D&D 5E Going from 1st to 5th Edition

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The rogue has been progressively improving in the game. The 5e rogue is fantastic IMO. Playing a single class thief in 2e was a pain. 3e was better but also a bit too much (dual wielding rogue...)
 

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Bolares

Hero
The rogue has been progressively improving in the game. The 5e rogue is fantastic IMO. Playing a single class thief in 2e was a pain. 3e was better but also a bit too much (dual wielding rogue...)
Couldn't agree more. To me there is not much worse desgin than creating a class that in combat is all around sneak attacks and then creating a bunch of creatures simply imunne to it. Great way to make your players feel like garbage
 

collin

Explorer
I used Milestone for level advancement in the last campaign I ran. All in all, I liked it better than keeping track of the math of how many XPs each person had. There are advantages to both systems (e.g., individual rewards), but overall, I think I would prefer to use Milestones rather than XPs in future games that I run.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I disagree about the cleric, they were pretty good in melee (go check the tables, and blunt weapons are pretty great if using ACAs). But thieves were terrible in straight up melee, to be sure. That's why backstab and ranged combat needed to be emphasized, which is a different mode of combat. So you have fighters in melee, clerics in melee or support, thieves in ranged or stealth combat, and magic-users casting spells. Exactly want I want.
Their lack of ability to get weapon specailization and extra attacks made Clerics a D, as compared to a F for everyone else other than a fighter or cavalier. The cleric's base THACO was the same as the fighters at 1st level, and at 2nd level if you did not use the footnote in the fighter table increasing it by one at evey even level. Despite base THACO being the same the fighter typically had a higher strength and usually had a +3 for specilization. This means at first level his effective THACO was about roughly equal to a 10th level cleric, and on top of that he got 3 attacks every two rounds (or one attack per level against creatures with less than 1HD), plus a potential offhand attack. Meanwhile the cleric is permanently stuck at 1 attack a round and can't use a weapon that is eligible for an offhand attack.'

The exception to this is Drow Clerics with a high strength. They clould wield 2 flails and could be decent, I will say a "C", in combat, with the Fighter and Ranger being A+, Paladin and Cavalier being a A and the Barbarian being a B.

Backstab was not great, you could only do it once a combat and only if you managed to hide successfully before the combat started. Even then you did a maximum of 1d8+strength times bacstab multiplier. Strength usually wasn't high and on a thief it capped at +2 damage and without specialization that is usually less than a fighter can do on a single attack without being hidden, and he is getting multiple attacks. I think fighter had overcome +4 to hit bonus Thieves got to hit on a backstab by 4th level.

Missiles were not any better, you could do 2d6 with bows or 3-9 with darts.
 

Aging Bard

Canaith
Their lack of ability to get weapon specailization and extra attacks made Clerics a D, as compared to a F for everyone else other than a fighter or cavalier. The cleric's base THACO was the same as the fighters at 1st level, and at 2nd level if you did not use the footnote in the fighter table increasing it by one at evey even level. Despite base THACO being the same the fighter typically had a higher strength and usually had a +3 for specilization. This means at first level his effective THACO was about roughly equal to a 10th level cleric, and on top of that he got 3 attacks every two rounds (or one attack per level against creatures with less than 1HD), plus a potential offhand attack. Meanwhile the cleric is permanently stuck at 1 attack a round and can't use a weapon that is eligible for an offhand attack.'

The exception to this is Drow Clerics with a high strength. They clould wield 2 flails and could be decent, I will say a "C", in combat, with the Fighter and Ranger being A+, Paladin and Cavalier being a A and the Barbarian being a B.

Backstab was not great, you could only do it once a combat and only if you managed to hide successfully before the combat started. Even then you did a maximum of 1d8+strength times bacstab multiplier. Strength usually wasn't high and on a thief it capped at +2 damage and without specialization that is usually less than a fighter can do on a single attack without being hidden, and he is getting multiple attacks. I think fighter had overcome +4 to hit bonus Thieves got to hit on a backstab by 4th level.

Missiles were not any better, you could do 2d6 with bows or 3-9 with darts.
If all you care about is combat, this analysis is correct! But in 1e we cared about more than combat. Actually, that's another big difference from 1e to 5e, that 5e mostly cares about combat, which to be fair is what most modern players seem to care about, that and lots of character customization. Different eras.
 

ECMO3

Hero
If all you care about is combat, this analysis is correct! But in 1e we cared about more than combat. Actually, that's another big difference from 1e to 5e, that 5e mostly cares about combat, which to be fair is what most modern players seem to care about, that and lots of character customization. Different eras.
I disagree with this and honestly find it upside down (no offense intended).

In 1E the fighter was purposely designed by Gygax to be the leader, the best in combat and the overall central character in the adventure. This was intentional and some of the designers have talked about it during interviews.

The fighter was literally the "knight in shining armor" and the other classes were supposed to support him, both in and out of combat.

I think 5E spends a lot more time concentrating on the out of combat aspect, particularly with skills and tools and rules to apply those attributes. In 1E the rules for out of combat play were pretty vague and the examples and modules tended to assume the fighter was the party leader, making this wide open in terms of written rules but with an implied pro-fighter bias to the non-combat aspects.

I think some players do focus on combat, but I think that is a minority in 5E. Few of the characters in my games (either as DM or as a player) are combat optimized. There is one player that I DM that does this, but that is what he enjoys and he recognizes and admits that he is buidling a melee powercharacter.

When I play, I most often play a Rogue, which is not by any measure a powerful class in combat. They are better than they were in 1E but not the match of really any other class. I play them specifically because of the out of combat play. When I play a fighter or a wizard, I always find myself scrounging to figure out how to add more skills because that is what I enjoy in 5e.
 

Oofta

Legend
I disagree with this and honestly find it upside down (no offense intended).

In 1E the fighter was purposely designed by Gygax to be the leader, the best in combat and the overall central character in the adventure. This was intentional and some of the designers have talked about it during interviews.

The fighter was literally the "knight in shining armor" and the other classes were supposed to support him, both in and out of combat.

I think 5E spends a lot more time concentrating on the out of combat aspect, particularly with skills and tools and rules to apply those attributes. In 1E the rules for out of combat play were pretty vague and the examples and modules tended to assume the fighter was the party leader, making this wide open in terms of written rules but with an implied pro-fighter bias to the non-combat aspects.

I think some players do focus on combat, but I think that is a minority in 5E. Few of the characters in my games (either as DM or as a player) are combat optimized. There is one player that I DM that does this, but that is what he enjoys and he recognizes and admits that he is buidling a melee powercharacter.

When I play, I most often play a Rogue, which is not by any measure a powerful class in combat. They are better than they were in 1E but not the match of really any other class. I play them specifically because of the out of combat play. When I play a fighter or a wizard, I always find myself scrounging to figure out how to add more skills because that is what I enjoy in 5e.
The option to get even a couple of extra options using backgrounds has really helped me make some interesting PCs that has nothing to do with combat. In addition there are the feats like keen mind that have nothing to do with combat that I took just because it made sense for my character for story reasons.

Relative lack of rules for things outside of combat does not mean that only combat is supported. It just means that by design when not in combat the game is less rules driven for me. If my high level fighter wants to recruit followers and build a keep I can, but I have to justify that happening in game. If that's not something they strive for it doesn't happen. I prefer that, it makes the story feel more "natural". Well, as natural as a story that involves killing dragons the size of a bus with a pointy stick can be.
 


ECMO3

Hero
Are charge attacks still a thing? You move your full move and then attack at a bonus and have a penalty to AC? If not, anything to replace that?
Some monsters and races can do something similar to this. The charger feat allows you to make a bonus action attack or shove after taking the dash action. If you attack there is a +5 damage
 

Reverse story. I ran my 5e group through In Search of Adventure playing BECMI rules.
Wow.
“What do you mean there’s no rules for healing?”
“Seriously? I failed one save and I’m dead?”
“My elf has one spell? One?”
“I attack!” changing PDQ to “I close the door and run away. I’ll be back with the ponies, outside”. Also meaning they missed tons of treasure (ie, XP). Which meant they didn’t level up as fast. Which meant they died a lot. Like, a LOT.
The game crawling by as they checked EVERYTHING for traps.
The realisation how common secret doors were.
The realisation that the party essentially needs to be a business, employing a raft of cannon fo…er, skilled colleagues who are trusted to take the lead in exploration situations.
The laughable idea of coming up with a backstory for your PC, who was pretty much doomed to die early like the B listers in a horror movie.
Oh, and “whaddya mean, 5% penalty to XP?”
 

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