So far we’ve hit the first RPG I’ve played, the first RPG I game mastered, and the first RPG I purchased. You already know far too much about the early days of my gaming career and yet we’re just getting started. 🙂
Day 4 of #RPGaDay asks about my “most recent RPG purchase” and that’s an easy question to answer. The Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set for 5e. And I know I should have supported my FLGS but I bought it Amazon. Bad Fitz. But it was a cheap impulse purchase, so what are you going to do…
What comes inside? A 32-page rulebook. A 64-page adventure book (Lost Mine of Phandelver). Some dice and character sheets. All included in a nice little box. I wish the books were a bit less flimsy or had at least a more solid cover, but other than that I think it delivers on the promise of 5e. You get everything you need in one spot. Sit down, give it a read-through as a dungeon master, get your group together, and go!
Unfortunately I’ve only had the opportunity to play once with my two girls. We got as far as to the goblin lair when they ran into some trouble with a couple of puppies. A Sleep spell and a quick escape and they’re ready to plan a bit for their next foray into the lair. Maybe trusting the goblin they’d captured, trussed up, and had leading them through the area wasn’t such a good idea? HA!
My exposure to 5e is pretty minimal, though I did attempt a couple of times to check into the early access version for playtesting. I unfortunately didn’t have much time to do more than skim a few pages here or there, so the Starter Set should hopefully give me a bit better feel for what we’re in for with the next version of D&D.
The one observation I have so far is that cantrips are WAY too powerful for a 1st level wizard. Fire Bolt (1d10) and Ray of Frost (1d8) and Shocking Grasp (1d8) are 0-level spells for Pete’s sake and they do more than a 1st level Magic Missile (1d4+1)! Sure, Magic Missile scales (i.e. casting a 1st level Magic Missile in a 3rd level slot give you 3 missiles instead of just 1) but come on… that’s crazy! Looking at the D&D Basic Rules PDF about Cantrips… “A cantrip is a smell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance.” WHAT?
Why would a 1st level wizard ever cast anything but Fire Bolt? Sure, it requires a ranged spell attack but geez!
I would have reversed this trend a bit… Cantrips can be cast over and over, but maybe they only do 1d4 and the Magic Missile does twice as much damage instead. Just seems like a bit of a game balance issue there.
That said, it requires more play to determine if that’s truly a problem and not just me freaking out over something small. We haven’t hit the whole Advantage/Disadvantage rule during combat either so I’m waiting to see how this all works out.
Probably more than you wanted to know about my 5e experience so far, but there you have it – my most recent RPG purchase!