Monday, July 15, 2013

More 5E!

So, we got to play yesterday after all. My wife wasn’t there for most of it due to a work obligation. But two of the other regular players from our 3.5 game showed up too, and much fun was had. As expected, the story and game itself were good. The addition of the new players (as well as the in-game explanation of my wife’s character’s absence) went well.

On the rules, some progress was made in understanding the intricacies of 5E. We finally all understand how the streamlined skills system works. We are also beginning to get a handle on the whole “saving throw” concept in 5E. Basically, it’s gone, and everything is an attribute check. Some may think this makes it too simple, but honestly, I like it. No one who actually takes the time to learn the rules and play this game can complain about the rules getting in the way of the story, or the role-play.

Another interesting point I noticed yesterday may just be an epiphany on my part. In the past, in all other editions, I had always been very concerned with having good stats. I was always convinced that those +1’s or +2’s would make all the difference. In this group, my character has the overall worst set of stats. Mine is the only one without at least one “18”, even after the bonuses for race and class that 5E grants. And yet, he still manages to hold his own, just as well as anyone else.

In fact, my character’s Intelligence is only 8, and it’s been a fun exercise to figure out how to RP that. He is a cleric with a 14 Wisdom, so basically he is a slow and deliberate thinker who focuses on the long term, and has a hard time with snap judgments and short-term plans.

This may or may not be a reflection on 5E itself, though I’m inclined to believe it is, at least a little. None of the skills or abilities in the game are highly influenced by your stats. They add to (or subtract from) your ability to perform certain functions, but really the emphasis is laid back on the dice, as it has been in past editions. But without convoluted tables and matrices.

Over all, I’m enjoying 5E a lot. I figured I would at least buy the core books, like I always do. And, if it continues to develop along these lines, I could see running campaigns using this system. One thing I would like to explore, though, is how backwards compatible it is with previous editions, especially the older ones (like B/X and 1E).

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