Well hello there, I did say we kiwis were a laid back lot. Anyways one of my gaming group has started a new game using the new D&D E5 system. Just thought I'd jot down a few thoughts about what we have experienced so far.
Everyone seemed to like the new generation rules, especially the inclusion of the Background section and the attendant Bonds, Flaws etc. It has help each player get a hold of their character, what makes them tick and get into the 'role' part of the game quicker. The lowering of all those bonuses , from the height of 3.5 power bloat, is a welcomed edit. Its simpler to remember the basics, easier to engage with and generally more fun than waiting for someone to pop out their scientific calculator to work out what they need to roll to hit, making a saving throw or skill roll. That they have also simplified the skill list - the basics are covered and has enough variety to cover most if not all imaged situations most adventurers can get caught up in. Borrowing, I feel, from the Castle and Crusaders system to have some stats you are 'proficient' in to give , again, variety and uniqueness is a nice touch so their line about 'no two fighters being the same' is quite true. On this subject I am seeing several subsystems echoed from other systems or previous editions, nothing wrong about that, quite a compliment really if one considers the saying that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It makes for familiar gaming but with enough twist to be fresh and inviting of new adventures, ideas and, of course, fun. I like their ideas about Magic Users being able to use armour now and the general pump of hit points. A favorite house rule we have always played with , full hit points at first level, is another sensible move, the move is not power creep in any way but enough of a nod to those classes who a strong wind could knock over in previous editions at first level. The adjusted XP table is where, for me, the system has a glorious moment. So obvious yet I never thought of doing it, making the first three levels much quicker to gain, thus building character survivability without giving away the effort involved in to gain these levels ( yah still have to work for it kiddo!). The addition of Inspiration, Advantage and Disadvantage are great tools for the DM to use as consequences in play is another great role playing subsystem moving the game from what was seen increasingly as a roll playing game to the more traditional role playing; games or yore - this set of tools reminds of the rulings not rules ethic of old school gaming. Lastly the trinket section, a nice touch, a great way to add depth to the characters back story, generate an adventure or some adversaries concerning this small item.
At the moment we haven't looked at the effects of feats on play but given my experience with 3.5 I will be watching this one closely. The first minus I have is how some of the spells have been edited. I'm old school and have no problem with that, so for me a first level spell like Shield needs to be more than a one shot quick defense spell ( I have changed it) and some of the damage of the cantrips ( 1d10!) which can be cast at will 3 or so times a day at first level is a little too hard on my nose so I am working with the players is readjusting some of this, not to original levels ( and that would be too complicated because some spells did different things in different editions) but to a level inline with 'weapon damage' a 1st level fighter might consider is appropriate. More on this later.
The last Minus is the healing rules. Its changed Full stop. A short rest returns lv+con bonus in hit points, a nights full rest(long rest) gains your hit dice amount healed. If you take critical damage you need to make a base Con check (Medium) before you can do a long rest heal else all you get is a short rest heal each night until you make the check.
Well that's enough from me for now.
Game on and have fun!