Player's Handbook

I imagine this is how all heroes spend their downtime.

I imagine this is how all heroes spend their downtime.

Intro: Play 5th Edition

Let me be clear, the game is fun. We have been mucking around with this since the original play test. The group eventually gave up the 4th edition, and its 400 pages of notation for the simplicity offered by D&D Next. Now all of the 4th edition guides, handbooks, and character sheets are forever preserved in my basement, to be called upon in the future.

So… if you haven’t tried 5th edition, you should. I didn't get the chance to really play D&D until I was 28, and so I started with 4th Edition. 5th Edition is what D&D felt like when I imagined playing it in high school[1] But without THAC0.



The handbook arrived yesterday, as promised by Amazon. I left work exactly on time and rode home as fast as I could. I had guests coming over for dinner, but the book was waiting patiently on my doorstep. I couldn't help myself. The art is insanely good. I *knew* I had responsibilities, but I couldn't stop turning the pages. Lots of nice heroic character art that set the mind on fire to build a dozen characters. I also appreciated that the art didn't have mostly mustached white adventurers and scantily clad ladies[2].  The sketches of all the status effects were a nice touch.


Character Building Night

We organized a small D&D&D (dungeons, dragons, and dinner [or "drinking" depending on the circumstances]) session for everyone to upgrade their characters from the mishmash of information from play test and basic rules to the options in the player handbook.

From a mechanics standpoint, no one had any complaints. As the handbook was passed around, each person exclaimed reverent expletives toward the new class options.

There was one minor freak out as the cleric couldn't find his deity, Pelor, mentioned in the light domain. Rest assured, he was there was an appendix in the back. The cleric also found out he could use a fireball, which as a new D&D player he never got to experience. I held out 8d6 to the man, “You want to roll ‘em just once for practice.” He blinked at the pile of dice in my hand, “Yeah, I think I do.”

The clatter of dice brought the sudden realization that the spell was powerful enough to clear a room full of monsters. Like I said, no complaints.

[1] In my youth I never got to play, but I managed to wistfully roll several characters and dream of the adventures that would eventually kill them off. 

[2] My mom had noted this problem when she caught me reading the 2nd edition player’s handbook when I was 14.

The Blessing of Bad Ability Scores

GM Toolbox: Improvisation Development