D&D 5E Character creation and general game impressions.

Blackwarder

Adventurer
Hi all.

My group and me finally managed to find some time and get back to playing some D&D, we are playing Murder in Baldur's Gate and we are having a ball, we planed on building characters in the first 20 minutes and than playing for two hours, what we ended with was building characters for a bit more than an hour and only managing an hour and a half of actual play (and we had to stop in the middle of Founder's Day massacre).

The long delay was caused mainly by the players rather than the system, two players (barbarian and Druid) finished their characters in less than 20 minutes, the other tow players took more time (the cleric player took an hour to decide between war domain or light domain and the Mage player just took some time looking through all the spells he gets to pick).

Another thing that took time was printing all the spells, I'm sort on paper and ink so I didn't print the entire spells PDF, instead I copy/pasted each character spells to a Pages document and printed that, this also took a bunch of time.

Anyway, to the actual gameplay, we had a blast, even though we had to stop in the middle of part three of Founder's Day disaster my players had realy good time, from my side of the DM screen it was the most easy to DM session I had in a long time, the system just slid into the background letting me concentrate on the story and the cool factor, having everything boil down to an ability check really sped things up.

Warder
 

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MJS

First Post
Thats cool. I had a very negative experience with a playtest of 5E, but am interested in other impressions. I think the negative experience was mostly due to a poorly written adventure, which actually had no adventure to it whatsoever. It was 75% soap opera mystery with NPCs you had no reason to care about, 25% railroaded and grindy combat.

the 75% I attribute to bad writing, but the 25% concerns me - some questions for you -
- did you use minis/battlemat for combat, and is this required in 5E?
- can you drop all the advantage/disadvantage stuff?
- did you make any rules hacks yourself?
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
Even though I recently received my Bones kickstarter miniatures we haven't used any minis.

I only used advantage/disadvantage once in this session, my group love it but I'm using it sparingly, I think it's a great mechanic, what's your problem with it.

If I made any rules hack it was only because of lack of familiarity with the current RAW and you know what? It didn't bother me in the least, I had the basic stuff down and never looked up rules as we played, which is a good thing in my book, I just ruled what I though was appropriate and if my player had something that said other wise I rolled with it, for example one of my players play a lightfoot halfing barbarian, while the party was in the Wide I told him that he can't see anything expect for the legs and crutches of the folks around him due to how packed the Wide was at that time, later on when he rushed through the crowd trying to reach an assasin I asked him to make a strength or charisma check to move through, then he reminded me that halfings got Halfling Nimbleness so we waved this off. My point is that unlike 4e and 3.Xe, which to me were very rigid, next feels very fluid, dynamic and easier to DM, if only for the fact that I don't need to fear that I'll do some terrible game breaking mistake if I deviate from RAW by mistake.

Warder
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I am not the original poster but we've been playtesting for quite a while now so I will take a crack at these:

- did you use minis/battlemat for combat, and is this required in 5E?

It's not required, and the writers of the game got together and playtested 5e on YouTube, and they don't use a battlemat or minis in their playtest.

- can you drop all the advantage/disadvantage stuff?

Most of it has already been dropped in the most recent playtest rules, and yes you can drop it and just add anywhere from +3 to +5 to the attack (or -3 to -5 for disadvantage), depending on the circumstances.

- did you make any rules hacks yourself?

We've been running straight from the playtest rules, with occasional unique monsters.

Like blackwarder, I make mistakes sometimes. Nobody notices and it does not seem to impact things much. 5e, so far, seems a bit less delicate than many prior rules. Stuff doesn't get thrown out of whack too much when you just wing-it on a ruling. That might just be my players also being unfamiliar with the rules though.
 
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MJS

First Post
Even though I recently received my Bones kickstarter miniatures we haven't used any minis.

I only used advantage/disadvantage once in this session, my group love it but I'm using it sparingly, I think it's a great mechanic, what's your problem with it.

If I made any rules hack it was only because of lack of familiarity with the current RAW and you know what? It didn't bother me in the least, I had the basic stuff down and never looked up rules as we played, which is a good thing in my book, I just ruled what I though was appropriate and if my player had something that said other wise I rolled with it, for example one of my players play a lightfoot halfing barbarian, while the party was in the Wide I told him that he can't see anything expect for the legs and crutches of the folks around him due to how packed the Wide was at that time, later on when he rushed through the crowd trying to reach an assasin I asked him to make a strength or charisma check to move through, then he reminded me that halfings got Halfling Nimbleness so we waved this off. My point is that unlike 4e and 3.Xe, which to me were very rigid, next feels very fluid, dynamic and easier to DM, if only for the fact that I don't need to fear that I'll do some terrible game breaking mistake if I deviate from RAW by mistake.

Warder
My problem with advantage/disadvantage was there was a LOT of it in that session, and I don't like the effect it has on the combat - big time waster , oh but wait, I have disadvantage on that, wait, do I? for x more rounds... thats not adventure mechanics to me. Rolling two dice, forced to take the high or low...5-10+ such rolls/rerolls per round...no thanks. I would rather players describe what they do and give bonuses /rolls on the fly, such as you describe.

I 'm glad to hear your group having a mini-less blast with it. I hate minis in RPGs, love 'em in Battletech. The number of threatened squares in 5E made combat a bore. My dwarf couldn't move, ever. Sans minis, we could just use the AoO for withdrawing from the creature you're engaged with. I did try shoving one enemy into another, rolled low.

Your account of 5E sounds like a move in the right direction for adventure gaming, and has caused me to reconsider it despite a bum adventure. There is a lot to toss from my POV - high on the list are those cantrips - just say no! : )

I think I'd like to give it a real acid test - run a masterpiece TSR module with 5E. It seems to me that, if 5E can stand the amount of hacking 1E does, it could be a relatively transparent, if also questionably necessary, switch. I've allowed any humanoid up to half-ogre size PC race since around 1990, of any class, with no level limits. For spells, I still prefer Gary and Dave's versions, with casting times/disruption possible.
So basically I am trying to suss out whether 5E can meld into my freak hybrid O/AD&D, and your post has made this seem a bit more hopeful.

game on good people.... seek the pale enchanted gold ....
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
I'm having the same experience as you Blackwarder. Running D&D Next is a breeze compared with my experience with all prior editions. My sessions feel more like adventures with story elements and combat rather than just encounters stacked upon encounters, and I think it is the way the game works rather than my style of DMing. I've been able to run sandbox games like Caves of Chaos and modified Blingdenstone, and I've been able to develop my own adventures very easily.

Although I DMd over 5 sessions with the new package, and probably 30 sessions total through all of the playtest packages, I only have played it 1 time. I played a Dwarven Lifebringer Cleric a few playtest packages ago, and I really loved it. I'm looking forward to DMing and playing more.

Right now, my group is only 2nd level, but they are really looking forward to leveling up to 3rd. I think I'm going to let them try Mines of Madness (modified to fit my campaign). We'll see what happens.

Cheers.
 

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