Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
5th edition Dungeons & Dragons is a thing

Previously known as D&D Next, 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons is now officially a thing. You can buy the starter set in selected shops now, and everywhere else soon. Plus the basic rules are available for free from the WoTC website. Time for some comments:

First of all, my current campaign and the campaign I'm planning for next year will remain 4th edition. That is not only because me and my players like 4E more; but also because we play in French: 4E has a French translation, 5E is only available in English. Half of my players don't speak English. So our choice in this matter is inherently limited. Distribution being similarly US-centric, I don't expect to be able to pick up a D&D Starter Set before August.

I have downloaded, printed out, and started reading the 5E Basic Rules. I have watched videos on the content of the Starter Set, and seen WotC play the first session of it on YouTube. With the information I have about these two products, I have come to a conclusion: The Starter Set and the Basic Rules *together* form something which could be described as "Basic D&D", that is a full system to play a campaign of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons with somewhat simplified rules. With the Basic Rules being free and the Starter Set $19.99 official retail price, $12.65 currently on, that is extremely good value for money. On the other hand, if you want to play the *full* version of 5E, you will need to buy 3 books (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual) at $50 suggested retail price each, and those haven't even come out yet.

Needless to say I consider the Starter Set / Basic Rules combo to be more suitable for new players, both from a point of view of complexity, and of price. Which leads me to my personal "5E project": I would like to look at the Starter Set and the Basic Rules together, do some simulated play sessions solo, and see how well the combo does in teaching Dungeons & Dragons to a new generation of players. That will presumably happen somewhere after the summer. I'm not in a rush. Besides telling me how good the new edition is for new players, I will probably get to understand the fundamentals of 5E enough for me to decide whether I want to buy the full books. Which, unless WotC announces a French translation, is currently not likely. 5E is now a thing, but not yet a global thing.

I admire your exploratory spirit keeping up with DnD editions.I have trouble excepting new additions, from 2nd ed to pathfinders was quite a jump. I found the combat mechanics better(THACO), but much was the same. Biggest thing I noticed was the streamlining of adventure modules prob cater to a demographic that either has digital distraction, jobs or both.
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