So, a few weeks ago I found out the release date of the new 5th edition D&D STARTER SET and visited a local game store (relatively local: down in Federal Way) and preordered myself a copy. Late Friday afternoon I got a message from them that it was in, and today I combined a work-session down in the Federal Way Barnes & Noble with a visit to the game store and picked up my copy.
At a quick glance, it looks pretty good. In fact, it looks a good deal like the game I've been playing in various playtest versions for the last two years or so (in mini-campaigns run by Jeff Grubb, myself, and, for the last year or so, Steve Winter). And that's reassuring, since the various rule sets sent out for playtesting have swung wildly back and forth during that time, with each new iteration of the playtest rules seeming determined to differ greatly from the one that went before.
This looks good in basics: the basic four character classes (fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue), the four basic player-character races (human, dwarf, elf, halfling), the classic six character stats (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Chr), alignments (which seem to conform to the standard nine-point alignment system), and so forth. I'd say it has more in common with third edition than any other. There are still more vestiges of fourth edition than I'd like, but those shd be easy to homerule out. I'm sorry they left out any character generation rules at all -- something I consider essential to any starter set/beginner rules -- but other than that, this looks good at a first skim.
It looks like my favorite hobby is making a come back.