So I’ve picked up a copy of the new Players Handbook. Even a cursory examination revealed that this is NOT the “5th Edition” that some people were afraid it might be. However, I have to admit that I’m a little concerned about the $50 cover price – not so much because I think it’s out of line for a book like this, but that it continues a pattern for roleplaying games of having entry-level products which are much more expensive than related leisure activities, such as Magic: the Gathering, etc.
It’s also worth noting that you can get Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game, and Swords & Wizardry for much less than the cover price of this one volume. – and all of those are complete games; this is not. I’ve advocated for some time that what this hobby needs is a good $10 roleplaying game – and possibly the free PDF of the Basic D&D rules is supposed to fill that niche. We’ll see.
My initial take on the rules is that they are well-written, with a lot of cautions about not thinking there is “one true way” of doing things. I’ve not read that far into the book, but I am cautiously optimistic about it, generally speaking. I retain my doubts that I would shift to 5e from Original D&D (or a retro-clone), but I suspect that I would enjoy playing in a 5e game much more readily that I did in the 4th Edition game I played in three years ago.
More to follow as I continue reading.