Well unless you have been living in a cave for the last few days, or on a mini-vacation, the newest game to bear the name "Dungeons & Dragons" hit the stores and the net.
I picked up my Starter Set on Thursday and downloaded the Basic set (book?) the same day.
For starters I am SOOOO glad that "Next" has been dropped. This is just "D&D". I am glad about that since it puts it firmly back in the camp of D&D games. This is not something different or "next" but the game we have been playing all this time.
I have not read much of it to be honest, but what I have read I like.
So far this feels like a "best of" D&D. Taking the things that worked well from previous editions and bringing them together with some new ideas.
The saving throws are back and make more sense now. Honestly we have seen this in games like Spellcraft & Swordplay and Castles & Crusades. 4e-like conditions are back. I have not seen "bloodied" or anything similar yet, but I am sure something like it is there.
I like the Advantage and Disadvantage mechanic. In fact it really is a nice addition to any single die game (such as Unisystem's d10). I will have to give it a try in my AD&D 1 game I have going now.
The feel of the game is very much old-school and it has all the trappings of old-school as well.
Box, Books, Dice (or chits) and Adventure.
But yet it also feels unfinished. I am sure that is intentional; we still need the PHB and DMG to properly run this game. But in truth I have enough background in all the other games to mentally fill in the gaps. Plus I can see where things can or might be slotted in. This is the part where we have 3e like feats, or this is the part where we have 4e style combat or powers.
Personally I am excited for this game in how it will help me run my current games.
It is very much like a Rosetta Stone for translating between editions. Sure, this is something I did on the fly anyway, but something was always lost to accommodate the system being translated to. Save or Die sorts of modules are more difficult with the mechanics in 4e. 4e monsters tend to be much more powerful than their 1st ed or 3e counterparts and so on. This feels like a nice middle ground.
The idea that comes to mind right away is to play the 4e HPE modules using these rules and supplementing the 1st Ed H-series (Bloodstone) for the massive "let's go kill Orcus" game I wanted to do under 4e. Though I admit I am selfish and don't want to leave 1st ed right now.
But I do rather like the 3e style multiclassing that 5e offers.
The game is not all perfect mind you. I am not thrilled with the new XP to next level tables. Frankly 300 xp to level 2 is a bit too little. I might take a page from Holmes/Moldvay and give XP out for gold and increase the amounts to something closer to 3e. I think I might have to figure out if there is really a difference between the editions. I have read somewhere that one of the design goals was to be able to level up faster. That might be true.
The other thought I had was that this game will displace or replace OSR games or Pathfinder.
I can see this selling better than 4e as word of mouth gets passed around and I can see it doing better than Pathfinder. But Pathfinder fans are loyal to their brand. Plus D&D 5 is pretty much the opposite of "one true wayism" so people might take it's "play how you like" approach at face value and keep playing what they have been.
I haven't even decided if I am going to switch or not to be honest.