It’s The Power Curve

I’ve not played 5th edition. I own the DMG, PHB, Monster Manual, DM screen and the starter set. When the game came out, I fully intended to run a campaign and I still might. I am hesitant to do so. Just as one can be introduced to a strange food combination like lutefisk ice cream and reasonably say, “Not for me,” I look at 5E and think the same thing. I may be wrong. I might try it and think, “Wow, I’ve been missing out.” I doubt it.

The reason for that is the power curve. I look at 5E and what a character can do by fifth level and for my tastes, its a fantasy supers game. I don’t mind that concept as long as it is balanced out by the dangers the characters face.  Earthdawn is very much a fantasy supers game and that is built into the game. In Earthdawn your super powered characters could swat a peasant with relative ease whilst being swept aside as an afterthought by the most powerful monsters in the game. There’s always a foe that could wipe out your entire party in a few rounds of combat. The feeling that your characters are vulnerable never goes away in Earthdawn. You look at the stats for one of the great dragons or the worst of the horrors and shudder.

5E players can challenge the mightiest monsters, perhaps even minor deities or major demon lords and feel like they have a good probability of winning. 4E was certainly worse in this regard and probably one reason why Pathfinder was taking away its market share. For me, this is not so much fun. I’d rather play in and DM a game where the players never feel so sure of themselves.

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