Friday, June 8, 2012

5e Playtest: The A-Team Strikes!

As promised, a recounting of the A-Team's descent into the Caves of Chaos.    The team heard of treasure to be found in the Caves outside of town, and so they all charged, en masse to the outskirts to see what could be had.  While given the option to search the area outside of the Caves, the group instead decided to charge right in, the prospect of free money overwhelming their good sense.  Inside we stumbled upon goblins, who had goblin friends lurking about, who had an ogre friend lounging on various skins.

First off let me say holy crap ogres are no joke in 5e.  We sat there banging away at the ogre for the better part of 20 minutes before he went down.

My impression was that the system seems pretty organic at this stage.  I'm sure that's because we're only getting a half finished product, but honestly, I think they have enough rules for a serviceable game with what they've released.  Toss in character creations and a few other odds and ends, and BAM you've got a game.  I especially liked the little bit on the character sheet that said, "For a more old-school feel...".  You've got something on your nose, WOTC, but I like it.  I played a thief, and spent the entire game in hiding, mostly running around looting the joint while the party slaughtered goblins.  By the end of the session, I was literally carrying around thousands of coins, cleverly hidden in... ahem... different places.  I like the way you can skate around combat, if you so desire, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to utilize my Commerce skill or something similarly non-combat oriented next time out.

Kaye, er, B.A. Barracus was a bit discouraged playing the Elven Wizard.  He doesn't like Elves anyways, or rather he Pities the Fools, and Mages are a bit suspect, after his recent experiences with Torvalds.  Unsurprisingly, the Elven Mage didn't last long, falling before the onslaught of the goblin/ogre teamup.  He survived the melee, but decided this whole adventuring thing wasn't for him after all, and headed back to town.  Fortunately, a Dwarven Cleric wandered by at that exact moment, and all was well and balanced once more.  The Knightly Cleric was a good fit for him, and he seemed satisfied.

The Boy, aka Howlin' Mad Murdock, seemed in his element.  He played the Cleric of Pelor, or as he was known about the table, the "Laser Priest", due to an at will power wich allowed him to shoot a beam of light at various miscreants and ne'er-do-wells.  Laser beams have a way of brightening any boy's spirits, so I'm not sure how much of his glee was due to the system, and how much was due to burning perfectly shaped holes in the skulls of goblins.  In the end, though, I guess it doesn't matter - he enjoyed himself.

The real surprise of the evening was the Woman.  My fiancee has never played an RPG in her life, and while she was willing to participate in the name of Science! she was not terribly enthusiastic going into it.  It didn't take long, however, before Persephone the Dwarven Warrior Lass was going buck wild with her Battle Axe, kicking the everloving snot out of Goblin and Ogre alike.  The ogre almost took her down, but not quite, and the "Even if you miss you hit" rule that applies to this character kept her engaged.  After the game, she confessed, almost guiltily, that she enjoyed herself.  In fact, I'd say the highlight of the night was when she slew a goblin, "Like Brienne of Tarth did in to that Stark soldier in the finale of Game of Thrones."  Except she did it with a battleaxe.  Think about that for a minute.  Or better yet, don't.

I'll leave George Peppard's thoughts to him, he seemed to be having a good time as well, but who knows what lurks behind the beady little eyes of a GM?

I have to say, though, all in all, it seemed to be a success.  Nobody "broke" the game, and everyone picked it up pretty quickly - there was enough familiar stuff there that I think anyone could pick this game up and play without having to devote too much time to learning the rules.  Does it pass the "Old School" litmus test?  I have no idea.  It was fun for everyone involved, though, and in the end, isn't that what really matters?


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  2. We did the ogre encounter last night too and it was quite different. In my game, the elf wizard used his ray of frost to stop the ogre in his tracks and the party made good use of the ability to move-attack-move to chip away at the beast. The laser cleric did most of the damage though, and the ogre was down in three or four quick rounds.


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