This troper was up in arms after seeing the announcement for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition. But after I came to consider that I hadn't played D&D for nearly a year by that point, and hadn't DMed in about two, thanks to my growing frustration with creating adventures past 13th level, that my opinion shifted to more "wait and see." And then I picked up the preview books describing changes to the assumptions of the setting, which kicked off a great storm of world revamping and creative growth, and then got a chance to play with the quick-start rules and found it so much easier to use that my opinion did a complete 180. — The Stray
I was also rather concerned about a lot of the changes, and then I played some and discovered that the new Fighter rules and special abilities make me into the ultimate tank with much more ease than before. — Crazael
I originally thought the Primordials in the new generic campaign setting were a cheesy Exalted ripoff. Then I started thinking of them as more like the Giants of Norse Mythology, powerful and chaotic elemental beings that are in opposition to the gods. They suddenly became much cooler, as I am a bit of a Norse mythology fan. — Peteman
The dragonborn seemed like a cheesy, "here, you can play a dragon character" addition to the game, until our group started exploring the potential backgrounds in each of the races. With bonuses to Charisma, History checks, and a background involving a long-lost empire, the dragonborn sound less tossed-in, and a lot more like a race inspired by Persian/Arabic backgrounds, and even nods to Islam and Zoroastrianism. With that, my view of the dragonborn turned from "Why did we need this?" to "There is but one god, and Bahamut is his prophet." — Delcan
And now I need to clean off my screen - and thank Delcan for giving me something new to play with in AD&D...
Reading this Fridge Brilliance entry inspired me to realize WHY they changed the death and dying rules the way they did. (Aside from Rule of Fun). D&D became more popular and more "mainstream" over the years. Therefore, trends in gaming changed from the "Let's simulate an adventure." to a "Let's be the perfect action hero who recovers and prevails during fights!", so D&D changed to suit the new audiences demands. Pity that's what annoys me so much. — Hariman
This troper's particular original point of contention was that 4E seems to be trying to enforce a 'level cap', MMORPG style, as if to discourage epic-level play. But later, I realised that pretty much everyone will admit that at epic levels in previous editions of D&D (and many other games), balance is an absolute joke in so many ways, combat takes forever to resolve, and gameplay itself becomes absolutely ridiculous. They're trying to encourage players to take their time levelling, or even be more willing to retire characters that become powerful enough and roll new ones. It's not something you have to agree with or like by any means (most of my friends don't like the idea) but they did that for a reason. -Sabre Justice.
This pales in comparison to the other examples here, but the 4th ed. Monster Manual 2 has a foe called the Human Gladiator. His Well-Placed Kick dazes and slows its target.
A bit of Forgotten Realms fluff related fridge brilliance; a lot of people complained about them killing Mystra in 4e, after it had been established that Mystra is needed for magic to function. A lot of people also mentioned that Mystra had died more than once before, and asked what made this time so special. It occured to me that there were two constants for when Mystra died; 1: magic started going completely haywire, and 2: someone stepped up and became a new Mystra before things got out of hand. What makes this time different is that the second one didn't happen. No one took over, so magic just went out of control. But where as everyone had expected a complete collapse, instead you got the spellplague.
Even better: magic did completely collapse. The Realms has always been an extremely high-magic world, with a wide array of spellcasters, uses for magic, and a lot of high-power spellcasters. The Weave itself is designed to be an interface, because mortals cannot safely access raw magic without burning their brains out. When Mystra died and the Weave collapsed, it led to the rest of the magic in Realmspace also collapsing. What spellcasters use for magic now is merely remnants, fragments of the former power that magic held. And this also fits in perfectly with how powerful magic had been as compared to how powerful magic is now.
I figured for a bit that the bard would forever be made of weak sauce when it occured to me everyone thinks bards are terrible so when it comes to attack I'm low priority.-Doomboy911
In pathfinder I was wondering how a bard could cast spells while maintaining bardic performance. Then I looked over the bard class's description closer and relaised that they made it so all bard spells have verbalk components and these components depend on perform.
I was wondering why bards would have the ability to create illusions and temporarily summon monsters just by singing and why they're not just called wizards/sorcerers, but then I realized: modern special FX haven't been invented yet! Of course the most successful actors/playwrights would be the illusionists/summoners!
Tabletop-related, I didn't know why one of fast usage options for Hamete's dice server was 4D6-L until I learned how to make a D&D character.
A lot of people think it's silly that the slaadi, the embodiments of Chaotic Neutral in the same way demons personify Chaotic Evil, look like humanoid frogs. The usual response is that, if they embody pure chaos, they could look like anything, so why shouldn't they look like frogs? But after some research I found that in Egyptian mythology, the chaos before creation was inhabited by primal gods, some of whom looked like, you guessed it, frogs. For bonus points, Pathfinder wasn't able to use slaadi due to copyright reasons, so their role of Chaotic Neutral exemplars was filled with the proteans, who, like some other primal Egyptian gods, look like snakes. —Filby
Moreover, how many real-world animals can the average person think of that represent Chaos's transformative aspects better than the frog? In its life cycle, it changes from water-breather to air-breather, herbivore to carnivore, finned to legged. Not even butterflies alter that many aspects of their way of life, in shifting from juvenile to adult; only parasitic worms transform as drastically, and slaadi emulate them in their breeding methods, too.
There's often the question of why worship an evil god when their afterlife is so horrible. Really, it isn't. Sure, there's endless torture and pain, but there's also debauchery to contrast to that- unlike good aligned afterlifes where there's only pleasure, there's no contrast, and pain and pleasure are meaningless without the contrast. More over, evil afterlifes such as the Nine Hells present souls condemned their with constant mental challenges, the opportunity to match wits and will against devils, the most cunning and clever outsiders in the universe. For the intellectually inclined, such an opportunity would be a remarkably stimulating and rewarding experience on it's own, but the end result is the possibility of climbing the diabolic ladder and becoming a more powerful devil- an opportunity for advancement not present in most good aligned afterlifes, where you're expected to sit in contentment for eternity. It's not a bad prospect for most, but for the evil or the ambitious, it would seem profoundly boring.
While the gods have alignment-based portfolios in D&D, they also have specific professions, interests and so on. The afterlife of Vecna, for instance, probably involves more time spent in the library looking over the spell-books than torture or whatever. The mortals are tools for the gods, why would they waste time on them instead of using them just because they're dead. Especially since you only let in the devout followers.
The only afterlife plane that is the standard brimstone and torture hell are the demon and devil planes... and no one does worship them, really. Apart from cultists who are, y'know, into that kind of thing.
About the animated series which is frequently accused of not reflecting the source material: the players have classes that don't match their personalities, don't use their powers effectively, have trouble picking up on the dungeon master's clue and keep arguing all the time. How is this not like a REAL dungeons and dragons game?