Terribly Dated Game Commentary

After having the core D&D fifth edition books on my shelf for well over a year almost three years, I finally had good cause to read them. (I'm a bit past the point where I can find the time to read RPGs just for the heck of it.)

I'm both surprised and delighted to discover how little of the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide are actually rules for play: the (300 page) PHB's rules section is about 25 pages (with 175 for character creation, and 100 for magic-related stuff), and the DMG's section is roughly 30 pages, with the other 90% almost entirely devoted to world-building guidelines, advice, or examples of once kind or another (with optional rules from older editions of the game scattered throughout, allowing you to easily customize/homerule the system to whatever flavor of DnD you like best. Potion miscibility tables!)

It's weird to say 600 total pages of rulebooks represent a lean, simple system, but it really does. Good game.


  1. +Doyce Testerman?. 5th edition has always impressed me. Especially the DMG. I was surprised at how much good advice it had in there and the optional rules and crunch it fave was minimal and actually useful. I would put the 5th DMG up there with the other DMG legends for sure.

  2. The GM was running a published adventurer. After the wipe, I went and looked at the thing. As near as I can tell, the guy took an encounter that was already rated at Deadly for the group, gave the main guy twice as many attacks as normal, and "rewarded" us for finding the route that's supposed to bypass the boss's guards by dropping two additional encounters worth of reinforcements on us.

    So we basically ended up in a fight that would have been challenging for a group of level 10 guys, with a group of level 3 characters. It was not pretty.

  3. That's brutal. That definitely sounds like horrible decision making. I've had a few GMs make queationable choices that resulted in the death if a character or two

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