D&D 5th Ed: Why You Should Try It

PHB-Cover
Let’s delve into the latest edition of Dungeons and Dragons and compare it to past editions and Pathfinder. You’ll see why it is a wonderful edition to try.

Hello again. Edwin here and today I want to talk to you about the newest edition of D&D. We will go in depth about what makes  this possibly one of the best editions of the game. A lot of things were revamped from previous editions. The major changes really mashed a lot of the best of previous editions together into something greater than the sum of all its parts. Those who played 3.5 or Pathfinder will feel at home in this new edition save a few minor changes. There are a lot of changes in the new edition, so we will only discuss he majors ones.  The major things we are going to discuss is the change in the skill system and how it effects game play,  the changes in combat and the way monsters are designed, how spell casting  and rituals changed, Archtypes and class changes, and the overall pro’s and con’s between 5th edition D&D and 3.5 D&D/Pathfinder.

skills

Perform:Seduction is still not a skill

 

Skills & Backgrounds

The skill system was completely overhauled. The big change from 3.5 and pathfinder is that they eliminated actually giving you points to put in skills. Instead, you get to pick skills that you can do well.  This means that save for a handful of skills, you primarily use your ability modifier.  This systems seems like it would reduce the choices you have in skills, but they also reduced the list of skills also. On top of that, the skills you are proficient in get a good bonus, but one that won’t let you instantly win a skill check versus someone who doesn’t have the skill. You get between +2 to +6 depending on your level from one to twenty.  The number of skills and which skills you get depends on two factor. You class has a certain number of skills you get that you can pick from. These skills all pertain to what the class would get. Wizards can get skills like arcane, fighters can get things like athletics, and rogues get sneak. Things like that. If you want skills outside of what your class can do, you have the second option for skills, your background.  Your background is what you did before your life up to the point where you became an adventurer. It helps to fill out your character and show you did something other than just kill monsters and take their things your entire life. These vary greatly, so you can get a wide variety of skills and they all come with a separate power that flesh out how your backstory.  They even show how you can make your own background to better fit the role and life you wanted previous to adventuring. On top of background , there are also other small ways. Some select race get a couple extra skills and there is even a feat that can give you more skills. With the list of skills down from the massive amount is was  to 18, you can learn a good amount of skills, but not everything. They really make it  to where skills are noticeable, but they are not the craziness that was the D&D 3.5 skills.

tarrasqu

Lions, Tigers, and … god help us.

Monsters!

One of the big changes in the game was how monsters are made and how combat works. The monster’s design changed in a really good way. Rarely is a monster going to lay the smack down on you like they could in earlier editions. They do a lot less damage and only have a couple of attacks most of the time. Their attacks feel more meaningful. In 3.5, a dragons could have claw,claw, tail, wing, wing, and bite for attacks. If it missed with one of those, o well, it has easily 5+ more. Now, if a claw misses, you dodged a bullet. When someone attacks, the “attack” action now lets you do your full attack so you can do more with your turn besides punch someone in the face.They kept the 4th edition idea of designing monsters to fill a role and this helps in making dynamic and diverse encounters very easy. When it comes to hitting monsters, the changes they made to AC often means it doesn’t get very high. It is easier for everyone to hit.  It is quick, clean, and easy.  They made up for this by giving everyone a lot more HP. You aren’t going to get lucky and one shot  a monster most of the time. At the same time, you aren’t at as much of a risk of getting one shot either, even as one of the more squishier classes.   They also added in two things for boss monsters. They can have lairs that have effects when you fight someone inside their lair. They often even increase the CR for fights inside the lair. They also added legendary actions. These are actions that can take place outside of the monster’s turn and make for a more dynamic fight.  All of this combined into a combat system that is quicker because you will often have to look less in the book, but longer because the fights have less risk of someone walking up and rolling a natural 20 and backhanding an encounter before it even gets started because the dice love them and vice versa for the monsters.

casting

As much as we try, we will never be Nicholas Cage casting fireball cool.

Magic

Spells got a pretty big overhaul this edition. You can now cast certain spells as a ritual. They take longer to cast, but they don’t consume a spell slot when cast this way. Spells in general got more powerful for three reason. First and foremost, spell casting doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunities unless they have special rules for it. They limited attack of opportunities to only really be when someone moves out of threat range so you don’t get punched in the face as often for casting spells. The save for spells is more universal now. Your strongest spell and weakest spell will have the same save. Because you cast the weaker spells more often, this tends to make them stronger. It is less about the spell and more about the caster now. This also means you have to look up less. All saving throws someone has to take is one universal number. Spells also got stronger in that most spells can be cast at a higher level than the one they provide in the book. This often causes the spell to hit more people or do more damage. This means, you can diversify your spell list and still have damage. A fireball cast with a higher spell level does more damage. This means if you want to take utility spells instead of higher damage spells, you can. It opens the option for more flexibility in spell lists. They make up for these two buffs in one distinct way. Everyone knows a lot less spells. The classes that have this as a class weakness such as sorcerer  or warlock see this a lot. They know an incredibly small number of spells and this means they often take less damage spells.  There is no way to know more spells through modifier and even some of the bonus spells only extend the spell lists unless the specifically say you know them too like the cleric domain’s. It really makes spell choice really hard at times. It is more than take the iconic spells like fireball, lightning bolt,  and identify.  Finally, they also changed spells to have the requirement of concentration. Some spells that were really powerful when cast over and over again require you to concentrate to keep their effect going. You can’t just use hold person over and over again on a lot of targets. You have to concentrate on them and they can be broken when attacked. A lot of buffs require you to concentrate. They made buffs more powerful at least.

 sword-coast1-740x360

Fireball your party, they will never see it coming.

Classes

The classes all got overhauled in great ways in this new editions. All of the melee classes few like they were brought to rank up with the spell casters and the spell casters were changed in just enough of a way to tone down their power. The attack action gets you all of your attacks and lets you move still. Most of the melee feats were gotten rid of and most people can just do those actions without feats. The classes are wonderfully diverse from each other.Everyone has their own unique mechanic and even the fighter has a lot of things besides punch someone in the face. Even among the classes themselves, every class has a growing list of archetypes. These archetypes changes the way a class works. We will use the fighter for example. The fighter’s three archetypes in the Player’s Handbook are eldritch knight, champion, and battle masters. The eldritch knight is a spell slinging swordsmen with a plethora of tricks, the champion is a traditional fighter with sword and shield wadding into battle, and the battlemaster controls the enemy through hindering and moving the enemy around in favorable ways. Each takes someone who in past editions just punches people in the face and changes the way they function while still being the same class. The only big downside to the archetype system we have now is that prestige classes haven’t really taken hold yet. They previous prestige classes are all archetypes now so if you want to be an assassin you must go rogue and eldritch knights are fighters.  Also, some of the classes have weird power curves with some classes getting incredibly devastating cap stones , which is what the end ability in a path is called, or often can be utterly worthless in the grand scheme of things. This is nothing a good tweaking couldn’t fix.

Pros & Cons

So this may have all been a little TLDR, but you could go into entire articles about each and every points. I think a nice little break down of the pros and cons of 5E. This won’t a complete list of pros and cons, but it really will hit the big ones. Also, there is a wonderful surprise at the end for those who have stayed this long.

Pros

I love you google

  • 5E D&D skill set is quick, clean, and easy to understand. It may be a little simplistic at times, but the system makes your actions the center point instead of the what you roll. How well you roll is still a factor, but it isn’t the be all and end all it was in older editions.
  • Combat has evolved into a more dynamic encounter that doesn’t consume every feat you have in order to do more than walk up and punch someones face off. Monsters are the same and it makes combat flow better. It may take longer, but it reduces the chance that combat is going to end because someone rolled really well. It makes fights easier to handle.
  • Spells feel more meaningful on every level. They often can do more and can be powered up. The damage spells are easier to use as they scale with spell level, the utility spells work better and have become more powerful, and even cantrips have their own distinct use. Also, spell saving throw is one universal save now.
  • The variety of classes offered really does make an already unique feeling class feel specialized. Even the melee classes have distinct feels and charm all their own. Even bards are quite a bit more useful than before.
  • The game is really set to rewards crafting and creating what fits for you and your story. The bound system that is in place means creating something all your own has never been easier. Balance is there in spades and overall this is probably the best edition of the game I have played yet.
cons

I hate you google

  • The skill system at time is really simple. Sometimes to simple. You may not have to look at your character sheet almost ever for it, but you are either good or you aren’t with a skill. The books only have so many backgrounds. We need just a few more.
  • Fights can sometimes take a little longer than they should. When a CR 2 creatures has nearly 100 hp, it can take  a while to cleave that path through the dungeon.
  • No one really knows that many spells. This really puts an emphasis on what spells you pick and their importance. If you don’t play these classes often, this because a really hard decisions and can kneecap a character if they aren’t careful. Playing a caster has never been harder, but it has never been as fulfilling either.
  • Sometimes, the Archetypes can get a little silly. The beast master for ranger at times feels so incredibly useless and needs a complete work over and some of the capstones for things like battle master fighter make you cry on the inside when compared with death strike (comparing a single extra maneuver if you don’t have any left  at the start of combat compared to a constitution save or take double damage from a certain attack.  They don’t compare all that well.) Like backgrounds, we just need a few more books with Archetypes to really get them going.
  • While the game is easy to mod and add on to, sometimes, you may need to do that to  make it make sense. You can see the feel that they were going for, but somethings don’t really work.

And now time for the big reveal at the end. Wizards of the Coast did something no one saw coming as I was writing this. The gave us this D&D System Reference Document.This document is the basis for 5th Edition D&D. You can go look for yourself and see what this game has to offer now before you ever make an investment. Pathfinder did this with great success and now WotC have done it.

 

So here is a brief overview of 5E D&D. It isn’t everything, but it is enough to get started. With the provided SRD, you can see for yourself on what this edition is all about.

  • Allerka

    This…might have been a lot more useful if someone had bothered to run a spell check on it.

    Heh, “spell check”.

  • Dave

    While I haven’t tried 5th yet, I was able to look over the preview edition. My impression was that it moved the game back towards the second edition/original version. Which is a good thing. Every edition since second felt more like playing a video game than role playing. This version seemed to bring the ‘magic’ back, putting more emphasis on imagination and spontaneity and less on number crunching.

  • Shawn

    Thanks for showing the other opposing point of view from the Pathfinder article Edwin. I agree that this is the best edition of D&D to date. While all games have their flaws, at least in 5th edition the DM and the players have room to create new and exciting things without being tied down by existing rules and any perceived flaws can be easily be fixed by DM adjudication. I don’t think we necessarily need more books to fix them.

  • Shawn Enge

    I liked what I saw in the playtest rules for fifth. My issue is having gotten rid of most of my old stuff I’m not ready to commit to another version, especially when the books are $50 a pop. I’d play for sure though. Might pick up the starter boxed set.

    • riburn3

      Amazon has all the books on prime for around 40-50% off. Makes it much easier to jump in.

      • Shawn Enge

        This is true. My other big issue is getting my gaming group to adopt as well. After getting burned on 4th edition they have moved away from WotC for other systems like Savage Worlds. I won’t commit money until I am guaranteed a long term campaign 😉

        • Xodis

          With the new OGL in place, you should be able to playtest 5e without too much investment. There is also the free download for the basic rules, that really let you dive in at zero cost.
          It is sad that you already got rid of your older books though, IMO 5e has been the easiest edition to convert older books and adventures to.

          • Shawn Enge

            I’ll have to check out the OGL stuff then. Thanks for the info!

          • Xodis

            No prob, it was JUST released this week, so its really new lol.

        • riburn3

          4th edition killed it for our group as well. We basically sat out several years worth of D&D and I was able to pull all my friends into 40k because of it.

          When the new 5th edition starter set dropped, we decided to dip our toe in and we haven’t looked back. We are currently running the Out of the Abyss campaign book, which is a total blast, and rewards you for your ability to improv and problem solve, versus hacking everything that moves.

          If I were you I would download the OGL and grab the Starter Set (only $13 on Amazon). You’ll get a great mini campaign and a solid feel for the game without investing much.

          • Shawn Enge

            We moved on to other systems. The system is only a framework, IMO, and not nearly as important as the characters and your imagination. If I get a chance I’ll certainly check it out but DND is no longer the only game in town . . . to speak

  • riburn3

    The author failed to mention that one of the best benefits of toning combat and skills down is that there is a greater emphasis on roleplaying and storytelling. Arguably the most important reason many people get into D&D in the first place.

    Previous editions of the game made it seem like you would spend all your time hacking and slashing like a video game.

    Download The Adventure Zone podcast for a hilarious 5e adventure that will give you a great feel for the mechanics.

  • Nice write up. It answers alot of my questions that face to face talkin didnt cover. Ill stick with 3.5 but its nice to know that its not far off 5th.

  • After three years with D&D 4e and two years of Pathfinder, I finally disbanded my group. I was about to snap and strangle the power gamers and rules lawyers.

    RPGs when I was younger (Rifts) seemed easy to understand and were about actual role play – not who had the best gear and feats.

    It’s not the fault of Wizards of the Coast or Paizo that people are imbeciles, but it begs the question of whether these games actually work as planned.

    I mean, I had players that would say, “But the power says the enemy bleeds!” even if the enemy was a ghost or skeleton. And when I said, “They don’t bleed” they’d quickly argue, “It’s ghost-blood!” or “Skeletons have bone marrow which has blood in it!”

    Do people really have successful RPG groups anymore?

    • Commissar Molotov

      Mike, you just need better friends.

      • I’m at the point where I feel like RPGs are well-intended, but there’s just too many people who try to exploit the rules.

        I’d try to explain how physics works – which is no different than our own real world so it shouldn’t need explaining to adults, and they’d constantly rebuttal, “But magic!”

        And for some reason, and this is probably just a personal belief thing, the foundations of science started to merge with magics. It got to the point where in-game science was treated as magic.

        If I had introduced a Frankenstein’s monster type scenario, they’d call it necromancy instead of a scientific breakthrough (or blunder, depending on your point of view).

        • Xodis

          Try FFG’s Star Wars, its more narrative focused than 5e, and that says a lot I believe.

          • Commissar Molotov

            I’d have unleashed Paranoia! on that group, lol. That’s a great game to play with people who take RPG’ing too seriously.

          • Xodis

            I’ve never gotten the chance to experience Paranoia! but I here about it often. Definitely need to get a game going!

          • euansmith

            The new version of Paranoia is still chuntering its way through the development process, getting a lot of play testing. Have you got hold of that, or are your using the previous version?

          • Commissar Molotov

            Still using the old one – but glad to hear they’re bringing it back!

        • Shawn Enge

          Yeah, sounds like you just need a new group, one that has a more or less like mind over rules, interpretations, and know when to back off when you lay down the law.

        • Edwin Allen Juengel

          They really did help some things like that. Everything uses common game terms. For example, bleed does necrotic damage. The system uses a lot of terms to crisply define things instead of just having more vague descriptors. It is easier to see the more powerful things, but harder to break things at the same time.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Sounds like you game with crappy players.

      • To be fair, the grid maps and miniatures/tokens aspect reinforces a board game (Diablo-like) mentality.

        I kept trying to tell them that the maps are for visual reference and positioning on them is more relative than literal. But it was a concept they just couldn’t grasp.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Then you are not playing the right game.

          The game rewards careful movement, subtle placement and tactical thinking, especially 4E.

          Theater of the mind can work but it definitely changes the game. Honestly, it changes it in decidedly negative ways.

          I think 5E or 1/2E would be better for you.

          • 4th edition was the worst culprit. It was Diablo: the Board Game. Everyone was a tank with high HP, potions, health regeneration, etc. No incentive for RP, it was just enough story to set up the next encounter.

            The best RPGs were those without maps or miniatures.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            And that would be your preference. I know lots of people dislike theater of the mind. Everyone is different.

            Additionally, it is incumbent upon the DM to make the story work. I have had long running campaigns that used 4E and most were not any more combat focused than any of my other campaigns that utilize other systems.

          • “The game rewards careful movement, subtle placement and tactical thinking, especially 4E.”

            See, you’re describing a wargame here. That’s the difference. It’s not literal placement, as nobody’s body is in the shape of 5’x5′ squares.

            Roleplay, in its truest form, is more fluid than moving in squares of space with restrictions such as “can’t be in the same square as an enemy” or “can’t move through enemies”. It’s parkour (running along walls or up a dragon’s back), jumping over or sliding under enemies, etc.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I’ve had this debate with people so many times that it just grows so tiresome.

            Roleplaying Games are games. Some people like clear and concise rules, other like more vague or simpler rules. There is no right or wrong answer to this.

            You have a preference for theater of the mind games. That is perfectly acceptable but you cannot sit there and say 4E is not an RPG.

            It is simply an RPG that you do not care for.

            4E was not to your liking, it didn’t suit your playstyle or expectations. The board took you out of the fantasy. That’s perfectly fine. I know lots of people who loathe the impreciseness of theater of the mind. They love the tactical elements of the board and the way it more clearly lays out the challenge before them.

            I know people who hate skills and believe you should just be able to do everything with an ability check.

            I know people who hate d20s and only play d100 games.

            Etc., etc., etc.

            You have a preference that does not invalidate all other games that fallout side your narrow preference band. 🙂

          • So, wait… the sales numbers match my point of view. The massive amounts of fanbase that left the game match my point of view. And apparently you’ve had this argument “so many times” with people that share my point of view.

            Now, I must ask… Despite the fact you come off as egocentric, you’re actually subtly admitting to being a minority on 4th edition, so what makes you think your assessment is better than anyone else’s at this point? All data proves you wrong.

            Opinions are one thing because one is never better than another, but you’re acting like a megalomaniac fanboy to anyone who disliked 4th edition.

          • euansmith

            I tried running 4e but found that a single combat encounter was enough to soak up most of our time and energy for the session. I’m a big fan of more free form rules systems; but, as you say, it is a matter of preference.

    • Current gamer culture is all about those winz.

      That being said, I run two group and both are a lot of fun, but I am very particular about whom I let in my groups.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      we have some great ones with some dang good systems.

  • Commissar Molotov

    I love the new D&D rules. I bought this set of rules after having sat out everything after “Advanced,” and it feels like I never left.

    • euansmith

      I tried out the original bundles of play test material. Now I’ll have to look up the free rules and see what is has turned in to.

  • Grand_Master_Raziel

    My first impression when I read the 5th ed rules was that WotC regretted throwing over 3.5 for 4th ed and wishes they had produced Pathfinder instead, but now they can’t, so they had to come up with something different.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      4E by any other name would have been a beloved system.

      Pathfinder was the top RPG but only during the years when WotC basically abandoned the RPG market to slowly build 5th Edition.

      Having said that, you can totally see Paizo’s influence on D&D when it comes to publishing adventures. I remember back in 2000, one of the reasons the SRD was created was to offload the adventuring making books on third parties, which would allow WotC to focus their efforts fully on the more profitable splat book aspect of the game.

      Oh how times have changed.

      • Edwin Allen Juengel

        4E worked amazingly well as the basis for the neverwinter MMO. It made things nice and simple were it needed too, but also simplified the options players had which really hurt the game

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Totally agree!

          4E was and is a great system. The problem with it is that it diverged too far from what people expect D&D to be.

          • 4th edition wasn’t an RPG, it was a hack’n’slash. If it were branded as such (like Super Dungeon Explore), it would’ve been a hit.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            And you would be wrong.

            It was a perfectly serviceable RPG. Just because it did not suit your particular tastes does not mean it was not an RPG.

          • Edwin Allen Juengel

            I think wrong is too strong for this. It was a really hard system to get behind sometimes. It could feel hack and slashy at times and that is part of what made it great for Neverwinter.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I have run multiple campaigns with 4E. I can see why people feel that it is al lhack and slash but I would posit that that feeling has a lot more to do with the DM not working with the system to tell a story than it does anything else.

            Players will instinctively look at their character sheets for answers. It is incumbent upon the DM to help players look past their sheets and find different solutions for certain problems.

            This is true of every edition of D&D, really.

          • Wrong how? I believe the sales numbers and ship-jumpers would have my back on this. There’s a reason 4th edition tanked, and this is it.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Just because you and many others did not like 4E does not mean it was not an RPG or a well rounded game.

          • riburn3

            Very true, although it likely would have done better had it been marketed as a different game and not D&D. 4th edition was too combat focused and as others have said, battles would take too long. While this might be right up some players alleys, I think many older D&D players got into it for role playing and exploring, and not spending hours discussing combat mechanics.

            I know in my area and at my FLGS, D&D was pretty much nonexistant during 4th edition, and now its not uncommon on Saturdays to see 2 or 3 groups of players young and old running a game. An anecdote to be sure, but seems pretty representative of the whole if this thread is any indication.

          • bobrunnicles

            It didn’t tank, at least not when it first came out. However after riding the initial enormous crest of a wave, 4th Ed sank beneath the weight of all the splatbooks, which while they started out strong simply became too much. They just focused imho far too much on the crunch and not enough on the fluff. I was a sanctioned GM and I ran RPGA events using 4th and they were always well attended but after running one scenario several years into the run where we used the entire session for a single (albeit large) combat, both the players and the GM (me!) had had enough. It’s a shame, and I sometimes ponder running 4th again but with a far tighter group of books allowed to limit the powergaming aspect because I loved the presentation and the artwork.

          • I was warned by most of my veteran RPG nerd buddies to stay away from 4th edition and to try Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 instead. I didn’t listen because I figured, hey, it’s the latest edition, so it’ll be updated regularly and they should have a tighter grasp on how to write rules by now.

            I was wrong, and my buddies were right.

  • Kazzigum

    Eh, from the sound of it, I still prefer 3.5. I never had a problem with it and to me, it always seemed to be the ultimate evolution of the original game.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I know people who love 4E and can’t stand 3.5 and vice versa. The edition you prefer really comes down to your playstyle and who you game with.

      • Edwin Allen Juengel

        ^ what that person said. 3.5 worked well for numbers and didn’t do much wrong. 5E works well for story telling and smoother game play. Interactions feel crisp or are easy to figure out almost all of the time

  • Dubledox

    Good article. I currently play 5th and I agree that it’s a great edition of the game.

    I will say that monsters at lower levels do have the ability to absolutely wreck PC parties, depending on the group’s experience level and luck. In several instances I’ve had to intentionally make monsters miss to avoid killing the entire party. Reason being is everyone starts out with so few hit points so a couple of crits can swing even the fairest of fights.

  • Matthew Pomeroy

    I personally cant compare 5th and pathfinder, its like comparing a pre-schooler to Steven Hawking. 5th is a badly watered down over priced version of 3rd ed. I consider it the worst of the five editions, while pathfinder in my opinion is still the best game out there not only for price but for overall support and availability of products. mechanically I find it far superior to 5th, in pretty much every way.They really should have kept some of the concepts from 4th ed, and certainly should have better checked out the people producing their books, the first run PHB was abysmal.

    • Edwin Allen Juengel

      ok, I can understand how 5E can feel watered down, but I don’t understand how pathfinder is the master race in this situation. It is a tweaked 3.5 that brought the classes back together balance wise , but also filled in so many rules that it just made it near impossible to plan or balance at times.Even with their SRD, it was tough to see everything the game had to offer.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        The beauty of the game is you didnt need to use anything you didnt really want to. the core book was all you really needed as it was complete unlike PHB, and was not appreciably more expensive despite having alot more in it and being all around a better product. One of the biggest complaints I heard about 4th is noone wanted a 4th edition to begin with. 3.5 ugly flaws and all was the most popular edition of the game. Pathfinder merely expanded on an already solid product that folks actually wanted. 5th was supposed to bring something similar back, instead we got overpriced watered down poorly bound and poorly printed rubbish, 1/3 of which was spells. a $50 should not have pages falling out of the binding in less than 3 days.

        • Edwin Allen Juengel

          I have heard a few issue with binding of the books, but they were few and far between and everyone I ever saw mention to anyone at Wizards was told to contact the customer line for a whole new book. Also, idk why, but they only seemed to be about the PHB. I have never actually got to see one of these in person. I have also never seen anyone play a pathfinder game using Core book only. 3.5 and pathfinder had the same issue.pathfinder cleaned up some of the ugly flaws 3.5 had, but it made the same marketing mistake and absolutely flooded with content that was balanced with itself until you started adding in other elements things they were printing. You randomly get a fighter that at level 9 can make a whirlwind attack within everyone within 20 feet, crits on a 19+ for x4 with lightning burst and thundering for tons of damage on crit. throw in that this was with a class that could heal and make it’s own things, and you have have someone who is hard to balance alone but is even harder to balance with a party. pathfinder is good, but it isn’t the end all be all of D&D

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            I personally had 2 phb fall apart, wotc did absolutely nothing about it, that also happened to half my group(10 out of 20 gamers), not at all few or far between but 2 entire orders at our locale, and for the price that phb was a load of crap. neither book was more than 2 days old when the bindings completely gave out. that was a big issue for a while,. I will say that i think that was more regional. my friends in Ohio did not have any issues with their preorders, but they were the exception to what was fast here becoming the rule of poor quality, but yeah, that first run and preorder was abysmal in quality. I have had plenty of campaigns at my FLGS be run with just core book, thats more of a whatever the GM wants to do thing. I like being able to have options and 5th just doesnt provide many, the sword coast adventures book added a little more, but this is really not much added.

  • scadugenga

    I’m reading through the phb now. I loathed 4th, and much preferred pathfinder.

    That being said, it seemed like they did away with some of the mmo type crap that pervaded 4th. Which is a good thing.

    However, they seemed to have kept the mmo-like healing which is a detractor.

    The writing/editing is a bit wonky, as important terminology you run into isn’t fully explained until chapters later.

  • Overall I am a fan of 5th edition. I’ve played every edition now and can say that 3rd and 4th are my least favorite, mainly because they concentrate and focus on spreadsheeting your character and optimization of character builds, which if you follow any of my warhammer comments you know I feel about list building being such an important part of the game.

    I’m currently running a 5th ed campaign and an AD&D 2nd ed campaign. The AD&D campaign is my preferred, and here is why:

    In 5th I feel the level progressions are way too fast. I also miss the danger elements of AD&D. You knew that you could die.

    Today’s game is more or less written where you should only die if you really really try at it, which removes the challenge aspect for me.

    Other then that I do enjoy the system a lot.

    • euansmith

      Replacing Hit Points as Wounds with Hits Points as Luck can make a big difference to the earlier editions. So when a a player is out of hit points they are exhausted, helpless, trapped, stunned, fleeing, held at sword point, or otherwise in the power of the bad guys.

      This can mean that, what would otherwise be a Total Party Kill can become the start of a new adventure. This gives the games a feeling more like reading a book or watching a film.

      Of course, the “you’re dead… you’re all dead…” style of play works well for low fantasy simulationist games; where a story book ending isn’t necessary.

    • Edwin Allen Juengel

      You can always just do the level when you want approach and not use the exp. You may level up decently fast, but it is incredibly dangerous. We have gotten manhandled by every fight we have done. We found the key to these fights was a lot of smaller monsters really made things scary. It really does make the challenge ratings of monsters kind of wierd as you can threaten a level 5 or 6 party with a few good cr 2 creatures.