It is fitting that the logo for KORPG™ games is a raven. Because I’m about to set the table so I can eat, nay… feast upon crow.
For my first helping of this fine avian dish let me say…
5e Dungeons and Dragons looks and feels awesome. Yep, you heard me. Awesome.
I’m sorry I ever doubted you Wizards of the Coast. Major kudos to you for hearing from your core fans.
And not just for hearing us; instead, thank you for really, really listening.
Now, for full disclosure, I haven’t actually played any 5e yet. (Though I do intend to – more on that later.)
I should also point out that, as of right now, I also haven’t spent any money on the game either. (Again, keep reading.)
But I have perused the free pdfs and simply based on what I’ve seen in the basic rules, I do have a short list of the top three things I don’t like but can live with none-the-less:
- Magic power at low levels is still too high. I would personally tone down the power of those cantrips. I’m not advocating for starting wizards equipped with nothing more than a spellbook with a couple of paltry spells like light and sneeze, but the damage capabilities at level 1 seems a bit off.
- The whole preferred race to class thing – yeah, yeah I know, you don’t have to be an elvish wizard or a dwarven cleric, but really… why not simply state that the iconic classes for races are whatever in the fluff and let the players play what they want without having some +this or +that to attributes drive them to make what your literature and opinions lead you to think are the “right” choices? Not to mention the lack of logic on what classes seem to be the “right” choice for gnomes.
- The depth of the charts for equipment and the breakdown of all the weapons… seriously, why continue to do that? I’m glad you at least have simplified things a touch, but isn’t some of this crunch unnecessary in such a streamlined version?
Now you may be wondering why my list is so short when I have so vocally and vociferously declared a much longer set of ills with D&D.
Good question. My only response is this:
I concede that Wizards will never redesign D&D as I would.
Never will they ever cut as deeply into what they likely consider the core rules as I so freely have done.
Under no circumstance would I ever expect them to undo the perpetuation of some of the deeper issues.
I understand and can live with that.
And given just how far they managed to come to my side of the discussion, I actually feel they’ve done their fair share. To ask for more feels greedy and foolish.
If I want something different, I know how to houserule and this edition of D&D is something I can live with.
That all out of the way, let’s get to the list of the top three thing I really, really like with this new edition:
- The overall feel is spot on. Here’s a great middle road that can either be toned down to a very Old-School feel or amped up to 4e. This is where D&D as offered and supported by WotC should reside. Let those of us who want a simpler game easily make it so while not hamstringing others from playing D&D with a World of Warcraft slant.
- I may have done differently, but I approve of the nice middle-ground of keeping Vancian magic without forcing the inanity of fire and forget spells.
- Quite simply, the simplicity of the game really appeals to me. Of special note is the use of attributes for checks and the whole advantage/disadvantage rules. Those are a welcome addition in the rule books many of us have included in D&D for years.
The most important thing about 5e is that it has inspired me once again to get back into D&D. I’ll confirm right now that, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I’ll probably be spending some money on this edition.
What’s more, I even find myself idly considering scenarios and settings to run for my kids.
No longer do I feel like I’ve been forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years simply because I don’t want to play D&D turned up to 11.
Instead, I can see myself being brought back into the fold of D&D.
And it feels like coming home.