Sounds horrible, I know. Let me give you some context.
First it is incredibly hard to die in 4e, I think that the only way it was possible was that we were pretty strongly outnumbered/outmatched and I was unlucky in my rolls.
Some of getting into this situation were probably mistakes on our part, but I had invisibly scouted the two possible paths in a cave we were exploring. One had monsters, the other a weird girl having a tea party. Obviously, being down in a cave, we new she wasn't normal, but then she wasn't openly hostile. In trying to ask her about a magic door we were searching for we apparently pushed her too far and were suddenly surrounded by waves of spiders.
There were only 3 of us playing so we probably should have hesitated to get into danger. But in our defense we did hire men-at-arms. And bless my DM's heart, he actually had us roll on my hireling trait table. It wasn't quite the same though-- spiders got initiative and all 7 hirelings were dead before they got to attack, haha.
I actually try to play very cautiously/defensively; I enter combats invisible if I can and because I lose that when I attack, I deployed a magical candle that grants invisibility to anything in a small radius. So I try to snipe things from within my protective blind. Because of this I was actually the last to go down. Both my party members went down. the first time I revived one, but he was quickly dropped again to be revived by the other player who was then dropped himself. The problem was there were spiders everywhere and it was hard to move around without getting opportunity attacked (I thought that was a feature people hated in 3.5? hmm).
So in saving my buddies I lost my hidey hole and was laid low pretty quickly. My teammates actually both managed to flee and live to fight another day.
So could we have made better decisions? Maybe, I'm not sure what they would have been though. Could we have prepared better strategically? Maybe, but again, other than waiting for a session when more players could be present to enter the caves I don't know what we could have done.
So why not roll up a character an jump right back in? The thought just makes me tired. I can't figure out this rule system. I don't know what the designers expect me to do. You might say, don't worry about that just roleplay, but that's how you end up as spider-snack.
See, I like magic and tend toward playing characters of the mage variety, but in 4e the wizard seems completely useless. It's hard to explain if you aren't familiar with the rules, but characters have different "powers" that they can use more or less frequently depending on, well, how powerful they are. Your standard peeshooter attack you can use "at-will." Other attacks you can use once a battle and finally the most powerful attacks you can use only once a day.
So, my character is, was a 7th level wizard and his daily powers, presumably the most deadly, are:
- Stinking cloud
- Bigby's Icy grasp
- Summon Fire Warrior
How about sleep? Well you have to roll to hit and if you miss, the targets are slowed, which is pretty much useless because they're already standing in your face wailing on you, they don't need to move. If you are lucky enough to hit the creature with your magical sleep dust they are slowed and if they fail a save they fall asleep. They get a save every combat round after that to wake up.
Ok, is it me or is that the nerf of all nerfing? Once a day>if you hit>if target fails save>they sleep.
I really hate to be that guy at the table, the one that brings things down and makes it less fun for the DM. I hope my jokes and banter made up for any complaints I made, but it's just really frustrating to not be able to figure a game out. I think it might be doubly frustrating because the game looks like one I've played but if I play it like that game I don't do well.
The friend that said I was just a sore loser said maybe I just didn't build my wizard right, I'd made the wrong choices in character creation. That kind of irked me and I challenged him to make a 7th level wizard any way he wanted and I'd fight him with an elf two levels lower and win.
I said that because most of the party is elf or elf-related. They get to do things like teleport during combat and their daily powers tend to be about doing more damage rather than just putting effects on foes. I have a sinking suspicion that the wizard is meant to be "Crowd Control." Somehow constraining monsters or funneling them like in a MMO. But none of the effects my spells create-- slow, daze-- can actually prevent a creature from attacking. And even if I could somehow manipulate where monsters moved or attacked how would that change a battle, the elves are all attacking with all their might anyway?
So, again, I can't figure that system out and because of that it is frustratingly unfun.
And because of that I don't want to play it. I enjoy the socializing. We did some creative roleplaying, but once we entered a battle I new it would be at least an hour of frustration. And battles were inevitable.
Anyway, that's my rant. I'd be fascinated to hear from anyone who's successfully played a 4e wizard, or from a DM familiar with both 4e and older versions of D&D that could weigh in on the differences in approach required to be successful.