I am excited to hear and see talk about D&D again. I am enjoying the fact that the local mailing lists about organized play are starting to get lively again. This is a good thing, but will it be sustained?
This last weekend, we just finished our 2nd full session of D&D with the new rules. I am so far, feeling that old pleasant excitement of all the years I’ve put time into this game. Let me attach a warning though, I often get excited about new game editions. I also liked 4th edition for a long time. It was a different game, but it was still a game with a lot of fun to be had. With that being said, it was a “different” game. 5th Edition doesn’t feel like a different game, it feels like a more refined and faster playing version of the game I have grown up with.
We started out at 4th level and I made a pure Druid. So far, shape changing is incredibly awesome (especially since I took the Circle of the Moon build, giving bonuses to shape shifting). So far, the Barkskin spell that used to be a staple of Druids is just terrible. If you want to take advantage of something like Barkskin, you MUST take the Warcaster feat or change into an animal with a very high Constitution. The reason, because Barkskin is a concentration spell that is supposed to help protect you from injury, meanwhile, each time you take damage with it up, you have to make a Constitution check or it drops. This is just silly. I haven’t had it last more than 1 hit yet. Or… I could just use that spell slot to heal myself as a bonus action thanks to the build type that I chose. I’m sad to see that spell coming off of my list, but now I’ll have more slots for more RP/flavor spells. This is the best part about the shapechanging druid, having spells just for the purposes of interesting flavor.
The game has been much more conducive to roleplay than 4th was and I can say that 4th also has taken away our skills at theater of the mind, but I think we are all getting there. I suggest dipping your toes into a game and seeing what you think.