The man can still see, but without his glasses, he can’t read the road sign across the way. Likewise, while wizard traditions are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use a power belonging to that tradition. For instance, a wizard belonging to the Hidden Flame order can cast the fire spell cinder storm even if he doesn’t own, has lost, or is not holding a magic staff. But if he does have a magic staff, it aids the accuracy of his attack, and his mastery of the Hidden Flame technique allows him to deal more damage with the spell.

It sounds great. Many the archtypical wizard has relied on a his implement of choice – Gandalf and his staff, and…well they’re usually staves – but that’s cool. So now in D&D 4E a wizard and his staff – or orb or wand – now have some significance. Just like a warrior is to his weapon, now a wizard will be to their implement. Thats great stuff to me!

But I do have some reservations. How does this affect the overall play of the class? There are already spellbooks to guard and hoard – will a wizard be just as handicapped without their implements? The passage above makes it seem not too drastic – wizards can still function without it but less effectively. How costly will the implements be? Will they get to start with an implment? So many questions still. I hate these teasers…