I’ve been a table top RPG gamer for many decades now. I haven’t played or ran a D&D game in many years. My gaming interests have taken me to other games and systems. The last D&D system I used was 3e/3.5e, the original d20 system.
Now I’m taking a hard look at the current 5th Edition of the game that pretty much started it all. And I’m a bit disappointed. A friend described 5e to me as an RPG with training wheels. It looks like I’m going to agree.
Many aspects of the game got removed. Probably because someones frakking feelings got hurt.
Clerics got the short end of the stick this time around. Their ability to turn undead has been seriously reduced.
A number of beloved spells used by magic-users and other spellcasters have been completely removed or greatly weakened in their scope and power. Now I’m all for some changes with D&D’s magic system. The Vancian fire and and forget has always bothered me. But getting rid of important spells like Permanency is just stupid. Many wizards have used this spell to protect themselves and to protect strongholds established by the adventuring party since it was first included.
Ability score damage seems to have been eliminated as well. That was a handy trick of many spells, monsters, and other hazards.
Psionics are mentioned but again they are treated like spells and never should be. 1st Edition AD&D had them kinda right. 2nd Edition AD&D also had them kinda right but went overboard on the idea. 3rd+ Editions of D&D have never gotten Psionics right. Although there have been some 3rd party adaptations that were pretty good.
There are some good things to come out of 5e. The advantage/disadvantage system is good. Still carrying on from the 3rd era where AC goes up instead of down is good. The d20 mechanic is still great. It makes rolling very uniform.
I still haven’t looked at all of it to see about other things that are good and those that were bad ideas. I guess Hasbro doesn’t have any good game designers on at Wizard’s of the Coast.
I think it was a mistake to have the game enter into the hands of a large corporation. Hasbro might become the new Lorraine Williams if this kind of poor design keeps up.