I was a hard sell on D&D Next. After 4th Edition, I had basically written off D&D. I was pretty sure Wizards had completely lost their way. Turns out I was wrong. They were smart enough to listen to the fans.
After perusing some playtest materials about a week before the Basic Set dropped, I was interested enough to grab the Basic Rules and the Starter Set box. The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is out, and I love it so far. I miss our old dungeon crawling campaigns. 5E is really trying to capture the old-school feel, the stuff that made roleplaying and made it great. It’s succeeding with me a lot better than any other new-fangled game I’ve tried recently.
So with that in mind, what’s more old-school than shooting a dragon with a laser you got from a crashed UFO?
Laser Pistol: Damage 1d8 radiant, 2 lbs., Range 30/120.
Laser Rifle: Damage 1d10 radiant, 4 lbs., Range 40/120, Two-Handed.
Phase Weapons: As with Laser Pistols and Laser Rifles, but also has a stun setting. Target must make a CON save or stunned for 1d4+1 rounds. DC is 15 for Pistols and 20 for Rifles.
Light Sword: Damage 1d10 radiant, 2 lbs., Versatile (1d12), Finesse.
Photon Grenade: Damage 1d10 radiant, 1 lb., Range 25/70. Affects up to 3 adjacent targets.
Energy Weapon Proficiency is a new category of weapons, aside from simple and martial. Adventurers don’t gain their Proficiency bonus to attack rolls until they spend a feat slot to learn Energy weapons.
Alternatively, if the PC uses an energy weapon reliably for most of the time they spend gaining a level, the DM may allow that PC to treat the weapon as martial from then on. Or the DM can let the PC spend a point of Inspiration to suddenly figure out energy weapons. Or, in a science fantasy or space fantasy campaign, they can ignore the whole issue and treat energy weapons as martial.
Ammunition for energy weapons is pretty hard to find outside of spaceship ruins. Most energy weapons, when found, have 1d30 charges.
Unwieldy: Energy weapons are kind of scary and unwieldy for primitive types (like most PCs) to use. If the PCs wield them carefully, they take a disadvantage on their rolls. If they don’t, a natural roll of 2 or 3 are treated as a natural 1 on attack rolls. Once a PC becomes proficient with energy weapons, they no longer need to worry about this issue.