Yay! I have an entire bookshelf full of out-of-date material!
But fortunately, I picked up the fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook this weekend, and worked up a character for our game on Monday.
Yes, I know I'm normally our Monday DM, however one of the players (who is also a DM) got all the books through checking the bits along the torrents and has crafted an adventure for us already. So I get to step back and actually play a few games until we 'port over their 3.5 characters (which will be interesting, considering we have two gnomes, a monk and a sorcerer in the crew), and then he and I will switch off as previously planned throughout the "campaign".
Anyway, pouring through the flashy new 4th edition PHB I was struck by a couple things. First, the artwork is really well done. I was worried it was going to look like DnD Modern looked, all cartoony and big-handed and stupid, but fortunately it doesn't. Second is that it is so different from 3.5 I am actually quite confused about some rules. Less confused than when we playtested the Shadowfell adventure, but still a little confused. Oh well, we'll see how it'll play out.
Now, I understand that nothing is more boring than hearing a person talk about some great thing their character did in a game you weren't present at. This is one of the social pitfalls of nerdery, one of the many pitfalls that gives all science fiction fans a bad name. I refer to this as the "Half-Orc Paladin" syndrome. As in having to yell at a stinky squatter at Pegasus Games: "I don't freaking care about your half-orc paladin!" Of course now that Half-orcs no longer exist in 4e I'll have to come up with a more esoteric and stupid race/class combo for that reference.
But I digress, the point being that hearing someone talk about a DnD game you weren't involved in rates up there with hearing about how someone beat the second-to-highest score on Elevator Action. On the other hand, recapping the awesome feats of derring-do of your mighty adventurers with other players who were involved in the game is about the funnest thing possible. Hell, Brando and I still reminisce about the exploits of The mighty Vampire Slayer Quinn of the Dancing Blades and his trusty sidekick, Garsome Cinderheart: Dwarven Orc-Smasher!
All that said, I'm still going to summarize my character creation process for our adventure, in full awareness of my nerdery. I eventually narrowed it down to two options:
1) Rex Thunderguns: Ancestor to Mighty Chief Theogrim Grudgebearer, Slayer of the Twelve Bear-Men of Wereblight Valley, Retriever of the Bone Axe of Ghorz Bloodharvest, and Bedder of the Nine Beautiful Daughters of King Amorinous!
2) Vincent Von Grimm: Decendent of the Half-Dragon Necromancer Xanthugar Nyarlthotep, Banisher of the Black Beast of Butcher Bog, Keeper of the Six Orbs of Ioun Fellhammer, and Bedder of the Nine Beautiful Daughters of ArchDeamon Nicodemous!
Then I found out that one of the guys in our group was making a Dwarven Fighter named "Cuttem Ta'Pieces," so Rex will have to wait. Von Grimm it is! Half-elven Warlock of the Eldritch Arts! Keeper of the Sinister Secrets Man was not meant to know! Singer of the Six-Hundred and Sixty-Six Songs of Sensuous Suffering! Conjurer of Fell Magics Beyond Comprehension!
Behold his power and quake in fear!
I present to you...Vincent Von Grimm!