Why D&D 5e?

157984_ElvenCity_ThomTeneryThis new edition of Dungeons and Dragons fills my need for rules light with just enough crunch for players to choose from in order to flesh out their characters.

For the record: I love Dungeon World. It is probably my favorite RPG and it has forever changed the way that I game master. The system of GM Moves are usable in any game system ever, in my opinion. I plan on running D&D 5 with these moves as well because the new rules actually allow it.

The biggest reasons why I like the 5th edition of the flagship of my hobby:

  • The Universal Proficiency bonus. Everyone gets this bonus and it gets bigger as you level up. If you’re proficient in a skill or weapon, you get to add this bonus to your roll. If you’re not, then you don’t. No more penalties for not having a certain skill or being trained in a particular weapon. It’s super simple!
  • Ability Score Saving Throws. Now each ability score (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom etc…) has its own saving throw (and each Class makes your character proficient in two of them). This is a big deal because I can essentially use the Defy Danger move in this game whenever appropriate. Defy Danger is like the “Perform a Stunt” of WFRP 3e or as a catch-all skill check to see if your character can accomplish something as well as they intend.
  • Backgrounds. Oh how I love these. So basically, you have three major, thematic and rules-relevant choices during character creation: Race (Human, Elf, Dwarf etc…), Class (Fighter, Wizard, Rogue etc…) and Background (Sage, Soldier, Entertainer etc…). Your character’s pre-adventurer life has a huge impact on the way that your character works. The background gives you personality aspects (kind of like FATE: the GM rewards the player with Inspiration- see the next point below), skill proficiencies (Survival, Persuasion, Acrobatics etc…) and even tool proficiencies (Playing Cards, Musical Instruments, Smithy Tools etc…). Thanks to Backgrounds, every character feels more fleshed-out and unique. You could have an entire party of Fighters and each would feel and work differently.
  • Inspiration. Backgrounds give each character personality traits, flaws and bonds. GMs can reward people when they portray their character in a compelling way, especially when they play up these Background aspects. A player can use this Inspiration at any time to get an Advantage on roll (of any kind). Super cool, reminds me of Aspects in Fate. You can only hold “one” inspiration “point” at a time, though. You can bank them, you gotta use them. The neat thing is that you can give your inspiration to another player when you like something that they’ve done!
  • Advantage. I felt that other versions of D&D (and many other RPGs) were encumbered by too  many situational modifiers. This mechanic is elegantly simple: if you have an advantage for some reason on a check, roll two d20 and pick the better result. If you have a disadvantage for whatever reason, roll two d20 and pick the worse result. I love it! Super simple. And if the situation is that you’d have both, you get neither (they cancel each other out).

Anyway, I hope that this short article helps anyone who is on the fence decide whether or not to join my upcoming campaign.