A few friends of mine and I are thinking about starting up a game or two of Dungeons and Dragons, tell me, is it worth the time and trip? Sell me!
The biggest issue would be the cost of the books, if you don’t already have them. You can get by with one copy of each of the books for the entire group, but it’d be a lot slower than if you each had your own. And even just one copy each of the three essential books will be somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars.
If someone already has the books, though, and you enjoy hanging out with these folks, and you think it’s the sort of thing you might enjoy, then go for it.
That really depends on your personality types. It also depends on your available time. For players, it’s a hobby. For GMs, it’s more like a full time job.
I personally don’t care for D&D, but I like Harn, which is IMO a more sophisticated version. I’ve burned a ton of time on it.
Yes, that is hugely true.
If cost is an issue, and you just want to give it a test run, check out (players in my online game, please do not) Field of Daisies from Columbia Games. It’s one short little adventure, and all the rules you need (in abbreviated version) are right there. $16.99 plus the cost of some dice, and you can be up and running in a couple of hours.
If you don’t like it, you’ve lost less than twenty bucks. If you like it, there will be ample opportunity to separate yourself from another $400 or so…
You can save a few bucks by not getting current things. When a new edition comes out the previous edition is often dumped by the players (admittedly 4e has had a bit more of a backlash than you’d expect). So you could get third edition stuff relatively cheap; Amazon has used copies for under $4.
For new players I think third edition is a good place to start since a lot of the clunkier things that existed in first and second were cleaned up and they introduced a lot more interesting options for building characters. Fourth edition is supposedly even easier to learn and manage but I have no experience with it (as opposed to my very little experience with third).
It’s easier and quicker if you can find an existing game or referee.
If not, one of you has to run the game the first time.
I think D+D is amazing.
I’ve been playing it for nearly 40 years and teach it at my school.
There are some D+D threads in the Game Room, set in Middle Earth.
If your players like the books or films, there’s the background taken care of.
Apologies to tdn, but having tried the Harn system online here, I did not like it at all. There’s a reason why D+D has sold millions…
The only book anyone but the GM needs is the PHB. Players don’t need the DMG or MM, normally, and if they do, it’s probably in a context where they can borrow the GM’s copy. (Hell…even I don’t bother consulting the DMG all that often… In fact, I haven’t once in the game I’m running right now, and I don’t think I did for several years before the last one went on it’s currently ongoing hiatus.)
It’s optional supplements which can really eat money, but, those are, of course, optional. If you find you like it, you’re playing 3.5e, and you find yourself gravitating to a particular class or class-type, I’d recommend the hard-cover class-related book (Complete Warrior, Adventurer, Arcane, and Divine), because there are some fun options, but you only need the one for your favoured class. (To the extent that you need them at all.)
Eeehn. Unless there’s an experienced GM already in their circle of friends, I’d think a bunch of newbies futzing around with it would be better than a couple newbies joining into a strangers’ game.
Don’t let my poor GMing put you off of an excellent system (and world). I let us get too bogged down in esoteric details in a scenario that was bogged down enough already. I find it to be an elegant system that screams simplicity coupled with as much detail as you’d ever want. (The unarmed combat rules are a bit lacking, though.)
Where Harn shines the brightest, though, most would agree, is not in the system but in the fantasy world, which is systemless. It’s a rich world with so much detail that one could believe it to be real.
Have I mentioned lately that you have the coolest job in the multiverse?
Right, but the group as a whole needs at least one copy of the Players’ Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual, which is already a non-negligible investment. Ideally, the DM would have those, and then each other player would have a PHB, for even more money. And if you get any more books than that, you’ll probably want two copies of each of them, one each for the player using it and for the DM (the DM really needs to know exactly what the players are capable of), but it’s probably a good idea to just start off with the core books until you get comfortable.
It’s a pretty good hit if one person is purchasing it all at once, but if the GM can’t afford to drop the cost, even ignoring that the DMG isn’t actually that vital, the other players can kick in. Assuming an average 5 person group, that brings each person’s outlay just over $40. (The price of their own PHB, plus their share of the DMG/MM cost.) The books can then be considered communal property, or the GM could repay them when (s)he can afford it.
Assuming they’re buying new books. 3.5 and 4e aren’t hard to find used, which drops the price of all 3 core books to ~$70, from my searches.
Talking about the cost of all 3 core rulebooks, as though every player will have to drop that gives a horribly inflated view of the cost of the game, which is likely to discourage people from playing.
It’s not Warhammer, or even Magic. It’s a moderately expensive initial outlay, but it’s just over $200 to cover the entire group (for new books), and only needs to be paid once, and no one person has to pay the whole thing.
Your DMing was fine. But whenever the system came into focus, it gave me problems.
I think you’ll have a hard time comparing the Harn world with Middle Earth!
Thanks, but I think the problem crept in with my description of the system. I just made it more complicated than it really is.
Heh. I’ve had a rather easy time with it, as I’ve played plenty of both in various combinations. A HarnMaster/MERP combo is really quite good, though I think that HarnWorld is a superior setting. I’m not sure what MERP uses as a system these days, but it used to be RoleMaster, which is not only far more complicated than any other system out there, but the magic is way too strong. Gandalf would never have been trapped on top of Orthanc, because levitate is something like a 2nd level spell. He could have merely jumped off the top of the tower. HarnMaster Magic is much more in alignment with what I believe was Tolkien’s vision. It’s far more subtle.
Aa quick hijack with a question I’ve had on my mind lately: Anyone still actively using 1st Edition?
It depends what version you want to play.
4th Ed is the current version, so it has the big advantage that you can walk into a game shop or bookstore and pick up copies of the core books. It’s reasonably simple to grasp. My group tried it, and put it aside because, although it had some neat ideas, it gave up a lot of flexibility, and made everything into damage dealing powers.
We currently play version 3.5, which is probably still widely available with new or second hand copies.
Whether you try 3.0, 3.5 or 4th, start with just the first core books; one copy of the DMG and first Monster Manual, plus two copies of the Players Handbook. A large group might benefit from a third copy of the PHB. You’ll still drop around £80 on that lot new.
An alternative might be to use the online SRD resources to supplement a PHB and DMG, halving the initial investment. The one I recommend is here. That assumes you’ll have online access while playing. That’s only available for version 3.5 though.
I’ll echo what others have said about picking up some copies of earlier edition books to get started. Much cheaper that way.
I started on 1st edition and moved to 2nd as soon as it came out. I hadn’t played (or DM’ed) in years, and was asked to DM a 3.5 edition game. Wow! They made it incredibly complex. Our little half-page character sheets had turned into six-page books for each character, and they’d created all these different skills and abilities and professions we didn’t have in 2.0.
A lot will depend on the chosen Dungeon Master. If you don’t have somebody with the creative bent (and time) to really build a world, pick up a canned adventure. Personally, I enjoyed the world/scenario building far more than the playing, and I’ve never DM’ed a canned campaign. I write my own backstory, create my own dungeons, build my own “bosses,” and so forth. That way, my players can’t cheat by picking up their own copy of the campaign and knowing all of the tricks, traps, hidden goodies, maps, and so forth.
I even created some of my own monsters, just so the players wouldn’t be able to look up hit points, abilities and such in the Monster Manual.
I’d believe 35 years, but unless your real name is Gary Gygax and you’re writing us from the Great Beyond, I ain’t buying 40. I started playing in 1975, and it had only been out for a year.
What school is this now?
We couldn’t even play cards during lunch.
A point to consider, is that while you are there to play D&D, you WILL get off topic and make jokes on nearly every topic under the sun.
I would consider it it a critical miss of a day of gaming, if our group DIDNT joke about various things.
Just saying that, While dice and stats are needed for D&D, for me, and my group “D&D” is far more than D&D.
I hope that makes sense.
Oh, and you guys just lost THE GAME.
To answer the actual question:
Short Answer : YES!!!
Yes it is worth the time and the trip - either way [A road trip, or do you just mean, the expense of time to do it?]
I’m not sure if you play poker. But, consider all the bad beat poker stories or Fish Stories, or great sports plays you have witnessed. – Take this experience, and add to it youu and your best friends, instead of just simply watching some famous person do it. On top of this, toss in current in-jokes, and the fact that it WILL generate future in-jokes.
Like, I started out wanting my very first character to be both a pacifist and a claustrophobic.
The name of the game is Dungeons and Dragons. – Consider the juxtaposition here.
:smack: Yes. but then I have only been playing for just over a year now. – The same OMG isn’t this campaign over with YET?! campaign, but I realize now how complex the game is, you don’t need to help it along.
If your gaming group doesn’t cut up and let lose, I would dare to say you are doing D&D wrong.
Further, I would say IN GENERAL, if you are a typical SDMB poster, you are a good canidate for the D&D.
I meant using Middle Earth as your background. You can use any roleplaying system (e.g. 1st Edition D+D), but benefit both from Tolkien’s dedicated work, plus the fact your players already know a lot about the setting.
Obviously Saruman had stuck an Anti-Magic Shell on the Orthanc Tower roof.
Yes indeed. Never changed (apart from dropping the Weapon v AC table and the original Bard).
I did say ‘nearly 40 years’, but I blush anyway. :o It’s only been 30.
When I was a pupil, my old school described chess as ‘a gambling game that was too noisy for lunchtimes’. :smack:
My current employer is a Private School, where my job description is to teach chess, computer games and roleplaying.
I thank you!
I want your job. Can I say that?
But wow. Chess as gambling? I wonder what Backgammon was then. (It has dice. :eek:)
Is this a private, or otherwise, accelerated school, for smarter children?
I went to a school like that. We got to learn computer programing. Not to hijack too far away, but we got graded on making whoopee cushions, and spent class time making computer games. --Granted, it was Atari 2600 type games, and we were making them in 1996, but still.
And BTW : Oh hey, it’s glee. Funny how we gamers keep running into each other. (I mean, it IS gamer, even though we would rather our games not use electricity. Right?)
Hey guys, thanks for the encouragement, I’m going to observe a game with a few friends tomorrow, and we’re going to take it from there, we downloaded the latest PHB, and are in the process of printing. This should be fantastic. >.>