Need advice from a D & D master

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Fingers

Fingers

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Silviakitty said:
just have 'em fight random monsters for an evening.
Sounds just like parenthood. I've been fighting the random little monsters for years.

I don't think this will go anywhere now unless they expressly request it again. They're all within 3-1/2 years of being 18 so I expect the troup will be going their separate ways very soon. Not only that, I can't imagine volunteering to put myself through that madness again. The D & D bug has left me entirely.
 

rdwj

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That actually sounds fun Fingers. I would advise that you have an NPC or two that's a little tougher to help keep order next time. A cleric is actually a good choice for an NPC. He can keep people alive and dish out fair damage.
 

Chriso

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I skipped reading a few posts, but I just want to toss one suggestion out there - I find the D&D environment too intimidating to become a serious player because it's heavily time intensive and memorization intensive.

If you just want some intellectual stimulus, I really highly reccommend the Catan series of games. Start with Settlers of Catan. It's really, really good. It's much shorter, so you can play for an hour or two instead of devoting an entire weekend. It's easy to learn, but still hard to master, and just generally makes for a fun, positive time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlers_of_Catan

Halfway down, see the collector's edition w/ hand-painted tiles? SWMBO's dad has one. Cost something like $1500 and comes in a hand-crafted wood chest with latch. Beautiful masterpiece of art and gaming together.

The bright side is that if you go to a HobbyTown or whatever you have for gaming, the game for 4 players should be less than $20 US. You can get a couple expansions and still spend less than $75 US. Then you can play one of 3 or 4 or 5 different versions of the same basic game. Starfarers and Knights and boats and CRAZYNESS!

Otherwise, Apples to Apples is a great family game! We love it around here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_apples
 

jezter6

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D&D can be mighty intimidating as well to a newcomer to the game. Too many fricking options, too many things on a sheet to look at, and the clerics and wizards are just too hard to play from day 1.

I highly recommend if you ever decide to do anything of the sort again, look at something extremely rules lite. Also, fantasy roleplay might just not be their style. Some people get picked on about it, and it's kinda nerdy to think of yourself doing. Think about something that spans different genres if your group might like something different. Modern w/ Zombies might be good if you have a bunch of horror movie fan kids, or Apocalypse for those that like Mad Max style stuff.

Pick something very easy to get going with. D&D is not for n00bs.<sarcasm> U R A n00b! </sarcasm>
 

Chriso

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jezter6 said:
Modern w/ Zombies might be good if you have a bunch of horror movie fan kids, or Apocalypse for those that like Mad Max style stuff.</sarcasm>
Search for "all flesh must be eaten" - it's a zombie-based rpg, kind of a D&D-Super-Lite.
 

Kevin Dean

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jezter6 said:
Some people get picked on about it, and it's kinda nerdy to think of yourself doing.
I'm not sure that's entirely true now. Granted, a few of the "older" gamers in the clique I used to hang out with (I used to compete in Magic: The Gathering tournaments regionally until my friend was killed and I lost all interest in the game) mentioned it, but as I was going through school, video games were becoming standard and "gaming" in general was no longer in the realm of the nerds. Certainly, some of the people who were hardcore D&Ders were also socially inept, but not all of them and those that weren't didn't get ragged on.
 
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Fingers

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jezter6 said:
I highly recommend if you ever decide to do anything of the sort again, look at something extremely rules lite.
That's precisely what this was. It was a kit called 'Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons'. It came with a two-sided paper map, plastic characters, pre-created character cards, etc. Using the kit your characters could only get to level five. It even had a CD you play at the 'appropriate' time for the first two of three adventures. I don't think it gets any more newb friendly than that.

In retrospect I believe the problem boiled down to having far too weak of a party. We had a wizard, a cleric, and a thief. No warrior. Having a party consisting of only three adventurers is challenging enough, but being devoid of any real combat characters made it far worse.
 

jezter6

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Well, I meant rules light in the matter of number of rules just to get playing. D&D character generation (notwithstanding pre-gen chars from the box set) can literally take HOURS. There are too many boxes to fill, and too many things to look at. ANd that's just their end of it. You mentioned difficulty grasping everything yourself (yes, I know it was a first session thing). But sometimes it's easier to get 'on a roll' by starting out soft and working your way out to something as complex as D&D, which is quite simple in comparison to a number of other systems.

My advise: Look into some of the free rules-lite systems on the net yourself, see if you see something that grabs your interest.

I recommend looking at Risus and OSRIC for starters. OSRIC requires your D&D books for a few things (IIRC) but should be generally ok. If you like the d20 system (what is D&D 3/3.5 edition), you can look into things like Simple20, Microlite20 (my personal favorite of the d20 variants), or something like that.

My favorite system, is the PDQ system. It's very open ended and the 'core concepts' are free from Atomic Sock Monkey. I have their Monkey Ninja Pirate Robot: The Roleplaying Game book, and find it's absolutely one of the easiest games to pickup and go, and the setting for it is light and stupid, which might just work great for a bunch of teenagers.

However, if you decide D&D really is the answer - good luck. Read a lot. Ask questions. One of the better forums for such is EN World. Good people over there. Oh, and did I mention READ A LOT. Part of being a GM is memorizing 300+ pages of rules. That's why I like lite systems that don't need all those pages of rules.
 

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I really wonder how 4th Edition D&D will be. 3.5e isn't that hard to get used to (and it is quite a bit better than 3.0e in several respects even though it was only a "patch" release), but supposedly 4e will be easier. Making everything function like attack roll vs. AC, even saves, is one of the things I've heard that will be done to make actions consistent.
 

rdwj

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chriso said:
If you just want some intellectual stimulus, I really highly reccommend the Catan series of games.
Settlers is a GREAT game, but I think Fingers was trying to expand the kids imagination and RPGs are really the best game for that sort of thing.
 

Chriso

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Oh. I don't imagine things. So Settlers is on the far end of the intellectual spectrum for me. I'm more used to poker or Uno. That's about where my skill level lies.

I hate being dumb. I'm even too dumb to play WoW. I don't understand how to complete quests past about lv. 30.

I think the lack of imagination is probably what led me to not enjoy D&D though. I was one of the morons who attacked the darkness. http://www.ifilm.com/video/220487

Unrelated to anything I just said, read this: http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp - LOL.
 

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Well, i figured id have to post in this a bit:

Im what some people would call an RPG Vet. Ive been playing D&D since about 1986 or so. I still play to this day. At current count, i have around 300 books, novels, and assorted items. Hell, the mouse pad im using at this moment is my original D&D Monsterous Manual from 1978! (I also now collect the REALLY old books)

D&D has come a long long way since then. Back in the 80's and 90's it really was a difficult game to get into for alot of people. Unles you were on of the ones who was able to memorize the THAC0, AC, and Saving Throw tables just to speed up gameplay it was very time consuming. 3.0 Ed was a god send when it comes to just gameplay speed. Actions and general flow of the game are MUCH faster now than they ever were.

There were some casualties though, i personally believe all the colorful suplimental books published through the 1990's are now sadly lacking from WOTC's current lineup. That kind of history and background material really helped draw me into the worlds as a kid. I can only hope they decide to renew some of the older materials like Spelljammer or Darksun.

That said, if you stick with it a bit (and you have the inclination to WANT to learn, that i can see) then its a great way to chill with your kids. I wish my parents were into it but saddly theyre not. However, my wife plays, and when my son hits 10 were gonna teach him the basics also. If you have any questions, feel free to ask to shoot me a PM and im always willing to help a new player out!




All this, from a auto mechanic covered in tattoos. Youll be surprised who plays if you ever actually start asking around :rockin:
 
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Fingers

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ShadowWulf said:
feel free to ask to shoot me a PM and im always willing to help a new player out!
Be careful what you offer, I just may take you up on it and I have a lot of questions. I think I'll wait and see if the kids express an interest in trying again. I don't want to force them because it's supposed to be a fun thing and I don't want to turn it into a chore.

I would rather stick with D & D. I've always been a fan of fantasy novels and my eldest has been reading lots of my books too. He immediately went for the wizard character based on his enjoyment of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and various other novels.
 

dantodd

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Hi Fingers. I'm sure your kids realize that they could have had much more fun than just poking each other's eyes out too.

See if you can convince them to give it a go again. If they're willing, next time add 2 or 3 extra characters who you, as the DM, control. You can use them to beat up the misbehavers a bit. :D

This will also help keep them on-track. Also, make sure there are a few monsters/traps etc. that require a bit of teamwork to get through.

I guess I am one of the old-timers. I haven't played D&D in 25 years or so but went through D&D and then AD&D when the game split as a kid. It was great fun and certainly didn't keep me from running track, running cross country, playing soccer and football in high school.
 

rdwj

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dantodd said:
See if you can convince them to give it a go again. If they're willing, next time add 2 or 3 extra characters who you, as the DM, control. You can use them to beat up the misbehavers a bit. :D

This will also help keep them on-track. Also, make sure there are a few monsters/traps etc. that require a bit of teamwork to get through.
Totally agree - a couple NPCs to round out the party and a little push and they'll have a good time. I'd bet on it. Additionally, feeding them some easy victories early on will help. Nobody likes to get pounded on - especially beginners
 

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Does anyone remember an RPG from the early 80's called "Champions"? Its a super hero role playing game I played a lot back then. I also used to play Traveller and Space Opera, as well as D & D. My friends and I also used to play a game called In the Labyrinth. It started out as a couple of Meta-games (Melee and Wizard) and expanded into a really simple and elegant RPG system. I still have all the books.

I have a whole closet full of board games from Avalon Hill, TSR, Metagaming, and Steve Jackson Games. Ah, those were the days.

I thought about getting back into it, but I just don't have the time anymore. I'm not getting rid of anything, though, and I won't let SWMBO put all my stuff in the attic with the heat and the spiders either.

Anyway, just thought I would share.
 

Silviakitty

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I'm curious, but I doubt I'll actually buy it. I'm gettin too old to keep changin' gaming systems. ;)

Why, back in my day, we had plain plastic dice that you had to fill in the numbers with crayons yourself! *grin*
 

rdwj

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Beerthoven said:
I have a whole closet full of board games from Avalon Hill, TSR, Metagaming, and Steve Jackson Games. Ah, those were the days.
Some of that stuff may be valuable - especially the Avalon Hill stuff. My dad was a HUGE wargamer back when I was growing up. I played several AH games and probably still would if I could find anyone that wanted to play! He never got into the fantasy stuff - too bad.
 

agentbud

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Started playing D&D in the late 70's. continued through the 80's, 90's and into the aughts. Our DM still runs games for his grown (20 something kids). And through all those years it has always been 1st edition only. All original books. Sometime in the late 90's we wrote our own programs in visual basic to keep up with character sheets, random encounters, spells, stats and all the mundane stuff that took up time. We even used a digitizer board to draw the dungeons as we progressed. Didn't realize I was such a geek until I wrote that out. Now we drink beer! Fun times.
 
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