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The Bear

D&D and other RPGs

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A few months ago a convention was in south Florida (paradise city comic con or something like that?) and my wife and I decided to check it out.  We invited one of my best friends and his SO and they in turn invited two of their friends, another couple.  After going through the con and talking over lunch we found that the new couple played D&D, something the rest of us had talked about before but never seriously tried to put together.  After the con I texted to get more information about it and the ball started rolling; we had our second session last weekend and I am HOOKED!

D&D has been something I have wanted to try since college, where my roommate of 4 years had a group he played with that I always heard stories about. So this is something I've been interested in for a while.  It's seriously tons of fun and very open, you are able to do things you can only dream of doing in video games.  Every problem has multiple solutions and every character shines in a different way.  In our campaign we are running Lost Mines of Phandelver and I am playing as a halfling rogue (currently level 2, with plans to spec into Arcane Trickster at 3).  One thing I like is that the game is as fun as you make it; the possibilities are endless.

Do you guys play D&D?  Have any stories to share?

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I play 5E eveey other sat with my girlfriend. 

 

Few weeks ago we were attacked while camping in a jungle mission. I wasn't on watch, but I have a sword of warning so i was jolted awake when attacked. Before the others on watch could wake the others I came running out of my tent swinging.  The DM asked if I slept in my armor. I question the current temp, assuming it is 80ush. He says 95. I reply that nope, I was nude sleeping becuase thats too damn hot. I then take my turn to attack the monster, hit, burn a superiority die and to inflict fear, and the monster fails the save. 

 

So in a nutshell, a naked guy bursts out of a tent swinging a sword. Would you not also be terrified? 

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I always play a half-orc paladin named Apache Chief. He's a fun comical guy that's always done for justice and love. Offered my "services" to a half-ling shop keeper in exchange for extra potions. Rolled high enough and the DM went with it. While in her chambers she left to go check on something. I heard a thud and investigated. Someone had hit her across the head. An officer walked in the store after hearing noise from inside and what did he find... A naked half-orc standing over a naked half-ling that was unconscious. 

Rolled a 20 and the DM let me take it in whatever direction I wanted... Still naked, still standing over a half-ling, I point at the officer and yell, "Officer, thank goodness you're here. This woman is in need of assistance." The officer bought it. The great thing is I role-played the whole thing as if my character didn't understand the implications of the situation. He's essentially a pure-hearted idiot but a lot of fun to play because of it. 

I also once nailed a goblin to the wall with a javelin through its eye. Our DM was very detailed and dramatic in how he rewarded high rolls, strong roll play, and actual thought into your character.

I also picked up the My Little Pony roleplaying game to enjoy with my daughters... It's extremely well done and fun to play actually and good for tons of laughs for the kids.

If you want something grungy and dark, Only War is one of the best out there and the lore is amazing. 

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:/ I agree with the moral panic people from the 1980s. It's an evil game. It steals men's souls.

One of my friends got interested in it last year, now unless I specifically ask him about his D&D campaign from that week, he won't even reply to me anymore. If I ask about D&D, he goes on for hours.

Evil, Evil game.

Good cartoon though.

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I also got into making my own character cards for weapons, abilities, and traits. They look like professional cards in person. I guess I deleted the hi-res copies on my computer by mistake. The camera does no justice. But you can make them on Gimp and if you want it isn't expensive to have one of those online printing companies print them. 

20180427_233005.jpg

20180427_233010.jpg

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Been playing Dnd and other rps since highschool.  Currently dming lost mine myself for my playgroup (always a dm almost never a player lol).  We avoided 5e for a long time but its just a nicer 3.5, plus were having a ton of fun.  Dont just limit yourself to DND now, explore others when 5e gets tedious, i highly suggest Legend of the 5 rings 4e. 

Tons of late nights and inside jokes are abound for you Bear, have fun and remember the rule of cool.

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On 4/29/2018 at 3:10 AM, ChangelingBard said:

Been playing Dnd and other rps since highschool.  Currently dming lost mine myself for my playgroup (always a dm almost never a player lol).  We avoided 5e for a long time but its just a nicer 3.5, plus were having a ton of fun.  Dont just limit yourself to DND now, explore others when 5e gets tedious, i highly suggest Legend of the 5 rings 4e. 

Tons of late nights and inside jokes are abound for you Bear, have fun and remember the rule of cool.

Thanks!  I'm having tons of fun already and I'm only two sessions in.  I'm also currently putting together another play group that I will DM for, so I'm excited for that!

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My history of RPs is pretty long by now, getting near 3 decades, but very on-and-off.  When I was 9 or 10 I started joining in with my dad and his friends as they played D&D, Megatraveler and a few others.  had some great fun there but was too young to really understand what I was doing and I enjoyed rolling the dice more than roleplaying.

Fast forward to High School, after getting bitten by the Anime bug.  A friend started up a game in the Sailor Moon version of BESM (Big Eyes, Small Mouth, a generic Anime RPG that also had dedicated books on anime like Slayers and SM).  However the group playing was about 8 guys and 1 girl, so we ended up as a group of Sailor Knights (like Tuxedo mask) rather than scouts.  We were in that phase though where our characters ended up as conglomerations of whatever pop culture icons we liked at the time (one guy based his on Duo from Gundam Wing, another on Leon from RE and the one girl on Mai Shiranui.  Mine was essentially Fierce Deity Link with lightning powers).  I actually put together a site on Geocities with our pictures and bios, but I'm sure that's lost to the aether at this point.  Funnily enough, that's when I picked up the moniker Stryyder and I've been using it for the past 20 years now.  This was pretty much the golden age of RPs for me.  Our group was very dedicated, not too militaristic about rules and regs and we just liked to have fun making up stuff.  I did learn a lot of what to avoid as a GM in that group though.  The Tri-stat system of BESM also offered a fun alternative to the d20 system of D&D that everyone had started to get sick of at the time.  We also had a friend who ran some basic "gladiator battle" scenarios with us.  These were perfect for me, since combat has always been my favorite part of the D&D system.

skip another 5 or 6 years to after I moved to California and got married.  I found a random group meeting on a local campus apartment, running 3.5ed, but the group was a bit too close knit for an outside player to jump in (even though they had requested new blood).  Each of them was getting up to level 10 with several sessions worth of items and money, trying to introduce a new randomly generated character with very little in the way of non-basic wares was just cannon fodder so I only went a handful of times before it became wearying.  Shortly thereafter a buddy got me into a game with him a couple of his friends, and a few of their children (ranging in age from 12-16, but pretty good at it).  Had some great sessions with them.  We went through a couple sessions with a custom "crit chart" that came up with various special extras whenever someone hit a 1 or 20.  for instance rolling a 1 when rolling to attack at one point caused on of our party member's swords to inexplicably transmorph into a hungry bear.  Most outcomes weren't so outlandish, but it added a fun bit of chaos to the game.  Sadly much of the group was school age and were moving toward graduation so we eventually stopped scheduling sessions.  My only criticism of these was that we were running 4th ed.  being a child of AD&D and 3.5 the regression to a more "user friendly" edition was disconcerting.  Much in the way I don't like modern versions of Window going from text based menus to big bulky tablet-style icons.  the simplicity of the engine just felt like it was stifling the customization of the game, in exchange for adding dozens and dozens of new classes and such in the form of myriad supplemental books.  Seemed like after the game dropped from TSR to WotC they went for the easy cash grab.

Since then I've done a few small sessions here and there, both as a DM and a player.  I have a small supplement from the d20 version of BESM, which can basically be used to create an RP out of any modern anime-style genre in the d20 D&D style.  I think I have a digital copy of the old tristat book somewhere as well.  Plus my core 3.5 books that I kept, of course.  That was really the best time for D&D IMO.  it was more accessible than the old AD&D days, but not as watered down as 4ed.  But I will admit I haven't played 5ed yet.

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4 hours ago, Stryyder said:

Plus my core 3.5 books that I kept, of course.  That was really the best time for D&D IMO.  it was more accessible than the old AD&D days, but not as watered down as 4ed.  But I will admit I haven't played 5ed yet.

This is the complaint most people had about 4th edition. 5th edition is however a strong compromise between 3.5 and 4th edition. There's plenty there for more serious players to number crunch and develop perfect builds with plenty of options still for the casual player who just wants to hop in and have fun, along with everything in between. 

Of course there is always Pathfinder which is basically 3.5+. Most of what you love about 3.5 with a few improvements to help you ease in newer players. The store I'm at, along with myself, have become obsessed with Legend of the Five Rings. We're already doing weekly events for the LCG and we're getting ready to implement the RPG coming out for it. 

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Hey Nerds.

Do any of you know much about Savage Worlds as a game engine? I came across a game for it called 'Freedom Squadron' that was funded on Kickstarter and as a huge, huge GI Joe fan, I am very interested in this. It's basically 'Not-GIJoe' the RPG, with one Lanard's The Corps! reference and one Metal Gear reference.

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I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who loved 4th ed.

On 5/1/2018 at 4:45 PM, Majin Goo said:

The store I'm at, along with myself, have become obsessed with Legend of the Five Rings. We're already doing weekly events for the LCG and we're getting ready to implement the RPG coming out for it. 

L5R LCG is way better than I gave it credit for, I just wished people played it around here.  The RPG looks like the same system they use for their Star Wars, so if you like that you'll like the new L5R RPG. 

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I've seen a lot of complaints about 4e and a lot of praise for 3.5e.  Luckily, many people seem to enjoy 5e and it doesnt get as much flak as 4e.

So, I've actually recently gone from "has attended 2 sessions" to "will be DMing a short campaign to introduce a friend to the game next weekend."  I'm very excited to run my own game and have been preparing for our session.  Got any tips for a first time DM?

I'm currently planning on running a custom campaign that borrows from the Lost Mines campaign (mostly setting and inspiration for encounters).  The party will start off in a town North of Neverwinter and will get a hook to travel to Neverwinter, getting attacked by bandits along the way they can track to a small cave; this is primarily to introduce the new player to combat and dungeon delving.  After that I plan on having the party go through a short campaign featuring a baron trying to seize power in a nearby locale.  I like Lost Mines but two of the players at this session have done it before, so I want to keep them surprised.  Once they hit level 3 I'll start having them work through some of the mines campaign or will have another hook for them to follow.

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14 hours ago, The Bear said:

 Got any tips for a first time DM?

Don't be afraid to tell people no, especially if it's something that ruins the experience for others.  My go to is "Would your character really do that?"  when people are being weird. It's going to be really really weird for your first session, remember that no one is perfect and you are allowed to make mistakes.  Remember that for your players too, most people I introduce to roleplaying treat it like GTA and start doing bad bad things the first couple of sessions.  After a few sessions you should hit your groups grove, so don't expect magic at first.  

Remember to be flexible,  sometimes players have better ideas.  EG: why wouldn't 8 fully armored space marines just dropship into the enemy stronghold instead of landing 40 miles and walking?  You can hush hush creativity, but I suggest you nurture it. 

 

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6 hours ago, ChangelingBard said:

Don't be afraid to tell people no, especially if it's something that ruins the experience for others.  My go to is "Would your character really do that?"  when people are being weird. It's going to be really really weird for your first session, remember that no one is perfect and you are allowed to make mistakes.  Remember that for your players too, most people I introduce to roleplaying treat it like GTA and start doing bad bad things the first couple of sessions.  After a few sessions you should hit your groups grove, so don't expect magic at first.  

Remember to be flexible,  sometimes players have better ideas.  EG: why wouldn't 8 fully armored space marines just dropship into the enemy stronghold instead of landing 40 miles and walking?  You can hush hush creativity, but I suggest you nurture it. 

 

Thanks for the tips! Luckily, I dont think my group is going to go GTA on the campaign (spending a week in the barracks makes for a lousy session lol).  My main focus is going to be on the players having fun and fair ruling.  I've read too many stories where the PCs simply outsmart the encounter, so I know to be ready for shenanigans like that and to reward my players for their creativity. 

I love improv (considered doing comedy for a few years lol) and am comfortable improvising, especially when in the company of good friends, so I'm hoping to get some good use out of that.  Luckily I've read 30+ books by RA Salvatore, so I'm comfortable with the Forgotten Realms setting too.  I'm really looking forward to our zero/first session next week.

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Totally psyched for this weekend and my first session as a DM!

After reading over several modules I have chosen to run my party through Hoard of the Dragon Queen over Lost Mines of Phandelver.  HotDQ gets a lot of heat over the balance (or lack thereof) of many of the fights and many plot points; but after much research, I think most people just DM some of the encounter poorly.  Sure, there are some plot elements that require some finesse on the part of the DM, but you're going to run into this in most modules anyway.  An oft-repeated rule of DMing that I have seen is that the material is just a guide for building the adventure, and I plan to take that to heart by tweaking as I see fit.

However, my party is starting at level 1...and the opening chapter of HotDQ is, in a word, brutal.  I feel like tackling Greenest in Flames for a party of 4 level 1 first-timers is asking for trouble.  Level 1's are just so easy to kill.  So, at the start of the adventure the heroes will be escorting a merchant to Greenest before the siege.  During their first time in town they will find a quest to help a teen in a coma and will undertake "The Dreaming Heralds" quest that is a homebrew adventure that was posted online (credit to Michael Button).  DH is intended for 1st level characters; I plan on using this quest and their time in town for our first session, which will bring them to level 2 for the next session where HotDQ will really start, but with the heroes beginning the siege while in the town to avoid the "why would I rush into a siege against a dragon?" problem that people complain about.

So excited!

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On 5/2/2018 at 10:46 PM, ChangelingBard said:

I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who loved 4th ed.

L5R LCG is way better than I gave it credit for, I just wished people played it around here.  The RPG looks like the same system they use for their Star Wars, so if you like that you'll like the new L5R RPG. 

4th Edition was my jam, both playing and DMing. Swordmages were my favorite class. 

I ran a Dark Sun campaign, but I never got to play in one. :(

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I played a very foreign monk-type (I think the class was called "Brawler" and was from a Pathfinder book) character with strange quirks I came up with in advance and gradually revealed.  He wore a candle holder helmet, but always lit one going into combat regardless of if he needed light.  Occasionally, I'd reveal the various enchanted candles I'd thrown in with the hundreds of normal ones he bought.  Like, there was this room full of vaguely poisonous looking mist, so I lit a "candle of clean air" and offered to go in alone.  In that same scene I got captured by these "mist drakes" (or maybe they were more like big dragon people) or whatever.  Sitting under one of them, I proceeded to open a fortune cookie (I bought an entire box in town after the dm mentioned them as a misc food item without mentioning it to the rest of the party) and pulled up an online fortune generator....it said "You will know great peace soon."

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My first outing as a DM was a success!  My group consisted of 4 players: a half-orc barbarian, a dwarf cleric, a tiefling warlock, and a wood elf druid.  I was running the group through a custom module called "The Dreaming Heralds" (credit to Michael Button) that consists of finding and exploring a temple to the sun god (changed to Lathander for our setting). 

Highlights included:

  • The druid in the group fancies himself a Steve Irwin like character.  After the Dwarf Cleric was attacked by the giant snake in the pool outside the druid decided he wanted to try and entice it out and grabbed it.  He succeeded and initially wanted to try animal friendship on it, but they decided just to kill it (not sure why but I think cause they realized the snake was pretty pissed off).  So the barb winds up and mutilates the thing in one hit.  The druid then enters the gross pool to find 3 snake eggs.
  • In the first room there is an illusion covering a pit trap with a trigger at the bottom.  They successfully managed to detect and avoid it.  Soon after they found the room with a feast prepared that was magically preserved but covered with a thick layer of dust.  The party was sure this was a trap but the barb put her fingers in the mashed potatoes to taste "delicious mashed potatoes, but also a strong tasted of dust."  This encouraged the druid to pick up the turkey and bring it around the dungeon eating while they explore.  Once they made it back to the first room he decided to drop the turkey into the hole, immediately retreat a few feet, and see what happens.  The turkey triggered the chandelier trap, causing it to plummet into the pit on top of the turkey.
  • The party moves to the second level and investigates a room, setting off an alarm spell.  I give them probably a solid two minutes to discuss what they want to do before the first Herald opened the door followed by 4 others.  The challenge with the Herald is that they reanimate after d4 rounds unless they are decapitated or otherwise vanquished.  I thought this was going to be a challenge but the cleric was able to reduce three of the Heralds to ash by finishing them with some divine spell that deals radiant damage (I ruled radiant damage would ash the zombies).  Once they downed the last zombie we called it a night.  They will begin the next session right after this fight, with the two downed zombies reanimating after a few rounds while they're still investigating the immediate area.

Overall, it was awesome.  DMing is tons of fun and I look forward to challenging my group as they make their way through the world.

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For those who are looking for a singleton experience for those hours where you can't get your group together, there are a couple of solo mode adventure games that have been popping up.  The first is 4AD (Four Against Darkness) which I've heard is really good, but I haven't tried yet.  The second is D100 Dungeon.  I can go into more depth on D100D because I own it and have played it.  And because it's FREE.  All you need is the manual (about 47 pages), the printable character/map sheets (about 5 pages), a pencil and eraser, 1d6 and a pair of percentile dice.(in dice terms you need 1d6, 1d10 and 1d100)  It is much less RP and much more dungeon crawl, since it's hard to roleplay solo.  The book could be a bit better written, but it's pretty easy to pick up.  You can find the download files on BoardGameGeek.

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