Last Thursday's D&D 4e game was the best yet. It was one of those games where the dice rolls were all over the place, natural 20s appeared just when they were needed and the group of PCs came together and used their strengths not only against their foes but also in aid of each other. It was a big fight against zombies, skeletal archers and a couple of end-of-dungeon bad guys... although, one of the bad guys got away! Dun-dun-duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!
There was also a chance to do some roleplaying. It was difficult because we're a scary bunch of PCs - a Tiefling cleric, a Drow warlock and a Dragonborn warrior. We're a bunch of outsiders and the NPCs we're interacting with are human so it's a difficult job to succesfully communicate withouth scaring them off, but that's the challenge and as roleplayers we're reacting to it.
The games are definitely becoming smoother as we're getting used to the system and the use of the encounter cards. I still think that having so many abilities at level 1 is a bit too much for so low a level - some of the abilites should really be earned as the game progresses. Newcomers to the game might find it daunting and a bit of a nightmare to keep track of the bonuses and modifiers the cards give. We've been on the go for five or six sessions, now, and we've only just got into a roll, with people using their encounter powers when and how they should. Simply remembering that you had the ability was a pain and sometimes involved a lot of page-flipping, and we're seasoned gamers with 100 years of experience between us. Imagine how difficult it must be for the first-time player, not only having to get their heads around the concept of the game but all these extra bits and bobs as well. I'm not sure that D&D 4e is new-gamer player friendly.
High five to Jason the DM, though - the guy must have the patience of a saint with us as players, but he's handled the game brilliantly and given us a great gaming experience. Now that we've mastered D&D 4e as a boardgame it's time to have a stab at it as a tabletop roleplaying game. I'll keep you posted.
ADDITIONAL: Oh, and do you remember when I said I was going to try and design a dungeon using nothing but Microsoft Paint and Word, work on it week by week and make it absolutely huge?
Yeah, well, I'm not.