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Why Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition makes me Sad

Posted by Telemergion, 07 April 2015 · 600 views

This blog is back! I know, I'm sorry. I cannot begin to atone for leaving this fallow for all this time. I'm sure all of you spent long, achingly painful nights wishing for some kind of update. I'll bet you thirsted for it. If you didn't and are now creeped out by this whole thing, well, I'm not actually sorry for that at all. WELCOME TO THE BLOG!

So as my triumphant return, I think I'll write about something that has been weighing on my mind for a while now. I play in two games, one 5th edition game where we're playing through the Horde of the Dragon Queen published adventure and I am the DM, and another where I actually get to be a player and we're running through a heavily anime-influence oriental campaign in the Pathfinder system. When I think about which excites me more, I keep coming back to the Pathfinder game. It's original, it's got great characters, the DM puts a lot of effort into his story, and it feels more impressive somehow. This is likely partly due to him actually doing prep and creating something whereas I'm running my game out of a book. Sadly I don't have much time for prep, these days.

However, as the weeks go one and we somewhat alternate (he runs every 4th session or so to my 3) I am becoming increasingly upset by the fact that when I sit down at my character sheet for the Pathfinder game I find myself staring at walls of text that I know at one point excited me as much as playing through the game does. I had an intricate plan for my build, based on persona growth he would do through roleplay, and optimized to attain impressive combat potential. I was incredibly proud of it. I spent hours upon hours looking through the SRD for each little feat and ability that would maximize my potential.

But then here comes 5th edition, with its vastly simplified rules, its compiritive uncaring attitude towards optimization, and it's barely over a score of feats. And yet I have had more fun building characters in this casual format and built many times as many as I did using Pathfinder. I sit down at the SRD now and it becomes a chore. It is the worst!

That's pretty much all I have to say. 5E is becoming my favourite D20 system for fantasy roleplaying and I can't wait until I have to time to run my own original game where all the players are pirates.

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I volunteer for the pirate game.

I've noticed that 5th edition has very polarizing opinions about it; But I've also noticed that the central reason for these opinions is the thing you touched on at the end of this blog; People who hate 5th edition, hate it because it's so much less complex than previous editions. And the people who love it, love it because it's so much less complex than previous editions.

It's an interesting reaction, to be sure. Personally I like it because it offers so much more in choices for roleplaying, and less restriction via mechanics. All the essentials you need for the system are there, minus the maze of line-graphs of feats and class interactions, making the game less about bending the rules and more about playing it.

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Incidentally, you may want to share some of these valid observations in the D&D 5E vs. Pathfinder thread, since the blogs sadly don't get much attention, possibly due to the site layout.
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Oh, I shared them. I suuuure shared them.

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