Static group has played three nights of 5th edition Dungeon's and Dragon's. We are beginning to get the feel for the changes in the rule set, and not all of us are super happy. While we are having a blast playing, there are some aggravations.
I mainly played 3.5 edition. I played one game of 4th edition at Gencon one year and couldn't believe how much Wizards of the Coast had neutered pen and paper. Zeff and I were in our local comic shop the other day looking at the 5th edition books. An employee stopped to ask if we need anything and to chat. He wanted to know our impression of the game play, and said "You know, 4th edition felt more like World of Warcraft on paper. It just wasn't fun."
So first things first. 5th edition play leads to laughter, joy and oh my gods moments.
With the enjoyment factor locked, lets look at the biggest complaints our group has voiced.
The game relies on luck of the roll much more than carefully crafted characters. Your dice are about to get a work out because it seems like we toss dice over our virtual tabletop for every single thought we have. This matters. 5th edition has stripped out most of the crunchy bits of building a character. All of us have agreed we aren't sure we like it. We know how much fun skills can be, and in 5th edition you really aren't raising your skills as you play.
We leveled to 2nd level last week. I think all of us were eager to see what we would get with a level raise. The answer? Not much. My monk received her first 2 Ki points. She can use them for Furry of Blows, Patient Defense and Step of the Wind. I get only the 2 Ki points, so I going to need to save them for big trouble. There isn't any place on the Fantasy Grounds character sheet to keep track of the Ki. I am going to need to figure out a system. I can do a short rest to meditate and get them back. Not a bad deal. The magic users are having a devil of a time because they need long rests to get spells back.
We didn't get to raise any of our ability scores. No skill points. No feats. It felt a little flat to level. About as exciting as watching a worm struggle as it fries on a hot sidewalk. Big bummer.
This type of leveling and the amount of dice rolling leaves all the characters more generalized. In some of our fights, it's felt a little more like a game of poker than dnd, but we managed to keep everyone alive. Barely. I think our wizard ended up bleeding on the floor for a while. I bandaged him, but he remained unconscious for most of the final fight.
One of the halflings rolled ones several tries in a row. I think we all dissolved into giggles when he rolled a one, then because of halfing luck, rerolled and got a two. So we are having a good time, but feeling our way through the new structure has left us hungry for the old way of doing things.
We are fully invested now. Zeff wanted the monster manual and DM's guide for his birthday. I think he is wanting to create a campaign of his own for the future. He is having a very good time.
If you haven't all ready, you should find a 5th edition game to try out. You will know rather in a hurry if it's for you. I know we all dislike change, but at least this edition left some of the good stuff without making it an MMO on paper.