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sfried
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"D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 07:39post reply

So I have a confession to make: I've never played a Dungeons & Dragons game in my entire life. The closest I got was when they demoed Warhammer at the front of my appartment where there was a Games Workshop back when I lived in MD. I got myself a DM Guide and the 6 dice needed, but I'm stuck in a crux right now.

I bought my DM Guide back when 4E was announced. The trouble was, I got 3.5 anyways, but one store owner actually insisted that EVERYONE was switching to 4E, and that my DM Guide was virtually worthless, not that it mattered since what I really needed was the Player's Handbook.

Now the big problem is that I can't make any sense of it all. I don't know whether to pursue just buying 3.5 Player's Guide and start from there, or sell my Guide and get 4E when it comes out as if some people might think I'm going into this lifelong commitment of DM'ing. I really lost as to where to start, and websites can only help me so much about the concepts. Is there anybody who can explain to me the basics as if somebody had absolutely no knowledge of D&D?






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exodus
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"Re(1):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 07:50post reply

quote:
So I have a confession to make: I've never played a Dungeons & Dragons game in my entire life.


It this something to be ashamed of?





sfried
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"Re(2):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 07:58:post reply

quote:
So I have a confession to make: I've never played a Dungeons & Dragons game in my entire life.

It this something to be ashamed of?


When you're asking things like: "How do I play D&D?", yes, it can be a socially awkward experience to more experienced veterans who'd at least expect everyone around to have some vague knowledge of the D&D ruleset.

Kinda like a scrub being introduced to tournament level fighting: The first question that would be ask would probably be "What's a cancel?" or "What's 2-3-6?" The basics are the most embarassing things to ask.





[this message was edited by sfried on Sat 3 May 07:59]

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"Re(3):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 09:44post reply

quote:

It this something to be ashamed of?



The answer is no, but this may not be immediately obvious to all people, as sfried demonstrates.

w/re:to his actual question:
The first big problem of any D&D game that is not a video game is that it requires other people to play with. Finding other people that are willing to "play along" and are of a tolerable level of geekiness (this will typically be people who are already your friends, because those are people you can stand) may be a challenge.

The actual rules are to be completely ignored at first. What is important in D&D is that there are two "meta-roles" (i.e. Dungeon Master and Player) that precede your "actual" role (e.g. Fighter/Thief/Cleric/gynecologist). Unless you are starting from rock-bottom with some friends, do not start with the DM's guide. Get the Player's Guide. In the previous editions, the Player's Guide actually explained the rules, while the DM's guide just explained the DM-specific stuff.

The technicalities of the rules are only somewhat important. They may be more important if you are trying to play some pre-built module campaign where players need to know exactly how everything works. For that reason, the best way to get your feet wet is to play as a Player with somebody who knows the rules already as a DM. Unless you are all beginning, the DM actually needs to know the rules. The Players can get by just by knowing what they're supposed to be, saying what they want to do, and letting the DM adjucate what happens.

I'm about the last person to ask about rule-specifics, though, because I haven't played this since elementary school, and I already know that one of the most obtuse systems of the game was abolished quite some time ago.





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"Re(3):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 09:48post reply

quote:

When you're asking things like: "How do I play D&D?", yes, it can be a socially awkward experience to more experienced veterans who'd at least expect everyone around to have some vague knowledge of the D&D ruleset.

Kinda like a scrub being introduced to tournament level fighting: The first question that would be ask would probably be "What's a cancel?" or "What's 2-3-6?" The basics are the most embarassing things to ask.



You need to find a good fun group to game with. If they're going to give you a hard time for not already knowing the rules, they probably aren't going to be very much fun to actually play with.

Unless you're going to be the Dungeon Master, you don't really need to know all the rules in and out. The best way to learn is to join a group, make a new character and learn as you go.

D&D and pen and paper RPGs in general are more about storytelling and making interesting moments happen, rather than knowing the intricacies of the ruleset. Have fun!





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"Re(2):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 09:52post reply

D&D virgin? Isn't that a little bit redundant? OH ICE BURN

quote:
It this something to be ashamed of?



I take a little bit of pride in it, myself.



Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
no seriously guys I used to play white wolf games and now I'm into board games and hecatomb

End of Spoiler







Amakusa
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"Re(1):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 12:11:post reply

I only played during the 2nd edition era for a very brief period of time. Actually we just kind of fucked the rules and went and killed monsters for the hell of it.

Can't say I ever actually 'role-played', though. To me it was more or less a number crunching exercise with dice and a bunch of toilet humor. My friends were more into the computer games (such as the Gold Box and the like)





I found Kagami's sword in a junk yard.
I will rule the world and find that truly good cup of coffee.
"Dink-a-dink-a-dink-a-do."

[this message was edited by Amakusa on Sat 3 May 12:13]

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"BOARD GAMES" , posted Sat 3 May 13:01:post reply

We tried to play D&D once but were too big a bunch of screwoffs to actually play it right or follow the rules or listen to the Dungeon Master. Oh well.

BOARDS GAMES, you say? That is a much better pastime. Can we derail this into a thread about wonderful wonderful games of the RTS-inspired spirit like Carcasonne or Settlers of Catan or spacial skills parties like Blokus?





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Sat 3 May 13:03]

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"Re(1):BOARD GAMES" , posted Sat 3 May 13:57post reply

I attack THE DARKNESS





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"Re(1):BOARD GAMES" , posted Sat 3 May 14:19post reply

Current favorite board game we are loving the hell out of: Starcraft! Yes! Believe it! It makes a good board game. A very good board game. An expensive one, but it rocks and the presentation is OUT OF THIS WORLD

Risk 2210 has been out of the rotation for a while but it kind of kicks some asses also. Pandemic has also been fun lately as well!





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"Re(1):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 16:03post reply

quote:
So I have a confession to make: I've never played a Dungeons & Dragons game in my entire life. The closest I got was when they demoed Warhammer at the front of my appartment where there was a Games Workshop back when I lived in MD. I got myself a DM Guide and the 6 dice needed, but I'm stuck in a crux right now.

I bought my DM Guide back when 4E was announced. The trouble was, I got 3.5 anyways, but one store owner actually insisted that EVERYONE was switching to 4E, and that my DM Guide was virtually worthless, not that it mattered since what I really needed was the Player's Handbook.

Now the big problem is that I can't make any sense of it all. I don't know whether to pursue just buying 3.5 Player's Guide and start from there, or sell my Guide and get 4E when it comes out as if some people might think I'm going into this lifelong commitment of DM'ing. I really lost as to where to start, and websites can only help me so much about the concepts. Is there anybody who can explain to me the basics as if somebody had absolutely no knowledge of D&D?



The closest I've ever gotten to D&D was the cartoon show and those 2 Capcom beat-em-ups... and that's just the way I'd like to keep it. XD
(Although I do own a Warhammer manual...)





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"Re(2):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sat 3 May 16:43post reply

quote:

The closest I've ever gotten to D&D was the cartoon show and those 2 Capcom beat-em-ups... and that's just the way I'd like to keep it. XD
(Although I do own a Warhammer manual...)



Did you know that vulture guy Nagpa in the second Capcom game was like weak as hell in the actual game? That guy kicked serious ass in Shadow Over Mystara.





I found Kagami's sword in a junk yard.
I will rule the world and find that truly good cup of coffee.
"Dink-a-dink-a-dink-a-do."

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"Re(2):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sun 4 May 02:12post reply

quote:


The closest I've ever gotten to D&D was the cartoon show and those 2 Capcom beat-em-ups... and that's just the way I'd like to keep it.



Surely you do not leave out the great heroic Marlon Wayans film of the same name.





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"Re(4):D&D virgin here..." , posted Sun 4 May 14:04post reply

quote:

You need to find a good fun group to game with. If they're going to give you a hard time for not already knowing the rules, they probably aren't going to be very much fun to actually play with.



I have some friends that have been doing D&D for years but they always complain about the DMs or the other players. They never make or join new groups tho, they just keep complaining. Beaten wives.

The closest I got to D&D was buying a couple of the fiend folios, they got neat monster art in a few of them.





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sfried
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"Re(1): My first time..." , posted Mon 5 May 08:50post reply

So I finally got to penetrate the depths of role-playing by experiencing a session of D&D...and I still feel unexperienced and utterly confused with character creation (modifiers, etc.) and how certain spells work/ which dice are thrown. It's also too bad that I chose a cleric when they through me right into the heat of battle, which made all of the negotiation skills I chose utterly useless.

Can somebody still explain to me how things work in the game?





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"Re(2): Campaigns" , posted Mon 5 May 14:40post reply

Does anybody know other role-playing games that uses a system similar to D&Ds?





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"Re(3): Campaigns" , posted Mon 5 May 15:02post reply

The closest I've been to D&D was when my tiny friend began to play Neverwinter night 2, and I tried very hard to understand the difference between all the different kinds of magics.
I failed, and I thought I was fine with that.





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"Re(3): Campaigns" , posted Tue 6 May 15:13post reply

quote:
Does anybody know other role-playing games that uses a system similar to D&Ds?



How similar? d20 similar, or in the same vein like Shadowrun or Gurps?





I found Kagami's sword in a junk yard.
I will rule the world and find that truly good cup of coffee.
"Dink-a-dink-a-dink-a-do."

sfried
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"Re(4): Campaigns" , posted Tue 6 May 15:35:post reply

quote:
How similar? d20 similar, or in the same vein like Shadowrun or Gurps?



Probably like Shadowrun/GURPs. And I've also heard about things like "Sword World" which use only 2 six sided dice.





[this message was edited by sfried on Tue 6 May 15:35]

emagius
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"Re(2): My first time..." , posted Tue 6 May 21:00post reply

quote:
So I finally got to penetrate the depths of role-playing by experiencing a session of D&D...and I still feel unexperienced and utterly confused with character creation (modifiers, etc.) and how certain spells work/ which dice are thrown. It's also too bad that I chose a cleric when they through me right into the heat of battle, which made all of the negotiation skills I chose utterly useless.


Don't worry. The Cleric is the strongest combat class in the game (well, tied with the Druid).

quote:
Can somebody still explain to me how things work in the game?



Generally, it's just roll 1d20, add the relevant modifiers, and compare to a target value (DC, AC). Beyond that, you'll need to be more specific with your questions.

Honestly, though, 4e looks to substantially streamline and reinvent the game. Were I you, I'd either hold off until it's widely available or try to attend one of the 4e demos. June 7th is the big day ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/gameday ), but there are other demos currently ongoing ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080319a ).





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"Re(3): My first time..." , posted Wed 7 May 10:00post reply

quote:
Don't worry. The Cleric is the strongest combat class in the game (well, tied with the Druid).

Can somebody still explain to me how things work in the game?


Generally, it's just roll 1d20, add the relevant modifiers, and compare to a target value (DC, AC). Beyond that, you'll need to be more specific with your questions.

Honestly, though, 4e looks to substantially streamline and reinvent the game. Were I you, I'd either hold off until it's widely available or try to attend one of the 4e demos. June 7th is the big day ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/gameday ), but there are other demos currently ongoing ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080319a ).


Is 4e that different from the previous editions? I hear they've geared it more towards combat/ the MMORPG crowd, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you view it (I've never played an MMO in my entire life. I have so little time to dedicate nowdays and so little money). That said, I just wanted to know the basic rules of D&D and don't really plan on a life-long commitment to the franchise.





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"Re(4): My first time..." , posted Wed 7 May 10:39post reply

quote:
Don't worry. The Cleric is the strongest combat class in the game (well, tied with the Druid).

Can somebody still explain to me how things work in the game?


Generally, it's just roll 1d20, add the relevant modifiers, and compare to a target value (DC, AC). Beyond that, you'll need to be more specific with your questions.

Honestly, though, 4e looks to substantially streamline and reinvent the game. Were I you, I'd either hold off until it's widely available or try to attend one of the 4e demos. June 7th is the big day ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/gameday ), but there are other demos currently ongoing ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080319a ).

Is 4e that different from the previous editions? I hear they've geared it more towards combat/ the MMORPG crowd, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you view it (I've never played an MMO in my entire life. I have so little time to dedicate nowdays and so little money). That said, I just wanted to know the basic rules of D&D and don't really plan on a life-long commitment to the franchise.



Seriously, just find a friendly looking group of gamers and ask them to help you make a character and join their campaign. The best way to learn is to play and learn as you go. I've been playing with the same group of people on and off for over a decade now, and honestly, i still don't know all the rules. I am lazy. I just trust the DM to know how to handle things.

The best part about Pen and Paper RPGs is that you get to use your imagination. It's controlled make believe. It's about storytelling, and the fun parts of your personality that shine through as you create a compelling story together.

If you find yourself with a group that will roll their eyes at you and make you feel dumb for not knowing the rules, that's not going to be a fun group.

That said, if you must know the rules, get the player's guide. The gist of it is that you roll dice to determine your success in any action, and the odds are modified by your stats and equipment (and the actions you can take are determined by your job class), but if you want to know anything more specific than that, get the player's guide. Check the local library or bittorrent if you don't feel like paying money.





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"Re(5): 4e" , posted Mon 12 May 12:33post reply

So I've had my third session an I think I'm getting the hang of it. Core things I picked up are that any magical healing spell can revive unconscious/downed characters (unlike most other RPG conventions, thus making revival easier), and that spells can be casted once per day. And the dice other than d20 are usually used for determining amounts (whereas before I though other dice were also involved in determining comparisons with target values).

Now about 4e: I attending a session next Sunday at the local hobbie shop that will be hosting 4th Edition. Hopefully they could tell me what the main differences are, as I keep hearing from the store owner that it's geared more towards the MMO crowd. But since I don't play MMOs, and haven't really played any PC RPGs (would you count space trading and combat simulation games as PC RPGs? You do roleplay...and level up your ship) can somebody give me an idea about what they're talking about? I hope they don't expect me to have played WoW or anything like that...





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"Re(6): 4e" , posted Mon 12 May 22:15:post reply

quote:
can somebody give me an idea about what they're talking about? I hope they don't expect me to have played WoW or anything like that...



In addition to daily and per-encounter powers, 4e classes all have at-will powers (i.e., "infinite" times/day), often with secondary effects and/or auras. For example, the 4e Warlord has an at-will melee attack power ("Wolfpack Tactics") that grants a free 5' step ("shift") to a nearby ally (in addition to Warlord's attack). Wizards can now toss out "infinite" (limited only by rounds in a day) Magic Missiles and can even use them for AoOs.

Many classes also have the ability to "mark" opponents. For example, the 4e Paladin has an ability to mark an opponent such that the marked opponent takes damage every time it attacks someone other than the Paladin.

Everyone also has far more HP than in earlier editions and the ability to heal themselves ("Second Wind"), even in the midst of combat.

In short, low level characters have many more useful combat options, are hardier, and are more "heroic" than their previous-D&D brethren.





[this message was edited by emagius on Mon 12 May 22:20]

nobinobita
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"Re(7): 4e" , posted Tue 13 May 02:14post reply

quote:

Everyone also has far more HP than in earlier editions and the ability to heal themselves ("Second Wind"), even in the midst of combat.

In short, low level characters have many more useful combat options, are hardier, and are more "heroic" than their previous-D&D brethren.



That's good to hear. I recall in the earlier editions, a level 1 character without armor could be killed by a common house cat.





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"Re(7): 4e" , posted Tue 13 May 02:41post reply

I see. What's "AoO"?





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"Re(8): 4e" , posted Tue 13 May 12:09post reply

quote:

Everyone also has far more HP than in earlier editions and the ability to heal themselves ("Second Wind"), even in the midst of combat.

In short, low level characters have many more useful combat options, are hardier, and are more "heroic" than their previous-D&D brethren.


That's good to hear. I recall in the earlier editions, a level 1 character without armor could be killed by a common house cat.



From what I understand the Lv.1 of 4th Ed. is like being Lv.3 in the current edition.

Back when I used to play Dark Sun on 2nd Ed. starting on Lv.3 was the bare minimum allowed (because anything less and even herd beasts can kill you), which I thought was a rather forward-thinking thing to have at the time considering being Lv.1, without question, always sucked the big one.





I found Kagami's sword in a junk yard.
I will rule the world and find that truly good cup of coffee.
"Dink-a-dink-a-dink-a-do."

emagius
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"Re(8): 4e" , posted Tue 13 May 22:07post reply

quote:
I see. What's "AoO"?



Attack of Opportunity (3e term -- I forgot what it's called in 4e): the free attack a character gets when an opponent within melee reach lets down its guard (by drinking a potion, running away, etc.).





sfried
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"Re(9): 4e" , posted Tue 20 May 16:31post reply

Just had a chance to play 4E.

First of all, here's my take. "Marking" makes things needlessly compliacted, as it makes improvisational moves harder. Someone explained to me that they are taking the concept of "aggro" (I still don't know what the hell that means) and applying it to D&D. Well, it doesn't work, as the DM can chose to ignore the cost and still attack with the penalty in place.

Similarly, I'm not feeling this healing surge option. You cn only use it once a day, and it coud only heal so many of your hitpoints, whereas a cleric can just keep sacrificing his useless spells and have better recovery.

That said, levels do seem balanced out, and I like the concept of rolling 20 = auto-critical hit. But still, I do think they sort of took away things that made D&D...well, D&D. I'll see how a personal custom-made compaign plays out after its release.





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"Re(10): 4e" , posted Tue 20 May 22:47post reply

quote:
Just had a chance to play 4E.

Similarly, I'm not feeling this healing surge option. You cn only use it once a day,


Once per encounter.

quote:
whereas a cleric can just keep sacrificing his useless spells and have better recovery.


No one wanted to play a Cleric in OD&D-2e, as they did little but fix up other party members. In 3e, WotC made the Cleric the strongest combat class (arguably), but still everyone expected the Cleric to waste his actions healing their characters. 4e hopes to allow the Cleric to finally break free from the purely walking-band-aid role and contribute directly to battle. We'll see how well that works in practice.

quote:
But still, I do think they sort of took away things that made D&D...well, D&D.



So, you went from D&D virgin to veteran in two weeks? ;)





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"Re(2):Re(10): 4e" , posted Wed 21 May 01:54:post reply

quote:
Once per encounter

So, you went from D&D virgin to veteran in two weeks? ;)


I never implied that I was a veteran (but you were right. It was easy to get into). I meant stuff that I've grasped about D&D so far, especially class specializations.

Surges are still limited per day. It doesn't help that some of my party members can't reach me (to use my surges on me, no less) because they've been marked.

But you're right. We'll see how campaigns go. I have another meet on Saturday after the release.





[this message was edited by sfried on Wed 21 May 01:55]

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"Re(3):Re(10): More 4E" , posted Sun 8 Jun 15:10:post reply

Played 4E once again.

The campaign was pretty straight forward, this time playing as a Rogue. I felt pretty helpless/useless with the range of my effective actions being limited to a few, such as using a crossbow or doing an Encounter Power, but that's probably because we were all Level 1. In a way, I like 4e's character layout sheet a bit more since you know whhich weapon does how much damage (probably because it's a premade character).

It was actually more interesting this time because it was the DM who volunarily ignored some of the conditions set by the premade campaign because he found our party's solution to a certain puzzle more interesting. I believe this is what I meant by the D&D "feel" I was refering to in my last post. I noticed that alot of times in my previous sessions with 3.5 (which have been going for weeks now), improvization was one of the key things that somewhat made the campaign fun. It wasn't because you had stats to figure out, but more of how intuitively you could think outside the box. Computer RPGs have had a hard time grasping this idea of constantly improvizing for every action a character exploits, so alot of them just focus on things like making sure there are many side-quests, the illusion of choice, and making sure things are not "broken" while still being fairly predictable in the outcome.

Coming back to 4E, my party was going to do use one of the background props as a shield, but couldn't because of something concerning the Player's Handbook. There are still many principles I could not grasp logically about 4E's nature, such as why everyone could heal themselves, and why certain classes like the bard had to be removed.





[this message was edited by sfried on Sun 8 Jun 15:11]

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"Re(4):Re(10): More 4E" , posted Mon 9 Jun 18:32:post reply

quote:
Played 4E once again.

The campaign was pretty straight forward, this time playing as a Rogue. I felt pretty helpless/useless with the range of my effective actions being limited to a few, such as using a crossbow or doing an Encounter Power, but that's probably because we were all Level 1. In a way, I like 4e's character layout sheet a bit more since you know whhich weapon does how much damage (probably because it's a premade character).

It was actually more interesting this time because it was the DM who volunarily ignored some of the conditions set by the premade campaign because he found our party's solution to a certain puzzle more interesting. I believe this is what I meant by the D&D "feel" I was refering to in my last post. I noticed that alot of times in my previous sessions with 3.5 (which have been going for weeks now), improvization was one of the key things that somewhat made the campaign fun. It wasn't because you had stats to figure out, but more of how intuitively you could think outside the box. Computer RPGs have had a hard time grasping this idea of constantly improvizing for every action a character exploits, so alot of them just focus on things like making sure there are many side-quests, the illusion of choice, and making sure things are not "broken" while still being fairly predictable in the outcome.

Coming back to 4E, my party was going to do use one of the background props as a shield, but couldn't because of something concerning the Player's Handbook. There are still many principles I could not grasp logically about 4E's nature, such as why everyone could heal themselves, and why certain classes like the bard had to be removed.



That's the thing with D&D: you can do whatever you want in a given situation, and that's what makes it fun to play... it's sort of what I was alluding to when I said that "the rules are only somewhat important".

This used to be epitomized by the spell Cantrip, which basically let you do anything you could think of, but only with very weak effects (say, you could make a breeze strong enough to blow out a candle, but you can't make a gust of wind so strong that it could push a ship... you can make a banana peel for somebody to slip on, but you can't grease an entire stairway... ).

The "healing surge" system did not use to exist; it's new to 4E, probably to alleviate problems with item distribution and healer management (or not having a healer). Disrupting the flow of the game.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Mon 9 Jun 18:33]

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"Re(4):Re(10): More 4E" , posted Tue 10 Jun 12:22post reply

quote:
It was actually more interesting this time because it was the DM who volunarily ignored some of the conditions set by the premade campaign because he found our party's solution to a certain puzzle more interesting.


A great GM can make nearly any rules system work. Heck, a great GM doesn't even *need* a rules system. Part of this comes from knowing how and when to apply the rules.

Several RPGs have something the equivalent of "Rule Zero", which is that if the GM (and players) don't like something in the rules, then they should change it to something they do like. Apply the sections you like, drop what you don't, add what you think is missing, take the printed game engine as only a framework to create your own personal incarnation upon.

The biggest problem with designing a rules system is that most GMs aren't great GMs. Many will rely on the rules to even produce something playable, that doesn't devolve into arguments or players walking out.

You have to make rules to cover everything you can think of, because someone will complain about every area that is lacking. Which is an understandable argument when people are paying for your rules system. They want rules that cover everything. After all, if everything comes down to "use your own judgment," then why buy the rules at all?

The spin-off problem though is that if rules are present, most people will use them. The more you make rules for the fine details, the less people will deal with these details on their own. If you write a way to simulate negotiation with die rolls, then people will start rolling their negotiations rather than role-playing them. (D&D tried to address this by giving bonuses for role-playing, but the problem exists across the board.)