New to D&D 4e

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I decided to buy the Red Box and try out D&D 4e, It was fun, I created a character with it with my friend, and we did an adventure (I know we're supposed to have more than 2 people). Anyways, I also bought a monster manual, and was wondering what else I would need to play...

I'm also trying to get some friends to sit down and play D&D too, so anyone have some advice on how to explain to them what D&D is all about?

Thanks! 
"DM says you're gonna die, roll a d6." "It's true you DON'T see many Dwarf Women, and in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance that they're often mistaken for Dwarf Men.. there has been rise to believe that there ARE no Dwarf women.. and that Dwarves just.. spring out of holes in the ground!" - Gimli

Well, I'd recomend:

-Heroes of the Fallen Lands

-The Rules Compendium

-The Dungeon Master's Kit

Explanation of D&D: I've never had to explain it before because my players come from videogame backgrounds and already knew what it was. Sorry.

To be honest I don't recommend a book at this point.  I recommend becoming a member of DDI.  You can join for a month to see if you like it and it would cost less then another book. 

It gives you access to the character builder (allowing you to make characters in any of the 35 or so classes)

It gives you access to the Compendium which is buckets and buckets of dnd info

gives you access to the adventure tools for dm to create there own monsters as well as access to all the monsters in the 3 monster manuals

It lets you look at the 400 Dragon Magazine articles. 

here is the link www.wizards.com/dnd/subscription.aspx

you can read all about what it offers.
Just because were not talking in person does not mean you have to be an @#$%^&*
So I decided to buy the Red Box and try out D&D 4e, It was fun, I created a character with it with my friend, and we did an adventure (I know we're supposed to have more than 2 people). Anyways, I also bought a monster manual, and was wondering what else I would need to play...

I'm also trying to get some friends to sit down and play D&D too, so anyone have some advice on how to explain to them what D&D is all about?

Thanks! 


Hey, man!  Welcome!!

At this point, I'd pretty much go with what the Red Box says.  At a minimum, I'd snag...

- Heroes of the Fallen Lands
- The DM Kit

That will get you and your friends playing pretty quick.  It also has some good explanations of role-playing games.  From there, I'd look into...

- Monster Vault
- Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
- Rules Compendium
- A DDI Subscription.

The last is both awesome, and a very good deal for your money.

Welcome to the game!  Let us know if you need more help!

-O
As for how to describe it to your friends, just consider that D&D is essentially cooperative story-telling.

Or, Roll A D6. 

I kid, i kid. Its just a catchy song, and geeky, to boot!

So, what questions do you have so far? 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
The mechanics of the game can be a lot of fun but consider the stories and characters as well, a good story and interesting characters are the real heart of roleplaying - especially when starting with new people, focus on the characters and story (and having fun), the mechanics should support it and with a bit of practice feel natural.

Be mindful of new players expectations, try to make sure you're on the same page.
So I decided to buy the Red Box and try out D&D 4e, It was fun, I created a character with it with my friend, and we did an adventure (I know we're supposed to have more than 2 people). Anyways, I also bought a monster manual, and was wondering what else I would need to play...

The DM Kit or DMG and the Player's Handbook 1 (not PH2 or PH3, which are suplements) or HotFL or HotFK.

The reason for all the 'ors' is that D&D has a sort of two-pronged aproach.  There are big, hardcover books, the Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual, to start, that were more targetted towards experienced gamers who had played D&D or other games for some time.  There's also the 'Essentials' line, which is boxed sets (like the Red Box) and smaller softcover books, that are newer, and target those new to gaming, or returning to the hobby after a long hiatus.  

It all gets rather tricky. 

The three Monster Manuals and the Monster Vault, are all just large collections of monsters.  Any one of them would fill your player-menacing needs for a while.  The MM1 doesn't have anything special or foundational, and it's monsters are a bit out of date. 

The PH1, OTOH, has lots of important core rules, as well as races and some excellent classes, while the PH2 and PH3 just add new races, classes, feats, and items - they don't contain foundational core rules, so you /need/ the PH1, while the other two are optional.   Similarly, the first two 'Heroes of...' books (HotFL and HotFK) each contain the /same/ foundational rules, so you need /one/ of the (either one), the other being essentially (npi) optional, the subsequent ones, like Heroes of Shadow, like the PH2&3, are just expansions, and do not contain vital core rules.

The DMG1 & 2 aren't quite vital to play the game, but DMG1 has very helpful info on creating encounters and Skill challenges.  It's also a little out of date.  The DMG2 has better skill challenge info, and some additional content, again, it's more optional or suplemental than DMG1.   The DM Kit has more up-to-date stuff, and it's a kit, with counters and an adventure, not a bad deal.  The Rules Compendium also contains some of what was in the DMG1&2 (and PH1), but more up-to-date, focusing on general /rules/, rather than other content (like traps/hazzards, examples, etc). The big problem with DMG vs DM Kit is that the best stuff is split between them.  The DM Kit has counters and an adventure, and more up-to-date rules, but, its magic item and treasure rules aren't so great.  The magic items rules in PH1 and the 'treasure parcels' in DMG are more, well, functional than the 'rarity' system in the Kit.  OTOH, the DMG1 has the encounter-building and treasure-parcel rules you need, but the Skill Challenge rules are woefully out of date.  You almost want both the DM Kit and DMG.

IMHO, the best things to get going with are:

Player's Handbook (1)
Rules Compendium
A monster book - MMn or MV makes little difference.
DM Kit (ignore magic item rarity, pick from the treasure tables instead of rolling, use the PH1 rules on items) or DMG1 (use the Skill Challenge rules in the RC). 



I'm also trying to get some friends to sit down and play D&D too, so anyone have some advice on how to explain to them what D&D is all about?

At this late date, it shouldn't be that hard.  MMOs and computer RPGs have made the basic concept of having a fantasy alter-ego in a game more familiar.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Thanks for the tips everyone. Sorry for such a late reply, been busy with things though I did see this a week or so back after I made it.

I think i'm going to go ahead and pick up the DM kit and Heroes of the Fallen Lands, since I already have a Rules Compedium.

Thanks again for the help.

 
"DM says you're gonna die, roll a d6." "It's true you DON'T see many Dwarf Women, and in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance that they're often mistaken for Dwarf Men.. there has been rise to believe that there ARE no Dwarf women.. and that Dwarves just.. spring out of holes in the ground!" - Gimli
for people who play RPGs (be they console or pen & paper types) they probably already have a vague idea of what D&D is since a large part of what makes up most modern RPGs (from the noble "hit point" and "level" to the ubiquitous "class") even a lot of modern gaming lingo is derived from D&D-esque gamer talk. 

i used the term "tank" and "meat shield" way-back in 2nd edition to describe the fighter-types.

for non-roleplayers though? simply tell them "the short description: remember playing cops & robbers as kids but getting into arguments about who shot who and who has anti-bullet shielding? well D&D is like that but with rules to help decide who shot who and if your shielding is really bulletproof.

the long description: D&D is a game where everyone at the table comes together to create a narrative, a story of sorts. you're pretty much free to do what you want and the rules exist to adjudicate your actions. one player, the GM/referee, sets the scenario and the other players, the PCs, react to it. sometimes the scenario is driven by player actions - like if your warrior wants to sac & capture a castle, while other times it's driven by non-player characters - like if the evil wizard is trying to conquer the world and it's up to the players to stop it. you're really only limited by what you can think up. funny voices and foam props are entirely optional" 
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
for people who play RPGs (be they console or pen & paper types) they probably already have a vague idea of what D&D is since a large part of what makes up most modern RPGs (from the noble "hit point" and "level" to the ubiquitous "class") even a lot of modern gaming lingo is derived from D&D-esque gamer talk. 

i used the term "tank" and "meat shield" way-back in 2nd edition to describe the fighter-types.

for non-roleplayers though? simply tell them "the short description: remember playing cops & robbers as kids but getting into arguments about who shot who and who has anti-bullet shielding? well D&D is like that but with rules to help decide who shot who and if your shielding is really bulletproof.

the long description: D&D is a game where everyone at the table comes together to create a narrative, a story of sorts. you're pretty much free to do what you want and the rules exist to adjudicate your actions. one player, the GM/referee, sets the scenario and the other players, the PCs, react to it. sometimes the scenario is driven by player actions - like if your warrior wants to sac & capture a castle, while other times it's driven by non-player characters - like if the evil wizard is trying to conquer the world and it's up to the players to stop it. you're really only limited by what you can think up. funny voices and foam props are entirely optional" 



Thanks for the tip! :D
"DM says you're gonna die, roll a d6." "It's true you DON'T see many Dwarf Women, and in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance that they're often mistaken for Dwarf Men.. there has been rise to believe that there ARE no Dwarf women.. and that Dwarves just.. spring out of holes in the ground!" - Gimli
generally speaking, people who are actively interested in playing D&D will already have an idea what it is. i live with one guy who plays videogames. the other two roommates are not-gamers. 

like, at all. 

as such they have no interest in D&D so as a topic of discussion it very rarely comes up. when it does it's most like:
"so Mark, not doing something this monday/wednesday night?"
"nah, D&D was cancelled tonight."
"bummer."
"want a cinnabun? they would've been for the game but :shrug: . they're on the counter if you want one."
"sure, thanks."  

if they're actually interested in the game, give them a brief description of RPGs in general (it's telling a narrative, your actions can affect the outcome of a scenario, etc...) rather then "gaming stories" (you might have heard of the stories about "that guy" droning on about his level whatnot paladin that non-gamers don't give a crap about) and offer to run a short one-shot, otherwise i wouldn't recommend you push the subject. 

basically treat RPGs like you would like any other hobby.

i recently bought the PS3 game "Infamous". i described it to a friend "it plays like assassin's creed (he's a gamer, but to non-gamers i would use "parcour"), but you've got sweet lighting powers. you've got a big 3-sectioned city to play in, several collectibles to find and the plot is that after a big superweapon went off, you got some powers, stuck in the middle of some government/illuminati conspiracy and all you want is to leave the city. also: super-powered hobos & junkies"

to most people that would give them a good idea in a small paragraph on what the game's about without divulging too many specific details or boring them with stories about how i'm currently scouring the game's landscape for the 15 or so magic/science-y glowing gems
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
I'm new to 4e as well.  I've spent basically all day today sifting through what to me seem like an overwhelming amount of options in terms of getting started.

I'm very heavily leaning towards getting the MM, DMG and PHB1 and then just expanding with that at a later date, but in my travels over the internet it seems that MM1 and 2 had scaling issues that were resolved in the monster vault and MM3. 

As such I have a few questions that hopefully someone who is both kind and knowledgeable could answer:

1) Are there scaling issues with MM1 and MM2?  (Perhaps I'm confusing it with the options the DMG bills itself as having for making monsters.).  Hell, for all I know I could be fundementally misunderstanding what the problems people had with it were.

2) If so could you please briefly describe what these issues were?  Most references I see to it will say things like "MM3 uses the new damage formula which resolved the problems in MM1".  It speaks as if I know what "the new damage formula" and the "issues in MM1" already are, but I simply don't.  Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but I'm new and just a tiny bit intimidated.

3) Perhaps I'm just thinking wishfully, but if MM3 uses a formulaic approach to resolving these scaling issues (if they exist) is it possible to retroactively fix monsters in MM1?

4) Does the monster vault contain a lot of the monsters already in MM1-3?  If so, are they updated with this supposed new formula?


I really just want to ensure the combat encounters my PCs run into will be relatively balanced.  In the end, perhaps I'm putting way too much weight into combat encounters and their balance because I know my friends and I know having us get together to geek out and be imaginative will be fun.

Anyways, thanks to anyone who answers me

I'm new to 4e as well.  I've spent basically all day today sifting through what to me seem like an overwhelming amount of options in terms of getting started.

I'm very heavily leaning towards getting the MM, DMG and PHB1 and then just expanding with that at a later date, but in my travels over the internet it seems that MM1 and 2 had scaling issues that were resolved in the monster vault and MM3. 

As such I have a few questions that hopefully someone who is both kind and knowledgeable could answer:

1) Are there scaling issues with MM1 and MM2?  (Perhaps I'm confusing it with the options the DMG bills itself as having for making monsters.)

2) If so could you please briefly describe what these issues were?  Most references I see to it will say things like "MM3 uses the new damage formula which resolved the problems in MM1".  It speaks as if I know what "the new damage formula" and the "issues in MM1" already are, but I simply don't.  Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but I'm new and just a tiny bit intimidated.

3) Perhaps I'm just thinking wishfully, but if MM3 uses a formulaic approach to resolving these scaling issues (if they exist) is it possible to retroactively fix monsters in MM1?

4) Does the monster vault contain a lot of the monsters already in MM1-3?  If so, are they updated with this supposed new formula?


I really just want to ensure the combat encounters my PCs run into will be relatively balanced.  In the end, perhaps I'm putting way too much weight into combat encounters and their balance because I know my friends and I know having us get together to geek out and be imaginative will be fun.

Anyways, thanks to anyone who answers me




dont get the mm1. get either the monster vault or mm3 to start. also i would recommend the rules compendium over the old dmg


1. yes there are issues
2. depending on the creature and role: damage, hit points, to hit numbers, etc etc
3. yes it is possible. see page 7 of this document

www.wizards.com/dnd/files/UpdateDMG.pdf

4. some and yes they are updated. mm3 is already updated

Great, thanks frothsof!
I probably should have come on here earlier and saved myself some trouble :P
depending on how much you want to spend, an old dmg is cheap as hell on amazon. but a lot of the numbers are updated in the rules compendium, so forced to choose i would get the rc. also the new dm kit is nice although the book is a little spare for my tastes; you would still need the rules compendium
I'm new to 4e as well.  I've spent basically all day today sifting through what to me seem like an overwhelming amount of options in terms of getting started.

I'm very heavily leaning towards getting the MM, DMG and PHB1 and then just expanding with that at a later date, but in my travels over the internet it seems that MM1 and 2 had scaling issues that were resolved in the monster vault and MM3.

PH1 is definitely a good place to start for player character stuff.  MM1 did have some over- and under-powered monsters, some of which got errata'd and others didn't.  MM3 and Monster Vault provide good challenges for experienced players using all the options, or for Essentials characters, but MM1 & 2 are more than adequate for newer players using PH1 only for their characters. 

As such I have a few questions that hopefully someone who is both kind and knowledgeable could answer:

1) Are there scaling issues with MM1 and MM2?  (Perhaps I'm confusing it with the options the DMG bills itself as having for making monsters.).  Hell, for all I know I could be fundementally misunderstanding what the problems people had with it were.

The short answers is that Player Characters got better, so monsters had to get better, too.  A longer answer would be that monsters 'didn't do enough damage' and 'had too many hps' making combats 'too long.'  To be more exact, people didn't get how 4e worked, and when they played it like it was 3e, they got stuck in long, grindy combats where they burned their dailies and at wills killing a couple of monsters, then had to slowly knick to death the last one or two using weaker at-will powers.

3) Perhaps I'm just thinking wishfully, but if MM3 uses a formulaic approach to resolving these scaling issues (if they exist) is it possible to retroactively fix monsters in MM1?

MM1 & MM3 both use a formula for monster damage based on level & role.  It's more a guideline, really.  The MM3 formula just yields bigger numbers, to keep up with PCs being a little more butch due to lots of suplements and system mastery.

4) Does the monster vault contain a lot of the monsters already in MM1-3?  If so, are they updated with this supposed new formula?

Yes and yes.  It also contains some new monsters and new variations on old monsters.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I'm adding my voice to the "Get Monster Vault" instead of any of the mm1, 2, 3. It's a much better product, more refined and better tuned. You also get the tokens and most of the iconic monsters in 1 package.

I just got monster vault 2 (Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale) and after just browsing it a bit I would say it's also a better option then mm3 unless you are playing in high level campaigns. It contain alot of "named" elites and solos which will make great mini boss or boss for your adventures and will combine very well with mv1. 
Sign In to post comments