D&D 5E Sell me on 5th…

Zardnaar

Legend
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.

Define distanced from core concepts? Best edition for that is 2E imho.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Define distanced from core concepts? Best edition for that is 2E imho.
I think you can make an argument for any of (late) 2e, 3e (with without PF1e), or 4e.

2e has Kits and the Player's Option books and other stuff so that, by the time you get to the end...yeah it has a ton of stuff. I don't know it nearly well enough to go into the details, unfortunately, but everything I've heard is that late-2e was either a powergamer's paradise or an incredibly flexible tool to get precisely what your roleplay was looking for. You just had to look hard enough.

3e has ACFs, PRCs, dozens of "base" classes, many thousands of feats, etc. If you allow PF1e, it just gets even bigger. Of course, it also suffers some...pretty severe balance issues as a result, but for the savvy metagame-player, that's almost a perk. Having played both high-level and epic 3e+PF, I can say that it is satisfying to see a combo you've assembled actually shine, and the more care that went into it, the greater the satisfaction.

4e, while not quite as "moddable" as the previous two, had quite a suite of highly effective classes, some of which were new concepts not seen before in D&D (like the Avenger) or fully-throated in a way they had never been (like the Shaman and its spirit-companion). Many feats, but not as many as 3e; many combinable options, but not as many as 2e; and then the whole Theme+Background/PP/ED side to add your preferred spin on nearly everything.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I think you can make an argument for any of (late) 2e, 3e (with without PF1e), or 4e.

2e has Kits and the Player's Option books and other stuff so that, by the time you get to the end...yeah it has a ton of stuff. I don't know it nearly well enough to go into the details, unfortunately, but everything I've heard is that late-2e was either a powergamer's paradise or an incredibly flexible tool to get precisely what your roleplay was looking for. You just had to look hard enough.

3e has ACFs, PRCs, dozens of "base" classes, many thousands of feats, etc. If you allow PF1e, it just gets even bigger. Of course, it also suffers some...pretty severe balance issues as a result, but for the savvy metagame-player, that's almost a perk. Having played both high-level and epic 3e+PF, I can say that it is satisfying to see a combo you've assembled actually shine, and the more care that went into it, the greater the satisfaction.

4e, while not quite as "moddable" as the previous two, had quite a suite of highly effective classes, some of which were new concepts not seen before in D&D (like the Avenger) or fully-throated in a way they had never been (like the Shaman and its spirit-companion). Many feats, but not as many as 3e; many combinable options, but not as many as 2e; and then the whole Theme+Background/PP/ED side to add your preferred spin on nearly everything.

2E is essentially a molders kit.

3E and 4E have lots of mechanical options. 2E options you can change the fundamentals of the game.
 

I feel you were one of the people who liked the heaviness and crunchiness of 3e. 5e is definitely more streamlined. For me that is definitely a feature, not a bug, but YMMV. In any case, It plays very smoothly, and if you liked pre 4e editions of D&D, it will probably work for you well enough.

Also, you seem to be mostly considered about the breadth of character building options. At this point there are a lot, but probably not as much as 3e had. But I'd also like to point out, that if you're invited to play in one campaign, you don't really need the game to support endless number of character concepts that interest you, you only need one or two.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
@Dannyalcatraz actually, thinking about it, the introduction of Background as a movable dial does a huge amount to change how you can tweak a character concept, particularly since they are a Build-A-Bear model.
 




EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Not quite the same, also not in the PHB 1?
Backgrounds are present in PHB1, but were pure flavor at the time. They gained actual mechanical benefits in PHB2, but were still mostly flavor. And, as always, all of the 4e PHBs are equally "core" books. That's where the Barbarian, Bard, Druid, and Sorcerer were. "PHB1/2/3" doesn't mean what it meant in 3e (and we will never get a numbered PHB again, so it will never mean either of those things again.)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Define distanced from core concepts? Best edition for that is 2E imho.
Others have covered it a bit, but just in general, having species, class and other modeling options that can produce PCs that vary significantly from the pre-2Ed editions.

While AD&D introduced some new classes & races, 2Ed took the first major steps with introducing kits, then vastly expanding race options with the softcovers. Then the Player’s Options books arrived…

And 3.X expanded upon that.

After more than 45 years in the hobby, I’ve played most of the stereotypical race/class combos from pre-2Ed that lingered on even afterwards. So when I sit down at a gaming table to start a new D&D campaign, I have those character concepts ready to go and can generally create one pretty quickly- I’ve even played some in 3.5 while I was still generating the character (I was late for the first session). But I’d much rather try something askance from the same old same old.

So being able to create and play things like a full caster in heavy armor, a “Paladin” with arcane spells, or a 2-headed bipedal fey dog-man engages my creativity at a different level. I invest more in the PC.
 

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