Level Up (A5E) From D&D to A5E to PF2

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Update on our "D&D refugee" status. Last month, our group -- the Berkshire-Taconic D&D TRPG Club -- started to convert to A5E on my recommendation. We printed off A5E character sheets, had a character conversion session, and have run several adventures using a mixture of Freeform/Narrative + A5E. We gained four new players too!

But two of the members (including one of the new ones) have voiced a desire to try out and consider PF2. Here are some reasons which came up:
  1. There aren't many A5E instructional videos. It wasn't an issue for me, since I don't watch much Youtube. But a couple of the players do watch a lot. And they saw all the awesome PF2 videos.
  2. There's not as much A5E 3PP support as there is for PF2. We have a lot of oddball PCs.
  3. It was hard for some players to know where 5E ended and A5E began, for example in re-creating their existing characters. Or in remembering which rules changed, and which stayed the same.
  4. Folks wanted to make more of a clean break from the "WOTC-adjacent" 5E culture. PF2 is more of a distanced break from that.
  5. When I bought the A5E books, I wanted to support ENPublishing, as I had good feelings about being a participant in ENWorld since 1999. I liked those guys. But the ENW community has become darker, more snarky, more of mean-spirited undercurrent, more dinosaur-like. And I associate that with the game. It's not a cultural milieu I want to support.
I don't regret the A5E 3pp we picked up (e.g. Harpy heritage and point-buy heritage builder), and I personally wish the A5E community the best.
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Homebrew and Hacking: Crafting Heritages and Cultures is based on Detect Balance for 5E D&D races, which is also quite useful:


I'm finding that Level Up adds some extra functionality (magic item economy was very needed) while being compatible with 5e. I can keep the Level Up books behind the GM screen, my players can still use the familiar 5e rules (and their existing books). (They are getting pretty curious about these attractive. news books I have, though.)
Level Up has prolonged the lifespan and my interest in 5e. I feel better about supporting EN Publishing than WotC after the recent debacle. (I don't want to turn this thread into another rant, but I feel that Level Up was the only way I could justify still playing 5e.)
My other game is PF2, and it's a fantastic system. Would I run it with 7 players, the majority of whom are teenagers playing their first campaign? No. There's no perfect system for every table. But I'm glad you found a system that you enjoy - there's a lot there to love.

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