View Full Version : How do you play D&D style games?

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 01:46 PM
Alrighty, after reading through all of OOTS up to this point, and some convincing of a friend of mine from another forum, I decided why not I'll try it out.

I have no freaking clue where to begin.

So how exactly DO you play a D&D style game? If it helps I have played through the KOTOR games, and I know they use D&D elements in the background for that game, but other then that and the OOTS comic, i know zilch about D&D style games.

2007-04-29, 01:51 PM
However you like. It's simple- if you're having fun, you're doing it right. If you don't, you're doing something wrong. Just buy the books- you'll read everything you need to know there.

2007-04-29, 02:04 PM
Whew... where to begin?

Well, Wizards of the Coast (the company that publishes DnD products) wants you to believe that the answer is to spend money - lots of money.

In reality, you really just need the core rulebooks, or, if you want to be even cheaper, the free online SRD.

You'll need a set of dice or an appropriate online dice roller (the Wizard's website has one) that can roll a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and d100. Of all of those, the d20 is most important. (dX means that it is a die with that many sides. d10, for example, is a 10 sided die.) It helps if everyone has their own set of dice, but this isn't necessary - it just makes the game go faster.

You'll need character sheets, which also can be printed off the wizard's website for no money (other than the paper and ink used in the printing).

You need a Dungeon Master, whose job it is to come up with adventures, an overarching plot, and to control everything in the world that he creates that is not the Players. He also resolves rules disputes. (Really, I recommend that you find an experienced DM when you start playing - one that can help you learn the basics).

You need, in addition to the Dungeon Master, some Players. The exact number varies from group to group, but the ideal size is considered 4-6 players, just so you can fill all the party "roles." (Tank, Skills-guy, Healer, and Arcane Caster). Don't panic if you can't find 4 players, or if you get a group together and 12 people want to play - those can work too, provided your DM can handle it.

More than anything, you need an active imagination. DnD relies on this more than anything else. DnD is a "roleplaying" game - roleplaying is akin to acting in that you have your character act as your character would, rather than how you would. While roleplaying is not required in DnD, I recommend that you try it once you've mastered the basic rules.

Once you buy the Player's Handbook or find the content of it online, read it through. It will tell you all you need to know about being a player, how to make a character, what the different classes/races/skills/feats/spells/etc. do, how combat occurs, the works. The DMG (Dungeon Master's Guide) has all the tips/advice for Dungeon Mastering in it, as well as how to create dungeons, NPCs, loot, magic items, etc.

The last core rulebook, the Monster Manual, is also meant to be used by the DM, and is basically a listing of all the core monsters and their stats. It has everything from dragons to zombies to ogres and more.

If you can't find an experienced DM (with a lot of patience) then you may want to start with a pre-written adventure. I'll let someone else fill you in on those.

Some extra things to keep in mind:

1. DnD has rules, but if they're no fun then change them! It's your game, and the whole point is to have fun.

2. You don't win DnD like you do, say, KOTOR. The game continues as long as the DM and Players are willing to continue it.

3. The DM is God. His/Her word goes. Don't argue with the DM. Feel free to point it out when you think they're wrong, but if the DM says that something works the way he says it does, don't keep arguing.

4. The fact that there are 800,000 elven subraces does not mean that you have to play one of them.

5. DnD is incredibly complex. In fact, since it is based on what the human mind can come up with, it is infinitely complex. DnD isn't limited by programming or memory constraints. It may feel overwhelming at first. Don't worry about it.

Good luck, and welcome to the ranks of gamers! PM me if you have a question about anything that I posted.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 02:06 PM
However you like. It's simple- if you're having fun, you're doing it right. If you don't, you're doing something wrong. Just buy the books- you'll read everything you need to know there.

1. what books?

2. However I like huh? So if i roll an 18, i just need to run up and down steps? Don't take that too harshly, I'm just saying your gonna need to start at Chapter 1. Think of that "posting and you" internet clip, replace posting with D&D

EDIT: holy crap, jade just posted right before i did. Hooooo boy. Um... alrighty then, can I get a link or two to stuff i may need?

2007-04-29, 02:09 PM
M0rt was posting the golden rule of DnD. Read my post for more of the technical details. The "chapter one" you refer to can be literally found in Chapter 1 of the Player's Handbook.

The books he refers to are the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual 1.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 02:24 PM
probably should have said this at the start, but I'm mainly just planning on doing this over the internet. (mostly just here, probably)

2007-04-29, 02:34 PM
That's a help, in finding a solid DM, but you're still going to need the Player's Handbook, at least.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 02:50 PM
hmmmm.... well I kinda need to save my money right now... anyway of finding some sort of copy online? I mean it's the internet, there's gotta be one somewhere right? :D

2007-04-29, 02:57 PM
You should have at least one copy of each of the first two core books (Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide) for the group, and it really helps to have a Player's Handbook each. You can get those on Amazon. The Monster Manual is nice, but not strictly necessary.

Most of Core is available on the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/). The SRD, though, was gutted of everything that relates to the standard world and a good bit of the descriptions; they also took out the rules on how to create characters (in the Player's Handbook) and advance them (in the Dungeon Master's Guide), but the rest of the rules are intact. Since the Monster Manual doesn't have any character creation or advancement rules, it was put on the SRD mostly intact.

Note that there are later volumes of these books (volume II of the PHB and DMG; they're up to IV on the MM). These are outside of core, so their stuff isn't in the SRD, but they don't have anything you strictly need.

Once you have the books, and have read them over, you need a group and an adventure. Get a few friends together, create characters, and that's about it for the group; there are quite a number of published adventures floating around the internet, or you can write your own. I'd reccomend starting at level 1 if nobody understands the rules all that well, since they're simplest then.

There are some other books that I'd reccomend, but aren't necessary:
PHB and DMG 2. The stuff in here is really nice.
Monster Manual (all volumes). These are very helpful, and repeat all of their important mechanics, so you can start anywhere in the series. Monster Manual 1 is mostly released into the SRD (except for a few monsters), and 2 has some old rules in it that take some updating (dig around on http://www.wizards.com and they've got the updates for it). Three and Four, though, are full of monsters you aren't getting for free.
Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. Replaces the combat-oriented classes with something more interesting. It's a good bit more powerful, but the casters are more powerful than melee-types normally (admittedly after a bit of a steep learning curve), and this doesn't do quite enough to even the scales (just to keep melee-types competitive). I'd reccomend waiting on this one until everyone gets a good handle on the rules, actually, then switching your Fighter out for a Warblade (PHB2 has reccomendations on how to do this for people who are attached to their fighter).
Eberron Campaign Setting. This is a very nice world-in-a-book. Get this if you want an interesting world and feel that you can't make one on your own. There are a few other published settings, such as Forgotten Realms; Eberron is my personal preference. Eberron has political tensions, moral grey areas, exploration, and pulp action (Indiana Jones would fit in here. His aircraft would run on magic, but he'd fit); FR is a more generic fantasy world.

The above are in no particular order.

2007-04-29, 02:57 PM
Sorry for he lack of details- Jade_Tarem covered it already anyway.
As for online version- there's SRD(system reference document)- downloadable or online- where you can find most of the rules, but you can't play with SRD only- for example, you can't find anything about gaining experience there. So if you want to play, you'll have to buy three aforementioned books. Though I guess you can skip Monster Manual, as you can find monsters in SRD.
EDIT: Simu-ed.

2007-04-29, 02:59 PM
Getting a copy of the PHB online would be illegal, but thankfully the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/) contains pretty much everything...

2007-04-29, 02:59 PM
Not that I endorse it or would suggest it, but I've been told that it's possible to download most D&D books in PDF format from the internet, if one was so inclined...

2007-04-29, 03:15 PM
Forget endorsement, remember legality; it is illegal in most countries to breach someone's copyright by obtaining their products without paying. Also, the D&D books are published in book form, changing it to another medium (digital books, PDF) requires the author's permission. I can pretty much guarantee that the creators of the PDF's you'll find online did not get this permission.

EDIT: I had a hunch this would be covered by the forum rules (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/announcement.php?a=1) and it is: (Emphasis mine)

Criminal Activity
Posts containing illegal content - including but not limited to discussion of how to commit illegal activities, discussion of the use or acquisition of illegal substances, or posts that violate a law in and of themselves - will result in an immediate ban for the poster.
Just so you know.

Legal jibba jabba aside, I'd recommend searching for a game on this forum and tell the DM you are a first time player. Some of the DM's might not want to invest their time in you, but most will. This is in my opinion the best and easiest way to learn the game.

Have fun!

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 03:16 PM
well if I'm just gonna do this online, chances are the DM of whatever game will have the listing of monsters, and a campaign of some kind, so not too worried there.

i found about 50 different versions of character sheets on google image search.

I'll see if i can find that SRD online. Hopefully i can.

EDIT: squishy - sounds like a good idea. I saw where the campaigns were listed, is there any reccomendations on which ones I should look at to start with?

2007-04-29, 03:25 PM
Here's SRD online:
www.d20srd.org (http://www.d20srd.org/)

2007-04-29, 03:30 PM
The best way to play DnD is to do it with about 5 - 8 friends who all play completly different characters and races.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 03:30 PM
lol, yeah I just found that site myself actually! looks very useful indeed, already added to favorites.

also i found this site...


for character sheets. Any on there you guys think I should use, or should I just use Microsoft Word for the info, or what?

2007-04-29, 03:32 PM
EDIT: squishy - sounds like a good idea. I saw where the campaigns were listed, is there any reccomendations on which ones I should look at to start with?
Well I wouldn't really know, as I haven't played in any games here for a long time, but just read through the Finding Players and/or Playing threads of some of the campaigns and see if you find one you like.
In my experience most people who run games here are pretty good, the only thing you could look out for is dying games (games that stop soon).

EDIT: Most DM's will want you to use an online character sheet site, like http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 03:42 PM
is that something like, you make the character, and it gives you a link so anyone can see it, or something similar? seems like it from what i've seen of the site so far.

2007-04-29, 03:48 PM
Erm. Yes. In a way probably quite different from what you imagined...
It is like a digital character sheet. You can make a profile and manage a map of character sheets. Then for each sheet you can control who can see it. You can make it public, or just accessible by certain users.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 03:53 PM
alrighty then. I'll see if i can figure out how to download this darn thing, so I can make someone up then! (because having a character to play with is a bit of a plus to have.) :D

2007-04-29, 04:07 PM
This site does not make the char for you, it mearly hosts your char online. You have to imput all the data yourself.

2007-04-29, 04:20 PM
lol, yeah I just found that site myself actually! looks very useful indeed, already added to favorites.

also i found this site...


for character sheets. Any on there you guys think I should use, or should I just use Microsoft Word for the info, or what?

For your information: Dragonsfoot is strictly an OOP (Out Of Print) website. It only deals with and only hosts material for old editions of Dungeons and Dragons that were not created by Wizards of the Coast. These editions significantly differ from the recentmost one (which is practically the only edition you'll find anything about here in the OOTS forums), so whatever you find at Dragonsfoot will not be usable in a game using the new edition.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 04:38 PM
Couldn't get the rpgwebprofiler started for whatever reason, probably for reasons you just mentioned. Digging around a bit, I saw someone using Myth-Weavers, and I just registered there. So all I have to do now is set up a character there whenever I find a game.

Looking around a bit, I noticed 2 ways of setting original skills. Dice, and a point system. Don't know much about the dice one, but it seems straightforward. And the point system I'm quite familiar with thanks to KOTOR (assuming they use the exact same charts for price increases and the like, but even if it doesn't it shouldn't be too hard to pick up the new ones.)

thanks for the warning about dragonfoot btw. Sounds like I would need an online profile anyways, but it's good to know I guess.

One more question. Do you always start your character as a lvl 1 person, or does that vary from game to game?

2007-04-29, 04:52 PM
It's easiest to start at level one, but the starting level is entirely up to the DM. So yes, it varies from game to game.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-29, 04:56 PM
D&D is an imaginative collaborative story effort with a mechanical game front end. The DM tells a story, the players add to it, and then the dice randomly determine how it happens. There is no specific right or wrong way to do it. Simply try your best, and if you're all having fun then you're doing right.

2007-04-29, 05:01 PM
I would suggest, as your first game, that you start at level one.

No matter what character race/class you choose your abilities are limited at level one and thus you can learn the basics without being too overwhelmed.

As you progress you gain abilities which increase your options and make it more complex, but by the time you get them you'll have an idea how to use them.

-One Wolf

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 05:07 PM
so try to find a game that starts somewhere around lvl 1-5 when making a brand new character then?

2007-04-29, 05:27 PM
Starting at level one, with some more experienced players around would be ideal. They can advise you on how to develop your character into who you want to be, and stop you making silly mistakes (melee combat pure bard, who only uses his fists, HOOYAH). They can also provide a "buffer" between you and the game world. If you're unsure how to proceed in a situation they can advise; if it all goes wrong, they're likely to have an idea of how to save the situation; if you're creating a completely sub-optimal character, it won't impact the party as much, etc etc.

Still, never get bullied into doing things because it's "optimal" or "what I always do in this situation". Optimal does not always equal fun, solutions of the past are not always solutions of the present. Sometimes, it's best to do the stupid things.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 05:42 PM
I mean just look at Elan!


a bad idea all in all, but still pretty darn funny. :D

2007-04-29, 05:48 PM
Yep, and if your DM finds it hilarious, he may will class it as a status effect causing attack of DC 10 + CHA bonus.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 06:28 PM
well I've got a character made, hopefully for the freedom is slavery game.

Nix Fenfig

works out, cuz everyone has to start at lvl 1 anyways. What do i need to enter still, or correct if i screwed up something?

2007-04-29, 06:53 PM
What's up with your stats? All 12s and 13s?

You need to:

Fix your stats (higher Strength and Con, and maybe Dex, lower mental stats for a fighter)
Add feats (You get three, one for being level 1, one for being a fighter, and one for being human)
Adjust skills (one in every skill is not a good idea - i don't think you have that many skill points anyhow.)
Add Equipment (ARMOR, for crying out loud! A weapon helps too.)

If your DM told you not to worry about equipment (some DMs supply it as part of the plot) then that's ok, but the character isn't finished.

Other than the ability scores, you're off to a good start, though.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 10:03 PM
What's up with your stats? All 12s and 13s?

You need to:

Fix your stats (higher Strength and Con, and maybe Dex, lower mental stats for a fighter)
Add feats (You get three, one for being level 1, one for being a fighter, and one for being human)
Adjust skills (one in every skill is not a good idea - i don't think you have that many skill points anyhow.)
Add Equipment (ARMOR, for crying out loud! A weapon helps too.)

If your DM told you not to worry about equipment (some DMs supply it as part of the plot) then that's ok, but the character isn't finished.

Other than the ability scores, you're off to a good start, though.

Stats - Mental ones being int and wis right? I forget exactly what charisma does. I made them all even cuz I figured it'd be a good idea to start with, having them all nice and averaged out. What do you say to 14, 14, 13, 10, 10, 12 for the stats?

Feats - alright.... um... what are the possible feats? Cuz unless lightsabers or the force is in this, I seriously doubt looking in my KOTOR game and choosing Finesse: Lightsabers is gonna help :D

Skills - I actually didn't touch that. It just filled it out itself, I just assumed it was correct. How do i know how many I get, and if I'm allowed to take a skill?

Armor - See Feats. I don't know if the DM (MechaKingGhidra) is gonna supply equipment or not, he hasn't said either way.

Ryshan Ynrith
2007-04-29, 10:14 PM
Okay, looking at your sheet here...Fighter 1. Yeah, definitely reallocate your ability scores. High Str and Con, particularly for the typical armored fighter.

For said typical armored warrior, I would suggest a greatsword, which would then beg the feat Power Attack, which lets you sacrifice accuracy for damage. It works rather well with two-handed weapons, allowing +2 damage for every -1 attack (up to your base attack bonus, which is 1 right now). Other feats....cleave may or may not be useful, potentially allowing another attack when you drop an enemy, Improved Sunder is very valuable (but a double-edged sword) against humanoid foes, allowing you to break their weapons. Other than that, browse here. (http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/feats.htm)

You have (3+your intelligence modifier)*4 skill points, with a maximum of 4 ranks in any skill. Cross-class skills (check the Fighter description) cost double and have a maximum of 2 ranks.

Your stats there aren't bad...depending on the concept you may wish to downgrade the dex to 13, then up your strength for more damage. Charisma governs social interactions, so if you wish to be any good at bluffing, diplomacy, or the like, don't lower it too much.

2007-04-29, 10:30 PM
well the games are based upon d&d, but playing them is no help in understanding d&d rpg.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 10:32 PM
huh, so the feats in kotor are pretty close to these, just differently named..... or at least it seems like it...

how do bonus feats work, and is there any feats I automatically get right at the start for whatever reason?

btw, I've updated the stats, and added Greatsword to the weapon list, but nothing else. Hopefully it's a little better.

2007-04-29, 10:45 PM
well each class has dif starting feats. the feats also don't go as they do in D&D. each class recieves feats at different rates. well they have similar feats like 2 weapon and weapon focus and stuff and the rogues have vasion, but a lot are very different.

Ryshan Ynrith
2007-04-29, 10:47 PM
Right, as a human fighter, you have three feats-two that can be any that you qualify for, and one that must be chosen from the Fighter bonus list (underneath the Fighter class description). As a fighter, you automatically have proficiency with all armor, all shields, all simple and martial weapons-effectively feats, albeit not ones you'd normally take.

Check the stats in the Equipment section for your greatsword...I think it's 2d6+(Str*1.5) damage, 19-20/2x critical, slashing damage.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-29, 11:15 PM




this is what i got so far, with blatent help wanted notices here and there.


2007-04-30, 12:04 AM
Okay, as a fighter, you have these as Class Skills
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).
You have (2+your int modifier)x4 skill points. (so therefore, you have 2x4=8 skill points.) Now, You can spread out the 8 skill points among the different skills. The SRD will describ skills to you. It should be one of the selections on the main page under the classes and feats link.
You can put a maximum of 4 points to each skill. And at every level, this max raises by one. You also get 2 skill points every level.

For the Attack Bonus: Right above where you put the greatsword down you have Melee and Ranged. You put a +1 (Since that's your BAB) into that slot that says Base Attack Bonus (BAB).
Then to the left of that you have your attack bonus for your greatsword.
Also, Greatswords are 2d6, not 1d10. (On the listing for weapons, there are two sets of damage dice. One is for small, the other is for medium(Humans are medium) So you gain whatever is in hte Medium Column for damage. )

You will want to go here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm) to find stuff you can buy with your level one money. generally your DM tells you how much money you have.

There's just one reason to play DnD over any video game or computer game. In those types of games, you are constricted. You either can't Jump. Or you can't climb up on top of a building, you can't tell that one guy to leave you alone. All things you can try to do in DnD (You may not succeed in climbing the building... but you can try all you want.)

2007-04-30, 12:31 AM
huh, so the feats in kotor are pretty close to these, just differently named..... or at least it seems like it...There's a reason for that. KOTOR uses the d20 system, which is closely related to the 3rd edition D&D mechanics that you're using with this character.

how do bonus feats work, and is there any feats I automatically get right at the start for whatever reason?Every character gets one feat at first level. Every character gets an extra feat at every third level (3,6,9,...). Humans get one additional free feat at first level.

Fighter bonus feats come in at first level and every even level afterwards (2,4,6,...). As a fighter you get an extra feat at each of these levels; the extra feats can pretty much only be applied to combat-tactic feats. There's a complete list of these feats in the SRD. Google the phrase 'SRD+fighter' and you'll find it, with links to an index that explains what the feats let you do.

btw, I've updated the stats, and added Greatsword to the weapon list, but nothing else. Hopefully it's a little better.In D&D, characters need armor. Your fighter has free proficiency with all kinds of armor; use it. Armor will improve your Armor Class, making it much harder for enemies to hit you. If you don't wear armor, your enemies will be hitting you more or less every time and you will die very quickly. The only characters who shouldn't wear armor are the ones who suffer penalties to some important ability while in armor (like wizards) or who have lots and lots of dexterity and other ways of boosting their armor class without armor.

If your fighter is supposed to stand on the front lines and whack enemies with a melee weapon, then you can't afford to not have armor.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-30, 07:42 AM
in other words, I better dig around that site and see if i can find any armor.

another question, although this one is more about the sheet itself. Under skills, how are the checkmarks laid out? Are they what you currently have, are the what you don't have, are they class skills, cross class skills? I see how you can add ranks to them, but I'm not sure about the checkmarks.

EDIT: Just added something for armor, and shield.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-30, 12:58 PM
Nix Fenfig (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheets/view.php?id=15597)

Ha HA! I think I'm finally done! How does it look?

2007-04-30, 01:13 PM
Still missing a thing or two.

First, HP. You get Max HP at first level. And for a Fighter the Hit Die (HD) is a d10. (Hit die is the dice you roll to determine Hit points.) So, you get 10 points for HP. then you add in your Con Modifier. So you have 12 HP. (Every level, you roll your HD and you add your Con modifier to your roll, then add that number to your total HP to make your new level's total.

Next, Saves. on the SRD for Fighter, there is a table. On the table there are three saves. Fortitude, reflex, and will. At first level a Fighter gets +2 to Fort. and +0 to the other two. It goes into the "Base" Box.

As for skills, Well, if you click the check box the check mark appears or disappears. I generally just put a check mark on all my skills. and just turn them off from the ones that aren't mine.

Also, Knowledge (1) You are supposed to write something to replace that 1. Nobility, Religion, Arcana, History, Dungeoneering, the planes. You would roll a knowledge check to see how much your character may know about whatever you chose.

Also, for skills that aren't on your list, like the knowledge skills, they require 2 skill points per 1 rank.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-30, 01:26 PM
well huh.... alrighty, I'll just replace knowledge with something else for now until i have an idea what i should get knowledge in.

I think i get 12 skill things right now, correct? 4 for being human, 8 for being fighter with my current int stats?

Updated, how's it looking?

2007-04-30, 04:32 PM
Hmm. The checkmarks are to mark which skills are crossclass skills - ones that take 2 skill points per rank, and you can only have half as many ranks of.
As for your skill selection, what do you think he's likely to do? Look over the skill descriptions, and choose skills that will complement both your character and his abilities. Personally (and this is just my opinion), I just about never take crossclass skills, and just specialise in however many class skills as I can. The reason this is a good idea, is that each rank of a skill adds one to the roll when using that skill (eg for climbing you have 3 ranks - 2 from Str, and one skill. This means that when you want to climb something, your total roll will be anywhere from 4 - which is an almost guaranteed failure - to 23, a success at most things. If you boost your climb to 6 - 2 from Str and 4 skill - then the range is 7 - succeed at a very easy climb - to 26).
This is your character, and you can do what you like with him, but there are some things that he's never going to be very good at.

Also, was padded armor the best you could find? You should probably be able to afford studded at the very least.

2007-04-30, 04:46 PM
I'm going to have to echo the armor sentiment. You should be looking for the best you can afford. In fact, you should be looking for the heaviest you can afford, with only a +1 in Dex.

Advance Strat..
2007-04-30, 08:08 PM
reason i did that was the game said we started with 100 G. I don't know what else may come up in game, and the total of the sword, armor, and shield came to 58g so i'd have 42g left over for other thing, in case i need to get items in the game or something. I could probably go higher, but what would you reccomend I have left over when I'm done?

EDIT: changed Padded to Studded, I guess 22g might still be alright.

Edit 2: Took out shield after being shown that i would need 3 arms to use a shield and a 2 handed weapon like the greatsword. somehow i shoulda noticed that one.

2007-05-01, 03:36 AM
Honestly, if I were you, I'd buy a copy of the PHB.... as in really.

look... you can probably get it second hand (http://search.ebay.com/3-5-player-handbook_W0QQfromZR40QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ3QQsatitleZ3Q2 e5Q20playerQ20handbookQQsbrsrtZl) it really helps a lot.

2007-05-01, 05:12 AM
Standard equipment to get includes a backpack, bedroll and/or tent, food, and maybe water. As for everything else, look at what's available, the setting that you're in, and make the best decisions you can.

Inyssius Tor
2007-05-01, 05:14 AM
^^ Seconded. No matter how strapped you may be for cash, you really need a Player's Handbook. There are no online materials which will teach you how to play properly.

2007-05-01, 08:49 AM
^^ I do not think so.

Try here: http://www.rpgrealm.com/features/download/home.html
Get Player's Handbook and whatever else strikes your fancy.

AFAIK, downloading adnd material is legal. If it's not mods will probably remove the link above.

Good luck on the game.

Inyssius Tor
2007-05-01, 09:11 AM
Well, yes, I suppose you could get AD&D stuff... or GURPS stuff, or whatever strikes your fancy. If you want 3.5, though, you really ought to get the Player's Handbook. It will tell you how to play 3.5.

Advance Strat..
2007-05-01, 09:14 AM
how different would they be? Just minor stuff like prices, or a completely different set up altogether?

Advance Strat..
2007-05-01, 09:15 AM
how different would they be? Just minor stuff like prices, or a completely different set up altogether?

Inyssius Tor
2007-05-01, 10:15 AM
A completely different set up altogether.

Advance Strat..
2007-05-01, 04:32 PM
hmmmm, well then it probably won't be the greatest thing.... I'll still check it out and see what i can find out from it that I'm sure will apply here.

sorry bout the double post, the server kinda crashed around the same time i made that post, and i couldn't go back to check to see if it posted twice or not.

2007-05-01, 10:11 PM
^^ I do not think so.

Try here: http://www.rpgrealm.com/features/download/home.html
Get Player's Handbook and whatever else strikes your fancy.

AFAIK, downloading adnd material is legal. If it's not mods will probably remove the link above.

Good luck on the game.
No, it is *very* illegal. The Moderators do not monitor every post. OSRIC is your best bet for legal (A)D&D material.

Advance Strat:
I would not advise you to choose Great Sword (2D6+3) at Level 1. The kinds of monsters you are likely to face have such low hit points that you are better off with a Long Sword (1D8+2) and Heavy Shield (+2 AC). Later on (Level 3 or so) it will be worth swapping out to Great Sword, but not at Level 1. Also, 'Studded Leather Armour' is Light Armour. You want either Scaled Armour (Medium, 50 GP, +4 AC) or a Mail Shirt (Light, 100 GP, +4 AC).

Woot Spitum
2007-05-01, 10:22 PM
Swords are a little expensive, you could save some money early by going with an axe.

2007-05-01, 10:55 PM
Reading through this thread I found it fairly confusing. And I've been playing for nearly two decades.


You've played KOTOR and its ilk, so you've got some basic idea of how this is supposed to work: You, as a player, control a character in a fictional world. The character's abilities are defined in various ways: How strong are they? How well can they fight with a sword? Et cetera.

When your character attempts to do something, you use their defined abilities and the rules of the game to determine whether they succeed or fail.

The difference between computer roleplaying games and traditional roleplaying games (which are called "traditional" because CRPGs are based on them) is that, in a traditional roleplaying game, there is another player known as the Dungeon Master or Game Master who creates the world and plays all of the other characters.

Basically, the Dungeon Master is like the computer. He doesn't have the fancy graphics the computer game has, but he's a lot more flexible: If he's good, you'll be able to have actual conversations with the NPCs (instead of just following a pre-scripted dialogue tree). You'll be able to try anything your can imagine (instead of being limited by whatever options the game designers thought to give you).

Traditional RPGs are usually played live and in person: Everyone sits around the table and talks to each other. But they can also be played online in a couple of varieties:

(1) I use Skype (http://www.skype.com) to talk to my players and use a web-based program called ScreenMonkey (http://www.nbos.com/products/screenmonkey/screenmonkey.htm) to provide a "virtual tabletop" that can be used to display maps, pictures, and the like.

(2) People will also play by e-mail or by forum. Actions are described by post instead of through conversation. This generally leads to a slower game, but it can have the advantage that people become very descriptive. It's also easier to fit a game like this into your personal schedule. It takes longer and lacks the social aspects of tabletop play, but can make up for it in other ways.

Playing a traditional RPG has been described as "improvisational radio theater". As players you improvise the actions of your characters and describe them to the Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master, in turn, describes the results of those actions -- which, of course, gives you a new situation to respond to.


There are three ways to get the rules:

(1) Buy copies of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual. These are known as the "core rulebooks". They contain all the rules you need to play. As a player, the only book you need is the Player's Handbook (PHB).

The advantage of buying the core rulebooks is that they give you all the rules you need to play the game. However, they are basically big books full of rules -- they don't necessarily help you figure out what you're supposed to be doing.

(2) Buy a copy of the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game. This is a boxed set that is designed to introduce new players to the game. The Basic Game doesn't have all the rules, but it has enough rules to let you start playing. And it's been specifically designed to help players like you figure out how to play the game.

(3) Use the System Reference Document -- the SRD people have linked you to already.

The SRD was not designed to introduce people to the game. It's only purpose is to serve as a reference document for people who want to design supplements and add-ons for D&D.

On top of that, the SRD doesn't contain all the rules for playing the game. The most noticeable lack are the rules for character creation, which is why you're having some problems figuring out how to properly create a character.


If you insist on using the SRD to learn the game, the first thing you need to know is how to create a character:

1. Generate Ability Scores. Roll 4d6 (that means roll four six-sided dice), drop the lowest die, and then add the remaining three dice together. Do this a total of six times. The six numbers you end up with are your ability scores: Assign each number to one of the ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma). Ability scores are described here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#abilityScores

2. Pick a race. Races are described here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/races.htm

3. Pick a class. Classes are described here: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/classes.htm. You want one of the base classes. Ignore the prestige classes and NPC classes for now.

4. Purchase skills. The number of skill points you have is defined by your class. The purchasing of skills is described here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/skillsSummary.htm. The skills you can purchase are listed here (follow the links for descriptions): http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/skills.htm.

5. Pick feats. As a beginning character you get at least one feat, and you may get additional feats based on your race and class (check their descriptions). Feats are described here: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/feats.htm

6. Buy Equipment. Your starting gold is determined by your class. Equipment is described here: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/equipment.htm. You buy equipment by paying for it out of your starting gold.

7. Miscellaneous Statistics. You've got to generate or calculate your hit points, armor class, initiative, attack bonuses, and saving throws.

Hit Points: Your hit points are determined by your class. Each class as a Hit Die. When you gain a level you roll your class' Hit Die plus your Constitution modifier to your total number of hit points. (Note: This is your Constitution modifier, not your Constitution score.) As a beginning character you do not need to roll the die: You automatically have the maximum number of hit points you could have rolled for.

Armor Class: Your armor class is equal to 10 + your Dex modifier + your armor bonus + your shield bonus. Your armor bonus and shield bonus are based on the armor you're wearing and shield you're using (which is part of the equipment you buy).

Initiative: Initiative is generally equal to your character's Dexterity modifier, although some feats and abilities will modify it.

Melee Attack Bonus: Your melee attack bonus is equal to your base attack bonus + your Strength modifier. Your base attack bonus is based on your class.

Ranged Attack Bonus: Your ranged attack bonus is equal to your base attack bonus + your Dexterity modifier.

Reflex Save: Equal to you class' Reflex save bonus + your Dexterity modifier.

Will Save: Equal to your class' Will save bonus + your Wisdom modifier.

Fortitude Save: Equal to your class' Fortitude save bonus + your Constitution modifier.


Now, at this point, you need to do a couple things:

1. Read the rules on using skills: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm

2. Read the rules for combat: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/combat.htm

Those rules form the core of how you determine whether a given action is a success or failure in the game.


The best thing to do at this point is to find a game to play in. Make sure people know you're a newbie coming in. Plenty of people will be willing to help you along if they know the situation, but if they don't know you're new to the game they'll write you off as a jerk or incompetent without knowing any better.

If you can't find a game to play in for some reason, you might consider DMing yourself. If you decide to do that, then I strongly urge you to pick up the Basic Game. DMing is not easy, but the Basic Game -- while not a perfect product -- will help guide you through the process and bring you up to speed.

Justin Alexander

Advance Strat..
2007-05-02, 09:05 AM
THANKS! this is a great help. I did find a game btw, which is what I was preparing my character for. I don't have time to go through all the links right this second (at work... yeah...) but I'll be sure to check them out!

EDIT: well ok, so it turns out i'm not in that game. Ah well, at least I have a character now, and I can fine tune it. I used a point buy system thing for it though, so if someone else wants a different system, I'll have to redo part of that...

2007-05-02, 08:29 PM
I think the standard for a play-by-post game is to use point buy. Kind of hard to balance the party if everyone's rolling their own, and you can never be truly sure that they haven't put a few more points in here or there...

2007-05-02, 09:28 PM
Some (hopefully) helpful suggestions:

1. It doesn't matter what you're doing your first time, the game that you're in moves too fast. You don't understand, and you probably will want to be playing with people that can explain it. I'm speaking in absolutes because D&D has, as was said before infinite parameters. At any given point, anybody can do anything that it is physically possible to do given the limitations of their race and class. Therefore, don't try to do everything, just focus on understanding what's going on.

2. While it's probably possible to do what you're thinking of, it's not neccessarily a good idea. Example: you're walking down a long hallway with the rest of the players. The person in front suddenly drops into a pit that was disguised before they stepped on it. Now, while it is possible to walk over to the exact same spot and try to investigate, odds are you'll fall in too, which isn't good. You may think stuff like that is obvious, but a lot of the time it may not be.

3. Pick a character that you like. Don't let people tell you what to play, because the Golden Rule of D&D is to have fun. Yes, there are rules. Hundreds of thousands of them. Will you still have fun if not every one of them is followed? Heck yes. It's your game, fueled by what you imagine. That's what's important, not numbers, descriptions, and dice roll results.

4. The way I was introduced to D&D was that a friend gradually explained the mechanics to me in a 1 on 1 session, until it got through my thick head. If you just got walked through creating your first character and really don't know much else about the game, it's a good idea to ask somebody. Email them, PM them, or even better, meet with somebody who knows this game thoroughly in real life. The more knowledge you walk into your first adventure with, the less confused you'll be. Don't memorize the rulebooks, though.

5. A good rule of thumb is that the DM is always right, but in this case they're not a computer, and the DM can make mistakes. Also, the DM may very well not have thought of everything that you can do. Example: the DM may not have realized that the Wizard in your party has many spells to set things on fire before sending you on an adventure in the forest. If it makes sense and the DM is willing to improvise, almost anything can happen.

Hope this helped.

2007-05-13, 08:24 PM
You wouldn't happen to be the Atanuero who just built the spiffy cool database we use on the Erelhei Vaendryl D&D chat, are you?

If so, thanks again! :)