Question about D&D

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Valkyrie-Lemons
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Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 26 Nov 2012, 09:42

So I've always wanted to play D&D but none of my friends play it or are remotely interested in it. However, I'm thinking about persuading them to try it (or more like press-gang them into it).


My question is what do you experienced D&Ders recommend I buy or use for a first timer?

I'm familiar with some of the basic rules/classes/races etc because of things like Baluder's Gate but apart from that I'm pretty much a total beginner.

So any advice guys(/girls)?
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Metcarfre » 26 Nov 2012, 11:20

I haven't really played, but to try it out you could just download the basic manuals and play a session or two that way before buying the books.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby RedNightmare » 26 Nov 2012, 11:39

The Red Box is the current go-to starter box at the time. However, there are some free adventures with quick-start rules and sample characters here: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Feature.aspx?x=new/learntoplay

Also, you could register for the D&D Next playtest. This gives you access to the new rules for free, but they assume some knowledge of the game in general here and there and are still in development. Plus you would have to come up with adventures of your own (Which I prefer).

Try to get the group to make up a thing or two about their characters. Something I used to great effect is go around the table and let each player establish a positive and negative relation with one other character. try to do it so that every character has at least 1 positive connection (family, one saved the others life, that sort of thing). Also, the negative ones are not "he killed my father." but more in the line of "he's married to my sister and I don't like that" (happened in one of my campaigns).

If you need any more help don't be afraid to ask here or through PM.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 26 Nov 2012, 12:24

Wow, thanks for the link to basic rules. The whole 2d6+3 thing actually makes sense now! It's just algebra...oh god, not algebra! *Has horrific flashbacks to school maths class*

Anyways, that sheet has actually cleared up a lot of questions I had about how things work in D&D. The actual RPing shouldn't be to difficult, since I love to RP and play characters. : )

Now just to find some people that I can trap, I mean persuade to play with me.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Dubious_wolf » 26 Nov 2012, 12:40

Teh redbox is awesome! That how me and some friends got into 4.0, it's easy fast and really fun. And only cost about 20-30USD (idk about UK currency...)
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 26 Nov 2012, 12:52

Really? $20-30 (or $25) is around £16, which is pretty cheap these days!

A quick look on Amazon shows it selling just for £13. I think I know what I'm getting coming start of the month when my money comes in. : )

I honestly thought it would be a lot more than that.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Utilitarian » 26 Nov 2012, 12:59

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:Really? $20-30 (or $25) is around £16, which is pretty cheap these days!

A quick look on Amazon shows it selling just for £13. I think I know what I'm getting coming start of the month when my money comes in. : )

I honestly thought it would be a lot more than that.

D&D is inexpensive to start but once you start gobbling up splatbooks (expansion books for new classes and the like) it can get more expensive..

Or you could download the pdfs...
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 00:01

RPGs in general can be one of the cheapest hobbies possible; there are a lot of really good, really cheap (or even free) RPGs out there.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Preacher » 27 Nov 2012, 01:02

jiawen wrote:RPGs in general can be one of the cheapest hobbies possible; there are a lot of really good, really cheap (or even free) RPGs out there.


Do not listen to this man, he lies, he most likley works for a dice manufactor.
Do you guys mind. I'm trying to write an essay

Its probably not a good thing I feel the need to put a disclaimer after everything I say

This is a thing my and my friend run.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 01:07

Preacher wrote:Do not listen to this man, he lies, he most likley works for a dice manufactor.
So, so wrong. I'm a woman, and I publish my own RPGs. :)
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 27 Nov 2012, 03:24

But you didn't deny that you worked for a dice manufacturer. Very suspicious...


Anyways, is it hard to make your own RPGs/scenarios? Or is it simply just making up a story that people can play to?
Prospero101 wrote:...is it weird that I REALLY hope that someday I say something memorable enough to be quoted in someone else's signature?


I'm trying this 'Twitter' thing, if you just want to send a message/question/joke, please send it to: @Valkyrie_Lemons , thanks!
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Preacher » 27 Nov 2012, 04:07

jiawen wrote:
Preacher wrote:Do not listen to this man, he lies, he most likley works for a dice manufactor.
So, so wrong. I'm a woman, and I publish my own RPGs. :)


Many Apologies. Allow me to amend my statement. Do Not Trust This Women. She Lies. She creates her own RPG's which means she is more than likely a DM, and they are not to be trusted. Also still probably a dice maker
Do you guys mind. I'm trying to write an essay

Its probably not a good thing I feel the need to put a disclaimer after everything I say

This is a thing my and my friend run.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Nov 2012, 10:55

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:But you didn't deny that you worked for a dice manufacturer. Very suspicious...


Anyways, is it hard to make your own RPGs/scenarios? Or is it simply just making up a story that people can play to?


Making an entire game system that functions properly and is original is pretty challenging.
Making scenarios on the other hand is really easy.
Like for example. If I'm running a campaign I have 2 types of stories. Macro level and micro level. These are fairly self explanatory, but I'll go ahead and elaborate. The macro events are things that are rumored wherever the PC's go. ei. A plot to kill the king. Barbarian hordes. Cultist sacrifices. They are big and potentially world changing. These can all be either related or not, but give some key things that the PCs can do. (Note the PC's don't HAVE to interact with any of these scenarios but may feel the consequences.)
So if they let the king get killed. His mad brother takes the throne and charges excessively high tariffs on travel. (Or they could throw in with the would be assassins.)
Macro level stuff gives basic broad sweeping story ideas.
Micro level stories are the typical stuff of high fantasy, these are the side quests. Goblin clearing, dungeon delving, etc. And may or may not interact with macro level stuff. For example the PCs may get contracted to clear a tunnel of goblins which could be an ambush route to stop the barbarian hordes or could be a secret entrance for the cultists into the cities.

For your staring RP session start with micro stuff. The red box will have a great assortment of starting scenarios.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 10:56

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:But you didn't deny that you worked for a dice manufacturer. Very suspicious...
:)
Anyways, is it hard to make your own RPGs/scenarios? Or is it simply just making up a story that people can play to?
Scenarios are pretty easy, I think. In fact, I just did a blog post about that. If you're starting out, though, it's probably a good idea to run some pre-made scenarios. Especially if your friends haven't played before, using a well-tested scenario will take a lot of the pressure off.

You probably shouldn't just make up a story that your friends can play through. If there's nothing your players can do that will actually affect how the story turns out, that's called railroading, and it's generally seen as a bad thing. (Though some players prefer that. You just have to ask.)

Creating RPGs is harder. Well, harder to do well. Almost everyone does a rehash of D&D at some point, without being aware of what's already out there. To create a game that's truly original and not just a rehash of something that already exists takes a lot of time and effort.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 10:59

Preacher wrote:Many Apologies. Allow me to amend my statement. Do Not Trust This Woman. She Lies. She creates her own RPG's which means she is more than likely a DM, and they are not to be trusted. Also still probably a dice maker
I haven't DMed in several decades. (GMing, on the other hand...)

There is no dice manufacturer cabal. They do not exist. It is a figment of your imagination.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 11:06

Also, I should've linked to some sources for free RPGs. John Kim's list is huge, and the 1KM1KT blog keeps adding more.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 27 Nov 2012, 11:10

So a good way to do it is to make an objective that people can achieve or maybe not achieve?

For example, I thought of one on my bus journey today (since my bus journeys are really boring).

You're tasked by a duke to track down a women who he says is causing trouble for the duchy and so you journey to find her, along the way you have the normal side quests and stuff and when you meet her she claims she's the rightful duchess and that the current duke is a usurper to the duchy. So you then decide if you should believe her or not.

I mean, is that the kind of thing you'll getting at?
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby jiawen » 27 Nov 2012, 11:43

Exactly. That's a great example. Make sure there are important ways the PCs can affect the story and it should be good. Your example is also good because it could call for some real roleplaying -- discussing with the duchess, for example, how to resolve the situation. (And that's one of the things I like most about tabletop RPGs: that a scenario can get resolved in a million different ways, ways that the designer never even imagined.) Add a little depth to the history behind the duchess and the duke and you quickly have something huge. Maybe the duke's father got his position during a civil war, so the current monarch says he's the rightful heir; but the duchess' family had the position for hundreds of years before the civil war. and she feels history is on her side. Just one possible example. And that's the kind of thing a great campaign can be based on.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Nov 2012, 11:44

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:So a good way to do it is to make an objective that people can achieve or maybe not achieve?

For example, I thought of one on my bus journey today (since my bus journeys are really boring).

You're tasked by a duke to track down a women who he says is causing trouble for the duchy and so you journey to find her, along the way you have the normal side quests and stuff and when you meet her she claims she's the rightful duchess and that the current duke is a usurper to the duchy. So you then decide if you should believe her or not.

I mean, is that the kind of thing you'll getting at?


Yep. Typically I try and ask "how will the PCs get there?" Although I play with a pretty advanced RP group ad leading them by the nose is a good way to get the smack down. With fairly new players they me be slightly more willing to follow your example.
Is make it slightly more broad,
In your GM notes you might have "a duke has a warrant on a young woman's head" and let it naturally cascade from their. NPC's may give two sides of the story. Or may know nothing at all. Then the PC's have to decide help the duke or the lady? Then another choice, kill her or help her. Etc. it's possible for choices to be outside a groups level too. For example helping the lady would mean helping her escape or even storming the castle. Full of well armed guards and knights. Don't scale things like that to the group. Have the group scale back their expectations. (Unless your playing 'exalted' that is.)
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Master Gunner » 27 Nov 2012, 12:01

In addition to all of the above great advice, sometimes new RPers will dither about, spending too much time talking about what to do without anyone taking the lead and actually doing anything. In such cases, remember Chandler's Law.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 27 Nov 2012, 12:02

Is presenting options that are above the group's level something you should or shouldn't do?

I'm guessing that that options that are above the group's level are obvious. E.g Storming the castle would be something that'd be obviously above the group's level, but killing the duchess and then she turns out to be the devil incarnate, or something, is bad?

I'm also guessing you'd need to be flexible just in case the group goes radically off what you'd imagined. What do you do then?

Sorry for all the questions, BUT I LIKE QUESTIONS! ^__^
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Master Gunner » 27 Nov 2012, 12:21

Questions are good.

There's nothing wrong with presenting options above the players level, odds are they'll come up with more than a few ludicrous options of their own. If they decide to take one of those options, then you can either be a malevolent DM and crush them, or a benevolent DM and offer them a convenient plot window out of whatever mess they've gotten themselves into.

So if they decide to charge the castle, you could have the guards kill them and force them to roll new characters for their foolishness. Or you could wait until they're almost dead, and have a meteor conveniently hit the castle, knocking out the guards they're fighting and blocking the way forward, giving them the chance to retreat. As for the duchess turning out to be the devil incarnate, that opens up many wonderful options, depending on whether you mean that literally or metaphorically. If you gave them the chance to find out about the duchess beforehand and the players refused, make them pay for it a bit. If it's a sudden plot twist, you should give them the chance for a quick exit, so they can regroup and figure out how to deal with the situation.

Never be afraid to kill off a character for doing something inanely stupid. Or have a random squirrel run up and bite them. The players should never think that you won't let them die, they must fear you.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 27 Nov 2012, 12:27

What I meant by the duchess thing is that is it okay to make what seems to be the safe option into the worst option possible?
Prospero101 wrote:...is it weird that I REALLY hope that someday I say something memorable enough to be quoted in someone else's signature?


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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Nov 2012, 12:27

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:Is presenting options that are above the group's level something you should or shouldn't do?

I'm guessing that that options that are above the group's level are obvious. E.g Storming the castle would be something that'd be obviously above the group's level, but killing the duchess and then she turns out to be the devil incarnate, or something, is bad?

I'm also guessing you'd need to be flexible just in case the group goes radically off what you'd imagined. What do you do then?

Sorry for all the questions, BUT I LIKE QUESTIONS! ^__^

That's ok. We like questions.
It depends on your play style to be honest. The thing with RP you always need to keep in mind are consequences. All options are open, there are however consequences.
So they Could storm the castle. The consequences would likely be death... Unless they could rally some help from the impoverished townsfolk?
See? all options are open. It's up to you as the GM to create the consequences for an event.
As for the duchess being evil... I'd lead into that little twist somehow. Foreboding that she has mystic powers and maybe isn't "good". But generally stay away from deliberately throwing big creatures that are way over their heads." (Exalted is again the exception)
Last edited by Dubious_wolf on 27 Nov 2012, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about D&D

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Nov 2012, 12:28

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:What I meant by the duchess thing is that is it okay to make what seems to be the safe option into the worst option possible?


Yes! That's part of the fun!
(I'd be sure to give a little warning though)
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