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D&D 3E
New To DnD 
21st-Feb-2006 03:08 pm
I just got into D&D about two or three weeks ago.

I just picked up the players handbook and convinced two other friends to do the same.

Any suggestions for a three person quest and character creation?

I'm completly new to the whole thing and would greatly appriciate any help or suggestions you can throw out.
Comments 
21st-Feb-2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
1: If at all possible, find an experienced GM. Check with anyone in your circle of family and friends between the ages of 20 and 40, starting with the most geeky. If you're still in school and living at home, find out if someone's parent would want to run the game. (My 40-year-old brother-in-law runs a game for his son and their friends, for example)

2: You need to pick up the Dungeon Master's Guide. It doens't have to be the one from Wizards of the Coast, it doesn't even really have to be Dungeons and Dragons, but if you're just staring out you NEED some of the very basic advice in there. (Both Everquest and Warcraft have D&D-compatible versions, complete with modest GM's guides.)

2a: If poverty strikes, send me an e-mail. If you're willing to put up with playtest-quality materal, I can get you set up.

3: Go to www.d20srd.org</a> for monsters, extra rules, and the rest. If you just want to run a game or two and don't mind making amazingly geeky mistakes, the SRD has almost all of the rules you need from the DMG. (Except for XP -- again, contact me if you need help in that department.)

4: Ditch the three-person quest thing unless you find a GM (as in #1.) Choose one of the three of you (probably you, since it was your idea) to be the GM. The rest of the advice is for the GM, although the other two will probably want to create a pair of characters with a good reason to work together, the classic combination being a Fighter and a Cleric.

GM 0: If at all possible, get at least four players.

GM 1: Draw a map. If you have the resources, make a photocopy of the map. If you can print out in good quality, go to Wizards.com and grab a few dungeon maps. (AutoRealm is a good mapping program if you're computer-savvy.)

GM 2: Pick a theme for the dungeon. "Undead", "Goblin lair", or "Animals" are good ones for 1st level.

GM 3: Populate the map you drew with CR 1 encounters (from www.d20srd.org) that fit your theme -- that is, one or more creatures whose CR does not exceed 1. Pairs of two goblin warriors, groups of three human skeletons, three vipers, a single wolf, or any single 1st level character are all CR 1. (The DM's Guide should have suitable random encounter chart.)

GM 4: Start your players at the "start" of the dungeon. Tell them that the game will start there, and have them plan their equipment accordingly. Remember (and remind them) that the dungeon is dark, so unless they're all dwarves they'll need a light source.

GM 5: Let the PC's travel through the dungeon as they want (with a copy of the map, if you could get one.) Make it clear that they are where YOU say they are, but THEY decide which direction they're moving.

GM 6: Award 150 XP to each PC for every encounter they are attacked by or attack (assuming they survive, of course.) Be creative with the descriptions and the attacks, don't be afraid to "taunt" the characters if you've got intelligent monsters.

GM 7: Let your party retreat when they want to, but have an encounter find them if they camp in the dungeon. (DC 10 Listen check to wake up.) First charcters often die, but a character who dies should die ONLY due to their own (bad) descision or a run of back luck.

GM 8: Write down every name you come up with, and try and write down the gist of every off-the-cuff description you give. Trust me.

GM 9: Above all else, remember that it's a game, and it's supposed to be fun. Never be afraid to change the rules or allow a re-roll if it will make the game more fun for everyone. (And dying isn't always a not-fun thing.)
21st-Feb-2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Just a random member of the community and I just wanted to say that your advice rocks I wish someone told me that when I first started.
21st-Feb-2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have been GMing for 20 years and I have to say that you give just aboot the same advice I would for starting out. Nice work :)

joevual, listen (er, read... well, you know what I mean) to this guy!

www.d20srd.org is almost a must... just for research and mmediate costs sake.

Anyhow, welcome to D&D and remember: Have lots of fun! :D
22nd-Feb-2006 12:24 am (UTC)
thanks alot guys
22nd-Feb-2006 12:49 am (UTC) - I second the already given advice.
DMing and playing a character is difficult. The problem arises when you go to make a decision about what your character is going to do next... You know the door is trapped, so you're going to poke at it for traps before opening it. But would you have done that if you didn't already know?

I think that people who are truely psychotic (as in suffering a psychosis) or clinically depressed (able to repress truamatic memories) are great candidates for playing a couple characters at once while DMing and not running the PC as an NPC.
22nd-Feb-2006 06:07 am (UTC)
The gents here gave you some good advice. I'd also advise you to, if you're looking for something kind of pre-made for the first kick at the can, scrape together some money for the Basic Game. It contains some pre-made adventures thatr should make your life easier.
22nd-Feb-2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
This is more for the players - but - you will want a cleric in the party. Trust me on this one. And you really do want the DMG and the Monster Manual if at all possible. Pay attention to the challenge ratings, they're there for a reason. And for the DM - don't be afraid to "fudge" your dice rolls a bit - that's part of what the DM screen is for. Although I'd only recommend doing it to give your players a break every now and then. When the characters in my campaign were 1st level, I would occasionally fudge in their favor, but that's because I hate killing PCs unless they've done something really stupid. Now that they're 7th and 8th level, I don't fudge things anymore, but they're also tougher and can stand up to more punishment. It's a decision every DM has to make for him/herself.
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