What is your favorite aspect so far?

As the title implies; what's you're favorite thing in 5e s far? 

Personally, I think the advantage and disadvantage system seems real interesting and fun.
Yep, advantage and disadvantage system, the new hit dice healing system, and the mixture of vancian and pathfinder-4e style casting of spells. I also really like how they trimmed a lot of fat away from the character sheet and rolled it into your ability scores.
compared to 3.5:

  • at-wills for wizards, this is a huge win in my book

  • backgrounds

  • themes

compared agianst 4e:

  • Backgrounds give a pretty healthy skill bonus which is nice and some equally powerful abilities

  • The more detailed breakout of skills again

in general:

  • simplicity of rules

  • the character sheet layout (though I'm sure this will change), I do like it, includes a good amount of info while being concise  

Will have to play and see what else

I really quite like the dynamic of themes and backgrounds in addition of the classic class/race combination. We only get 5 of each at the moment but I must resist tweaking with them to create new combinations.

I definately want to see more of the ritual mechanic in the future. 
I am liking the very simple rules structures. I like the skill system and how well it integrates into the thems and background choices. I like how the themes and backgrouns flesh out your characters backgrournd as well as grant abilities and skills, as will as give a role playing benifite, such as the knight being able to ask for room and food from nobels, and a cleric being able to go into a local temple of his faith and get free healing. That is probably my favorite aspect so far. 

We can already see how a fighter that choses guardian would be very different from that choses slayer, and heck, a fighter could even chose healer and learn how to make healing potions, or magic user and get the cantrip of ray of frost at will. Some combos don't work so well though, such as mage taking slayer, unless I am reading it wrong and a wizard that kills a enemy with a shocking grasp could cast shocking grasp again on another adjacent enemy.  

In terms of concepts, I am pretty much liking it all. In terms of balancing out the details, that will come with play testing.  
Some combos don't work so well though, such as mage taking slayer, unless I am reading it wrong and a wizard that kills a enemy with a shocking grasp could cast shocking grasp again on another adjacent enemy.  

I was thinking the same thing but I went to check, 
The reaper feature seems to cover any attacks, so it seems ok for a wizard (for his damaging spells of course).
The cleave feature as worded cover any melee attacks so I would say yes to shocking grasp.

Obviously you must be in melee but then again it seem to be a viable combination.

hands down, advantages and disavantages in my book is a winner. also likes how wizards is trying to make combat faster. hit die gives a reasonable compromidse to both 3rd and 4th edition players.

liking that touch and grapple attacks are treated as standard so far.
easier monster stat blocks, much needed. 

oh! the official introducton of the electrum piece! nice!   

also , the return of cover in combat, i felt spycraft used that best of any rpg in that regard. 

i'm slighty concerned that the lack of feats will homogenize pcs, but i'll wait to see if this gets covered later on or not.
not big on just max damage for critical hits, however.    gahh, spell components? sigh, wished that wizards would just use costs for spells based of a mana point cost, and eliminate this.

so far, i like it, looking forward to running this sunday.

gahh, spell components? sigh, wished that wizards would just use costs for spells based of a mana point cost, and eliminate this. 

Spell components ?
There isn't much spell components except in the case of ritual (which is an optional way to cast spell without preparing them)
or a permanent (or allegedly major) effect in play (such as continual light)

I may be wrong of course but I did not see spell components for battle spells. 
There were feats.  They just got listed on the character sheet instead of in a section.
agree with most of what previous posters have said. The character sheet is pretty consice but I would like to see a better arangement in the finished product... maybe bring back the shield emblem for the AC, LOL.  The new versions of Ability scores serving as saving throws is top notch.  I would like to see a full skills list; did I miss it somehow?  Also, don't see any Feats, though it seems as if they are rolled into Class, Background & Theme.  Liking what I'm seeing... but would like more charts, ala AD&D.
Advantage/Disadvantage?  EXTRA DOUBLE CHECK.  This is a winner IMO.
Carry Capacity?  Check.
Surprise? Check.
Combat simplified/sped up? Check.
Magic is magical again? Check.
Ethereal Plane? Check.
Simplified Monster Stat Blocks?  Check.

I enjoyed playing 4E, but it felt like a chess match.  3.5 was a bit too heavy on +2's this and that for my taste.

5E reminds me alot of 2E at this point, and I must say I am liking it.  I have a hope that it will rekindle the flickering D&D Candle that burns in my window!

Two thumbs up WotC!
Would love to add to this but alas still waiting for the link to work!!!
I think the preparation mechanics are a big win.  The equipment list, the adventurers pack, the healing kit, etc... all great stuff.  Indicates they intend on allowing a game that tracks stuff.   Very handwavable by those that dislike such things but much harder if not there for those of us that do like it.
As tough as the HTTP 400 error is, I'll definitely have a lot of XP when I beat it!
I think I enjoy the old school monster flavor text the most thus far. That being said... I have not read much further than a quick purusal of the bestiary. Some of those descriptions are straight out of the original Monster Manual or Moldvay basic set I swear.
I am enjoying the simplified spells with the old school feel.  Big win in my opinion!
My Top 3

- Rogue gets the ability to see in the dark as a class ability. This is huge, and something D&D has needed a long time. I always hated being forced into picking a dwarf rogue because it's the only way you could ever see in the dark. Otherwise you just wandered around blindly waiting to get eaten or had to carry a torch.

- Abolishing the 3E/4E magic item market. I was quite happy to read that magic items are no longer sold for gold.

- Kept the 4E concept of boosting starting HP and making 1st level character's somewhat resilient.

Where in the text does it mention the Ethereal Plane?
The advantage/disadvantage is fantastic. It's the equivalent of not quite a +/- 5 for the expected value of the roll, but it also drastically adjusts the variance associated with those rolls. You will see a lot more (not quite double) critical hits and misses because of it. Makes combat very fun!

The stealth mechanic is good and the rogue is specifically good at using it (see lurker bonus) to make sure that they get their sneak attack even when they move to a place where they're seen.

The fighter can do great stuff. I mean dirty, nasty damage. Or be a defender and shield his allies. It's all there for them (lacking some maneuvers that I think others will want, though).

I really like the six saves (stop dumping charisma, guys!)

The skills system just speaks for itself. It's so versitile and useful. I know that 4e was just a good about it, but when I actually read the system I really felt like there was nothing I couldn't try to do (and isn't that what we're going for?)

I know that this edition may not be everyone's cup of tea, and that's cool. No need for any value judgements. That said, I am really quite excited to see where they take this stuff. 

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Where in the text does it mention the Ethereal Plane?

Page 14 of the "How to Play" Guide.
Advantage/Disadvantage is fantastic because it simply eliminates the long list of modifiers and we are (currently) reduced only to Ability Scores and Cover.

Also page 16, second paragraph of 'Selling Loot' - THANK YOU MIKE MEARLES!

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Simpler "One action" + move
Im not sure how i like the simple fighter as of yet, but I am actually liking what im reading sofar.

I am not sure how i feel about gridless being assumed, and with that some of the AoE's like Cone and Cylinder but im hopeful that it will better in an actual tactical module.

But onward to the beastiary and player characters.

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The big winner for me is Advantage & Disadvantage.  It took a minute to get used to, but the idea has really grown on me.  The Hit Dice healing also seems pretty good.

Beyond that, I'll need to get some play time in to say.  There are several things I really dislike from the read through, but that's not what this thread is about.

I love D&D more than I could ever love a human child.

Where in the text does it mention the Ethereal Plane?

I think there is a spell that turns you ethereal, or it was a. Oyster trait, don't remember. 
For me, it's definitely the elimination of skills and the three-save model. I just beat Planescape: Torment, and that game really showed me just how superfluous skills really are. Even though you could only be a fighter, thief, or mage and the only options your had were spells and ability scores, I was surprised how unique my character could feel based on just those options.

And perhaps most importantly: this will be the easiest edition yet to bring in new players. 1st ed was counter-intuitive and restrictive, 3rd ed was unforgiving complex, and 4th ed felt like a wargame (never looked into second edition). Accessibility is one of the most undervalued assets of a gaming system, and I'm glad to see 5th ed feels rock-solid in this context.  
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Ran a few hours of play-testing earlier today with 2 buddies (yes, both registered).  Mostly good points so far. One minor thing; I saw no place which handled Experience Points, not hugely important in a playtest but worth mentioning.   I just assumed the total was to be divided amongst the players as it has been in other versions of the game.  WotC, let me know if this is correct or not.

On the character sheets, it would have helped to have what the Wizard & Cleric spells actually do.  That way, you wouldn't have to look them up; I did this ahead of time because I only printed out the characters, not the spell lists.  When the game is finished, I'm assuming we'll have a Player's Handbook to look them up in. 

Criticals are WEAK!!! You can do the same damage as a critical hit with a regular attack; there is nothing special about it.  IMHO, it needs to be changed to be "you do Max damage for your attack PLUS another roll"... like a d8 for a longsword.

Have not seen anything that spells out flanking; Yes, there is Advantage/Disatvantage; which one applies?? the Character being flanked has a Disatvantage... the flankers have an Advantage.  Speaking of which, I like the idea of Advant/Disatvant but I want some more details.

Definitely like the way Hit Points work at 0 and below.  In the encounter with the Hobgoblin warlord, she sent 2 wounded party members into the negatives.  The Death Save has made it's triumphant return!

Another problem: the updated Keep on the Borderlands module has some magic items in it but no details on what they are or do (in cases where it is not obvious). Luckily for me, I actually have a copy of the Original "The Keep on the Borderlands" to refer to.  In the case of re-named items, it's helpful.
I want to preface this with that I am reguarly telling people, that I am a 4E Player and you cant make me go back. I've played 2nd Ed some and played 3rd edition till 4th came out. One of the core design goals I remember reading for 4E was that tehy wanted to make it more fun to play. 3rd edition had embraced structure in the rules and 4th sought to make those rules more fun and less  biased and powergame-y.

With all that said. I am absolutely loving just about everything I have seen so far with the direction they are going with Next. The Classic Heroic adventure stylings of 1st-2nd edition with a more refined game-play structure of 3rd and 4th.

Things I like:

Advantage/Disadvantage - Simple and very utilitarian. Combined with Simple DC's that can be assigned by the DM or used in a contested roll its a very simple solution to numerous modifiers.

The fact that the bonuses a character recieves as it levels appear to be very slow (and thus making the gaining of those bonuses more pronounced) you dont need alot of modifiers and your target DC's, AC's etc do not need to have an ever upward power escalation (half level bonus etc) to 'remain competative' etc..

Equipment matters! Money! Matters!! As much as I like 4E if I had one true big complaint, it is that the magic item system disillusions you to the significance of magic items. Aquiring Gold in 4E is almost a non-treasure. The significance of having gold to pay for misc items like healers potions and kits, caltrops and ball barrings. Tracking ammo! (I never thought I'd be almost giddy to care about tracking ammo, because it would make getting arrows off of corposes all the more significant or possible timely).

Once again, as a 4E Player I'm a little surprized I'm saying this but I like the power curve. characters are not super-stars or billionairs compared to commmoners. The more classic 1st/2nd ed. power curve is actually welcome I think while learning from 3rd and 4th a that value of At-Will, Encounter, Daily Power structure. Wizards no longer have to break out their crossbow cause they ran out of spells and fighters get assorted augments to their attack ability such as Cleave or the ability to make multiple attacks.

Race, Class, Theme and Background. The value of htis concept I think is one of my favorite  of all. You no longer have to cram everything into a single class or race. I envision that things like Multi-Classing will be almost unnessiary under this structure. The suggestion earlier that a Fighter with Guardian will play different that a Fighter with Slayer or one with the Healer or even the Magic User theme provided that most themes do not have too many class/race limits.  I also like how Background complement everything else. Combined with I assume is a the fifth customizing axis of chosable feats (vs those supplied via class, race, theme or background), players hopefully will have enough of a variety of choices to make for diverse characters.

I think my only complaints so far is that I dont like Vanican Magic concept.  I like the idea of the wizard having a portfolio of prepared spells and can cast any of its prepared spells if it has an available spell slot of hte appropriate level. Prehaps give wizards a larger pool of preparable spells but fewer spells per day to help highlight wizards flexability and/or make wizards as a class gifted at casting ritualized spells (reduced cost, cast time or enhanced duration, whatever).

Oh. And Has anyone noticed that the Adventurers Kit only has 9.5gp and 27lbs worth of stuff in it for a cost of 10gp and 40lbs!?

(sorry for the long post)
My favorite aspect so far, after reading through the playtest rules and characters today is easily the feel of D&D: that classic fantasy atmosphere and flavor is everywhere - yet with plenty of easy-to-use and familiar rules.

In a word: balance.

D&D's back baby!  This edition looks to strike that elusive but crucially immersive balance of crunch and flavor like never before, truly looking like a Best Of.  I'm excited!

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The effects of the Magic items were at the end of the Adventure.

As far as Flanking Goes, since the basic game assumes no grid and doesnt push the idea of tactical positioning I'm not surprized its not in their.

The rules do make mention of facing, that opens the window to perhaps have an enemy being flaked either grants advantage to enemies on one side if them . OR they can have themselves have disadvantage on any of its attacks as they split their attention both facings but, do not grant advantage to their enemies. This is easily in the realm of DM adjudication as a situational benefit.
Advantage/disadvantage is about it after a cursory readthrough of the rules.  It's about the only thing that' innovative and interesting, and not making me go 'huh, really, they took THAT out, and put THAT back in?!'.
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I would have to agree with most of what has been said, with emphasis on "Balance". I believe that this edition will be more balanced but I am not certain about some of the things I have read. For instance, I do not think that skills have been eliminated, just more simply implemented for the playtest. Also, they are referred to on page 1. It would be unrealistic for a grunt soldier to have untrained knowledge, say of Alchemy, simply because he has a high Int.

Advantage and Disadvantage are an interesting option, though it will take some getting used to.

I am fine with the HP building method but just the tiniest bit apprehensive about the Long Rest healing option. I think it needs a little tweaking but I reserve judgment until after the playtest. The Negative HP and Death Saves make my evil, shrivel-hearted DM day.

Conditions and Saves are excellent, magic seems... interestring but I am not entirely sure about its balance. Also, Save DCs seem a bit lame. The best you can hope for until you can raise your stats (if that will be an option at all), is a DC 14 save for your spells. Coupled with having the Wizard use attack rolls, it seems somewhat limiting. Hopefully this can be remedied through Feats (strange times - I thought Feats were a humongus pain in the ass and here they may actually serve some function.

Background and Theme: EXCELLENT!

The return of XP vs CR, also a great relief.

I will plan a try run ASAP and return with more.
I like the prominent role of ability scores.

I do not care for dump stats unless I choose to dump a stat because it mirrors the character in my mind.  Sometimes I picture a fighter who should be very intelligent by my imagination, but it seems a high cost to attribute valuable ability score points to scores that will be of little use just to make that happen. This system brings some value to each ability score even if it is unusual to the class, and that's cool.

Now I think it might be even cooler if that could go a bit further. What if there were more benefits to having smart fighters? A smart fighter would fight differently than a brutish fighter, so maybe a high intelligence score could be a prerequisite for some kinds of feats or something that would open up a tactical fighting style? Maybe that would make a tactical warlord kind of character who would have some mechanical benefits/variances based on that particular array of ability scores.
Advantage/Disadvantage is interesting, but I'm still not sure on how the math plays out.

My favorite things reading through the docs:
1. You can split your move before and after your attack.
2. Things like taking out a potion and drawing a weapon are free actions. One of my few gripes with 4e was to drink a potion, you had to minor draw it, minor drink it. 
Chalk me up as another advantage fan.  It's a simple, elegant new rule that shows innovation in the system and avoids alienating anybody.  Seriously, for all the negativity that was inevitable on this forum, I have yet to see anybody saying "Advantage sucks!"  That's amazing.  And it's exactly the sort of design we need.
My favourite aspect is a toss up among the magic system with the blending of at wills with the Vancian system, the advantage/disadvantage rules, and the movement rules.
gahh, spell components? sigh, wished that wizards would just use costs for spells based of a mana point cost, and eliminate this. 

Spell components ?
There isn't much spell components except in the case of ritual (which is an optional way to cast spell without preparing them)
or a permanent (or allegedly major) effect in play (such as continual light)

I may be wrong of course but I did not see spell components for battle spells. 

from the how to play booklisted "spell components", pg 23
won't list it here, but i suggest you read it.

oddly enough my favorite thing, individual favorite thing, from everything I have read so far is in fact on the Wizards character sheet.  Although it could be on anyone's sheet because it is the background sage.  More precisely I love the sage's researcher ability.  No matter what he knows where to find the information for any knowledge check.  If he doesn't know it right now he can find the info.  

I like the somewhat vauge nature of it because it opens up so much side questing or plot redirection.  Okay I need these guys back in this city and they keep trying to figure stuff out and the sage just failed his knowledge check, sweet you know you can find that information in the library back in the city i need you in, or awesome that information can only be found in the library of zebraxis....the necromnacer...he generally dislikes guests.  

BOOM random adventure because you guys need a tidbit of knowledge that the wizard failed to know off the top of his head.  Or if it is something either non plot specific or I actually have a game plan for this session it's just oh you can find that in this book you have up in your room, or you can find it in the local temple's library or something like that.  Maybe have an encounter or two as part of it instead of full on adventure or if it wasn't something he was supposed to fail (sometimes they just roll without fully asking and get low numbers) you can just hand wave it using the researcher ability, and expand the story slightly.  

The other background abilities are awesome as well and can result in adventures.  The temple services ability, "Yeah we will heal you guys up  while you are here good sir priest we need x done", enjoy x side adventure real quick.  The knight status can be used in a similar way.

I think overall I like that plot hooks are in fact mechanically dropped into the characters.  It directly relates to the character, and is composed of one or more solid plot hooks.  Not every one of these background abilities need to be like this (endurance is baller), but it is nice to see things like this.

What I like the most so far is that everything sounds familiar... Races, classes, spells, weapon and armor names, monsters. It's good to have D&D back.

My second most favorite thing so far is the elegant and simple rules.

And in details:

Advantage/Disadvantage: Nice, clean, simple, elegant. I really like this.

Surprise: I don't remember how it worked in 4th edition but this is nice and simple. I really like this. No extra turns,  surprised critters just go last.

Saving Throws: I'm surprised the 4th edition game designers didn't come up with this one. This makes things so much easier.

Skills: I just love this! Simple and open-ended. No more actions tied to ability scores or micromanagement of skills. A background and a few ability scores and you're good to go.

Background/Themes: The natural evolution of AD&D Kits, Prestige classe and Paragon Paths. There's nothing brilliant here but it's still a nice feature.

Math: No more +1/2 level, bab, spell DC that increases with spell level, etc... All this math was a pain in the ass.

Conditions: Nothing new here either but I like how these work. I especially how Charmed, Frightened and Invisible work. Charmed is no longer an "instant Diplomacy check"; frightened doesn't have any clunky mechanics to describe how the critter is fleeing; and invisibility is no longer the ultimate defense.

Spell Durations: I'm not going to miss all those "X until the end of your next turn".

And so many more little details that are "simple and functional", just the way rules should be.

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