Thursday, September 3, 2015

What old-school elements does 5th Edition contain?

5th Edition was intended by its authors to bring a bit of everything from earlier editions as well as a focus on "natural language" and if its design felt authentically D&D.  During the initial months of its release I saw a lot of buzz on various old-school blogs about it, especially the positive kind and how many gamers felt that it replicated their favored playstyle well.

I also heard that it felt like 3rd Edition-lite, incorporating many elements from that system as well.  When I took a look for myself, 5th Edition matched this in my eyes.  It had point buy as an option, at-will cantrips (0 level spells), the warlock class, the choice of taking the average of your hit die instead of rolling for hit points, and other game mechanics traditionally absent from OSR games.  The use of Inspiration reminded me of Savage World's bennies, Shadowrun's Edge, and other metagame currency used to improve one's roll.

At first I figured that folks are focusing on the favorite aspects of their game system in 5th, but the 4th Edition fans I know of aren't as fond of it.  They feel that the current one went backwards in too many ways by tossing out any ideas from 4th, be they good or bad.  On a similar note, when I asked around Tenkar's Tavern's chatroom there was one player who mentioned that the rules for short rests were much like healing surges, and in the Basic Rules Player's Handbook Fighters of 2nd level and higher get a Second Wind to restore hit points.

From my estimation of it, 5th seems to have a lot more common with newer editions than old.  So to those old-school gamers who played or experimented with it, what aspects of the game do you find match up with your favored brand of TSR-era D&D?  Feel free to respond via comment, reblog, or any other preferred avenue.