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Thread: Dungeons & Dragons

  1. #41
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Not D&D, but Shadowrun.

    In case you were confused and thought it might be D&D.


  2. #42
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    I realize this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I fell down an internet hole and looked at a bunch of indie D&D supplements tonight, and I stumbled across Maze of the Blue Medusa. This thing is so beautifully constructed, the only reason I'm not dropping $50 on it is... well, it's not a scenario or a full setting, it's a hyper-detailed Megadungeon and it's intended to be played. I know it would just sit on my shelf.

    Try not to look at this guy's fingernails. Jeez man wtf


  3. #43
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    I'm really enjoying WoD and thinking about trying my hand at GMing something. As the source books for WoD aren't readily available, I'm thinking I'll just go with D&D. Any recommendations for editions and potential campaigns for a newbie GM to get started with?

  4. #44
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    4th edition has a huge fuckload of materials released, and you can probably find them at a used bookstore (5th is the new hotness these days). 4th was never extremely popular, because D&D players resented it for trying too much to "be like World of Warcraft." But if you're starting with a group of new players, I think it's a great entry point, because all the spells and abilities are very tightly described by statistics and rules. It's all pretty clear once you learn the vocabulary. But there are a lot of rules, because they tried to keep everything consistent and make sure there were no holes in the mechanics. It leaves very little to the imagination. How a skill works, and what it does, is all right there on the page.

    5th takes things back a step, makes them a little more like people's idealized memories of AD&D. I like 5th, but I didn't really have a problem with 4th.

    Pathfinder is a throwback to 3rd/3.5th. And there's a shitload of material for it, because all the D&D players who abandoned ship during the much-hated 4th edition went over to Pathfinder.

    There are extremely minimalistic systems you can run, too. Almost no rules. For example, The Black Hack is a whole RPG system contained in a $2 PDF. It's like ten pages long.

    If you're not worried about having too much to look at, then I'd suggest going to a used bookstore and seeing what's on the shelf. The sheer amount of stuff available for 4th edition might confuse you.

    Bare minimum:

    • Dungeon Master's Guide
    • As many copies of the Player's Handbook as you can get your hands on
    • A low-level module to run, so you don't have to strain your imagination at the same time you're straining your intellect to learn all the rules
    • EDIT: A grid mat and some tokens!

    Nice to have:

    • Player's Handbook 2 and 3 define more classes for your players to play, if they're not satisfied by the basic stuff in PHB1 (Wizard, Fighter, etc.)
    • All the Arcane/Martial/Divine/Primal/Psionic Power books define more spells and specializations (Arcane = wizards and sorcerers, Martial = fighters and rogues, etc.)
    • Monster Manual 1-3, if you feel like improvising outside whatever module you've chosen to run; the module should supply all the monster/NPC stats you need, though
    • Adventurer's Vault 1-2, if you want a huge catalog of items and artifacts

    Unnecessary:

    • Dungeon Master's Guide 2 gives you more tips for running your own campaign, designing your own monsters and encounters... if you stick to modules, no need for this
    • The Plane Above, The Plane Below, Underdark, etc. = details on the various realms and planes you might visit in a non-module campaign; nice to know things about angels and demons, but not super necessary
    • Setting books (Eberron, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms) = worlds other than "vanilla" where you might set your own campaign

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot to mention this, but 4th edition is so tightly rules-bound that you more or less neeeeed to use a grid. You can use poker chips to represent players, monsters, zones of effect, etc. but you can't do it with verbal descriptions alone. 3rd and 5th edition, Pathfinder, Black Hack... all those can probably be played without relying so heavily on a physical play space.
    Last edited by Macheath; 03-19-2018 at 06:49 PM.

  5. #45
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    Before posting here I was thinking of getting the 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, Player's Handbook, and Starter Set. Basically the DM and Player rules plus a pre-built adventure in my understanding. That's close to your bare minimum. Do you think that would be a good start for a group that's never played? Sounds like I'd want more copies of the Player Handbook (which makes sense), I'll have to dig out my old miniatures and dice, and maybe get/make a grid.

    Can manuals from different editions be mixed? I get that it'd be our game and we can decide that, but for example would a 4th edition Monster Compendium generally make sense in the context of 3\3.5\5 dungeons\players\spells? I hadn't considered the used bookstore angle. Picking up manuals cheap is attractive, but I wouldn't want to make it more confusing by having to tell my players to ignore rules.

    I feel like 4th edition isn't a great fit if it's that rules bound. Part of what I'm digging in WoD is the "you can do whatever you want" aspect. I think my group would be more interested in that since that's basically what their experience is anyway. I'm the guy who they hand the rulebooks to whenever there's a question anyway. Handing them a Handbook and expecting them to follow rigid rules seems like it'll be more trouble than it's worth. Does that raise any red flags or seem like a particularly bad idea?

  6. #46
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liuv View Post
    Before posting here I was thinking of getting the 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, Player's Handbook, and Starter Set. Basically the DM and Player rules plus a pre-built adventure in my understanding. That's close to your bare minimum.
    That would be fine. You can get by with one copy of the PHB, especially if you pick up some 5e spellbook cards. Those are nice, because instead of digging through a book, your players can just keep the 3-4 cards for the spells they actually have in their arsenal. Much less info to juggle. But it's more to buy.

    EDIT: ooooh free spellbook cards neat!

    I suggested 4e because it's old, and you can find lots of stuff used (or so I imagine). If you're not coming from 4e, the transition from grid-heavy mechanics-based tactical combat to something more free-form or "theater of the mind"-ish won't hit you very hard. Going from 4e to 5e is hard. But you can definitely play 5e without a grid.

    Quote Originally Posted by liuv View Post
    Do you think that would be a good start for a group that's never played?
    Yeah, there's a "starter kit" for 5e, too, if you just want to dip your toe without spending a couple hundred bucks for your first adventure.

    Quote Originally Posted by liuv View Post
    Can manuals from different editions be mixed? I get that it'd be our game and we can decide that, but for example would a 4th edition Monster Compendium generally make sense in the context of 3\3.5\5 dungeons\players\spells?
    They're kind of close? But the amount of work you'd have to do to convert would be enough to just say forget about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by liuv View Post
    I hadn't considered the used bookstore angle. Picking up manuals cheap is attractive, but I wouldn't want to make it more confusing by having to tell my players to ignore rules.
    My goodness yes, you'd be amazed how quickly nerds abandon Version 78 as soon as Version 79 comes out. There should be piles of D&D 4e shit sitting around, if you find the right seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by liuv View Post
    I feel like 4th edition isn't a great fit if it's that rules bound. Part of what I'm digging in WoD is the "you can do whatever you want" aspect. I think my group would be more interested in that since that's basically what their experience is anyway. I'm the guy who they hand the rulebooks to whenever there's a question anyway. Handing them a Handbook and expecting them to follow rigid rules seems like it'll be more trouble than it's worth. Does that raise any red flags or seem like a particularly bad idea?
    Yeah, if you think your group won't want to remember which keywords mean what, I would not put 4e in front of them. But to some extent, that's going to be the case for any of these systems, other than the minimal stuff like Black Hack.
    Last edited by Macheath; 03-20-2018 at 06:46 PM.

  7. #47
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    It's a gut punch to DMs everywhere. "Husks" is good, though.

    i-kJLdC6S-2100x20000.jpg

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    i-HxPwHLZ-2100x20000.jpg

  8. #48
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    I've been idly watching this in the background this afternoon, and just got to my favorite part:



    A giant demon grabs the group's commander, lifts him up in the air, and crushes him for 40 points of damage (leaving him with 4 HP). "Judge" comes up in the initiative order, and before she can decide what to do, the commander shouts at her:

    COMMANDER: I'm grappled, I'm fucked. You need to get out of here.

    JUDGE: I don't take orders from dead men.

    Badaaaaass.

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