External Links

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

5e Arena

by Seth Jones profile


Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

5e Arena is a pit-fighting game based on the rules of the RPG that's synonymous with fantasy adventure. Choose the rank of competition, then battle against three foes back-to-back to win fame, gold, and perhaps more.

How to play
You'll need a character sheet, some dice, and an understanding of the rules of the 5th edition SRD (the ruleset used for the world's most popular tabletop RPG).

This game is designed to be compatible with your at-home or online campaign. You can play between sessions or (with your GM's permission) while other players are shopping, crafting, or role-playing. The game is designed for characters from level 1 to level 3, but higher-level characters could still find a challenge by playing multiple ranks without a rest. Each rank takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.

Game Details


Entrant, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2022


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A smoothly-integrated tool for playing D&D solo, April 30, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

I've seen a few interactive fiction adaptations of RPG systems before (such as the Choicescript Vampire: the Masquerade games). The ones I usually see let you use your stats but generally have pre-written scenes and a constrained set of options to choose from.

This game, instead, provides you a framework to guide you while you set everything up on your own character-wise. For instance, in combat, you are provided with a little map to move your character around, and a way to take turns, and a monster manual entry for the monsters, but instead of rolling dice for you or giving you a set of options, it just asks you to keep track of your actions and the enemies and just let it know when someone is incapacitated, ending the fight.

So this is less a self-contained game than a tool for someone who wishes to try out the DnD experience and is willing to invest the time into making a character. Due to this framework nature, it fits with any kind of expansion or adaptation to the game, any character class.

In a way, it makes it like a virus, not that it's bad or infectious, but in that it can't live on its own and needs other substance to help it grow. Because of that, while I thought it was cool, it felt lacking in the criteria I generally use on this website. The next time I get on a D&D kick, though, and can't find a group, I could definitely see myself pulling this out.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A gamebook simulator with a little too much bookkeeping required, June 15, 2022
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2022

5e Arena is neither fish nor fowl, straddling the gap between choice-based IF and a combat-focused gamebook. I’m only glancingly familiar with the latter tradition – I played one or two of the Lone Wolf books when I was a kid, and am dimly aware that the Fighting Fantasy series was a really big deal across the pond, but for the most this is one element of nerd culture that’s passed me by – and I suspect my lack of experience here is part of the reason why I found 5e Arena a little awkward.

Don’t get me wrong, the premise is straightforward enough: it’s an arena-based combatfest implementing Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition rules, but goes beyond the bare-bones concept by including a card game that allows you to gamble between bouts, opportunities to use your noncombat skills to learn more about your opponents’ personalities and potential tactics, and a couple of funny twists, like the chaos-producing Wheel of Magic in the final fight that injects a random buff or penalty each round. The fact that the announcer highlights that said wheel is sponsored by a local jeweler, and rattles off the shop’s slogan, in the pre-fight patter made me laugh – less intended by the game, when I got to the fill-in box with “Name or Alias?” I typed in “Alias” and emitted a self-congratulatory snigger.

The combat encounters are the real meat, though, and here’s where I think I was tripped up by gamebook conventions. In a paper version of such things, the player is expected to keep a copy of their character sheet and do all the bookkeeping – recording their hit points, rolling the dice, and so on. Which makes sense, as traditional books are not very good at rewriting themselves in response to how they’re read! Computers are good at that sort of thing, though, so I was surprised that 5e Arena doesn’t automate nearly as much of the gameplay as I would have expected. For one thing, there’s no character generation module, nor is there a way to input your character information so the game knows what class you’re playing or your current armor class or hit points; instead, the player needs to roll up their own character and keep track of all that themselves. For another, while there’s a cool little movement grid integrated into the combat window, the game requires the player to manually move the monster as well as the PC but leaves you on the honor system as to how far you go.

The game does do some work, admittedly – beyond listing the monster’s statistics, it also chooses an appropriate attack each round (using melee strikes when it sees that it’s close enough to do so), keeps track of ongoing effects if you’re hit with something like a heat metal spell, and makes rolls for the monsters. But playing the game is a significantly higher-overhead prospect than I would have thought. Again, I’m guessing that this is primarily because folks who play gamebooks enjoy the tactile aspects of flipping through their character sheet, erasing their hit points, and adding up their gold-piece rewards. But that appeal is frankly somewhat lost on me, and I’d have personally preferred to be able to just use the game to play some DnD – all the more so because there’s not much plot to speak of and the fun to be had is just to bash through the roster of foes. So while the game is well-implemented and probably will be appreciated by its target audience, I’d rather just play something that takes advantage of the affordances a computer provides, like the excellent 4x4 Archipelago, instead.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

If you enjoyed 5e Arena...

Related Games

Other members recommend this game for people who like 5e Arena:

The Saint's Tomb, by Seth Jones
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
The Saint's Tomb is a hybrid of a choose-your-own adventure type computer game and a pen-and-paper roleplaying game. It is compatible with the fifth edition of the most popular tabletop roleplaying game in the world (you know the one,...

Suggest a game

This is version 3 of this page, edited by Sayeth on 7 April 2022 at 6:03pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page