Here Be Dragons

tiamatThis blog is about to turn into a D&D-centric RPG war stories site. You are warned.

My spouse and I have been D&D and other tabletop RPG gamers since before we met, when we were still young and thin and agile and could read the damned dice from across the table. As life happens, we’ve slowed down considerably in gaming and in years past have gone months (years?) without playing. I always miss it. Like writing, it nags at the back of my mind as something I should be doing.

We cut our teeth on 1st edition AD&D and really racked up the hours with 2nd edition. 3rd edition D&D was awesome and we played a lot, but the sheer volume of books, new rules and supplements, coming out all the time got very overwhelming. And it was expensive when we had a teenager to get through school.

When 4th edition came out, I eagerly bought it, hoping for a fresh start. That was a mistake. 4th rules required miniatures, and the classes all had comparable abilities that gave them all the same feel. It seemed…bland. We hardly played it, and it was a LOT of money gone to waste. I eventually sold my entire collection of 4th edition books and minis on eBay, and we switched to Pathfinder (which uses D&D 3.5 rules). Except Pathfinder had the same problem 3.5 did: book glut. If I didn’t buy all the books and supplements, I felt like I would miss something important. All the books were a  big hit to our pocketbook when there were bills to be paid. Even with 4Shared.

Now there’s 5th edition, or D&D Next as it was called in development. It’s a strange combination of all of the above, and it works well. And although it follows 4th edition’s habit of feeling too safe for the players at times (“Back in my day, we didn’t regain all of our hit points just from resting a few hours. We had to find a cleric or be laid up for weeks, damn it!”), the nice thing is that the Wizards have decided to forego the glut of new rules and sourcebooks and concentrate on adventure books and their optional supporting items. As of now I have only the core rules books (PH, DMG, MM) and one adventure book, Curse of Strahd, with its supporting Tarokka Deck (the Vistani tarot cards).  I had to buy that one because, hey, it’s Ravenloft!

We haven’t played the Ravenloft adventure yet. I was going to run it for us when my son (26 years old this year) came to visit, but it was too large for the time we had together. I came up with a small adventure that took about 8 hours collective play time and was an easy introduction for him (and us) into 5th edition. Following posts will detail that and subsequent adventures. I don’t know when I’ll get to Strahd, but he’s there, waiting for when I need him.

In addition to logging our current campaign, I’m also planning on posting my ideas and home rules for the game, which I hope readers will find interesting and inspiring.

But enough about me for now. Are you an avid tabletop gamer? What systems have you played? How do you like the new D&D? Leave a comment and let me know!

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3 thoughts on “Here Be Dragons

  1. My husband has played tabletop RPGs since he was eight and got me into them when we started dating. We’ve played mostly D&D (2nd & 3rd eds.), Rifts, and GURPS. Lately, we had been gaming less, but we’re making an effort to play at least one night a week. It’s good for the writing juices! We haven’t dipped into 5th ed. yet, but I’ve heard generally good things about it.

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    1. 5th is a far cry better than 4th, in that it doesn’t force you to use minis and battle maps. It is, however, a little too easy on the players, imo. But that’s coming from a GM standpoint. My spouse likes being able to “spend” a hit die to regain hit points during a short 1-hour rest, and the fact that necrotic damage and poison wears off after a long rest. But I guess when you only one PC that’s probably a good thing.

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