So our books came yesterday and I've been reading the Dungeon Master's guide as scheduled while Darrell's been reading the Player's Handbook. It's quite obvious I am going to have to read the Player's Handbook too since there is not so much actual useful information in the DM guide. It has lots of pages about different playing styles, how to handle different personalities in your group, and weird stuff like how to write cryptograms, but not so much useful data on the actual rules. I *hope* all that will be included in the Player's Handbook. Anyway it's all pretty confusing. There's so many different bonuses and penalties and they are all described in various places scattered about through the different books. It seems it would be hard to determine what it actually *means* when you roll a certain number on your dice. One cool thing I found was information on generating a random dungeon, which I like. I always was a big fan of random things... Not sure if it's even going to be usable at the start though because most of the dice rolls seem to generate locked or barred doors and I can't even understand the little table on what you need to roll to break down a door :P. It might be impossible for level 1 characters, I dunno. Maybe I can just skip the "random door" part and make all the doors unlocked...

And yes you apparently do need some form of miniatures... something to keep track of your position. All the battle stuff is strongly based on your position relative to the enemy... I just hope we'll be smart enough to play once... :P


Seven Replies to D&D first impressions

Aaron Shurtleff | July 9, 2008
I could give a sarcastic telling of all the rules and numbers that go into figuring out whether a character can break down a door, but I leave that kind of furious naysaying to Scott! :) Previous editions have gotten a few knocks based on the way the information is spread around, which leads to the kind of situations where Scott can make a video of the huge moments of silence where you figure out where the information you need is, followed by figuring out which rules apply, etc. etc. If you thought like a game designer, the layout makes sense...so they tell me (I don't think I can speak for what other people think like).

But, yeah, you will need to know what information is in the PHB to make sense of some of the stuff in the DMG, if this version is like others. Pretty much, the monsters you bring in as the DM are like your characters, so you need to know how to use them, thus you need the info in the PHB. Take it slow. Use things a little at a time, and you should be fine.

Happy TC anniversary, by the way!!

Lori Lancaster | July 9, 2008
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Aaron Shurtleff | July 9, 2008
Sorry. I had a little more to say.

Plus, depending on how in depth you want to get, you might not need to worry about some rules at all. For example, if you don't want to worry about how having higher ground affects a character's ability to hit someone in melee battle, don't worry about it. Or, don't worry about it for now, and add it in later. Sometimes people get too worried about bringing in every rule right away, or in making the game as "realistic" as possible. It's a fantasy role-playing game, so realism shouldn't bug you too much. And, if it's only you and Darrell, you can ease yourself into the stupid advanced rules without worrying about offending D&D purists.

Remember, the point is to have fun, right? So have fun!

Tony Peters | July 9, 2008
1st rule...Have fun...
all other rules refer to the 1st rule...I played a game called traveler (that should date me) and I seem to remember it requiring miniatures...our DM used our initials in lead type (his mom ran an oldstyle printing press). on hex paper, It worked just fine...use the KISS principle

Denise Sawicki | July 10, 2008
Yep, I certainly won't be spending money on miniatures. I figure we'll just use random objects we happen to have. If we get that far.

Scott Hardie | July 11, 2008
Everything Aaron says is true. (On this page anyway.)

Jackie Mason | July 12, 2008
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