Which format of D&D would you recommend for a new playgroup? I have previous experience with Pathfinder, but we are considering jumping into 5th ed. From what I’ve gathered, 5th ed. streamlines many features with its advantage/disadvantage system, but I was wondering if there are many flaws in the mechanics. I would hate to learn 5.0 only to learn that the game is dysfunctional or beyond repair. Do you have any advice toward which version is better?
I love 5e, and I think it’s a great place to start the hobby. At the moment, there are two main forks of the RPG experience (someone who works in the industry may disagree, or may be able to expound on this): the minis-on-the-map game, and the storytelling game. D&D 3.5, 4E, True 20, and Pathfinder are heavily into the minis-on-the-map thing. That’s fine, if that’s what you want to do, but if I’m going to do minis-on-the-map, I’ll just play Warhammer. The storytelling games are the focus in Savage Worlds (though it also supports minis-on-the-map), FATE Core, Fiasco, Primetime Adventures, the AGE system, and D&D 5E (at the moment. I’m sure it’ll go minis sooner than later).
But, look, the important thing is that you play, not what you play. Don’t be afraid to try out some different systems (they all have free quickstart rules online) and discard the ones you don’t like. And, once you have some experience in the hobby, don’t be afraid to take something from one system and drag it into another system. Don’t be afraid to modify stuff from one setting so that it will work in a different one, because the whole point of playing is to explore worlds that exist because the DM/GM and players all agree to make them.
I hope this helps. Have fun!
I remember how intimidated I was when I was learning how to play RPGs, and that was way back in the 80s when there were only a few to pick from. Now, there are hundreds. I’m sort of making it part of my mission in life to help get more people playing more games, and part of that is taking the fear and intimidation out of the hobby as much as I can.