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First impressions: #dndnext

After a fair bit of faffing around, I managed to download the D&D Next playtest stuff this evening, and am pleased to say it was worth the wait, having had a quick read through of the nine documents included in the pack.

Having played in several of closed playtest games, it's good to see that the rules set has improved considerably based on feedback received, and things like when to roll an ability check and when to handwave it now make much more sense than previously.

I liked themes and backgrounds in the original playtest and we can see some of these here in the five pregen characters, giving an indication of how two PCs from the same class can be quite different from each other. The mechanic for advantage and disadvantage, rolling 2d20 and taking the best roll (advantage) or the worst roll (disadvantage) is neat – I need to see it in play but it should work well – and the new rules for healing and resting seem much improved, with spending hit dice to heal during a short rest reminiscent of 4e's healing surges. I like the new rules for dying too – three death saves made and you stabilize, as opposed to 4e's three strikes and you're out, and the "hovering at death's door" rules in previous editions.

So, so far, so good. I'm looking forward to running Caves of Chaos for either or both sets of Parsantium players. Anyone brought up on the balanced encounters of 3.x or 4e is sure to enjoy blundering into a chamber populated by "up to 40" kobolds ;)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
I've barely looked at them but the weight given to background & theme is encouraging.
May. 25th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
I've given them a once over and I'm intrigued. I expect lots of changes in the coming months, but there's stuff here that I think is a good start: themes&backgrounds, advantage/disadvantage, healing and the dying rules, and the uncertainty of that. I'll try to give it a run with my group, see how it shakes out.
May. 25th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
I've just started reading my packet and overall I'm optimistic about 5e. I'll also be putting up some comments son, once I've digested the rules.
May. 26th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC)
In know this is probably heresy as far as many people are concerned (7th most popular D&D adventure of all time and all that), but I just can't get that excited about the Caves of Chaos. How easy do you think it would be to convert Shadowed Keep? Seems to me a lot of the monsters are covered.
May. 27th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
Wait. I'm confused. What do you mean "not like Caves of Chaos?


I would have thought it would be a doddle to converrt Shadowed Keep. I haven't had a chance to read the bestiary yet, though. The only problem would be the various leveled leader types, but I'm sure just uping a few of the important numbers on base monsters would be enough.
May. 27th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
It's not that I don't like the Caves of Chaos - I just think it was of its time, and I'm not that excited by revisiting it. I much prefer GDQ or other old 1e modules such as Tomb of Horrors or White Plume Mountain, or better still the I series, particularly the Desert of Desolation and Ravenloft. I can totally see why it was chosen for this playtest though. </p>

I'm going to have a look at doing Shadowed Keep - it's the human NPCs with class levels that probably need some stats writing for them ;)

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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