July 11, 2014

5E Friday

I'll be taking a closer look at the Starter Set and the Basic Rules in the future but for now I find the reaction to 5E to be interesting on its own. Bear in mind these are my personal reflections so it's likely I could be off overall...

-Reaction seems to be positive. People seem to like the old-school vibes and the blend of newer concepts. Even many of those who are not planning on playing the system speak well of it; "I like the system but I'll keep using the one I am using right now." Quite a few have stated 5E is now their system of choice. (Personally I'll wait until the PH and DMG come out to make that determination.) I haven't seen any real edition wars, certainly not on the level of 4E.

-The few negative reviews (and by negative I mean people who absolutely do not like 5E - as opposed to those who like 5E but still see some flaws with it) seem to be quibbles over minor things, often more personal than systemic.
"They used the same tired racial backgrounds instead of making elves emo-cannibals."
"You get new abilities as a character levels - never for me!"
"It's too easy to stay alive!"

-Despite the fact there is no news about a OGL or similar information and won't be before 2015, there have been some early adopters of the system. Necromancer Games/Frog God already has a Kickstarter for 3 new 5E books (and its already funded) and they've also released a 5E adventure for free. They were a solid company with 3E but they refused to adopt to 4E when it was released because they didn't like the OGL for that edition. Instead, recently they came back with a bunch of Pathfinder stuff (mostly adaptions of their earlier work, but with some new stuff as well). I find it interesting that they are jumping into 5E with both feet.

In addition, there are also some adaptions to 5E of older adventures people have put up for free. Companies and designers seem to be excited about 5E.

-"5E" seems to have won as the unofficial name of this version of D&D. Almost everyone is referring to it as 5E. WotC may simply call it Basis D&D or D&D, but 5E is likely to stay its name...and this is a good thing. There needs to be a way to talk about the latest version where everyone can understand what version they are talking about. To simply call it Basic D&D or D&D just leads to confusion. Looks like "5E" is here to stay (and D&D Next is dead as a title - thank goodness).

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