Spoony explains the best ways to get started playing RPGs!
Descent Rules!! Also, pathfinder is awesome!!!!
We don’t be stuffed toys for our dog anymore, got too expensive.
Thanks to Iron Liz’s videos my friend bought the Sailor Moon rpg. She has been asking everyone she knows to play.
I am very afraid.
Thanks for the info, was wondering how i can get to it, now i know
I’ve been thinking about getting into role-playing lately (these videos have really been getting me into it too) and a few days ago a little gaming store opened up near my house so I went to check it out. They also recommended Pathfinder to me and even said they’re planning on starting up a group. I think I’m gonna go back tomorrow and pick it up. ^^
What’s your take on World of Darkness? Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is one of my favorite pc rpg’s I’ve played and I enjoyed the World of Darkness setting. Like other’s from seeing these video’s my interest in tabletop rpg’s has been piqued.
Ya know what i do, i just make up my own game rules as to avoid D&D all together a few things about it make no sense. How does plate armor make you DODGE BETTER and for that matter if “AC” is dodging why do we even have reflexes when you could just tie in AC together with reflex check rolls. That’s just my opinion, i all ways had more fun making up my own game rules on thee computer.
Your Armor Class represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. Plate armor deflects attacks. AC is nto just “dodging”.
I meant in the video games like NWN but even still the board games ALSO has rules on “damage reduction”, isn’t damage reduction armor? Not only that but most gamers say well you miss when you fail an attack roll because the attack roll is not damage it’s a prerequisite for damage. For an reference, in one of spoony’s videos he is talking about “Crazy Mike” and how he could not “Hit” any thing for “shit” and how he kept “missing” because he failed his attack rolls which is directly tied to AC (Armor Class).
The rules are just really weird, unbalanced and contradicting but i guess that’s just my opinion.
Damage reduction (DR) is separate from your Armor Class (AC) for a specific reason, DR allows you to negate some or all damage that comes at you, depending on what type of damage it is.
Example, say you have a DR of 15 for fire. What that means if you get hit with anything that deals fire damage, you will not take the first 15 points of damage from that attack.
There are a lot of types of DR you can get ranging from the normal attacks (bludgeoning, piercing and slashing type) to the elemental type (fire, sonic, cold, ect) and there is no real limit to how much DR you can have but there’s a limit to where you can put it on yourself.
Hahaha, i wish i seen this comment when it was first posted. I learned
how to play D&D and AD&D when i was like 10-12 years old from
reading the NWN Gold Edition Manual and then cross referencing from
internet sources. Most of the board game rules are literally in a video
game manually, fancy that.
I just realized how my comments appear to make me look as if i didn’t
understand the rules of the game. I posted that just because i really hate RNG games, i prefer balance like chess or if it does have RNG, it’s a VERY light version of
it, like RTS games for example. It’s not just the rules them selves but the fact it’s extremely expensive and poorly done (multiple revisions). If it was done right the first time, it wouldn’t need so many revisions. Also it’s a poor representation of realism.
An attack fails because he rolled a 17 but needed an 18. No effect but the point is that any number less than 17 also fails and also has no effect. There is no gradient effect. Hitting really hard with a hammer might burst open the armor but hitting it a little bit less might put a dent in it and thus cause physical harm to whoever is wearing it.
Just because the armour wasn’t fully penetrated does not mean you deal 0 damage. Since AC is tied to the concept of literal armour effectiveness AND your literal ability to dodge, means reflexes is a redundant system. Reflexes is basically a second AC check but not as good and in some cases doesn’t even help much (only half damage from fireballs).
Makes more sense to make an AC check to dodge the fireball than take damage from the AOE if you’re in it.
Armor Class (AC) and it’s opposite, Base attack Bonus (B.A.B) are a way to regulate fights so people don’t run into the problem of who hit who or who missed attack.
AC as it stands for 3rd edition D&D (Since you mention NWN, the video game I’m assuming) is worked out like this. Everyone starts out with a 10 in their AC, that goes for players and monsters alike. Then the first thing to add to it is your armor bonus (if you’re wearing armor). Each armor has it different bonuses and the simple way to work it out without listing all the armor is the lighter armor will have a low bonus while the heavier armor will have a higher bonus.
Second thing to work out is if you have a shield, if you do you have to also add the armor bonus that comes with that shield, if not, skip it.
Third thing to work out is how well you dodge attacks and that is represented by your dexterity modifier. Now here is where it gets tricky. Each armor has a certain limit to how much you can benefit from your dex bonus. For example, the Full Plate armor has the best armor bonus with a +8 to your AC BUT you can only add a +1 from your dex even if your dex modifier bonus is higher (like a +3, meaning you have a score of 16 or 17). I should mention that you don’t lose or diminish your full dexterity bonus for other skills when you’re wearing heavy armor.
Forth thing to keep in mind is if you decided to play a character who is small (as in falls under the small category of sizes), they get a bonus to AC if they fight Medium size creatures (like humans).
Fifth thing to consider is if the armor has any enchantments on it. If a armor has a enchantment on it (represented by a +1 to +5 in front of the armor name) it gives the same AC bonus to it. Example, using the full plate from before, say it has a +2 enchantment on it (making it a +2 Full plate), what that means is that you add +2 to your AC and that is represented in your enchantment bonus.
There are other items and spells that can help with your AC but I will point out one thing, natural armor bonuses can be stacked but deflection bonuses can not be stacked, you only take the higher bonus.
I hope this helps.
Spoony hits nail on head: Heroquest & the 4E board-games (Drizzt, Shardalon, Ravenloft) are good gateway games to get a “taste” of RPGs – but the 4E Red Box (Essentials starter set) is an excellent set, and they’ve done a really good job of offering straight-forward expansions for if and when people are ready to expand their collection and move further. The price point is really good for it too.
That said, Player’s Handbook is obsolete now – new players want to go for the Essentials line, without exception, if only to skip the Errata.
I’m a big Warhammer 40k buff. I own hundreds of models, and have spent countless hours painting and custom designing my own army… but I don’t feel like I’m controling anything. I want to tell broad story’s and well… role play. I want named characters, I want backstories, I want to choose my own adventures and make my own dungeons and quests. I want people to follow my hints and leads, and think strategically to progress. I like looting, I like moral choices and options, and I want a more diverse, challenging, but rewarding world to expand upon.
If anyone can fit a game into my list I would love a response… a response other than D&D. I’m no stranger to tabbletops, but I am new to Tabbletop RPGs. I prefer a medevil setting but I wont complain if given future settings. Thanks guys :)
That’s kind of a tall order with no easy answer. D&D 4e really has a fantastic combat system since it distills it to what the game’s strengths are – fighting. However, it’s not the only game in town. One is Savage Worlds. It’s a really cheap universal core book for $10, has some great combat/customization since it was built from a miniature combat game. There’s setting books that come with complete campaigns that cover a large gamut of story genres each with some neat twists. Fantasy, Supers, Pulp Sci-Fi, Fantasy Pirates, Victorian Monster Hunters, Weird Wild West, Post Apocalyptic…etc etc.
There is also the 40k RPG Deathwatch, where you play as space marines controlling platoons. I haven’t really had much experience with that or the unfortunate player limiting WH Fantasy Role Play System of late which has lots and lots of tokens and do-dads, but only enough to run a game for 4 players.
Lastly, you mentioned about moral games, backstories and options, and while many games CAN offer that depending on the game master running it, I’d like to make two Indie RPG suggestion – In A Wicked Age and Dogs in the Vineyard. In a Wicked Age is very much a hardcore Conan-esque one shot RPG. Players have goals, some are conflicting with each other and oh yeah, people are going to die.
Dogs is about a group of appointed law enforcement for kinda-mormon settlements in the old west but more importantly, it’s about hard choices where you might have to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Neither of these games are super tactical, but if you want systems to support fantastic stories and see where RPGs can go, please give these a look.
Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll check them out. I’ve known about the W40k RPG for a while now but haven’t heard much good to come of it. Alot of my friends are addicted to Xbox and PS3 anyway so the only time I get to even whip out my Warhammer army is at my local Game’s Workshop… 24 miles away. So, yah, it’s a pain to play 40k where I live in Denver but not impossible. I’m just trying to find SOMETHING I can play with my friends that will hopefully get them unaddicted to Gears, CoD, Halo, and all that other garbage… that and I want to hear my bud Skylar talk in a silly accent for “teh lulz”.
There’s a lot of 40k RPGs and the best part about them (in my opinion) is how they flesh out the universe with the information they give you. The problem with these RPGs is that the combat system is very poor. They keep improving them each book release and Black Crusade is probably by far the best system.
Dark Heresy (Inquisition theme) to Rogue Trader didn’t see too many improvements aside from tweaks. Rogue Trader to Deathwatch had interesting ideas added but still a messed up combat system. Black Crusade is where they really started to iron out these tedious and illogical parts of combat. It’s still no where near perfect, but they have made quite a leap with this one. I highly suggest starting with Black Crusade, especially since they redesigned the way the book presents you the rules which will probably be a lot easier. That said, you’ll have a blast creating a new character for Dark Heresy (good thing too since you’re expected to die and roll up new characters quite frequently).
As for GMing in general, I like to basically have an open sandbox setting to place the party with some objectives to fulfill. Rogue Trader is nearly impossible to do such a thing accurately since it allows players to go to entirely different planets on a whim, though it has the potential to have some of the most epic encounters and reoccurring villains out of any of the games. Dark Heresy needs to be a little more scripted or else plots will fall apart and the players will have no sense of direction. Deathwatch is pretty much a giant dungeon crawl, it’s like being in a Micheal Bay movie. Black Crusade is right in the middle of the road with everything, with huge attention to customization. You’ll never see two identical characters. Whatever you decide to try out, have fun with it and never feel too attached to any one character as these games are all about taking risks. I hope this helps.
Pathfinder is a good starter system, and alot of resource material can be gotten for free.
It’s like this video was made for me.
If anyone wants a simple intro session, I’d be more than happy to run a play by post (RPG via message board) game online. The slower pace of that can be quite useful for beginners, as you have the time to ask questions. There’s tons of places for this, but my favorite is Myth-Weavers.com.
If that would help anyone, hit me up at MyFristRPG@yahoo.com
If you’re interested in the “Old School” rules that Spoony sometimes talked about you might be interested in Labyrinth Lord http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html
There is a free no-art pdf that’s pretty good, and it has advice on how to run a game. It’s a fairly simple system in a fairly short book. It’s based on Basic D&D from the 80s, and it has an “Advanced Edition Compendium” that’s also free with no-art on the same website.
Since he mentioned Call of Cthulhu, you might want to check out the Call of Cthulhu quick start guide http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=87 which provides a sample adventure and some basic rules to get you started.
Hope that helps somebody.
Oh, and Pathfinder just got released as a starter set similar to the Red Box he talked about in the video. http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/v5748btpy8osv
If you want to try Old School rules, live in Europe, and don’t mind some really graphic gory art, then you might want to try Lamentations of the Flame Princess http://www.lotfp.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=69 It’s price is probably prohibitively expensive for the US, but it’s the only Old School system currently in print that has a tutorial booklet. The art is probably going to be a turn off for some people, and it’s definitely more graphic than 99% of other fantasy rpgs.
On your topic there, Spoony, I picked up Mansions of Madness recently, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot like those games you were talking about, based in the Cthulhu mythos.
Now, If you like the idea of D&D, but don’t think there is enough sand or cannibal halflings; you might try a little thing called Dark Sun. ‘insert maniacal laughter here’
* EDIT: I posted this earlier and I’ll post it again. I think it’s a good idea. *
These ‘Counter Monkey’ Reviews are hilarious. I laughed my ass off at every single one of these, especially ‘Vegan Steve Butt-Fucks the Campaign’. But I hate to ask; where are your traditional reviews? All you seem to do are Vlogs. Your last FFX-2 review was in late July, and you’ve only made five ‘skit’ reviews between then and now. What happened to that? I know your busy helping Brad with the Snob movie, in addition to keeping the stream of Vlogs coming, but I really miss your scripted reviews.
What if you took your Vlogs of recent movies, wrote a script for them, and edited it into a full fledged ‘skit’ review? You can record your thoughts right after the movie, and use it as creative fuel. You could give it a cool name like “Miles and Spoony at the Movies”, and make it a household part of the site.
Imagine how much more your time spent in the theater would pay off by spending a couple of days crafting a traditional skit review for the movie. We’ll get one or two reviews a week instead of a near-daily flood of unrehearsed Vlogs that you can’t really watch in one sitting. I’m totally willing to sacrifice quantity for quality, and I’m sure most fans on the site feel the same way.
Yeah, you probably won’t have clips to cut back to, but you can get past this by backlogging your unfinished reviews until the movie comes out on DVD, getting the clips there, finishing the editing, and releasing it late. We don’t care about what’s recent, we all liked your reviews and playthroughs of old movies and games. Old is part of what ‘The Spoony Experiment’ is about!
Heroquest is Definitely awesome!
I know I currently play with a online program called Fantasy grounds. I find it a helpful tool/game using many rule sets. That anbd it cuts math out for a lot of stuff; though it is a tad complicated to get used to. It does supply the dice and core rulebooks for you.
One thing, as an ST for 2 Scion campaigns, that I recommend, especially as Scion is very much a points buy system, and very much “your character is really only limited by your imagination and your starting budget”, is for a prospective new player to sit in for a couple of sessions.
This serves to see if the flavor of the game is something they’re into, as well as giving them a sort of immersion into how the game is played, or, at least how that group plays the game. I promise you, given Gary Gygax DMing a game and, say, myself or Noah/Spoony
On a seperate note: Spoony, you said you’re looking for gamers for a group? Having followed your reviews and shit for at least a couple years, I would have to ask are you meaning another group of players on skype/openRPG like you did with LordKat and AngryJoe or a group in person? If online, I would like to ask if you have a free spot.
I’ve years of experience playing and DMing/GMing/Storytelling across several different systems and genres and am more than willing to learn a new system if need be.
I know this is presumptuous to be asking, but as a long time fan, I figured it was worth a try.
Thank you, man This actually makes me want to get out and try this!
My main problem I got is isolation. I live a bit out of my town. I guess I should’ve gotten into these kinds of thing when we did have a comicbook and hobby shop here. They’d hosted Magic games and Warhammer games, but I’d never go to things like that because at the time I was working and I was more easily embarrassed than what I am now! But, now that place has been closed for years and I don’t have that kind of easy accessiblity. The closes we got now is a chian book store that sales these kinds of things but it’s soully a buisness!
I don’t got great internet either so chatrooms and video chat is out of the question.
So, basically I’m screwed on this end!
I’ll look on eBay to price that Heroe’s Quest game you mentioned!
Have you ever heard of Quest for Shangra-La?
I guess i was lucky enough to have played Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2.
A while back (grade 12) me and three other friends started a D&D game. We got our character stats and equipment but decided that the actual adventure should be started when we had more time. Its now 2011 and we still have not started but i really want to. I had a sorcerer, i think.
Noah, i may live in Vancouver but if you ever wanna play. By all means, give me a shout.
it was what… 5 years ago that i wandered into a gamestore, dropped a handful of books and started jotting down random notes in my scribbler.
i did this often enough after work, two maybe three times a week for a few hours, ironing out a few starter adventures & a very basic campaign hub.
during that time a lot of gamers walked by. Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, other RPG players… some dropped by wanting to know what i was doing, others (who were more in the know) were curious and asked for quick line or two synopsis.
it took about a solid month for me to gather enough phone numbers and arrange scheduling to get a group of players that could game together.
we’ve been gaming regularly since and added a few new members, partially because we play in the gaming store’s main play area where there is a good amount of traffic
the current GM is winding down his campaign, which you can read up on @ http://devilsanddilettantes.blogspot.com/ (NOTE: HUGE MAJOR GINORMOUS SPOILERS if you’re planning on playing in the “Council of Thieves” Pathfinder adventure) and i can safely say we’ve played approximately once every other week, with the occasional break.
not too sure what we’re going to play next. between this campaign and the last one (which was about 75 sessions in about 2.5 years playtime) we’re getting a bit tired of fantasy (at least i am and i know a few of the players wouldn’t be adverse to a change of pace).
i have been looking for Shadowrun after the Squirt Gun Wars… hard to find in our small town gaming store though.
I reside in Anaheim, CA. I’m developing my own tabletop RPG which is an offshoot of D&D 3.5. (It’s built to fix more than Pathfinder does.)
You don’t seem to reside anywhere near CA. When this edition is playable, would you be interested in playing the opening module via OpenRPG or a similar program?
Hey there Spoony! Long time viewer, first time commenting. I have to say, I’ve always enjoyed checking out your videos. You, the Nostalgia Critic, Linkara, and Angry Joe are in my top 4 reviewers, and I’ve always felt a kindred sort of spirit to you. Coming from a stranger on the internet, I know, major creepers. In any event, it just seemed like we grew up the same way. Hero Quest as the gateway, a bit of Dragon Quest, working at a game store, later into Descent and other such things. The only thing I ever disagreed with you on to any real extent was your playing of 4th Edition.
I’m not going to start a flame war here, I think it’s a fine game. I gave it a shot when it first came out, I just didn’t think it was the game for me. I ended up going the Pathfinder route (it doesn’t hurt that I’m local to Paizo and count a number of them as good friends), and have been playing it ever since the Beta come out. I even run a rather popular system resource website that compiles all of the books in one place (Archives of Nethys). Still, it always made me a bit sad to watch your videos and never hear you mention it, not even in a dislike fashion. I was mystified and wondered how it could be that someone so similar to myself hadn’t even heard of it, let alone played it.
Well, today that sadness was dispelled. It pleased me to no end to hear you talk about Pathfinder in a positive light, right after mentioning Hero Quest and Dragon Strike. I even agree with you on the awesomeness of Kingmaker and Carrion Crown (both of which I currently run in two weekly groups, though Kingmaker is almost done).
In any event, tl;dr, I’m happy you like Pathfinder. And if you ever find yourself in the great Northwest, you’re more than welcome at my table for a game of Pathfinder, Descent, Arkham Horror, or any other of the many board games I possess. Heck, even if I couldn’t be there, I think you and the other aforementioned reviewers checking out a game of Arkham Horror would be pretty entertaining.
Keep up the great videos!
I’m actually GMing a game of Black Crusade (Warhammer 40k RPG, Chaos themed) this Saturday. I got a person from Dakka Dakka who is very enthusiastic about it. The problem with it is that we only have a party of three and its impossible to find any more.
Its so rare to find the right amount of players to start these games. Three people seems like the bare minimum and it really sucks since these 40k games become so much more interesting when there are conflicting characters, especially when Chaos Heretics are involved.
We played a good run of Rogue Trader with a three person party and it just fell apart once one person started to skip out. At least with larger parties, the game can continue without them until someone else can be found. We ran it using Skype and RPG tools for game boards.
Nice advice if I ever got into RPG tabletop games. Thank you.
A bit of advice that I would throw in there is to look at local universities and gaming stores. Universities are probably the best place to find gaming groups/clubs, though game stores might have games that are held there, or at least know of people who do play and are looking for groups.
Nice video. I still have a mostly intact Heroquest set my dad picked up at a garage sale when I was in middle school. We played the shit out it as well.
I really got lucky with the game “Das Schwarze Auge” (The Dark Eye): It´s been my path into RPGing for now. An old friend of whom I hadn´t heard much in years approached me about it and we started it off. We´re playing weekly now and taking turns in GMing.
What makes it accessible is the fact, that for a start you can play a whole adventure completely relying on a few skill checks and PC-NPC-Interaction. If you want to, you can completely ignore fighting for a whole evening (which, of course, left one of our players highly unsatisfied, although it was a really good pre-published module). Its rules are structured into core-rules, which always apply, optional rules and expert rules. By now we have completely incorporated the optional rules into our games, which gets you all the gaming mechanics you would want in your RPG: Special Moves, Rules for wilderness survival, fighting on a battle grid etc. And we we´re now adding the expert rules gradually (special rules for ranged combat, stamina drain on marches and fights, special rules for heavy wounds, which go by the bodypart that was hit and so on…). That way we started off really easy and got more complex over time.
Maybe this would work with a lot of other RPGs as well and it´s great to get started.
The price for this is, that with DSA you will be essentially searching through your books for a lot rules, because they aren´t written down in one core book. Also balancing encounters got hard fast, because not using most of the optional rules threw off the game´s balance. But other than that: It´s great for those who know the language and might be a method to get games going with any RPG.
Since you speak about optional and expert rules, I think you’re referring to 4th edition? That’s how I started, too.
Unfortunately, I think it’s pretty intimidating to create your own character in that game, since there are so many options to choose and points to spend. There’s a reason the fine Drakensang games use pre-made characters ^^
Exactly! It´s Edition 4.1 precisely. I think the many options are one of its major advantages: You can play basically any kind of person that is likely to be part of an early until late medieval society. A barber, a knight, a beggar or even a whore. And even if it sounds unlikely: Everyone of these can be potentially useful for a party. Still the GM should make sure his adventures provide opportunities to act for those characters.
But as you say, it comes at cost: The many, many professions are “only” modifications of your basic skill loadout and the possibility to spend your xp freely among them (for most parts; there are restrictive rules) leaves you very much without any form of guidance on balanced character and skill-development.
The symptom within our group: We basically shelved all our starting characters after a couple of sessions and started new ones. But with some insight and playing practice you can create characters with neatly defined roles and tons of personality. At least that´s what I like about it. And I went into DSA with a lot of negative bias, because I wanted to play D&D ;)
Don’t forget that you can combine some of the less time-intensive professions. So you could be a beggar gladiator XD !
And I have the original 4th editon (when DSA still came in boxed sets). I’ve read some of the changes in the new edition (which isn’t all that big, hence the term 4.1), but I don’t really care about most of them (maybe except for the revised wound system and the complete removal of character levels, which were rarely used in the original 4th edition anyways). I can live with having a chargen system that’s slightly less balanced point-wise. After all, what’s a difference of +/- 1 to 2 points if a character starts with 110 points?
And I originally didn’t like D&D all that much. But something about Pathfinder’s more or less subtle changes worked for me, and now I’m even leaning more towards retro clones Oo
I’ve been wanting to get into pen and paper games for the longest time. I played one in high-school that was built from the ground up by a guy I knew, but the system was weird, and there were only the two of us playing. Recently, a bunch of my friends got together for a friends birthday and played 4th ed for about…8 hours. Most of us had never played D&D, and so we kind of bumbled our way through it, but it was a good time. Problem is, getting together 7 people who live in different cities (and a couple from another country) is a royal pain. Playing online isn’t much of an option either, since we all have really differing schedules.
Getting together with local people is pretty rough, too. The region I live in has very few people around my age, and even fewer of those people are geeks. Plus our only local game store suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. The best game store I know of is three cities away.
My friends and I do try to have a game night each week, but there’s no telling who will be able to go, and they often as like get cancelled as well. We end up playing basic but non-committal stuff like Apples to Apples and Magic. But, one friend of mine is planning to get a bunch of us together and have us play through D&D 1st ed, since he still has his red box.
Also for people not in the know, these rules are for Dungeon and Dragons 3rd edition and 3.5 edition. I’m pretty sure most of what I wrote is in 4th edition D&D but they might be slightly different, I’m not sure.
Also for people not in the know, these rules are for Dungeon and Dragons
3rd edition and 3.5 edition. I’m pretty sure most of what I wrote is in
4th edition D&D but they might be slightly different, I’m not sure.
I think what I love best about the Counter Monkey videos is not just what is being said, but with how much Spoony clearly enjoys talking about it all. Well, the RPGA story clearly brought some unpleasant feelings for spoony (that situation would piss me off as well), but it’s all that energy that makes it easy to listen to.
Movies and video games are one thing, but there’s something about the Roleplaying Games that seems to bring out his best side, and I enjoy seeing that. And I am not at all getting bored with Counter Monkey, I like it even better than Wrestle! Wrestle! (which seemed to do that opposite to Spoony when it comes to energy…TNA will do that to a man. It just sucks the life right out of ya).
It’s also a good contrast to all the online reviewers just bitching about something…which of course is also entertaining as Hell, but Counter Monkey is proof that one *can* talk about something positively and it can still be fun, and a lot of that goes with Spoony’s natural storytelling talents.
It just mixes things up nicely and it’s great during those empty periods between “main” videos, which I always understood takes time, especially when costume, editing and effects are a concern, which probably makes CM a stress-free breeze by comparison. And clearly that lack of stress and pressure is bringing out positive results!
Hell yeah HeroQuest!
That game was a huge deal for a lot of us young geeks back in the day. It got a lot of people involved in miniature wargames as well as RPGs. It looked awesome, was very atmospheric and really easy to play. Anyone who enjoys Fantasy at all can get into it. Just don’t expect a tactical challenge or anything.
What I personally find very impressive about HeroQuest is the storyline. There isn’t a lot of text, but it effectively gets across the idea that you’re involved in this epic, evolving conflict. One cool thing was that the main villain seemed like a credible threat – for a game aimed at kids the whole thing was kinda grim, which just made it that much more memorable for me*.
Haven’t checked ebay recently, but it used to be you could get the basic game and the first two expansions (Kellar’s Keep and Return of the Witch Lord) for reasonable prices, especially if you’re not too picky about their condition. When you’ve played through all that you’ll have exhausted the game, but you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it.
The later expansions are rare (read: expensive as all fuck), but I don’t think they were much good as games. Tried to add too much to a limited system. When you find HeroQuest is getting too simple for your tastes, it’s just time to move on to something else. (Back then Games Workshop actually released a game called Advanced HeroQuest.)
*Spoiler alert for a twenty year old game: I love how the first Questbook ends with the Emperor losing the battle and running the hell away to the Dwarven city, where he’s promptly besieged. Then your whole mission for the first expension is to sneak through not-Moria to find a back door so he can run away again.
And I swear that if you read between the lines this was the end of the Dwarven race – that was their last city, and there’s no mention of any Dwarves escaping along with the Emperor’s men. You wonder what they were thinking letting those guys in when they showed up with a horde of Orcs on their heels.
Hmm… There are a few other alternatives that comes to mind, one specific group called White-Wolf created quite a large amount of games with each having their own setting and systems of sorts.
Also the system works on a D10 rather then a D20, there are various technical differences to Dungeon and Dragon games or D20 games, but their differences may make them far more appealing to newcomers or those seeking a more approachable system.
The thing is, White-Wolf games are more abstract and the numbers are far less set up as they are in Dungeons and Dragons, but on the other hand it provides a great deal of freedom, both in building, playing and growing with no set path, only attributes, skills and techniques/merits/charms/etc(pending the game).
They’re very thematic as well.
For example, the first White-Wolf game I played was Vampire: The Masquerade. We’re talking actual horrors of the night vampires here, filled with political intrigue as a setting. The game could be played purely on a social level as it could be played much like Dungeons and Dragons, quests, ‘dungeons’ and all (and by dungeons, I mean something along the lines of going into hostile territory as a Brujah vampire of the Camarilla (basically a Warrior who’s lawful neutral) who wound up through some unknown reason in the middle of a Sabbat city ruled by Tzimici (Chaotic Evil city ruled by Sadistic Shapeshifters). There are no clear leveling, only experience to apply to increase individual traits one by one.
It’s highly abstract in that sense, but in another, it simply calls out to your common sense in some way or another. Rather then gaining experience to level up so to increase your stat. You’d gain experience per day of play and utilize that experience in game to train your character up, say that during his free time he would hit the gym to increase his stamina and strength or go to school during the day as he was a student and thus increase his academics.
I’m giving some examples that might not seem to fit too well with the previously mentioned game because, as I said, there’s a large variety that they created here. Vampire is just one, it’s ripe with political intrigue, struggles, hidden warfare, internal struggles for your players and these games tend to ask the player to make a personal motivation of their own, or a better understanding of how their characters are going to play due to their chosen personality PRIOR to starting the game. So on top of the DM/GM or in the case of White-Wolf, the Storyteller’s idea of where to lead the story, he also has to react to the personal goals of each of these characters who’re encouraged to have a backstory so to add more interesting elements (“My father and mother were both poor and destitute, on these dark and hard times mother relied on selling her body whilst dad became a crook, I spent my life down in the streets and wronged many, one of which was my own best friend who I abandoned when a horrid beast came to attack us, something out of a nightmare… But that was just the beginning of it all, that night, I met my own end and rebirth. And in my return, I drew with me all that I had seen in that time I died. Madness came to me as it did all Malkavians and in it, clarity of my purpose in life.” That sort of stuff, by the way Malkavians are a bloodline of vampire that share one simple trait, madness. Though in their madness comes clarity and knowledge beyond other Vampires, it reflects in their available supernatural abilities and the lore of their clan).
They certainly love to focus on supernaturals though. The ones I know of are Vampire: The Masquerade and the more recent The Requiem (I personally suggest using The Masquerade, I’ve a few bones to pick with The Requiem but that’s entirely personal). Werewolf if you’d rather play shapeshifters and guardian of earth style. Scion if you’ve ever wondered “How would demi-gods live in modern day era.” though haunted by the spawns of Titans of old who want to wreck the world in a secretive wars of supernatural forces (By the way, whenever I do talk about something being a ‘secretive war’, the player can opt to just break down those walls and make the secret no more, albeit then there’s a whole slew of troubles and consequences the DM/GM/Storyteller needs to figure out). Mages if you want to play all magical, but I’m not talking weak mages. I’m talking about any build of character, anyone with any backstory, suddenly awakening to magic. And in the case of Mage: The Awakening, thematic magic.
Meaning not only are there listed spells for you to utilize, but the game encourages the player to figure out how to utilize their thematic magic by their own ideas. For example, let’s say I awoke to magic and in so harnessed power over Space, Fate and Forces (elemental magic). Now, there’s the a-typical listing of magical spells as you could imagine, such as making a fireball that’s already mechanically created and there for me to use, a pre-made spell. But I can, if I so choose, whip out a spell of my own creation out of mid-air with my own ideas so long as I respect the level of power my character is currently at, providing freedom for some interesting inventive play and relying heavily on descriptive play as well.
If you’ve ever seen Heroes by the way (first season or so), that’s what Mage is a bit like. Scion is also similar in that aspect.
Now, on the other hand. If you’ve seen Supernatural and wanted to be like the Winchesters. Well, World of Darkness is right up your alley. It’s all about humans discovering the supernatural and can be set either in current day setting or in the past or even the future. It can be played in many ways, a sherlock holmes style murder mystery, an action adventure blockbuster summer movie, a horror B-movie.
The one I spoke of a few times in the comments is Exalted. This one is set in a fantasy land similar to the Dungeon and Dragon setting, with it’s own creation myths, gods and various other fantastical beings.
And the part that both confuses, aleviates, empowers and emfeeble people in the white-wolf game is the golden rule: If you don’t like it, change it. The game encourages you to make house-rules if ever you wish to, to alter the setting, powers, system to your choice. It also encourages one other simple thing. If you can think it, the odds are, in their game, you can make it.
Some relatively straightforward goals you can achieve that’re still in setting for example:
Playing Mage: The Awakening and wanting to play an evil sorcerer who wishes to turn an entire town into the equivalent of Silent Hill? You betcha you can.
Playing Exalted and wishing to conquer all of creation and all of heavens bringing all the gods to their knees and using the sun as your personal aircraft in a war against all that is unshaped without ever physically attacking anyone and only using your silver tongue to do it? You betcha (and is actually easier then it sounds, albeit is still pretty difficult due to the scope of it all).
Playing Vampire: The Masquerade and wanting to find a cure to your vampirism and in some way or another recover your humanity to no longer be cursed with this hunger and thirst for blood? There are ways to do it.
….On an entirely different subject.
I remember when I first played DnD, I made a halfling rogue who ended up having a starting 17 strength, second strongest member of our team, who in his first battle, got taken up by a half orc who used his oversized bow to shoot me like an arrow as I brandished my axe to strike down our first foe…
That was amusingly epic and stupid… Oh and, if you’re searching for people to play with online. I’d be interested, as I’m sure many other viewers would be.
Oh and, did I mention that the Exalted game also covers the mechanics behind procreation in quite a lot of their expansions simply due to certain complications that could arise from it or due to physical pleasures playing part of social intrigues every now and again? It creates awkward moments between players and DM/Storyteller… but also very entertaining ones.
Great post there, If Noah is looking to get into a game of something , i have 2 suggestions following your excellent comment.
One of my favorite RPG’s is Hunter The reckoning since it took all of the Whitewolf universe (Vampires,monsters,werewolves,etc) but instead of playing those supernatural beings, you would play the normal day “Hunter”. Hunters are people like you and me who magically finds out one day that creatures walk among the living in disguise. What you decide to do at that point is up to you, will you go into a murderous rage (all evil must die), will you concentrate on protecting the ones you love, will you become the one who passes judgement on who has the right to live/die? I love the way the game handles the standard “Alignment” system from DnD which gives you classes , instead of the usual “Lawfull good, neutral, etc)
Anyways, back to the gameplay. Right away, hunters are at a disadvantage since a Vampire in usually 10 times stronger than any normal human being so the group of hunters must use strategy and quick thinking to bring it down. Or prehaps your team will want to try to convert this vampire into an powerful ally …. Or maybe you will find the perfect way to bribe him to leave town ,etc … I love the fact in this game that unlike DnD, it is almost impossible to become God-like … Some avid DnD player once told me .. In DnD, you may at one point get so powerful that you could be facing an army alone and still manage to pass through them (magic armor , feats , magic ,etc) and for me, being an overpowered machine was always a turn off … This brings me to my 2nd favorite RPG Warhammer – Fantasy roleplay: This was my 2nd fantasy roleplay experience after DnD and i must say, the class system in this is way better (in my book) than the class system in DnD. Now i am not an expert in the subject, but i remember 15 years ago , first time playing DnD … i could choose between a Warrior , a barbarian , a Wizard, a priest , a Ranger and a Rogue …. Back then , you could specialize into a field if you wanted but you only had a few choices. I then later discovered Warhammer – Fantasy Role play …. What i loved about this game VS DnD is that everything is found in 1 book …. not 3-4-5 so for a 14 year old kid, having to pay for 1 book instead of 4 was a big deal at the time …. And much like Hunter : The reckoning, you can die very quickly if you are not careful. I think the highest HP i saw was for a class called the Mercenary which gave you a + 8 HP , combined with your starting 4-5 HP , you can see that you will not survive very long if you are not careful , which to me, is much more realistic, forcing you to think out of the box on more occasions than one.
Ironically, the game i played the most with my friends is DnD and I have to say it’s my least favorite in the bunch …. Someone like me, who is a casual tabletop gamer, I prefer to focus on having fun, rather than following rules and right from scratch, when you have a game which asks you to memorize 2-3 books worth of content, it doesn’t take long before people start arguing about small details, ruining the experience for me (That’s what happened to me , twice i ended up leaving the group)
I strongly suggest newcomers to consider the 2 games i mentioned if you’re starting out
Hunter the Reckoning: http://www.zadokpc.com/images/Hunter-the-Reckoning-1.jpg
Warhammer Fantasy roleplay : http://www.kmant.com/RPGPictures/WFRPRulebook.jpg
And Noah, if you are looking for players (would have to be online, being in Montreal) Let me know.
I love Descent! I wish I could play it more often, now that I think about it…
IDroo is pretty cool if ppl are planing on playing something like D&D over skype.its a white board so the players just need pugs for their guy/gal while the gm/dm can scan maps pick them up online ,or if your good with software like photoshop/gimp make their own no problem.
If you see a copy of the warhammer fantasy 1st ed on ebay or the like.its pretty much a self contained book with everything you need to know and a short adventure in the back .2nd ed is also a great game and im playing in a enemy within game over skype at the moment.but once you pick up the book you can hit a lot of the fan site like mad alfreds ,strike to stun, warpstone and many more for adventures or some help making up your own .
Anybody who every played either warhammer fantasy battle or 40k will pick this up in no time since they have the same kinda stat line.but anybody can pick it up very quick and when your starting out you want something the players can get their heads round and isnt to abstract, as it will get in the way of the games or confuse the players.im not talking down to new gamers it happys to me all the time and im playing since 1986 lol
D100 games are good to start out with and yes i know somebody out there hates them lol thats the nature of rpg`s ask 100 gamers what their top 5 rpg`s are and you`l tend to get a good mix of views.but new gamers get D100 right away the understand having 70% in something means your very good at it while having 11% in another means your kinda crap at that thing whatever it happens to be.players get that right away they arent asking well i have x in y is that good enough or can i do this .
World of darkness is also pretty good since you have dots for your stats/skills, mostly between 1-5 1 being poo and 5 being your an expert .the only down side to that game is you kinda need to all agree on what you will all be player either vampire,werewolf,mage ect.but ppl know what a werewolf or a vampire are on some level so they have an in .which is great because the gm/dm can get everbody up to speed without the players feeling confused about their motives and concept.
So id look into those game`s if your just starting out .but also hit youtube ppl theres a lot of great videos up there reviewing rpg`s and giving advice for players as well as the gm/dm,how to age maps so they look old and beat up world building loads of stuff.they are very helpful for the most part so if there`s something your not sure of just ask .nobodys going to look down at your for asking a question no matter how dumb it may seem at the time ,it just shows your interested and trust me gamers will and have talked for manys an hr about the games they play lol
For the “board game” alternative, I’d suggest the free game Dungeon Plungin’ http://www.oversoul-games.com/oversoul_download.html It’s easily convertible to a full RPG, but by the rules, is pretty much straight H&S
Spoony, KEEP THIS UP.
And for the rest of you, I add this humble list of RPGs based on themes. It is by no means a complete list, merely suggestions and a few odd-ball ones to give you an idea how many choices you really have.
-A Song of Ice and Fire, a RPG based on The Game of Thrones series of books. A pretty decent game, with additional rules from starting your own House and running a castle!
-Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing Game, based on the popular miniature game. Thick with dark gothic themes and a VERY rich background, WFRP is a complex but fun system to play.
-Traveller, one of the original sci-fi RPGs. Based on a distant future where mankind rules the stars through the Third Imperium, surrounded by aliens and strange world. The character creation system is one of its best features, as you start not as a young explorer with few skills but as a trained and experienced professional.
-Star Frontiers, TSR’s sci-fi system. Created by the same people that first made D&D, Star Frontiers is an old favorite of mine. Out of print, you can find it for FREE as a download on certain websites.
-Call of Cthulhu, THE best horror RPG on the market. No one comes close. No one. The game emphasizes thinking and planning far more than combat…especially since nearly everything in the game can kill even experienced players EASILY. It also has a system when death is the least of your problems…
-Vampire (add words here), White Wolf’s vampire-based modern horror game. You take the role of a vampire in (mostly) modern day that belongs to a cabal of ‘clans’, each with different powers and agendas. A very political game.
-Gamma World. While I’m not a fan of the newest version, this game is pretty much the standard for all the rest. You play on an Earth recovering from a massive nuclear war. Mutants, lost technology, racist rednecks…you name it.
-Rifts, one of the most complex RPGs ever made. After a massive World War III, dimentional rifts appear all over the planet, dumping magic and monster everywhere and nearly wiping out civilization. In the game you play one of MANY possible races and classes trying to survive on this new and twisted Earth.
-The Morrow Project, a small but well made After the Bomb game. You play a trained professional that was put in cryo-freeze just before the nuclear war, and you wake up in this new world to help re-establish civilization. It has bar-none THE most realistic combat system ever made for a RPG (it actually takes in account for hydroshock from bullets).
-Champions. With it’s own MMORPG and years of development, Champions is one of the most detailed and character-controlled RPGs on the market. You can actually custom design your powers.
-Mutants and Masterminds is a RPG very much like Champions, but I recommend it mostly because they offer a lot of free online content you can download.
-Mekton is a RPG for anime giant robot fans. EVERYTHING about a mech can be modified and designed in this game, and the combat system is easy to use.
-Big Eyes, Small Mouth is a popular anime-style ‘base system’, as in there is no background or story. You just make whatever you want and use the rules. The Sailor Moon RPG uses this system.
-Legend of the Five Rings, easily one of the best RPGs I have ever seen. Based on the popular card game, L5R has an amazingly rich background, gameplay that make POLITICS fun, and one of the most lethal combat systems ever created.
Anime: What? No Maid? Shame on you.
Another great site for people looking for players in their area is: Penandpapergames.com
Very friendly folks over there!
For people wanting to get into a fantasy type RPG, Pathfinder came out with a great beginner box that can show you how to play with or without friends.
I have played quite a bit of Descent with various addons and I am the GM for a campaign with the campaign addon which we have almost finished. The base game is really great and the ice themed addon (don’t remember the name right now) has some good new monsters as well as really great adventures. One thing to note is that in this game the GM’s only goal is to kill the players without mercy and you have to do that or you won’t have a chance later on due to the way the equipment changes the players strength.
Carrying over equipment from one adventure to the next means the GM has no chance at all unless you adjust monster stats. The campaign does just that by adding several tiers to each monster that the GM has to buy for XP he gets by killing heroes. But the campaign also takes very long and has even bigger problems because by the end the heroes become such insane killing machines that again the GM has pretty much no chance against them.
I’d suggest using normal adventures with the tiered monster cards in the campaign addon or houseruling some stuff about the monsters.
there’s a similar thing to hero quest called star quest. It’s the same idea, but set in the future (very, veeery similar to the warhammer 40k universe). Everyone plays a small squad of his faction and of course there is a dm who plays the badies.
Also with campagin rules, also with equipment and all that stuff.
Nice thing, if you are interested in rpg, but more in sci-fi than fantasy and generally nice, if you like tactical board games like hero quest.
It’s not that easy to find, since there’s a bazillion of games called the same name. But with some research, you might find it or you can write me, i guess.
If he wants a live game in Maricopa, he could join my pathfinder game set in Mystara.
You were discussing before about how you’d enjoy being able to get a D&D game set up online. Some friends and I would really enjoy doing so with you, I’m positive I have enough people interested to get a real game going. If your interested, go ahead and ask for my email
That character on your shirt… is that Bayou Billy?
Why yes it IS! And he is unleashing his ultimate move, the only move is his masterful hand-to-hand arsenal with the amazing power to FIND THE FUCKING HIT BOX! Yes, this is his ultimate move, the only weaponless attack that can actually hit anything.
Kinda reminds you of old Resident Evil games.
Hero Quest: Untold hours wasted – but it was totally worth it XD !
Another nice gateway game I bought some years after Hero Quest was this D&D Diablo 2 box, a simplified version of 2nd edition AD&D using premade characters (all Diablo 2 chars save for Druid and Assassin of course) that start at level 2 (to give them a slight HP boost I guess) and can go up to level 5. It was fun playing around with the random loot tables, and tokens and lots of dungeon tiles (albeit rather basic ones, but I’m fine with that) are always good to have.
And good that you mention Pathfinder (which I also like A LOT). They recently released a Beginner Box that is basically like WotC’s new Red Box, only better as far as I’ve heard.
Curious people who want to check out D&D (or Pathfinder), but aren’t convinced enough to buy a book yet might want to check out retro clones. Those are (usually free) games that emulate specific editions of D&D. Sure, those older editions have some rules that newer players might find weird (like having races as classes, or racial level limits), but the rules are usually a lot easier than current-gen D&D (even though older editions have less unified mechanics). My faves are Labyrinth Lord (a clone of the original redbox, with an expansion to incorporate the best components from 1st AD&D) and Dark Dungeons (a nice clone of the Rules Cyclopedia, which means that it has rules for realm management and becoming a GOD, so it’s perfectly suited for even the longest of campaigns).
While not strictly a retro clone, I’ve developed quite a liking for “Mazes & Minotaurs”. It’s an “alternate reality” version of original D&D (albeit with more unified and streamlined rules) based on Greek mythology instead of western fantasy. Pretty fun ^^
Pathfinder just released a product called well the beginning box for beginning players to get started, I started dm,ing in a similar fashion with a 3rd edition version. http://paizo.com/beginnerbox.
Would highly recommend pathfinder, it really is the best of the 3rd ed ogl games.
Anyone trying to get into a game or willing to run games, hit me up on skype. Part of a rather large Skype group that runs/plays tabletop, got room for roughly six people currently, it might take a week to hook you guys up with a game, but you’ll probably find something.
skype name:Grandma Goodness
We’re perfectly cool with people who are new to tabletop, just don’t be an asshole to the other members and you’ll be fine.
how do u play tabletops over skype?
There don’t need to be actual visuals. Just use a dice-rolling program for dice rolls. The Dungeon Master is the only person who really needs the visuals (map, etc). He/she describes the visuals to the players, so it’s all good.
Pretty much, it also depends on the DM’s style. Some people like to have Gametable or Maptool type stuff, which lets the players actually see their surroundings. Others go really narrative-heavy, no real map to speak of and some verbose descriptions. Granted, certain systems lend themselves better to certain styles of DMing. There’s no real RIGHT way to go about it.
I might be interested, depends on what you guys play. I’m not really into the whole 4 ed, and Pathfinder’s still annoying at times with the changes (and the act that I don’t remember 3rd ed rules even that much). I’m big on old AD&D, however with lots of house rules and using all of the optional rules like Combat and tactics and whatnot. WoD is awesome, in any edition really.
Currently we’ve got GURPS, nWoD and 3.5 running, but I know there’s a DM that loves the crap out of Call of Cthulu and would kill for more players. I don’t think we’ve got any AD&D DMs currently. Just drop me a line on skype, I’ll get you in.
hey spoony awesome video i have friends who wanted to be introduce into rpg so now i can tell them what to do and if you play online for the rpg by skype and the other programm you mention im interrested so heres my adress : email@example.com
Is Pathfinder better than Iron Heroes?
Pathfinder is always worth trying out, check out http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ for all the info you need.
All in all, it boils down to just how many people you can find.
I’ve always lived in an area where roleplaying was either nonexistent, terrible or limited to small and air-sealed cliques of pretentious snobs; it took me the longest while to find people live that were even somewhat intrigued and with which I could have fun, and even then it never lasted long for a variety of reasons.
Spoony rightfully didn’t talk about a game system to start from, and that’s because roleplaying is a group activity: having fun is all a matter of being with people that want to have fun, that you like playing with and who have fun in a way you can share.
I’ve got a question for you, as someone building his very first character sheet in D&D 4 (I’m starting with essentials).
I’ve got a Halfling Rogue with 20 +5 DEX and 16 +3 CHA. Should I start with Weapon finesse and Feigning Trick considering my CON is only 11? I guess I should only use it if I’m guaranteed to finish some one off with a 20 +8 deathblow, especially in situations where I can’t get to cover. I’m determined to use my charisma, dammit! I paid good starting points for it.
I can also combine escape artist with Backstab, then get Sneak attack at a later level. Does any of this sound good? I’ll take any advice you give me, anything is helpful.
Meetup.com is a great way to find any number of people grouping together, role playing included :)
Been RPing for many years, just never played with D&D and stuff like that (Well I played someones character once for a few hours). I would love to try and get groups together or online, I RP just stories stats and so on where always troublesome. Though I did get started in DragonballZ RPGs back on MSN Groups.
Love these vids Spoony.
Thanks for the info, my friend got me into the D&D Lordkat does and gave me an interest in playing the game. Jumping into the game with no prior experience is overwhelming though as there are tons of books and resources out for 4th edition. As a side-note this counter monkey series is extremely entertaining.
I purchased the red box to try to get my friends into it a couple months ago. They weren’t too into it, but its a great product nonetheless.
Nice to see you are playing Pathfinder Spoony, it’s my favourite version of D&D by far.
I am currently making a campain to run for my friends and I am watching all your Counter Monkey vids for tips on how to be a good DM (I have picked up several pieces of useful info so far).
Thanks for being awsome as always, hope to see the epic conclusion to FF X-2 soon.
With all these online D&D session offers, I’m surprised you haven’t setup some sort of “Get DMed by Spoony” lottery or something like that yet. You could make it a contest or something where you pick out some of the most interesting players and then have a session of D&D with them. That’s really up to you though.
Anyway, I really liked this video since there’s alway a lot of questions involved when starting a new game (even MMOs) on what to do first. I’m actually going with a friend to a D&D Meetup this Saturday in Manhattan to try D&D 4th edition for the first time and I’m hoping it goes well. I even finished my character sheet last night that I had been working on and off with ever since I bought the books a year ago. I really hope Saturday will be fun and give my friend and I a chance to learn more about D&D. :3
got descent on your reccomendation converting pounds to dollars its $115 ouch
now i just need to pressgang a couple of my freinds….
i at least managed to get one pal into D&D esentail
Pathfinder is NOT a fix of 3.5!! I am tired of seeing people claim that, when casters were made stronger in Pathfinder and melee fighters were made weaker with the whole branching feat bullcrap (“Fighters vs. Wizards” was a HUGE problem in 3.5/3rd edition D&D), not to mention them adding numerous changes just for the sake of change that don’t even allow the backwards compatibility to 3.5 that they so boasted about…
Um, hate to break it to ya, but Pathfinder toned down a lot of the stronger spells(noticeably excluding Fireball) & added a ton of feats to boost warrior types. Druid got toned down a bit(mostly in the wild shape department). It’s a noteworthy improvement over 3.5.
It’s got a few flaws though. The worst offender is the Combat Maneuver Bonus/Defense system. Were it not for a critical design flaw, it would greatly improve game play mechanics. And, hell, it’s easy to fix that problem via a simple house rule, so eh.
In my experience of the various d20s systems, it’s kinda hard to mesh various d20 materials(even 3.0 & 3.5 didn’t go together very well). There weren’t many book WotC 3.5 classes worth playing. The okay classes outside Core & Psionics were Binder, Crusader(kinda-ish), Duskblade(kinda), possibly Ninja(if you had the right splat material), Swordsage, Warblade, & maybe Warlock(& only with Complete Mage & Dragon Magic). That’s pretty much it. Of those, the only ones you can’t break out the conversion guide & use are Ninja & Warlock, and that’s because they were kinda sucky to begin with(but not as bad as other 3.5 classes).
What I don’t get is how you would expect anything to improve & be backward compatible with an inferior system. A lot of 3.5 stuff doesn’t work well with 3.0, so logically the same would apply to Pathfinder & 3.5. However, I could just be misinterpreting your statement. Could you elaborate on your backwards compatibility statement citing examples for clarification?
Fireball isn’t exactly what you would call a strong spell. It’s pure damage, which is basically what is the role of other classes in the game (Fighter and Rogue), and I find it surprising that someone managed to tell me that some strong spells weren’t nerfed at all (Hold Person being an example)
Also, instead of exhausting myself (since English isn’t my native language and I sometimes have trouble explaining stuff properly), I will simply drop this and let all those who still think I am automatically wrong take a good read from someone who knows what he is talking about. http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/User:Quantumboost/Reasons_Why_Pathfinder_Is_Not_Good
The thing about Fireball is that it was largely kept untouched throughout the various editions of D&D. The problem is that 3e greatly boosted the overall HP values (player characters and NPCs basically capped at 9 HD and only got +1 or +2 HP every next level, without Con bonus or anything).
Still, Fireballs are still nice to have, or do you really expect fighters and rogues being able to clear an entire room of enemies XD ? Plus, if you give the enemies a bit of intelligence and self-preservation, they will think twice about leaving their cover if some crazy wizard is throwing fireballs around.
As for this links:
– I’ve actually heard some people complain that the PF cleric got nerfed. So much about that.
– Stand Still has become a more offensive feat. You no longer stand around and stop people from passing you by (that’s what polearm wielders with Improved Trip and Combat Reflexes are for). You rush the enemy and make it harder for them to get away from you.
– He complains that casters have become more powerful, yet he also complains that it’s now easier for enemies to get to them.
– Pretty much every multi-legged creature in Pathfinder gets a bonus against trip attacks, which makes sense if you think about it. T-Rexes and other big creatures are definitely too massive to get tripped by a 6-foot-dude with a sword. You need Monster-Hunter-style teamwork for that to work.
– “Its combat system is completely different”… What Oo ?
– Entangled hasn’t changed much in PF.
– Grease actually lasts LONGER in PF.
– Hideous Laughter just added a Saving Throw each round, making it less “Save or Die”-ish.
– Hold Person has the EXACT SAME DESCRIPTION AND EFFECT in PF as it had in PF.
– It’s obvious that some 3e feats can’t be used in PF without tinkering. Just look at how similar feats changed.
Okay, a few counter-arguments since it seems that even an expert’s words didn’t convince you.
Rogues and Fighter are EXPECTED TO DO THE PURE DAMAGE. Casters in general have more focus in combat utility, and not using that potential is moronic. You don’t need a munchkin to figure something out WHEN IT’S COMMON SENSE.
I took Stand Still for my Paladin in Pathfinder once, and I NEVER got to use it. EVER. (Our DM is VERY savvy about Attacks of Opportunity)
Casters are stronger, but monsters getting to them has always been an issue since smart monsters ignore the melee fighters in favour of dispatching the dangerous caster. It’s in 3.5 and in PF…
Grease used to give Rogues a chance to Sneak Attack a target. Doesn’t do so in PF.
And you just proved my point with Hold Person. It’s an overpowered spell in most cases, but it wasn’t nerfed in Pathfinder.
Why is this Quantumboost an “expert”? Because he’s a Pokémon fan ^^ ?
Fighters are there to take damage and provide a constant stream of damage. Rogues are there to position around enemies and stab their backs. Caster are there for utility spells and “spike damage” for times were you really have to deal huge amounts of damage in a short time.
You never got to use Stand Still? Weird, you’d think evil creatures would try to get the hell away from a smiting Paladin…
The issue you’re pointing out is a result of a rather abstract combat system (1 round in older editions used to be 1 minute, which means that your single attack roll actually represented several attacks and blocks) into one based heavily on distance and position (older editions didn’t even use grids at all).
I presume if they made stopping enemies easier, it’d be the players who would suffer the most, since they are usually either vastly outnumbered or facing giant monsters with a lot of reach.
Grease STILL allows a Sneak Attack: You need to make an Acrobatics check if you want to move through the Grease, and using Acrobatics to move makes you flat-footed. So for people caught in the grease, it basically means “Move and you’ll die!”
Sorry for misreading his complaint about Hold Person (but why is he complaining about not nerfing Hideous Laughter if Hideous Laughter was nerfed). I wouldn’t call it overpowered “in most cases”, since it ONLY works on humanoids. And it can be used for Sneak Attacks ^^ !
Overall, most of these complaints can be applied to 3e as well (and partially to older editions, who are not really known for their perfect balance). It’s not that Paizo made the game worse, they made it too much like 3e for compatibility reasons.
But really: D&D was NEVER a perfectly balanced game (except for maybe 4e, but that edition sucked all the life out of it).
It made warrior like classes are hell of a lot more powerful and useful. They added a fix or patch if you will. However the problem with caster will always be an issue for one problem.
Level 20, I cast a spell that ends the world, bends reality, stop time. The warrior, he hits harder.
There is no true way to ever balance a mage. If you do, then the mage no longer feels like a mage, “My experience with 4th edition” when that is the expectation. However, pathfinder was a great step in the right direction.
I’d disagree about 4th Edition spell casters. They tend to have a reasonable amount of power and choices. A wizard’s biggest strength is their versatility. Fighters don’t exactly just hit harder, but once they hit 11+ or 21+ get into crazy super human skills and feats deserving of Achilles or Beowulf.
Melee fighters have gotten weaker? Let’s see…
3e Fighter: A boring class without any unique benefits except for a few fighter-only feats most players didn’t care about because they only took 1 or 2 fighter levels for additional feats before switching to Barbarian or another class that didn’t suck.
Pathfinder Fighter: One feat EVERY level, Will bonuses against fear effects, lower armor penalties, the ability to specialize in specific weapon groups AND some sweet abilities at the last two levels.
And that’s not even going into the new/revised feats, like Vital Strike or the improved Cleave feats that finally fix the problem of high-level melee fighters losing a lot of their damage potential if they move more than 5 feet per round.
And “backwards compatibility” doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have to tweak a few things. What are these changes that make it so impossible to convert, anyways Oo ?
The feats are weaker, dude.
Improved Trip in 3.5e is a lot stronger than in PF, and PF demands you to waste more feats even though you get more of them. What kind of fix is it that you get more feats, but feats in general are weaker than they used to be? Also, I never found it boring to play a melee-focused Cleric in 3.5 (hell, I only healed when we finished combat) and the 3.5 and PF Fighters play exactly the same (except PF doesn’t have the Shock Trooper feat and such)
And really? You are just praising the feat system instead of answering to the issue I was presenting. Also, the CMB/CMD system makes many feats from 3.5 very hard to carry over to PF, and so are some of the magic-related ones due to all the stuff they later added to PF in Ultimate Magic and other books.
The armor penalties were not an issue in 3.5, so why are they considered such a huge fix? There’s one good question I have to ask.
Why not simply use Shock Trooper from 3e?
And what feats are weaker? Do you believe that PF’s Cleave and Great Cleave are worse than their 3e counterparts?
The CMB/CMD system is actually a rather unified system. Shouldn’t be too hard to carry over feats if you look how PF changed the core ones.
I consider the reduced armor penalites for fighters a fix because it allows DEX-based fighters to run around in heavy armor and still get their full DEX bonus to AC ^^
I have to ask if anyone else has the the movie The Gamers? funny DnD movie, am I the only?
I own it and its sequel, Dorkness Rising. Fantastic and fun low budget flicks. Well worth showing for a close, and funny approximation of how RPGs are played and some of the types that play them.
I know how direct this sounds. But there’s that old gaming idea from an old DM which he never finished, and I try to make that game. So I am looking for people who would help me to testplay and develop it. You as a experienced DM and roleplayer of many games would be the absolute messiah for our cause.
contact me over skype or email: Skype=joshithedrako firstname.lastname@example.org
I mostly agree, but that descent game he was talking about is horribly broken in the campaign expansion.
The red box was how I got started, and it was a great intro. I completely agree with Spoony.
Honestly, in my experience the hardest part is getting a group together (and subsequently, keeping it together). Actually playing and running a game is pretty simple. As long as the group you’ve got is willing to stumble through the game together, you can learn on the fly and have a pretty good time doing it.
Another system I like a lot that Spoony didn’t cover here is GURPS (Generalized Universal Role-Playing System, by Steve Jackson Games), for a few reasons:
A. You can use it for anything; the same set of rules and the same books for any setting or mixture of settings. You don’t even have to get other sourcebooks if you don’t want to. The same two core rulebooks will let you run any kind of game you want, from a D&D-style fantasy RPG, to a dark horror game, to a cyberpunk game, to an old west game. Hell, you could do a Capitol Hill-themed political game if you really wanted to (no idea why you would, but you can do it).
B. By RPG standards, it’s dirt-cheap. You can pick up the source books online for $20-30 each (and the supplements tend to be even cheaper, depending on where you get them), and there’s a free version available online that contains the basic rules, so not everybody needs a copy of the player’s handbook to start up a game. Just google GURPS Lite and you can get a PDF copy for free. And to top it all off, the game only uses 6-sided die for its rolling mechanics, which you can easily get at your local dollar store, 10 for a buck.
Anyway, that’s my two bits. I’m really liking this series, Spoony. I hope you keep it running. :-)
Now this maybe an odd but quick question, do old-schoolers and just rpgers in general of D&D accept the use of homebrew races/classes? I’m only asking because I have a firm grasp of the basic gameplay and some of the rules but in my search I found reference of a lot of homebrew creatures and classes that seemed really exotic and cool. An example of what I mean is on DnDwiki called Warforged Doll, a tiny race of warforged that suffer some nasty penalties and have to use custom weapons but seem like a really interesting idea to try.
I guess it’s just a matter of balance. As long as the homebrew race or class is not overpowered, most players and GMs should be fine ^^
For those want to know more about Hero Quest can check this video.
Most probably know about him already but you can see how it plays.
Hey Spoony, I’m sure plenty of your fans would like to do D&D with you. You could take character apps and then upload the sessions as videos.
Glad to hear you like Pathfinder, Spoony. In your 4E review, I got the impression you weren’t a big fan of 3rd Edition. I personally loved 3rd, but it did have its problems (wizards/clerics/druids are gods by level 10, everyone else is left in the dust).
Pathfinder is a big improvement, IMO. I’d take it over 4th Edition any day (although I do recommend 4 as RPG “training wheels”, due to its simplicity, and it is still fun to play).
It’s kind of funny seeing your facial hair progress from video to video
I got into it from this guy I know who plays Rifts, the notorious “all genre” rpg. The classes and the rules seem all over the place and trying to DM for that game can be hard because it’s so huge you need several books in order to get a good game going. Having only played like one or two games (which were really fun btw) I dunno if I’d be up to DMing or such. Problem is the place I moved out to, NOBODY at the local game store plays RPGs, they all play Warhammer.
Don’t let the complexities of a clusterfuck like Rifts dissuade you from trying to DM other RPGs. Just as there are games we all like playing and we grasp easily, there are RPGs that come easier for us to GM/DMs. For example, I could never GM a Call of Cthulhu game. I love playing CoC, but my personal gaming philosophy (if the players are clever enough and work like a team they can overcome any obstacle and defeat any foe) means that I would be at disadvantage in telling a proper, bleak Lovecraftian tale. But that doesn’t stop me from GM/DMing other RPGs (Mutants and Masterminds, D&D, Pathfinder, etc).
So don’t give up. You just need to find something that fits your style. Now as for finding a group….have you tried meetup.com? That’s how I find groups in my neck of the woods. Maybe it will work for you?
I remember heroquest, I think we might still actually have it. another board game is Talisman, which is like an advanced heroquest in a way. Heroquest was how I knew I’d like being a dungeon master.
Nope. I still have some of the figures but too much of it was broken so we scrapped it.
4th edition is by far the most accessible edition of D&D for new players, and is likely one of the easiest role playing systems to DM. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention any of the D&D tabletop games. Both Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft are easy ways to transition into D&D. The rules for those games are basically streamlined versions of 4th edition D&D and it comes with high quality dungeon tiles and miniatures that could be easily re-purposed for use in a real campaign.
I miss your livestream campaigns, you should do more of that. DO MORE OF THAT YOU HEAR!?
HOW TO PLAY A TABLETOP RPG (FLASH BAKED VERSION)
Most tabletop RPGs are based on a D20 system, which means the majority of outcomes will be determined by a twenty sided die.
Whenever a character decides to attempt an action with a chance of failure, the player rolls a D20. It will generate a number between one and twenty. In the extreme case where the die comes up a twenty, there is almost a guaranteed chance the character will succeed at whatever action is being attempted. In the hazardous case where the die comes up a one, there is almost a guaranteed chance the character will fail the desired action, horribly.
Now, depending on the type of character you have created, you will gain an bonus or penalty to your roll. If you are a fighter-type character rolling a D20 to determine if you strike an enemy, you will gain a major bonus to your roll; increasing the liklihood of success. However, if the same fighter is rolling a D20 to determine how well he understands alchemy, it may prove to be difficult. You could design your character to breach certain parameters, but your character can only specialize in a limited number of different tasks. It becomes quickly apparant that certain characters will have higher bonuses to rolls than others, depending on their specialties.
So now you understand that a D20 die is rolled whenever you want to see if your character passes or fails at a task.
You want to climb a wall without falling? Roll a D20.
You want to jump over a pit? Roll a D20.
You want to see if you character dodges a fireball? Roll a D20.
There are other rules that enable your character to try these challenges WITHOUT ROLLING, but those rules are very specific and apply only to certain situations. By default, you need to roll a D20 to determine if a risky action is successful or not.
Each D20 is given a label to identify what action is attempted. For example, if you wanted your character to jump over a pit, you would roll a JUMP roll. It’s a D20 roll, but you add JUMP bonuses to the result to see if you pass a checkpoint called a DIFFICULTY CLASS or DC. Depending on how you designed your character, he/she may have either a bonus or penalty to the JUMP ROLL.
If that pit is really small, the DC won’t be very high. A low D20 roll coupled with a JUMP bonus will almost always see you succeed. However, if that pit is really large, the DC would most likely be a number above 20 (meaning it is mandatory to have a JUMP bonus coupled with a high D20 roll in order to have a chance at success).
You make ATTACK ROLLS to see if your character succeeds at striking an opponent in combat. The more armor, dexterity and defensive bonuses the enemy has, the higher the ATTACK ROLL needs to be in order to deal damage.
You make REFLEX ROLLS to see if your character succeeds at dodging a trap being lauched in his/her direction. The more clever and dangerous the trap, the higher the DC.
This D20 rule is a major aspect of the game. The hard part is reading the rules to figure out what adds or reduces the final outcome of that final D20 result. Another hard part is determining outcome. We know that you rolled a D20 result high enough to strike that evil dragon, but the question is, how much damage do you deal? Depending on what weapon you are using, what type and how much damage is being dealt? What happens if your character gets struck by that trap becuase he/she failed the REFLEX ROLL?
That’s what the PLAYER’S GUIDE or CORE RULEBOOK is all about.
I wouldn’t say that “most” tabletop RPG’s are based on a D20 system. It’s just that there a quite a lot of RPGs based in some way or another on the D20 system (meaning that some use WotC’s D20 system or just happen to use a d20 most of the time). There are probably just as many RPGs based on 2d6, 3d6, W10 or W100 rolls.
What IS true is that the d20 system is rather straightforward and widely known, so you have a good chance of finding other players.
I’m just gonna say this Noah, short and sweet. I love you for this.
I’m a gamer and a GM for about a decade now and I thank you for making this series! Your gaming stories are really enjoyable and I hope you’ll share some more.
I’d like to suggest one other resource for finding a game in your area. Meetup.com is a great place to look, especially if you are living in a place without a local gaming store. I live in Mobile Alabama and there isn’t a store like that anywhere in town, closest place is in Florida.
You should teach. I work in education, so it is meant as a compliment. Very well done and very interesting, Noah.
Well technically Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, and Legend of Drizzt, work like Descent how its random dungeon and encourages exploration and teamwork. What makes those games cool is that they’re interchangeable in that you can use heroes and tiles from one game to another. The only drawback is the lack of Roleplaying in the game, and its more of a hack/slash.
As for the Red Box. I’ve had SO much success with that. I was the only one who actually played D&D, and 2 groups of friends were interested in playing too. So I grabbed a Red Box, and they enjoyed it as I ran them though character creation AND a campaign. Its one of the things I really enjoy about D&D4e, in that its easier to manage, which makes it newbie friendly.
Honestly, I agree with the assessment of Pathfinder. I went from 2nd Ed DND, to 3rd, to 3.5, to 4th and gave up at 4th as it felt too, well, video gamey for me.
Then I finally tried (after turning my nose up to it) Pathfinder. And I fell in love. And to talk about your forum, I actually just got into a Skype/Maptools game via the boards because of my love of Pathfinder!
I also agree that the hardest part is finding players. I was recently trying to get my friends together for a game and could only get 2 people who could agree on a location. Everyone else was suggesting other locations close to them but far from everyone else. So that fell through.
Pathfinder also has a “Red Box” now, called the Pathfinder Beginners Box – http://paizo.com/beginnerbox
It looks awesome.
I highly recommend d&d encounters if your looking for a gaming group. I’ve been going for a year now and I have a wide circle of friends who play all sorts of games other then 4e (which is not my cup of tea). We also go for a drink after games and generally have a good time.
The game itself isn’t usually very well written but the point is more turn up shake some hands meet some people even if you can’t come every week.
Glad to hear you supporting Pathfinder. It really threw me in an earlier video when you seemed to lean towards the 4th edition system. It just doesn’t seem like your style.
I remember being geared up for 4th edition too. I was looking forward to everything they were promising. DMing would be easier, there was going to be a virtual tabletop and a full suite of virtual tools. They were heavily promoting the virtual tools for a while before 4th ed was released. They were still promoting them when I put in my preorder.
Then came the PHB. Gnomes in the monster manual, and Tieflings and Dragonborn in the players handbook should have been all the clue I needed but I repressed that and went on to the game itself. Bought Keep on the Shadowfell and ran it for the group. Tried all the new mechanics and some of them even seemed good on paper. But it falls flat. As you pointed out, they basically make your character for you. They achieved balance sure but in a very artificial way, by forcing all the classes to use roughly the same mechanics with barely enough variation to accomodate their role structure. They just gave up on trying to make the wide array of different game mechanics of previous editions somehow work together.
And you’re right about how spellcasters balance against non spellcasters. You have to put in your time and earn that power, thats how it works. But there’s more. Running a spellcaster properly is also harder work. You have to keep track of a bunch of spells and do a good job of picking the ones that will be useful to you. The non spellcaster classes are much simpler to run. You should get something for all that extra work. A
I see there’s an argument somewhere in the comment thread stating that spellcasters were actually made more powerful relative to prior editions and let me tell you, the basis for that argument takes far too few factors into consideration. Lets compare the fighter and the wizard. The fighter got a huge boost. Improved attack bonuses on multiple classes of weapons alone is a huge bump allowing the fighter more attack bonus to sacrifice for power attacking. The wizard gets almost nothing new (the added specialist powers are mechanically negligible, a number of key spells are nerfed or at least the abusive loopholes are closed, and the new concentration mechanic makes it harder to cast spells in battle and any fighter worth his salt will pick up the new “Step Up” feat which closes off the whole “take a five foot step back and cast a spell” option [Step up allows you to take a five foot step as an immediate action if your opponent takes a five foot step). The new Arcane Bond option for Wizards isn’t anything all that useful either. One extra spell but it comes with a huge cost if you lose your bonded item. Wizards already had a ton of options in 3rd edition for sacrificing their familiar class feature for something useful.
Getting back to 4th ed, I think the most telling thing was how the classes were described on one wiki I visit regularly versus how classes of previous editions were described on the same wiki.
A class description for a previous edition would look something like this:
Barbarian: A warrior of the wilderness. A primitive combatant who relies more on toughness and wild brutal rages than raw skill. Barbarians are uncivilized and undisciplined warriors.
Wizard: Wizards are masters of arcane magic. Wizards spend years of dedicated study mastering the secrets of arcane knowledge amassing and organizing their magic in spellbooks.
Or something like that. If anything, the descriptions were longer.
A 4h edition class description looked something like this.
Barbarian: Primal Striker.
Wizard: Arcane Controller.
Bard: Arcane Leader.
Etc. Etc. And I know that those entries were provided by 4th edition fans. And the thing is, that really is all you need to know to understand what each of those classes are in 4th edition. Role plus power source. Its pretty much the same with powers. Your power is going to do some damage of some type and/or move somebody or one of a few other limited options in combination. Your bonus to attack is going to be your level bonus (the same for all classes) plus the bonus from your weapon/implement plus your bonus from the feats you had to take to keep up with the monsters AC progression plus your primary ability score (being a Wizard means the smarter you are the better your aim is. Being a bard means the more charming your are, the better your aim is, etc).
I wouldn’t mind Tieflings as player characters, since they offer interesting roleplaying possibilities (since you’re a demonic/fiendish freak and outcast, even though you can actually be a good guy), but turning them into an ENTIRE RACE with their own cities and culture? I also hate how their design got A LOT less subtle in 4e. What’s the appeal of playing a “hero” who looks like Tim Curry’s offspring from Legend Oo ?
As for Dragonborn: Lizards. With BOOBS…
As for this “fighter vs wizard”-thing: Not only to you have to be more careful in order to be effective as a wizard, but there’s also only so many spells you can use per day. Fighters on the other hand can chop until they drop ^^
If you let spellcasters get away with the “15 minute day”, you should really consider adding a bit more time pressure to your adventures.
Good points. Really those of us who actually know how to play Dungeons and Dragons could write lengthy essays on why spellcasters are balanced against the warrior types. The 15 minute day is the perfect example. You could go “nova” in one encounter and make the fighter look like a chump but if your DM is worth anything, you’ll pay for that in your next encounter. Your fighter will still be fresh because you wrapped up the last encounter for him and you’ll be half mast. And if you continue this strategy, even at higher levels, that third encounter you’ll be basically a sitting duck. You’ll be chucking magic missiles and rays of enfeeblement at Balors while your fighter is fresh again because he got healed up by the cleric after the second fight and healing is all he needs.
This is perfect timing because I was just recently talking with my friends about this! Thanks!
Oh my jesus christ. As soon as this video started and I was hearing Spoony talk about boardgames that are like D&D I was thinking to myself “I should tell Spoony about Descent, he’d love that game.” Then Spoony pulls out Descent, rofl. Never played DnD but I picked up Runebound and Descent 2 years back and am now making my own quests for descent and playing it every week. Coincidentally the second edition is on its way out so anyone planning to pick the game up should definitely look into it.
I miss living in Denver (though I’m sure our DM has move by now)… I suppose I need to look outside my county for a good P&P group.
i find D&D 4e extremly easy, i suggest ppl who wants to start playing D&D 4e watch how the game plays sens you learn ALOT by just watching ppl play and then get a players handbook and read it! (you don’t wanna be the guy who takes forever on his turns). and if you are not sure about character creator get a D&D insider membership to get the D&D character creator and you can just follow along to make your char
My group likes Pathfinder as well, but we have way too few regular members ot get a decent game going (myself and two others), so we end up doing a lot of other things instead.
Its so hard to get a game going, I’m lucky in that I now live with my roleplaying group but our regular GM is kind of burnt out so I volunteered to start GMing a Dark Heresy campaign (great system, pick it up before Fantasy Flight Games get bored and take it the same way as WFRP). Its been about 3 sessions and I’m so glad I decided to roll a character as well because I am much more a player than a GM. I’ve got positive feedback so far from the players but its like I’m trying to write half of a story with 5 others improvising the rest of it. I was always pretty mediocre at creative writing and this added unknown just doesn’t help. So long as you don’t use it to force any party decisions the GMPC can be a very powerful tool to keep the story you wrote flowing; it allows the party an excuse to go a little crazy and act out their characterisation whilst you keep less important scenes going in the background. This has the added bonus of allowing you to write in player freedom whilst the GMPC attends events that are less important but add to the story-then you can write a cliff-notes version of these events and pay more attention elsewhere.
Hey Spoony, it’s not saying that my messages are being sent on the forum, so I was wondering if I could join your group if your looking for people. My Skype is Wolfknight777.
I love playing DnD, but I rarely get to play and I always wonder if I am playing my character right. XD I rarely get to play so I feel out of touch with my character sometimes.. I like your videos and was glad to hear this video it was very helpful thanks! I am looking for someone to DnD with, but i have no idea where to look. did you mean the message board on here??
My first RPG experience was Starship Troopers, the second was a D&D run with a group of friends I used to have. Currently, my main RPG is Lord of the Rings the Role-Playing Game. To be honest, we don’t exactly follow every rule to the letter, but on the other hand, the handbook is really vague and has some bad writing.
But, I think the highlight of my campaign of killing the With-King’s “heir”, was our Elven mage decided he want to do something odd during an encounter. He tackled a mysterious, black hooded figure that turned out to be a Lesser Nazgul. He survived, but his face after he found out it was a Nazgul was priceless.
when do you normally try to play… ive been wishing I had a group to get together with again now that i’m in phoenix (played for about 2 years in Flagstaff)
Not super experienced, but i do have a pretty flexible schedule.
I would so love to play Pathfinder with you, Spoony. I’m running a game of that myself, and I agree it is definitely a very good system. It’s got a couple of hits and misses, as you mentioned, but the overall core of it is really nice.
I have to bring something up that unfortunately you didn’t. What if you don’t have a gaming store? The closest one to me to literally the next city about three hours away. There’s no game store here. There’s no ability to set up a table and just wait for people. And the ironic part? We have the biggest gaming convention in two provinces (I’m in the province Manitoba, in Canada). Biggest gaming convention, but no gaming stores. It’s like a slap to the face with a wet towel. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t have access to gaming books. I can thank the internet and the used book store, as well as the comic shop, but that’s it. Regardless, it’s a reality we face here.
BTW, LOVE Hero Quest. Absolute favourite board game ever. I played back in Jr. High.
I’ve actually got a couple of ideas floating around in my head for a game/games I’d like to DM at some venture, and some of these modules might help. Thing is I just don’t have the experience in general, plus I’m not sure I’d have the energy to put together and coordinate such a feat. I wonder if these would help kindle a sort of passion to do so.
I mostly use maptool myself. :3
This seems like a good a place as any to put this.
Every time I’ve tried to play D’n’D, it has ended horribly. Either DM’s leaving, or no one showing up. So my D’n’D experience has never really been good. I’d always looking to play more of it. Send me an email if you want me to join your group. My email is email@example.com and I’m on Skype.
Thanx for the info Spoony. I’ve been playing Ravinloft and have wanted to get into D&D proper for a while. Now I just got to get enough people together to play a game.
Thanx for the tips, I’ve been playing Ravinloft for a while and have been wanting to get into D&D proper for a while now. I think I’ll pick up the red box then see if I can get a weakly (or monthly) game going. I just need to find a couple people, and as you know it can be tough getting a game going out here in Mesa. Not exactly the heart of the RPG universe.
I first played D&D when I was in elementary school in the 80’s. So, at least for me, it was kid-friendly, even back then. I loved the game and my thief, Bilbo (shut up). I loved the creativity and imagination of the game.
Hero Quest was my first RPG, and I loved it when I was like 10-12. me and my friends basically wore ours out too. we played through the book a few times, then started making out own maps, using anything else we could find as marker pieces, and ended up kinda making it our own game. At the time none of us actually had played a ‘real’ rpg, and we though the idea of making our own rules and scenarios was our own. Eventually. Then one day one of us found a AD&D book, version 2 I think, ended up incorporating those rules into Hero Quest and eventually incorporating the game pieces from Hero Quest into D&D.
It really was a gateway game for me into RPGing. I am glad you mentioned Hero Quest, it would make me happy to thnk people were sill playing it together.
If you do start up something like a site or group for everybody to play D&D I’d be very willing to join in. I played D&D as a little kid due to my parents having been VERY into it, I haven’t played it since the age of 12. I never played 3.5 my boyfriend is a big fanboy of it and pathfinder. I was born on what he calls 1st edition. I’m willing to play anything to be honest, even games like shadowrun.
its been so long since I’ve done roleplay, I used to do so by post on message boards like 4 years ago. Although it was mainly marvel for years, but I ended up starting with Final Fantasy even. It started as internet chat based, then moved to board style when the chat server we were using went bust. Eventually they started a new chat based system on another site, but no one could keep the room going all the time, which was interesting, they didn’t want anyone parking, but at the same time, no one wanted the room to empty, so it was funny how it went. I have been getting requests from friends I used to roleplay with to post on their new boards, but I just hadn’t had the drive anymore. These days I could probably do more active posting, as I could write, but don’t want to just sit there and stare at the word processor for hours on end.
IMO Micro FUDGE is the best system for narrative role playing, and it’s hardly 3 pages worth of rules. Check it out!
I am one of those people who is listening to these Counter Monkey storys (and loving them BTW), and is now interested in joining or setting up a game of D&D
One vision I do have, I would like to gather friends over and play a D&D styled game but in a YuGiOh setting, and I know it’s one thing to get into the games rules but what about monster creation? especially since monsters in YuGiOh have abilities of their own to build from.
But this does help me, I will be buying the Handbook eventually, thanks Spoony, and keep those stories coming I love hearing them =)
im hoping to get into my first DnD game soon
i will be getting into my first dnd game im hoping to make friends im not really a noob i play baulders gate neverwinter nights and icewind dale so i guess im almost a old scool dnd gamer cause i was raised on the video games im hoping i make some friends
One of my friends told me he plays DND often with his friends and said how they’re also beginners in it and I will be able to join them! :D DND seems like the perfect game for an RPG freak like me!
How I wish I lived in America sometimes (especially phoenix, a chance to start a game with Spoony would be amazing). RPGs just seem far more ingrained into the popular culture over there. In Britain you have to put up with a markup on almost every book because there isn’t as much of a demand (hell my uni doesn’t even have a society). I live in a house of gamers but only because I’m running the game, and I don’t even really want to do it. I’m just doing it to get my fix!
I might also suggest that you check out out the 1981(ish) D&D basic set. You can get it on ebay for under 10 bucks assuming you don’t care about a bit of wear and to this day I maintain that it is the single best game to introduce anyone to any edition of D&D ever printed.
Heck there are 40 copies of it on Amazon.com for as low as two bucks.
The beautiful thing about the old Redbox is that unlike the more recent ‘basic set’ published by wizards is that you can have a campaign that will last upwards of a year using nothing more than a single 64 page book.
Lego has a game out called Heroica. It’s a wonderful starter roleplaying game and the set is fun to build. It unfortunately only takes about 10 minutes to beat, but once you play through it you can make up stories and attach other Lego sets. Super fun!
I’d play with ya, Spoony!
I just bought the beginners box for Pathfinder. It really gives a great introduction and players could theoratically start playing within about 15 minutes. Also, it is consistent with the full Pathfinder games (although some rules are left out) so you can continue playing your character afterwards
Where did you get that Dungeon Crawl Classics book, it looks awesome :)
ive gotten the 4th edition D&D gift set, which, as you know, is the dm guide, the players handbook, and the monster manual. ive also got the primal powers set, since one of my friends loves playing druids, and he knows i hate them, and got me that as a gag gift. ive also got castle ravenloft so i can introduce new players, and ive had mixed success with that tactic, but all-in-all, D&D is pretty damn awesome
I started with hero quest at a friend’s house, and then got AD&D 2nd ed at a garage sale. It was a very good day when I found it at a garage sale
I started playing D&D because of Counter Monkey and I created a bard character for my first ever character and I was nearly killed by a frying pan within the first 20 minutes of the game xD
This may have already been mentioned further down in the comments (I’m too lazy to look through them all right now), but if you’re looking for a cheap way to get into gaming, there are numerous “retro-clone” RPGs available for free (or very cheap) on the internet. Do a search for OSRIC (1st Edition D&D), Labyrinth Lord or Basic Fantasy (Basic D&D) to get started. Also, if you look for OSR blogs (“Old School Revival/Revolution/Ruckus”), you should find an enormous amount of material that people have made up for DIY gaming, as well as a lot of folks who will generally be more than willing to give you some tips on getting started in roleplaying. Finally, if you’re interested in trying some gaming via Google+ Hangouts, look up ConstantCon.
Thanks for doing this Vlog, Spoony. I think more people should get into roleplaying. I’ve been playing with the same group in the same campaign of 4th edition D&D for 2 years now and it’s great fun. They started off as strangers but now we’re all good friends :). I think that a group of new players who really want to table top roleplay should try to find a DM with at least a little experience with the system. DMs are usually good at explaining things to newbies.
Another fantastic game for beginners is Maid: The RPG. I know it sounds kind of stupid at first (and the description on the website for it is AWFUL; it turned me off of the game and I didn’t get into it until one of my friends tried it out and explained it better). The mechanics are very simple (everything that players need to know fits on two sheets of paper if you’re just using the basic rules, and you just need 2d6/player as far as dice goes). Maid is more focused on the character interaction than the combat mechanics, so people who have trouble with math or find all the mechanics in some of the bigger games to be intimidating can play more comfortably. Out of what I’ve played (D&D 3.5, BESM 3e, and this one), this is the easiest to get into because you don’t get slammed with a gajillion options that all sound interesting but you have no idea how they actually perform (as a new player, it is pretty overwhelming to choose feats and such sometimes for me since I don’t have the experience to know what’s actually good).
This game is easy enough to just start a session spontaneously, with no pre-planning whatsoever. Seriously; one night my friends and I were just hanging out, and we had some spare time after dinner, so we all just decided to go play Maid and generate a random story.
The basic idea is that the PCs are maids, but doing maid things doesn’t have to be the focus at all (in my games so far, maid duties are typically just filler activities that players mention their character doing in between more interesting scenes. We spend very little time on that stuff).
Character generation is VERY easy; it’s actually all randomly generated (but open to interpretation, such as one possible trait you can roll is being an angel or a demon, so you get to interpret it as you want). It only takes 30 minutes for the entire party to generate characters, and it’s actually a really fun process because you can get pretty amusing characters and it’s fun to see how the players collaborate in interpreting the traits they roll (like if one player’s character rolls up that they’re siblings with another character, or if a person happens to roll a vampyric robot). Some caracters get hilariously awesome if you’re fond of unusual concepts.
It’s also pretty easy to DM a game (even as a first-time DM, as for some reason I’ve always been the one to DM our games). There’s nearly 20 scenarios in the book, but you can write your own. And the REALLY interesting thing is that you can just randomly generate a story in case you guys are having a spontaneous game. They have random-event charts for all sorts of themes and settings, so you can roll up plot hooks and go from there. Also, players have “Favor” points that they can use to buy random events. This can, admittedly, derail a planned story, or can be made to work in your favor: I ran a game where an assassin was out to kill the Master (the DM PC), and the mansion turned out to have a haunted well in the back yard (players could buy Horror themed random events for one Favor point), so the first few assassination attempts got attributed to the haunted well and drew attention away from the assassin. This was good because Teleporting Lolita Batman and Nationalist Cowgirl Uhura were VERY suspicious of the assassin when she first showed up due to being suspicious of everyone.
My friends usually associate the game with high-octane insanity and a wild, hilarious time, though it does have some random event tables that are more toned down if you just want to do character drama and don’t want aliens showing up or demons transporting you to different dimensions, so it’s very flexible.
Might be a bit late to replay, but whatever XD
Maid RPG is indeed a fine game. If you can get over the fact that you’re going to play a cute maid girl (or a crossdressing boy if you’re “lucky”), you’ll find a pretty neat system: Character creation is random AND fun, the resolution system is easy and universal (cooking contests, flirting and actual combat are all handled the same way) and the DM can always roll at a random table if he get’s out of idea. Heck, even players can force such a roll, making for a truly insane experience.
The setting can also be pretty flexible. A great example from the actual book is a fantasy game where the players are demonic maids taking care of a dungeon. You know, the usual stuff: Repairing traps, getting rid of all the dead heroes, and making sure that the random monsters don’t eat each other XD
It should also be rather easy to adapt the game to a Slice-of-Life setting like Azumanga Daioh, with schoolgirls instead of maids and a teacher instead of a master.
Hey! I was wondering if Spoony could give us more pointer on playing a good rpg session. Maybe help with choosing and managing music, combat turn management, storytelling and implementing it during the game, when to settle fot core rules and when to skip them…. overall experience and hints and pointers for the lesser than great DM’s and players :)
I am not sure that is legal, you need to learn the rules of d20 in a d20 core rule book or players handbook, doing tutorials about it is illegal, note I am in a gray zone about this but that’s what I vaguely think from searching the internet for one.
An excellent video for people starting out. Bravo to you Spoony. I tend to play a lot of Pathfinder and that myself, though at the moment looking for groups to join. If you ever need another player for an online campaign, I’m always eager to take part.
Current, myself and my brother (who is also interested) were never big fans of “Fantasy,” but we managed to find a suitable boardgame for us to try out. Call of Cthulhu Arkham Horror. So far… we’re learning, lol.
Thank you so much for posting all these great videos, Spoony. I used to play in an epic Vampire: the Masquerade LARP when I was first in college, but I transferred to a different school and never found anyone to RPG with. Since I started watching your Counter Monkey series, I finally decided to get my own books for Vampire: the Requiem and play it with a few people as a tabletop. We just had our first session last night (it was my first experience being Storyteller), and I think it went really well! I hope we’ll get to continue with it.
I find the best D&D sessions are when at least half the party is drunk or buzzed. When people play straight, they take it too seriously and it gets tedious quick in my opinion. I remember a D&D game I was DMing where the party had a 6 foot tall Flamingo Skinned Dawrf named McAnus, among normal characters. The party encountered an Ogre, they found it to be a peculiarly bad smelling but….peaceful Ogre, so they throw perfume on it, and McAnus kicked it into the camp fire. Best game of D&D I have played if only for the comedy.
Very smart, very instructive video. You rock man.
A great system I recently checked out was Mutants & Masterminds, a game using the core d20 mechanics to create a super hero game. It has neither levels nor classes, since it’s a pure point-based system. Okay, it does have a level-like thing called “Power Level”, but this mainly limits your offensive and defensive bonuses and makes sure the characters are balanced.
While the rules are a lot easier than D&D (although the wording might be confusing; I recommend calling those “penalties to further damage resistance checks” just damage, since this is exactly what it is; man, I hate it i), it comes with the slight disadvantage of having A LOT more options at character creation. Luckily, the game comes with premade archetypes for the most common kinds of super heroes.
Even if you’re not into supers, you might still want to check this one out: The system is generic enough for all sorts of settings, and you can salvage pretty much every other d20 product for it!
Another personal favorite of mine is the Tri-Stat system by the now sadly defunct Guardians of Order developer, who are best known for their Anime RPG Big Eyes, Small Mouth and the super hero game Silver Age Sentinels. While it can be pretty hard nowadays to get a physical copy of the rules for a sane price, you can still buy them as PDFs, and the penultimate iteration of the rules – Tri-Stat dx – is available for free.
What I like about the rules is that they are pretty easy to get, feel very natural (well, at least for me, since before the last edition switched to a roll-over system, combat in Tri-Stat was a lot like in the German RPG “The Dark Eye”, only a lot easier Oo ), and you only need 6-sided dice!
Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve struggled for years trying to grasp my head around RP. I think my problem mainly was I have never known anyone who was remotely interested–but now, you’ve really given me a much simpler view of it all. Thank you again!!
*touches screen longingly* I want to play these games… I want to play them so very, very much… curse my quiet English town-living! Why are there no nerds around here!? It’s infuriating!
Ironically, I enjoyed this video.
Not knowing alot about D&D it took me about 2 days to finish three character sheets correctly. Because I hope I’ll get invited into a 3.5e campaign.
Where did you go? I bought my hard copy of pathfinder for twenty six bucks on amazon.
I don’t know if this is weird but I listen to his Counter Monkey vlogs like I’d listen to music and have it running in the background while I do other stuff :) Spoony is great!
An FYI, Meetup.com is a GREAT place to meet RP gamers… just check it out if you’re looking to get into the whole genre.
For People that Speak German theres the “Drachnenzwinge (.de)” on their TS are at least 40 Players gaming at once (In this Part of the World thats much…) They even do very good Introductions.
FYI – RPGs in Sweden
Starting roleplaying is rather easy for us Swedes. The government funded “Studiefrämjande” – kinda translates into “Study Support”, wich will grant groups of a few persons a few thousands Krown, that is about a few hundred Dollar or Euro. (about 400 euro/year) This is budget wont cover “beer & pizza” but dice, books, pads, and so forth, not to forget they usually have their own library of old RPGs to burrow and studie rooms if you dont have room at home. Studiefrämjandet will also burrow you instruments for bands, kameras and other equiment to make a movie. All at the cost of taxes, but it keeps alot of people happy getting back on their taxes doing fun stuff. Why would the government do this? Keep happiness higher (Civilizations :P) and spread democracy as you have to be a group of people to start a studie group. There are other goverment agencies that help you doing stuff to and its free to combine giving you quite a budget for almost any freetime hobbies. (pls excuse my english and pro-socialist rant)
Keep going Spoony!
Wish there was something like that for the USA :(
I’m still looking for people to play after a year
Haha, I wish I could get started. I’ll probably have to wait until I leave for college though, because there’s nobody nearby that wants to play. I live in the middle of nowhere. Our high school was built 12 years ago, I shit you not. We don’t even have sidewalks on the main road, so until recently I’ve pretty much been stuck at home.
After listening to a few of these, I’m of the opinion that, barring maybe only the Ultima Retrospective, this is the best thing on this site – just an intelligent guy talking passionately and humorously about something he loves in an unscripted, conversational way. I’m sad that I didn’t find these sooner. I can sit here and listen to him and crochet a scarf all day.
Hey people. A couple of friends and I were discussing starting a D&D game but none of us has any experience with roleplaying. I said I’d find something to get us started, but I don’t have a ton of money to spend on all the handbooks, dice etc. Anyway, I found the Starter Set that Spoony described and the “Rules Compendium” which is a quick-reference rulebook for about £25 together (around $40 US). Basically, my question is: will this be enough to get all 5 of us started? Or will we need the Player Handbook, DM Guide, Monster Manual, Adventure Book etc. to really get the proper experience? Responses ASAP would be appreciated.
I know they give you money, but for fucks sake, it sure needs to be a much better deal then blip or whatever because their hosting service is CRAP…I can´t even watch the older Videos now because of this loading issue, only see a couple minutes of it and then it stops.
This is bullshit.
hmmm it works fine for me, i know i know just because it works for me doesn’t mean it works for everyone. but try to update your browser/flash it might help.
It’s problematic on some browsers. Plus I think it’s kinda slow.
Though JWplayer isn’t much better…
I started up D&D Encounters upon my arrival to my new home area. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s tough, but it’s fun.
Roll20 is a excellent way to play with people online. :)
All the dorks begin to write novels about their own experiences with DND. Guys, get a diary or something, you might as well delete your Twitter in the process, please, apparently you don’t know yet; no one gives a shit.
“You see smoke in the distance and hear steel clashing on steel, what do you do?”
I run away screaming.
What do you mean that wasn’t one of the options? It’s my character, and if I want him to be a total pussy, then that’s what I’m gonna do!
Then you should probably play a thief. Not that kind of thief though.
Nah, a thief would hide nearby, finish off the survivors, and loot everyone.
Or quaff an invisibility potion and loot everyone while they’re fighting.
Or stun them and then loot them.
Or if they’re guarding a chest or pile of loot or something, send the fighter in to play Tag! and then loot them while they’re distracted.
Or get the enemy’s attention from a “safe” distance, get them to come around a corner/over a hill/down some stairs, and then knock them out/kill them. Then loot them.
“There’s gateway games”
Every time I go back to watch old Counter Monkey eps I end up spending more money at Ebay.
Hero Quest really is fun. I’m glad I still have the edition for my country here, because it’s totally rare and very expensive on ebay like so many old board games with miniatures and stuff. I’d guess it’s the same with the english version?