Volume 3 Special Insert 10 – Dungeons and Dragons Basic (5b) Review

This week DM Vince and Nick sit down and give a detailed review of the new 5th edition Basic D&D books. They go over how to create your character, detailing each class and comparing how its changed from AD&D 1e to 5b edition. They also go over various spells showing they have changed since earlier editions as well. Please note, the documents reviewed were free documents from the WOTC website, V2 of the players handbook (August 12, 2014) and V1 of the DM Rules (July 2014).

15 thoughts on “Volume 3 Special Insert 10 – Dungeons and Dragons Basic (5b) Review

  1. The difference between difference sub-races is what skills and some special abilities it gets. Third the way through, but our major problem was the auto-healing with short and especially long rests (4e style).

  2. For multiclass characters, you don’t divide hit points at first level because you’re only single class at first level. Example: I start out as a Fighter lvl 1. I then upon reaching second level choose to multiclass into wizard. I am now a 1/1 Wizard/Fighter. However, I have to roll my hit points with a D6, because I am a first level wizard, but not a first level character. You never need to divide HP because you get the HP for the class you chose that level.

  3. Hey, I liked your take on the 5e ruleset, but what I’d like even more is to hear you play it for a lil bit. I think you might get a much better sense of how the game mechanics work. Of course, why would anyone play something that is similar to what they already play, if they thoroughly enjoy what they have already been playing for years upon years. So I won’t hold my breath.

    I played AD&D 30 years ago, and just came back to role-playing about 2 years ago. I jumped into 4e and had a good time, but I was anxiously awaiting 5e and have not been disappointed. I run a game and am a PC in a PBP, I make up my own world but am considering using the Starter set to introduce my kids to the game (ages 7 & 10). I know that the WotC published material is located in the Forgotten Realms, but I’ve never felt the desire to play in a pre-packaged campaign setting (much like yourselves, from what I gather).

    I think you’ll find that you’re initial interpretation of the rules was slightly askew. I will agree that your reservations about the healing is valid when it is compared to 1st edition. But it’s truly up to the DM to set the tone of how “Deadly” the game is going to be. You could have the incredible healing magicks of 4e on your side but the DM can turn that on its head if he desires.

    Your immediate dislike of the cantrips is understandable, but if you crunch the numbers you’ll see that they don’t do much damage as you go up in level. And no one gets all their spells back with a short rest.

    A good introduction to the game can be found here: The Tome Show

    I enjoyed your take on the rules, I like listening to you guys ripping into stuff, I always know what I’m gonna get when I “Roll For Initiative.”

  4. Hey guys – just a note to drop in on the other side to show that I’m not just a naysayer.

    Thanks for taking the time to go over the rules and give us all your honest review. There are a number of rules that you didn’t quite grok, but it happens when reading a new rule set the first time.

    I can see where you might think that the new set makes characters hard to kill, but in practice, the new rules are as deadly, if not more so, than first edition. It’s REALLY easy to die in the first few levels…

    Keep up the great podcast – enjoy you guys ever week – whether I agree with you or not!

  5. I just don’t understand all the worry about gaining hit points back after a nights rest. GG wrote this about HP (PG 82 DMG)

    It is quite unreasonable to assume that as a character gains levels of ability
    in his or her class that a corresponding gain in actual ability to sustain
    physical damage takes place. It is preposterous to state such an
    assumption, for if we are to assume that a man is killed by a sword thrust
    which does 4 hit points of damage, we must similarly assume that a hero
    could, on the average, withstand five such thrusts before being slain! Why
    then the increase in hit points? Because these reflect both the actual
    physical ability of the character to withstand damage – as indicated by
    constitution bonuses- and a commensurate increase in such areas as skill
    in combat and similar life-or-death situations, the “sixth sense” whith
    warns the individual of some otherwise unforeseen events, sheer luck,
    and the fantastic provisions of magical protections and/or divine
    protection. Therefore, constitution affects both actual ability to withstand
    physical punishment hit points (physique) and the immeasurable areas
    which involve the sixth sense and luck (fitness).

    With this description healing back hit points does not seem unreasonable immediately after of fight or with a second wind. After all your magic comes back with one days rest, why not let all characters reset?

  6. I just wanted to comment on the healing mechanics in 5e…. getting back all of your hit points after one night’s rest is not new to 5e. That’s been a very common house rule over ALL editions for at least as long as I’ve been playing (irregularly for about 15 years). I guess that obviously depends on your group and playing style, though.

    Moreover, the short rest healing die thing is not nearly as “gamebreaking” as a lot of people seem to think. I was skeptical at first, too, but after actually playing 5e, it is not as advantageous as you’d think. We still had a TPK after only three combats. You might think the PCs are more powerful in 5e as compared to, say, 1e, but in my opinion 5e is probably the most deadly of all the D&D editions I’ve ever played (I’ve never played 2e, though).

  7. I was and am skeptical of the total healing effect of a night’s rest. I think this must be because I do associate hp damage with wounds more than I do with some sort of abstract karma damage. I understand that hp loss can represent a loss of confidence and luck as well as blood but it is almost impossible not to assume that losing 20 hp indicates real physical damage.

    Healing all of it back every night is kind of ridiculous. I would house rule that down to maybe 50% at least. Because SOME amount of that damage is in wounds and wounds don’t heal after one sleepy time.

    But if I was playing at someone’s 5e table and they left the rule in so be it. It is a video game-style mechanic but I can play it that way…just wouldn’t run it that way myself.

    Overall: I like 5e. I think it’s a good edition with a whole lot of stuff going for it. Not my fave, but I’m down with it.

  8. I found your review interesting. Some corrections…
    Divine intervention is rolled on a 1d100, not 1d20.
    Classes still need to prepare spells (Including cantrips), they have x number of spells they can prepare, they can cast any of those prepared spells if they have a slot available(or no slot needed for cantrips)
    Meteor swarm, you missed the fact you get four of the things. So you could drop 80d6 fire and 80d6 bludgeoning damage on something that fails it’s save. I really don’t have a problem with this, since it is a 9th level spell, and spectacular should be the name of the game.
    I do find that the spell changes are welcome, since I would never enjoy playing a wizard in 1st, it’s a frustrating class to play until you hit about 5th level. Since you are so vulnerable to damage, and there is very little you can do.

    I am surprised that you didn’t mention the fact that a 20th level fighter has the same base attack as a wizard if they have the same strength. The chance to hit (or THAC0) increases at a greatly reduced rate.
    I disagree with your opinion on experience, I would say that the world would dictate if there is a difference in how different classes level. If magic is easier to learn, then there is no reason that the wizards should cost more XP to level than others.
    I would recommend that you try the game system before judging power levels. It is less brutal than first, that I do agree, if you want a more brutal game.

  9. It’s amazing how DM Vince and Nick manages to get so many aspects of the game completely backwards in this review. I’m not certain they’re being disingenious about “reviewing” 5e, but I sure hope they are. I really hope they give the edition another chance when the core three are published, and that they make sure to READ and UNDERSTAND the rules before they try to review them the next time around.

  10. Really enjoy the podcast but this episode was just brutal. I have no problem with anyone not liking a particular game, but there was so much negativity, often based on a poor understanding of the rules, that it made the final conclusion basically worthless. It was pretty apparent that the reviewers went into this wanting to dislike the game and that came across strong and clear. Negative reviews carry weight when at least a premise of objectivity is at least faked. The constant sighs and snide remarks made this by far my least favorite episode ever.

  11. I like that Vince tries to keep up some positivity and tries to change Nick around on much of his complaints. It is really hard to listen to Nick moan and whine about pretty meaningless stuff, especially when most of his moaning is from his own misunderstanding. Nick you should actually play the game. See how many PCs die at first level. Probably more than in your 1e campaign.

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