January 2, 2015: D&D 5e And Me
The new edition of D&D has been an interesting journey for me.
I've had a long on-again-off-again love affair with D&D; it's one of the games that's made a real, lasting impact on my life, but there have been plenty of times when I've made a conscious break from the game in order to pursue things that were more to my tastes. When D&D Next was announced, I managed to get into the very early friends and family playtest, and I liked what I played quite a bit. It was simple, fluid, flexible, and a great deal of fun.
But as the playtest wore on and new versions came down the pipe, I started to feel that distance growing again. They were ditching a lot of the mechanics I liked from the early draft, and grafting on mechanics that I wasn't crazy about. And then it was awesome again all of a sudden, and then they changed it to something less awesome, and so on and so forth.
When WotC finished the game and announced the release of the books, I made the choice not to buy them. "This game isn't for me," I said to myself. "It's going to be great for a lot of people, but I'm no longer in the target audience, and that's okay."
And then our very own Miranda Horner showed me her Player's Handbook, and I flipped through it. I was skeptical about some stuff, but there was a lot to like in it, too. So I took a chance and I picked up my own copy, and I started to read it.
And I was excited about D&D again.
For those who know me, you know what a big deal that is. It's been a long time since I've really been excited about D&D, but this new edition makes me feel like a kid again, opening a book that's full of possibility and magic.
Skip ahead a couple of months, and I'm running my own campaign. We're playing in Eberron, and it's a game full of intrigue and adventure. There are magical explosions, corrupt political figures, aerial battles over the streets of Sharn, frantic chases through crowds of bystanders, immortal psionic assassins. This is D&D as I remember it, D&D as viewed through the lens of my childhood. It's exciting and engaging and magical.
So thank you, Wizards of the Coast. You've given me my D&D back.
-- Brian Engard
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