So, as i'm sure you'll be aware - theres been internet controversy (read: no big deal really) about the new edition of 'The Game' and who spoke with the designers a few times about playstyles they enjoy. Im hoping most of you are, like me, of the opinion that you really couldn't give a fuck. I wont re-tread ground about the issue, everyone else is re-hashing the same viewpoints so you'll find it somewhere on the web, but I do want to talk about my thoughts on the game, and how its going to impact my home group over the coming months.
So I guess for me the only important thing is the question, are we switching? Answer is, quite-possibly-maybe-not-but-then-again-who-knows. Its sure got some fun mechanics in it. It's got some really dull and tedious ones too, the reality is that having played a fair amount of indie rpg's our group has been exposed to really interesting and different ways of dealing with situations at the table, and many of the ways d&d goes about resolving them feels, tired? Clunky? Here's what's first on my list to house rule.
Movement. 5e is feet (or squares) I can see the usefulness of having this information, the well is 7ft wide, the ladder 14ft tall. But do I want to have to deal with it all the time? No. Engaged, Nearby, Far-away thank-you-very-much. Possible Fate zones if you wanted to.
Monster mechanics = Yawn. If you're like "you have to make monsters do interesting things" I get you - its my job to make it interesting for the players. But trust me run a session of 13A and see how much more fun you have with monsters that are hardwired to be interesting in the first place. And then have the pull stunts. Double bubble.
Classes seem ok, I like the fact that you can build a super simple fighter, or with later rules, a complex guy with loads of moves and options. And im guessing, based on the limited covering of topics in the starter set that the GM experience will be as easy as 4e. CR is back for you 3/3.5 fans, but its appearing to work much more like the 4e xp buy system. Which was for me, one of the few saving graces of running that game.
The fact is, the way we play d&d, our 'kung fu style' will be whatever it is regardless of the rules, its just how long will those rules provide entertainment for? We're a year into 13A and Im still very happy running it, as are my players. We're coming to the end of a campaign arc at the moment, we'll run the starter set and see where we go from there. Theres a lot of adventure to be had at Phandelver.