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Dungeons and Dragons – where to begin

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  commodorerob 1 year, 12 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
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  • #1273761

    davehawes
    6736xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Even though personally, it is probably my least favourite edition, I am going to probably agree with everyone here and say 5th is the best option right now.

    I’ve played 2nd, 3rd/3.5, 4e and touched 5th.

    I spent the longest periods with 3/3.5 and 4e.

    My favourite is probably 4e because so much of the rules were more elegant and well constructed compared to 3/3.5 and it really worked as a tactical miniatures game. You could still have plenty of fun with the narrative element outside of that, but there was a solid little combat game in there as well (at least for levels 1-15, pre-essentials).

    3/3.5 definitely had more flavour, and I have a huge collection of books for it, so much potential and so many different ideas. The problem, in the end, was it was pretty clunky and required a lot of homework for balancing for the DM, if you were going to support all that variety. I never found that a problem, but I can see why it might be an issue. The way they changed magic/powers in 4e I think was much smarter. Moving away from having spells and special abilities really be different things mechanically, was a much cleaner solution. However, I do see how it lost some flavour in exchange for streamlined mechanical elegance. 4e did solve the age-old 3.5 problem of a Wizard who had used all his spell-slots was basically an old-guy in a dressing gown, and at the same time, where a Wizard was choosing from an array of cool spells each turn, a warrior, if they were lucky, got to use a feat, but most of the time they were just rolling lots of D20’s every turn thanks to a high BAB. It meant a lot of big fights could get grindy, without creative thinking on the part of players and DM, serious house-ruling, or the switch to targeting mostly attributes and aiming to reduce those to 0. Then again, if lots of HP is a mechanic you don’t like, D&D might not be the game for you (I actually think the WP/VP system used in D20 modern, and one edition of the SWRPG is an infinitely better health system).

     

    So why agree with 5th? Because as far as I can tell, 5th is basically a cleaned up and streamlined version of 3rd, with just one or two trace elements from 4e. 4e did so many things to take D&D in a brave new direction, something I applauded, and could see the design cleanliness to it. However, it also robbed the game of some of its charm and clearly lost a lot of the fanbase. 5e has returned to those more popular roots. For me, I have tons of 3.5 books, and I already have a pretty good “3.5 style D&D” game that I am happy with, so no need to invest in another very similar thing. If you are however starting out, it makes sense to go with the latest for ease of access, and because it probably has polished a few things up from that earlier edition.

    #1273829

    limburger
    14325xp
    Cult of Games Member

    3rd edition definitely was rules overkill with the gigantic amount of feats and skills as books got released.

    It’s weird to see Pathfinder (essentially 3rd edition) be successful.
    I’m guessing it had something to do with the not-so-great idea that was 4th. Heck, at times it is like that version doesn’t exist …

    #1273831

    sulphur
    Participant
    899xp

    There is another alternative, which is what I did with my kids get one of the d and d boxed board games. I got Wrath of ashardalon which is a co-op version with dungeon tiles hero’s loads of monsters and a ai system that takes the role of the dm .

    This way you can play a hero with your boy even have 2 each. It’s a nice entry point I think and you won’t be buried in rules

     

    #1273832

    koraski
    1924xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The Pathfinder (1st ed) starter set is a superior product to the D&D 5th starter set. It’s got more, and better quality, components. I bought it and used the adventure and card minis for D&D. It’s not hard to borrow the fluff and swap out stats. I also recommend the Pathfinder Pawns sets. They seem a bit pricey but your basically getting an entire monster manual of minis for 20-30$. I also prefer many of the Pathfinder adventures and adventure paths to the D&D 5 campaign books. More work to convert them but well worth it for the story and artwork.

    Pathfinder is a decent game. It’s basically D&D 3.5 edition (they even refered to it as “3.75” in their marketing. There’s a LOT more detail and options in the rules but it can get burdened by the sheer volume of rules. I strongly recommend NOT starting Pathfinder for new players. Mainly due to the imminent release of 2nd edition but also because D&D 5th is a better entry point due its streamlined system. If your group eventually finds D&D 5e a little too “light” and wants to jump into a meatier rule set then I’d suggest looking into Pathfinder 2e.

    #1273885

    torros
    17612xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I havent played Pathfinder but know a lot of players who have been playing it from the start and they say its more complicated than it needs to be. Just too many choices to keep track of for both players and DM

    #1273996

    evilstu
    13073xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @torros I will say this in support of the 5th ed  rules set – the complete grapple rules were 2 paragraphs long and made sense. For Pathfinder someone developed a 2 page flowchart to simplify things:

    Edit – removed links to flowcharts as they were not connecting correctly. If anybody is interested do an internet search for ‘Pathfinder grapple flowchart’

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by  evilstu.
    #1274022

    commodorerob
    8356xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Lots of interesting comments guys, I should say that, my son does not live with me, so most of this playing will be done over Skype, so I will be leaving the miniatures out of it for the moment, and that will be something for when he comes and stays with me 🙂

    #1274768

    davehawes
    6736xp
    Cult of Games Member

    To be fair, the grapple rules were pretty awful in 3/3.5 as well 🙂 So Pathfinder may not have made them worse!

    #1275269

    ced1106
    Participant
    3218xp

    The D&D 5th edition Starter Set is great. The core books are expensive, unless you *know* you’ll be playing the game.

    I would recommend, though, you research what RPGs are good to play over Skype. Search on “rpg over skype”or “D&D over skype”.

    If the kid has an active imagination and doesn’t like all that crunch, I’d recommend One-Shot World, a rules-light narrative distillation of  Dungeon World. OSW is easy to play and about 24 pages long, of which players only need two pages. Or, rather, you can have a Skype conference call, ask him worldbuilding questions (eg. ask him to draw a map of the world, ask him what he thinks might be in the haunted ruins, etc.), and not worry about rules.

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242339/One-Shot-World-Beta

    https://www.reddit.com/r/DungeonWorld/

    #1275285

    commodorerob
    8356xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Cheers @ced1106 that’s really helpful, yeah my boy has an active imagination, just a bit weird sometimes… Lol

    #1282095

    commodorerob
    8356xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Well I have officially been hooked on DnD again, I had the starter set arrive, have been reading through and accidentally ordered the core rule books..oops

    #1282185

    tankkommander
    Participant
    3463xp

    If you are looking for some good informational vids about the rules, classes etc. in 5th Edition try the Dungeon Dudes https://youtu.be/qO3W-rPkq18

    #1288852

    commodorerob
    8356xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I have been watching so much stuff on DnD I am really starting to get back into it in a big way.  I am just priming son with fighting Fantasy at the moment which he is enjoying 🙂

    #1297538

    kiranamida
    3212xp
    Cult of Games Member

    To me, the best version of D&D depends entirely what you want out of it. Want a good solid miniatures adventure game? 4e. Want a detailed cross class system with emphasis on character customisation and taking things in your own direction? 3.5e (Pathfinder). Want a modular set of rules where you can decide if and when you want to start adding things like maps/minis and more advance sections of the rules? 5e.

    In my mind, these are all good games. They are just different games with there own pros and cons. The big difference that will make them is the play group and their willingness to get into it.

    #1297845

    commodorerob
    8356xp
    Cult of Games Member

    After a little bit of a wait, my copies of the 5e rule books arrived. I am just starting to explore them. I am starting with the players manual and working my way through.

     

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