Posts Tagged ‘Dungeons and Dragons’

5e Player’s Handbook


So let’s talk about the new PHB. First if you are still playing 1e it’s all there for you:


  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Halfing
  • Human
  • Dragonborn (from 3.5e)
  • Gnome
  • Half-Elf
  • Half-Orc
  • Tiefling (from 4e)


  • Barbarian (Added to 1e from Dragon #63)
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer (from 3.5e)
  • Warlock (from 3.5e)
  • Wizard

So, there’s note much added from 1e expect a few of the most popular Races\Classes. As you go thru the book it talks about what rules are optional. The biggest area is all of Chapter 6 is Optional (Multiclassing and Feats). I’m glad that Feats has been rolled back a bit. It always seemed to me add a layer of complexity.

So I’ll give more impressions as I read more, but thinking back to what people were guessing what 5e was going to be about. A lot of folks thought it would be somewhere between 3.5e and 4e. I think it’s more between 1e and 3.5e. In one sentence (which really isn’t total fair to the game): It’s 1e with the best of 3.5e. I don’t see much of 4e at all, but I’ll bet those combat rules will be optional somewhere down the line…


D&D 5e Starter Set Review (Update)

Just a quick update on playing the Starter Set:

  • First the adventure in the set is well done.  Lots of subplots to do and it really does step by step a DM thru the adventure and the rules.
  • I would say the game play right now is closer to 3rd edition.  However, it does have a little of a 1st edition feel to it since the rules are boiled down quite a bit.
  • I would guess, as more of the rules are added it will feel more like a new 3rd edition, but I’ll bet it will have options to add more of a 4th edition combat feel, if that is what you like.

I know that is a very high level feel, but that’s all we have right now.  We will find out more when the Player’s Handbook is released.

D&D 5e Starter Set Review

So I got a D&D 5e (Next) starter set. What do I think and is it worth it given that you can download the basic rules for 5e for free and the starter set is $20 at your local store.

To start, what do you get with the starter set?

  • A starter set rulebook
  • A D&D Adventure to run (Lost Mine of Phandelver)
  • 5 Characters to play with
  • One set of D&D dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20)

Here is a video if you need to see this in more detail:

To start let’s compare the Basic Rules with what is given to you in the Starter Set. The Starter Set rules tell you:

  • The basics on how to play D&D
  • How to fight
  • An overview on Adventuring
  • How to cast spells

These are basically the 4 chapters in the book and they give you enough info to get your pre-rolled characters to level 5.

The basic rules for free download give you all that, plus how to create your own characters.  So for the starter set you are stuck with the pre-rolled characters.  The basic rules give you all the details of your character class up to level 20.

As for the Adventure, it’s in 4 parts and per the introduction is enough to get the party from level 1 to 5 by the end of it.  It’s fairly long.

So did I get my $20 worth?  My answer is ‘What’s your goal in buying this?’

I have two kids.  I had a mixed success getting them into 4e, mostly because they and their friends were at a mixed level of maturity.  This is going to work great.  I can toss them a rulebook that will get them easily into the ‘How to play’.  The 5e rules, so far, are much more streamlined than 4e was for combat, but let’s see if that holds as the books come out.  The adventure itself looks to be great for a starting DM (if my oldest wants to try) and is big enough that it is worth the $20 bill on it’s own.

However, if you are an experienced gamer and just want to convert your current campaign at some point.  You should consider passing.  There is not enough here (or out yet).  Pick up the Basic rules and get ready for when the 5e Players Handbook and Monster Manual comes out.

This will be more than enough to get my kids (no friends for now) and wife back into D&D for the summer.

D&D Next (5e)

So I’ll be picking up the D&D Starter kit for 5e (Next) on July 3rd.

D&D Next Starter

This will be a good starting point for my kids who have interest in D&D and this will get them on the ground floor with the next edition. More soon.

Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon

So, I’ve played a few rounds of this game and let me give you some pluses and minuses:


1) Great Atmosphere: With the minis and the tile board it captures the full game very well. It really scratches the D&D itch.
2) Nice Intro to 4e rules: a few rounds of this game and my 12 year old will be ready to go to the full game. Even my 9 year old is getting better with the rules.
3) Game likely plays in under 90 mins


1) Be ready to interpret the rules a bit: Like Full D&D, the rules can be a little gray on how, for example, how a spell works, how a trap affects the group, etc.
2) Bad Cards: Some of my cards curled as soon as I opened them. They are still playable, but this can point to a problem during the treating process of the cards.

Overall 8.75 out of 10. See the video below for more detailed review.

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon


Well, something new to try. 🙂

So I tried to intro my kids into D&D with mixed results. My kids were around 8 and 11 when we tried.

  • Using Dungeon Mapp with the IPad on the TV worked well.  Using it to keep the hit points was OK at best, because I don’t like to make that public.  Also it could use more graphic options, but for the price it worked great.
  • The downside was my kids invited other kids their age to play.  My wife and another adult played as well, but I didn’t feel it really worked out.  Too many kids.
  • I tried to scale it back to my wife and my kids.  I think that might work at some point, but I can’t trust my sons (certainly not the younger) to keep track of spells used, etc.  Just too much record keeping at this point.  I think my older son is ready, but I can’t focus on him and my younger to keep things straight.  This is something I can DM around, but I’d like for them to learn.
  • I’m going to try and figure something out in the summer, until then I picked up Wrath of Ashardalon.

I think this might solve a number of issues…

  • I think this will give me the structure needed to keep things in control.
  • The watered down version of D&D 4e will show them the ropes of record keeping a bit more.
  • I can play on the kids ‘team’ and have fun that way.

I never thought I’d buy a D&D board game (just play the real thing), but I think this might work out.  I’ll do a review later.

Munchkin is (Mostly) Evil

OK, that might be a bit over the top, but I saw this video on Geek and Sundry and I had to take my shots at Munchkin…

So before I start ripping Munchkin, let me start by praising it. Munchkin is a funny game. It makes fun of Dungeons and Dragons, so if you played that game, you will get a big laugh out of this. It can be a fun game. So now what’s wrong with Munchkin:

1) Someone usually gets screwed: See how much fun Sandeep had that game? Stuck with bad cards and just wasting his time. That happens to someone in most of the games. That might be OK, if the game is quick, but….

2) Maybe people I know are REALLY good at messing with other players, but this game is 1.5 hours at least. This is a classic bash the leader game. If you are the lucky person to try to win when everyone is out of cards to stop you, then great. Otherwise this can turn into a slow grind.

Sadly many of Steve Jackson’s games are like this: Cute and usually Funny, not enough focus on play testing to get over major flaws in the game. It’s a fun game to play from time to time and that’s about it. People I know will move on to a more well rounded game. If you want to read some other reviews check out the forum on BoardGameGeek.

If you like it, good for you! It’s a cash cow for Jackson, but it’s not for me (and quite a few others), that’s for sure.