I’ve had a standing invitation from members of my GURPS group to join their regularly meeting D&D 5e game for some time. This last week I decided to take them up on it, and joined their group for at least that afternoon. I’d like to play more often. They seem to play about twice a month. I might be able to do once per month. Depends. I have a lot of stuff to do on the weekends, and 6 hours of D&D is a large block of time. Still, I would like to.
I had a great time. I haven’t been involved in D&D since about 1993, when I ran a game for my wife and three others who had never played before. I haven’t played since probably 1984. So it was really enjoyable.
Jeff, our DM, is running the a series of adventures (I still call them “modules”) from the publisher. The group was all at 8th level, so Jeff let me roll up my character at 8th so I wouldn’t just immediately get killed. I rolled up a monk, inspired by the Wuxia RPG campaigns my friend Bob runs. Saturday night I watched this movie to get me in a good frame of mind to play him.
Not being familiar with the new edition, the party, or what exactly was going on in the game, and seeing as how my character is a quiet, thoughtful man, I mostly sat back and let the others do a lot of the decision making. I did however, in-character, remark on the animal-like behavior of some of the underlings the party had with us. Needed to say something judgmental to account for his low charisma score.
So I had a good time.
5e is a fun system. It retains the flavor of D&D while increasing the options for player character class, race, and abilities. Gone are the limitation of class and level based on character race from 1st Edition. It’s a much more open game now, and I think that’s really good. At first glance the player characters seem overpowered, but when you look at the stats and abilities of 5e adversaries you see that game balance is retained.
I’ve owned all the 5e books for a couple of years now, and I have to say they are well-written, well-organized, and very easy to use. My fellow players had some nice playing aids, like spell cards that give quick access to your PCs spellcasting abilities.
One thing I’d kind of forgotten is a what a blood bath a D&D game can be. I wouldn’t characterize this campaign as hack and slash at all, but man, we did a lot of killing. In my GURPS Cyberpunk game, the game centers more on skill use. Of course, GURPS is a much more lethal system, so it’s harder to stay alive if you fight all the time.
Looking forward to playing again.