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Review: Dungeons And Dragons 5th Edition

Review: Dungeons And Dragons 5th Edition


I didn’t play Dungeons and Dragons until I got to college, I only really know what tabletop is because of it. My first brush with it and I would wager the first brush many of it’s players had with it came from the (totally check out my Forgotten Childhood this week) cartoon series of the same name. A bunch of young teenagers pulled into the world of sorcery and swords on a journey to get home, what wasn’t to love about it? While I’d heard of tabletop gaming I had never really had a chance to play until college.
Starter-Set-ContentsIt was here I met with other gamers and while the club is a whole other issue it was my first step into roleplaying but it wouldn’t be pleasant – I was sat around a table with experienced players, my time with Dungeons and Dragons was shortlived, I’d found the gameplay and method of storytelling to be too tied into rules, character creation wasn’t for me and even if I’d been shown the ropes some more I don’t think it would have changed my mind.
So why did I pick up the 5th Edition of the game and agree to take part in a game to test it out? I wanted to see how much had changed since I first played in 2003, I wanted to give it a second chance and how could I say no to a campaign organised by Wayne Talbot?
To give you some background on the game and fifth edition, it has been six years since a new edition has been released, fifth edit has been developed with a strong influence from players who’ve been playtesting from the early stages. The game has been released in a starter set; it comes with the dice needed to play (one of each), the rulebook, premade characters and a campaign that helps players and dungeon masters find their feet in the game. I’ve had the set for a while, I am pretty sure I picked it up as soon as the gang over at BoardGamer.ie picked it up a few weeks ago but I haven’t been able to shake off my past experiences and after reading the rulebook, glancing over the characters I left the game alone, I didn’t want to go back to DnD.
That is until I got an invite!

Like everything in life, it’s one thing to read about it or watch something, it’s an entirely other experience to engage with it, to be involved and take part and regardless of the outcome, you are always wiser for it.
That’s my experience with fifth edition, I still find the character creation process a little overwhelming and somewhat boring but the premade characters in the starter set allow you enough leeway to sample the various abilities of the different classes, the whole thing feels a lot more welcoming to new players and from watching Wayne guide and hinder his players with traps and monsters it became clear that fifth edition was allowing some more freedom in the game.
My reading of the the rulebook in advance of the game certainly helped but even for new players, it’s easy to get a handle on the mechanics and there seems to be a better balance between the rules and the imagination of players and their DM. I decided to try and be as awkward as I could with the game, to see how far I could push the game, my High Elf Diplomat, Priestess Mirielywe of the White Sun was an outspoken passifist, intent on bringing peace, ending feuds and certainly testing a GM’s patience (not to mention those of some travelling companions), a character in a world where only the strongest survive and even then it’s difficult! It worked out and while a big part of that is on the group dynamic and story, it was the fact I enjoyed my time playing the character and engaging (or not engaging as the case might be!) with the world of DnD.
I came at this review from the perspective of a disgruntled player, I came to the game a little apprehensive and while I still have some issues with Dungeons and Dragons I am more open to taking part and even running my own games in future and all of that comes down to this latest edition. After the game finished, I asked the others for their opinion, players and Wayne for their thoughts on the game and the new starter set:

(side note, I burnt the pub down because the land was tainted by the necromancer. Darren’s character mutilatiedor defiling corpses… two sides of the story Darren… you sicko)

Dungeons and Dragons might not be my forté but this new fifth edition has changed my mind a lot about the genre and more importantly it’s the best place for new players to start with.

The price makes this worthwhile and a handy starting point for new RPGers. 7/10

If you want to pick up your own copy of Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set then the Arcade recommends you check out BoardGamer.ie