Plus I know 4E isn't nearly as simplified as claimed, if at all.
I ran a session for some friends, and this is exactly what I encountered. Combat didn't really feel much different to me as the DM, and it certainly didn't go faster like they advertise. Part of that was the learning curve, to be sure, but I really didn't feel like my job as the DM was simplified in any way by the new rules and new stat blocks.
To me it felt pretty much the same as as 3.5 except with 4th level or so characters right off the bat, stupider race choices, and a distinct lack of the "useless" skills I'm so fond of.
Very interesting indeed as I (and my group) have had the exact opposite
experience with 4th Edition.
Combat in our games has been going much much more faster than our 3.5 games, and this is with more enemies on the battlefield. Much more faster. We were laughing about that last night, how a necromancer in 4E could send waves of skeleton or zombie minions etc. against the party and we could have a blast mowing them down, and it would still be a challenge. Whereas in 3.5 the neromancer would say to the party: "Give up your lives to me or you will face the wrath of my undead in waves of 2! Waves of 2!
" Lol! Let's face it, the Challenge Rating system in 3.5 just plain sucked.
If your job as a DM hasn't been simplified in any way by 4th Edition I take it you actually haven't read the DMG
. The XP Budget System
has made encounter building insanely more simplified, with more options to boot! (Ask any of the folks here at Goodman Games who are designing 4E DCC's) Plus they finally have monsters in the MM
indexed by level in the back, plus
they have recommended ecounter builds for every single monster on almost every page of the Monster Manual
. Having various templates for pretty much every monster is an awesome feature too.
Ah, "stupider" race choices. I take it your the gnome bard type. Well, the first PHB
only contains a fraction of the races that will be available in 4th Edition, so if you hate Dragonborn and Tieflings, just hold your horses, whatever race your looking for will be avalable in due time. I really dig Dragonborn, we have a Dragonborn Paladin in our party it it's a really cool addition.