Four Very Different D&D 5e Experiences

At SnowCon last weekend, I played four four-hour sessions of D&D 5e. I came away with four completely different experiences.

The first game was Death & Taxes, with Edwin Nagy (Lesser Gnome Zach Glazier was also at the convention, but he was wandering around enjoying himself elsewhere in the room). There was a fine balance of exploration and fighting in this session. It was my first 5e session of the con, and I was getting used to playing the edition again. I found my dragonborn cleric rather interesting, and I was also interested in how the other players ran the other characters at the table. We were unable to finish the adventure (it is an entire boxed set), but it got me interested in 5e and interested in maybe purchasing the Death & Taxes boxed set.

The second game was called Coming Down the Mountain. We were escorting a caravan through a mountain pass and had to stop for the night in a waystation near the top of the mountain. We were woefully nonproficient and allowed our charge to be kidnapped. We had to invade a Yeti cave system to rescue people. What was especially fun for me in this game was the extent to which I could roleplay my character. I played a gnome barbarian (who was raised by, really). The game setup seemed (to me, as just one player out of 4) to be just background for really hamming it up with my gnome. I left feeling really good about my roleplaying. The fact that we accomplished our mission was secondary.

The third game was brilliant. It was called Smash & Grab. We were to enter a complex to retrieve a magical lamp before other parties could find it. Little did we know what this really meant. A few things struck me about this game. The first was my character. It was a tiefling warlock that, to this moment, I would love to run for an entire campaign, 1st to 30th level. The kicker in the sitting, though, was the time our whole table got up, moved to another table with another DM and other players, and played through an encounter with our two groups meeting up at the end the adventure to fight the big bad guy and retrieve the lamp. This was a completely unexpected treat that multiplied the fun I was already having.

The final game was a conversion of the Tomb of Horrors to 5e. There was no fighting. There was little roleplaying (we tried, but the scenario didn't really encourage it). It was all trap finding and problem solving. We worked together, watched out for each other, and survived as long as the timer allowed us to play. The experience was highly satisfying, especially the fact that we explored further than the group who played the night before, and therefore we won a prize from the DM.

There. Four very different D&D 5e session, each one fun for a different reason. I would definitely consider this a versatile game.

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