I'm new to DnD and I have a couple of questions about Shadowfell quest and starting out in general.

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Hey

Me and some friends are interested in having a go at DnD. We're completely new to it but have played a lot of other RPGs. Whilst researching for a good beginiers quest to start with, I've found most people recommend, Keep on the Shadowfell. I downloaded the PDFs for this and the quick start rules. They seem great, nicely laid out and very straight forward. 

At first this seemed great, just read up on the rules and we could get our quest under way. But i have a query regarding the maps, dungeon tiles etc.
Obvisouly they don't come with the PDF and the books make references to characters moveing squares, AoE damage from spells and such. 

My questions are; Are the tiles and maps nessercery for play? As someone who does not own one piece of DnD would it be best for me to purchase the Dungeon tile set? Or does everything i need to play, like the maps and dungeon tiles, come with the Shadowfell set? If you don't use the tiles then how does combat work?

As we're only really looking to dip our toes into DnD we're worried about purchasing more than we really need. Plus we live in the UK and getting hold off DnD products isn't easy, gaming stores are few and far between.

I hope i've made our situation clear. Any advice and tips for getting startedl would be greatly appreciated. 

Many thanks. 
For 4e, yes, you do need maps of some description - either dungeon tiles or some kind of wipe-clean 1-inch grid.  You can get a wipe-clean battlemat from Paizo for about £10.  WotC don't sell them.  Or you can get Wizards dungeon tiles.

You can run it without, but if you're new to the game, I'd heartily recommend playing it as written.
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You don't need the tiles.  They are like "deluxe play aids", which are worth buying if you have a lot of experience in my opinion, and know exactly how you'd like to customize the game.  The basic things you actually need are just graph paper and pencils, or actually if you want you can just use your imaginations.

You can use grids for character and monster placement and movement, or you can just talk about where they are and describe everything.  It only needs to be drawn out if you feel it does, on a case by case basis whenever you think a grid would be great; and again, graph paper is all you need.
My questions are; Are the tiles and maps nessercery for play? As someone who does not own one piece of DnD would it be best for me to purchase the Dungeon tile set? Or does everything i need to play, like the maps and dungeon tiles, come with the Shadowfell set? If you don't use the tiles then how does combat work?



You don't need tiles, although I think 4e works best with a grid.  However that does not necessarily mean spending any money.  Do you have access to a printer?  If you search The Cartographers Guild you will find plenty of example high quality maps for the Shadowfell that can be printed, should you desire.

You don't need the tiles.  They are like "deluxe play aids", which are worth buying if you have a lot of experience in my opinion, and know exactly how you'd like to customize the game.  The basic things you actually need are just graph paper and pencils, or actually if you want you can just use your imaginations.

You can use grids for character and monster placement and movement, or you can just talk about where they are and describe everything.  It only needs to be drawn out if you feel it does, on a case by case basis whenever you think a grid would be great; and again, graph paper is all you need.


The 4e rules are written explicitly with a grid and miniatures in mind.  It can be played without, but it takes some expertise, and it not something to recommend to a brand new player.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
You can do 'tiles' and 'minis' on a budget. If you do not want to buy minis, just use some buttons, small rocks, or cut up colored pieces of paper as minis. If you do not want to buy tiles or a dry erase mat, you could just print off sheets of graph paper from internet images or buy a pad of it.

I have used a grid since I started playing 1st edition AD&D. We used my friend's grandma's huge bag of sewing buttons for minis in those days, along with graph paper. Sometimes we even drew the graph lines ourselves. Whatever works.
Thanks, everyone for the replies, all very informative. Me and my friends now have a clear understanding of what we need and options on how to get it. Thanks again
Super low budget for grid map and minis would be a chess board and chess peices or the colored pawns from 1/2 the board games out there.
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Another possibility that exists for a cheap grid and mini's (that I personally used while learning the game with my group) is to make a grid out of alternating colored 2x2 lego blocks, with the lego men for units. A bit childish, but there are tons of people who have them for their kids, nephews, younger siblings, etc.
I DMed my first live game in a long time recently, usually prefering to play online with a VTT, and could not find my old battlemat or whiteboard or anything.  We ended up just using graph paper and it worked ok.  I would have preferred something better, but it's what we had and it worked.  I'll definitely be printing up maps for next time though, and I found my box of minis.  Much more enjoyable experience in 4e with mats/maps and minis(buttons/coins/anything).
Something like a Chessex 'battlemat' or similar and some eraseable markers seem like the best way to go without spending a ton of money. We've used them since the last 70's when the first ones came out. In fact I still have one that I bought sometime in the 80's that is still holding up (well, OK, its in rough shape, but for a $10 item who can complain). One that is as big as will fit on your table and has 2 sides (squares and hexes) is ideal. That will work for a lot of different games and situations.

You can get away with .5" ruled grid paper. I believe Paizo sells a product that is a pad of this stuff. In the long run the battle matts are probably cheaper, but YMMV.
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