Wednesday, August 20, 2014

5E Elaboration: Why I Like the System

I received a couple requests to explain what I like about 5E from my last post.  So I'll try to explain.  I won't promise it'll make sense, but I'll give it a go because it is a good question.

So to answer +Sean Robson, you are right.  It also feels like a simplified version of 3E.  Which is probably why I like it.  It's not as bloated and it has very simple mechanics to resolve challenges.  I listened to a podcast where the group was playing 3.5 or Pathfinder, not sure, and a player rolled a skill challenge, he was upset that he only got a 31!  When you're disappointed when your result is a 31 while rolling a d20, to me, that system is broke.  In 5E players have a slower power scale.  At least what I've experience.

5E is not a clone of the old version (which is good, we have enough of those), but it is a Frankenstein Monster.  So I guess if you don't like skill checks, you won't like 5E.  I do like the skill checks, it add a concrete number to target and to me adds an element of tension.  And 5E doesn't seem to have the ridiculous power creep that 3.5 had.

To JB & +Alexis is tough for me to answer because Rob is such a good DM.  Much of the excitement we had was due to the situation, tight dice rolls and challenging combat with different types of combatants.  We've had four sessions and each combat has been very close.  Can assign that to the system or just crappy dice rolls, I don't know.  But it has happened consistently enough that I can say that 5E handles combat well.  And like I said in Sean's answer, I do like the skill system resolution.  It's easy to figure out and doesn't seem to get bloated, but my experience so far has only been with 1st and 2nd level characters.

I can't say if I would feel differently if someone else DMed the session.  I'm just not sure.  But when I read the rules I like what I see.  Only some of the newer edition stuff is what I have the most trouble with.  I've written this before, I am not a fan of the second wind, short rest, long rest healing.  But that's what is offered in the system and if the GM wants to use it, I'll use it.  However, if I ran my own 5E game, I would probably houserule them differently.

The death saving throw is proving to be fun.  Rolling to see if you get three rolls under ten or over ten first has added a lot of tension.

Despite what others have said before, since playing 5E, I will also argue that it is a system built to keep players alive.  We would have been TPKed probably two or three times with old school systems.  But it adds a heroic element to it.  In old school games you mainly start out as an average Joe with a few extra skills.  In 5E you start as a hero in training. 

It's a new system.  It feels like we are exploring the game a little like in the way back.  Learning what we can do.  Learning what the monsters can do to us.  So I guess in these small ways, it is system based for some of the fun.


  1. Replies
    1. Not sure my answer was all that clear, but ghostofmarx did well below.

  2. I've played once. I enjoyed it. I like character creation. The backgrounds flesh out characters well and creating or customizing those are encouraged. I like the advantage/disadvantage system because it removes random bonuses. Instead of adding and subtracting numbers to you roll 2 dice take the better if the situation favours you, the worse if it favours your foes. The power progression is turned down. Proficiency bonus is skill, weapon and saving throw bonus all in 1 and it doesn't go up every level. . If you want to have feats you have to give up your Ability increase. The race selection gives you meaningful game benefits but not so overpowering that you feel locked into a class choice. I have found the rule books more enjoyable to read and less like a math text book.The system seems to favour smart cautious play. I will admit that I think the Lost Mines is a genuinely good adventure with strong pre-generated characters who have backstory connections which was fun and surprising for me. If the rest of their adventure products are this good I will be buying more.

    1. Absolutely. I should have you write my post. You did better than me.

    2. I thought your post was just fine I just wanted to add my 2 cents. In fact I didn't even realize some of this until I started typing.