The new D&D rules

I’m going to join the flood of gamers who are presenting their opinions on the rule set for Dungeons & Dragons. I do this more because I’m curious about the opinions of others than because I need to state my own, as weird as that sounds. Or maybe I’m just using this forum to help me get a handle on my own opinion. We’ll see.

So as I may have mentioned before, I’ve been playing D&D for a long time. We’re talking Red Box long time. I played some AD&D, a lot of 2nd edition, a decent sampling of 3/3.5, and a few years’ worth of 4E. (Didn’t like 3.x enough to jump on Pathfinder. Also, I played some other stuff along the way. A lot of GURPS and a few other various trinkets.) So that’s where I’m coming from.

I flipped through the free download, which can be found here:

My first impression is that there is an impressive amount of throwback to 2nd edition here. Many of the tables look much the same, and we’re going back to spell levels and character levels not matching up. The full array of alignments is also back, and for some odd reason they still haven’t made any effort to make the economy make any sense. Saving throws are back. Fighters can get multiple attacks. And that’s just the beginning, really. And my initial thought was “I don’t really have any desire to play this.”

But the more I think about it, I can see playing it. It seems to me (and possibly to the designers) that 2nd edition was the last version that didn’t have a major controversy attached to it. And as I said, I played a lot of it back then and wouldn’t be opposed to a return. Especially since it seems that they have learned from their experiences in between, possibly even fixing some of the flaws. I have to admit I’m burning out on 4E at this point; I like the way it simplified certain aspects of the game, but it’s very combat oriented, which is getting stale for me (at my advanced age, perhaps). The new rules at least mention in passing that there are other aspects of the game than combat, so that’s promising.

I’m definitely a fantasy guy, so I don’t think I could ever realistically give up on D&D. And it’s wonderful that there are so many new options for game systems these days. A golden age, one might say (and I think someone did recently on Twitter). I really hope this version of D&D makes itself keep up with those other options. I’d hate to see the old girl fade away.

*Also, just in case anyone is paying attention, apologies for my absence. Things have happened in the last few weeks that should allow me to get back to a regular schedule. Thank you for your patience 🙂


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