View Full Version : Brand New and Need Advice

04-07-2012, 10:05 PM
I recently found the starter box set on sale at a hobby store for 5$ so I picked it up with interest. I have no experience in pen&paper RPG but really like the idea of a dungeon crawl to gain XP on a character.. something similar to any RPG. Where do I start? Obviously with no background it might be tough for me to run encounters - does the box have a good walkthrough?

I picked it up yesterday and have some free time coming up next week to sit down and read through it.

Any advice to a new player?

04-07-2012, 11:38 PM
read the rules. practice the rules. sit around and make up characters and monsters. try to figure out why the rules are written the way they are.

during all that... find a good group to play with. which is a lot harder than it sounds. it is worth being picky about. it is also worth sitting in on a few games... not playing mind you, but just sitting and watching the dynamics and how various game play is handled. and you can do that while you are reading. if there are more than one group in your area, get permission to sit on several games with several groups. one can learn a lot that way.

oh, and if you like complex games with lots of options, switch to 3rd ed instead of 4th. ^^

04-08-2012, 12:52 AM
I'm not sure how many groups there are near me.. although I'm sure they exist. (Aurora/Oswego, IL) I sat in for one session with a group playing 3.5 well over 3 years ago, but it was a veteran group and I was really intimidated so I didn't show up again. I have some friends interested in playing too, which should be a big help.

04-08-2012, 06:18 AM
First - Welcome to the hobby! You'd likely never find a group of people so passionate about a particular past time as the folks who play roleplaying games. Additionally, if you stick with it (and follow the advice Nijineko said - find a good group) you will find that you will form your own strong opinions as well!

Second - Take your time learning the rules. It's not necessary that a new player have everything memorized (this of course could be dependent on how much effort you put into finding a good group - see above) as long as you understand the basic mechanics of the game.

Bottom line, it's a great time-waster and you'll be amazed at how quickly you and your friends can learn to play. Again, welcome and good luck!

04-08-2012, 06:38 AM
Thanks Talmek! Im going to start reading up very soon.. I bought some warhammer 40k stuff recently too so I've got lots of reading to do :D

I purchased the starter box, a DM box, monster manual, and player handbook - 20$ total


04-08-2012, 09:00 AM
First, you go a nice deal by getting all that for $20. I would recomend that anything listed as an optional rule not be used when you first start out, especially if your group ends up being all or mostly new players. Once you get used to the basics, then you can start adding the optional stuff. You can also not worry to much about weight carried, food & water, and movement when you first start and slowly add these in as well.

To start, I would suggest using shorter games/campaigns. Ones that could be accomplished in say 8 game sessions or less (based on gaming twice a month). This way as you and the players get used to the mechanics of the game, you can add other extended/optional mechanics to the next game/campaign as opposed to trying to insert them into a current game.

Of course, don't be shy to ask questions on the forums here at P&PG. There should be plenty of folks that would be able to give you very good answers, no matter what game or edition/version you are using.

04-09-2012, 03:40 AM
Judging from the picture you supplied, you have the 4th edition Monster Manual and Player's Handbook, but the D&D Essentials Dungeon Master's Kit. Although I am not familiar with the D&D Essentials Dungeon Master's Kit, from what I have read, it is relatively compatible with the rest. However, please be aware that these are from two different rules sets.

The starter set does have an introductory adventure that is a few encounters in length.

In terms of which rules to worry about and which to not worry about, my own approach is to try to incorporate all the non-optional rules that you can, but just be very clear that you're starting out and that if you have forgotten or misapplied a rule, the group should be flexible about it, and understanding when it gets enforced in the future. If you ignore a rule, it may lead to unintended changes in the nature of the game. If you ignore movement restrictions, for example, rogues and skirmisher-type monsters will become significantly more powerful, while fighters and equivalent monsters will be significantly weaker.

Finally, I would suggest making use of the online rules updates, which are available for download from WOTC in pdf form.

04-09-2012, 04:09 AM
I would suggest making use of the online rules updates, which are available for download from WOTC in pdf form.

These are updates to the 4th edition?

04-09-2012, 05:57 AM
These are updates to the 4th edition?Yes, these are updates to both the 4th edition and D&D Essentials. The complete list of 4e and/or Essentials rules updates can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/updatesarchive The first choice is the compiled list, but you can also download rules updates specific to the materials you have on hand.

04-09-2012, 08:30 AM
very nice! Thanks for the point in the right direction!

05-12-2012, 01:00 PM
I've started to read / participate in some of the red box adventure.. and I'm wondering what the difference between that and 4e is? I'm still very inexperienced, but I've started to build a fighter from the red box and then I've added in some of the extra details from the 4e book.

One thing I did notice however was the bonus to Str and Con for Dwarves. If I remember correctly my character got a bonus for being a dwarf - but I think the book says the bonus is to str and wis? (Going from memory as I don't have the books in front of me)

I started a Facebook group and I'm "walking" my friend and myself through the single player adventure to get a feel for the story telling aspect of the game.. its really fun writing out the details of his actions and unfolding the story for him while he decides what his rogue will do next. He has already thrown me for a loop by avoiding he goblins who ambushes the wooden cart.. of course he rolled a natural 20 and snuck away perfectly :D

Is it a bad idea to try to mix the red box and 4e players handbook? Or is it up to us because its our adventure? I guess if we play the game wrong its ok as long as we are consistent and have fun

05-12-2012, 07:51 PM
The rules are compatible with each other(most of the time). The essential characters are basically subsets of the characters in the players handbook(s) with their own set of powers giving less but more versatile powers through advancement. Therefore the Fighter (Slayer) is different from Fighter in PHB in that it doesn't get any of the fighters powers. In the case of the dwarf, originally it could only have a bonus to wis and Con, but later updates allows them to choose strength as bonus attribute.

As long as you are having fun, be darn the rules. You can play the game anyway you want.

Technically, you can run the game with what you have without having to deal with errata though certain changes from the PHB have evolved by the time essentials has come out and certain rules were rearranged to fix "broken powers", "poorly written rules", and "ineffective mechanics".

The box set will only take you up to level 4 and you will want Heroes of the Fallen Land book to advance the PC beyond that level. In contrast, the PHB will take you all the way to level 30 as long as your happy with the class and race choices.

05-14-2012, 06:22 AM
It is a good habit, when you see an apparent contradiction like that, to check the rules updates. Sometimes, as was the case with the ability score bonuses, you'll find the resolution.

I hope your first game continues to go well.