Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why You Should Play D&D 5th Edition

As I mentioned in my summary of GenCon 2015, I had a blast participating in some D&D Adventure League sessions. In fact, I have been playing in a longterm Dungeon and Dragons 5th edition campaign since the beginning of summer, and I can honestly say it's the most fun I've ever had with a pen and paper roleplaying game. So today I wanted to share with you my top 5 reasons why you should be playing D&D 5th edition.

5. It's the quintessential D&D experience, done in a way that is fast and easy to play for GMs and players alike. One of the clear design goals of this edition was to make the game more streamlined, and it shows. Everything from character creation to combat to skill checks is simplified and moves quickly while still retaining the look and feel that most people associate with the D&D franchise.

4. It's surprisingly compatible with much of the "old school" D&D content. For the first time in its history, you can seek out some of the old first edition modules, swap out the monsters with their 5th edition counterparts, and run them with very little effort at conversion. Given that many people still remember these old adventurers as some of the greatest modules of all time, and that many of them are even available online for free, this is a very nice feature.

3. There's not a ton of content to master. At least to me, D&D 3.5 and its stepchild Pathfinder are absolutely bloated with new rules, new spells, new races, new classes, and what feels like an endless succession of options. For someone just coming back to roleplaying, that amount of content can be overwhelming. But at least thus far, Wizards has been slow to release much in the way of new rules, and those that exist are generally available for free as part of their seasonal Adventure Leagues.

2. Characters are created with distinct backgrounds and archetypes within a particular class, creating diversity even among characters of the same class. With 12 different character classes, all of which come with multiple archetypes, paired with 13 different backgrounds and 9 races, you end up with a lot of variety among different characters. Even better, much of this diversity is more background driven and less about power-leveling.

1. It's a whole lot of fun. Is there any better reason to play anything? This edition of Dungeons and Dragons has proven to be so much fun for me and several others that I've introduced back to the game. And excellent shows like Critical Role only add to the enjoyment I've had with this game.

So what are you waiting for? Order a copy of the Player's Handbook, find a group, and get playing!


  1. I miss my D&D days. I'm a B/X - BECMI guy and I never got interested for anything past AD&D (which wasn't my favorite system anyway), but by your description it looks like they are back on the simplicity track, which I applaud. Having many rules is not necessarily bad (even if rules-light systems are better), but having simple action resolution is a must.

  2. Intriguing. I may have to take a look. One of the great benefits of having 5 kids and a wife is that it's easy to put an adventuring party together. Lol.

    We are just coming off a Battletech campaign from the summer. I was thinking of doing a Shadowrun campaign next, but maybe I will take a look at D&D. My last D&D experience was Baldur's Gate on Xbox. I was a teenager last time I did anything on paper.

    I usually work on my Hyperspin set up in the winter, but would be nice to keep campaigning.