Playing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time



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    SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Fuck Warren Ellis Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Over the past few months I've been playing a game of 3.5 and 4th in tandem. I vastly prefer 4th Ed as it requires far less of a learning curve and meshes better with my concept of an RPG. Further to that with 4th Ed you're not as tied to the "holy trinity" of classes as you are with 3.5 (though it is nice to have a cleric). Finally, since 4th Ed is now WotC's bread and butter resources for the game are far more readily available than 3.5.

    As a personal suggestion I'd try not to dwell too much on the concept of alignments. Cere's post on the previous page about trouble roleplaying due to alignment conflicts is what drove me absolutely nuts about 3.5 Ed.

    You'll also probably note that asking people about DnD is a scary conversation to start. Most people who were weened on the old Eds are sticklers for them and view anything else as being garbage (many compare 4th Ed to WoW for example - which isn't completely untrue). The previous suggestion of listening to the PA DnD podcasts is a good one. They are very entertaining and also super informative.

    SatanIsMyMotor on
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    Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco I wanna be an owl, Jerry! Owl York CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    4th edition is pretty fantastic for beginners especially when compared to 3.5.

    Also it doesn't have alignment as a game mechanic, which is a huge plus. Your alignment is just for role-playing flavour.

    Rear Admiral Choco on
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    brain operatorbrain operator Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Further to that with 4th Ed you're not as tied to the "holy trinity" of classes as you are with 3.5 (though it is nice to have a cleric).
    You mean bard-bard-bard?

    Although to be fair, that party was emulating the Beatles: it was really bard-bard-bard-bard. With an Aristocrat by the name of Brian E.P. Stein as their main contract, and an occasional 5th bard NPC called William Preston.

    Good times. <3

    brain operator on
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There are better-designed, easier to get into, more flavourful, more beginner-friendly systems than any edition of D&D unless you really like combat. If you do, fine, it's your system.
    If you want something more all-rounded and adaptable, consider Dragon Warriors, or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

    Xagarath on
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Not knocking DnD any but Palladium was pretty easy to get into combat-wise. I've noticed its never usually the case with new players but if RP is your thing I found Vampire the Masquerade to be amazing for it due to all the interesting bloodlines and what not.

    BradicusMaximus on
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    RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    My main dislike of 4E was that I may have this uber-powerful wizard that can lay down forests of fire in a single round, but the system doesn't like him enough to let him open a door in a single round. My suspension of disbelief just doesn't like rituals that aren't more powerful than normal spells. "Combat magic" makes no sense in a realistic world (in my mind) where just useful spells take 100x as long to cast as "useful in combat" spells. In 3.5, there were (I'm just guessing) around 20% of spells that would only be useful in combat (without getting really creative), 60% useful in or out of combat, and 20% useful only out of combat (without getting really creative). Entire classes could be dedicated to *non-combat* functions. I could have a bard/rogue that could maybe deal 3d6 damage and help a little in combat (if he was able to surprise people), but be able to tackle almost any skill challenges we needed him for, including diplomacy. We would consider this a useful character, and a valuable part of the team. It just isn't realistic to say that every adventuring class is going to need to be equally valuable *in combat* when there should be so much more to adventuring than that.

    And that is why people say that 4e restricts roleplaying.

    I had a friend that played a duelist in Pathfinder with a few other classes mixed in that had a "if you don't attack me I get an AoO on you for every attack that you make, and if you do attack me, if you miss my AC of 80+, I get an AoO on every attack that you make. He singlehandedly beat that half-dragon tarresque in our game...though my wizard would have done better if not for the modified-rules wild magic zone screwing up about half of his spells. We also didn't have a healer, except someone with maybe a level or two of something divine with a wand to give people back their hps after a fight. So...you can do some awesome stuff with melee in Pathfinder.

    That being said, we never followed the holy trinity. At all. My favorite game was a wizard, a psion, and a druid. We were awesome...but heaven forbid if we didn't kill something in a round or two.

    Anyway, sounds good that you're getting started. Enjoy D&D, and just make sure that everyone realizes that the DM is always right. If he isn't right, he can have a dragon fall on you, and then eat you...so the DM is always right.

    Edit: And the one time I played Vampire:tM I *loved* it so much...I want to play it a lot more, but my normal RPing group all dispersed to Maine and Maryland, and now I'm not sure that I have time anyway and...*sigh*

    RadicalTurnip on
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Move to Alabama and I'd be more than happy to DM some games. I'm filled to the brim with stories for it lol

    BradicusMaximus on
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    ReaperSMSReaperSMS Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    To toss in another highly opinionated view...

    4E appears to have been designed by a bunch of people that looked at WoW, and decided it was the be all, end all of systems. Then they tried recreating it in a pen & paper format, tossing out as much of the previous stuff as they could to drive a new round of book sales.

    Large portions of advancement are a straight up talent tree.
    You have a set of highly similar combat abilities, on cooldowns.
    Everything is effectively a spell, as far as usage.

    Playing it felt like a horrible mess of cooldown tracking, that begged for some serious computer assistance that wasn't invented yet.

    d20 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder have their own pile of issues, but they don't pop up so much until the higher levels generally, or with too large a library of extra sourcebooks.

    The big things to keep in mind though, are that it's supposed to be fun. If some part isn't fun, find out why and fix it. Use Rule #0 if you have to (the DM is free to nullify anything in any book ever)

    You might also look into other, somewhat more lenient systems. D20 tends to wallow in a pit of "you can't do this at all unless you have feat/talent/magic happy sticker X. You get to choose Y stickers, no exceptions" at times. Others (WEG's D6 system in particular, GURPS to a point) encourage a style of "Sure, you can do that. Make an X check, difficulty Y."

    ReaperSMS on
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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I must make a plug for Castle Ravenloft.

    First, my own experience is that I have played computer games for years, including D&D games, all the way back to Gold Box, so I have a passing familiarity with the number hell that is THAC0. I have only played a couple of tabletop D&D games, and that was only 4E. However, I enjoyed it tremendously, and as a result, I own the three core books.

    So, I pick up Castle Ravenloft as a way of introducing people to D&D, and it paid off in spades. I took four other people, two adults (50 and 30 years old) and two children who were 14 and 12 years old. I took my time, explained the game as we played, walked everybody through the actions, and we had a complete blast and played two games over the weekend. Now, they want to keep playing through the game, and they want me to set up a real D&D game for them to play.

    It's great, and it's worth it for judging how well someone will take to the real thing.

    DoctorArch on
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