Brand new DM looking into 4th edition

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Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike
Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike



Follow whatever rules you want, but for the record, the "actual" rules of the game are whatever rules you choose to play by. Each edition stands on it's own merit and are considered "actual" rules of the game. Just because they're not being supported with new releases/expansions doesn't diminish them.

Anyway, typical advice:

Start with the core books. This is one thing that never really changed between any edition.

DMG (Dungeon Master's Guide)
PHB (Players Handbook)
MM (Monster Manual)

If you've got those, you have everything you need to play (except for dice, paper, and pens/pencils). Obviously, the DMG and the MM will be most valuable to the DM, but you definitely want to take a look at the PHB and get familiar with it so you have an idea on what each class is capable of so you can balance encounters.

If you need aid in terms of setting ideas, you can either make your own or look at setting books. I personally favor the flavor of The Forgotten Realms. The setting books will be chalk full of ideas and themes you can run with and give you a world that's ready to go. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike



Follow whatever rules you want, but for the record, the "actual" rules of the game are whatever rules you choose to play by. Each edition stands on it's own merit and are considered "actual" rules of the game. Just because they're not being supported with new releases/expansions doesn't diminish them.

Anyway, typical advice:

Start with the core books. This is one thing that never really changed between any edition.

DMG (Dungeon Master's Guide)
PHB (Players Handbook)
MM (Monster Manual)

If you've got those, you have everything you need to play (except for dice, paper, and pens/pencils). Obviously, the DMG and the MM will be most valuable to the DM, but you definitely want to take a look at the PHB and get familiar with it so you have an idea on what each class is capable of so you can balance encounters.

If you need aid in terms of setting ideas, you can either make your own or look at setting books. I personally favor the flavor of The Forgotten Realms. The setting books will be chalk full of ideas and themes you can run with and give you a world that's ready to go. 

Thanks for the reply Lunar.

The problem we encounter often is that there doesn't seem to be any solid structure with how we've been playing. EVERYTHING seems to be at the discretion of the DM for us, and it feels like a total make-sh*t-up-as-we-go-along adventure. We get into arguments as well over this.

I feel that following an actual edition and the guidelines it has in place will eliminate a lot of our issues.

What exactly is the difference between the editions though? I'd like to eventually create my own sotries and adventures, but to get started I'd probably start with the modules.
Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike

All you need are some core rules, normally the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. These days you can also obtain a starter kit called The Red Box, which just provides and intro to the game, or the Rules Compendium along with at least one of the "Heroes of..." book and a source for monsters such as the Monster Vault.

That will be enough to get started. You know about roleplaying and plenty of other basic stuff about the game, so you can probably make some basic adventures that will be as much to your friends' liking as any module.

Be aware that 4th Edition is going to be very different from that customized version and most other versions of D&D. It's still quite recognizable, but it's easier to understand, and much more functional right out of the box. It focuses closely on adventuring, and leaves things like character professions and mundane crafting up to the DM. There are guidelines for new ways to handle skill-based challenges. There are new races and classes. Classes are designed in a different way, and there are no "weak" classes at any level, though it is still possible for someone to build a better character than another player.

I mention this because it might take someone a while to get used to if they're used to older versions of the game. I certainly was, but I welcomed the updates. Others might not. I recommend not trying to get every aspect of the rules right up front, and when you make rulings during the course of the game (as every DM must to keep the game moving) I recommend erring on the side of what the players expect from past editions. A lot of the time this will be the right call anyway, but every time it will be easier for them to accept until everyone has a better handle on the rules.

Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions you have.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike



Follow whatever rules you want, but for the record, the "actual" rules of the game are whatever rules you choose to play by. Each edition stands on it's own merit and are considered "actual" rules of the game. Just because they're not being supported with new releases/expansions doesn't diminish them.

Anyway, typical advice:

Start with the core books. This is one thing that never really changed between any edition.

DMG (Dungeon Master's Guide)
PHB (Players Handbook)
MM (Monster Manual)

If you've got those, you have everything you need to play (except for dice, paper, and pens/pencils). Obviously, the DMG and the MM will be most valuable to the DM, but you definitely want to take a look at the PHB and get familiar with it so you have an idea on what each class is capable of so you can balance encounters.

If you need aid in terms of setting ideas, you can either make your own or look at setting books. I personally favor the flavor of The Forgotten Realms. The setting books will be chalk full of ideas and themes you can run with and give you a world that's ready to go. 

Thanks for the reply Lunar.

The problem we encounter often is that there doesn't seem to be any solid structure with how we've been playing. EVERYTHING seems to be at the discretion of the DM for us, and it feels like a total make-sh*t-up-as-we-go-along adventure. We get into arguments as well over this.

I feel that following an actual edition and the guidelines it has in place will eliminate a lot of our issues.

What exactly is the difference between the editions though? I'd like to eventually create my own sotries and adventures, but to get started I'd probably start with the modules.



Well, actually, DM's discretion isn't wrong in any edition. In fact, most of the editions will encourage the DM to change, modify, alter, or flat out disregard any rule you choose. But they will also advise you to use rules and methods that are most fun for your group. I can't think of any groups I know of that don't use house rule variants of some kind.

That said, it is usually implied however that the players at the table are consenting to abide by the DM's rulings, as he does have the power to over rule the books. If there are arguments going on, I would hope that it's over a DM flip-flopping on rules from adventure to adventure without good reason and not because someone just doesn't like a rule. The former asks for consistency, the other is just disrespectfulness at the table. Rules and how they're handled are generally advised as something to go over before or after a game or otherwise away from the table.

On to answering your real questions however...

The main differences between the editions are the mechanics of character building, monster creation, stat calculations, combat rules, and skill usages. There are other various minor differences that give different approaches/advice on how to play the game but most books attempt to be all inclusive in that regard (though they do not always succeed).

A module is a great way to get started for any new DM. If you're absolutely set on 4th edition, do yourself a favor and look into the Red Box. It was one of the first modules created for the first edition of the game and is basically legendary. They reprinted it for 4th edition and modified the adventure to use 4e rules.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Hi guys, I've been playing a customized version of D&D for about a year now with my group and we are switching things up to where I am going to be the new DM. The DM we have now wants to be a character and I'd like to give being the DM a try. He has played for years when he was younger and only ever did the first couple versions but made a custom total imagination scenario for us. I don't want to do that. I want to play the most current version and follow the actual rules of the game. Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?? I'd really appreciate a direction.

Thanks!

Mike

All you need are some core rules, normally the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. These days you can also obtain a starter kit called The Red Box, which just provides and intro to the game, or the Rules Compendium along with at least one of the "Heroes of..." book and a source for monsters such as the Monster Vault.

That will be enough to get started. You know about roleplaying and plenty of other basic stuff about the game, so you can probably make some basic adventures that will be as much to your friends' liking as any module.

Be aware that 4th Edition is going to be very different from that customized version and most other versions of D&D. It's still quite recognizable, but it's easier to understand, and much more functional right out of the box. It focuses closely on adventuring, and leaves things like character professions and mundane crafting up to the DM. There are guidelines for new ways to handle skill-based challenges. There are new races and classes. Classes are designed in a different way, and there are no "weak" classes at any level, though it is still possible for someone to build a better character than another player.

I mention this because it might take someone a while to get used to if they're used to older versions of the game. I certainly was, but I welcomed the updates. Others might not. I recommend not trying to get every aspect of the rules right up front, and when you make rulings during the course of the game (as every DM must to keep the game moving) I recommend erring on the side of what the players expect from past editions. A lot of the time this will be the right call anyway, but every time it will be easier for them to accept until everyone has a better handle on the rules.

Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions you have.



Centauri makes a really good point here. Players used to older editions usually have a hard time embracing newer editions for a variety of reasons. Like myself, I personally love 3.5. But I wouldn't touch 4e with a ten foot pole.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
What exactly is the difference between the editions though? I'd like to eventually create my own sotries and adventures, but to get started I'd probably start with the modules.

Every edition has attempted to deal with issues that arose in past editions, and also brought in new issues.

4th Edition solves a long-standing issue many people had with the game, that of different classes being better or worse at one of the primary activities of the game: fighting monsters. In 4th Edition, each character is part of a team and can contribute equally (if not in identical ways) to the success of that party. Some classes are better at actually doing damage, but every class does at least some damage and those that do less have important roles to play.

That's the primary improvement, and it carries with it changes to how magic and melee abilities are handled. Anyone in your group who is used to spellcasters always saving the day, will have some adjustments to make. Another aspect of this that may cause some confusion (less so if you stick to Essentials-based products) are how martial characters have some abilities that they can't use all the time. In past editions, at least until late into 3.5, anyone who could swing a sword could do so all day with the same level of ability. in 4th Edition, fighters and other such classes can perform special moves once per encounter or once per day that go above their baseline. Some people think it's strange that a fighter couldn't just keep doing the same thing, but there are ways to imagine this that help it make sense, and the benefit to the balance between characters is a strong incentive to do so.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

The problem we encounter often is that there doesn't seem to be any solid structure with how we've been playing. EVERYTHING seems to be at the discretion of the DM for us, and it feels like a total make-sh*t-up-as-we-go-along adventure. We get into arguments as well over this.

I feel that following an actual edition and the guidelines it has in place will eliminate a lot of our issues.

What exactly is the difference between the editions though? I'd like to eventually create my own sotries and adventures, but to get started I'd probably start with the modules.



It's possible that more structure to the game will help and 4E has alot of structure. In my experience my group will argue with me over modules and my own home brewed adventures. So don't count on it. These arguments will be ruled based as they learn the basic mechanics, but there's so many exception to the rules in the form of powers to confuse people. As for modules being better than making it up on the spot, my players see holes in everything. I'd not get concerned about it, just learn to manage people, get people to calm down and stay at the table. Do your best to explain or fill in the holes they perceive, create or spot.
Could you elaborate on this "make stuff up as we go".  I'm just trying to figure out was the previous DM just using Random monster and Dungeon tables as they went to create encounters?  Were the settings not making conective sense why a lollipop forest would be in the middle of a swamp?* Or maybe the sessions were episodic before and you're looking for a more connective narrative. Just fill us in a little what exactly made it feel that way and what you'd like to do different.
 

Second a few tips:   
1.) Don't force/expect players to act a certain way.  D&D is a game that establishes an unwritten contract when you sit down at the table.  The DM and players agree to author a story.  The DM creates the setting and serves as a rules arbiter and the AI of the residents of the world.  Sometimes this can be with help from players (such as building a town a player would like to include and craft into their backstory) to varying degrees of course.  The Players promise to be the Actors for this story and are allowed the freedom to react to the elements and scenery within it.  If you're forcing the player to act a certain way you're violating this unwritten agreement.

2.) feel free to reskin monsters:  In other words if a monster has the stats/abilities you're looking for but doesn't make sense themeaticly just describe it to your players as something else. 

3.) Don't go hog wild with those first combats, make sure they are something manageable because there is alot to learn going on, and it will take longer than most other combats you'll ever have.


4.) After you get a little more used to the ruels try to resolve disputes after the game, and just take a note to check on it afterward and do it correctly if everyone finds out it's wrong.


5.) Have a sit down with your players about what kind of setting and the tone the adventure should be.  If no one wants to play in the super darkgrim land, or the kindgoms of rainbows and unicorns then don't force them to.
  

That covers it for inital thoughts and suggestions. 


*Yes in some campaigns it does make sense, but just tyring to get an idea what the original poster meant. 
Can anyone help me out with what I really need to know and where to start to get off the ground?

Red box. It has everything you need to start (dice, map, tokens, etc.) and provides an excellent introduction. Plus, the adventure is pretty good, making it a decent purchase even for veteran players like myself.

Alternately, the playtest material for D&D Next might interest your particular group. 

Welcome to DMing Earlymann

Going back to your question there are several ways to go. 3.5 and Pathfinder have a lot of followers still so it's not like t,hat is a bad edition just becuase there is a 4th edition right now.

Personally I like 4th a bit better, but what work best for you depends mostly on what you want to do.

There are also two aspects of what you have to think about

One would be what you want to do differently storywise. This is something that is independant of rules as for example Forgotten Realms is a setting you can use no matter what edition you use. I even have a DM right now who is using a premade adventure from 3.5, but using 4th edition monsters instead. He just felt the story was so good we just had to play it once ourselves.

Second would be obviously the ruleset. A lot of people here will be proDM ofcourse, but seeing players have to give the DM a lot of power it is also important that players feel the DM is using that power fairly so I think setting clear rules is sometimes a good thing especially when you are a new DM and you are bound to make mistakes.

I often see the DM more as a faciliator giving the players the tools to play their own story. Ofcourse some players need more guidance then other xD

But anyhow could you tell us a bit more about what you have been playng so far and what you would like differently? That would make it easier for us to point you to what would be best for you.


Alternately, the playtest material for D&D Next might interest your particular group. 




I'd give this a try before looking at 4e; it's free and you'll be getting regular updates.  It should be easier to get a grip on as a new DM too, as you've got far less material than 4e to get your head around.  I also believe that it's critical for the success of 5e that they get feedback from new DMs and players as well as the crusty old veterans that tend to dominate these boards...
Thanks for all the replies guys!! I really appreciate it.

What exactly is D&D Next?

Everyone I play with are new to D&D. I've always been interested in it, but didn't know my friends would go along. The sticking point was a season 2 episode of Community where they play D&D for fat Neil lol. The only experienced one out of us is our current DM. We have 5 PC's, so basically our current DM and myself will switch. The new versions/rules/etc. won't make much difference to us. In fact, I think they may embrace it more because it has more structure than what we've been playing under the DM.

My friend wants me to be the DM because he feels I would create better adventures (eventually after getting into for a bit) and follow more of a story/adventure line that he enjoys. We both love Tolkien and Game of Thrones. I'm not much of a reader at all...he is though. I am aware of the Forgotten Realms books (my father used to read them and I read a couple myself). That sort of adventuring is excellent for us.

I will look into the Red Box, as I do need everything to get started. Our current DM has a lot, but I want my own. Plus he has everything in photo copies and on the computer and it just seems a mess. I don't even know if HE has everything! Are the books that come with it all up to date for 4E?

Is there any other information or suggestions you guys can give me for a smooth game play?

Thanks
Is there any other information or suggestions you guys can give me for a smooth game play?

Don't check the rules during the game. Make a temporary ruling and go. Often what you want to find out won't have a rule for it anyway. If you want to check before the session is over, do it during a normal break. Otherwise, wait until after the game.

Accept and add on to player ideas as much as possible. This is the "Yes, and..." approach. It makes for a less controlled game than if you say "No" to every idea that you're not sure how to handle, but it fosters trust, respect, and creativity.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Gotcha. If a situation arrises, assess it and if border line, side with players until I can resolve it in detail after the adventure.

Also, I downloaded that D&D Next and read through it all. It doesn't have as much to it as I'd like. For instance, races and classes. It just gives the 4 original options, where 4E has many race options. Also, the Next advises to roll dice in figuring out your stat #'s...that's how we did it in our compaign, but I don't like that at all. We have a girl in the group who consistently rolls 5's and 6's and she had maxed out 3 of her stats already. Just doesn't seem fair when another in the group happens to roll poorly and gets stuck with low stats. There's gotta be a better way...is there? Like I think each race should have a standard starting point of STR/WIS/INT/DEX/CON/CHA and then based on what class is chosen, they get added stat points to whichever is fitted for that class. Like, if someone chooses to be a wizard, and rolls enough high dice to where they can have an INT of 18 and a STR of 18, that's just kind of ridiculous. But I am only going fro what I've been playing...so please don't hold me to following any actual rules or what have you.

Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.
Thanks for all the replies guys!! I really appreciate it.

What exactly is D&D Next?

Everyone I play with are new to D&D. I've always been interested in it, but didn't know my friends would go along. The sticking point was a season 2 episode of Community where they play D&D for fat Neil lol. The only experienced one out of us is our current DM. We have 5 PC's, so basically our current DM and myself will switch. The new versions/rules/etc. won't make much difference to us. In fact, I think they may embrace it more because it has more structure than what we've been playing under the DM.

My friend wants me to be the DM because he feels I would create better adventures (eventually after getting into for a bit) and follow more of a story/adventure line that he enjoys. We both love Tolkien and Game of Thrones. I'm not much of a reader at all...he is though. I am aware of the Forgotten Realms books (my father used to read them and I read a couple myself). That sort of adventuring is excellent for us.

I will look into the Red Box, as I do need everything to get started. Our current DM has a lot, but I want my own. Plus he has everything in photo copies and on the computer and it just seems a mess. I don't even know if HE has everything! Are the books that come with it all up to date for 4E?

Is there any other information or suggestions you guys can give me for a smooth game play?

Thanks

D&D Next is what will be 5th edition in the next couple of years and is currently in playtest. You can sign up for the playtest here.

For more advice I strongly recommend reading Chris Perkins's The DM Experience. A lot of good stuff in those articles.

Funny thing, that Community episode is what got me back into D&D. Cool 
Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.

You need to be prepared for lots of bumps if you're trying to use D&D Next, it's an early play test.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Gotcha. If a situation arrises, assess it and if border line, side with players until I can resolve it in detail after the adventure.

Also, I downloaded that D&D Next and read through it all. It doesn't have as much to it as I'd like. For instance, races and classes. It just gives the 4 original options, where 4E has many race options. Also, the Next advises to roll dice in figuring out your stat #'s...that's how we did it in our compaign, but I don't like that at all. We have a girl in the group who consistently rolls 5's and 6's and she had maxed out 3 of her stats already. Just doesn't seem fair when another in the group happens to roll poorly and gets stuck with low stats. There's gotta be a better way...is there? Like I think each race should have a standard starting point of STR/WIS/INT/DEX/CON/CHA and then based on what class is chosen, they get added stat points to whichever is fitted for that class. Like, if someone chooses to be a wizard, and rolls enough high dice to where they can have an INT of 18 and a STR of 18, that's just kind of ridiculous. But I am only going fro what I've been playing...so please don't hold me to following any actual rules or what have you.

Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.



As time goes on, they'll add more races for D&D Next. But for now, they have to be sure the core game is balanced, and the best way to do that is to start with the basics.

Rolling stats is traditional. And there's many ways to do that. My method: each player rolls 3 sets of 6 ability scores. For each roll, they roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die. This usually gives a broad range of scores across the three sets. The player then chooses the set they like most and assigns each score in the set to an ability. This method also usually errs on the side of higher results for all players. An alternate method would be to let them mix and match numbers across the various sets, taking only the 6 numbers they like most, which will likely result in very powerful starting PCs. You could also attach limits to that, enforcing that the total of the mixed and matched numbers can't be higher than say 85.

Alternatively, you can just use point buy. It's a solid set up and forces the players to think about the role they want to take on and how they want their numbers to influence the character. In fact, the point buy method sounds perfect for you. It usually forces players to choose between stats, so the wizard can't have 18 STR and 18 INT because there's just not enough points to spend.

I'm not sure what you mean by clarifying stats...but I'll give it a shot.

Each stat is vital to the life of the character.

Strength represents physical prowess and the ability to deal damage in melee combat and move heavy things or do other great acts of physical interaction. Usually used most by barbarians, fighters, and other heavy melee classes and races.

Dexterity represents ability to move lithely and quickly. It effects mostly ranged combat and represents a character's ability to dodge incoming attacks or avoid a trap. It can also be used for fine motor skills like lockpicking. Rogues love this ability, so do some other classes.

Constitution represents general health of a character. It influences Hit Points, fortitude, and other various concepts relating to a character's health. All classes and races can benefit equally from this ability score.

Intelligence represents the level of knowledge and ability to learn and memorize. Influences many skills and helps determine skill point gains during level up. Is loved by Wizards (for spell requirements) and Rogues (for being skill hounds).

Wisdom represents how well the character can apply knowledge and gain insights to the world around them. Mostly based around intuition, faith, understanding, and morals. Clerics and druids benefit most from this ability. And I think monks, right?

Charisma represents how sociable and pretty a character is or can be. Those with high charisma can usually find a way to gain quick friendships with NPCs in the world. Whether through a silver tongue or a stunning beauty. Sorcerers love this ability as it is inherent to their abilities with spells. This is also the bard's primary ability score because it's what they do. Do paladins benefit from this too or was that wisdom for them? I can't remember, someone feel free to speak up.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Gotcha. If a situation arrises, assess it and if border line, side with players until I can resolve it in detail after the adventure.

Also, I downloaded that D&D Next and read through it all. It doesn't have as much to it as I'd like. For instance, races and classes. It just gives the 4 original options, where 4E has many race options. Also, the Next advises to roll dice in figuring out your stat #'s...that's how we did it in our compaign, but I don't like that at all. We have a girl in the group who consistently rolls 5's and 6's and she had maxed out 3 of her stats already. Just doesn't seem fair when another in the group happens to roll poorly and gets stuck with low stats. There's gotta be a better way...is there? Like I think each race should have a standard starting point of STR/WIS/INT/DEX/CON/CHA and then based on what class is chosen, they get added stat points to whichever is fitted for that class. Like, if someone chooses to be a wizard, and rolls enough high dice to where they can have an INT of 18 and a STR of 18, that's just kind of ridiculous. But I am only going fro what I've been playing...so please don't hold me to following any actual rules or what have you.

Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.



As time goes on, they'll add more races for D&D Next. But for now, they have to be sure the core game is balanced, and the best way to do that is to start with the basics.

Rolling stats is traditional. And there's many ways to do that. My method: each player rolls 3 sets of 6 ability scores. For each roll, they roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die. This usually gives a broad range of scores across the three sets. The player then chooses the set they like most and assigns each score in the set to an ability. This method also usually errs on the side of higher results for all players. An alternate method would be to let them mix and match numbers across the various sets, taking only the 6 numbers they like most, which will likely result in very powerful starting PCs. You could also attach limits to that, enforcing that the total of the mixed and matched numbers can't be higher than say 85.

Alternatively, you can just use point buy. It's a solid set up and forces the players to think about the role they want to take on and how they want their numbers to influence the character. In fact, the point buy method sounds perfect for you. It usually forces players to choose between stats, so the wizard can't have 18 STR and 18 INT because there's just not enough points to spend.

I'm not sure what you mean by clarifying stats...but I'll give it a shot.

Each stat is vital to the life of the character.

Strength represents physical prowess and the ability to deal damage in melee combat and move heavy things or do other great acts of physical interaction. Usually used most by barbarians, fighters, and other heavy melee classes and races.

Dexterity represents ability to move lithely and quickly. It effects mostly ranged combat and represents a character's ability to dodge incoming attacks or avoid a trap. It can also be used for fine motor skills like lockpicking. Rogues love this ability, so do some other classes.

Constitution represents general health of a character. It influences Hit Points, fortitude, and other various concepts relating to a character's health. All classes and races can benefit equally from this ability score.

Intelligence represents the level of knowledge and ability to learn and memorize. Influences many skills and helps determine skill point gains during level up. Is loved by Wizards (for spell requirements) and Rogues (for being skill hounds).

Wisdom represents how well the character can apply knowledge and gain insights to the world around them. Mostly based around intuition, faith, understanding, and morals. Clerics and druids benefit most from this ability. And I think monks, right?

Charisma represents how sociable and pretty a character is or can be. Those with high charisma can usually find a way to gain quick friendships with NPCs in the world. Whether through a silver tongue or a stunning beauty. Sorcerers love this ability as it is inherent to their abilities with spells. This is also the bard's primary ability score because it's what they do. Do paladins benefit from this too or was that wisdom for them? I can't remember, someone feel free to speak up.



Awesome, thanks! I like the point buy method. is 85 a good # to go by? And also, do I have it right in thinking 18 is the highest?
Accept and add on to player ideas as much as possible. This is the "Yes, and..." approach. It makes for a less controlled game than if you say "No" to every idea that you're not sure how to handle, but it fosters trust, respect, and creativity.

"Yes, but" works well as a variant on "Yes, and", yet it doesn't get a lot of respect. Include it for variety.

Iserith, in our last game, threw in an interesting idea I hadn't seen before... skill tests with complications. If you do really well, you succeed. If you do so-so, you succeed but there's a complication. If you do poorly, you fail and there may be a complication.

The complications may relate directly to the skill test... or they may not. In that game I did so-so on a diplomacy check, so I got what I wanted out of the target - and a couple monsters showed up to try to eat her. 

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
"Yes, but" works well as a variant on "Yes, and", yet it doesn't get a lot of respect.

That's because it can very easily turn into a way to discourage (consciously or not) player ideas. Look for it to be used whenever an idea is clever and cool, but would really foul up some set plan the DM already had.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Gotcha. If a situation arrises, assess it and if border line, side with players until I can resolve it in detail after the adventure.

Also, I downloaded that D&D Next and read through it all. It doesn't have as much to it as I'd like. For instance, races and classes. It just gives the 4 original options, where 4E has many race options. Also, the Next advises to roll dice in figuring out your stat #'s...that's how we did it in our compaign, but I don't like that at all. We have a girl in the group who consistently rolls 5's and 6's and she had maxed out 3 of her stats already. Just doesn't seem fair when another in the group happens to roll poorly and gets stuck with low stats. There's gotta be a better way...is there? Like I think each race should have a standard starting point of STR/WIS/INT/DEX/CON/CHA and then based on what class is chosen, they get added stat points to whichever is fitted for that class. Like, if someone chooses to be a wizard, and rolls enough high dice to where they can have an INT of 18 and a STR of 18, that's just kind of ridiculous. But I am only going fro what I've been playing...so please don't hold me to following any actual rules or what have you.

Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.



As time goes on, they'll add more races for D&D Next. But for now, they have to be sure the core game is balanced, and the best way to do that is to start with the basics.

Rolling stats is traditional. And there's many ways to do that. My method: each player rolls 3 sets of 6 ability scores. For each roll, they roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die. This usually gives a broad range of scores across the three sets. The player then chooses the set they like most and assigns each score in the set to an ability. This method also usually errs on the side of higher results for all players. An alternate method would be to let them mix and match numbers across the various sets, taking only the 6 numbers they like most, which will likely result in very powerful starting PCs. You could also attach limits to that, enforcing that the total of the mixed and matched numbers can't be higher than say 85.

Alternatively, you can just use point buy. It's a solid set up and forces the players to think about the role they want to take on and how they want their numbers to influence the character. In fact, the point buy method sounds perfect for you. It usually forces players to choose between stats, so the wizard can't have 18 STR and 18 INT because there's just not enough points to spend.

I'm not sure what you mean by clarifying stats...but I'll give it a shot.

Each stat is vital to the life of the character.

Strength represents physical prowess and the ability to deal damage in melee combat and move heavy things or do other great acts of physical interaction. Usually used most by barbarians, fighters, and other heavy melee classes and races.

Dexterity represents ability to move lithely and quickly. It effects mostly ranged combat and represents a character's ability to dodge incoming attacks or avoid a trap. It can also be used for fine motor skills like lockpicking. Rogues love this ability, so do some other classes.

Constitution represents general health of a character. It influences Hit Points, fortitude, and other various concepts relating to a character's health. All classes and races can benefit equally from this ability score.

Intelligence represents the level of knowledge and ability to learn and memorize. Influences many skills and helps determine skill point gains during level up. Is loved by Wizards (for spell requirements) and Rogues (for being skill hounds).

Wisdom represents how well the character can apply knowledge and gain insights to the world around them. Mostly based around intuition, faith, understanding, and morals. Clerics and druids benefit most from this ability. And I think monks, right?

Charisma represents how sociable and pretty a character is or can be. Those with high charisma can usually find a way to gain quick friendships with NPCs in the world. Whether through a silver tongue or a stunning beauty. Sorcerers love this ability as it is inherent to their abilities with spells. This is also the bard's primary ability score because it's what they do. Do paladins benefit from this too or was that wisdom for them? I can't remember, someone feel free to speak up.



Awesome, thanks! I like the point buy method. is 85 a good # to go by? And also, do I have it right in thinking 18 is the highest?



85 for that particular dice rolling method? I'm not sure. I've never personally done that, I just know it can be used. And it was a random number off the top of my head.

85/6 = 16.16, so you'll have an average set of ability scores around 16 each with such a method, provided the rolls were good. And all 16s is actually on the much stronger end for a starting set of scores...in fact, it's almost too powerful, but with luck factored in from dice rolls, it's unlikely that anyone would actually have 16 across the board.

And yes, 18 is the highest. DMs can alter this if they wish, but I personally would advise against it.

Considering you like point buy, odds are good that you know how that works already. For those that might not, here's a quick explanation of how it works:

Each ability score starts at 8. The DM assigns the players a pool of points, say 30 points.

STR - 8
DEX - 8
CON - 8
INT - 8
WIS - 8
CHA - 8

At this point, each point you buy for an ability costs you 1 point from your pool. So, say you bump STR to 9, you now have 29 points left to spend.

Each point costs 1 point, until you reach 14. After reaching 14, each point costs 2 points from your pool. So if I bump STR to 15 from 8, that costs me a total of 8 points and leaves my pool with 22 points left to spend. 1 point per point until 14, then 2 points to reach the score of 15. The points cost 2 per until 16. After reaching 16 you need to spend 3 points to reach 17 and another 3 points to reach 18.

Here's a quick guide of ability score to point cost.

8 = 0
9 = 1
10 = 2
11 = 3
12 = 4
13 = 5
14 = 6
15 = 8 
16 = 10
17 = 13
18 =  16

So, if you have a pool of 30 points to spend, and you bump a score all the way to 18, you've spent just over half your available points to max a score out. The DM can adjust the abilities to go higher than 18 or he can adjust the amount of given points in the pool so players can have higher starting ability scores all around if he's aiming for a high powered campaign. He can also adjust for less points in the pool so players can have lower powered campaigns. If should happen to allow a max ability score of 20, then 19 would also cost another 3 points and it should cost 4 points to reach 20.

Anyway, hope this helps. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Gotcha. If a situation arrises, assess it and if border line, side with players until I can resolve it in detail after the adventure.

Also, I downloaded that D&D Next and read through it all. It doesn't have as much to it as I'd like. For instance, races and classes. It just gives the 4 original options, where 4E has many race options. Also, the Next advises to roll dice in figuring out your stat #'s...that's how we did it in our compaign, but I don't like that at all. We have a girl in the group who consistently rolls 5's and 6's and she had maxed out 3 of her stats already. Just doesn't seem fair when another in the group happens to roll poorly and gets stuck with low stats. There's gotta be a better way...is there? Like I think each race should have a standard starting point of STR/WIS/INT/DEX/CON/CHA and then based on what class is chosen, they get added stat points to whichever is fitted for that class. Like, if someone chooses to be a wizard, and rolls enough high dice to where they can have an INT of 18 and a STR of 18, that's just kind of ridiculous. But I am only going fro what I've been playing...so please don't hold me to following any actual rules or what have you.

Can someone clarify these stats for me and character generating? For instance, my friend just texted me and said he wants to be a neutral/evil human sorcerer...he wants to be a Gambit type character.



As time goes on, they'll add more races for D&D Next. But for now, they have to be sure the core game is balanced, and the best way to do that is to start with the basics.

Rolling stats is traditional. And there's many ways to do that. My method: each player rolls 3 sets of 6 ability scores. For each roll, they roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die. This usually gives a broad range of scores across the three sets. The player then chooses the set they like most and assigns each score in the set to an ability. This method also usually errs on the side of higher results for all players. An alternate method would be to let them mix and match numbers across the various sets, taking only the 6 numbers they like most, which will likely result in very powerful starting PCs. You could also attach limits to that, enforcing that the total of the mixed and matched numbers can't be higher than say 85.

Alternatively, you can just use point buy. It's a solid set up and forces the players to think about the role they want to take on and how they want their numbers to influence the character. In fact, the point buy method sounds perfect for you. It usually forces players to choose between stats, so the wizard can't have 18 STR and 18 INT because there's just not enough points to spend.

I'm not sure what you mean by clarifying stats...but I'll give it a shot.

Each stat is vital to the life of the character.

Strength represents physical prowess and the ability to deal damage in melee combat and move heavy things or do other great acts of physical interaction. Usually used most by barbarians, fighters, and other heavy melee classes and races.

Dexterity represents ability to move lithely and quickly. It effects mostly ranged combat and represents a character's ability to dodge incoming attacks or avoid a trap. It can also be used for fine motor skills like lockpicking. Rogues love this ability, so do some other classes.

Constitution represents general health of a character. It influences Hit Points, fortitude, and other various concepts relating to a character's health. All classes and races can benefit equally from this ability score.

Intelligence represents the level of knowledge and ability to learn and memorize. Influences many skills and helps determine skill point gains during level up. Is loved by Wizards (for spell requirements) and Rogues (for being skill hounds).

Wisdom represents how well the character can apply knowledge and gain insights to the world around them. Mostly based around intuition, faith, understanding, and morals. Clerics and druids benefit most from this ability. And I think monks, right?

Charisma represents how sociable and pretty a character is or can be. Those with high charisma can usually find a way to gain quick friendships with NPCs in the world. Whether through a silver tongue or a stunning beauty. Sorcerers love this ability as it is inherent to their abilities with spells. This is also the bard's primary ability score because it's what they do. Do paladins benefit from this too or was that wisdom for them? I can't remember, someone feel free to speak up.



Awesome, thanks! I like the point buy method. is 85 a good # to go by? And also, do I have it right in thinking 18 is the highest?



85 for that particular dice rolling method? I'm not sure. I've never personally done that, I just know it can be used. And it was a random number off the top of my head.

85/6 = 16.16, so you'll have an average set of ability scores around 16 each with such a method, provided the rolls were good. And all 16s is actually on the much stronger end for a starting set of scores...in fact, it's almost too powerful, but with luck factored in from dice rolls, it's unlikely that anyone would actually have 16 across the board.

And yes, 18 is the highest. DMs can alter this if they wish, but I personally would advise against it.

Considering you like point buy, odds are good that you know how that works already. For those that might not, here's a quick explanation of how it works:

Each ability score starts at 8. The DM assigns the players a pool of points, say 30 points.

STR - 8
DEX - 8
CON - 8
INT - 8
WIS - 8
CHA - 8

At this point, each point you buy for an ability costs you 1 point from your pool. So, say you bump STR to 9, you now have 29 points left to spend.

Each point costs 1 point, until you reach 14. After reaching 14, each point costs 2 points from your pool. So if I bump STR to 15 from 8, that costs me a total of 8 points and leaves my pool with 22 points left to spend. 1 point per point until 14, then 2 points to reach the score of 15. The points cost 2 per until 16. After reaching 16 you need to spend 3 points to reach 17 and another 3 points to reach 18.

Here's a quick guide of ability score to point cost.

8 = 0
9 = 1
10 = 2
11 = 3
12 = 4
13 = 5
14 = 6
15 = 8 
16 = 10
17 = 13
18 =  16

So, if you have a pool of 30 points to spend, and you bump a score all the way to 18, you've spent just over half your available points to max a score out. The DM can adjust the abilities to go higher than 18 or he can adjust the amount of given points in the pool so players can have higher starting ability scores all around if he's aiming for a high powered campaign. He can also adjust for less points in the pool so players can have lower powered campaigns. If should happen to allow a max ability score of 20, then 19 would also cost another 3 points and it should cost 4 points to reach 20.

Anyway, hope this helps. 



This helps a ton. I am going to go with your suggestions. I'm giving 35 points to spend though. I did a few different variations and it works out to be a nice balance.

How does a DM keep track of all the players? Basically, Do we trust they are being honest with their spendings and earnings? For instance, hit points, action points, skills/powers, etc. The 4th edition has a lot going on...which on one hand I love (it doesn't intimidate me), but on another, being a first time DM, player fairness and control may be a little bit of a struggle on the get go. Any advice or suggestions on this??

I think I'm going right into the 4th edition totally...all options, characters, rules. I see there are a couple versions of the PH/MM/DM guide...I suppose it's preferance, but which ones would I want?? Keeping in mind I want the most up to date options.

Thanks guys!
I think I'm going right into the 4th edition totally...all options, characters, rules. I see there are a couple versions of the PH/MM/DM guide...I suppose it's preferance, but which ones would I want?? Keeping in mind I want the most up to date options.

Keep in mind that 4th Edition has its own point-buy method. Read up on that in one of the player handbooks.

I still stand by the original PHB, DMG and Monster Manual. They work fine, though they're improved by some rules updates, which you can find on the main website. If you don't want to mess with updates, try using the Essentials-based books. They're not perfect, but they have clarified some issues with the original rules.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I find the character builder very helpful in keeping a track of players characters, but it does require getting a DDI subscription.
I think I'm going right into the 4th edition totally...all options, characters, rules. I see there are a couple versions of the PH/MM/DM guide...I suppose it's preferance, but which ones would I want?? Keeping in mind I want the most up to date options.

Keep in mind that 4th Edition has its own point-buy method. Read up on that in one of the player handbooks.

I still stand by the original PHB, DMG and Monster Manual. They work fine, though they're improved by some rules updates, which you can find on the main website. If you don't want to mess with updates, try using the Essentials-based books. They're not perfect, but they have clarified some issues with the original rules.




I didn't realize 4e had it's own point buy. Definitely look that up.

I too will stand by the original PHB, DMG, and MM in any edition. I view most other additions to those core books not so much as updates, but as expansions that add new content, not modifying existing content (though I'm sure one or two probably do alter a thing here and there).

As for keeping track of players, I do a mix of tracking my own and letting them track themselves. This requires trust. But I always also need to have access to their character sheets so I can balance things during the prep work. If it's not on the sheet or I don't have access, I do have my notes. Those notes are about key things I want to remember, like how much gold they should have or what items they have access to. As for earnings, that you should know, as you're giving them the earnings.

If you don't trust them at all, ask for copies of the character sheets. If you have a level of trust with them, just keep important notes for yourself so you can balance when creating an encounter. If you have total trust in them, let them keep everything and just concern yourself with creation. (for the record, I keep notes, character sheets, and anything else, because I'm okay with book keeping, plus I don't necessarily trust myself to remember the small details from session to session, so best to write it all down). 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
How does a DM keep track of all the players? Basically, Do we trust they are being honest with their spendings and earnings? For instance, hit points, action points, skills/powers, etc. The 4th edition has a lot going on...which on one hand I love (it doesn't intimidate me), but on another, being a first time DM, player fairness and control may be a little bit of a struggle on the get go. Any advice or suggestions on this??



Based on my own experience with a group where everyone including the DM started out new to D&D, some mistakes will be made. You'll have a power that someone is using incorrectly, or you'll misinterpret a rule, or you'll make what seems like a very reasonable house rule that turns out to be a bad idea down the line. As long as no one is purposely trying to cheat, these things will eventually be self-correcting as you learn the game better. If you have players who might try to break the rules on purpose...that's another issue.

I didn't realize 4e had it's own point buy. Definitely look that up.



Reverse-engineered from the character builder program:

Start with all stats at 10 and 20 points to spend. You may drop one stat down to 8, giving you 22 points to spend. However, no stat may be below 8 and only one stat may be below 10. Then you can spend the points as follows.

If the current stat is 8-12, it costs 1 point to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 13-15, it costs 2 points to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 16, it costs 3 points to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 17, it costs 4 points to raise it by 1.

You may not raise a stat past 18 with the point-buy. However, your racial stat bonuses apply after this, so you can raise it to 18, then have it get bumped to 20.
Start with all stats at 10 and 20 points to spend. You may drop one stat down to 8, giving you 22 points to spend. However, no stat may be below 8 and only one stat may be below 10. Then you can spend the points as follows.

If the current stat is 8-12, it costs 1 point to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 13-15, it costs 2 points to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 16, it costs 3 points to raise it by 1.
If the current stat is 17, it costs 4 points to raise it by 1.

You may not raise a stat past 18 with the point-buy. However, your racial stat bonuses apply after this, so you can raise it to 18, then have it get bumped to 20.

Right, that's how it's detailed in the PHB and in some of the Heroes of ... books.

I almost always use a standard array: 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I almost always use a standard array: 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.



When I don't use that, it's either because I've got a race with stat bonuses that don't line up perfectly with the class, or else because my character is going to be somewhat unoptimized for RP reasons. For instance, I was trying to make a character based on Robin Hood. Archer Ranger is the obvious class, but that's not a charisma-based class, and I can't imagine Robin Hood without charisma. So I decided to avoid Ranger powers that use Wisdom in order to bump up Charisma, then multiclass into Rogue to get training in Bluff, then take a Rogue paragon path.
Iserith, in our last game, threw in an interesting idea I hadn't seen before... skill tests with complications. If you do really well, you succeed. If you do so-so, you succeed but there's a complication. If you do poorly, you fail and there may be a complication.

The complications may relate directly to the skill test... or they may not. In that game I did so-so on a diplomacy check, so I got what I wanted out of the target - and a couple monsters showed up to try to eat her. 



Thanks for the nod. You summed up the technique perfectly and I shamelessly stole this basic "relative success" mechanic from Dungeon World. It broadens the range at which you succeed at what you're attempting and adds a range at which complication without failure can occur rather than just a failure which is often pretty boring.

I'd caution against this for someone learning the rules as this technique, while very fun and useful, isn't strictly speaking in line with the rules as written. It's also fairly dissociative as you point out - complications don't have to relate directly to the skill check - and could be a sticking point for some, especially those in the simulationist camp.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Find Your GM Style  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

It's also fairly dissociative as you point out - complications don't have to relate directly to the skill check - and could be a sticking point for some, especially those in the simulationist camp.



I'm less simulationist than I used to be, but this would bother me, and it would really bother some of my players. 
I'm less simulationist than I used to be, but this would bother me, and it would really bother some of my players. 



Probably fodder for another thread... I get your objection. It's definitely not a D&D concept which is why I warn against it for someone trying to get the rules down. But for those of you who know the rules, if you really break down the transaction, it's pretty much the same as anything else in D&D. Consider:

Berovice (PC) makes an impassioned plea to Hansa (NPC) to come with them, but she is too scared to accompany the party back to the beach. Makes a Diplomacy check and gets a middling roll. In this system, that says to me, "She agrees, but there's a complication." DM decides that, in context, it means some ambush drakes were stalking Hansa and, being chase animals, they rush out to attack. If Berovice had rolled high on Diplomacy, Hansa would have agreed and off they go - no drake attack.

In a more traditional D&D transaction, this would be (simplified):  Berovice makes his check. Succeeds. DM decides it's time for a random encounter and throws some ambush drakes at the party.

So it's not very different if you parse it differently. Nobody would gainsay the DM on the second transaction, right? I just think the other way is more fun in actual play because then it's more like playing to find out what happens in my opinion. Maybe I'll make a thread on this in a couple weeks. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Find Your GM Style  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Berovice (PC) makes an impassioned plea to Hansa (NPC) to come with them, but she is too scared to accompany the party back to the beach. Makes a Diplomacy check and gets a middling roll. In this system, that says to me, "She agrees, but there's a complication." DM decides that, in context, it means some ambush drakes were stalking Hansa and, being chase animals, they rush out to attack. If Berovice had rolled high on Diplomacy, Hansa would have agreed and off they go - no drake attack.



Actually, I think this could work without the roll results seeming disassociative just by saying that it took longer to convince her, which gave the drakes time to get into position.
Actually, I think this could work without the roll results seeming disassociative just by saying that it took longer to convince her, which gave the drakes time to get into position.



Yeah, there are ways to make it work in your head. Some are more stretches than others if you care about that sort of thing. Nevertheless is an awesome mechanic for determining outcomes of a particular situation without having a predetermined notion or contingency in place. What the PC is trying to do either works, works with a complication (which should be fairly obvious given the context of the scene), or it fails with a complication. It doesn't work perfectly with D&D skills, but it's a fun rule of thumb to use when you're DMing on the fly.

Anyway, back to the thread... topic for another time. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Find Your GM Style  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I like what you guys are talking about and follow it right along. I know I am new to D&D but I have a comprehensive nature when it comes to cleverness and imagination.

I have a basic storyline in my head for making my own adventure (although being a first time DM I will use modules for the forst couple times). To me, the best thing that can happen in D&D is a great story and plot twists. Keep the party engaged. I think the biggest attraction to something is the anticipation to that 'thing'. Keep the party in anticipation mode and they will be pleased. This is what I am striving for. Having that moment come and pass can leave a "what now" mentality...at least it always does for me. So to keep it going, I plan on having the moment come, and then the moment changes direction...the result isn't what it was thought to be, but turns into a new course (with some nice treasures as a reward of coarse).

Also, to make it more interesting for me (as well as enjoyable) I want to create an NPC. This character will be in the D&D world and can be an ally of the party. I could use him as a source of information and help throughout adventures. I also want to have him help the party in some battles...this would allow me to play a supporting character as well as DM. And yes, I can play impartially. Has anyone used an NPC like this??
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