I’ve been reading through the 5E Stranger Things Starter Set rule book and I have got to admit that it is probably the best-written ruleset I’ve ever encountered. It is well-organized, clear, and concise without being so bare-bones that I’m left with a lot of questions. I am sure that a million things are being left out of the introductory rules intended for new gamers, of course, but I am very impressed with it so far.
I am also more than a bit surprised to discover that I am rather enjoying the read-through and am respecting the rules a lot more than I expected. No, it’s not exactly the game that I would most want to play, but neither is it the bloated monstrosity that I feared it would be. Again, I am sure that at least some of this is due to the introductory nature of this starter rule book and that had I dove in with the core Player’s Handbook that I’d be ranting about a lot of newschool crap right now, instead.
I am not sure, but I suspect that this Stranger Things edition of the Starter Set uses the same text and rules as the normal 5E Starter Set and simply adds Stranger Things dressing. I am not sure, but nothing Stranger Things-related has actually been mentioned in the rules. I do know that the included adventure is a Stranger Things-themed adventure instead of the regular Starter Set adventure.
One of my goals here is to understand current newschool ideas a bit better and be able to see exactly how and where they differ from my preferred oldschool games. Another goal is to be able to actually play a game of 5E. Finally, I have been working on some additions to my B/X game, several of which I understand are similar to the ways that 5E does some things, and I want to be sure that what I’m doing is the best it can be done for my game. I’m not at all above taking ideas from other games and incorporating them into mine, even if those ideas come from newer games that many oldschoolers love to bash.
I am not shocked at all to find the 5E rules interesting and to see some good ideas. I am a bit shocked, though, at how much I am actually enjoying the reading.