After doing a more thorough read of the D&D 5e Player’s Handbook, I’m beginning to understand why the game has become so popular: there’s something for almost everybody here.
Take a look at the cover. Newbies will see heroes fighting a giant in artwork reminiscent of a computer game, and yet grognards we read the description as see the name King Snurre and say, Ah! He’s from the Against the Giants modules!
And you see all sorts of references to older material throughout. (There’s also a marketing term for this: upselling.)
Perusing through the races and class, you see lots of options, but not MOAR OPTIONS! for the sake of MOAR OPTIONS! If you get my meaning. The folks at Wizards of the Coast really tried to appeal to as many players as they could, old and new.
The elf entry wouldn’t be a proper elf entry without drow (but where are the grey elves?) Humans may get a bonus feat at first level, harkening back to prior editions, if the variant rule is allowed. Tieflings appeal to the feelings of angsty outsiders.
The Paths in the character classes fulfill a number of niches, depending on how a player envisions a given class. For example, I see Bards as more like loremasters, rather than musicians in battle. Well, whaddya know? there’s College of Lore Path which does just that.
I’m not certain what to think of a Druid being able to Wild Shape at 2nd level, but I like the Circle of the Land and Circle of the Moon Paths. You can play a Druid with a mystical connection to the land, or with greater powers of Wild Shape.
Do you want your ranger to fight with a weapon in each hand (you know, like Drizzt)? Chose two weapon fighting. Do you see him as a defender of civilization (you know, like Aragorn)? Chose the Hunter Archetype. Or a maybe you want her to have an animal companion? Chose the Beast Master Archetype.
I’m puzzled about the paladin. Are they supposed to be good-aligned, or not? I guess if you have the right Oath, they don’t have to be?
The same thing goes with the Rogue Assassin Archetype?
As for spellcasters: pick what you like best. I guess. Options within options. And if you don’t find what you want, I guess there’s probably something in the recent supplements published.
In Part 1, I mentioned how I’d ban Dragonborn from my games (if I ever run). I’ve also never been a big fan of monks. But then I thought, what if I created Dragonborn Monk? It’s sounds something you’d fight in Mortal Kombat with the Dragonborn’s breathweapon as the finishing move.
In fact, that might be my first character (if I get ever get to play).