New player help, playing 4e without DM rules.

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Me and a group of friends want to play some D&D and i got some 2nd hand 4e rule books because we heard there was a way to play without the need of a DM i am aware it doesnt have the same feel but it will allow us to get the hang of moving about our heroes and combat before we fully attempt D&D.

i have a 4e players guide, the 4e dungeon masters handbook, and 4e dungeon delve.

is there any others we need to play without a DM?

can someone either explain how to play without a DM or direct us to somewhere that can?

the DM HB has a short vauge description of how to work it, but for noobs like us that really doesnt help.

any help would be invaluable.

thanks in advance. 

(on a side note, personally from playing D&D online the mmorpg, i tend to favour the artificer class is there one in 4e and if so where is the rule set for them in the 4e books.) 
Well, I suppose technically you guys could buy a module, or download some free ones, and just run the rules as written with no house rules, no NPC interaction, and it would all be very mechanical and video-gamey in an unusual kind of way, since all information would be open to everyone. Rules disputes could be settled with a vote, and in the case of a tie you roll-off.

That said, D&D is designed from the ground up with the assumption that you have a DM and a party of players. It would probably be very difficult to run a game with no DM.

The artificer class is found in the Eberron Player's Guide, and additional options for them are available in Arcane Power. 

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

the way i saw it explained it would essentially be a "you enter a dungeon" type deal with the only objective is to make it to the end and kill the boss and take the treasure. 

i was hoping someone had tried it and could walk me through the basics. 
If you've read the PHB and the DMG, you know the basics already. Run it like a board game and just start rolling.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

ok ill give them a read and see what i can manage if we have any issues ill be back :P 

there is A LOT of reading XD 
ok ill give them a read and see what i can manage if we have any issues ill be back :P 

there is A LOT of reading XD 


Yeah, there is. You can skip the lists of powers for each class, of course. You only need to read the powers that are relevant to your character (first-level powers for your class). What you mostly need out of the DMG is how to run monsters. If you want page numbers for either book, I can find them for you (my books are not immediately handy), but you should be able to skim and figure out what's important.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

Or you could play Gamma World, which my understanding is far closer to the game you're wanting to play.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Or the DnD board games (Castle Raveloft etc). Basically 4e light and designed to be played with no central DM, with each monster having basically a mini flow chart to determine it's actions.
If you are hoping to run dungeon delves, then a DM isn't really needed.  It does help if 1 person assumes the role of DM but also play a party member and tries not to pass on too much information to the other players.  A big part of DnD is having all the monster info, quest info and other details hidden from the players so that they must figure out how to navigate and interact with the environment and NPC's.  And also to be caught off guard from enemies skills and tactics.

But for anything more involved (campaign, or even pre-written adventures) a DM is needed to fully experience DnD.

But being DM is very fun and rewarding.  You get to play different characters every encounter, and get to watch your friends squirm when you hit them a super hard villain, or devious trap. 
i was planning on getting a copy of one of the D&D board games like castle ravenloft, as well as what i was planning here. 

i have also been told that the pathfinder rule set is more popular then 4e, can i do what i want here with patfinders rules?

i was thinking of grabbing both so i have both anyway but wanted to see if that could be used for DM free play. 
also would it be possible to maybe merge the rules of the board games with proper D&D rules like the monster flow charts that was mentioned above?

i havent seen them so i dont know.  
i was planning on getting a copy of one of the D&D board games like castle ravenloft, as well as what i was planning here. 

i have also been told that the pathfinder rule set is more popular then 4e, can i do what i want here with patfinders rules?

i was thinking of grabbing both so i have both anyway but wanted to see if that could be used for DM free play. 

No. The board games are designed to not be played with a DM and are based on the 4e ruleset, that is the closest you are going to get. Pathfinder isn't more popular (except with the part of the D&D community that didn't like 4e, but 4e has seen a substantial growth in the number of people who play 4e, so unless you are using a definition of popularity that doesn't involve the number of people playing a game...)

This is a pretty silly idea that will not go well, honestly. A lot of the difficulty of fights is being unaware of the suprises the DM has prepped. If you know, in advance, what is coming up, you will have a very hard time pretending your character doesn't. It is like playing chess against yourself, very few people can do it honestly.
i was planning on getting a copy of one of the D&D board games like castle ravenloft, as well as what i was planning here. 

i have also been told that the pathfinder rule set is more popular then 4e, can i do what i want here with patfinders rules?

i was thinking of grabbing both so i have both anyway but wanted to see if that could be used for DM free play. 

No. The board games are designed to not be played with a DM and are based on the 4e ruleset, that is the closest you are going to get. Pathfinder isn't more popular (except with the part of the D&D community that didn't like 4e, but 4e has seen a substantial growth in the number of people who play 4e, so unless you are using a definition of popularity that doesn't involve the number of people playing a game...)

This is a pretty silly idea that will not go well, honestly. A lot of the difficulty of fights is being unaware of the suprises the DM has prepped. If you know, in advance, what is coming up, you will have a very hard time pretending your character doesn't. It is like playing chess against yourself, very few people can do it honestly.



i understand and thats fair enough. 

i thought i would ask. and the place i head about pathfinder may have been biased, i am very new to the table top form of D&D up till now my only experience till now has been the PC games like baldurs gate, icewind dale, neverwinter nights and D&D online. 
Pathfinder will require a DM, and is potentially more complex than 4e to learn.  It is a modification and extention of the 3.5 edition of D&D using d20 system rules, which is why a lot of 3.5 players went with that instead of the change to 4e which has some significant differences.  Pathfinder is probably more "player friendly" than 3.5 in terms of making character death rarer and eliminating the loss of XP from crafting or level drain.  4e made similar changes.

 As for the D&D PC games you've played, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale are based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition rules.  Neverwinter Nights was based on 3rd edition, while Neverwinter Nights 2 was based on 3.5 edition.  D&D Online was based on 3.5 edition but heavily modified to work more like an MMO (by adding MP, etc)
  The upcoming Neverwinter MMO (currently in Beta) will reportedly be based on a modified 4e ruleset.
Pathfinder will require a DM, and is potentially more complex than 4e to learn.  It is a modification and extention of the 3.5 edition of D&D using d20 system rules, which is why a lot of 3.5 players went with that instead of the change to 4e which has some significant differences.  Pathfinder is probably more "player friendly" than 3.5 in terms of making character death rarer and eliminating the loss of XP from crafting or level drain.  4e made similar changes.

 As for the D&D PC games you've played, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale are based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition rules.  Neverwinter Nights was based on 3rd edition, while Neverwinter Nights 2 was based on 3.5 edition.  D&D Online was based on 3.5 edition but heavily modified to work more like an MMO (by adding MP, etc)
  The upcoming Neverwinter MMO (currently in Beta) will reportedly be based on a modified 4e ruleset.



awesome thx for the rundown. is 4e not a traditional D20 system? 

also u have a copy of the red box, i have barely touched it, what rule set is that is it 3.5 or 4e 
4e is not a "d20 System" at all.  Completely new, completely different.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Just to clarify on what Mand said, "d20 System" was a core game system that WoTC published in 2000.  D&D 3.0, D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, D20 Modern, and the Star Wars Roleplaying game are all extensions and/or revisions of the "d20 System"

 Prior version of Dungeons and Dragons and 4e all use 20-sided dice in their gameplay, but are not part of the "d20 System" rules. 

 If you do a google search for "d20 srd" you'll find quick links to the System Reference Document (srd) for the core d20 System, as well as Pathfinder SRD and some of the other extensions of d20.  d20srd.org is a great reference site for D&D 3.5.
Thinking back -  Be warned - we have found being a DM addictive - - We had a similar situation to You we wanted to play - no one wanted to DM - went with one player DM and played a char - - - BUT it is a lot of fun to play the NPC's etc, and amusing you fellow players (with you world interactions), so poeple evolved to prefer DMing -  then another player would try it and found they preferred DMing to playing. Its not for everyone but it can be fun.
thanks for all the great info guys its great to see there are still some decent online forum communities.

it really is a rare thing now.

you have all been very helpful and patient even tho some of my questions if not all exeuded noob :P