Anybody play D&D? Played D&D?


My comic shop hosts D&D encounters every Wednesday. The newest session is starting up soon. I've never played D&D in my life but have been curious about it. Tonight was character creation. I  sat down with one of the DMs and created a Changeling thief. I'm looking forward to the first adventure next week. Not sure if it's something I'll stick with but I thought I'd give it a shot. I even bought a set of dice tonight as well.


Any tips for a rookie?


If you play do you have a particular type of character you prefer? Did I make the right decision with the Changeling thief?

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Just checking, Randy -- I want to make sure you're aware that players can't use those surges willy-nilly, even without your limitation. They normally get 1 second wind per encounter, and those usually take a standard action to trigger (unless they're dwarves, who can do it as a minor action). If you keep the characters busy in the encounter, they'll have to think long and hard before deciding to take their surge instead of swinging their axe. Otherwise, healing surges are all triggered by healing powers, usually the province of Leader-type characters. They can usually do two per encounter.

(Between encounters, they can spend as many as they want, though -- but if they want the bonuses from a healer, he can only help with two surges every 5 minutes, which costs time.)

Those surges should last all day... just keep them moving and they'll see how precious they are. I've seen players run out of healing (or been unable to heal for other reasons) plenty of times without limiting it. 

Good luck with your game! The more roleplaying, the better, IMO, so your campaign sounds like it'll be off to a great start!

Good idea Randy on the minions who deal damage after death. I have a D&D insider account which has the monster builder. It has official and non official monster. It has the ability for you to create or modify existing monsters for your account. The next two encounters one is a trap encounter which most players haven't encountered before. The other involves a devil type character and 6 minions who when hit transfer their aura to the boss if they are within so many squares and give the boss 15 hit points, she's already at 315hp. But I may also alter it to explode when it within an area. The minions are classified as devils but look like robots. So they could deal 5 ongoing 5 or necrotic damage.

My adventure has fighting but will have lots of skill checks. I had my players design wandering characters who will work for the highest bidder but sometimes find their own kind of travel. I've worked an overarching story that they will be drawn into. They're kind of an Oceans 11 group. The masterminds are changelings. My characters accepted a job from an old man who was really a changeling. They went to find him before starting off on the job and they found him but it wasn't really him. Just another changeling. They don't know yet other than he's not telling the whole truth. Oh and I also trough a gelatinous cube into the mix on an encounter, that's fun. Oh and had them come across an elder dragon which scared the crap out of them, the dragon just flew off though.
Wow. Lots of typos in that last post. Sorry. I typed it this morning around 6:45 on my phone.

Glad you had fun, Jason. Also good to see you have someone pretty familiar with the game to help you out.

My D&D group may finally be getting back together after a year absence. Hopefully we can find a fourth or fifth to join the party (our ideal party size). We just couldn't hang on to them for any length of time. Some I was sad to see go, others not so much (the dude who quit during the middle of combat). We were down to just three of us that we ended up running two characters a piece the last 2-3 sessions.

So our second session is this Sunday.  The first one went well I believe.  I have a group of four women who are much more interested in role playing than they are in fighting, so I'm attempting to place the emphasis there.  Our first session had only one combat encounter which they barely survived due to poor dice rolls.

A few things I've done to make things more interesting:

* Instead of using miniatures for the monsters, I'm using candy.  If they beat 'em, they get to eat 'em.

* I'm handing out free roll chips at the beginning of each session.  Players can use them to get a second chance if they fumble a roll. Players can earn more by performing arbitrary tasks, such as trying something new, identifying the sources of my characters and places, or pretty much anything else that strikes my fancy (they all know it's completely arbitrary and they're okay with that).

So, we'll see how far they get in the war between Freedonia and Sylvania.

We used to use something like your "re-roll" chip.

At the beginning of each actual session, everyone got one "Action Die." It was a special six-sider that we could add to any roll (except when leveling up and rolling new HP and when rolling damage in combat). 

The player could roll it at any time until he he/she knew the actual outcome of the roll.

So, for example, say Tim rolled a 5 on his attack, for a total of 8 (with a regular STR bonus). He guesses the 8 isn't enough to hit his foe, so he immediately declares he'll spend his action die. He rolls it, gets a 6, and ends up with a total of 14 for his attack roll.

Even better, people could boost the Action Die in two ways:

  • REGULAR BOOST: Good role-playing (always lacking in our group)
  • REGULAR BOOST: Giving the DM food or helping him in some way.
  • GIVEAWAY BOOST: Having another player give them (or trade up or down) their Action Die.

When you got an Action Die "regular boost," you moved up to the next largest die. So a d6 became a d8, which became a d10 and so on.

When another player gave away their Action Die, the "giveaway boost," they could do it two ways.

  1. Bump their die down one notch for another player's one-notch up bump.
  2. Give their die away entirely, which adds a D6 to the other person's Action Die. (So in the example above, Tim could roll 2D6 for their Action Die, but Wyatt would have no Action Die left)

Action Dice always expired at the end of that night's session.

In all, it made for some fun, heroic moments!

Those Action Dice are a great idea -- I'm not sure my group would be amenable to incorporating them at this point, but it's something to keep in mind for future campaigns. 

And we've been doing the candy-for-monsters bit for years! Multicolor stuff -- M&Ms, Starbursts, rainbow Goldfish -- work especially well. Also, when a character marks a piece of candy, he or she can just jam a colored toothpick into it!

A few friends are interested in seeing what D&D is all about. So I'm going to run just one encounter for them tonight. Another friend who's played before is going to play, I think, so that'll help them out. None of them play much video games or are familiar with fantasy outside of LOTR. So this should be interesting. I picked an opening encounter from an adventure included in a starter kit I had. So they'll get some fighting and roleplaying in. I went ahead and made characters for them to choose as well to make it easier. I made archer, bard, cleric, knight, mage, paladin, psion, and theif. So there's plenty for them to pick from. We're starting level 2. The character builder gave them all 3 magical items so I let that stay. Given this group it'll still be a challenge. I'm not expecting them to fall in love with it. It took me awhile to warm up to this type of game.

Also, with adding some home rules to the game. With my regular D&D home game I introduced fortune cards. If someone rolls a 10 or less  on initiative during the course of the game I give them a fortune card that has a power associated with it. It could be good or bad. I do this only once. I thought about doing some other stuff but 4e, the characters are already pretty powerful. The catch is if a monster rolls low on initiative they get the card. I talked to a long time DM and they suggested that whatever house rules you implement it should apply to both sides. Like I said I find 4e to give players a lot of powers and if they're seasoned the challenges are not as great. So to make things interesting any house rules I do the monsters get to use them too, to balance things out.


Also during encounters on Wednesdays a DM we were playing with let two characters mark one monster. The rules state that only 1 character can mark a monster at a time. This caused some strife when we had to play at a table with another DM who enforced the rule. My friend who plays in my home game told me that he thinks that 2 or more characters should mark one monster to taunt them. So I kept it that only 2 at a time can mark a monster. However, monsters can do the same thing to the players. Got to keep it balanced.


The only other home rule I use is with healing potions. I believe the rule is that if you drink a healing potion, it's a minor action and you spend a healing surge. I borrowed this from another DM. His rule is it's a standard action to drink and you get 10 hp. That's a low number but to me it makes more sense. You're drinking a potion to heal, why should you have to spend your healing surge?

Does the healing surge add to the potion's effectiveness? Are surges a standard amount every time, or do you roll a random result?

In 4e each character has a set healing surge value and a set number of surges they can use. Some characters get some effects if they do use a healing surge. They get plenty of opportunity to use healing surges throughout the game though. I think the reasoning is if you are taking the time to drink a potion it should just automatically give you some HP instead of blowing a surge. Honestly though it's rare to use a healing potion. If you've got 1 or 2 healers in the group heals are happening regularly.
Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) said:

Does the healing surge add to the potion's effectiveness? Are surges a standard amount every time, or do you roll a random result?

I ran a game for some uninitiated friends on Saturday night. They seemed to like it once they got the hang of it. One guy really got into and did a voice for his character, a dwarf.

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