This Monday I am hosting a D&D game for 3 people. 2 of them have played one (very badly run) game of D&D before and 1 has never played. I played the game with the other two (it was ran by an old friend of ours), so I have very little experience too. I am being the GM, and I am trying to make as simple and "standard" a game as possible. I have a short (5/6 encounters) mini-campaign to introduce us to the game.

Now I have a question. I don't own the books for any editions of D&D but I do have PDFs for 5e. Would you recommend using that edition or is there a better edition for newbs to play?

EDIT based on Comments:

The story I am running is a loosely linked campaign set in the world of Enroth (Heroes Of Might and Magic 3). The first adventure we will be running on Monday will be a quest to save a village from a Daemon infestation. We are rather softcore RPGers, we are not going to be playing all too often but definitely more than once. So the types of games we want are as simple as possible and teaching us the basics so we can create better, more advanced games as time goes on.


closed as primarily opinion-based by doppelgreener, Miniman, mxyzplk Jul 19 '15 at 14:56

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


5e is great for new players. I personally started out on 5e, with the only previous experience with D&D in general being a single session of 3.5 that ended in disaster.

5e is a very intuitive system that has a surprisingly low amount of math involved. You don't get nearly as many bonuses to your rolls as you did in previous editions, and situational bonuses have been rolled into the new (dis)advantage system. The system is very easy to learn, but has been criticized as lacking customization depth. That shouldn't be a problem for first-time players.

As for advice for DM'ing? I have two things: One, read a lot. Go looking for information on how to DM games. I can personally recommend theangrygm.com. Secondly, don't run the session on Monday. Wait at least a week, maybe even more. Make sure you've read the entirety of the 5e basic rules (both DM and player's versions) at least once, and re-read the important chapters like combat a few times. It'll make the game run much smoother, and you're less likely to get bogged down with rules questions that you don't know the answer to.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for discussion. Put question in your question; comments should be temporary things used to clarify the question or answer only. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 19 '15 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1. 5e's a good edition, but unless you've actually compared it to more of the other editions you can't honestly claim to know it's the best for new players. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jul 20 '15 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't with absolute authority say that 5e is the best system for new players, but it has been easy to learn for me and my group, and the person in my group that has played 3.5 says that 5e is much more intuitive for new players. \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Jul 20 '15 at 1:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ And that's why this question is now closed. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 20 '15 at 4:24

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