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Author Topic: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)  (Read 2073 times)

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Offline Priapus89Topic starter

DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« on: October 03, 2017, 06:56:29 AM »
Preamble

Hello there!

Well.

Let's get to it! :D

Request

It seems that a lot of people on this site know how to play DnD, which makes me wonder if I'm the only person who does not know how to play! This is good and bad. Good because it means that there are many experienced players who can help people like myself (who have no idea how to play DnD but is nevertheless interested) how to play this incredible table top game. However, the bad part is that the minority (if, indeed, we are a minority) of us who don't know how to play can't enjoy the greatness that is DnD without slowing the whole game down.

So! I was wondering if some experienced GM would be interested in starting a DnD game for beginners. We could use whatever plot you think appropriate and the game can go on for as long or as short as you think necessary. The main point of the game would be a tutorial of sorts to teach people who are interested in learning DnD how to play the game.

It would also be nice if one or two other experienced players entered the game as adventurers to help the GM educate us noobs.

I understand that this might be a daunting task for some...I suppose only the true adventurers will take this quest! XD <3

Offline Dashenka

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 07:33:35 AM »
That is a great idea actually.

I'm going to keep an eye on this. I want to learn as well :P

Offline Lyku

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 08:04:23 AM »
I am more than willing to run a game for players who are new and want to learn DND.  Likewise, if you do want to learn and have questions, I am more than responsive in PMs as well.

Offline Dragongoddess

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 02:11:35 PM »
I'd like to join.  I'm a noob who wants to learn

Offline ZameRagues

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 04:26:15 PM »
I'd be willing to join as either an experienced player or GM. I can answer questions for those who have them as well.

Offline firepyre

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 04:38:48 PM »
I've found most GMs are happy to help out new players by teaching them the game, so personally I would suggest just diving in and explaining that you are new and want to learn. You'll find most experienced players are more than willing to accomodate you. There are a few points worth covering though, that will make getting started a lot easier. I'll be assuming everyone here has some knowledge of what roleplay is.



The Basics

The purpose, of DnD, or any other RPG system at it's most fundamental, is two things. The first is to establish a convenient, consistent setting to play in. A good chunk of most rulebooks is "fluff", background information that enriches the world the RPG is based on. The second is to add an element of chance to your roleplay, so that neither you nor the Game/Dungeon Master knows exactly what will happen.

Sadly, there are some disadvantages to using a system(like DnD). It's easy for players to get caught up on the mechanics of the game, trying to twist them to their advantage, becoming less about creating a story, and more about winning the game. The reason I mention this is that I feel it tends to dishearten  a lot of players, and put them off when their first attempt at DnD turns into this. A good DnD game can be every bit as deep and compelling as a good freeform(Systemless) game is.

The most important person is making this happen is the GM(Game Master/Mistress, sometimes DM, or Dungeon Master/Mistress instead). The GM typically does not play a character, but instead plans the story, and chooses when and how to enforce the rules. The GM's goal is not to defeat the players, or even to guide them through his/her story, but to build the story up around the players, giving them the freedom to act as they see fit. A good GM should serve the players, but they also need to keep them in check. Good GMs are really hard to come by, so make sure you show them respect.



Getting started with DnD

DnD has had several different editions over the years, but the different editions are actually almost totally different games! You'll want to know which edition you're playing before you start. Fortunately, the GM usually makes it very clear. Here's the two that you probably want to know though.

DnD 5 - The latest(current) Edition, DnD 5 is considerably simpler, and less mechanically heavy than previous editions. It's quite easy for new players to get the hang of, and experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity.

Pathfinder - Ok, so it's not technically DnD. However, Pathfinder is just as popular, and based very closely off an old edition of Dungeons and Dragons  called DnD 3.5. The setting is basically identical to DnD, so if you play one, you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect from the other. The key difference between pathfinder and DnD is that Pathfinder is much more complex, and has a massive amount of material written for it. Finally, while having the books can be helpful, everything a player needs to play is available online, for free. Legally.

Once you've decided what you want to play, the single biggest thing you can do to help yourself, is to find a rulebook or starter guide, and just skim it, to begin familiarizing yourself with it. There's no real need to slog though the number crunching, just reading whatever takes your fancy will still help a lot, whether it be short stories, or information on races, or play examples. When it comes time to  create your first character, it will pay off.



Anyway, hopefully you find this info helpful, and I'm not just waffling... XD DnD can seem daunting to begin with, but it only gets easier as you go, and the payoff is well worth it. If there's only one piece of advice I can give you to take away, it's that, just like any other roleplay, it's the people that make the game, not the rules. Get a good group of people, and DnD will be great. Get a bad group, and no amount of rules will fix it. Good luck!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 04:55:32 PM by firepyre »

Offline Vergil1989

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 04:46:48 PM »
I've been looking for a good group of D&D for a long time.  I've played VERY little for one reason or another, (mostly because RL always seems to get in the way), that and two groups I've joined here on E fizzled out for much the same reason.  Still, while I'm very inexperienced, I DO know quite a bit about the Forgotten Realms, (where most D&D campaigns tend to be set), and I'm a huge fan of Critical Role and the world of Exandria, (Matthew Mercer is the DM god! Lol), so I'm not clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff.  It's the mechanics of the system itself that I have little experience with, but while I want to learn, I'm just hoping to get into a good game that'll last, period.  Anyway, see ya and this is a pretty awesome discussion/group/etc.  ;D

Offline SINless

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 05:40:43 PM »
I've been running quite a few D&D games on PbP, and currently running a Starfinder (basically D&D in space) game on here.

I think the first question is, what kind of game do you want? Do you simply want to run through the rules and mechanics? If so, you might want to look for a physical group or a VTT instead.

If however you are looking for an idea of the atmosphere and setting of the game, I have a few starter games I could run you through. All specifically designed towards new players.

Offline Priapus89Topic starter

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 06:50:19 PM »
Wow! I'm happy that this got a lot of interest.

@firepyre: Thanks for your thoughtful advice! I'll keep it in mind!

@SINless: I think I'm looking for a combination of running through the rules/mechanics and an idea of the atmosphere and setting of the game. I have tried reading up on the mechanics online by myself, but I became confused pretty quickly. I think it'd be easier to learn the rules if someone was guiding you, and if the DM was patient enough, and I think this would be easiest if we just had a 'tutorial', of sorts.

Some people have already shown interest in being a GM, which is awesome. I imagine that you can have only one GM though, right? I think it's only fair that Lyku becomes GM (if he is still interested, of course) since he posted his interested in being GM first. I'll send you a message Lyku.

I still welcome anyone else who has experienced with DnD to join us. It'd be great to have 1 or 2 more experts helping us out.

Offline Vergil1989

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 07:05:23 PM »
PbP?  But beyond that, while I DO know some of the mechanics, (I have played enough of a game or two to have gotten through a few rolls before things fell apart for one reason or another), I don't know near enough to feel comfortable in doing anything beyond the most basic of things.  I've seen enough D&D shows from Youtube, (again Critical Role mostly although they house rule a few things here or there), to guess at the rest, but I'd need consistent practice to have it sink in I guess is what I'm getting at.  That and actually creating a full character sheet is....difficult for me.  The backstory and such I can handle, it's the number crunching that always gives me a headache lol.  But to answer the actual question here, if I was going to do anything with this, I'd rather play a full game rather than a tutorial 'level'.  If anyone's going to put in the effort to make a character for a game, I'd rather enjoy the game if at all possible for as long as possible.  :D

Offline ZameRagues

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 07:47:43 PM »
Looking over all the interest so far in this thread, there is a good number of potential players.

Lyku, Myself, Firepyre, and SINless are all willing to be GMs

Priapus89, Dashenka, Dragongoddess, and Vergil1989 as new players

Myself as veteran players, Possibly the other GMs as well save for the one running the game.

I would recommend 5th Edition (5E) to start with as it is so much simpler compared to previous versions of the game. I would also recommend a party of only 4 or 5 characters as larger groups can slow things down, especially when Playing By Post or PBP. In terms of the number of GMs, it is usually one unless the game is massive then you have sub GMs. In turn though we could have groups of 2 or 3 and have a couple small games to help give newbies more attention.

Offline firepyre

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 08:12:44 PM »
I'm not looking to GM, as there's plenty of offers and my time will dry up as soon as I get off holiday, just wanted to voice some encouragement and a few things I would have found helpful when I discovered DnD.

I am, however, interested to see how this goes. If it is a success, perhaps it can be a pilot for something that advertises on a regular basis. I imagine there's probably plenty more interested in learning, just unsure how to get started.


Offline Vergil1989

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 08:18:32 PM »
I knew that.... :-[

5E and 3.5 are the only systems I have ANY experience with, so I'd be fine with 5E on this end, especially since I have a couple of the books on my hard drive and sitting on a shelf as I speak.  As for how big the group is, that's probably a good idea Zame.  That's part of the reason why one of the groups I was a part of kind of fizzled out in my opinion.  That and there was some....group drama that I think discouraged our GM from maintaining his motivation for things despite the fact we WERE able to get past those issues after some much needed OOC discussion.  Mainly it was the fact several of our group weren't communicating with the rest of us and kinda doing their own thing while we were trying to play very carefully, a necessary fact since we had started at Level 1 and caution was, in most of our minds, very much warranted.  The others in the group however didn't think that far ahead before they decided to attack the first group we came across.  It was only after I threw my hands into the air and said I was done since we were going to die, at least it certainly seemed like it to me, that it came out that the GM had planned for us to have a practice fight and that one of our group was in on his plan, hence why they had decided to lead the charge.  However, even that didn't automatically excuse some of the other members from simply charging out into the open without any thought or concern or strategy at all, which meant trouble for the rest of us.

Ugh, sorry, not trying to rant, but communication I've found is a VERY much needed factor no matter your skill level and experience or the system involved is what I'm getting at.  I get RPing a character, I get sticking to the role you've built for yourself, and that's fine.  If your character is an imbecile or naive or whatever, that might take unnecessary risks for whatever reason, that's fine too.  I only have a problem when someone doesn't bother to talk to everyone in the group about whatever they might be planning and just kinda does their own thing, putting the rest of the group at risk of being murdered by potentially much stronger opponents lol.

Offline firepyre

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 09:57:34 PM »
I think there's a few things in your example worth mentioning.

Communication is very important in keeping a game flowing, but it's also important to realize that it's unrealistic to discuss everything OOC. It breaks immersion, and especially in PbP, it slows the game down dramatically. You must have trust in the other players and the GM as well. You're never going to agree with everything others do. In situations like that, it's usually better to let it go, and trust in the GM to deal with bad decisions fairly. Let your character be grumpy, never yourself. Funnily enough, I've made the same mistake myself, it's hardly an uncommon one.

Secondly, I suggest you carefully consider your motive for being cautious. Your character should not be cautious because he is a "level 1 noob who dies in a stiff breeze." He doesn't have any concept of levels or the like. He should be cautious due to inexperience perhaps, or because of his timid nature. Other characters may be overconfident in their abilities, and that's fine too. It's very easy to let the mechanics influence you like that, but you'll have a better experience if you can forget them.

Finally, bad decisions aren't the end of the world. A game where your character never loses, never makes mistakes would get boring very quickly. They add tension within the group (provided the playes trust each other enough not to let things get out of hand), provide stimulus for character development, and can result in your adventure taking unexpected turns, all of which are good. A GM shouldn't seek to punish you for a mistake, especially another player's but rather see it as a potential plot point. You should as well. Losing an arm doesn't make you a cripple... It just adds character.

If I was GMing and your not so cautious friends charged into the fray, perhaps I'd have them captured, and you'd wind up sidetracking to rescue them(or perhaps they'd manage to escape first) or maybe they'd wind up with a few scars to remind them of the price of cockiness. Or perhaps you were overestimating the enemy and your caution was unwarranted... This time. Either way, I'd expect there to be an interesting conversation after the battle as your characters settle their differences(provided you trust each other enough not to allow it to get out of hand).

Trust is a big thing. It's why friends tend to work better than random groups.

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 10:26:00 PM »
I'm interested. Have a little experience with Pathfinder, but that's it.

Offline Lyku

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 10:40:25 PM »
I'd be willing to run a pre-generated module and use either the forums or Discord.  Campaign would be horde of the dragon queen.  However, my campaigns are more plot focused over smut, which is different from what I see often. 

Offline ZameRagues

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2017, 10:41:54 PM »
I definitely think a plot focused game would be a better start, smut can be sprinkled in later when a little more experience has been earned.

Offline Vergil1989

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 10:55:03 PM »
Meh, I think the real problem was just there was no trust between anyone, and that and a couple of us had problems with other members of the group from other games we'd been a part of, so that didn't help anything either.  Long story short, I think, looking back, we were doomed to fall apart eventually, no matter how good our GM might have been, which honestly he wasn't as present as he probably should have been but I've bitched about this long enough.  He was a good guy, and he did try his best, but it just wasn't meamt to be guess.

And I do agree that it's unrealistic to talk about everything, just as it's unrealistic to expect to win every fight and plan for every scenario for that matter, but again I want to stress the lack of bothering to talk about much of anything until it was too late to do anything about it.  As for being cautious, I unfortunately did indeed let game mechanics play a part of that, but some of that was a legitimate character aspect of my sorceress tiefling, (draconic bloodline), because of a sheltered upbringing among her noble siblings and parents.  It doesn't excuse the fact I let levels and such get in the way, I'll admit that, but I was of the mind that we needed to work together or we'd end up getting screwed.  A mindset that was exacerbated by the fact that one, we were all playing an Evil Campaign, which I had never done before, but also that our DM had pretty much said right from the start we'd need to consider our choices carefully because there'd be realistic, or as realistic as one can expect in a fantasy setting lol, consequences to our actions.

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2017, 01:51:13 AM »
  If Lyku's GMing atempt falls through give me a wave and I'll see what I can arange.  :) 

  I'd inquire about playing, but I don't want to fill up a slot that should be left open for new players. 

Offline persephone325

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Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2017, 02:06:18 AM »
I'd be willing to run a pre-generated module and use either the forums or Discord.  Campaign would be horde of the dragon queen.  However, my campaigns are more plot focused over smut, which is different from what I see often. 

I definitely think a plot focused game would be a better start, smut can be sprinkled in later when a little more experience has been earned.

Personally, I definitely prefer plot over smut with D&D type games.

Offline Lyku

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2017, 07:46:17 AM »
Is preference for this to be played over the boards or over discord?  Both are solid measures used for campaigns as it gives easiest tools for DMs to share information.

Basic rules for 5e can be downloaded from the Wizards of the Coast website: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

For the sake of structure, this will be run with the guidelines used for Adventurer's League, as I do feel it can simplify some details.  Stats for each character can either be from a 27 point buy in. (Cost for each point is listed on page 8 of the Player Basic Rules document found at the above link.

Alternately, you can use the following scores and assign them however you like. 15,14,13, 12, 10, 8.

The actual players handbook is permitted, so there are some races and classes not mentioned in that document.  If you want that information, feel free to ask. 

I would like to know how many players are interested and would enjoy the company of 1 or 2 experienced players as well as that can help the story flow as sometimes watching another individual do something can help.

Offline Dashenka

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2017, 08:00:43 AM »
I'm definitely up to be guided and taught :)


Just a question though, perhaps a stupid one, but is DnD always in a 'fantasy' setting?

Offline Lyku

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2017, 08:33:03 AM »
Typically yes.  DnD is for Dungeons and Dragons.  It is based off a fantasy based system.  There are times when custom created settings, often referred to as homebrews, are made for modern or scifi settings.  Some of those are published with their own rules.  5e DND uses Faerun, the world of the Forgotten Realms setting, currently as their default world for the players, though other worlds do exist.

Offline firepyre

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2017, 08:45:29 AM »
DnD is typically a fantasy setting, yes. However there are many, many other systems out there with all sorts of settings, that are far more suited towards portraying their chosen theme. DnD is basically just a common gateway, in that basically everyone has heard of it, and serves as a good means for getting you started on system based roleplay.

Some others that are popular:

Vampire: The masquerade & World of Darkness - Set in a darker toned, contemporary supernatural setting, Vampire: the masquerade casts you as a vampire pitted against other vampires, werewolves and all manner of other creatures, in a secret war for survival and power. A trypical campain involves a lot of political intrigue, mixed with a solid dose of horror.

Shadowrun: Fantasy meets cyber punk, this game is set in a dystopian future, where magic has returned to the world after a long dissaperance, mutating humans into all manner of fantasy creatures. The mega corporations rule everything, and for all but the ultra elite, like is bleak. You play a shadowrunner,  a mercenary that tackles all kinds of dirty work that no one else will touch, from corporate espionage, to kidnapping or even rescues.

Star wars: There's a whole host of star wars systems out there. Fantasy flight games does a really popular one though. From Jedi to unscrupulous rogue, to  Tw'lek sex slave, you can play pretty much anything that takes your fancy.

The list goes on. There's a system out there for just about any popular setting you can think of.

PS: When people talk about Faerun, or Ebberon, or Dragonlance they're talking about different variations of DnD settings. For a new player, getting started though, it's not really a problem if you don't know the difference. Your GM can help guide you though the subtle differences, and you'll pick it up easily enough by playing anyway.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:47:37 AM by firepyre »

Offline Dashenka

Re: DnD For Noobs (Like Me)
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2017, 09:55:01 AM »
Thanks :)