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How to get started

FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Critical Failures
Alright, I've never played a true pen and paper RPG. The closest I've come would have to be Hero Quest as a kid and some dabbling in Warhammer Fantasy tabletop.

I want to get a group of friends together to play an RPG once or twice a month. I've played Dungeons and Dragons Online, which sort of introduced me to the basic role mechanics and how some of that stuff works out, especially character creation. I'm interested in that quite a bit.

My brother has some old Paranoia books and wouldn't mind giving that game a shot as well, but I understand a newer version has been released of that. Would it be pretty silly to play the old one?

Anyway, my main question is this: how do I get started here? How many people do we really need to run a good game of DnD, considering we're all absolute beginners. What do we need to buy?

Are the handbooks available online for free somewhere legally?

Any help would be rad, thanks guys!

XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
Figgy on

Posts

  • MaticoreMaticore Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Figgy wrote: »
    Alright, I've never played a true pen and paper RPG. The closest I've come would have to be Hero Quest as a kid and some dabbling in Warhammer Fantasy tabletop.

    I want to get a group of friends together to play an RPG once or twice a month. I've played Dungeons and Dragons Online, which sort of introduced me to the basic role mechanics and how some of that stuff works out, especially character creation. I'm interested in that quite a bit.

    My brother has some old Paranoia books and wouldn't mind giving that game a shot as well, but I understand a newer version has been released of that. Would it be pretty silly to play the old one?

    Anyway, my main question is this: how do I get started here? How many people do we really need to run a good game of DnD, considering we're all absolute beginners. What do we need to buy?

    Are the handbooks available online for free somewhere legally?

    Any help would be rad, thanks guys!

    For 4E D&D you need the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual.

    3.5 Edition is free, basically, at http://www.d20srd.org/

    Either way you're going to want something to play on, like a battlemat, and some stuff to represent your characters on.


    To the Forum:
    We should probably have an "I'm [New to Tabletop]" thread, one of these gets started every week or so now that the PA folks are into D&D.

    Maticore on
  • UtsanomikoUtsanomiko Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    There's nothing wrong with playing an old game as long as you can find a couple people who are interested in playing it. The only possible issue is older editions tend to be clunkier and harder to learn than newer ones (as I think could be Paranoia's case).

    I'd say one gamemaster to narrate/referee and three players is the minimum for a well-rounded roleplaying session, though D&D usually assumes about 5 players (it has rules and guides for adjusting). With two you sort of need both players to have good teamwork and ingenuity or else they don't have much dynamics to work off of.

    I know D&D has some kind of introductory boxed set that would be cheaper and easier to get into that buying a cuople books or messing with an older edition.

    Also, the D&D discussion thread is good for this kind of discussion. We can only debate feats and NADs for so long.

    Utsanomiko on
    hmm.gif
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Alright, I'll move this into that thread. I saw it but didn't want to shit in there if it wasn't welcome..

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • jackattackjackattack Registered User
    edited March 2009
    While you are at your local gaming shop, check out the bulletin board to see if there are any games being run at the store or in the area, especially games that mention "drop-in" play or say that novices are welcome. This gives you a chance to sit in once or twice and pick up pointers for GMing.




    Three players is a good (absolute) minimum, but that number should probably match the number of basic classes in your game. (For example, the classic D&D party has a fighter, a thief, a cleric, and a magic-user.) This will give you a well-rounded group, and keeps you (the GM) from having to work around a "hole" in the party.

    If you have more players than classes, encourage players to pick sub-classes and/or specialities. (For example, if you have two fighters, one might opt to be a sword-and-shield fighter, while the other might be an archer or a two-handed-axe man). Most players want their characters to be the best at something, and the more similar two characters are the more likely that one character will steal the other's thunder (whether they mean to or not).

    From personal experience (others' may differ), I think five is an ideal number of players. It's enough to keep things interesting, but not so many that they get in each others' way. A good/experienced GM can manage six players, but seven is the absolute maximum.

    jackattack on
  • nimrod108nimrod108 Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I have recently just started DMing my first game. I can say that it will really help if you can just be a player for a little while just to help with the mechanics. I think it would be fairly daunting to try and DM right out of the gate. Also you want to have enough knowledge of the game to maintain a flow. You might have the most engaging plot to your campaign but it it flows poorly your players might lose interest. Try to get a little playing experience under your belt.

    As for what you need, get the three core rule books. That is a must. A battle mat of some sort is also a must if you are playing 4th edition. I just found some large scale graph paper and had it laminated. So far it is working great and it was fairly cheap. Also you may not want to invest in miniatures right away. They are very cool but can get pricey. I have been printing out and folding little monster triangles and weighting them with pennies. It works really well if you don't have minis. I will post detailed instruction on what I do soon.

    We have also been using the character builder on the Wizards site. It is very handy and super quick to build characters. Players can even build their own at home and send them to you for approval and printing.

    Dice! You need a few sets of dice. Ideally you want the following for each player: 1d4, 3d6, 1d8, 2d10, 1d12 and 1d20. I also like to have extra dice kicking around. I use them to keep track of my HP and ammo. I find it better then writing all over my character sheet all the time. A great way to get enough dice is to buy a pound of dice. You will have enough dice for 10 or more players.

    Over the next few weeks I am posting about my DMing experience on my blog. Check it out and let me know if you find it useful. http://bnunes.wordpress.com/category/dungeons-and-dragons/

    nimrod108 on
    - :whistle: "$2.50 for an eyeball, and a buck and half for an ear" :whistle: - The Tragically Hip - Little Bones
    - Blog: http://bnunes.wordpress.com -Twitter: @Nimrod108 -Wave [email protected]
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