So here’s a problem: I still haven’t played D&DNext with Liz. Hey Liz, remember when we did all that yelling so we could play online together? Let’s reasses our priorities and do that.
I had the opportunity to play D&D with some great friends from far away. Daniel and Megan came to Canada with games on the mind, and did we ever play a lot of them! But my favourite gaming experience with them was the night we sat down and played a little bit of D&D Next.
Daniel had played 2e D&D, but hadn’t played it in years. Megan hadn’t ever played D&D, but was into WoW and fantasy games. I’ve only DMed a handful of times, and we know what happens when I do.
I went over some D&D Next basics: roleplaying is awesome, when and why dice get rolled, what’s a skill check, here’s how combat works, advantage/disadvantage and improvise during combat.
So I handed out character sheets, and our two dwarves (fighter and cleric) headed into the Caves of Chaos.
“Why are we here?”
“Well I really don’t know, do you want cultists or kidnapped townspeople?”
“We’re collecting taxes. From the cultists.”
And, purpose declared, into the caves of chaos they went and a traditional dungeon delve ensued for about two rooms. Then Daniel nabbed a kobold in the guard room. He cajoled, the kobold hissed. He offered bribes, the kobold bit. Finding the kobold uncooperative, he used the kobold as a weapon.The kobold couldn’t really do anything about that.
Daniel and Megan, full of victory, named their weapons TAXES and LOOPHOLE. This is the second time I’ve played an RPG wth an in-game Notary.
In the next room were piles and piles of garbage. The logical solution is to burn the room and run, right? Right. Smoke inhalation, trap sabotages, some great uses of the Guardian ability, and heavy use of Improvise in combat followed at the mouth of the cave. Every combat was quick, simple, and easy to infuse with creative skill challenges and dealing damage.
As a rather inconfident and nervous DM, it was great to play D&D Next. I find the basic scaffolding of the game easy to comprehend on both sides of the screen, and improvising on top of it is fabulous. It’s great to be able to reward things with advantage. The character sheets are basic and aren’t overwhelming, which I think resulted in a lot of creativity with the rules that are available on the sheet.
If you’re a new DM, I think you should give D&D Next a try! I wouldn’t be shy sharing the game with players who aren’t elbow deep in D&D knowledge, either!