D&D 5E Convince me to Spend the Money

I loved reading through the Monster Manual. Great book to flip through. So many monsters just cried out to be used or featured in a story. A fantastic monster product.
And the DMG provided a decent amount of story ideas.

log in or register to remove this ad

Charles Wright

First Post
Spend your money or the dog gets it!


  • i-4aba169a82aa0ad3f1cc60b09c50615a-buythis.jpg
    82.8 KB · Views: 169


Dungeon Master
Full Disclosure... I was never too enthusiastic for DnD 5e. 4e and the rollout was a major let down; Pathfinder has been great; I am a huge fan of the OGL. But...

Over the last month or so however, listening to people talk about 5e, I have been slowly considering buying into it, at least to read, maybe to write some material for it potentially if, when, they ever decide to release an Open License of some sort for it.

I could also use a new copy of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook as I am still very much active with that system. This is a factor.

So I am there in B.A.M. looking at the material. I look first at the Starter Set. It is my first direct exposure to it. I notice firstly how light it is. Very, very, very light. I notice the price. $20. I am, to say the least, non-plussed. I have the Pathfinder Beginner's Box and its fantastic. I do not feel that the Starter Set is going to offer me my money's worth at $20 (I notice its at $12 on Amazon; but the Beginner's Box is at $25 for comparison). So I pick up the Player's Handbook. I glance through it. It seems alright. I notice I can understand the language, and unlike 4e there's no weird codes or new language to grok...

Can I just insert an aside right here and say it is refreshing to once more be able to talk about Dungeons and Dragons with people playing a different ruleset than myself and feel like we are talking about the same thing. When trying to converse about 4e, it really did at times feel like the language was completely different. Which is one of the reasons I am predisposed to liking 5e better than 4e...

Back to my story...

So, at this point I am actually considering plopping down some money for the Player's handbook. I look at the price. $50. I confess I paused at this point and did a double take. The price point is probably old news for those who have been really into the game. But it was my first exposure to it because it was the first time I had actually considered buying. I look at the price on the DMG. $50. I check out the price on the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (twice as big as both books, has both the DMG and the Players info...) $50. Paizo is offering me the same material for $50 that WotC is offering for $100. And sure, I can get both books on Amazon for a combined $68, but I can get the Core Rulebook for $30 there as well. Besides which, if I like the game, I'll then want the Monster Manual for another $50...

I understand that there are potentially different strategies here... Paizo wants to hook me with a cheap buy in and WotC wants all my money upfront so to speak. No need to try and make that point to me. From my perspective Paizo has been successful in bleeding continuous money from my wallet so I know where I stand in deciding which is the better marketing strategy...

But here's the thing. I am curious about 5e. But money is always tight and there's a certain psychological roadblock which prevents me from making impulse buys much over $30. I need some convincing. Pathfinder is still satisfying my gaming needs quite handily... But I am not predisposed against other systems, as my large collecton of gaming books attest... And I still, despite 4es best efforts to trample my heart,... retain a nostalgic fondness for the Dungeons and Dragons brand... I want to like the game... But I do also like for new books to offer me sufficient incentives to buy them. So what does 5e offer me worth $150 dollars ($100 on Amazon) that wouldn't be better spent getting a new Core Rulebook (or maybe rebinding one of my old ones in leather), a copy of Shadow Run, and maybe the new edition of Paranoia when it is released?

I am not trying to start an edition war here... Don't argue, please, about the failings of older editions... Just tell me what 5e offers new that I can't get elsewhere or don't already have, that is worth the investment.

The price to play and DM D&D 5e?


The fulfillment of playing and DMing 5e?


Now go play B-)


So to know what 5th edition offers me different I have to read a bunch of PDFs.... :(

That's not going to sell me, to be honest.

Jebus, it's fricken free! How many games can you play for FREE??

If your eyes can't handle it, print the dang basic rules out then.

Some people would complain about a sunny day...


I read through the thread, and was mightily surprised that no one asked the following question(s):

Do you have the Rules Cyclopedia? More importantly, do you still enjoy reading through it? If you answered yes to that second one then go buy the 5e Players.

Seriously - 5e feels more like the Cyclopedia than any other form of D&D I've played. Think of it like the Cyclopedia but with mechanical updates informed by the past 25 years of game design. If you liked the way the Cyclopedia got your juices flowing, you'll like reading 5e books.


Jebus, it's fricken free! How many games can you play for Free ...

Quite a few, actually. :)
Have you tried Spyfall? Very fun. Can't wait to buy a professionally printed copy.

As for RPG games, I have many files of free games on my hard drives.
Some naturally better than others.

But, as I have been saying, this is not about playing.
Last edited:


Hello Wicht,

Based on your posts in this thread thus far, and the fact that I don't know anything about you personally re: your preferences and tastes (other than what details you have disclosed here), I would say you would be better off getting another Pathfinder Core Rulebook.

I say this as a fan of both 5e and PF, although my personal preference is for 5e if I am forced to choose.

My reason for suggesting Pathfinder Core Rulebook for you over any 5e books is:
- The content in these books cover largely the same subject matter, presented in somewhat familiar ways, but the difference is that you will be actively using the Pathfinder book, which makes it sound like you are going to need to pick up another copy anyhow. Why not save yourself the trouble and just do that.
- As most of the differences between these books will be in gameplay mechanics and the like, it would not make sense for you to buy 5e books since the Pathfinder Core Rulebook gives you what you want already, and you don't necessarily plan on using 5e. You will get the same reading satisfaction from the PF book, plus the added value of utilizing the game within.
- There have been many very well articulated opinions in this thread already that explain what you can expect from the 5e books, and although you are interested, it sounds to me that you are still hesitant due to the price. Many of the opinions expressed here have been seemingly in opposition to your preferences that you have advised us about (ie: you enjoy the fiddly parts of the denser rule systems). So it seems to me with my limited knowledge of your preferences that you will be better served getting another copy of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. If what you have read here hasn't resulted in a decision to buy a 5e book thus far, then I think it is not a good idea for you.

If you want to look further into it, I suggest looking up video reviews on You Tube, or look into reviews on blogs, or maybe even try getting feedback from the Pathfinder community for a different perspective. I think someone else suggested that you could even see about picking the book up in store for a flip through yourself. Maybe ask the retailer at your local FLGS about their thoughts, or get permission to have a good look through the book. Someone also mentioned podcasts I think as well.

Ultimately, we are not sales people for D&D. We can provide our opinion for you, which many have. I don't think anyone here is trying to sell you on anything, you have laid out your preferences to the opinions expressed, and it appears that you would likely not find value in these books. Your thread title is asking for us to convince you to spend the money on D&D 5e, but you haven't been entirely convinced up to this point. I am certainly not going to tell you that you can push a square piece into a circle shaped hole. What you will find in the D&D 5e books is very well laid out in this thread, therefore I think it is safe to say that you should buy the Pathfinder Corebook again.

I hope that was helpful. I didn't intend to sound like I was edition warring, as I am a fan of both games & systems, it just sounds like you will be better off leaving 5e be.

P.S. I always buy RPG books I know I will never play, so I know what you mean when you say that you do that. I thoroughly enjoy reading RPG rulebooks just for the fun of it, and often find that you can get inspiration and great ideas that you can bring into one of the games you are currently playing.
Last edited:

halfling rogue

So I just got the Player's Handbook. I flipped through it a few times over the last couple days, and probably've read about half of it. Maybe 3/4ths of it since I've already read the Basic Rules. But I was thinking about this thread, and about whether or not it was worth the money.

My answer: yes and no.

I'll start with No.

I cannot speak to the MM and DMG as I don't have them...but as for the PHB I don't think the book is worth $50. I know there have been threads and internet blogs that have crunched the inflation numbers, costs broken down in hours of play, etc, but this just didn't feel like a $50 book especially when the Basic Rules (a rather meaty portion of the PHB) are free. Maybe if the art (in my opinion) was a little better I might be persuaded that it's worth $50, but as it is (for me) I like maybe less than half of the artwork overall. To be fair, I LOVE the style of the artwork and the feel, and when the art is good it's GOOD. I mean like hella good. But too many pieces to me seemed almost jarring. Like something was off. Most of them were faces. I'd like everything about the picture in most cases but the face...I can't pin down why just yet. But when they hit, they hit, which I think is why it was all the more disappointing when they missed. I know that's a huge personal perception, but I'm talking nuance really. I think if they nailed the art (again, for me) then I think I could be convinced to buy for $50.

So no, I don't think it is worth $50.

Now to my Yes argument.

This book is absolutely worth $35. Every penny. While Basic takes a chunk out of the mechanics, there is still a lot to chew on here, mostly classes and races (duh). But the layout and design is top notch. And despite my nitpicking about the art, the flavor is full on. For $50 I think I have a right to be nitpicky and I'll pick them nits. But for $35 I really can't find anything to complain about whatsoever! And the good news is that you can find it for about $35 on Amazon. (Some folks might think it's dumb to quibble over $15, but just the other day I bought like 7 books for $15 at Half Price Books, one of them was an awesome old D&D module for $6. So yeah, I'll take a 5e PHB +6 books + an old school module for $50.)

So yes, it's worth it for $35.


While I am generally not a fan of convincing people to spend money, I will say what convinced me to buy it.

I mostly played 1st edition and 2nd edition with a little bit of 3rd edition. I have found that this edition feels much closer to the 1st and 2nd (and in some ways feels more like a more natural successor to 2nd then 3rd was) and on top of that it is very easy to run and play. The fact that it is very easy to run and play is a significant positive to me because everyone in my group is married with children and it is hard to find time to play so we can fit more encounters and roleplaying (as well as it takes our DM less time to create the adventures) into every session in comparison to 3rd edition. Also the books are great (both beautiful and full of interesting information), and I really enjoy looking through them even when I am not "actively using" them.


First Post
If you like options, buildz, optimization, etc I'm not sure you're going to like 5e. I personally don't desire such things, but it's important to note that 5e characters are not built using feat trees and the system isn't bloated with modifiers. It really does play more like pre-3e systems with a bit of 3e and 4e salad. There are some things you will like and other things you won't. It all depends on what you liked/hated from each edition.

I ordered online and only payed about $70 for all three core books. I'm glad I didn't pay $150.
At the moment, my 5e books are collecting dust and I haven't bothered to create the house rules to enable my playstyle.

I was a bit disappointed with the lack of options in the PHB and DMG. I really thought I could pick up 5e, select the options that would enable my playstyle, and enjoy the game. Sadly, I don't think I'll ever play 5e as a player unless I can find a group that has modified the system to my preferences. On the other hand, I might DM the system with a set of 2e styled house rules.

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases