I've not delved down to this area of the forums before but as i've recentley started DM'ing D&D again I thought i would discuss it here. I've played D&D probably as long as as I've played any other game I think my first taste was aroung 1989 playing in a AD&D party (my first character was a fighter called Sir Caltan).
Over the years I played and ran quite a bit of 3rd and 3.5 but it always felt too focused on character building for me. Also I ran a lot of 4th, while it had some nice ideas and some really great published adventures it alway felt to much like a board game with too many MMO style powers involved. By this point I was kind of finished with D&D and had finally burn out with it and moved back to playing wargames exclusivley (all my books were consigned to the loft of doom).
So one day acouple of years ago I hear about D&D next, and that open playtesting that was going on I remember thinking "that sounds good idea" I even signed up for the playtesting and looked at some of the early stuff, but alas my heart just wasn't in it and my goup had disolved so it drifted to the back of my hobby mind.
Then on christmas morning 2014 I opened up one of my presents (it was from my little girl) and it was the new D&D starter set. I must admit i was a bit disapointed with the content of the box compared to the red box but I sat down on boxing day to read it and my whole perception of 5th changed, It was like a breath of fresh air it reinvigorated my DM brain and before you know it i had rounded up some of my old buddies and started playing again. I loved it and they loved it and the adventure in the basic game is fantastic too.
The fact they put all the basic rules and many resources on the wizards of the coast site for free was the icing on the cake. It ment that my buddies could get back into the game without spending a penny, I think it was a brilliant tactic by wizards of the coast, as it let me and my buddies get a feel for D&D 5th and gained back a lot of good will too.
While the free rules are complete enough that you could easily play forever using the rules on the website and never buy any thing else, it got us all hooked again and before you know it I had bought all the core books and the two written adventure suplements and most of my buddies had bought a players handbook at least.
If any of you guys are like me and had dismissed 5th as not nessesary I would say get the free stuff and give it a go it really captures the spirit of the AD&D days but with a rule set that is not too complicated to bog down the adventure while being complex enough allow great play and character building. the combat flows better than 4th ever did and playing the game is much less of a rules hunting exercise than 3rd or the open d20 sytem was.
All in all they have hit the nail on the head and produced the best version of D&D they ever have, all the playtesting really seems to have paid off.
What's every one elses 5th edition experience been? I'm interested to see if there are other like me who have been reinvigorated by it.