The new Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition has been running beautifully. The quests run so far have encountered few problems, except for on the occasion. In this blog I will update on the quests and my analysis so far of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.
The first quest I ran was for my friend Peter, whom decided to play a Dragonborn Barbarian taking the totem warrior path. His quest involved escorting a rather unwilling bride across a frozen tundra to her fiancé. At first I thought this quest may be a little difficult as the Dragonborn Barbarian was level 1 and I was throwing challenge rating 2 things at him like an angry polar bear mother.
Not only did he survive, he destroyed this quest. The cold mechanics I thought he would be dealing with were essentially completely ignored as he had cold resistance due to his choice of dragon color. But he did happen to fall down an ice worm hole, and then after using his javelins to climb up, immediately fell down another.
The biggest issue that arose with game mechanics during his quest were the saving throws. I come from a strong background in Pathfinder, where there are only 3 saving throws that are conveniently names as to always know which saving throw to make. But in DnD 5e, the saving throws are based off the stats, Strength, Dexterity, Charisma, Constitution, and Wisdom. For me it was a bit difficult to know which saving throw would be used if I was creating my own saving throw (not from the book).
Conceptually, it is hard for me to even see when one might use a strength saving throw. Like if a boulder falls on you and you have to catch it, normally I would just use an Athletics skill check, but would it be more appropriate to use a strength saving throw? This is an issue with DnD 5e I am still struggling with and have started scouring the books to figure out.
I was also able to run the second quest for my good friend Max. He was playing as a Halfling wizard, adequately named Tim. His character has a tendency to be a bit psychopathic and the adventure started out with him burning down a church (not quite in the plot line I had delineated for him). He explored an old cavern that was used by an ancient race of bird humans in order to find what a dying adventurer had forgotten there.
What he ended up discovering was that the forgotten item was a child, and the child was being held by an evil cult whom was using the old cavern as a base of operations. The issue that really arose during this time of play was the inspiration. I love the new inspiration mechanic but I have found a flaw in it. Most of the time players forget they have it, and then when you want to give them inspiration for doing an amazing job roleplaying, you are unable to because they still have it.
I understand that inspiration does not stack, you either have inspiration or you don’t. But as a mechanic used to reward good roleplaying, it is quite obnoxious when you can’t reward them because they still have it. The only way I can think to remedy this is to remind them to use it, ALL THE TIME. Max is one of the best players I have seen in the area of roleplaying, and it is sad I can’t use inspiration as it was meant to be used, as a reward system.
Overall the system has been running nicely. It is similar to 3.5e and Pathfinder making it an easy transition for my group and me. In the next blog I will be talking about Mason and his adventure of accidentally kidnapping a foreign ambassador and Thomas’s quest of punching orcs in the face.