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Author Topic: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)  (Read 4175 times)

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Offline Techn0logicTopic starter

D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« on: April 15, 2010, 11:09:16 PM »
So I've been browsing these threads, and I've been seeing things about D&D 3.5 systems for roleplaying and such like that.

I'm not asking for someone to hold my hand and explain it, but a quick summary, possible a link to some information about it and how it works would be amazingly awesome.

Offline Archivist

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 11:47:04 PM »
Oof, that's a loaded question right there!

They have actually released D&D 4.0, so depending on your preferences you could go with either version. 3.5, IMO, is more open to customization of the characters, but also a little dice heavy. 4.0 is more restricted, as it gives a very specific list of abilities for each character class, and a chart for progression.

If you're interested in reading the official material, the website is http://www.wizards.com/dnd/default.aspx. I'm afraid I don't know where PDFs of the source material might be, but since it's not Open Source RPG material it's not really legal to download those anyway :)

The briefest synopsis of D&D that I could offer though, would be that it's a D20 system, or the use of a 20 sided dice. Each character has a set of stats, attributes, skills, etc that define them. In the course of telling a story, the character may encounter challenges that require the use of these skills to overcome them. A player would then roll the D20, add his relevant skill, ability, or attribute, and compare the total to the Difficulty Class (DC) of what ever he's trying to overcome.

As an example, a character might have a Diplomacy skill that has 10 ranks. He's trying to charm a prostitute to lower her prices, and the GM tells him to roll a Diplomacy check. He rolls the D20, and gets a 7. Added to his 10 ranks, his total for the skill check is a 17. The GM might decide that the DC for this particular lady of the night is 15, because she really needs the money. The player has a higher skill check then the DC, and so he achieves his goal.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you've got, I've been playing for about six years now and I love to nerd out on this stuff.

Offline Techn0logicTopic starter

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 11:53:27 PM »
Ah, so let me try and sum this up.

It's basically an RP, yet using a system where things are more by chance, where the characters themselves determines what happens next, not the writer?

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Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 12:32:56 AM »
It is and isn't by chance....

The "chance factor" of system games (in this case D&D), is that by adding dice into the mix, is that yes "bad" rolls can quickly turn the tides.  But if you know the game mechanics, and know what sort of character you are trying to create you reduce the chance factor, by making your character better at certain things.  Like for example, I want to make a fighter good at swinging a two handed sword.  Well, then there are things I can add to my character that give me a better chance to hit and inflict damage with a two handed sword.  Along with the fact that, said character should probably be built something along the lines like Conan the Barbarian...meaning big and strong.  So with that in mind, without throwing an excessive amount of terminology and figures in, while yes the system itself says roll a d20 to see if you hit whoever your are attacking and you have to beat X number where X is equal to the target's defense (or in D&D terms, his or her Armor Class).  But in my example I created a fighter that is good at slashing through things with a two handed sword, so while using a two handed sword he gets to add some bonuses to that d20 roll to hit his target, thus reducing the "chance factor".

The chance factor never goes away, even the most powerful of characters has a bad day...but their stats reflect their skill level and accompanying abilities.

Offline Techn0logicTopic starter

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 12:37:35 AM »
Ah, I understand now!

I've played a few games that use that mechanic.


Offline Utterfail

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 08:28:20 AM »
Online resources are available for the somewhat older 3rd edition and 3.5 edition rules.  www.d20srd.com has most of the rules needed to learn 3.5, if you want to look at it on your own.

If you want to look at 4th edition, you'll have to go out and buy/borrow actual books.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 10:32:09 AM »
Just for comparison these are not technically DnD rules but very damned old school based off of the on-line rules and well they are free, or available very modestly priced for rules if you want its the Basic Fantasy RPG.

www.basicfantasy.org

Its coined termed a retroclone a game that is like early retro games of yore but modern remakes since most are out of print. In this system you will notice its basic, with supplemental materials that are heavily fan influenced or created. If you go to other earlier rules like the Rules Cyclopedia and the Boxed Set DnD races were actually classes if you were a halfling you well that was your class that was a fairly narrow time though.

Skills as in DnD as is used in more modern rules was simply often not used or it was "figured into the PC background" like if the Human Fighter Smith Anvil has a background where he grew up among the woodsman of the big dark forest then he likely could do a stat roll for "woodsman sorts of skills". Thats how I do it in my BFRPG campaign I run tabletop. But I opted to use some of the supplental material and added a new combo class the Fighter/Thief to the game.

So don't just think DnD is it and there are older sets you can get books for at a good price used and retroclone systems like my favorite, Lybrinth Lords and others. For a new player/gm I suggest the BFRPG it has ease of use, a low learning curve and is all the rules needed in one book.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 05:01:55 AM »
A bit late to the party, but for a new player, I would recommend a free system, and something that either uses only normal six-sided dice, or percentile based.

First, people are often more comfortable using "normal" dice.
On the other hand, it's just intuitive for most people to know their chance to succeed, like 45%, or 86%, and have it listed on their character sheet.

Offline Cythieus

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 11:51:45 PM »
I learned D&D pretty fast and without a good teacher, its not terribly complex from a player standpoint.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 03:04:16 AM »
Congratulations, but still, do you see any problem with offering alternative solutions that might work even better for some people?

Offline Farmboy

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 03:58:57 PM »
Thufir, are these character class based systems, or catch-all systems like Steve Jackson Games?

Because there is a big difference. In group play, a character class system divides the various chores up between the players so everybody gets a chance to contribute something that is in character. In solo play, a system that does not have character classes is better.

... by the way, the dice do not make the game, the rules do. Anyone can buy any dice anywhere, and I have found that players like to have a LOT of different dice, not just the six-sided ones like GURPS. And for that matter, the 12-sided die has been around for at least 2,500 years. So who's to say what "normal" is? ICE used percentile dice, which I have always considered kinda ugly. They just aren't truly symetrical. I'd rather roll a d20 and divide by 2 than roll a d10. I just think a d20 gives you a better random because it is symetrical.

Oh boy, I hope more questions get asked. AD&D is cool. Standard D&D is cool, too, but it's rarely played anymore.

Bonus geek-out... don't you think they should have called AD&D "D&D++" ? I wonder if anyone will get that...hehehe
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 04:00:37 PM by Aislin »

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 07:01:30 PM »
Did you just follow the links in my post, Aislin? They are free ;).
And there are no classes, since I only recommend games I would play myself. I avoid class-based games, so I can't recommend them in good conscience, can I?

I agree, for one particular playstyle in a group of at least 4 players, class-based systems just save you work on creating the character. And I agree skill/career/effect-based games are better for one-on-one games.
I would contend, however, that if you are not playing in a big enough group, or you can expect the characters to go around on their own, or you just don't want to have all the "traditional" roles covered, you are still better off not using class-based games. Who's the healer and who's the mage in "The Three Musketeers" ;D?
They have someone who's an ex-cleric, true, but Aramis was also one of the meanest, most ruthless fencers in Paris :P. I prefer this style of playing. And that's why I avoid class-based systems, they don't work very well for it.
Mind you, I'm not saying that any style is superior, just that I prefer something else, so I want to present both sides. I think offering two free systems (BoL and BRP) as an example is good enough, after someone has posted a link to free class-based systems. I'm sure that anyone who reads here can use the free examples and make their own choices.

And last, just believe me that the availability of multi-sided dice really depends on where you live. For some people, ordering through Internet is the only way to get a set of polyhedral dice. Also, just as many people would prefer not to buy dice in order to try a demo system. Most people already own some six-sided dice, though, so they can download the free version of Barbarians of Lemuria (there is also a paid version), and make a character right away.

The fact that Romans used something like 12-sided dice is not really relevant to this. Their dice also had only 4 meanings, if I remember that one right, but using them was considered illegal, amoral and likely to lead to arguments and violence. Of course, gambling is dangerous even today, and that's what they were using them for, but we are talking about another kind of games here.

Offline Cythieus

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2010, 06:15:49 AM »
Why are you arguing about dice? We're on a forum and the dice are built in here and other sites on the web. It's no harder to roll a six sided dice online than a 100 sided or 20 sided.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 09:21:07 AM »
I don't play RPGs only on forums. In fact, I've played them off-line, with real partners, far more than I've played on forums.
And when you play on a table, real dice are fun to roll!

Offline Cythieus

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 09:28:10 AM »
Thing is for learning on the forum, the availability of dice wouldn't stop anyone. Still I think he just wanted a quick run down, he kind of said that in the first post.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 12:15:20 PM »
If you want to learn something you can play outside of a forum, like on a table with friends, dice still matter. And that's before we go into linear vs. bell curve probabilities :P!
And he go the rundown, I agree, but threads on forums often get into side issues.

Offline Paradox

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2010, 12:41:30 PM »
Unfortunately, the original poster has been on since April, so it's a bit of a moot point.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2010, 01:15:32 AM »
A thread in a forum is not just about what the original poster wants. Sure, he asks his questions and thus starts it, but threads have a tendency to snowball away.
Also, reading it might spend some time to anyone with a similar question.

Offline Paradox

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2010, 08:36:18 AM »
Good point!

Offline MasterMischief

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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 09:39:40 PM »
For new players, I usually suggest something rules lite.  Personally, I would not classify D&D as rules lite.  However, D&D's proliferation does make it more accessible in some ways.

As far as dice, I think percentiles are more intuitive, but I prefer the bell curve of three six siders.  I had a friend who had the hardest time adding up three numbers in his head though.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 03:34:32 AM »
I agree with the above post.

That's probably obvious, since I recommended a percentile-based system and a 2d6 system which is as light as they get :P.
Curiously, I also like 3d6 systems, for much the same reason ;D!

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2010, 12:18:57 PM »
A good old-school resource someone around here pointed me to is OSRIC:
http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/

It's basically First Edition D&D with the serial numbers filed off.

To this day I still prefer First and Second Edition.  I think 3rd and 4th add unnecessary levels of complexity to the game while trying to make it like World of Warcraft.  I have nothing against WoW, but I really see no need to try and make D&D into a paper clone of a video game like 3rd and 4th editions have done.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2010, 08:27:44 PM »
I think 3rd and 4th add unnecessary levels of complexity to the game while trying to make it like World of Warcraft.
 

 ::)

Offline Paradox

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2010, 10:11:04 PM »
I think 3rd and 4th add unnecessary levels of complexity to the game while trying to make it like World of Warcraft.  I have nothing against WoW, but I really see no need to try and make D&D into a paper clone of a video game like 3rd and 4th editions have done.

Considering the fact that 3rd edition D&D came out in 2000, and World of Warcraft came out in 2004, your comparison is flawed; however, I do agree for the most part about your assessment as it applies to 4th edition. I'll take World of Greyhawk over World of Warcraft any day!


Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: D&D Systems? (Totally newb to this fact right here)
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2010, 01:22:03 AM »
Guys, can't we skip the edition wars ;D?
Actually, I know that's impossible, but let's try to limit the off-topic :P!
Can we instead open another thread, more general and hopefully more useful, where we explain different systems, how they would work for a game on E., and why ;)?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 01:35:27 AM by Thufir Hawat »