• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Beau Davidson
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Casie Becker
  • Mike Barkley

Are dungeons and dragons games really this much fun?

 
gardener
Posts: 1190
326
3
trees wofati rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would read through the initial sections of the player handbook in the first link above, and since each DM/GM will have their own rules for character creation I would check with them if you sign up for a group. But I would also try making several different characters based on ideas that interest you, using the default rules in the source books. I sometimes would make up an entire party, where I would enjoy playing any one of the characters, and then when I joined a group I could either play my favorite, or play the one needed most based on what was already being played.

Being well above average in height, I always enjoyed making halfling characters; others are big fans of elves, but maybe you make several characters with different races and classes so you get the hang of it. There used to be bonuses/penalties to certain attributes based on race, like a halfing would lose a point in strength but gain one in dexterity. So you could plan for your best skill to be buffed by that to be even higher, or not.

Maybe you want to make a character based off of someone in a book or historical figure; immediately I thought of Barry du Lac, lesser known cousin of Lancelot du Lac who is also quite handy with a sword dontchaknow, and if that greedy fancy pants Lance hadn't begged all the good armor from our dads, I'd have some nice shiny gear too dammit! So now Barry is stuck having to save up or make his own, but who has time for that, and getting all sweaty at the smithy all day?!? He heard there's just piles of the stuff out there in the wilds, especially that ruined keep he heard about on the other side of the mountains, so he figured it was time to get out from under mother and aunt Sally trying to hook him up with the rich merchant daughters across the valley and decide his own fate for once! Then he can return victorious and as a hero with sacks of gold! Surely hunting through a *completely empty* old ruins for a day or two beats the smithy! (Barry put his points in strength and constitution, not so much intelligence and wisdom...)
 
Posts: 50
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:Little things like do i make the character before joining a game or is that something done with the dm?

I don't want to join a group without doing my homework.   That wouldn't be fair to the others.



There's no harm in creating a few characters, even if you never play them. That way you get familiar with the creation process, and you get to explore the kinds of characters available.
 
master steward & author
Posts: 27226
Location: Left Coast Canada
8760
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll start with creating characters.  I saw the premade ones, but I think playing with the character sheet will help me get a better understanding of how it all fits together.  

I also had a better look around Roll20 site and I think I can see how to apply for a game.  Hopefully, in the new year I can get my courage up.

From the first glance through the book, I quite like the idea of a halfling cleric.  But, I expect that there would be disadvantages putting those two together.  

I guess I'm drawn to healing, range, and stealth characters.  

 
Andrew Pritchard
Posts: 50
15
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I'll start with creating characters.  I saw the premade ones, but I think playing with the character sheet will help me get a better understanding of how it all fits together.  

I also had a better look around Roll20 site and I think I can see how to apply for a game.  Hopefully, in the new year I can get my courage up.

From the first glance through the book, I quite like the idea of a halfling cleric.  But, I expect that there would be disadvantages putting those two together.  

I guess I'm drawn to healing, range, and stealth characters.  



Every class and race has it's advantages and disadvantages. The key is play to the advantages and leave the areas where your character is at a disadvantage to the characters with those advantages. Don't try to be all things to all men - the game is designed to be co-operative afterall.

It is worth noting - healing tends to be touch based, up close and personal.
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
Posts: 1190
326
3
trees wofati rocket stoves
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I decided to make a halfling bard on the D&D Beyond web site to try it out, and it does a good job explaining each step as you do it. After signing in, I used the character builder at https://www.dndbeyond.com/characters/builder#/ so you might find it handy just to get the feel of making a few.

I'm not sure if this is the public link to the character info afterwards or not, named him Ian and he plays the pan flute, with a picture of old-school Ian Anderson: https://www.dndbeyond.com/profile/Brunnr/characters/64663089
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
Posts: 1190
326
3
trees wofati rocket stoves
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 27226
Location: Left Coast Canada
8760
4
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm feeling like I'm almost ready to start.  There's a lot I don't understand, but I think I get the basic mechanics of the game.  The rest I can learn by playing and when the library has the rule book available.

Question: is there a way on roll20 to sort the games by time of day?

Another Question: how long does one session usually go?

I figure the most reliable time for me is to get up super early and start a 4am game (my time).  That way there aren't other distractions and emergencies that can pull me away from the game.  If it goes for 3 hours, that would be perfect.  
 
gardener
Posts: 1057
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
444
hugelkultur kids home care forest garden gear trees books cooking bike woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Three hours is a reasonable estimate.
 
Andrew Pritchard
Posts: 50
15
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I'm feeling like I'm almost ready to start.  There's a lot I don't understand, but I think I get the basic mechanics of the game.  The rest I can learn by playing and when the library has the rule book available.

Question: is there a way on roll20 to sort the games by time of day?

Another Question: how long does one session usually go?

I figure the most reliable time for me is to get up super early and start a 4am game (my time).  That way there aren't other distractions and emergencies that can pull me away from the game.  If it goes for 3 hours, that would be perfect.  



I don't think you can sort games in roll20 by the time of day, it's just something that's kinda sorted out by the DM and the players

3 hours is a good session. I've played and run games that have run for 12 hours, but they are usually with very experienced players and we were all on summer vacation at the time. The game I'm in for my friend with the stroke, the sessions run for 3 hours +/- half an hour. When I'm running for my kids who are 9 and 10, I will only get an hour out of them because of their shorter attention span - and that's ok. I can plan around that.
 
Posts: 1
Location: Portugal
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll throw a couple more ways you can dip your toes into RPGs and D&D for introverts.

The first is a throwback way to play to the olden days of mail play. You may have heard of people playing chess by (e)mail. There are people that play RPGs like DnD as well in the same way. The main place I know of is RPG Crossing. It's good for people who don't have 3 or 4 hours of free time or aren't near any human beings (as in people who have a homestead in rural areas?). Obviously, the pace is slow and it's more geared towards people who want to practice their written word than acting skills, for glaring reasons.

The second is playing Neverwinter Nights which I think it's the best adaptation yet to DnD in videogame format. Don't be fooled by the fact that the game is going to be 20 years old this summer. It got an enhanced edition release in 2018 and you can get it for under $10 most of the time through GoG or Steam. You can play solo through hundreds of custom campaigns made by the community for free (high quality, we're talking even better than the original content the game shipped with), you can find a few people online or gather friends and play together many of the same campaigns, and you can log in to one of the many persistent worlds (PWs) which are akin to MMORPGs (think World of Warcraft) but with a lot more emphasis on role-playing a character instead of just going around talking out of character while killing things. Some of these PWs are smallish (~20 people at peak time) while a couple are in the 100-200 people range at peak time, so they are not huge communities which is what you want for some proper role-playing.

Fun fact about NWN, I actually used the editing tools that come bundled with the game (Aurora Toolset) which people use to build the campaigns, characters, environments, etc, to build a 3D version of a possible homestead on some family property. Meaning I could walk around my wife's grandparents' homestead like a wizard and see some potential modifications we'd like to do one day. It's super simple to learn (thus the millions of hours of content produced by the community of the decades) and I wasn't in the mood to learn SketchUp or something similar for a quick property blueprint. It's obviously not as powerful unless you start producing your own wheelbarrow 3D models which would have to be created in 3DStudio or Blender but there are wheelbarrows in there, so there you have it. DnD and 3D homestead visualization tool in one. That's what I call a win-win :)
 
Andrew Pritchard
Posts: 50
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Capsicum wrote:
Fun fact about NWN, I actually used the editing tools that come bundled with the game (Aurora Toolset) which people use to build the campaigns, characters, environments, etc, to build a 3D version of a possible homestead on some family property. Meaning I could walk around my wife's grandparents' homestead like a wizard and see some potential modifications we'd like to do one day. It's super simple to learn (thus the millions of hours of content produced by the community of the decades) and I wasn't in the mood to learn SketchUp or something similar for a quick property blueprint. It's obviously not as powerful unless you start producing your own wheelbarrow 3D models which would have to be created in 3DStudio or Blender but there are wheelbarrows in there, so there you have it. DnD and 3D homestead visualization tool in one. That's what I call a win-win :)



That's AMAZING. I'd completely forgotten about the Aurora Toolset! I'm going to have to invest some time in re-learning it.
 
Mark Brunnr
gardener
Posts: 1190
326
3
trees wofati rocket stoves
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes Neverwinter Nights was an outstanding game, I played that several times and enjoyed trying different characters in the process. I recall there was a way to make custom maps but it's been years since then and didn't think about the custom content that has come out since. Not sure if it runs on Linux but will check that out.
 
Posts: 6
6
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It can be a good practice to build characters even if they don't end up being used.  Practice building backstories, watch some fun videos on how to avoid really badly twinky'd back stories that dont' really fit the context of a starting character.  That youtube you posted has some funny examples on that on their channel.

if you're into reading, there's lots of books based on various d&d worlds, dragonlance, forgotten realms and so forth.  The dark elf series of novels by R.A. Salvatore can be a good place to start to get a feel for the sort of theme and method of the game.  Watching critical role can be good for that too as you can get a feeling for a good example of the game being played and the sort of fun and things you can expect.  That said, critical role is almost an idealized version of perfect fun role playing and not necessarily what you're going to get playing with others.  You find the fun really by getting into the 'role' playing part, not necessarily acting out your character (unless acting is your thing) but oftentimes THINKING through your character, really immersing yourself in their thought process as you would in reading a novel.  This immersion in how your character would think and react can really be the gateway into enjoying the game and story.

This can often lead to fun and humorous story telling that hopefully the other players will enjoy.  Don't apologize for being your character in how you act in game but try to be consistent with that actual character.  It lends a feeling of consistency like a well told story vs a tom green skit.

Reading source material or looking wiki's based on the d&d worlds can give you a better understanding of the sort of stories and sort of tales you can expect in your games.  Not that you might not play in an entirely custom setting like critical role does, but you can get a feel for the sort of storytelling that is consistent in d&d.

Many sourcebooks can help with ideas like character backgrounds, if you're keeping budgeted for sourcebooks though, doing some searching for things like d&d character background roll chart and you might find some ideas that can prompt you to flesh out your characters stories.  The act of building a history and a story for your character can help greatly in getting you into the right mindset to join a group.  Knowledge of the rules is less important than that sort of role play consistency of vision.  Many a game has been made fun by new players with a knack for understanding their characters mindset and a willingness to just be consistent to that vision.
 
pioneer
Posts: 255
Location: SF Bay, California Zone 10b
118
forest garden fungi foraging cooking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Practicing making characters is a great idea! Or just brainstorming random backstories. Since we're mentioning D&D media now, there's a couple comics I would recommend reading if you're into that.

The first is Nodwick, which is about a henchman working for a group of adventurers. It's very accessible even if you don't play D&D.

The second is the Order of the Stick (Edit: hyperlink isn't working, here's the url: https://www.giantitp.com/Comics.html), which is about a group of adventurers. It's a bit less accessible since there's a lot of rules jokes in the early strips. It started as just a joke comic for the author's friends, but he kept writing it and developing the story until it became his full time job. Don't let the stick figures fool you - it's my favorite comic in the world.

 
pollinator
Posts: 463
Location: Málaga, Spain
154
home care personal care forest garden urban food preservation cooking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, Ranson.
I don't know how I missed this post.

I have a little experience as a DM. I have to echo Sean in that the group of people is everything. You need at least one player who is proactive and you need that none of them are trying to ruin the game. The Master needs some social skills for adapting the script to the players needs. That's it. The rest comes out from what you are expecting of the game. The basic feature of a RPG is that the players complement each other with different skills, so by working together they can achieve things that none on their own is capable of. That said, the master has to create opportunities for all the players to find their moment of glory.

D&D is a ruleset, made specifically for fantasy. It supports medieval combat and magic. There are many others. I used to play Legend of the Five Rings (medieval Japan), Call of Cthulhu (Lovecraft's), Cyberpunk and others. But I enjoyed the most simple ruleset the most. When the ruleset is simple, you can create a custom character in less than a day, read the rules, and you are ready to play the next day. D&D is just popular, but for me it was a chore. Specially since version 3.5.
Live roleplaying games are basically the same, but they have special rules to substitute dices.

Forgotten Realms is a World setting, the background. Worlds come with a Lore: people, regions, beasts, history, ... There are a few worlds that play well with D&D, Other popular world settings were Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Planescape, Ravenloft (for a darker setting). They all have medieval combat and magic in common.

Then you have campaigns and modules. These are scripts made for one world setting, to help the master to tell a story. You can download plenty of free scripts online. A good campaign comes with maps, drawings, figurines and lots of secondary missions (things that may never happen if the players take a different path). Or you can write one for yourself. A module can be played in one session of three hours. A campaign usually requires a dozen of sessions, where you have enough time for leveling up your character between sessions. The module can be designed for adventure, mystery, intrigue, treason, humor, terror, ... or everything mixed together.
In any session, playable characters should be balanced, so they all bring differents skills and all of them are needed sooner or later.

There are three ways of roleplaying:
1. Being a storyteller who says what your character is going to do. The focus is on achieving the game objectives. Your decisions and your dice throwings is what matters. (A smart move lowers the difficulty).
2. Sitting in front of the boardgame, but performing your character. More focus is on performing and making it feel real. Good performances are rewarded by the master. (A good performance lowers the difficulty you have to beat with your throwing).
3. Standing and characterized, fully immersive. Performance is the goal.
I like to play something between 1 and 2, mostly narrative, but my characters always behave as their personality dictates. 3 doesn't appeal to me.

There are players that are obsessed with the rules and how to maximize their character. They can expend hours retorting the rules so their character can do a little bit more damage to enemies. I think this is foolish, you are not playing against a machine, you have a master who tells the story and can adapt it if you need it, but these people just love to tune the things up. For weeks.
There are players who design a moron character for fun, and then it is hard to make it cooperate with the rest of the players, ruining the experience. Egotistics characters are fine (they are helping but for their own interests), as long as they keep to the common goal.
There are players too shy or too lost, that don't know what to say or what to do. A good group will encourage these players to use their skills and will be patient with rule mistakes.
There are hardcore masters that will kill your characters if you orden them to do foolish things, or even if you fail badly with the dices, so you take your game seriously next time.... and hardcore players that enjoy this harsh style. If you are a casual player like me, being among hardcore players is hard.

My most enjoyable games were playing a game called Fanhunter, set in a world of comics that parodies Marvel and other fandom comics, with very simple rules and no special dices required. The modules were so much fun, the action fast, the background hilarious and people enjoyed it so much. The mood of the story invited the players to try some absurd things themselves, which were rewarded by the master with good outcomes. Because in the end, this is the goal of any game, having fun with friends.

My friend who still has time for playing (no children), plays regularly on Discord and Zoom with his play mates. Since the lockdowns, they had to find a way to keep their campaign running. It think they were playing RuneQuest. They say it's ok, but they miss being in the same room so they can side talk. They used to play in a rented game room as a playful association. There were people from 19 to 40 age old in the association and the fee was cheap, but with the covid fear, I think they are closed now.

(EDIT to complain with mild language rules. I hope no one gets offense now.)
 
Posts: 115
17
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kay Thomason wrote:
Websites like https://roll20.net/ and https://www.dndbeyond.com/ have made it much easier to play online. I run a campaign over Discord, and we use roll20 whenever I have a battle that needs a map. But it's just as easy to have everything done "theater of the mind" style.

I believe Critical Role has already been mentioned here as a great resource, and the third campaign is less than ten episodes in, so you can catch up without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of hours these amazing people have produced. My other favorite Dnd show is Dimension20. These people are all amazing improvers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-eY2tDgXsY&list=PLhOoxQxz2yFOcJoLoPRyYzjqCbddeOjP4


Roll 20 is a fantastic site that you can enter your character so when the DM says roll for (blah) you click a button and it does it for you. Like for an attack it will give you a score show the math (die plus modifier) and damage if you hit and this is in chat so everyone else can see to. ( DM can do secret rolls) we played this way for years because one of our group moved cross country. However we are now doing games with my son and son's friends and being in person helps with these new players.
Always try to "play well with others", one of our friends daughter is just starting to play and is greedy with items and stingy with sharing what she knows so we spend alot of our play time explaining why she should do whatever hair brained thing now. A different player was a rouge ( thief) and at the 1st inn we stay at she started picking pockets. My character had a crazy high perception so the first time she said "do you have to" the 2nd " please don't spoil our nest" the 3rd " stop that!" We ended up going to a different inn for drinks every night so the rouge could stretch their sticky fingers. Alternatively I was playing a rouge and we were interacting with a (npc) merchant that used the law of supply and demand for price gouging. The party face got sick of it while we were trying to get vital tools to survive and spelled him to vomit - while he was distracted I pick pocketed one of the smaller items we were shopping for. I got high 5's from other players when I rolled a natural 20. Because my kleptomaniac was helping.
 
pollinator
Posts: 260
92
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bill Gates was a top-tier D&D player back in '97.

Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma

“It hardly seems fair, but he will now be capable of near-invisibility in behind-the-scenes business dealings,” Dvorak added, referring to the stealth augment which comes with a dexterity gain. “And at the same time, he’ll wear Mordekainen’s Spectacles of True Sight, which provide +6 insight gains into long-term Windows marketing strategies.”




billgates.jpg
[Thumbnail for billgates.jpg]
gift
 
Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic