D&D 5E What are the highlights of D&D 5th edition for you?


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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Some people regard Background Features as concrete character abilities, the same as Class Features. Which... I have almost never seen them come up in play. They're narrow, they're situational, and very often they make no sense if you try to apply them broadly. I am not sorry to see them go in place of a starting Feat. No more fishing for a Background that's close enough to the Skill and Tool package you want, no more bloat in new books with a couple of pointless new Backgrounds that are hardly different from what came before.
Yeah, that's never been a concrete feature, it's fluff to move story elements along as applicable. And they haven't even changed that?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
No, they aren't.

There's a wide gap between Features and "suggestions."
I mean, on thst front, the Background Feature was only ever a suggestion: it is fluff and roleplaying indication, not a rule that compelled anything in practice. Nothing really changes here other than presentation.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Yeah, that's never been a concrete feature, it's fluff to move story elements along as applicable. And they haven't even changed that?

I completely disagree with that assessment.

The PHB backgrounds had tangible Features that actually did things or provided possible access to things that to which character without that background may not have access (or at least not have access nearly as easily).

I agree with the concerns Oofta has stated about how they were presented, and that is part of why I believe that part of the game could have been fleshed put more (rather than being cut).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I completely disagree with that assessment.

The PHB backgrounds had tangible Features that actually did things or provided possible access to things that to which character without that background may not have access (or at least not have access nearly as easily).

I agree with the concerns Oofta has stated about how they were presented, and that is part of why I believe that part of the game could have been fleshed put more (rather than being cut).
But it hasn't been cut, and those were never meant to be a hard rule: as @Oofta points out, they ao often cannot be. This presentation makes it more clear that the Background stuff is roleplaying suggestions, not a hard rule. Which is not a change.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Maybe I've been doing it wrong this whole time. But the way I figure it: if one of my players chooses a certain background, I figure they are doing so for a reason and it's up to me to work it into the setting/campaign.

Like when our cleric chose the Acolyte background: I tried my hardest to get lots of use out of their "Shelter of the Faithful" feature, at least for the first few adventures. The party got free healing every time they visited the character's temple, and the local townsfolk keept the cleric busy with weddings, funerals, child dedications, and other religious ceremonies between adventures. More than one adventure hook came directly from their temple too (find a missing clergyman, and locate a missing shipment of sacramental wine).

If I don't make their backgrounds matter, I feel like I'm doing the character (and the player) a disservice.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
But it hasn't been cut, and those were never meant to be a hard rule: as @Oofta points out, they ao often cannot be. This presentation makes it more clear that the Background stuff is roleplaying suggestions, not a hard rule. Which is not a change.

It only hasn't been cut if I agree with how you're viewing what the Features are/were.

I don't. So, yes, it is a change.

Even how they're written is phrased to imply a different way of using them. The backgrounds for which you provided pictures focus solely on what you've already done and where you are now. Previously, backgrounds did that and also provided a connection to what you might/could do in future adventures via ongoing benefits derived from said past.
 

Oofta

Legend
Maybe I've been doing it wrong this whole time. But the way I figure it:

If one of my players chooses a certain background, I figure they are doing so for a reason and it's up to me to work it into the setting/campaign. Like when our cleric chose the Acolyte background: I tried my hardest to get lots of use out of their "Shelter of the Faithful" feature, at least for the first few adventures. The party got free healing every time they visited the character's temple, and the local townsfolk keept the cleric busy with weddings, funerals, child dedications, and other religious ceremonies between adventures. More than one adventure hook came directly from their temple too (find a missing clergyman, and locate a missing shipment of sacramental wine).

If I don't make their backgrounds matter, I feel like I'm doing the character (and the player) a disservice.

But if you're like the group I'm playing in, we're playing Curse of Strahd. We're stuck in Ravenloft so there's really no way for the DM to implement most of the features even if we wanted to. In almost every case I've seen, backgrounds just become a way to get a couple extra proficiencies.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Maybe I've been doing it wrong this whole time. But the way I figure it:

If one of my players chooses a certain background, I figure they are doing so for a reason and it's up to me to work it into the setting/campaign. Like when our cleric chose the Acolyte background: I tried my hardest to get lots of use out of their "Shelter of the Faithful" feature, at least for the first few adventures. The party got free healing every time they visited the character's temple, and the local townsfolk keept the cleric busy with weddings, funerals, child dedications, and other religious ceremonies between adventures. More than one adventure hook came directly from their temple too (find a missing clergyman, and locate a missing shipment of sacramental wine).

If I don't make their backgrounds matter, I feel like I'm doing the character (and the player) a disservice.
100%, and that hasn't been changed.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It only hasn't been cut if I agree with how you're viewing what the Features are/were.

I don't. So, yes, it is a change.

Even how they're written is phrased to imply a different way of using them. The backgrounds for which you provided pictures focus solely on what you've already done and where you are now. Previously, backgrounds did that and also provided a connection to what you might/could do in future adventures via ongoing benefits derived from said past.
But that's the point: theybare fluff suggestions thst can inform future action, and the suggestions on what would make sense to do are right there in the text.
 

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