Tuesday, June 24, 2014

D&D 5E, the Nentir Vale, and Other Assorted D&D Stuff

After more than two years of waiting, D&D 5E is finally about to be published. The Starter Set is coming out soon, and after that comes the Player's Handbook and the free Basic D&D PDF. Everything I've just said sounds absolutely awesome as far as I'm concerned. I love D&D 4E, but I'm currently having fun with the 5E playtest rules and I can't wait to see the full rules.

Picture from ENWorld.
I'm considering buying the Starter Set. Normally, I wouldn't, since I've been playing the playtest and I've been playing D&D for well over a decade now, but I'm trying to get an offline gaming group together, and at least one of them is a complete newbie to tabletop RPGs. The Starter Set, with its pregenerated characters and short rulebook, is going to be way less intimidating than Basic D&D or a full Player's Handbook would be. On the other hand, I may just stick with 4E Essentials and make my own pregenerated characters for the group. I'm not quite sure yet.

Whatever the case, I'll certainly be downloading Basic D&D. It's free, it's got everything necessary to play to level 20, and it should be just about perfect for anyone who doesn't want to buy the game yet, but still wants to play. I'm really curious to see what they do with it as far as aesthetics go - if it'll be bare bones with no art or anything like the playtest packets, or if it'll have a few pieces of art and the same kind of aesthetics the Starter Set previews are showing. I'm hoping it's the latter, of course.

In any case, 5E is still heavily on my mind as I'm running a Play-by-Post game using the 5E playtest rules from October of last year. It took a while, but I finally got a game together to try out 5E, which brings me to my next point: I'm not using the Forgotten Realms as the setting. I'm not a huge fan of the Realms, so I stuck with the Nentir Vale, which is easily my second favorite setting after Eberron. And my group went nuts with it. I've got a Paladin of Sehanine, two devotees of the Raven Queen (one Fighter, one Rogue), a Cleric of Zehir, and possibly a religiously-undecided Mage. The party's a curious mix of alignments ranging from Neutral Good to Neutral Evil. So far, I'm digging it.

But back to the Nentir Vale. I'm considering going through all my 4E books and putting together as much information as I can on the Vale. I'm aware of this Wikidot site that does pretty much the same thing, but that group's taken a bit of a different look at the setting than I plan to, particularly with their assertions about the deities. Obviously, this is a big undertaking and will probably take a fairly long time, but if I do it, I'll be able to use it as a player handout and a DM aid in any future games I run in the Vale. Plus, I'll be able to keep two copies - one for players and one for all my secret DM notes. I'll almost certainly post the full thing here, of course.

Last, I'd like to address that it's been a while since I posted here. I've been working on offline stuff, hanging out with friends and doing quite a bit completely unrelated to tabletop gaming. I didn't have as much time to devote to gaming, so I ended up dropping from all PbP games for a while. I'm back now, though, and I plan on adding quite a bit to the blog - some header images or something at the very least. Thanks for sticking around, and if you're new, take a look at what I've got. Might be something that catches your eye.