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Old 11-13-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

I played AD&D and later D&D 3.5E, how does D&D 5e stack up?
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

It is playable but it allows much less customization than 3.5; Skills are either trained (proficiency bonus (from 1 to 6 depending on on level) + attribute bonus) or untrained (attribute bonus), there are some class features that allow for twice your proficiency bonus for a few skills. You can get either a feat or a attribute bonus every 4 levels rather than both like in 3.5.
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:04 PM   #3
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

My tag line is "Second edition feel, third edition mechanics." That vastly oversimplifies the game, but it's a starting point.
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I played AD&D and later D&D 3.5E, how does D&D 5e stack up?
There's a lot less bonus stacking so the power curve is a lot flatter, spellcasting is a lot less quadratic, and they've heavily nerfed buff and debuff builds (almost all maintained spells Concentration spells -- which you can maintain no more than one of), but it still retains a D&D feel.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

The math works out to
Attribute Mod: caps for PC's at +7 (24 attribute - Barbarians only)
Proficiency Mod: either +0 if non-proficient, or +2 to +6 (by level) if proficient
Magical modifier: Max +3.
Rogues in their specialty: add proficiency again.

So, the best weapon attack from a level 20 (the maximum) PC is +13 with no magic, or +16 without.

All attribute modifiers for race are positives.

Very few things get ANY numerical bonuses other than the above. Instead, if there's something that makes it easier, it's got "advantage", if it's got something that makes it harder, "disadvantage"... if both, then straight roll. Advantage, roll 2x and keep higher; disadvantage, roll twice and keep lower.

Play's different than 3.5 in many ways, not the least of which is faster combats due to fewer calculations. GMs wishing to do so may also drop damage rolls entirely, and use base damage.

Criticals are non-optional and use Nat 20 (nat 19 for a particular subclass), but only on death saves, normal saves, and attacks. 2 different resolutions are allowed:
Roll the damage die and add
Add base damage again.

Most use the roll and add, even if using base damage only. (Which is average, rounded up.)

No fumbles, but a nat 1 fails a save or attack.

All saves are attribute driven; proficiency is by class.

Multi-classing is massively nerfed from 3.x. Sufficiently so that pure builds have, every time I've had a player multi-class, proven superior.

Att gains are in place of additional feats, and are a class feature, not a character level feature

Plus, all full casters, and several half-casters, have cantrips which are "at will," and most are attacks.

It doesn't feel at all like AD&D to me; if it had, I wouldn't have run 5 years of it. It didn't feel like 3.X, either, and the same conditional.

It feels closest to BECMI/Cyclopaedia in terms of ability growth, but streamlined heavily.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

I played (and stopped playing) AD&D back in the 80s, have no experience with 3.5e, but have become involved in a 5e campaign within the last year. I don't think that 5e has improved anything from what I remember from all those decades ago. Truth be told, I think AD&D was better--simpler and boasting more niche protection.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Truth be told, I think AD&D was better--simpler and boasting more niche protection.
I suspect this is a case of memory filing off the rough edges. AD&D was not simple (though disorganized enough to make some of the complex hard to find) and had the usual D&D issue of 'available niches are cleric, wizard, and useless'.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

I have played every edition of D&D but 4th and can say that 5e is a "little" game in comparison to what has gone before. This helps to make it easier to run but limits detail.

It's actually as if the "sweet spot" of older D&D of up to 8th level has been stretched out to level 20 though I've never been over 10.

I ran a Half-Orc Barbarian all the way through Ravenloft whhich turned out to be level 10. You always get soemthing at each new level but that's usually more HP and one new Class feature. You don't refigure everything at each new level. Krak the Half-Orc has _1_ character sheet, hand done in pencil with only modest erausure marks. That's actually pretty appealling.

You do get soem novel features. Barbarians who wear no armor have an AC of 10+Dex mod + Con Mod. Krak really did never wear more than a loincloth. "Krak Tough! Krak not need metal shirt!".

One thing that makes htis appealling is that the 5e armor rules are not attractive. It's no random factor that my 2nd character for 5e was a Monk. My 3rd is a Rogue and his AC is not good. Leather is only +1 AC and Studded +2. Medium allows no more than a +2 and Heavy armor no DX bonus at all.

5e is also very friendly to DX fighters who can use their DX bonus for both to hit and damage with the right weapons. My current DM is concerned that ST-based Fighters aren't favored enough.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I played AD&D and later D&D 3.5E, how does D&D 5e stack up?
Vs AD&D 1st
Comparable to the stuff in the AD&D 1st PHB. Task and combat far more straightforward. Except most back in the day ran AD&D combat like combat in B/X or BECMI as the original wording wasn't clear.


Vs D&D 3.5
Offers less customization of characters but far more playable at higher levels. Still retains many of the concepts of 3.5e like feats, skills, d20 roll high for resolving things but toned down. Overall a lot less fussy to get going than 3.5e.

Summary of 5e
D&D 5th edition operations on several levels. In a way it is designed to be everybody's second favorite editions.

A fan of classic edition can use to Fighter(Champion), Cleric(Life), Rouge(Thief), and Wizards(Evocker) along with taking the ability increases instead of feats.

While fans of 3.5e or 4e can opt for Fighter(Battlemaster), Warlock, Monk, Bard, and other classes that have options that echo those editions.

The crucial thing that sets 5e apart from all other edition save for the 74 original release of D&D is bounded accuracy. It is setup that irregardless of level and magic items there always a chance to hit (or miss) a creature or character.

That higher levels does not mean you are impossible to hit or will hit all the time. But rather you can do more damage, more times, in more ways. Keeping in mind the lessons of 3.5e and keeping the status effects and tactical choices to a reasonable number.

The relationship of the numbers in 5e puts it on par to the power to the 1974 version of D&D i..e OD&D. Where even at the highest levels, a mob of 1 HD monsters or 1st level NPCs are a potential threat. Where OD&D did this with low numbers, 5e does this by using bounded accuracy and damage versus hit points.

Overall they succeeded quite well. And remarkably restrained themselves from bloated the system with expansions. There only been one major rules expansion (Xanathar's Guide to Everything) and it presented as optional.

The Basic rules are free and are the full game for levels 1 to 20 just not all the options. There is also the 5e SRD for most of the stuff.

Basic Rules
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

SRD
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/feat...e-document-srd
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: How does 5e D&D compare to the others?

I like it, a lot, and I'm probably not qualified to make analytical comparisons, but my feel is that, over time, the emphasis for these kinds of role playing games grew into primarily a focus on character creation and development (probably impacted by computer games that started offering players complex character attribute modification during play).

Culminating, in my opinion, with the ultimate character creation game, Pathfinder, which gives players a nearly unlimited assortment of options to customize the character

But, for me, someone who began playing a long time ago, playing the game itself, exploring the world, and the choices made by players for what their characters "do" instead of what their characters "are" has always been more fun, again for me.

D&D5e, for me, gives some acknowledgement back to that aspect of the game, actually just playing it, and how you can quickly determine the outcome of player choices without being bogged down in evaluating each character's specific unique build and how that modifies success or failure.

I like it, a lot.
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