View Full Version : Hey, TOTAL newbie here.
07-27-03, 03:39 AM
Hey, I'm a complete newbie here, never played D&D before... my experience goes from MUDs to everquest to baldurs gate II (playing on normal, not D&D mode). I've got an idea about the very basics of the game, but really not much else. I know there are dice involved...
Is there any basics you can tell me, advice .etc? How much should I pay for the stuff you need, what stuff DO you need, should I buy the rulebooks, .etc.
I'm trying to get some friends to start a game. So far I've only got me and two others, can we play with that or do we need 4+? If I'm the DM (which is looks like I will be) can I have a character too that adventures with them? I'm thinking about starting out playing D&D 3rd edition and following the rules loosely, but I'm open to suggestion. Call of Cthulhu looks interesting, but maybe later as I havn't read the books yet.
How often do you meet for a game on average? Any newbie stories you'd like to share? Does the church still look down on D&D (one of the guys playing might be catholic, i dunno him well)?
Full of questions tonight... shoulda gone to bed about 2 hours ago. anyways, thanks in advanced, I've been reading some stories about D&D games and it got me interested in playing. Pyrocat Moonstalker
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07-27-03, 10:01 AM
Books you'll need as DM:
Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual. All run $29.99. Send me a PM or IM though and I can probably work something out with you
Dice everyone will need:
1x 20-sided, 1x 12-sided, 2x 10-sided (different colors), 1x 8-sided, 6x 6-sided, 1x 4-sided
As DM ... don't be RIGID! Just because you design an adventure and expect/hope for certain things to happen ... you're players don't think like you. Don't force them down the path you want. Nothing's worse than a DM telling you you can't do things over and over until you hit upon the obscure idea he was thinking.
Yes, you'll be fine with 3 people. Yes, you can play a character ... would be an NPC along with the party. Just kind of play it lowkey since you know the adventure and all ... but can be useful to push the adventure along if the players get stuck.
We meet once a week normally ... sometimes more since it's Summer.
Not many people look down on D&D as evil anymore (there are still some psycho moms out there) just geeky
P.S. Get the Seafarer's Handbook too so you can have PIRATES! Kaylan Warwolf
Kaylan the Wolf
Mistress of Sword Stance
Edited by: Lady Kaylan at: 7/27/03 11:49 am
07-27-03, 10:28 AM
*cough* Use the Amazon link on the main safehouse.org site and get the books for $20 or a touch under each.
/chastise self for not doing it.
Amazon is also doing freebie shipping on orders over $25, so if you can wait an extra day or three, it works out nicely
You don't nessecarily need even more than one person, but I prefer at least 4, people don't get uncomfortable, you are adventures can be a little more dangerous. You meet as often as you feel like, game for as long as you like. It's all up to you as the DM.
I'm not going to load you up with Advice, your Dungeon Master's Guide should do that for you(although personally I suggest buying a second edition DMG than a 3rd ed. DMG, I feel it has about 3x the roleplaying suggestions and content, and gives you a better feeling for what it is to be a DM.)
The only piece of advice I willl give you about DMing is this: It is learned by trial and error more than anything else. Don't get discouraged if a session sucks, your players walk away disatisfied, or YOU walk away disatisfied, every one has to learn how to accomplish their own style of GMing, and no one gets it right the first time, second time, or 8th time they run a game. Have patience with the proccess, it is one of the most demanding cognitive tasks I've had to really do. I think it's kind of funny, I think it's kind of sad, that the dreams in which I'm dyin' are the best I've ever had.
Yeah, see, size doesn't matter. Shotgun shells matter. -Bruce Campbell.
07-28-03, 10:35 AM
I would advise against playing a character while you're DM. You will get plenty of opportunities to interact with the PCs (Player Characters) through NPCs (Non-Player Characters)
If you play a PC, you will almost certainly have to play one who has had a lobotomy or other major head injury so as he doesnt end up leading the party around by the nose. (you know what the GM is thinking, after all...)
07-28-03, 06:21 PM
Perhaps a I could play the familiar for the party and give advice on occasion, or hints or something.
can you do a session with one or two people missing because they couldn't make it or do you have to plan ahead so a session fits everyones schedule? Many problems with this?
Looked around and found a shop less than two miles away that sells everything you need and more for D&D.. but the books cost $30 there, so I won't be buying the guidebooks from them. If I end up buying the books (instead of going from the pdfs) I'll use the safehouse amazon link... didn't even know we had that. Thanks for the advice so far.
It's assumed in my group that if you can't play, you just miss out. Now, if the campaign is missing a lot of key players, or the party is prepping to do something realy huge, we might decide to hold off and hit a day when we have all our people.
That's not a reason to not play though. If the party is on the way to the lich's dungeon, and ended before in a town, you can still run something small, quick, and local, with the PCs you do have, letting them end their little session in the same town, ready to go where everyone else left off.
08-02-03, 11:02 AM
How do you figure out what your ability score bonus or penalty is? I remember hearing something that all stats should be even cause odd ones are rounded down.. but, is it like, any 2 points above 12 is a bonus of +1 or above 10? or above 8? or what?
I've started reading the players handbook, and I found a few friends who had tried D&D out once before, I'm going to try and contact them and maybe see if they want to play.
Oh yeah, and how do saving throws get calculated? heh.. what die do you roll to see if you saved or not, what number determines the average? If you have a bonus, do you minus that number from your roll or add it?
K, I'll say more when I have more time, on the way out the house.
Quote:How do you figure out what your ability score bonus or penalty is? I remember hearing something that all stats should be even cause odd ones are rounded down.. but, is it like, any 2 points above 12 is a bonus of +1 or above 10? or above 8? or what
That information is in your PHB. I recall +1 bonuses start at 12 I think. I don't recall there being any rounding involved in stat generation.
Quote:Oh yeah, and how do saving throws get calculated? heh.. what die do you roll to see if you saved or not, what number determines the average? If you have a bonus, do you minus that number from your roll or add it?
Not a 3rd ed. buff here, but I remember it as...
Everyone starts at a base 2 or 3 in Fortitude, Will, and Reflex, depeding on class. Your class then provides the multiplier to that number, so Rogue would be fortitude x2, Will x1, Reflex x3. So rogues come out at fortitude 4, will 2, reflex 6. Then you add the bonus for the applicable stats like wisdom, con and dex.
When your DM is asking you to make a saving throw, he wll determine what the target number for success is. So let's say he determines to resist a demon using mind control, the Target number for a wiill save is 15. You then roll a d20, add the total value for your save to the die roll, trying to get over the number your dm set.
I think I got something screwed up in there, I'm sure the multitude of 3rd ed. players here can correct me.
sig Edited by: Nenjin Darkeyes at: 8/2/03 11:39 am
08-02-03, 11:43 AM
These are the rules with all the flavor of the books stripped out.
08-03-03, 02:35 AM
This is pyrocat, on my friends account again.
erf, thanks that helps. still don't get saving throws though heh. My rogue didn't start out with any fort or will saves at all. If I follow the x3 for rogue reflexes I end up with +15 though
Anyways, bought some dice today, and my friend had the players manuel. He's letting me borrow it and I've been reading through it. Going on rip for about a week with no internet access, so I'll have plenty of time to read up on the rules. We had our first mock battle and my friends fighter killed the skeleton in one hit. I just hope i went through it correctly. He saved vs. the skeleton attempting to sneak up on him also (bones don't move very silently).
When I get back hopefully my group will have a better idea how to play and i'll know the general idea of how to DM.
Oh yeah, the manager at the game store I went into was very helpful. I told him we were starting D&D for the first time and he gave us some advice, and even offered the nextdoor playing room to us whenever we wanted, even if we wanted to play after closing, he'd give us the keys to lock up.
08-03-03, 02:55 AM
Quote:erf, thanks that helps. still don't get saving throws though heh. My rogue didn't start out with any fort or will saves at all. If I follow the x3 for rogue reflexes I end up with +15 though
That's fort or will save bonus. Everyone has a chance to save, and classes get bonuses to saves as they level.
Saves have a target number you need to reach on a d20. So say evil baddie shoots you with a hold person, and you have to make a will save versus a DC16. You roll a d20, add in the save bonus you get (from class, feats, items, race, etc.), and if you get a 16 or higher, you save. If not, you suffer the effects of the spell.
Rogues don't get much will or fort save, but get great reflex bonuses. Similarly, Clerics don't get much reflex or fort, but great will, and fighters dont' get much reflex or will, but get great fort.
08-04-03, 05:52 AM
Quote:Rogues don't get much will or fort save, but get great reflex bonuses. Similarly, Clerics don't get much reflex or fort, but great will, and fighters dont' get much reflex or will, but get great fort.
Actually, clerics have the good saves (+12 at 20) on Fortitude and Will. Sometimes I think a cleric would be like playing in easy mode. Good saves, full armor selection, excellent spells, domain spells (the bonus ones), domain bonuses, good hit points, reasonable attack bonuses, spontaneous casting. 3e clerics are almost a 2e fighter and cleric wrapped into one.
Just out of principle I would not play one. Rangers (in 3.5) look darned good though.
08-04-03, 09:18 AM
LOL I never noticed that fort and will had the same bonus progression
Well clerics can be good at any one or two things, but they're not the ubermensch you portray them as. All those various things mean that pretty much every attribute needs to be focused on. Str and Con if you want to fight. Wis for casting and Cha for turning, Int if you want more than 2 skill points per level...the only one you don't need to focus on is Dex really, since in full plate you're stuck with a max dex bonus of +1. And then you need heaps of strength to lug all that armor around and not be encumbered.
At 6th level, I've got a BAB of +4, as opposed to +6/+1 on a tank type, and 47 hitpoints or so, as opposed to 70 to 80 of the tank. Unless things are looking bad, or I see a nice squishy mage standing there, I'm not going into combat. My typical combat goes like this: Round 1: Prayer. Round 2: Bless. Round 3: Hold Person. Round 4+: Heal, or plink with my crossbow. If I go in to melee, I'm liable to take an AOO or two on my way to heal a comrade, and a lot of the baddies I've faced can drop me in 2, perhaps 3 hits. Of course my new +2 shield I just crafted buffed my AC to 23...but when you fight beasties with +10 or +15 to attacks, you're going to get hit. A lot.
In 3.5, a lot of cleric goodness has gone away. Hold Person has been nerfed hard, and the buff spells have been reduced to 1min/level as opposed to 1h/level. So now, depending on party makeup, will be adding in a Bull's strength somewhere in there, either before Prayer or after Bless. Now that I'm getting up in levels, summon monster may be a nice thing to toss in (and the next dungeon crawl I play I'm gonna bust out the Animate Dead spell and create me a nice 12HD zombie), but clerics are still not the most exciting characters to play in combat.
08-04-03, 11:11 AM
Quote:Well clerics can be good at any one or two things, but they're not the ubermensch you portray them as
Compared to other classes, they are the most well rounded. They can do a little bit of everything. Healing, utility, combat, some direct damage, undead destroying machines, etc. They may not overwhelm on straight paper, but at higher levels they are some of the meanest kids on the block.
Quote:Str and Con if you want to fight. Wis for casting and Cha for turning, Int if you want more than 2 skill points per level...
You do not need insane stats to be effective. 3e leveled that playing field in some regards. Having well rounded stats is the key to a solid character, not a pair of 18s and 8s in everything else. For some things the bonuses are so minute as to be borderline useless. Pumping your CHA up just for turning is not a good idea. If you go the diplomacy route, however, it can be worthwhile.
Personally, except for a high (19 for max spells) wis, the other stuff is just gravy. Of course, I would go for con next, then int, then str (as a cleric). But I am a skill point junkie Once I hit 12 on the major non-primary stats, I am happy. Extra points let me push the character more to what I envision it to be. But 12s seem to make a VERY playable character.
Quote:At 6th level, I've got a BAB of 4, as opposed to 6/ 1 on a tank type, and 47 hitpoints or so, as opposed to 70 to 80 of the tank.
Yes, but add in a masterwork weapon, a 12 strength, and some flanking bonuses, that AB goes to 8. That is respectable especially for a non primary melee.
As to hit points, at 6th level, with a 12 con, you should average 33. A tank type with a 14 con should have 45. A reasonable difference, but not the end of the world. A couple well timed buffs can close the gap. And yes, it sucks they nerfed the buff spells
I am not saying you are a frontline fighter, but you can hold your own. Unlike that mage, when you get a monster in close, you are not just a temporary hp bonus to the other members of the party I love versatility, and the cleric class has oodles of it.
Quote:Of course my new 2 shield I just crafted buffed my AC to 23...but when you fight beasties with 10 or 15 to attacks, you're going to get hit. A lot.
Your tank types shouldn't be able to sport much better of an armor class than you (unbuffed). I agree that your primary goal is not to HULK SMASH, but you can do some fairly solid damage if need be. You make a damned good secondary tank if something manages to get back to the mages. It is all a matter of doing what you need to do, when you need to do it.
Quote:but clerics are still not the most exciting characters to play in combat.
If the party make up would allow it, try making a combat oriented cleric. Some of the spells are just mean. Divine power at 4th level can really let you go psycho in the bigger fights.
I agree with what you are saying, but if the party can afford you to be an aggressive combat cleric, you can add a lot and still have the ability to play a "normal" cleric when it is needed.
To me, the cleric class represents the class with the highest spread of versatility, utility, and survivability (ility ility ility). I just think that the designers had a huge, um, woodie for clerics and went a little overboard. Not a ton, but just a little Edited by: Sillis Spineslicer at: 8/4/03 11:13 am
Quote:try making a combat oriented cleric.
I think they are called.....Paladins?
08-04-03, 11:49 AM
Quote:I think they are called.....Paladins?
Nah. Paladins are fighters with a Jebus complex.
I just meant a cleric who had the feats/domains and a spell selection intended to make them more effective in combat. A Paladin is a warrior first, caster second. The combat cleric is still a caster first, but with a few well placed spells can either neutralize the opposition (Hold person), summon help to augment and spread his melee damage (Summon spells), or buff himself up to and beyong a fighter of equal level (Divine Power, Shield of Law, etc).
A high level paladin does not scare me much. A high level fighter scares me more (more feats). A high level cleric can be brutal. A high level cleric with a few spells devoted to pumping up his melee/in close ability can be frightening. The only thing that scares me more would be a high level wizard/sorcerer with some distance, or a rogue with a Hide in Plain Sight ability.
08-14-03, 09:48 PM
If you aren't scared of a high level paladin, you should be.
High-level paladins with careful feat selection can add their Charisma bonus to damn near everything, including attacks and damage, not to mention their saving throws. -- Marauder Arafain Entreri, 65 Deceiver
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08-15-03, 06:05 AM
Quote:High-level paladins with careful feat selection can add their Charisma bonus to damn near everything, including attacks and damage, not to mention their saving throws.
The only scary feats are from some of the supplements, which I do not use. I have no idea who writes some of those things, but how they managed to be viewed as balanced escapes me.
A stock high level paladin still doesn't scare me in the least. Well, in a balanced group they can be nice, but otherwise, meh.
Just about every other class at high levels has something that makes me shudder. Paladins and Barbarians just do not make me want to cry momma, though. Well, assuming you can keep your distance from the Barbarian, that is
08-17-03, 06:29 PM
My newbie story.
I got the D&D boxed set along with the module "Keeping on the Borderlands". My movement was 12 so I assumed I had to roll a d12 to determine how many squares I moved.
Oh, and I though a magic missile was actually a missile in the modern sense. So I just opened every door cast magic missile around the corner. I mean what could survive a tomahawk missle in a 10' room?