Saturday, May 9, 2015

Played Some 5e Tonight.

Have to say I had quite a bit of fun . Our party was short a man (our two handed fighter guy off to play X-Wing)  but  the rest consisted of a Halfling  warlock, a cleric, a paladin, a rogue and a totem warrior barbarian (me)

The only house rules we used were random stat generation (which lead to pretty high stats) and a ruling that Paladins need to be Lawful but not necessarily Good. Ours is the Oath of Vengeance guy and like my totem warrior/pirate is Lawful Evil and an all around ruthless bastard, His player T and I work well together  in game so it makes for some fun play.

On the whole  system was decent, didn't get in the way and in general helped make for a fun experience. 5th edition  did its job well, which in its case was to be  D&D.

But as said  not the kind of game system  that inspires  me and honestly I think it could use more support for mundane encounters like the bandits we fought . Regardless everyone seemed to have a good time. We also now have several print Player's Handbooks at the table   so its doing well with my group. I'm happy to play it. I might even buy that PHB after all.

Mechanically  5e feats are very neat and  mine (Shield Master and Resilience) I can knock people around, block dragon breath and in general kick some backside in a strong but balanced way.

Another nice bit, the 5e Barbarian is superb, rage works well and smoothly and the other class  abilities are pretty neat . For example my guy   doesn't wear any armor and has  still an AC of 20 with his +1 shield .  Sword +Target Shield is very fun.

I might eventually want a few extra feats butt as no one gets more than 6 (5 if not human) , its not a needed thing for the  time being. I suspect a few  will end up in some clever homebrew or in Wizard's generous regular Unearthed Arcana Support long before  I need them.

Also not system related and most of all  I really like the home-brew game world, the kind of mythic fantasy meets sword and planet place called  Arlowen.

Its very flavorful and in general a fun setting  to game. my DM tonight, B is a little rough around the edges as a DM but the man is a good storyteller and a gifted world builder. Arlowen is among my very favorite game worlds and the most interesting D&D homebrew I've every played.  I love things like mummy kings, storm towers, ash covered islands, dragon people and all the rest. I want to explore and interact with more of it and I liked it in Pathfinder and I like it in D&D.

In the end I'd say  5th Edition played well, the Barbarian is the best version of the class yet and the feats are really excellent. Sure 5e is a bit of a one trick pony , good for playing its own idiosyncratic form of D&D  and probably little else unlike the more versatile older D&D or 3x variations  but sometimes one trick is plenty.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

So What System Does Inspire?

My last post was just about my personal feeling that D&D 5e was uninspiring as a system.

This post is about something different. What system  does inspire?

Well push comes to shove I'd rather play GURPS where I don't have to fight the system to do what I want. Eden Studio's Unisystem  when I want fast and breezy with a bit of what GURPS does and D&D mood is on me, older forms of D&D which while they actually have less mechanical options, support imagination as the main driver  of play better than newer version.

I will say though not part of the system, the art in D&D next is amazing. It often makes me say "I want that in my game." and it actually meshes pretty well with the rules, just not for me.

Some Random Thoughts on D&D 5th Edition.

I've started a new D&D 5e game. I'm playing a Totem Warrior Barbarian/Pirate Background though I may try and talk my GM , B into letting me switch to a Storm Sorcerer. Maybe.

This is my second campaign  which has  got me to thinking about the system and D&D in general.

First  thing I noticed is that unlike 4e, D&D Next is most certainly D&D as I know it. Unlike 4e which was a perfectly serviceable and decent game that wasn't D&D but was under its moniker and siffered for it. Next is D&D through and through.

It  feels and plays like older D&D mixed with newer D&D which to my way of thinking is a design success.

Now I think  it lacks some of the individualized feel of older forms of D&D, its a very coherent system and one that is I suspect not going to see a lot of house ruling or rules add ons.

Whether this is a good thing or bad thing is a matter of taste. I'm undecided on the issue.

Now there things I don't care for.

 It feels constrained, maybe too heavily focused is a better word. I know I don't but it feels like my choices are narrow and not terribly interesting . This is not logical, 5e has load of options but it feels restrictive if that makes sense to anyone.

Don't get me wrong. its a good game and I'm fine playing it but Next lacks sizzle. It feels like a game built by a committee, a small, fairly smart committee good at its job but a committee none the less.

This is grossly unfair to the designers as D&D 5e is actually a very good game but its just feels that way.

Its just that nothing out there screams Play Me, No, No, No  Play Me. That's not an issue in older games where there was a very different play style but I think its a flaw in modern RPG's and in 5e.

Also this game just doesn't seem like something I want to DM. I don't know why and whether its me or the game but it doesn't inspire campaigns or ideas.

As such its a meh game and when I  run again Next won't make the cut and I won't be buying the Player's Handbook either. I guess I'll have to funnel some money to the fLGS another way.

Anyway that's my rant, 5e is a good game, I'll play it but its uninspiring. YMMV.