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D&D 3E
A new home, a new job, a new gaming group! 
28th-Jun-2005 09:05 am
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
Well, after moving back to my home state almost 9 months ago, I've finally found a gaming group! They have two GMs, one of whom I work with and they sound like fun. But here's the catch...

The group is sort of new to third edition. They played second edition during the entire reign of 3.0 and have only just now started playing 3.5. And they have some max-minner's and some ruleslawyers, which are heightened by the fact that all of them are still learning the rules little by little. When I spoke with Gerry (the GM I work with) I was able to correct many of his misconceptions on 3.5, because I had a great GM when I first learned to play. And now he's hoping that I will help curb some of the ruleslawyering because I abviously know more about 3.5 than any of them! ... This is a little scary, because I am the newest to D&D. I've only played for 2 years or so, which, granted, means I've never played anything but 3.5. Still... I'm a little nervous.

In addition, they are playing in Eberron, which I have never played. I'm excited, but I'm also a little nervous. I've GMed very little, and only online. And most of what I understand about the rules is not stuff that I can quote page and paragraph for. It's just stuff that my GM (who knew the rules inside and out, because he WROTE products for WotC and other D&D publishing companies) taught us.

Does anyone have any suggestions? About helping with rules, about Eberron about dealing with possible problems as a player? Any advice would be appreciated!

(X-posted to dnd_women and dungeonmasters)
28th-Jun-2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
Does anyone have any suggestions? About helping with rules,

Well, look up any rules you suspect might come into play later, but don't sweat the small stuff. If in doubt, just set some arbitrary DC - or just ask for a roll without stating DCs in advance, judging the result simply on how well the character rolled. If one of them complains, just say: "Let's leave that for now and look it up later."

It helps if the result of a "bad" roll doesn't do any actual damage, but simply complicates the situation of the PC - so instead of falling down a cliff, he nearly slips and now hangs on with only one hand. Now he can try to get a better grip, the other PCs can try to rescue him, and so on - all more dramatic than saying: "You fall off and suffer 3d6 points of damage".

about Eberron

A very cool setting with quite a few novel ideas. One thing to remember is that there are few if any high-level NPCs that can bail a party out if they run into trouble - and even at relatively low levels (5 or higher), the PCs are already forces to be reckoned with. They should acquire a big reputation early, and get involved in all sorts of intrigues as lots of people and organizations ask for their help...

about dealing with possible problems as a player?

Be sure to involve them in social encounters now and then where their min-maxing and combat prowess won't help them out. And, of course, if their characters do something stupid, don't be afraid to, uh, complicate their lives until they learn their lesson...
28th-Jun-2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
D&D 3e (and 3.5) are focused on a style of play that rewards mastery of the rules, so don't be surprised when the players focus more on how to choose the best prestige class than background and role-playing.

2nd Edition wasn't this way, but I can see how a group of players new to 3E might suddenly see a whole bunch of new toys (feats, PrCs, etc.) and want to play with them.

I'm a little confused what it is you expect from the game. When you complain about rules-lawyering, are you really complaining that they don't sufficiently understand the rules? or are you complaining that they focus too much on the rules? What would you prefer they did differently? What is your ideal D&D game?

Understand that D&D has a long history and its different incarnations were not just progressive improvements, but in some cases the new editions designed largely different games. 3E is not improved 2E; it's a different game than 2E and it promotes a different style of play.

Who was your "famous" GM who published game products? If I knew who it was, I might have a better understanding of the play style to which you're accustomed.
28th-Jun-2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
I guess my post was confusing to begin with. I'm not running, I'm just joining as a player. But because the GM has decided that I have more experience with the rules than he does, he's hoping I can help him out when the other guys start using the rules to their benefit.

As far as a group, I want to have fun roleplaying. I like to use the rules/prestige classes, too, but I tend to use them to create a unique character with a unique personality, not necesarily give her awesome power. In fact, if a character doesn't have a flaw of somekind, I consider her boring.

As far as my "famous" GM... *blushes* I didn't mean that he's that famous. Just that he's an awesome GM and that I couldn't have had a better teacher.
28th-Jun-2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
You may want something different from the game than the other players. This is a common problem in D&D games. The only way to fix it is to talk to the other players about what you're looking for and see if they want that too. They probably don't, but if they do, you can all keep the focus on what it is you enjoy out of D&D. If they don't, you probably should find another group.

That said, D&D 3E isn't the best game for what you want to do. Sure, you can make it be that kind of game, but it's swimming upstream. There are lots of other games that focus on character development, character flaws, and how those flaws make characters struggle and do the wrong thing or the hard thing. But not D&D.
28th-Jun-2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'm still curious who the published GM is. Can you share his name? I might have heard of him. =)
28th-Jun-2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
Eberron is a rich campaign setting. I recommend a few things.

a. Use intrigue. Watch the films they recommend watching at the beginning of the movie... all of them. Especially brotherhood of the wolf (which is gross and graphic, be warned) and the maltese falcon. You may also want to watch some old alfred hitchcock movies and sherlock homes. There was also a bbc production of the chronicles of Narnia that might help with ideas.

b. Have a ready made list of npcs ready at hand all the time. Name, race, social standing, occupation(general ie shopkeeper, noble, beggar, etc.). This way you have a large amount of names to pull from at a seconds notice... so there will be a face and colour to every npc in the game.

c. Remember local color. There are events that can happen that the pc's can see but need not interact in. Pickpockets, perhaps hangings etc., a cat stuck up on a roof. A changeling being arrested. An old warforged going haywire. Things to make the town seem more real. Once the party gets used to this, it's easy to slip in plot points that they barely notice but become important later (they call these fake plot points "red herrings").
28th-Jun-2005 11:26 pm (UTC)

29th-Jun-2005 08:39 am (UTC)
If you're not running the Eberron game, the only real rule change to keep in mind is the action points but they're not much. I spent the first three years of 3.0 helping my GM with the rules (and being wrong occasionally)
30th-Jun-2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
eberron is no different game wise than 3.5 other than AP and thats really easy to get used to,,,its a great campaign setting,,just have fun,,buy tokens of feather fall,,sharn is more vertical than horisontal :)
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