Starter set? Oh, really?

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Igor
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Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Igor » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:20 am

OK. So the next in line for the family curse, my sixteen year old boy, brought home the "Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Starter Set" yesterday. He's always been an avid gamer, console, online, card and tabletop and is tiring of MMOG's (World of Warcraft) and wanted to get into D&D as a face-to-face RPG. Since we can't seem to find anyone in our local area who plays the game we have to try to pick it up ourselves and this looked like a good option.

Wrong! As an introduction to the game it does it a great disservice in that it is overly complex and does not step you through the rules from the simplest to the more advanced but throws you in the deep end by trying to cover all the attributes and modifiers at the same time. THIS review says much the same thing.

I can't help but imagine how many 12 year olds (it is supposed to be 12+) have got this in their Christmas stocking and been turned off D&D for life? This is a case where D&D gamers could do their community a favour by writing a "Quickstart Guide to the Quickstart Guide"! Or a glossary ... or even a table of contents! We'll work it out but it'll probably need a bit of study and homework.

By the way, I've got an ulterior motive in playing D&D with Chris - I'm gonna look at options for a Crimson Skies RPG, possibly using the Rugged Adventures rules.

Cheers

Alan

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Carthaginian
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Carthaginian » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:06 pm

4th Ed. D&D is a fail right out of the box.
As an avid player of 3.0 and 3.5, and vaguely familiar with AD&D, I can say that this is the most pitiful version of the franchise to be released in the last 25 years. Everyone I hear who has tried 4th has had very little good to say about it.

My advice if he wants to get into D&D is to find some used 3.5 books... much better.
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All my planes are made with parts from: http://www.toposolitario.com/workshop/crimsonskies.html.

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Thom
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Thom » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:37 am

I am not too happy with 4e either. However I do enjoy the D&D 3.5 (D20) & the True20 rulesets. We play a weekly tabletop game here that I have DM'd/GM'd off and on since 1994. Now and then we change games or settings for a while, but we usually comeback to the same core D&D game after a while, now running some six generations (In PC lives/Generations) and continuing. Current era is a Faerun (Forgotten Realms) mashup Steampunk campaign, with Steamships, Trains and even Zepplins, roughly 1890-1905ish level technology (With D&D Magic of course!). We also incorporate older material from SpellJammer and Primal Order.

Other games we sometimes play include Mutants & Masterminds, Shadowrun , D20 Modern/Future/Past as well as various D20 settings like DragonStar, Castle Falkenstien & Freeport. Now and then we even toss in a World of Darkness/Storyteller session of Vampire or Werewolf or even Street Fighter!

This one is part of the Player Characters small fleet.
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby foxmalcolm » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:14 am

I agree 4th ed is a lost cause if you like 4th ed and want to play it there is a system already available that is cheaper and does almost everything that 4th ed does but with more options . . . . . it is called World of Warcraft - The Role Playing Game.
As part of our RPG Convention responsiblities to wizard I was forced to participate in this little miss-adventure, 4th ed is a good simple system but the problem is it is D&D in name only! . . . . . there got that out of the way.

Personally I play 3.0 and 3.5 primarily, but I also like to explore the older systems like 2nd ed and EarthDawn.
Recently [as of last year] I started to explore what has been dubed D&D 3.75 by the fans, Paizo's Pathfinder. Now thats what 4th ed should have been ! !

Now I am surprised that you can't find any gaming groups, there are gaming groups everywhere you just have to know where to look.
Most University campus have a role playing society, check with student services or look online [you do not need to be student to join].
Check with your local gameing store [preferably one that sells D&D related merchandise] most of the people who work at those things reguarly play and more than likely have an open games night once a week after business hours at the store.

Also RPG Conventions or CONS, seem to spring up once every few months accross the world.
I don't know whats in your area, but America has four of the worlds largest conventions spaced a couple of months apart, and these draw attendance of well over 3,000 people each. I am sure you can easily make contacts for local groups there or online at one of their forums.

Generally word of mouth is your best friend, the only real debilitating factor in finding a table is how far do you have to travel, people like Grant for instance, have a long way to travel just to get to a neighbour let alone a friends house for a game.
If that is the case there are many online groups that are tailored to your needs, they offer online role playing using either a chat program with mapping abilities or they use a coms program and literally talk to each other.

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Thom
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Thom » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:33 am

Actually we use a lot of Pathfinder source material bits in our own game, though we use none of the Pathfinder setting. I would love to see a D20 ruleset for Crimson Skies, it is just so logical. The best thing about D20 is that so many online game rooms are already set up for it. . .
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Igor
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Igor » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:00 am

Sorry I haven't check this thread in a while - thanks for the input, its given me some solid info to get us going. Chris (my boy) has bought and is painting up some Reaper miniatures for his gaming and reckons some of his Warhammer 40K will fit nicely as well. He hasn't bought any sourcebooks yet but he likes the idea of 4th ed because he's heard its more like an MMOG which is a major part of his life at the moment.

Since I want to learn as few rule-sets as possible (only got so many brain cells left don'cha know!) I'm hoping it will be close to D20 Modern. I've heard quite a few good reports about it and if we use a similar set of rules I should be able to get the same gamers to play. Can anyone point me at a D20 Modern game report or an example of a game mat/scenario? I really like the Pulp Figures miniatures and he's got free postage to Australia at the moment - shipping is the biggest expense for me! I downloaded one of the Thrilling Adventure pdfs last week, no postage on downloads!

I've had some very basic experience in designing and building card models so I'd like to put together something like THIS but there's a lot you can do with hex and square based systems as well.

Cheers

Alan

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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Dewbakuk » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:46 am

I'm going to go against the grain here. I like 4th Ed, but then I was never a fan of 3.5 et al. Like most games, 4th has it's problems but it's main advantage is how simple it is to play, especially the 'powers' system. If your son is after a game that's like an MMORPG he's picked the right one. The design team even admitted that was the aim, I think their statement was along the lines of "If we can get 10% of the WoW players to play D&D then it'll be the most succesful version ever."

For a Crimson Skies RPG, I'd recomend Savage Worlds, it has a great Pulp feel to the rules already. It's what I'm intending to use when I run a Crimson Skies campaign later this year. I'm going to try incorporating actual games of Crimson Skies (FASA edition) for the aerial combat stuff. I'll try and get the players to paint their own planes too, I'll probably supply them with basic paint jobs and get them to personalise them.

Igor
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Igor » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:20 am

If they want to get new starters into 4th ed the best thing they could do would be to fire whoever put the starter set together!

I think I can understand the difference of opinions on D&D 4th ed and I think I can see a parallel with the consensus of opinion on the Crimson Skies Heroclix game because on the one hand, the more complex your rules are, the closer your game will come to duplicating real life but the trade-off is that it has a steeper learning curve for beginners ...and when they talk about rank beginners they don't come any more rank than me! The whole concept of gaming has always been either random or skill based to me - either "Snakes and Ladders" or chess. I'm finding the job of picking up gaming rules - for D&D and Crimson Skies - to be quite fascinating.

For example, in real life, if your character (or plane) is strong then the probability is high that it will win in combat against weaker opponents. Its not certain but there is a higher probability of success. This is simulated by giving your character a strength rating that a random dice roll must beat - the dice roll represents blind chance.

A character (or a plane) in reality has a number of characteristics that can come into play in combat though: experience, talent, morale, armour, all of which come into play and by having a more complex set of rules which address each of these factors you can more accurately represent the interplay between combatants. Will the regenerating power of a healer beat the strength of a Paladin? Will the speed of one plane beat the armour of another?

Am I right in thinking that this is the reason why those who like previous editions of D&D don't like 4th ed? That it doesn't have the same depth? From what I can pick up, this seems to be the reason why those who like the Crimson Skies FASA game don't like the HeroClix version.

Cheers

Alan

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Thom
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Thom » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:24 pm

We launched a new 4e campaign last night. . . Still not comfortable with the changes, it feels like the wrong things have been truncated and the simple things have been made more complex, but it should be a fun game anyway. It feels good to be a player for a while instead of the DM!
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Phoenix
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Re: Starter set? Oh, really?

Postby Phoenix » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:48 am

I myself play D&D 3.5 - never was really impressed with 4E. One of hte things I liked about 3.5 was - sure, there were dozens of books with rules spread everywhere, but there were dozens of books with rules spread everywhere! Like Igor said, there were so many options and so much depth.

Igor > I actually play 40K too. Just out of curiosity, what army does your son play?
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