Super new! got quite a few Qs

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Me and my friends are new and started to think about playing, so I jumped on Amazon and got the red box, tonight was our first night of play, quite a lot to take in xD

My main concern is did I get the right edition? I want to be able to be immersed and roleplay with a great deal of flexibility.

The more I read the more uncertain I am between 3.5ed, Pathfinder or 4th Edition. 

Money isn't really an issue for us as we are all working.

I also bought an insider membership, does this work with all editions or just 4th?

Also I heard about something called roll20, online tabletop is this worth a go also?

Sirico Sirus
Thanks in advance for any replies. 
I like 4th edition, the system shouldn't affect roleplaying, combat systems and storytelling are separate and you should be able to accomplish what you want in that field with any edition/system. Stick with it a little longer and if you aren't liking it then look into other systems.

Insider will mostly benefit you with 4th edition because virtually all of the resources it includes are in support of the current edition which is 4th.

Roll20 is interesting, I have been using it more and more lately, strangers on the internet tend to be flaky, but with friends that can't make it out on a regular basis I've found it as a good way to keep connected with them and game with the old gaming group regardless of geographic or transportation issues.
I really enjoyed the first night (although slow) only just realised there are minis aswell (seems costly)
Running around on amazon at the moment checking out all these tile packs aswell as the core books, tis a tad overwhelming 
Also do i need the DM manual if i buy the DM kit?
the DM kit comes with a DM book that covers much of the same information as the DM guide, I only have the DM book so I can't speak to the difference between the two, certainly the DM book should be plenty functional enough for you to get by without the DM guide
I really enjoyed the first night (although slow) only just realised there are minis aswell (seems costly)
Running around on amazon at the moment checking out all these tile packs aswell as the core books, tis a tad overwhelming 



The Red Box is cool bc it has some tokens that you can use in place of minis. You can keep using them; its nice if you have an exact pic of a monster, but its no reason to blow a fortune on minis imo. To be honest, you can just use some buttons as minis and some graph paper. The important part is being able to conceptualize the movement and action of combat. It is nice to have awesome terrain and tiles and all of that, but it isnt ultimately necessary. No need to be overwhelmed or rushed into a bunch of rash purchases. Focus on learning the rules at first. For out of combat action, use imagination and storytelling. Consider eventually buying a dry-erase battlemat; you can just draw scenes as they happen and use it over and over. You can play 4e without a lot of expensive bells and whistles and have a great time.

Also do i need the DM manual if i buy the DM kit?



Not really. The rules content pretty much completely overlaps. If you can find the Dungeon Masters Guide used for like 5 bucks on Amazon or whatever, by all means grab it. You should note, however, that a lot of fundamental math of the original Dungeon Master's Guide has been changed. If I were to buy a second rules/DM product (other than the DM Kit) it would actually be the Rules Compendium. 

Sounds more complicated than it is, but the short answer is no, you can skip the Dungeon Masters Guide and just get the DM Kit. The DM Kit has an awesome adventure you can just flow right into from the Red Box, has tons of reusable poster maps, many, many more tokens (minis), and a DM Screen as well if I recall correctly.

You have a lot of directions to go from there...probably the Monster Vault, but you can get a lot of play from just the Red Box-DM Kit sequence. The adventure in the DM Kit, Reavers of Harkenwold, is really nice and fun to DM; it can kind of open up the beginning of a whole campaign. 


Welcome to the game!
think ill give minis a skip and get the vault and such, been looking at the forgotten hero stuff do get some good classes/race etc, should be fun. 

Might look at getting some tile sets, the core books (skip the DM one in place for the kit)

Only minis i might be interested in are for us players as that would be nice, the monster side seems like it would be too much work buying all these things for when we eventually make our own!

 Seen alot of chatter about these dry-erase things (this used for DMs?)

 As mentioned, one thing you should purchase at some point is the Rules Compendium - it contains all the general rules other than character creation in one easy-to-reference place. It's much easier than trying to find those rules scattered throughout a player book mainly stuffed with character classes and magic items.
Both players and DMs will make extensive use of it, especially being new to the game.

 As for buying minis and dungeon tiles, forget it. Those are the things you acquire after you've been playing for awhile. Any sort of briefly sketched-out map will do, and anything from pennies to gummi bears to LEGO people can be used to represent monsters - Hell, way back in the day when I was in 4th grade, we used to play outside after class drawing the map in the dirt and using rocks as characters... Dirt - the *original* dry-erase map.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...



 Seen alot of chatter about these dry-erase things (this used for DMs?)



Yes, google Chessex Battlemats. I got mine for a really reasonable price on Amazon. 

I've found that big 1" graph paper pads are an excellent investment along with colour pencils (not wax, just regular colour pencils) - they are very cheap when you consider the cost of the wet-erase pens you won't need.


Unless you like to map out every single thing, a full pad will last you a good long while - they're usually ~10-15$ and you'll never feel bad when that dry-erase isn't coming all the way off...


The DM Kit is a most excellent product and will go a long way to filling your needs.


The Monster Vault: Threats of the Nentir Vale is (IMHO) awesome. The only downside is that the counters are named on the bloodied side - which I still can't figure out how someone would think that a good idea... (but think it they did since they did the same thing in Gardmore Abbey...)

Hell, way back in the day when I was in 4th grade, we used to play outside after class drawing the map in the dirt and using rocks as characters... Dirt - the *original* dry-erase map.



Thumbs up, dude.

Today, however, I like to use plexiglass or lexan sheets, edged with electrical tape because they can get kinda jagged and sharp, and lay that over my gridded maps.  Then you can draw all over it with dry erase (btw, permanent marker can be removed by coloring over it with dry erase, waiting a moment, then wiping it off).  I don't usually draw my own maps, but when I do, I usually draw them on a dry-erase battlemat and then there's no need for plastic over the top.

Minis are fun, but the plastic D&D minis are getting expensive now and the boxed Dungeon Command minis don't have tons of variety yet, IMO.  The Pathfinder minis are nice, but they're also mostly random and around $4 a piece.  Unless you want to spend a lot on minis, just use the Monster Vault pogs ... they work great.

I think the Dungeon Tiles are awesome value for the money.  If I were starting out I'd just get the three generic sets they released a while back:  The Dungeon, The Wilderness and The City.  I get a lot of use out of tiles too.  One nice thing you can do with them is get a piece of cardboard or stiff tagboard and attach the tiles with poster tack ... unless you leave them on there for months at a time they will detatch cleanly with no damage.

Other little tips:  for tracking monster HP, we use white poker chips and use dry erase marker to write the amount of damage inflicted on the monster and place it near the monster on the grid.  Then the poker chip can be moved around with the monster and you can have one of the players track the damage done so it's one less thing the DM has to do.  You can also use colored rings from one or two liter pop bottles to place around your minis or pogs to indicate different conditions.  Red for bloodied, white for marked, blue for dazed, green for slowed, whatever you want.  Paper clips bent to 90 degree angles can be placed on the grid to mark zones and moved when needed. 

Tons of little Martha Stewart tips ...

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

I think i am nearly ready now! Just a few more questions.

I am buying the monster vault I also have the D&Dinsider so do i need to buy all the monster manuals?

I also cant find the DM kit in the UK for a decent price so it might be better for me to buy the DM manual 1 and 2, how do I know what math has changed? 
Many people here have given you good advice.


Try to get the DM kit...whatever the price(uness $100 or UK equivalent) it is very worth it.  


Here is what I would suggest for a new DM/Player Group as far as adventures...


1. Twisted Halls(its in the Red Box); Levels 1-2
-then....

2. Reavers of the Harkenwold(Dungeon Master's Kit...ANOTHER great reason to get it).        Levels 3-4


3. Cairn of the Winter King(Monster Vault set) Level 5


4. Madness at Gardmore Abbey(Levels 6-8)-Box Set


If funds are limited spring for the Dungeon Master's Kit.  It wil provide two modules(Reavers Part I & II) that could keep your game group busy for many weeks(if you are playing 1-2 times a week).  You shouldn't have to buy much after that in the way of books/modules for a while.

I am buying the monster vault I also have the D&Dinsider so do i need to buy all the monster manuals?


No. You can get all of the monster data with DDI. What really adds to the value of the Monster Vault is that it comes with tokens, an adventure, and a well-written book, so its still worth buying. Just make sure you get the plain Monster Vault to start. Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale is good, but it isnt a box and doesnt have as many iconic monsters in it. Its more a 'part 2' to the Monster Vault. Down the line you might want the Monster Manuals if you find them cheap.
I also cant find the DM kit in the UK for a decent price so it might be better for me to buy the DM manual 1 and 2, how do I know what math has changed?


All of the updates for all of the 4e books are in these PDFs in the link below. It looks like a lot, but most of the changes are things where changing something in one spot meant changing it everywhere. If you had the DMG 1 and 2, just use this with it. I would go ahead and dl the one on top that says "Compiled Rules Updates" just in case they ever take this down. That file has all of the 4e books' errata combined.
  www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/u...   



thanks to everyone for all the great replies and advice, i bought a bunch of stuff today so awaiting it.

The DM kit is about £140 ($208) i don't get why its so crazy costly. As such I am buying the manuals and follow the links above

I am trying to buy Reavers of the Harkenwold seperate though as i have read a lot of people love it and its great fun! 
I love all the good advice that people have given here. And how generally mindfull everyone has been regarding cost and efficiency. Two thumbs up to dirt and rocks! It goes to show just how cheaply and easily this game can be played! It's really easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed by all the books and "stuff" that this game has available to it. Don't worry about any of it, you really don't need it to have really great games. Don't listen to anybody in edition/game system wars. The fans of RPG's are both numerous and completely passionate about their edition/game. They really want you to play the absolute best edition/game system, which is always their edition/game system! But, the fun isn't in the game system it's in the people you play with, so play, have a great time, and then, after you've played awhile , say a year, five years, ten years, whatever, you can come back, have a look around, and decide what else you want to invest in to have fun with your game. My two cp's are going to add :

community.wizards.com/new_to_dming  That's the New DM's Group here which has a solid wiki of other resources as well links to a series of articles written to help DM's. Don't look at the resources or read the advice until you've got some time under your belt DM'ing, but, do ask for advice on questions you have, the community is always helpful.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oEch8AV3Xs&feat... You've asked about an online gaming site. That's a link to the player tutorial for an online gaming site. It actually starts you off on where to go to sign up and how to find the link for it. There's also tutorials on map making and a few other tips on using it. The basic tools for DM's are very basic, but, it's also free to play for players and DM's and includes a voice chat already built in, so handy when your just starting out and unsure of where to start. There are other sites and lot's of ways to play online, so look around before you sink money into anything.

Welcome in and most of all, Happy Gaming!
Smiles Tablebane

smiles

Being late the the party there is a lot of stuff but everyone here has been great, I am looking at doing DM myself (i write short stories and novels in my free time, so I have some creative juices)

Looks like we will only be playing one night (about 5hours or so) would like to play more but oh well (thus the online one)



 
I really enjoyed the first night (although slow) only just realised there are minis aswell (seems costly)
Running around on amazon at the moment checking out all these tile packs aswell as the core books, tis a tad overwhelming 

When I first started playing 4th edition, I used chess pieces for minis.  That worked for us really well for awhile, and then I made small paper cutouts for the PCs -- and some memorable monsters-- and taped them to 1 inch square pieces of cardboard.  That was a little time-consuming, but it was a nice little Christmas present for everyone.
The DM kit is about £140 ($208)


Whoah! That's just obscene gouging because it's completely OOP in the UK. Try the US Amazon site instead (but quickly, as even they only have two copies left). Even with the shipping, it'll be much cheaper. Or try somewhere like AbeBooks, which will link you to US booksellers that will ship to the UK (there's a few copies on there right now for around £35 including shipping).

So much for "Essentials will be evergreen products", eh?

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

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