D&D 5E Sell me on 5th…

And many of the subsequent threads here over the years haven’t much moved me. However, a close friend is thinking about getting into 5Ed, and I’m wondering if I’m not giving the system a fair shake.

...

Wat’cha got?

You already got it, even if you don't know it. As someone who hung onto 3.5e for a long time and got into 5e very late, these are the two most important things you need to know.

1. 5e is very easy to pick up. If you're a 3.5e master, just do a quick look through the books, and you should have enough to get started on building a character. As an important side note, its much harder in 5e than previous editions to create a bad build, so feel free to just throw something together and try it.

2. The best edition to play is the one that you have a game invitation for. You have an invitation to play 5e. Going ahead, 5e will probably be the most common game you find. So, if you want to play D&D, just go ahead and play 5e.

The rest is all just details. Seriously. For as much as we will argue forever on these forums, the details really don't matter as much as finding a game with people you like, and having fun with the game. 5e is just as good as any other edition. Leaving a game over edition wars is like throwing away a free Toyota Camry because you insist on only buying Ford F150s. It may not be the car you want, but it gets you from point A to point B, and it's free. When you're so rich you are dripping with extra cars (i.e. gaming opportunities) that you can afford to abandon one just because it isn't 100% perfect, then get picky about models/editions. Until then, enjoy the ride. At worst, it will be just OK.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I think you're better googling for an overview of species and classes because...there's a lot, especially once you factor in sub-classes.
A list of species & classes would be useful.
I miss adjusting skills every level, picking feats frequently, and choosing prestige classes, but if you get the feeling 3E is too many decisions, and too many mechanics to run quickly and smoothly,
That was never me. I preferred 3.X because of the wide variety of options.
made magic items supplementary rather than mandatory
That could be good
but it must be said thet "builds" are not something the design rewards: there is functionally no performance differe ce between agonizing over every choice and just picking quickly based on gut.
By the time 2Ed’s softcover books came into being, the reward for “builds” for ME wasn’t from optimized damage production, etc., but from playing the character concept I had in mind.

IOW, I was working from a character concept, and making class/race/etc. choices based on which ones best modeled the idea in my mind.
What sort of concept were yoy thinking of?
One of my last 2Ed PCs was a Minotaur F/MU from a charioteering plains tribe, visually based on the picture of the Hurloon Minotaur and playing of Native American legends of the Great White Buffalo.

Late stage 3.X PCs included:
1) a polearm-wielding githzerai monk who could grow a size class. Mechanically centered on maximizing opportunity attacks, controlling movement on the battlefield. (Also played a human versions of same in a convention game.)

2) a Clc/Sorc/Geomancer based on Swamp Thing. The defining mechanics were taking only Plant-based Drift options, the original Sacred Healing feat (burn a Turn Undead to Fast Heal 3 everything in a 60’ burst), and Brew Potion (by growing magical fruits on his body).

3) an “arcane Paladin”, made by Marshal/Duskblade/Battle Sorc (w/Stalwart Sorcerer ACF). The defining mechanics were Celestial Sorcerer Lance, Knowledge Devotion, and Auras.

4) a maul-wielding, scale armor wearing PHB Sorc with blue dragon heritage feats. His ancestry was an obsessive focus of his. He could channel spell energy into a lightning breath weapon, and most of his spells had no ASF. The one HR was that all of his attack spells were Electrical instead of their normal energy/element (without actually taking the feat- he was mentally incapable of learning spells normally).

5) a warforged who had been created to be a living gate to the infernal planes, but who rejected his purpose. He was a combination of Hellboy and a LeMarchand Box from Hellraiser. Adamantine Body plus either BattleSorcerer OR PsyWar as a class

6) a dog Hengeyokai Ftr with the multiheaded & cryo templates and a bunch of fry heritage feats. Imagine dealing with a puckish 2 headed Samoyed with a thing for 2WF with twin rapiers, cold powers, and typical fey dissembling whenever possible.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Leaving a game over edition wars is like throwing away a free Toyota Camry because you insist on only buying Ford F150s.
I would counter that if I were a carpenter hauling lots of wood & tools, I’d probably wind up trading a Camry for a F150 for very practical reasons.

Beyond that? It’s not that I found 5Ed daunting. Simply put, I didn’t see anything in 5Ed that attracted me. The early stuff supported things familiar to me, but I’ve yet to see more unusual options than the basic stuff that hasn’t thrilled me for some time.*

And there was no pressure or opportunity to try it because nobody around me was running it.

That may change; hence, this thread.





* To be clear, one of my final 2Ed (Player’s Option) PCs was a PHB Th who was a highly skilled, highly stylized NE thug. He was created because another player at the table complained that my Cleric was overpowered compared to his, so I rolled him up as we started playing. The reality: his PC had access to a narrowly focused but powerful arsenal of spells; mine had access to a huge array of buff spells, mostly capped at 4th level, and a single offense spell that he was unlikely ever to be high-enough level to get. (That “overpowered” PC was one-shotted by a skeleton with a 2hd sword in a different campaign.)

And he was one of the most memorable characters at the table.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
By the time 2Ed’s softcover books came into being, the reward for “builds” for ME wasn’t from optimized damage production, etc., but from playing the character concept I had in mind.

IOW, I was working from a character concept, and making class/race/etc. choices based on which ones best modeled the idea in my mind.
Ah, in that case you might find perusing the options folks have pointed to above gun. There are only 13 Classes in the game, bit with Subclasses picking up the design space most other editions have used Kits, Prestige Classes, or even multi-tasking (though 5E has 3E style multi-tasking, too). It's pretty easy to pick a Race and Class with an eye towards which Subclass you'll want to be and have a functional concept that will just work at the table.

Your Minotaur wouldn't be too painful at all, the PHB has the Eldritch Knight as a Subclass for Gighter who has done magic, or Tasha's has the Bladesinger for the Wizard. Alternatively, might be a good fit for the Warlock.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I would counter that if I were a carpenter hauling lots of wood & tools, I’d probably wind up trading a Camry for a F150 for very practical reasons.

Simply put, I didn’t see anything in 5Ed that attracted me. And there was no pressure or opportunity to try it because nobody around me was running it.

That may change; hence, this thread.
I'd say the most attractive part of coming in as a player, is that you have the tools to make a character that's fun without taking up a huge mental load.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
A list of species & classes would be useful.
Classes is easy enough. There are exactly thirteen, and because of the repeated failure to make any progress with psionic rules, it's looking pretty likely that there will never be more than these thirteen:
  1. Artificer (added with Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, often abbreviated as just "Tasha's")
  2. Barbarian
  3. Bard
  4. Cleric
  5. Druid
  6. Fighter
  7. Monk
  8. Paladin
  9. Ranger
  10. Rogue
  11. Sorcerer
  12. Warlock
  13. Wizard
Species are probably the only thing where 5e has been allowed to make a huge set, so it would take rather a long time to list them all. Suffice it to say, you'd have to go pretty far afield to pick something not actually supported in official 5e if it appeared in a previous edition. E.g. stuff like mul (since there is no 5e Dark Sun yet), bladeling, pixie, or some of the more obscure 3e races like raptoran or azurin (the "incarnum" humans) etc.

That was never me. I preferred 3.X because of the wide variety of options.
You may end up disappointed with official 5e then. They've made a point of adding much, much less content to it than to any previous edition. For example, there are only and exactly 117 feats in all officially-published 5e materials (according to my sources, which have in general been quite accurate.) If you look only at major official books, e.g. excluding the "Plane Shift" docs and only-semi-official stuff like the Tal'Dorei (aka Critical Role) book, it's only 105, of which not quite half are in the PHB. Unfortunately, a lot of them are...pretty workhorse, despite the laudable effort to try to make feats "chunky" and interesting.

If you're willing to look at officially-licensed stuff (like the Critical Role books previously mentioned) or further afield into DM's Guild third-party content, there's a bit more there, but it's still a much, much slimmer game overall. While many have enjoyed this, it sounds like you prefer a wide latitude of crunch to draw on, and...well, that's just not really what 5e offers.

If I were to make a comparison, I would say 5e is more like a video game console, a constrained development environment where upgrades are relatively thin on the ground and/or expensive, while 3e was more like early PC gaming when there were actually competitors to the x86 architecture e.g. Commodore, Atari, Apple, Tandy, etc.--wild and woolly and you had to actually be an expert to know if things would be compatible.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I'd say the most attractive part of coming in as a player, is that you have the tools to make a character that's fun without taking up a huge mental load.
Again, mental load isn’t even on my radar as far as consideration goes. Most of my favorite RPG systems over the years are pretty crunchy. Hell, I’m a HEROphile!

I’m looking to see how 5Ed supports concepts that are distanced from the core D&D PC designs of the past 40+ years.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
Glad you are open and having a look Danny. Not going to sell you on 5th (even though I like it a lot. (was that a sell?)) but rather playing D&D with friends should be fun whatever edition. Go on....you know you want to....

Ps. Let us know how it went if you do. I'd be interested in your perspective.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Again, mental load isn’t even on my radar as far as consideration goes. Most of my favorite RPG systems over the years are pretty crunchy. Hell, I’m a HEROphile!

I’m looking to see how 5Ed supports concepts that are distanced from the core D&D PC designs of the past 40+ years.
Then you will probably want to take a gander at thw Tasha's Subclasses, thst has some of the more out there concepts like the Wildfire Druid or Swarmkeeper Ranger.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Again, mental load isn’t even on my radar as far as consideration goes. Most of my favorite RPG systems over the years are pretty crunchy. Hell, I’m a HEROphile!

I’m looking to see how 5Ed supports concepts that are distanced from the core D&D PC designs of the past 40+ years.
This gives a rundown of the Subclasses abailable from Tasha's:

 

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