View Full Version : Beginner in need of a RPG Guide

05-08-2012, 04:24 PM
I've been all over the internet. I haven't scanned this very forum for a similar post because I lack the time and I have a headache scorching my brains.

I want to play Pen and Paper RPG. I know the concepts and I have played my share of RPG, but not pen and paper. The internet is both a good and a bad source for the fact that it gives you directions but those are either too simple, for someone familiarized or they just mention rulebooks.

I want someone to teach me, indicating a rulebook for a starting point. I think I grasp the basics and notions concerning the mathematics and dice-play behind the process.

Just gaze at me like someone you are teaching and explaining everything about tabletop.

05-08-2012, 10:52 PM
So do you want us to teach you or point you to a system that is easy to learn?

05-09-2012, 02:26 PM
I want both, actually. I apologize if I wasn't clear.

Thank you, by the way.

05-09-2012, 03:29 PM
I'm going to use D&D for the base of my explanation, as it is most familiar to me.

At its most basic, the Dungeon Master will present a player with a challenge, and the player makes a decision. The player rolls a d20 if the decision is valid, adding (or subtracting) bonuses based on their character's attributes and items for that action. If the outcome exceeds or meets a value that the DM imagined in their mind, then they are succesful at their action.

Is there anything else that you want more detailed information on besides that basic core rule?

05-09-2012, 03:33 PM
Yes that would be good, like step by step teaching, as you were making the whole thing clear for someone who has never experienced it. I've acquired D & D Master's Guide 4th Edition in ebook format by the way.

05-09-2012, 03:44 PM
I haven't played 4th edition, when it came out I had a couple hundred dollars worth of 3.5 and didnt want to switch :P

Explaining everything is a bit of a task... You really dont have any specifics? Character building, skills, combat?

05-09-2012, 03:54 PM
I kind of do. I've played RPG and I understand, basiclly the systems... But not this kind, tabletop I mean.

06-26-2012, 08:02 AM
you need to get a copy of the 4th edition players guide, that explains it all, BUT IMO I would go with 3.5 or 2nd edition less video gamey and you can get the books fairly cheap.

Busted Shinma
07-16-2012, 04:16 AM
There are a few core components of pen & paper RPG gaming that are necessary to run or participate in a good game. First, there's the fluff. GMs must describe the world that the players' characters will exist in, hopefully weaving a verbal tapestry that helps immerse the players in the game. Describing the world is important, you have to convey the tone of the world's characteristics, you have to help the players understand how it feels to live in that setting. The people that live in that world who aren't controlled by the players, the NPCs, need to be fleshed out and have their personalities made evident. A little bit of history needs to be detailed so players know how things work in the world.

Second, there's storytelling. As a GM, you also have to conceive of various plots that the player-characters can engage in, and when they engage in them, you have to make them interesting. You need to provide reasons for the characters to be interested in the plots. You also have to pace the adventures or what-have-you so that they flow nicely, too much or too little exposition or combat or whatever will cause everyone to lose interest. As a player, you have to get your character involved in the world's drama, you have to do fascinating things. When you see a potential opening for your character to achieve something incredible, go for it.

Third, there's the actual role play. Everyone is involved in this. As a player, you need to constantly be imagining how your character, not you yourself, would be acting in his or her circumstances. Role playing is just that, it's playing a role different than your own, it's stepping into someone else's head. You need to try to play an interesting character, a dynamic person that doesn't think like you, that gets into struggles and conflicts. GMs have to cram a jillion personalities into their heads to play the roles of all the NPCs the player's characters will interact with.

Fourth, there's the mechanical infrastructure that makes all this possible. Before playing in a game, you've got to make a character. Every character has strengths and weaknesses and usually some special capabilities. You represent them by drawing up a character sheet full of abstract data that describes your character's attributes. In 4e dungeons & dragons, you first roll up your core ability scores. These are the most raw indicators of your character's physical and mental capabilities. You place the scores as you like, and then pick a race. The race you pick grants bonuses to a couple ability scores and a couple skills, as each race has its tendencies toward certain strengths. The race you pick also grants you a couple powers, which are part of that race's identity and flavor. After that, you pick a class for your character to have. Your class determines your base hit points, proficiency with weapons and armor, what skills you can be trained in, what defensive bonuses you receive, and how many healing surges you have. Classes also grant access to many different powers, which enable your character to accomplish special actions in and out of combat. Your class determines your character's core strengths and weaknesses and also what your character may be capable of in the future when he or she becomes more experienced. A paladin, for example, has complete armor proficiency, complete proficiency with melee weapons, only basic proficiency with ranged weapons, bonuses to every defense, high hit points, and loads of healing surges. Paladins also get access to powers that enable them to force enemies to fight them, or which penalize enemies when they attack your allies. All of this means that paladins excel at occupying your enemies' attention and keeping allies safe. Finally, you pick a feat or two for your character to have. Feats are kind of like powers in that they can enable your character to achieve special actions in or out of combat, but feats can also be simple knacks or unusual traits your character possesses instead of magical tricks.

Any questions?