Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Confession: I played D&D Next last Friday night...

The DM who ran Grimmsgate took the night off, so I decided to try 5e with another gaming group at my FLGS. The DM and a couple other players had been in the Grimmsgate game, so I figured, "why not?" 

I can't really give a fair review of 5e because Friday night was a series of firsts... 

--First time playing 5e. 
--First time playing in Eberron. 
--First time with a "Dragonborn" character in the group. 
--First time using Obsidian Portal. 
--First time using Roll d20. 
--First time playing with this particular DM. 

I felt like I was catching up on the last decade or so in gaming. So what follows is a series of observations, not necessarily judgments.

For Roll d20, the DM used a projector to display the "battlemat" on the wall just above his head. This was fine, but it was his first time using Roll d20. The Fog of War feature was kinda neat, as we explored some narrow sewers in search of some kobolds and their magical orb. The downside was that exploration and combat took a long time--the Internet also kept going out.

The biggest downside, in my opinion, was that the projector was placed on a milk crate in the middle of the table, blocking the views of the players.

Eberron reminds me a lot of the video game Final Fantasy III with Magitek, combining science and Magic. The DM explained quite a bit of the backstory. The Last War created Warforged. We, as characters, were hired by Guild to track down magic items lost or hidden after the Last War.

Dragonborn. I'm still not enamored with this race, but it fits well with Eberron. The Dragonborn monk within the group killed 3 Kobolds with his breath weaspon, and that helped out a lot.

Obsidian Portal. People have tried to get me to sign on before, I've always resisted. It seems superfluous to the game itself, and I don't need another social network.

I signed Friday night just to try it out. But I'm going to dink around with the features now to discover the benefits. The campaign wiki seems like an interesting tool.

D&D Next 5e. It plays like a re-hashed version of 3.5e. Though, as it was explained to me, the power levels have been toned down at higher levels. I'll just have to take their word for it. We're still only level  1. I got to play a bard, but never really got to try out any of his abilities.

The DM is running the campaign so that way each session is a self-contained adventure. People can drop in and leave depending on their schedules, which I think is perfect to do since he's running Friday nights.

In the end, I played 5e just to try it out. I can't give a verdict, however. But while I'm OSR, I'm not so old school to prohibit myself from trying new things. 


  1. I'm a major Obsidian Portal booster. The wiki is super useful, and the character tab is particularly handy if you're planning to run a campaign with a lot of NPCs. I always make use of the forums to encourage sharing of ideas and images in between sessions, and the calendar tool is great, as (even if your players don't necessarily use it to RSVP) you can set it to send one or more reminders of the session one or more days in advance.

    Here's the OP site for my current campaign (which, admittedly, is pretty content-heavy, as we're planning on playing this for at least a year-and-a-half):

    Here's a somewhat tamer OP wiki that I set up for a campaign I ran last year; there was quite a bit of activity on the forums for this one, as I encouraged players to post little "interludes" of character history/background in between sessions:

    1. Thank you. I will strongly consider Obsidian Portal when I run my next campaign.


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