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[RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

ludomastro

Registered User
Validated User
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

I found his review informative and reasonable. Yes, there were some areas where it could be tightened up (I know my reviews tend to gush, so I see the irony in that statement) and he could have told us a little more about how things worked up front but I didn't think the review was horribly biased or anything.

I wonder if there isn't some bias on the part of those of you reading the review. I mean, he's criticizing juggernaut of the industry. Said juggernaut has a lot of fans. Is it possible that some of you are happy with Basic and you see flaws in his review simply because he sees flaws in Basic?
 

Wulfgar22

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Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

Um, what? I feel like one of us is from a parallel reality, because that doesn't match anything I recall about BD&D, 1E, 2E or 3E, having lived through (and played) all of them at the time they were the current rules.
I also agree. To write off 15 years of OD&D, Holmes Basic, B/X, AD&D and BECMI as a fledgling compilation of rules that needed to be turned into a product is a bit much.
 

Seroster

Miw!
Validated User
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

I'm surprised to have had such negative feedback from this review, and I want to say a couple of things to put my review in context.

I understand this is intended as a "living document" in the sense that WotC will continue to add to it, and it may well be that they'll add DM rules and advice later on. But what is important to note that this is the document they have chosen to release and promote. It's not presented as an SRD that will be updated over time, but rather as a document of "basic rules". It has a lengthy introduction, it is formatted and has been promoted with the clear and explicit intent of advertising 5th Edition. In that context it seems a shame to release something for consumption without essential and basic rules included. Yes, DM rules will be released later in the year. Does that exclude a piece of material such as this from being a playable package? No.
I'm not much of a fan of 5e, but I think you're being unfair here. You're criticizing an incomplete set of rules for not being complete, when it basically says "not complete yet" on the front cover.

I don't see it as a playable package, so why assume it's supposed to be one?
 

Cwylric

New member
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

> In 5th edition a character who is trying to pick a lock without
> tools is at the same degree of disadvantage as one who is doing
> so without tools, in pitch darkness, whilst being peppered with
> arrows. This simplicity is an advantage in speed, but loses much
> of the nuance of the previous systems.

And, if a buddy helps him - even a buddy who knows absolutely nothing about picking locks - even those problems can be ignored (since the aid rules let even an unskilled helper give you advantage, and even a single incident of advantage cancels out *any* amount of disadvantage). Ugh. The aid rules are going to generate some seriously silly situations in most campaigns. They already have in ours. And before any naysayers chime in, note that these are *core* rules that are not going to change between now and the release of the PHB, so you can't use that as an excuse.

> Whilst I'm pleased to see a move away from the powers dynamic of
> 4th (it always felt very flavourless to me) the return to what is,
> ultimately, quite classic Vancian casting is a little of a let-down.
> The new rules allowing for spells to be cast at varying levels is
> a great inclusion but doesn't go far enough in revising the system
> as a whole, and leaves you wondering what advantages it provides
> over other magic systems (such as Pathfinder's).

Actually, to be fair, it does have one. I agree with a lot of what the reviewer says, here, but he missed the fact that the actual spellcasting mechanic *has* changed, somewhat, becoming a sort of merger of the 3rdE wizard and sorcerer systems (a little like the old Spirit Shaman). You prepare a certain number of spells (level + ability mod) and can cast those in any way you wish, using your available slots (as long as the slot is high enough level, of course). I actually think this is one of the few really goods innovations that 5E brings in.

As for the lack of DM guidelines... As others have mentioned, they are supposed to be adding in a few monsters and treasure (my guess: only a tiny number, based on the boxed set, i.e. only those that are actually used in current published adventures). But, contrary to what some other commenters have been implying, Mike Mearls and the others have made absolutely no mention of adding in an actual DM advice section, any time soon (at least, not before the DM's Guide comes out, and that's not until late fall). We'll just have to wait and see about that, but, in the meantime, I would agree with the reviewer that this was an oversight (and one that could have been easily rectified). And, to those who grumbled about DM's advice being in the boxed set: please note that the review was about the current basic document, not the boxed set. Perhaps you should get *your* facts straight before telling the reviewer to do the same.

Also note that WotC claims, on their site and in the boxed set, that you can extend your game into a full campaign with just the basic rules (and, presumably, the handful of critters and dozen or so treasures from the boxed set), which simply isn't true. In fact, Mike Mearls was going on about getting to 20th level by GenCon, which is utter rubbish, given the tools at hand. Based on WotC's own claims of this sort, the reviewer is well within his rights to expect them to live up to them.

Anyway, as someone who has actually been playing, using the basic rules, since the day they came out (and is about to add in the boxed set, which I just picked up and finished reading), I would have to say that this review is a fairly accurate assessment of the basic document *as it currently stands.* I don't agree with every single thing that the reviewer says, but I do have to agree with a lot of it, as well as with the general notion that there really isn't enough here, yet, to play with - at least not without bringing in published modules (we've been using Scourge, etc.), homebrew stuff, old playtest stuff, and so on. And, honestly, as stands, while we are having some fun, there isn't a lot here to get *really* excited about. Certainly not enough, realistically, to win over Pathfinder or 13th Age fans.
 
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Jedira Dakhan

Double Vampire!
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

First of all, this WAS intended to be used in conjunction with the Starter set. The Starter set has no character generation rules in it at all, just pre-gens. A reviewer might well knock it for that, saying "yeah, it has a lot of GM advice, monsters, and a long adventure, but where are the rules to create a character?" So WotC released the Basic Rules online so that players could create their own characters to run through Lost Mine of Phandelver, stating that monsters and GM advice would be added in coming months when those books are released.

Why wait till then?

2 main reasons: 1) they aren't finalized yet.
and 2) They want seasoned vets to buy the Starter set, and they know that if they release all the monster and GM info in Basic for free, the main draw to buy the Starter set is gone. Right now, players download Basic, create a character, and then want to run them in an adventure to try them out. Well, there's only 1 place you can get that right now, the Starter set. Bam, they made a sale. If instead the answer was "Hey, all the monsters and GM rules are in Basic, no need to buy anything!", they've lost a sale.

Think of the Basic rules as getting to read a sample of the first chapter of a book as a free promo, or the Amazon's "Look inside" feature with sample pages. Downgrading those things as "incomplete" entirely misses their point and is hardly fair.
 

Corum

Registered User
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Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

The reviewer is displeased that DnD 5.0 looks like - can you believe it?! - DnD! He is also surprised a free preview isn't a complete game. The reviewer seems to want WotC to design a completely new game and give it to him for free, then goes on to write a review about how awful it is that WotC didn't do just that.
 
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Wraith2020

Registered User
Validated User
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

Less use of "whilst" in the future, it's rather distracting after the sixth time.
 

Dr Jack

New member
Banned
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

Criticizing a lack of completeness or a lack of DM rules seems like a fair opinion on the "worth-doing" criterion when reviewing a product that doesn't contain them. Others may of course agree or not.
That would rather depend on what the product is supposed to be. Would you consider a review of the PHB fair on these grounds? Of a monster manual? Sure, it's worth mentioning this isn't a complete game but judging it on those grounds is nonsense.
 

smug

Better you better you bet
Validated User
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

Less use of "whilst" in the future, it's rather distracting after the sixth time.
In British English, it's just the same as "while" and fairly commonly used (or would your complaint be equally applicable to the use of "while"? I can see that could also be jarring if used more than six times).
 

Nifara

New member
Validated User
Re: [RPG]: D&D Basic Rules, reviewed by Nifara (3/2)

In British English, it's just the same as "while" and fairly commonly used (or would your complaint be equally applicable to the use of "while"? I can see that could also be jarring if used more than six times).
British as charged.

I'm only going to add one other thing and that's in regards to the people saying that this shouldn't be judged as a full product, and that I can't judge WotC for not just giving the rules away for free. The thing is see, that their competitors do just that.

When 4th was released the traditional model was still dominant, and any competitors relied upon the same distribution dynamic. The basic rules as a free provision are great... For five years ago. But now most of its competitors (Pathfinder and Dungeon World to name two) distribute their full rules completely for free online. Paizo even releases all the content from their supplements!

It's a different industry and a different set of circumstances now. Am I entitled to expect WotC to release their full rules for free? Hells to the yes, because that's now industry standard.
 
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