Sunday, June 11, 2023

5E vs the OSR vs What is Best for Our Group

I've spent the last year working on combating my Gaming ADD so that I could run games that would last more than 2-3 weeks. I'm glad to report it's been working. My Deadlands game is 9 months in and sadly had to go on hiatus as one of my players is buying and moving into a new house.

We decided to run a different game while he is unavailable and I started looking at the OSR and 5th Edition. On one hand, I'm royally pissed at Wizards of the Coast for their shenanigans and would like to support creators who actually care about their audience. But on the other hand I have some players in this game that want to play 5E, have never gotten to play it, and love DnD Beyond.

I did some heavy thinking about this and what I came away with is that I tend to agree with many of the 5E changes that were made while also altering many OSR games to be closer to 5E. And when I look at what has been successful for me as a DM in the last 9 months  is focusing on story and fun over game system.

In fact, when I look back at my Gaming ADD it always comes back to finding that perfect system. The 3 games that come closest to perfect for me are Castle Falkenstein, Shadow of the Demon Lord and Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. Right or wrong, 5E captures my vision of DnD as a game designer. I like Bounded Accuracy and Sub-Classes. If I were designing DnD it would look a lot like 5E.

After looking at all of this I went back to 5E and for my players and for me it was the right decision. I'm not giving WotC any of my money and I'm picking up excellent 3rd party products. I'm also backing Kobold Press' Tales of the Valiant as I feel that Kobold is doing some of the most exciting work on 5E.

My group is invested in 5E and I'm invested in them. They are my best friends and it's great that I get to run a game for them. I still am angry at WotC and I'm sure that will affect things at some point but honestly, I have enough material for 5E to use the engine for years to come.

I hope someone knocks WotC off of their block but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy DMing my friends.


IsaacL said...

How did you approach "combating your gaming ADD" as you mentioned in this post? My work schedule made running a consistent campaign unfeasible for years now, but my new job opens up the opportunity. That said, I've got a history of campaigns never making it past the second session.

I'm curious what you did to resolve things on your end!

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Needles said...

How about DMing some Cities Without Number? You had your Sprawls Without Number idea from the blog a while back. And the Sine & SWN rpg rules are pretty similar to fifth edition in some respects.

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