View Full Version : First DnD Campaign

2010-03-03, 12:32 PM
Hello. As of a week ago I have been invited to join my first DnD campaign. In all honesty its my first tabletop game all together, and I need some advice to make a good impression so I can keep mooching of them every other weekend for free chips and snacks. Oh and so I can keep playing of course. The group I'm joining has anywhere from 1-20 years experience. They are currently running a pathfinder campaign based of a campaign they finished in December. At the moment he's emailing us, one by one, the list of races for the campaign.

So, can you guys help me out?

Beowulf DW
2010-03-03, 12:49 PM
I'm a newby myself, so the only thing I can offer you is empathy. :smallsmile:

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-03, 12:50 PM
No we can't, because that's not nearly enough information.

What sort of character do you want to play? What are they playing? How optimised are they? Why the hell are they playing Pathfinder of all things?

2010-03-03, 12:54 PM
The only real advice to give is "tell them you never played a game like this before and let them explain you everything". If many of them have years of experience, they should know how to explain everything in a simple way.

For character creation, I'd advice that you get together with one of the more experienced players who can guide you through the process step by step.
As being new to the game, I wouldn't worry too much about making an optimal character. Just pick a race and a class you think sound fun. It's no use to make a character that utilizes a lot of complicated tricks to reach a high level of power, if you don't fully understand all the little details behind it. But you might check with the other players so that every character can fill a different role and nieche, so you there's always something your character is best suited for instead of some other member of the group who know the game better.

In a 3rd Edition or Pathfinder game, I would also chose a class that is not a spellcaster, as those are harder to play, especially at low levels. In 4th Edition, I don't know if it makes any difference.

2010-03-03, 12:56 PM
If you tell us the character you want to play as s/he is in your head, in as much detail as you know, we can probably help. Even in Pathfinder. :smalltongue:

2010-03-03, 01:10 PM
I am at the moment contemplating making a Human cleric/fighter character who worships Sarenrae. His domains would be healing, and glory. I planned to keep healing mostly to myself while dealing melee damage.

The setting as far as I know it is an army of Goblyn's is going out of there way to kill everything, and as a added point they seem to dislike the weaker goblins. So the goblins are a race choice. Also from what I am told, there is no such thing as detect spells, like detect evil or magic. The DM says this changes things a great deal, saying that politics are a lot more difficult now that you can't have a paladin tell you whose evil and whose not, but I'm a little unsure about that.

I'm not sure why they would or would not play pathfinder, however I do believe they all share the same feelings towards 4th ed., which from the words they used to describe it is probably negative.

npc revolution
2010-03-03, 01:15 PM
hey, umm, I'm new-ish too. I thought it'd be better to post here than to start a new thread.
How do you calculate hit points at character creation?

2010-03-03, 01:19 PM
each class has a certain die to roll. You add the result to your total. I think. Wizards have lower numbered die, fighters higher. It should be in the character guide.

2010-03-03, 01:22 PM
Well the first thing I was going to suggest if you want to make a good impression is don't just mooch off of them for free chips and snacks. Bring some of your own to share with them, shows you're a team player. :smallsmile:

Other than that, just show a willingness to learn the game, actually read the rules so you're familiar with them. And most importantly just make sure you're having fun. There's nothing worse than basically having to drag along another player who's uninterested in the story or what's happening.

npc revolution
2010-03-03, 01:23 PM
thanks very much

do i add con. to the hit die and roll that?

2010-03-03, 01:24 PM
With a human fighter/cleric, you're pretty much on the safe side. Rather easy to play with good endurance and attack potential, while having few exotic abilities.

As a frontline fighter, you need good Strength and Constitution, and also a decent Wisdom score to cast your spells. I'd probably start as cleric on 1st level, so you can benefit from spells and magical healing right from the start, and add fighter levels only later on. What spells to prepare is best discussed with the other players of the group (and probably won't take more than 5 minutes).
The only big descisions that are to be made, is the choice of feats. There is a very large number of possible feats you could chose, and they interact in a number of interesting ways, so it's a good choice to plan a bit ahead what feats you really need. That mostly depends on what you want your character to do. As a fighter/cleric, you probably want to place your focus on melee combat, but you might also be required to handle protective and healing spells for the other characters.

2010-03-03, 01:27 PM
Yes, I remember reading about one feat that allows a cleric to differentiate between friend and foe when he's using the channel energy ability. Would that be one such ability outside melee to consider?

2010-03-03, 01:29 PM
thanks very much

do i add con. to the hit die and roll that?

In regular 3.5 D&D (not pathfinder), at first level, your HP is going to be the max of your HD (10 for fighters, 4 for wizards, and so on) plus your constitution modifier.

Your con mod is equal to your (constitution score-10)/2. There's also a table in the very first chapter with the races & stuff that shows the bonuses for different ability scores.

Pathfinder characters start with more HPs, though I'm not sure what the mechanics are.

2010-03-03, 01:54 PM
As somebody above me said, just make sure they know that you are new and ask a lot of questions. The best way to learn your way around is to just dive in and get your hands dirty. No amount of book reading will prepare you for what will go down on the table.

Also, make sure that you are figuring out exactly what you are going to do on your turn while everybody else is taking theirs. I love playing with new players and helping them out, but nothing is worse than a new player just kinda sitting around waiting for his turn, and then reading through all of his spells or whatever while everybody else is waiting when he could've been doing that for the past 20 minutes.

And don't let anybody on the forums overwhelm you with words like optimization, specialization etc etc. Just play the game.

2010-03-03, 02:36 PM
Well, I'm not very familiar with pathfinder, but since you're joining a spin-off of a campaign they've been playing for a while, I might be able to give you some tips (as I was once plunged into a campaign that had been going on for about a year...).

First off, try to learn about the background of the previous campaign and the characters. Going in without knowing all that will make you feel a bit left out, since others probably know in-game stuff that you've never heard of before.

Also, you should probably try not to make a character that takes too much of the spotlight, but more someone who supports the storyline. That's not at all the norm for RPGs, but if you're going to join a story that your friends have been doing for quite some time, they'll appreciate it if you don't shake their view of the world too much.
For example, a friend once told me she had been playing a campaign for a long time, until one day a new player joined. Now, in this campaign, performing magic was outlawed under penalty of either death or a lifetime in prison. The campaign thus far had been about a group of sorcerers who were VERY subtle in using their magic, to the point where solving problems with subtlety had become the focus of the campaign. And in comes the new guy who decides to play as a (WoW-style) gnome wizard specialized in evocation. That's a bit of an extreme situation, but yeah, try to avoid stuff like that. (Of course, had it been a new campaign, the GM and other players should have just dealt with it, but since it was an existing campaign it was kind of insensitive of the new player, through no fault of his own).
Another example involves my own character coming into the campaign as a don juan kinda guy, who constantly kept hitting on one of the other players (who, in real life, happened to be the GM's wife, which in my opinion only added to the fun :smallwink:). Unfortunately there was a lot of romance and drama going on, and my carefree ladies' man had no place in their intense roleplaying.

So try to come up with a character that supports the storyline, basically :P. That doesn't mean seamlessly fitting into their story, just be careful that any extravagant characteristics of your character don't conflict with either the world you're on, or with the other characters :).

Most importantly, have fun!

2010-03-04, 03:34 PM
So we have be honest, seek assistance, plane moves during the other players turns so as to not make others wait, discuss spell selection with team, and to not go against the flow of the world so as to not be disruptive. Oh and bring some snacks.

A few other questions then. How important is a character's back story? Is it any more important if one is thinking this campaign may last as long as the first, 2 years from what I've heard?

2010-03-04, 04:42 PM
How important is a character's back story? Is it any more important if one is thinking this campaign may last as long as the first, 2 years from what I've heard?

It depends on the DM/campaign. Some DMs like players to provide character backgrounds that they can mine for plot hooks. Other DMs don't care. It's yet another thing you should ask the DM and other players about.

2010-03-04, 05:40 PM
Provided your backstory isn't immediately going to tie into the plot, I've found it's generally enough to come up with some basics, maybe using one of those questionnaires that everyone is always linking to (help me out, guys?), and then flesh things out the as you play. Though as Venerable said, you should probably speak to the DM first.

2010-03-04, 05:56 PM
It helps if you have a general idea about who your character is.

For example, for a human fighter/cleric, you could say that he grew up in a rural town that had a medium-size temple that included it's own small contingent of guards, who acted as the local police. The character joined the local militia and was offered to be trained in the churches main temple and become a sacred knight. After he finished his basic training he was ordained as a warrior priest and send by the head priest to solve some kind of problem that was reported to the church (i.e. the campaigns starting adventure). Or he wasn't ordained yet and has to perform some deeds worthy of a true temple knight.
Something like that will usually totally suffice. If anything more will be needed over the course of the campaign, you can easily come up with it as needed.

2010-03-14, 01:21 AM
Thank you all for advice. Most if not all of it was helpful and it turned out to be a lot of fun.