D&D 5th Edition Basic Released

So after their protracted open playtesting WOTC have begun their release of D&D 5th Edition, or D&D Next as it’s been known until late. The Basic rules, which include the main system and a core set of options for the classic class / race options are available for download, for free, from the WOTC website. Doing so is a bold move and one that’s probably required in order to push interest in the release, especially given the rise of Pathfinder since it appeared on the scene.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really a D&D fan but having skimmed through the rules the first thing that struck me was simply… this is just D&D. Sure there’s been some streamlining but really the only thing that strikes me as new is the advantage / disadvantage mechanic. Everything else is just the same old same old, which I guess is fine for the target market but I think I was just hoping for something a bit more of a radical departure from the d20 formula. Something that brought in more of the ideas and approaches that have developed in gaming over the last decade, let alone the last couple of years.

All in all the release of the new D&D can only be a good thing, especially given this initial release makes it look like they’ve learnt from the mistakes surrounding 4th Edition. In the end though this first release just reinforces one thing for me, that D&D isn’t the game for me and probably never will be. Yes I’ll probably play it, but it’ll never be my go to system or even on my top list of games.

I just hope somebody does, D&D started this hobby and it would be a shame if 5th Edition was its final iteration.

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2 thoughts on “D&D 5th Edition Basic Released”

  1. Did you expect it to be something OTHER than Dungeons & Dragons? That’s kind of the point. 3rd edition was too Feat heavy and character creation was too complicated to the point of needing a computer program to make a character. 4th leaned more towards trying to make the game feel like a WoW video game, plus focused on using miniatures so they could sell their D&D minis. 5th is getting back to roots. Making D&D be D&D again. And that’s a good thing!

    1. Honestly? No, I was just hoping there would be enough in there to properly interest me in it. I’m still curious to see how the proposed modularity approach works out but knew that was unlikely to make it into the Basic rules document.

      For the record my experience with D&D to date has been limited to 3.5 and 4th Editions. 4th I enjoyed from the tactical combat perspective but found lacking beyond that while my general opinion was that 3.5 was a mess clobbered together by just continually stapling on extra options with little thought for how they would all interact.

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