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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Soulful Sunday

To new edition or not to new edition that is the question...

I picked up the starter set for 5th edition to have a look.  The rules sorta kinda remind me of 3rd edition.  Gone is the ability to hop between character classes and I don't see options for multi-class characters so it seems like single character class play all the way.

The advantage / disadvantage rule seems like an interesting way to go but could be pretty brutal depending on the point of view of your DM.  If your DM seems the players as a group of blundering knuckle heads I have a feeling there might be a whole lot of disadvantaged rolls in store for them and I can see how that might equal a fair amount of character death.

Some of this all seems to be swimming in the bigger and larger pool that is D&D.  I love the game as a whole and so I have no real complaints.  The starter set didn't really make me stand up and cheer a big yes that this is the cool hip version of the game for me.  Its basically D&D.  I see that as a very good thing.  It pulls the game back from 4th edition which, while interesting, didn't feel quite the same to me.  The only real strong complaint I had about 4th edition though was that combats became intolerably long in very short order.  Long in the realms of an old fashioned Champions game combat where you spent maybe an hour of adventuring leading up to some big encounter and most of the rest of that entire night...easily two whole hours..was spent just bashing it out in that one combat.

Rules bloat was another thing I didn't much care for in 4th edition.  Again there was an entire massive amount of powers and terms you had to learn to play and DM the game.  The similar game being Champions again with all of its powers and modifiers and rules.  Now Champions I learned by playing in a really good group over a matter of a year or so and eventually I got the rules down...mostly.  I think that was back in 3rd edition before things got even more rules heavy in that game.

I own a copy of the last version of Champions / Hero to be released out of nostalgia sake more than anything else.  The rules are so involved that I wouldn't begin to try to learn it again and here I am a hardened veteran of Hero 3.0.  I feel the same way about 4th edition D&D.  This new edition seems like a step into a more rules light territory but I guess we will see.

Thumbs up so far on the rules.  A cautious thumbs up but thumbs up all the same.

Most of the starter set was the adventure which in some brief period of adventuring carries the entire party from first to fifth level.  Fifth level?  Seriously?  Bagooodabagee???

Spoiler Alert - Stop Reading if you intend to play as an adventurer in the starter set...

Anyway.  In the first encounter you run into an ambush of four goblins.  You fight some goblins.  You rescue a guy.  You go to a town and do some stuff.  It seems pretty ok.  Maybe I had higher hopes for something to really wow me in the starter set but this set is written for kids ages 12 and up and for newbies to the game, not for battle hardened old campaigners like me.

Will I play this edition?  Yes.  I think so.  I don't think this system inspires me to want to write any material for it though.  I don't think I'd ever bother to create a dungeon for this system or do much of anything outside of using it as a fun beer night RPG game running adventures straight out of the can.  Which has its place.  I kind of like the notion of being able to entertain a group of players for a period of months with some groovy fun out of the can D&D that I don't especially have to bleed a lot of personal writing, art and work into.

Why?  Because that entertains them while I bleed and pour art and effort into something of my own to run for them later, when the serious game nights happen.  I'll probably stick with 2nd Edition AD&D or Basic or Swords and Wizardry or maybe even something completely different that I write from top to bottom by myself for those nights.

In the mean time 5th edition can be a really fun time I think.  We will know more when the three rule books and the out of the box adventure series comes out.

1 comment:

  1. You're leveling so quickly in 5e because the new XP requirements for levels are like, something around 1000 xp per level!

    I remember being impressed by the new advantage/disadvantage mechanism, which struck me as being very FATE-ish, but then again when I got that playtest package I was really into Diaspora and it was a while ago so I don't really remember a lot about it. ;) But it sounds like there's some goodness in the new edition that's worth yoinking out for house rules.