Last weekend, my gaming group didn’t have a full set of players to continue the Exalted campaign we had running, so we decided to try and give the new edition of D&D a spin.
It was one of those times when I didn’t have a campaign concept ready in mind, and hence no pitch to guide the players, but I figure it wouldn’t be so bad if they just made pretty much whatever they felt like. As long as they conform to the singular condition being that the player characters had to be Good characters.
The character creation process was quick and painless. I wasn’t certain if it was due to familiarity, as all the players had passing knowledge of D&D character creation from experiences they’ve had with 3.X and 4e, but it was quick, and fun.
I was particularly impressed by how streamlined everything was. There was much less mechanical speedbumps involved, less tallying of skill points and less time sorting through Feats. People put together a race, a class and a background, and they were happy.
Now, I have to take a moment to write that my players aren’t exactly fans of earlier editions. Some felt it was too restrictive, while others felt that the mechanics were too complicated to be fun. I didn’t hear any complaints during 5e character creation, and I certainly hope that that’s a sign that the rest of the game will be equally easy to run.
Already I can see a few signs that the streamlining is there. From the elegant Advantage / Disadvantage rules to the Inspiration mechanic and the simple implementation of damage resistance, the design team has certainly taken steps to trim off all the fat and leave nothing but the fun.
This weekend I’m planning a small adventure for my players, and I’ll finally get a taste of how the new edition runs as a GM. Hopefully this positive review isn’t limited to a first impression, and 5E will wow me on the table when I run it as well.