So a few weeks ago I got a chance to visit the WotC head quarters and I had a great time. I told everyone I was just going up to Seattle to visit some friends because I was under an NDA but now, since they have launched their site I am free to talk about it.
The whole reason for my trip was to take a look at 5th edition! With the slow down in print and the some what murky nature of essentials many people have speculated that 5e was on its way, and they were right!
I have do admit I was a bit shocked at first, I really love 4e but after getting to play test a quick round of the game I think I could enjoy it. I’m not really sure if everyone will though and here is why.
It’s a card game! The entire experience of Dungeons and Dragons has been boiled down to a card game. Your character is made up of a deck, your spells equipment and even your stats are all part of your deck. Being a guy who loves random chance in my game (see Gamer Changers: Deck of Powers) I really like the idea of having a whole deck full of random powers as opposed to just 3 or 4 over used spells or powers.
Rituals kick ass! In a kind of Magic the Gathering kind of mana pool system the ritual deck looked really cool. Each ritual had different effects based on how much mana you had available and wanted to put into it. Put enough mana into your ritual and you can use it as a combat spell.
None of this is what I wanted to talk about though; I want to talk about the city/town deck! I love world building and the city deck is freaking awesome for this. The whole point of the city deck is to give players a varied experience when entering a city or a town. So no two towns are the same, and each town has unique experiences in store.
How does it work: Each city deck holds a number of Shop Cards, NPC Cards, Quest Cards and Random Encounter Cards. There are rules for how many of each type of card go into the DMs (Now called the Deck Master) deck. A large city might have 5-10 shop cards while a small town might have 2-5. Once the DM has built their deck based on the city size the DM deals a number of cards on the table, also determined by the size of the city/town.
Each player has a number of rest points, these represent the amount of time they spend in the city. Each player can spend a number of their rest points to turn over cards from the top of the DMs deck. The cards the players turn over represent the population of the city; what shops, NPCs and encounters the players will find inside the city. If they draw an alchemy shop they can buy alchemical items, if they draw an NPC they might get valuable information from them. If the players draw an encounter card they must engage in the encounter listed on the card. If I remember right they can spend rest points to avoid conflict as well.
I don’t remember the rules about how rest points are recovered but the system is built to try to yet again avoid the 5 min work day. Players recover rest points in combat or by time or in some way that is worked into the mechanics of the game.
I love the idea of a random city. I hate it when players expect there to by every kind of shop in every small town. How many small towns really need a magic armor shop filled to the brim with every magic item the player might want? Hell some towns might not even have an inn, they might hate travelers. This gives the DM the ability to RP a town that does not have all the comforts the players have become used to. Awesome!
I know that many people won’t be down with this type of game play, but I think it’s gonna rock! I took today off of work so I could blog about the new 5e format all day. Expect my next post to be on rituals, and I think I’ll do character creation after that.
Looks like my bank account is gonna have to take another hit on this one
Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.