Sunday, June 5, 2016

First Thoughts on Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

I know it came out two years ago, but with how terrible 4th edition was, I was reluctant to take a look. One of my friends hounded me, so I took a look and I have to admit that it's better than I thought. My biggest complaint is that the rules are a bit confusing with the way they're laid out in the book. The rules themselves are simple, but whenever you're trying to find something that book redirects you to another location in the book. Kinda like calling your credit card company.
"Let me transfer you to the correct page. Hold please."
The first thing I noticed while thumbing through the book was that Forgotten Realms is the default setting. I know the Realms have a lot of fans, but I am not one of them. I especially dislike the Drow and dislike that fact that they're in the Player's Handbook as an available Elf racial sub-type to play. In fact the picture of an Elf under the Elf heading is a freakin' Drow! I blame R.A. Salvatore. Also, I noticed the Halfling art work is awful. I mean awful.
Since I'm complaining about races, let me continue. Dragonborn should have a tail and a better name. Dragonborn is a lazy name. Also, Tieflings should not be included without Aasimars. However, why are Tieflings included at all. They're really, really rare. Most races get a couple of sub-race options. That's nice.
The classes are what you'd expect. The inclusion of the Warlock and Tieflings make me think that the Realms have a lot more contact with the outer-planes than I previously thought. One of the things I didn't care of was that every class has a Proficiency bonus, but what it is isn't explained in the class chapter. It's finally explained on page 173, but even then, I had to look online for clarification on how it works.
The rules are streamlined and combat should go quickly, which is nice. Feats are not over powered and do not make characters into super-heroes, which is also nice. The skill list is only 18 skills, which is nice when keeping the game moving. Spell casters can wear armor, which is also nice since their hit points still suck.

In Summery: I dislike Drow and Forgotten Realms in general. Dragonborn and Tieflings are lazy race additions. The book could be laid out better. The Halfling looks terrible. I cannot stress this enough.
Pictured: Crap.
However, the combat and skill systems are more streamline than previous editions. Skills are simplified and spell casters can wear armor.

Verdict: I'm not sure it's worth spending money on, but it might be. I have to look at the game mechanics more closely.
 If only that Halfling wasn't there, it's going to haunt my dreams.

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