Now that the dust has (more than!) settled after release of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, what does everyone think of it? I remember reading that it seeked to address many of the problems that people had with 3.5 and 4 by stripping out most of the hardcore combat mechanics and making it much more ‘rules lite’ and easier to run.
One of the main problems I had with 3.5/Pathfinder was as soon as the dreaded ‘roll for initiative’ was called, the game descended into nothing more than an immersion ruining miniatures game.
Would you recommend 5th edition to a new player? Likes/Dislikes about the system?
Pretty much like every other system it has its pros and cons. And those really depend on what you like in RPG systems.
So, you’re probably only gonna find out if it’s for you if you’ll give it a try.
Many things are much easier than in previous editions or other systems (such as Pathfinder e.g.). That (un)fortunately also means that your character doesn’t get that many abilities/bonuses. And many abilities have limited use (‘needs a short or long rest’ to do it again). AFAIK any kind of bonus/penalty you could have gotten from things like flanking, being prone, etc. has been ‘converted’ to advantage and disadvantage (roll twice, take the more or less favorable result).
You can also do anything you want on your turn without having to think about standard actions, move actions, swift actions, etc. So if you have two attacks you can move, attack, move, attack again as long as your movement speed allows for that. Attacks of opportunity have been simplified as well.
The list of things that could provoke one in Pathfinder (A funny video explaining AoO) has been reduced to ‘leaving the area threatened by an enemy’.
So you can move around an enemy if you want to without provoking an attack of opportunity. In return there is no more 5-foot-step (which again has its pros and cons)
All of this simplifies things but isn’t necessarily good tbh.
However I like it and I am a big fan of Pathfinder. I’m missing a couple of things from Pathfinder and I don’t know yet how the system will perform in a longer campaign but I’d say, give it a try and you’ll find out for yourself!
Simon will probably be more than happy having you join our 5e campaign (even if its just for a session)
But coming back to your questions: Yes, I would recommend it for new players but I’d also recommend Pathfinder, 3.5 etc… With the right GM any system can be fun for a new player.
After a few games I ran as a DM I am pleasantly surprised about the streamlining overhaul they did with 5e. IMHO the background feature, downgrading the min-max potential and especially the inspiration mechanics really made D&D better.
That said, the grandfather of all RPGs is still far from perfect, though the slim and slick ruleset makes it easier for DMs to tweak it into something useable for many possible needs. Also some aspects are a litte confusing and elaborated at first - like wether one should make an Ability Check or a Saving Throw - but from a game design point of view most of the new stuff makes sense.
From a players perspective I like WotCs efforts to bring the focus back on “fun to play character concepts”, rather than the “survivability and powermongering” of previous editions. Of course there are still game-breaking loopholes, like the “Eldritch Blast Gattling Gun” Warlock-Sorcerer-Combo or the exploitation of certain “bad” rules synergies, but all in all I think 5e is one of the better RPGs ot there nowadays - for newbies and veterans alike.
Oo, some actual RPG discussion! This might challenge my resolution of “If you can’t say anything nice,” though.
Seriously, though, I think it’s a perfectly fine game to play. As Thopthes said, any system can be fun with the right group (both the greatest boon and the greatest bane of RPG design), and besides, for new players, it has the advantage of a huge player base, and it should be well supported, at least until the next edition rolls around.
And the system isn’t bad, either, even if it isn’t really to my taste. It’s certainly well-intentioned, most notably in its attempts to offer flexibility. That’s definitely worth something.
Two things to think about before reaching for 5th edition, however:
Good games generally begin life with somebody thinking, “Wouldn’t it be neat if …” That’s not how 5th edition came about.
The only reason we’re talking about 5th edition in the first place is because it says “D&D” on the cover. If the exact same game had been released under a different title, say as an OSR off-shoot, perhaps, then the number of people choosing it over available alternatives would be very, very small.
Well, objectively, 5th edition is best version of the game ever, gloriously emerging from its chrysalis after 40 years and spreading its wings into a new magnificent form.
From now on every RPG product will be judged only on the basis of its contribution as forerunner into this new version of the hobby, as should be judged any other product of civilization.
Anyway, I personally like it. I like that it streamline combat as I feel that some people could get bored and distracted from the minutiae of 3.finder.
I REALLY like that they make character background and role play an important part of the game and tied a mechanical reward as an incentive. It was also one of my favourite part about Pendragon.
I like the way they deal with spells. Cantrips are now more useful. I also like ritual magic: now there is some use for these weird situational spells that nobody ever took because what are the odds they would come up? And the way they handle upgrade on the same spell. Instead of repeating the same spell in a variety of way (cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds…) they just have one spell that can be cast in a more powerful manner. Small detail but I like it…
Incidentally, I do like the reworking of the FR that came with this edition. I didn’t like many of the change to the setting introduced in 4th and these have been largely reverted.
They are a few things I don’t necessarily like. I think I preferred the skill system in 3.finder. I still miss the self contained monster blocks from 4th ed. And, as a DM, I liked the clear guidelines from PF more (for treasure allocation or magic item creation or monster/trap design). In 5th ed, it is more vaguely defined and I feel more liket to screw things up…
Overall, I think it is a fine game. Is it better than other editions? It is a matter of taste, I suppose…
I mean you can get all the books but I really do like it when games have everything available online as well. Pathfinder’s online resources for example. You can basically search for anything on d20pfsrd.com or Paizo’s page
In my opinion D&D 5e is really nice especially for new players, because its easier to learn by a great margin than other editions or systems.
As a GM i also like a lot of the stuff they changed, one thing I miss a bit is the old Bonus/Malus System, because it allowed smaller and more precise tweeks to the game than the new Advantage/Disadvantage System. I think it was better to award different playstiles, especially for more creative (combat) actions and approaches of players.
Another thing I do not like as much is the skill system because it is quite rigid and there are few(er) possibilities to personalize a character than in other Systems. Regarding skill systems I am a great fan of the Warhammer (40k and Fantasy 2e) system, because you can really personalize characters by choosing only the skills you like and not the classes but carrer approach. But this only applies for experienced players, for newbies its a really hard system.
I really like DMing in 5e, it’s straightforeward but gives a lot of options to space out and tweek. For a beginner DM it could be a bit harder because guidelines are not that clear, but as an advanced DM I think its great because you are nor as “chained” as in other systems.
To cut it short, I like 5e quite much but it’s not perfekt yet (for me) and it always comes down to personal opinion. At the moment I am running 3 groups in 5e (2 Newbies, 1 advanced player groups) and all of us quite like and really enjoi it.
Now I am really looking forward to a new Warhammer Fantasy Edition, which is not as garbage as the 3rd one and can continue the glory of the first two editions
D&D 5 has the quadratic wizard linear fighter problem of D&D 3rd / 3.5 / Pathfinder, but to a lesser extent.
Plus it is by far more simpler than Pathfinder, especially in high levels (statblocks of lvl 20 PF Characters are insane and to micromanage them is a huge effort). Still the utility option of a caster character are much higher, than those of a character with any non-magic class … even at mid-level. The DM has to make rests scarce or has to put anti-magic foes into the mix to balance things out.
I agree with the fact, that if D&D5 had been an “OSR Clone” the attention would have been smaller.
I found D&D 5 to be very useful for “D&D-themed” One Shots and will use this system for this purpose in the future. For a more “Miniatur-Heavy” game I would probably use another system (and not Pathfinder) … but that’s just me.
Pathfinder’s plus is all the rules online at http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ as Thopthes mentioned earlier and its massive content including several almost ready to play adventure paths.
P.S.: The AoO Video is hillarious
P.P.S.: My favorite Miniature-Heavy RPG game right now is Fragged Empire (it’s sci-fi though^^)
Well, as mentioned you and Lady K. would be welcome in one of our games.
And of you don’t feel like waiting, I can always get a one shot ready for you to give the game a try. In fact, I am supposed to run a D&D5 introductory game on a coming Thursday, presumably in a few weeks…
I mean, the PHB and DMG start to had up to a bit of money, probably safer to try the game before sinking in too much cash…
I am tired of pathfinder as a GM for there is no end in sight. As a Player thats a good Thing; but as a GM to think about which books to allow and what isnt broken yet or which bonuses are to big is bothersome to me now.
So 5e came along and helped me get my d20 fix.
The easy mechanic to convert every significant bouns to Advantage and every Detriment to Disadvantage is my new favorite mechanic.
Inspiration is like a tiny benny which can either be given for good roleplay or you have to live with a bard in your mids.
Yes the skills are a little limiting but really? we are talking d20 here; the fun is in the roleplay with not much mechanics behind it and super awesome fights where the mechanics are needed anyway. (or you could try LARPing, which is fun to)
a little long winded to say i like it I guess…
sorry for that
I’ve been thinking about this a bit (see, I do take what you guys say to heart ), and couldn’t figure out why I also like this so much in Pendragon but feel that it grates in 5th edition. I think I’ve finally come up with an answer: genre emulation! More later …
Also, I’m totally stealing Darth’s line about 5th edition being “D&D-themed.”
With all the UA ranger variants out there, I recently aimed for a rule-mechanic solution, that incorpoates options for the original, the spell-less and the new UA conclave ranger. I think I ended up complicating things too much, but maybe you enjoy the read of my homebrew. C&C welcome.
Thanks a bunch. Although I did not use the “Homebrewery” site, but my usual tool of the trade InDesign. Homebrewery is made for Google Chrome, using Safari on my Mac with it always results in garbled PDFs. I posted my little ranger project already in the D&D 5e Facebook group with mixed results. Ranging from excitement, interest, down to loathing. But most of the many replies were positive, so I guess I will file this project as a mild succes.