D&D 5E D&D 5e Post-Mortem

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Similar games...
  • 3.x/PF1
  • PF2
  • Gamma World 7e
  • D&D 4E
  • 13th Age
It looks like your preferences go back to something I mentioned in another thread (and is merely a recontextualization of things other folks have said for years)... which is that 5E feels like the "hub" version of Dungeons & Dragons on the whole-- it sits in the middle space between AD&D/2E, 3.x/PF1, and 4E-- taking bits, pieces, and essences of all those different games into itself to create a centralized version. It doesn't go out as far as any of those games in the design directions they go... but is the "second-best" version of each of them.

So the fact that you prefer both 3.x/PF1 and 4E more than 5E appears to me that you prefer when games take a design style and run it far downfield, regardless of the direction. Two games might be built and designed to go in two opposing directions... but that seems to be preferable to you than staying back and being halfway between both. I mean that makes sense... some players prefer big swings in one direction while others prefer to remain more in the middle so they can move in either direction a ways as they want and need. And while some players might like the ability to shift back and forth in style in a single game (like myself)... others prefer to just play separate games that go all-in in a single direction instead (as it seems like you perhaps do?) So it would not be surprising why 5E wouldn't do a lot for you. It doesn't have the customization of 3E, nor the intricately-designed gridded tactical combat of 4E. It has shades of both... but not nearly enough to please you (at least from what I'm getting.)
 

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Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
I think every system requires some GM finesse, but I'm finding that 5e doesn't work for my needs regardless of how I try to adapt it.
While none of the following are perfect, I'd say they're an improvement over 5e...

Similar games...
  • 3.x/PF1
  • PF2
  • Gamma World 7e
  • D&D 4E
  • 13th Age
Different games (where "balance" isn't as important, so they give me the experience I expect)...
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Warhammer Fantasy
  • Forbidden Lands (Year Zero Engine in general)
I have different expectations for games in the "D&D Sphere:" balance, continuity, and tactics. 5e doesn't meet those expectations.
I really like 5e for a number of reasons. But I have to back you up on the lack of rewards.

Without gold for experience and a move away from followers and castles, I sort of shrug about treasure after I can afford armor.

Likewise, characters get so many “powers” that I don’t really care much about items.
I did however get excited about leveling up—-lots of goodies baked in that way for me.

It’s all about expectations. I have not been too worried about balance so that issue doesn’t bother me. I am pretty good with the tactical decisions.

The 5 foot step etc sort of took me out of the action. 3.0 was cool in some ways but some of the granularity was not worth the squeeze for me.

In any event if you have a good group I am sure you will find fun in gaming again! Good gaming to you!
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Different games (where "balance" isn't as important, so they give me the experience I expect)...
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Warhammer Fantasy
  • Forbidden Lands (Year Zero Engine in general)
I have different expectations for games in the "D&D Sphere:" balance, continuity, and tactics. 5e doesn't meet those expectations.
...did you ever think to run 5E like one of these games...? Because at it's core 5E's major reorientition is to be more like them than a tactical game concerned with "balance."
 

Retreater

Legend
Likewise, characters get so many “powers” that I don’t really care much about items.
I did however get excited about leveling up—-lots of goodies baked in that way for me.
I found exactly the opposite. After around 3rd level, you get more HP. You occasionally get an ASI or feat. Rarely a proficiency increase. Sure, if you're a caster, you get new spell levels. But rogues essentially get nothing after their Bonus action tricks. Fighters get nothing.
Compared to systems like 3rd edition or 4e or Pathfinder 2, the game feels very stagnant between the levels. Part of this is "bonded accuracy" - which to me has the effect of making the game feel the same the whole time.
 

Retreater

Legend
...did you ever think to run 5E like one of these games...? Because at it's core 5E's major reorientition is to be more like them than a tactical game concerned with "balance."
No. Because the healing changes the expectation of play to be unstoppable heroes, which to me is the opposite of the feeling of the games I mentioned.
So you have a game about unstoppable heroes that can't be threatened with enemies, can't be rewarded with treasure or loot, can't really be rewarded with interesting new powers and class options, don't really face new challenges because threats don't scale. What is the point of this game?
My 6th level party defeated Strahd, a CR 15 baddy. That should have been a TPK. Where can they possibly go after that? Kill Orcus at 8th level?
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I found exactly the opposite. After around 3rd level, you get more HP. You occasionally get an ASI or feat. Rarely a proficiency increase. Sure, if you're a caster, you get new spell levels. But rogues essentially get nothing after their Bonus action tricks. Fighters get nothing.
Compared to systems like 3rd edition or 4e or Pathfinder 2, the game feels very stagnant between the levels. Part of this is "bonded accuracy" - which to me has the effect of making the game feel the same the whole time.
I agree about the basic 5E leveling. I think that was part of the design to appeal to casuals and OSR gamers. My opinion is that it is pretty boring. I disagree about BA though. I think PF2 has shown that you can do level stat progression, while leaving abilities to a more horizontal development.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
No. Because the healing changes the expectation of play to be unstoppable heroes, which to me is the opposite of the feeling of the games I mentioned.
So you have a game about unstoppable heroes that can't be threatened with enemies, can't be rewarded with treasure or loot, can't really be rewarded with interesting new powers and class options, don't really face new challenges because threats don't scale. What is the point of this game?
My 6th level party defeated Strahd, a CR 15 baddy. That should have been a TPK. Where can they possibly go after that? Kill Orcus at 8th level?
Sure, why not? D&D is about being Big Darn Heroes, yes. They specifically designed the numbers of 5E so that the players are the House, and the House always wins. It's kind of the opposite of Call or Cthulu, but a similar approach should work even if the outcome is 180 degrees off. The point is to get together with friends and have a good time, not to be a "challenge." Insofar as there is a challenge to be found, it will be resource attrition, though obviously thst is optional to the table.

A bunch of heroes getting together and killing Strahd sounds awesome to me. I assume that was more than 5 PCs...?
 


payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
A.K.A...most gamers?
Possibly? I'm not saying the game is bad, its just not interesting enough for me. I can see the similarities in other folks criticisms. I also know a lot of folks dont share them. Plus, I think BA is rad I've wanted it in D&D for ages. 🤷‍♂️
 

Clint_L

Hero
After running 5e for nearly a decade, mostly for two or more sessions a week, I’m tired...Can anything be saved from 5e? Can I hobble together some golem to make a game I like?
From what I can tell, they definitely made a game that you liked, since apparently you played it around a thousand times over almost a decade! You more than got your money's worth, and it's not surprising that you are feeling tired of it. My advice, if you want it, is not to try to "cobble something together" but to play something completely different until you feel a desire to play D&D again, if ever. I'm thinking about making my next campaign either Call of Cthulhu or Dungeon World, if I can get my players onboard, and I haven't put nearly as much time into 5e as you have!
 

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