Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thoughts on Next II

Over the course of the last few days, I have managed to print out all of the Player-relevant documents for D&D Next. Made a nifty cover using some artwork from Pathfinder (because I like it, that's why), and put it all into a binder. We're hoping to play again this weekend, but it all revolves around my wife's work schedule (she owns her own hair salon). Either way, I'm a bit more prepared to delve into the rules and the game itself. Not to mention that my friend has created a pretty neat story, which always makes any D&D game just that much better.

In looking at the rules, I have noticed a few things that I hadn't before. Some of it is pretty important, from a player's perspective, and some of it is more in the DM's domain. The first discovery that I made was in regards to the Wizard, which my wife is playing (a chesty little halfling who is probably too cute and intelligent for her own good). When she rolled her up and started playing her, we hadn't had the chance to really read the rules. So, she was falling back on her knowledge of previous editions, and playing her like a standard Wizard. What I discovered is that the 5E Wizard is now a blend of the 3E Wizard and Sorcerer (which explains why the Sorcerer is absent from 5E).

Basically, she still has to study her spell book, and memorize her spells for the day. But, she is able to cast them like a Sorcerer. For example, if she has two "spell slots" per day, she could choose to memorize Detect Magic and Burning Hands. But, while in an encounter, she can choose to cast her spells as she sees fit. If she wants to she can either cast each spell once, or one spell twice. I think this is brilliant! It gives her the freedom to prepare for a wide vairety of possibilities, but she can change her tactics on the fly. In previous editions, she would need to try to predict what she would need for the day, and choose accordingly, hoping that she chose correctly.

I've also managed to get a better handle on how skills and feats work, so there will probably be some modification there as well.

The other thing I noticed is that there is no Experience table, to designate how many experience points a character needs to level up. Apparently there was one in a previous release of the rules, but it has been removed (based on some perusing of the WotC Forums). Not a huge concern for me as a player, but I'm interested in how my DM will handle this. We are gamers, after all, and we like leveling up.

All in all, 5E (which is easier to type and understand than "D&D Next") is shaping up to be a decent outing. I was asked how it compares to 4E yesterday, to which I was forced to reply that I don't know. I've only played 4E a couple of times, and was not all that impressed with it (it felt too "button mashing" to me). So, I have to compare it to 3E and earlier. And in that, it seems to be a decent progression so far.

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