1 January 2024

by | Jan 2, 2024 | Random Thoughts, Writing | 2 comments

Welcome to 2024!

So, I’m off to a decent start on my writing goal. I say ‘decent’ and not ‘great,’ because I wrote today but did not write 1,500 words. Like I put in my last post, the intent is to build a consistent, daily writing habit, so that fact that I wrote is more important to me than how much I wrote.

It’s been a bit of an interesting day for me. I started off by oversleeping, which always leaves me feeling like I’m rushing to catch up… even when I have no time-sensitive activities for the day. Maybe “leaves me feeling off” would be better phrasing…

The oversleeping led me to be not as prepared for the first session of my D&D game this year, and while the session was fun, it would’ve been a lot more fun for me if I had been prepared. Being the DM and all…

I mentioned in either an earlier post or on my newsletter that I’m running 5th Edition, and someone commented or emailed me asking about my thoughts on 5th Edition. My thoughts are not kind, so if you’d rather not partake of my evisceration of 5th Edition’s inner child, feel free to skip to the second horizontal divider.

Okay. I have no doubt that this will piss off some people. I don’t think there’s enough traffic on this site that a lot of people will see it, but in the long run, I just took today’s dose of Fukitol and don’t really give a damn.

You have been warned twice now. Don’t get mad at me if you don’t like my honest opinion.

I think Wizards of the Coast set out to lower the barrier to entry for D&D when they started designing 5th Edition. They did this through simplification and outright removal of several mechanics. Simplification is not always a bad thing, but it can be taken too far. I feel it was taken too far with 5th Edition.

If 3rd/3.5 Edition was equivalent to a college-level toolkit for creating a character with a lot of flexibility, 5th Edition is little more than a Special Education class where the greatest achievement is tying one’s shoes each day.

The skill list is an excellent example.

In 3rd/3.5 Edition, there were a whopping forty (40) skills, and four of them (Craft, Knowledge, Perform, & Profession) could be taken multiple times for specific fields of endeavor (i.e. Knowledge — Arcana or Knowledge — History, Profession — Blacksmith or Craft — Weaponsmithing or Perform — Dance or Perform — Lute). In contrast, 5th Edition has… eighteen (18). Consolidating the skill list isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they also removed skill points. Yes, they created the proficiency bonus that scales as a character levels, but skills are now little more than ability checks. Yes… to a degree, they always were, but the skill points represented the fruit of a character’s continuing education in their chosen role. I feel like the double whammy of gutting the skill list and removing the mechanic of skill points removed an important aspect of character customization.

Another example is the degree to which ability modifiers affect your character.

In 3rd/3.5 Edition, your Intelligence modifer affected how many skill points you had each level, and if you were a wizard, a sufficiently high score awarded you more spell prepartion slots. If you were a sorcerer (not my class on the rare occasions I played), a sufficiently Charisma score increased both your spell slots and the number of spells you knew. This was the same with Wisdom for Clerics and Druids. In 5th Edition, there is no mechanic for bonus spell slots at all that I’ve found so far.

They replaced the Base Attack Bonus and multiple attacks with the proficiency bonus, one primary attack, and an extra attack if you’re dual-wielding. I’m of mixed thoughts on this one, frankly. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense to me that a more experienced fighter would be able to make two (or even three) attacks in the same time a novice makes one. On the other hand, the multiple attacks per turn could slow down combat. So, where do you draw the line on streamlined combat versus a more accurate portrayal of a character’s abilities?

They also stripped the Feat system completely out. There is a mention of it as a variant rule, but the list of options is worse than the skill list comparison above. I was shocked by this change. Did not see it coming at all.

I could keep going and going, but it might start to seem like my evaluation is more of a rant that 5th Edition isn’t 3rd/3.5 Edition than an honest comparison.

If I’m going to rant, there are more deserving topics. The bottom line, here, is that–had I known the degree to which Wizards dumbed down D&D in creating 5th Edition–I would never even thought about buying the books, let alone running it.

Alrighty, then… moving on!

I am far enough into Introvert on the ‘Introvert vs. Extrovert’ scale that the socialization of the Dungeons & Dragons session left me in need of a recharge. I’ll do that by sleeping tonight by and large, but it also means that I’m mentally exhausted and have no wish to write the 870 words I need to hit the numberical portion of my goal. I’ll make that up tomorrow. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, 1,500 words is absurdly easy for me to hit, and 2,370 words isn’t a stretch.

I don’t know if I’ll cap each day’s writing or not. The important part is not writing so much that I still feel mentally drained when I wake up the next day. Anything over about 6,000 to 6,500 words seems to do that.

Beyond writing, tomorrow is going to be a Server Day. I have a number of tasks I need to complete on the server hosting this site, and I’ve put them off for far too long. Sure, sure… I could use a hosting service. But I like having full control over my hosting environment down to the server level. With my background, operating my own Linux webserver is not a challenge. I’ll do a bit write-up about my tasks once I’ve completed them.

In the mean time, I hope the first day of 2024 has treated you and yours well, and I offer my best wishes for the coming days.

Stay safe out there.

(P.S. I’m not going to post a screenshot of today’s writing stats. The single line in Excel would make for a horrible graphic on this post. I’ll include today’s line when I post a screenshot tomorrow.)

Daily Word Count: 630
Days Written: 1
Days in 2024 (so far): 1
2024 Total Words: 630


  1. Mark Robeson

    Did you ever play the earlier versions of D&D? I started playing back when 2.0 rules were on their way out and most of my career of tabletop gaming was the AD&D 2.5 edition of rules. I more or less dropped out of gaming about the time when 3rd edition rules were just starting to make an appearance.

    On a side note I was at a Dungeons and Dragons convention the day a small plane collided with a passenger jet and it broke up and crashed dropping debris all over Cerritos CA. I heard about it and raced home finding bits of plane in my front yard but nobody injured.

    • Rob

      The only exposure to D&D prior to playing 3.0/3.5 was the modified rules used in the original Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II games. And I don’t remember delving too deeply into those rules.

      Wowzers… that’s incredible. Glad none of your people were injured. Did NTSB or someone come to claim the debris?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.