I've lived through several edition changes of Dungeons & Dragons
1E->2E, 2E->3E, 3E->3.5E, 3.5E->4E, 4E->5E.

In each case, I had come to the point where I was very excited to see what came next.

I haven't yet hit that point with 5E. Which is good!
But, it must be said, I'd happily revisit most of the earlier editions. Possibly all. I was pretty burnt out on 3.5E and 4E when they ended.
When 1E ended, I'd been in the hobby for, err, six or seven years. Counting gets fuzzy. And I was very excited for all the new player material. And the clean up of the rules.

In retrospect, they cleaned up a bit too much, but still, lots to admire.
When 2E ended, I'd had a break for a few years. (Moving towns can do that), but I restarted running D&D a few weeks before 3E released.

I adored Skills & Powers, warts and all, but the idea of a system that better handled all the options? Yay!
Cause that's the thing about 3E. It was built as a system to allow lots of options for characters. 2E was built on a 1E chassis and didn't have the sockets available. 3E did. And I gloried in feats and prestige classes.
However, after eight years of running 3E/3.5E, often twice or more a week, especially at high levels, I was really burnt out. The underlying mathematics broke under the weight of all the options. It was very possible for two same-level characters to not be the right power.
So, 4E. And it fixed the underlying mathematics so that two characters of the same level could be compared to each other. And it did a lot of other utterly glorious things. I adore the Paragon Paths and monster set-up.
Sadly, 4E suffered in length of combat, which very much distorted how sessions ran. It had other issues as well (skill challenges!), things that sounded great but worked less well in practice.

But still: I ran two 4E campaigns to 30th level!
5E keeps something from 4E you probably didn't realise: that underlying maths that keeps characters comparable. It handles it differently from 4E, but it's a big change from earlier editions.
Yes, Bounded Accuracy is a good thing. 5E doesn't implement it perfectly - there are a few ways PCs can gain too high an AC, for instance - but it is so much closer than most other editions.
Are there things about 5E that I dislike? There certainly are! A few feats, a few abilities, some lack of detail that I feel would be better served with a more robust description, a few overly detailed areas that could do with less precise language.

But overall? Great!
But yes, I'd happily play Original Dungeons & Dragons tomorrow. Because all editions of D&D are fun with the right people. :)

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Merric Blackman

Merric Blackman Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MerricB

13 Oct
Trap silliness: in one of my dungeons, a group of kobolds lived in a room where they’d set up a swinging log to hit anyone entering the chamber. I think it was possible to detect, but my players didn’t, and so triggered it before being swarmed by kobolds.
The players survived the experience, and then, because players, painted a smiley face on the end of the log and reset the trap. Then left.
Several months later, they returned to the dungeon, some new players, some experienced, and looked down at their map upon which one room was marked with a smiley face. “Let’s go there, they said!”
Read 6 tweets
13 Oct
Some traps are designed just for amusement value, though often of the DM not the players. (Though, given the right group, players can find them awesome as well).
One of my “favourites” is found in Castle of the Mad Archmage. It’s a stuck door that is actually made of balsa wood, so anyone trying to force it open hurtles through and is impaled on the spikes beyond.
It’s completely ridiculous and made explicitly to punish a common manoeuvre in D&D: opening a stuck door. That ridiculousness is why I’m so amused by it, and so have been more than a few players.
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
One of the worst arguments I saw recently about a D&D rule included the phrase "It is easy to tell what is magical in D&D."

Which is of course why Jeremy Crawford put a LONG explanation in Sage Advice about what the game considers magical.
It's easy for one person to determine if something is magical or not. It is *not* easy for two people to come to the same conclusion. And that's why we have game rules and explanations - so two people have the same understanding of how the game works.
Not only that, but it creates a baseline. Because the other situation is that ONE person isn't always consistent.

One week, the DM rules that dragon breath is magical, the next the DM rules that it isn't, having forgotten what they ruled last week!
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
My D&D knowledge spans several editions of the game. Rules bleed from one into another.

Today, I had a combat vs wolves where the players were riding horses. Could they command the horses to approach the wolves?
Because there's an edition where the rule *does* exist, that's the rule I remember. (3E: Ride skill needed to control a non-warhorse in battle).

But that rule isn't in 5E.
Although on this occasion, I went with the base 5E rules, I may adopt the 3E rule (substituting Handle Animal for Ride) in my game. Or not.

It's not like the situation comes up frequently.
Read 7 tweets
11 Oct
So, that could have gone better.

A random encounter on the streets of Hardby: the characters noticed a foreign noble abusing a merchant. So they stepped in.

The sorcerer cast Calm Emotions.
Unfortunately, the noble saved (as did some of his guards). And he took exception to this.

In the ensuing fight, the characters killed one of his guards.
Then the city watch arrived and arrested everyone. In the questioning afterwards, it was determined that not only had the sorcerer started the fight (by casting a spell), but he'd also killed the guard.

The verdict? Exile for the PCs, *except* the sorcerer. He got 20 years.
Read 5 tweets
1 Jun
Although G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is not the very first adventure published for Dungeons & Dragons, it's close enough. :) And it is fascinating.
The framing of the adventure is simple: Giants have attacked the lands of men, you must explain to them that such is a bad idea. With as much force as you can.
To make things simpler, when you get to the steading, the giants are engaged in a drunken feast! They're all gathered together, and many fireballs will prove useful. :)
Read 18 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!