D&D General "I'm glad to be back playing D&D."

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The Laughing One
Our group has been playing on and off of 35+ years and D&D is our 'safe space', our 'feel good place'. Sure, we've had very fun excursions to Shadowrun, Vampire, etc. But not everyone is equally comfortable in those settings/games as everyone else. We keep coming back to D&D. No issue with that, easy to pick up and play, most of the rules are familiar (although we do sometimes fall back the 3e rules and need to look up the 5e rules for it). This is especially useful when people have fulltime jobs, families, etc. Compared to our school or even student years, time and location is way more limited then it was when we were young. ;)

5E is everyone can use a scroll or wands.
That's true anyone that can read a scroll can attempt to use it, unless the specific scroll has a requirement and spell scrolls require the spell to be in your class spell list.

I don't recall the DMG saying anything specific on wands, but as has been pointed out some wands require attunement by a spellcaster so yeah RAW you could have a cleric using a wand of fireballs I guess? I forget if there's anything more specific buried somewhere else that says that couldn't.
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2 sessions in and I’m already re-sick of 5E. I mean I’m super happy everyone is having fun, but 5E is such a power fantasy.

It’s an Underdark campaign and one player made a gloomstalker who is all but invisibility in complete darkness. Add in the extra attack etc glomstalker get just sigh.

Not to mention every PC except 2 have healing magic which of course all 6 do thanks to everyone being able to use scrolls. (EDIT: This is incorrect.)
I think what you have realized is that you and your players have a different preference for TTRPG's, and since you like playing with them, you are catering to their preference.

Now from what I am reading it looks like you are still changing the game to make it less fun for the players. More chance of death and punishment because it is more fun to you. Do you really believe that you need to do this? Could it be that your players enjoy just showing up, kicking in some doors and going home feeling like for a few hours every session they are heroes?

Remember, most of us have to do a lot of annoying, punishing, relentless stuff in our daily lives; chores, taxes, work, entertaining in-laws, errands. When we have things sorted out and we have a night planned to play a session of D&D, you are happy when you sit down and have your dice and character sheet in front of you. You read through your features again and hope you get to use them to save the day. You hope you finally find a way to get a cool magic sword. Very few people sit down at the table to do more grueling, punishing work, then die because they didn't roll high enough on a single save.

I think you are probably quite experienced, and you can find ways to challenge the players outside of the ways 5e makes it easy for players, you will see that overcoming realism can be a great boon. Don't try to challenge them with grounding realism, but maybe by overwhelming high fantasy!

I do feel for you. If you truly get frustrated by running the game your players enjoy, you might have to find another drastic change.

Or share your frustrations here, of course.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
My players and I enjoy D&D. It's our gaming version of comfort food. I don't find it hard to challenge players at lower levels. At higher levels, it is less about not being able to challenge them but that it just become so much more work to prep and run good encounters because things get so gonzo and complicated. Even with bog standard, "level appropriate" monsters, it can be really deadly. Check out blog and books series "The Monsters Know What They're Doing." But the DM does have to put more thought into the tactics of encounters than in other systems.

I'm running Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e now, and I think it hits the sweet spot for me. It can be much deadlier. You can seriously outclass a foe, but a few bad rolls by the PCs and some good roles by the NPCs/monsters can maim or kill the PCs. At the same time it doesn't do this by taking away options. The character creation and progression rules given many options for players to build with. You start out much more squishy than D&D but you can build out very powerful characters, but you don't need to beef up every foe with extra HP (wounds in WFRP), etc. Maybe most of the time the goblins, bandits, etc. are going to be pushovers for experienced PCs, but it there is always the very real chance of that things will go south for the PCs if the dice are not with them.

After our WFRP campaign is done in a year or so, maybe we will be in the mood again for some gonzo 5e and will check out the 2024 rules at that time. But for now WFRP has been a nice change of pace while still being in a mostly familiar fantasy genre.


Eternal Optimist
In AD&D, wands could be used by anyone.
Except for those that had restrictions. Which was most of them - works pretty much the same in 5E.

AD&D - anyone:
wand of enemy detection
wand of illumination
wand of magic detection
wand of metal and mineral detection
wand of magic missiles
wand of negation
wand of secret door and trap location
wand of wonder

D&D 5E - anyone:
wand of enemy detection
wand of fear (was C,M in AD&D)
wand of magic detection
wand of magic missiles
wand of secrets

Interestingly, the wand of wonder moves to "attuned by a spellcaster".


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