I’ve been watching an unhealthy amount of Bones lately, if there even is such an amount.  I’ll continue my research and get back to you.  Also, not sure that I mentioned it here last week, but I made a Nonsense Thought for Chris Collins.  Check out his sites and follow him on the tweets and the faceman.

I picked up Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition this week.  I’ve been meaning to get around to it, but I had just started something in Fourth on the cusp of Fifth, you know how it is.  I’d been bastardizing fourth into a sort of Three-Point-Seven-Five for a while.  I’m not a huge fan of the grid.  Makes it too much of a tactics game.  Fifth goes back to the game’s roots a bit.

I’m working my way through the combat section of the book now, so I’ve completed character generation and am close to the magic section.  I must say, what I did love about fourth was an overall simplification of the mechanics.  Wizards seems to have liked it too, because they’ve done an expert job at keeping some core elements of that in character creation and combat.  For now, though, let’s talk characters.

Your character sheet is governed by the six ability scores.  Yes, it always has been, but they’ve concentrated that power now.  Turned the six ability scores into supreme dictators, benevolent as they may be.  Skills and saves are completely governed by the ability score of their core ability, plus a proficiency bonus if applicable.  The proficiency bonus grows depending on what “tier” your character is in.

In DnD past you’d always have feats (and in many cases bonus feats) at staggered levels.  The end result was a lot of feats that buffed you in cute little ways.  In fourth, they also introduced a feature that every four levels you can mod your ability scores, making you more powerful as you grow.  In Fifth, they’ve combined the two.  Every few levels you can either mod your ability scores or take a feat.  This means you don’t have access to feats at first level, which was surprisingly refreshing.  There are far fewer feats, but they seem to have a lot more packed inside each one.  Which is interesting.  It makes sacrificing that ability level up worth your while.

Perhaps the best part in character creation is background.  The book provides several backgrounds to choose from, each one malleable enough to let you bend or twist it into the shape that will fit your character.  Your background gives you a couple proficiencies, but the best part is that the background is made up of the Ideal, the Bond, and the Flaw.  Each one of these are an aspect of your character, to help guide you the player.

Duh, that’s a given, it’s DnD, right?  Yes, actually, that is correct.  But!  There’s a mechanic called Inspiration.  When you play to one of those character traits, your DM can award you inspiration which you can later spend to give yourself advantage on a roll.  So as an example, my dwarf has a bond to his clan and he must uphold their honor at all cost.  When the party is trying the gather dirt on a noble at a fancy dress party my dwarf overhears someone slander his clan.  He immediately pipes up, and causes trouble.  Not very advantageous, but definitely playing to character.  Now I have inspiration (assuming the DM gives it to me).

I’m going to be DM’ing a game soon, so I’ll talk more about combat and the like after that.