Have you been wondering how my middle schoolers did with The Lost Mines of Phandelver?
This is a quiz:
Two of your five party members are down (thief and fighter), half of your party's offensive spells have been spent until the next rest, and a gang of brigands are on the way up the stairs. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!!
A.) pick up wounded and retreat from dungeon to rest.
B.) Stand your ground and confront the brigands at the top of the stair.
C.) Fall back into the shadows and, using Darkvision, snipe the brigands (both elf and dwarf are still up).
D.) Split the party, flee deeper into the unexplored portions of the dungeon, pause only long enough to cast Sleep on your remaining fighter before leaving him to be captured, split the party again, try to be stealthy in scale armor, antagonize bugbears, and barricade yourself in a wizard's lab.
Guess which option my players picked?
The best part? The BEST part was when the lone surviving dwarf cleric broke through his own barricade to enter the wizard's (apparently empty) bed chamber. In plain sight of the pursuing bugbears, spying an empty chest, he promptly jumped in. The monsters rolled the chest over and sat on it until a chain could be fetched ... then it was over the side of the bridge and into the chasm for poor mister dwarf.
So ... that was fun, but it brought us to this week ... and character generation. Now up to six players (how did that happen?) we had already rolled stats and picked races. Still, racial abilities, classes, proficiency slots, equipment, and backgrounds took us at least an hour.
We used the fast-build options and didn't even bother with Alignment, Inspiration, Flaws, etc. (some of which is quite cool). Obviously it will get quicker with repetition, but MAN ... a whole session for character generation is a bit of a drag. It made me miss Moldvay / Labyrinth Lord and character creation that A.) takes less than 5 min B.) can be completed on one side of an index card.
So far, sluggish character generation seems to be the main weakness of D&D 5th ed.