Post 5e Session Thoughts on Gaming

Castles & Crusades seemed to be an attempt to take D&D3e players into a AD&D1e style without the risks of low level play normally associated with old-school gaming. It cashed in on Gary Gygax and was a very useful tool to wean people from the raging behemoth that was 3e and open them to new ideas.

D&D4e was quite simply the RPG version of MMORPGs and in my opinion should still be in print in some manner to continue to appeal to player's of World of Warcraft. This game has a niche that the other versions and even other RPGs do not provide. Interestingly to me is that Lejendary Adventures had the potential to soak up this very group had it received the proper exposure and marketing. It could cash in on Gary's name while being designed exactly for computer RPGs. LA blended a modern RPG with an old-school feel like no other game ever could.

D&D5e on the surface seems to be a mainstream copy of Castles & Crusades but it really isn't. Where C&C is about editions, 5e is about people. Instead of bridging 3e with 1e, it is bridging modern gamers with the old-guard gamers. It's too early to see if that will work, but it is a commendable goal and thus far appears to be an estimable effort.

While I doubt 5e will ever be my one true RPG, it is a game notably worth trying. I am pleased with the first session I had as a player and mulling over whether I should own more than the starter set. The simplicity of Swords & Wizardry as well as other old-guard replication games is hard to pass up for the complexity of modern D&D versions. I adore the idea of characters created in five minutes or less by a whole group without the need to crack a book. To make that possible, magic systems need more simplicity.

I have some buyers remorse in pledging toward the recent C&C Kickstarter. I was swept up and had totally forgotten why I stopped trying to get TLG to ship into Canada. I have a C&C PH and was never really an advocate for the game. I think I had low expectations of 5e and even though I snagged the Starter Set at a discount just for the adventure, I did not really expect to care all that much for it. With the help of a solid GM in Greg Ellis and the fantastic group of player's he put together, I look forward to more adventures in 5e and seeing if the system can disappear into the background while I charge forward into Greg's storytelling.

Since I have heavily invested in C&C, I will hopefully find some use for the products. Perhaps there is a middle ground between C&C and 5e that could prove interesting. We could take the Prime mechanic, the advantage/disadvantage mechanic, a couple ideas from HackMaster4e, scale things back to more "normal" starting characters (less powerful), and use a completely different and far simpler magic system.

I would enjoy seeing how the One-Roll-Engine (Godlike/Reign) and Silhouette (Heavy Gear) can be used to generate a solid fantasy system as they both have simple mechanics that fade into the background while allowing a fast pace and quite detailed results.

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment below.
I am Ottred Svain; a Half-Elf Warrior known as The Otter - and no, I will not talk about the boar incident.



Kersus's picture

I played a pretty simple Fighter and pretty much took on the role of distracting our enemies while my compatriots ended them. I don't think I successfully hit anything but I also never felt in any real danger. This is more likely because my character is far too over-confident than it is a reflection of the system or adventure. As a player I weave great caution into my plans, however once an action or plan is in motion, I carry it out with zeal.

When it came to creating my character (The Otter), I really went for feel. What I mean is that I ignored the mechanics of optimization and leaned heavily in favour of what just felt interesting. This is why I didn't go Dwarf or Half-Orc for the Fighter, and also why my roll of 18 didn't sit in Strength. That said, when it came to adding the racial bonuses, I picked one that would raise the modifier (in this case Wisdom became 0 instead of -1) and since no other attribute could be so affected, I just placed it where it felt more applicable to the character concept. The skills chosen were completely background based and did not build upon the strengths of the attributes. More or less they probably balanced out some potential weaknesses.

The party has a Druid, Wizard, Thief (Rogues are Thieves to me), and Barbarian in addition to my Fighter. Currently our main tactic seems to be myself in the open while the Barbarian and Thief surprise the enemy with the Wizard and Druid in necessary support roles. The Wizard's familiar is of course essential to recon and the Wizard herself makes for good artillery while the Druid offers healing and protection for the Wizard. I think the Thief is a Dwarf and I'm not sure if the others were all Human as we basically became defined by our Classes and actions (eg. the Thief perpetually making perception checks).

All that sounded very mechanical. The reality of the session was more organic as the characters interacted with each other and the environment. Ideas were all bandied about and hopefully validated while we used plans built on compromise and fluidity. We also interacted in character and out of character which helped breathe life into the story. It will be something to keep this motley crew together.