|Had to edit to change to this picture,|
which I like better.
The game includes some things that I have come to expect from WotC editions, such as a single experience point chart that applies to all classes, a boosting of hit points over the original editions, a fixed-score option for character creation, and so on. It also has the things that I was told to expect by the playtesters, such as the advantage/disadvantage mechanic (which, I have to say, is a pretty good idea).
I haven't read it deeply yet, just skimmed it, but there are a couple of things I noticed. First, experience points are extremely reduced. 300 xp to reach 2nd level? Less than a half-million for 20th? I don't know yet how I feel about that. Stat bonuses are expanded, so that bonuses start kicking in at 12 (and 9, for the maluses), leading up to a +/-4 at the extremes. There is a slight benefit to taking the rolls for characteristics, as the average of the selection system comes out slightly lower than 4d6s3 (which is now the official way of rolling up characters). However, taking the fixed hit point increases at each level is better than taking the dice, as the average for each die is rounded up (6 for a d10, 5 for a d8, and 4 for a d6). Speaking of hit dice, Thieves (or Rogues, whatever) get d8 hit dice, and Magic-Users (or whatever they call them) get d6. Again, not sure how I feel about that.
The neatest color rule, in my opinion, is the "arcane focus". This is a minor item, like a wand, a crystal ball, or a staff, which a Magic-User can use in place of most material components (and the focus doesn't disappear when used in this way). Therefore, when casting spells, the M-U can either pick up a ball of bat guano or else wave around a magic wand in order to cast Fireball. Material components that have a listed cost ("a 5000gp flawless emerald" or whatever) cannot be replaced by this item. I don't know that I'd import the idea, but I do like it. Gives the game a bit of a "Harry Potter" feel.
(Is this the first time I've made two posts in one day? Probably not, but it doesn't happen often here.)