I’ve been running the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons for over a year now for a local group and I’m quite happy with it. As is often said, it is difficult to threaten a party of high level PCs with death without, frankly, going for the throat as a DM, but I feel like that’s more a feature, less a bug. All of the old school1 rules of creating a threatening encounter still apply:
- One big monster will fall quickly
- A team of smaller baddies will tear a party up.
- The Challenge Rating system is, at best, a rough guideline.
- The party will still out-think you because they have more brains to do it with.
I won’t say that I have converted over to fifth edition as the one true game, but it’s hard to deny that it is a big part of the rising surge in popularity of role playing games. Even so, I still have a place in my heart for other games like Call of Cthulhu 2, Savage Worlds, the Old World of Darkness3, Paranoia, etc. It’s just that, frankly, I’ve spent so much time saying that I play “games like DnD” that I thought I might just go with DnD, if only for the name recognition.
Of course, there is Pathfinder, the 300 lb gorilla4 in the room. I have played a lot of Pathfinder, and enjoyed it, but I’m going to be frank here, when it came time for me to actually run a Pathfinder campaign, I balked. I’ve spent several hundred dollars on software that lets me run my character and, frankly, I don’t want to do that much math when running a campaign. Pathfinder has its fans, and its place, and I will continue to play it, and I may even convert over some of the adventure paths but no, I don’t think I’ll be running