76

Note that this answer assumes knowledge and familiarity with D&D 3.5e. (Dis)advantage: A large number of situations and abilities where you would add a positive or negative modifier to a roll have been replaced with advantage (for positive modifiers) and disadvantage (for negative modifiers). This mechanic involves rolling twice and taking the higher ...


65

No, they're very different games. Anything you try to use out of the D&D 5e Player's Handbook will be nonsense to the “game engine” that a D&D 3.5e game uses. It would be like trying to put a Blu-ray disc into a CD-ROM drive: it will superficially look like it fits, but it will not function. To play in their 3.5e game, ask them what you need. They ...


65

I am not going to list all of the mechanical differences between 4e and 5e; though that is the typical, and no doubt expected, answer to this question, 4e and 5e are simply much too different for that approach, in my opinion. Instead, this answer attempts to get at the extreme philosophical differences between 4e and 5e. Ultimately, you are going to have to ...


65

In older (pre-4th) editions of D&D, there was a general philosophy that the purpose of the system was to simulate the functioning of a certain fantasy world. Thus magical powers would often be limited to once per day -- with the explanation that this is just how magic works -- but almost all non-magical powers could be used at will. The idea is that, ...


59

General Stat Generation: Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2e) has moved away from the methods of the past wherein you generated stats using a point buy or rolled them. Instead you receive various ability boosts (a +2 for a stat < 18 or a +1 if the stat is >= 18) from differing aspects of your character that you decide upon over a series of steps. ...


56

I played many years of 2e (and BECMI, 1e. 3e. 3.5e, PF, and OSR stuff) and have read the 5e PHB, Basic set, and Hoard of the Dragon Queen and played some short games, so I think I can give some good points of comparison. I'm excluding the Skills & Powers stuff in late 2e from this discussion, that was less like 2e than many other versions of D&D ...


48

1974, 1990, or 2004, depending In each of these years, a new option was introduced to D&D that was labeled “warlock.” It wasn’t until 2004 that the warlock was its own class, but 1990 had warlock as a wizard kit (similar to 5e’s subclasses), and 1974—that is, the original books for D&D—had warlock as a title held by magic-users of a particular level. ...


43

5e is about as different from Pathfinder as 2e is from 3.x. 5e is trying to bring back certain aspects, most notably the particular AD&D brand of soft-rules + rules-heavy rule paradigm, from the AD&D/D&D 2e line that weren't present in either 3.x or 4e. See also the excellent top rated, accepted, and bounty-receiving answer by @mxyzplk. ...


38

The developers have previewed us with the major system differences on this blog article: Hit Points, Stamina Points, and Resolve Points. In Starfinder, Hit Points measure the health and robustness of a character, while Stamina Points measure a character's readiness and energy (and can be replenished far more easily). Whenever you take damage, your Stamina ...


38

1975—Original D&D, but not playable The original Greyhawk supplement included druids, but they weren’t playable characters. They had a shape-changing ability. 1976—Original D&D, as cleric subclass To the major class of clerics there is also a new subclass, the DRUID. These are similar to the monster of the same name as described in ...


37

In short, yes. There are a few things that make monk on par with the other melee fighting classes. I'll list a few of them here: Dex to attack and damage Monks can apply dex to attacks and damage automatically at level one. Extra attacks Monks are the only class that gets 2 attacks per round at level 1, and they keep up with Fighter attacks per round all ...


37

New and changed moves There are several new moves, with the largest additions being Road war moves (vehicular combat) Subterfuge moves (cat and mouse -style tracking) Tactical and support moves (laying down fire, standing overwatch and keeping an eye out) Single combat (plain 1-on-1 duking it out) Seize by Force receives clarifications for use in varying ...


36

5th Edition Let's look at the main things that "take time" during a turn. Math! Deciding which thing to do. Doing the thing you decided to do. Looking up the rules for the thing you're doing (spells, maybe?). Now, let's compare each point. Math In 3.X, The numbers being thrown around are higher. You can get attack bonus nearly to twenty by 6th ...


35

Trying for a "short and sweet" summary here. Wikipedia has a lot of detail on this topic. OD&D/BD&D (original "white box" D&D, BECMI, Rules Cyclopedia) Fairly simple rules, designed for the GM to fill in all kinds of situations via "rulings" in play. Small sets of classes with little mechanical customization. Gameplay varies, but the general ...


30

Connections and Lack Thereof World of Darkness (Classic) and Chronicles of Darkness (formerly unofficially known as 'new' World of Darkness) are a spiritual predecessor/successor pair, not part of the same setting. Changeling the Lost 2nd edition is not a 4th edition because is only connected with its namesake through the very broad theme of dealing with fae....


30

No other source book currently printed overrides the core rules (unless you want it to) Other than the PHB, DMG, and MM, the only other source book that resembles a general rule book (as opposed to a book describing a setting, adventure module, or other additional content) is Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE). And XGtE explicitly says in its ...


29

Hit Points (HP): how they are treated, comparison across editions TL:DR - as it was in the beginning1, hit points are mostly an abstraction that indicate whether the character/creature is alive or dead based upon how much damage has been taken. 0 HP was the original transition point between being alive and being dead. While there are variations across the ...


29

There's probably a lot of parts that contribute, but I'll give you a few that I've noticed help a lot: Fewer circumstancial bonuses You don't need to remember a ton of minor bonuses, like getting +2 for flanking and +1 against Goblinoids and +1 from your Feat and -2 from being shaken. Every roll is a basic, set amount and you either roll with Advantage, ...


29

This is an interesting question that could be rephrased as "What's not in 5th edition...yet?" because Wizards has indeed been filling in some of the gaps. To start with, though, 4th Edition had much more source material... velocity(?) than 5th. (This is intended, as I understand it). Races are actually one of the easier things though! At its start, ...


28

First, make sure you’re familiar with all of the general differences between 3.5e and 5e, as all of that is going to apply to a druid as much as it applies to everyone else. Animal Companion The 5e Druid doesn’t get an animal companion, at all. That is the exclusive ability of a Beastmaster Ranger. You could take the Ritual Caster feat and cast find familiar,...


28

Monks first Appeared in the Blackmoor Supplement in OD&D (1975) Monks (Order of Monastic Martial Arts), a sub-class of Clerics which also combines the general attributes of Thief and Fighting Man (Blackmoor, p. 1) Monks were introduced as a sub-class of cleric. They had a number of unique skills/powers that have carried forward through the ...


27

For simplicity's sake. I couldn't find a direct statement about opportunity attacks, but I did find the following comments: Mike Mearls, from Amazing Stories Magazine, emphasis added: What we found through the playtest process, though, was that people like quick fights. They like them a lot, it turns out. A battle is part of the game, a point of ...


25

Here's a list of important differences between the two editions, though I will completely agree with KRyan, D&D 3.5 is just so much better, inarguably so than its predecessor. Class Changes Bards received more skill points and spells on their spell lists were changed. Clerics are allowed to spontaneously cast cure and inflict spells of the "mass" ...


25

tl;dr No reason - as long as everyone is on the same page about what an encounter is. What even is an encounter? Part of the change from 4th to 5th was "rulings over rules" - the rules would be simplified in some respects so that DMs could keep the game moving quickly. A strict definition of "Encounter" wasn't fitting with the new ...


24

There are lots of changes, mostly major changes. I can only think about certain spells when thinking about "things that didn't change much", and even those have basic system changes behind them. I will try to keep this short, and list things I believe that are impactful to those who have played the first edition of the game, but keep in mind that this might ...


23

Pathfinder 2e is still more like Pathfinder 1e than D&D 5e The second edition of the Pathfinder rules does not draw very much at all from D&D 5th edition. If anything, there are a handful of influences from D&D 4th edition. Most of the changes between Pathfinder 1e and 2e are new features which don't appear in either 4e or 5e. Similarities to ...


23

2004 The warlock first appeared as a non-core class in Complete Arcane in 2004 for 3rd edition. They were an original core class in the Player[']s Handbook for 4th and 5th edition. The iconic features of all versions are Eldritch Blast and a pact with some sort of higher being. Mechanically these have been different because the different editions of ...


22

Attributes & Abilities Awareness has been added as a Talent. Dodge has been removed as a skill; its former functionality has been moved to Athletics. Security has also been removed; its former functionality has been subsumed by the Larceny skill and the Technology knowledge. Linguistics is no longer a skill; each language known is a 1-dot Merit instead. ...


22

D&D 5e is a completely different game from 3.5e. While the two have superficial similarities, the rules are so far apart from one another that you can't really use one set of rule with the other. Your 5e books will not do. If the people you're playing with already have the 3.5e games, you don't need any books - they already have all the books you ...


22

OD&D (1e) Multiclassing was not supported initially (three brown books) unless one played an elf. The elf version of “multiclassing” was to advance as a magic-user (up to level 8) and a fighting man (up to level 4) by default. The Greyhawk supplement provided for multiclassing into the thief class for some non-humans (elves, dwarves). It also introduced ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible