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Thunderplex

The Gaming thread - anything but video games

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35 minutes ago, Merzbow said:

Ooh that's pretty close to me, do they have many games like that going on as I've been really wanting to play some Shadowrun.

They told me there was a shortage of DMs so probably not :(

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3 minutes ago, Nexus said:

They told me there was a shortage of DMs so probably not :(

I guess I better learn how to DM then, I kinda have a 5e thing in the works but it's going to be tough as it's pretty out there and maybe a little too edgy in ways. I could possibly convert it to Shadowrun and it may work better in that setting.

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Been away with friends this week. We've packed in 5 games of Betrayal Legacy. 

Now I do like the vanilla version, but half the group hadn't played it before. It started well however a few games in the lack of rule clarity in the haunts was starting to drag us down. It threatened to really halt our progress and frustration built. After reading a few posts online it helps if you lean heavily into the storytelling and just accept the random number generator that the game is. Once we made peace with that we've barrelled through it, RPing like absolute idiots and having a great time. 

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Spent three hours in Thirsty Meeples today, and played Keyforge (which is a CCG deckbuilder with a twist), which was fun, Agamemnon, which was excellent, and The Captain is Dead, which is a co-operative game where our ship got killed. RIP.

 

Enjoyed it though, and bought the Keyforge starter set and the Patchwork Express. 

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We picked up Stranger Things Dungeons and Dragons last week because we wanted to try D&D for a while and it came in a cool box. How do kids (or anyone) play this? We sorta fumbled through the roleplaying and setup but missed a bunch, then got to combat and just gave up.

There’s a million things going on, and we can’t understand how you’re meant to play without everyone involved just studying the rules relentlessly over and over. Are we meant to have a game board or something? It mentions time and distance but we’ve got nothing to actually compare it to. 

Are we missing something? How can we tackle this?

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If none of you have played it before then the main thing is whoever the dungeon master is has at least a basic grasp of the rules. There are tons of videos on YouTube explaining the basics.

As for time and distance within combat each round of combat equals 6 seconds and everything is technically happening at once. At the start of combat you roll for initiative, so roll a D20 and then add the initiative modifier. The same goes for the monsters you are in combat with. So the turn order goes from highest to lowest roll. To figure out how to hit you need to roll higher than the monster's armour class, so if something has an AC 11, you need to roll a total of 12 or higher. A weapon's stat will be something like  +3  2D6+2. This means that D20 you rolled to you add 3 to it. If you roll a 9 and add 3 you get 12 which is higher than 11 so you have hit. Then for damage you roll 2D6 and add 2. So you will do a minimum of  4 points of damage  to a maximum of 14.

Distance is something you can muddle through without a map, but you can get blank maps with a grid. Just remember that say it says you have 30ft movement that means you can move 30 feet and attack. You could also move 60 and do nothing else. Just remember that there is a load of online resources and just Google what you are having trouble with.

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It’s weird, D&D used to be really complicated, then they simplified it, and simplified it and now it sounds like it’s crazy complicated again.

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6 hours ago, Thunderplex said:

It’s weird, D&D used to be really complicated, then they simplified it, and simplified it and now it sounds like it’s crazy complicated again.

Actually it is really simple. In the campaign book you will have a number you need to roll higher than. If you roll high enough then you kill the dragon/ slay the necromancer etc.

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Yeah the base concepts are simple, "Do I notice anyone following us?" The DM will ask you to roll on perception, you roll a D20 add your wisdom and possible proficiency bonus and beat the target roll (usually 5/10/15 in most cases decided by the DM) and a lot of starter sets have got premade characters with all that neatly laid out for you to help you get used to following a character sheet. At it's core that's all D&D is. Combat was ran down above and when you get down to it you'll pick it up easy enough.

Time as a concept is pretty abstract, you're not going to play out a whole six hour journey in real time, so the DM will decide/roll if anything happens on the walk to the village of Hammerhall and the time has gone. Time in towns is normally handled in a similar way with the 6 second rounds of combat the only absolute. Distance can be either abstract/absolute, my current DM uses a graph whiteboard and sketches out the map with each square representing 5 feet so we can see exactly where everything is. He also has an impressive collection of miniatures so it's about a visual display, he admits that is due to him struggling with descriptions. In the past I have DM'd and been in parties that also use "Theatre of the Mind" where distance is a little more abstract and does require clear descriptions of the area but also gives a little leeway. Most adventures will have maps/descriptions that tell you how big a room is and you can use that as a DM to guide them. It also gives a bit more freedom for players (I feel) and allows for easier "cinematic" moments in the sense that if a player says "I move forward and throw a javelin at the ogre before diving into cover behind some barrels" without square counting and worrying too much about exactly where everyone is. TotM does lose a little bit of the tactical gameplay in my opinion but does give a lot more flexibility and I prefer it as a teaching tool. I can subtly introduce things like attacks of opportunity to a party as well that way. If I say "the lightly armoured goblin recognises the wizard is a threat so runs over to try and stab him, as he does so he runs past the barbarian, Barb take a swing with your warhammer".

As long as the DM has a good understanding of the rules D&D can be as simplified or complex as people want it to be, shows like Critical Role (and no game will ever be just like that) openly are fairly loose with some of the rules and the game and experience doesn't really suffer for it. I've tweaked initiative for time and simplicity sake to just take a characters dexterity and bonus to give a "passive" score and run in the same order for combat when teaching kids for example. Find what works for you and your group and you will pick it up soon enough.

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Is it worth picking up the new D&D Essentials set? I'm an absolute novice but it's something I've wanted to try for ages. Looks like it's got a load of good stuff included but would appreciate the opinion of any seasoned players as if it's good value for money.

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I haven't been into D&D for about 25 years but Jr swears by Massive Darkness as an easygoing D&D lite. 

If you want to dip your toe in, check if board game shops near you are running D&D nights. 

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Picked up a new two player game for a weekend away. Schotten Totten. Fairly quick card game. We've only had three rounds so far but it seems like there's going to be a decent amount of depth to the strategy on this one even though the gameplay is pretty simple. The colours can be a little hard to differentiate though (the brown and the purple are almost indistinguishable in low light), but there are symbols to help.

Edited by Chest Rockwell

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If anyone wants to chat about D&D in depth or has any questions about it, drop me a PM. I ended up running the opening to Curse of Strahd with the random group I volunteered to DM in Leamington Spa - it was really fun! 

 

My fiancee and I have really got into KeyForge as well - it is such a well designed game and I love the way you don't have to worry about designing your own deck. 

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4 hours ago, Chest Rockwell said:

Picked up a new two player game for a weekend away. Schotten Totten. Fairly quick card game. We've only had three rounds so far but it seems like there's going to be a decent amount of depth to the strategy on this one even though the gameplay is pretty simple. The colours can be a little hard to differentiate though (the brown and the purple are almost indistinguishable in low light), but there are symbols to help.

True classic, one of the first German games I bought.

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On 9/6/2019 at 4:49 PM, cobra_gordo said:

Is it worth picking up the new D&D Essentials set? I'm an absolute novice but it's something I've wanted to try for ages. Looks like it's got a load of good stuff included but would appreciate the opinion of any seasoned players as if it's good value for money.

Looking at what you get it's a thing to get you onto D&D beyond. That's because it comes with a half price code for the Player's Handbook. So you still need to spend extra money for that. D&D Beyond is great for creating characters quickly, it would definitely help new players for creating custom characters. 

The main thing I took away from reading about it is it's essentially for playing single player games with assistant characters, but the sidekick rules can be used just for NPCs. It definitely looks like a better entryway than the starter kit that came out.

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