When the PHB's In Your Hands

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What will you turn to first?

Perhaps you'll check out your favorite class or race. You might turn to the Wizard section to see whether 'Golden Wyvern' is still a reality. Maybe you first want to browse the paragon paths, epic destinies, or magic item lists. You might be interested in first peeking at rituals. Or you might want to know how good the strongest powers are. You may want to first check out weapons, armor, or the retraining rules. Heck, maybe looking at the index first is your bag.

Then again, you might be one of those rare freaks who looks at page 1 before any others.

Let us know. Explanations as to why are also welcome, and may stimulate further discussion.
Page 1 (or whichever page has actual game text instead of credits, indicia, and the table of contents ... probably 4 or 5). Read it cover to cover. Twice.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
What will you turn to first?

Flip around a bit at random, see if anything looks cool or there is any particularly good artwork.

Then read the character generation section and build a few characters.

And then read the thing from start to finish, with an eye towards powers and abilities that the characters might abuse when I'm DMing and rules that don't seem to make any sense.

Then I'll translate some of my favorite 3e and 2e characters over to see how the rules handle certain character concepts I like and what higher level characters look like.

Jay
Like any good book...

I would turn to the last page to see what happens. :P

lol, in all honesty, probably the feats first. Then browse artwork, followed by cover to cover.
I'll be reading the PHB and DMG cover to cover.
The first time I pick the PHB up, I'll be tempted to look at rituals. But I generally don't look at sections near the back of the book first, and rituals will probably be near the back. So I might look at warlocks first, followed by random flips towards whatever takes my fancy.

When there's time, I'll do a full cover-to-cover reading. That's something I never actually managed to do with the 3.5 PHB, probably because of the monolithic block of spells at the back.
Since I need to make sure I fully transition to the new rules and don't accidentally miss something and subconsciously substitute in a 3.5 rule, I will be reading it cover to cover. After all, how should I be able to tell if anything is actually cool/powerful/terrible without fully understanding the rules behind it? Thus, page 1.
Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide might feature a good bit more skipping. Read the chapter up to the examples, then possibly skim the examples (such as specific traps and specific monsters, for example) depending on how tired I am getting of reading.
1) multi-classing feats
2) level advancement table - feats
3) feats
4) powers
5) ALL - at least twice...

"I wannna have it,
gimme gimme gimme phb!"
The Ramones (or so)
I'll be reading the PHB and DMG cover to cover.

As will I.
More than likely, I will read the first pages of the chapters on character creation, where the general rules are. My players can worry about the lists of powers and feats. I just need to know how those things work. Skim the lists and read a few of the more interesting ones. I am looking forward to being a bit surprised at what the player characters can do, just as I am looking forward to surprising them with monsters. Until I hit the combat chapter (or whatever the first rules chapter is), I am just scanning for rules. There will be plenty of time for me to go back and reread things. Once I hit the meat and potatoes, the things I need to know to create and run the game, I will slow down and read every word. There isn't much time between the release and our first game, and I've got a lot of planning to do before then.

The Angry DM: D&D 4th Edition Advice with Attitude http://angrydm.com Follow me on Twitter @TheAngryDM "D&D is a world where you are a great champion, and the creator of the universe is frequently disorganized, highly distractable, and alarmingly vague on the rules of the universe he’s trying to run." -Shamus Young, Twenty Sided Tale (DM of the Rings)

As will I.

Well, me too, but I have trouble believing that anyone has the willpower (barring total apathy) to pick up the book off the shelf, carry it home, sit down, then crack it open for the first time. What if there's a lineup at the store? Someone two people in front of you is paying for a handfull of dice using nickels, the person in front of you is buying a PHB and keeps yelling "SWEET!" to their disinterested driver as they flip through, then they start an argument with the clerk about Vancian Magic and Save-or-die spells, and all this time you're standing there in line with the book in your hands and you don't even take a peek?

I'll probably flip randomly through until I see some art that looks super awesome, read a paragraph or two, then look up the specifics of the Warlock Pacts (what kind of powers do Vestige Pact Warlocks get?) and Wizard specializations (which we know very little about since implements seem to have changed since R&C was put together.)

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

check out the artwork and start reading and learning the rules to teach my players the new edition!
I'll go through and mark out every single female dragonborn picture with boobs. =p
I'm going to take the day off work, show up at my gaming store 5 minutes before it opens, or maybe past midnight for the 12:01 if they do it and then pick a corner, crack the cover and thumb for about 2:00 hours, stopping to read whatever has a pretty picture or an interesting topic heading.

Sooner or later I'll read some of the class info, but I'll likely be interrupted by other people at the store with their copies complaining about how obviously broken something is. Then we'll spend the next 20 minutes telling that person that they are wrong or right. Blood may or may not be spilled, then it will be nose down again.

Sooner or later I'll do the page by page, probably the later.
Page 1 for me. Read it through all the way, then pick up the DMG, skim through that stopping to fully read anything that looks interesting (which is pretty much what I always do with DMGs), then same treatment for the MM. Skim through, looking at the art (it's the only place I pay particular attention to the art) and stop to fully read stat blocks and what not for creatures that seem interesting.
I'm a freak - page 1 for me, though I'll probably just skim the powers beyond the first 3 levels at first.
In all honestly, probably flip through for awesome pictures as the very first thing. Then head on over to the combat chapter/section to see what I can cram into my head for the following day's Game Day.

Promptly followed by at least one cover to cover.



... and the DMG... page 1!
First I'll read combat rules and any rules that might be useful for the Game Day game I'm running the next day. Character Creation will have to wait...

Then as soon as the Game Day is done, I'll read the Rogue and Warlord entries to build my Human Rogue-splash-Warlord character, which I believe is the best representation of the character I always play in every dang edition.
Page 1 (or whichever page has actual game text instead of credits, indicia, and the table of contents ... probably 4 or 5). Read it cover to cover. Twice.

Seconded.
What will you turn to first?

Artwork > races > classes > equipment > combat > spells > read cover-to-cover
Well, me too, but I have trouble believing that anyone has the willpower (barring total apathy) to pick up the book off the shelf, carry it home, sit down, then crack it open for the first time. What if there's a lineup at the store? Someone two people in front of you is paying for a handfull of dice using nickels, the person in front of you is buying a PHB and keeps yelling "SWEET!" to their disinterested driver as they flip through, then they start an argument with the clerk about Vancian Magic and Save-or-die spells, and all this time you're standing there in line with the book in your hands and you don't even take a peek?

I'll probably flip randomly through until I see some art that looks super awesome, read a paragraph or two, then look up the specifics of the Warlock Pacts (what kind of powers do Vestige Pact Warlocks get?) and Wizard specializations (which we know very little about since implements seem to have changed since R&C was put together.)

Meh... I'll be leafing through my MM on line.

The Angry DM: D&D 4th Edition Advice with Attitude http://angrydm.com Follow me on Twitter @TheAngryDM "D&D is a world where you are a great champion, and the creator of the universe is frequently disorganized, highly distractable, and alarmingly vague on the rules of the universe he’s trying to run." -Shamus Young, Twenty Sided Tale (DM of the Rings)

I'll probably flip through looking at the art, then start from the beginning and read it "cover-to-cover" - I'll probably skim the actual power lists to start off, since those are likely the bulkiest part of the book, but I'll want to know about everything eventually and reading it from start to finish is a good way to get a head start on that. :D
Since I'm getting the Gift Set from Amazon, I don't need to worry about leafing through the book before I get home. So it's page 1 for me, with maybe some leafing through the MM to see how/if my favorites made it.
I'm just gonna throw the books in a corner and pretend they don't exist. Then I'll come to these boards and start a hurricane of complaints. Then I'll laugh myself to sleep as each and every one the 4e Avengers take the bait or come to the realization that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

:invasion:
Rituals.
Haiku Police
First look at the pretty pictures. Then anything that catches my eye while looking at the pretty pictures. Then I'll start the cover to cover.
I'll probably read the races section first. I like the fluff I've read so far and I'd like to read more. Also, I'm curious about racial powers. I'm curious if all races have the same powers. For instance, do all dragonborn have a breath weapon or is it something they get to choose. Then I'll go to the classes section. Probably the warlord section first because its new or the rogue section because that's one of my favorite classes to play. It depends on how long the line is and how many dice that guy is paying for with nickels.
First thing I'll do is look at all the pretty pictures and read all the fluff.....

Not! I have to see the crunch on the warlocks! And Rangers! And Paragon Paths! And Epic Destinies! And.....

Maybe I'll just say I'm going to read everything first. Then I will read it again.
I'm just gonna throw the books in a corner and pretend they don't exist. Then I'll come to these boards and start a hurricane of complaints. Then I'll laugh myself to sleep as each and every one the 4e Avengers take the bait or come to the realization that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

:invasion:

Why would you even buy the books just to "throw them in a corner"?
I'm probably going to read all three cover to cover, starting with the DMG and ending with the PHB. I'm the only one in my group who's really excited about 4e, and the only way I'll ever get to play it is if I DM it first.

Which will be interesting as I'm the only girl in the group. :D
Why would you even buy the books just to "throw them in a corner"?

Right over your head eh? Not familiar with sarcasm eh?
I'm just gonna throw the books in a corner and pretend they don't exist. Then I'll come to these boards and start a hurricane of complaints. Then I'll laugh myself to sleep as each and every one the 4e Avengers take the bait or come to the realization that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Well at least you are keeping an open mind.

The only thing worse than making your mind up about something before you've even seen it is to willfully chose to remain ignorant of it when given the chance to actually make an informed decision.

Enjoy your smug self-satisfaction, the rest of us will be too busy having fun playing D&D to notice.
I'm just gonna throw the books in a corner and pretend they don't exist. Then I'll come to these boards and start a hurricane of complaints. Then I'll laugh myself to sleep as each and every one the 4e Avengers take the bait or come to the realization that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

:invasion:

There's other ways to get your jollies. Like looking at nekkid people. Far healthier, IMO.
I'm going to first go and read the section on races to find out about gnomes and half-orcs, then classes, to find out about druids, bards, and sorcerers. Next, I think I will look at the skill section and find out if they've changed which knowledges let you know about which monsters. I might then skip over to spells, and see if they've gone back to the correct (1st edition method) of listing them by class then by level. I'll look at the prestige classes, er, paragon paths, and figure out if there is any correlation between the level at which you can start them and the number of worthless feats you need to take. Then I'll pull the other one.
Cover to cover. And I like it, when reading a DnD rule book I tend to think about it like reading a book and start making stuff up in my head* (I also read textbooks that way).

*When reading through the spell blocks at the back of the 3.5 PHB I got the idea for a villian.
Resident Piggles Zombie piggy is eatin' your sigs om nom nom (>*o*)>
MTG Card
Front: PigKnight, One Line Poster (3W) Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Vigilance When this creature dies, return him to play and transform him. (2/3) >(5/3)< Back: (Black)ZombiePiggles, Eater of Tomato Sauce Legendary Creature - Boar Knight Zombie Trample, Intimidate B: Regenerate this creature. When this creature is the target of a white spell, transform this creature. (5/3)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/15.jpg)

First, to the Warlock class. Then the Warlock powers. Then cover-to-cover.
The Expanded Psionics Group You don't have to be psychic to join, but it helps!
As will I.

Like Dalzig and Sphyre, I also will be reading from cover to cover (ditto DMG and MM).
First thing I'm going to flip to is the weapons.. I want to see if the Katar, which I know is in there, is going to have decent damage.. d4 my arse 3.x! After that, I'll flip through looking at the art, and then to the races and classes.. then I'll make my first character, hopefully using the katar if it's decent. d6 is all I ask really.
I'll lick it.

... ... Don't look at me like that!
Posted by Salla:
Page 1 (or whichever page has actual game text instead of credits, indicia, and the table of contents ... probably 4 or 5). Read it cover to cover. Twice.

this, except beforehand ill probably flip to a few random pages to see if i turn up anything cool. not too many though, just a couple. probably aimed at the classes section because thats the most likely area to turn up something cool :P
Just thought you should know. the countdown continues...
I'll probably toss the PHB to my SO while I look at the DMG and MM. Doubt I'll read them both cover to cover, but there will hopefully be enough interesting material in the DMG to keep me occupied till my SO puts the PHB down.
Resident Over-Educated Ivory-Tower Elitist [You don't have the Need-to-Know for that, citizen]
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