Now, for any of you that may know me or have known me for the last few years, you know that I have had VERY mixed emotions about Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) 5th edition. When it first release, I was the one talking my whole group into getting back into D&D with the next system. I thought it was excellent and corrected many of the problems that I disliked about 3.5 edition.
But, it only took one session to make it feel like the old days. Now, mind you, it wasn’t the very first session that we played. There was a night that we decided to make up some 10th level characters and just go have a hay-day burning down towns with evil characters. Now, while this started out just fine and we actually got in some good roleplaying, (nothing to do with the system, I know) that all went to hell as soon as we had our first encounter with characters at this level. It felt like the 5 of us were sitting back around the table at my old house, bashing away at hit points in the 3.5 days. I put them up against a dragon just to see how the characters would handle such a threat at these mid levels. Well, over an hour and a half later, they lived.
This then turned me BACK away from Dungeons and Dragons for a time. I went back to my good old trusty Savage Worlds. It’s a system that doesn’t seem to disappoint. But there’s just something about playing D&D. I wish I knew what it was. Is it nostalgia? Is it that I think D&D does fantasy gaming the best? Is it a comfort zone? I really don’t know. Whatever the case, I find myself never being able to stay away from D&D. I’ve finally come to terms with this not being a “bad thing”.
I’ve recently started to look at games for what they can do, not what I want them to do. I think that this has been a major accomplishment in my own mind to be more accepting of different games systems instead of just thinking to myself “why wouldn’t I just do this in Savage Worlds? It’s so much easier”. I have learned to love D&D again. And I love it for what it can do- make it feel like D&D. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I’ve realized that D&D is not just a “game system”. It is actually a feel. D&D “feels” good to play again.
We have recently started up the “Lost Mine Of Phandelver” starter box campaign and so far, it has been a blast. I have actually looked forward to each session that we play. It has provided just enough roleplay and rollplay for everyone. We have just wrapped up the campaign after about 8 sessions. Which, that in itself is a testament to how we are playing- no railroad tracks laid out in front of the players. I just hope that whatever it is that we move on to next with these characters remains just as fun. I also look forward to seeing what happens when we reach those “mid-level, hit point punching bags” sessions. Time will tell and I shall report back once I see how this all pans out.
Until next time!