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Erloas
2011-07-04, 10:07 PM
So to preface this, I've DMed very little and mostly know the PF rules and haven't really seen 4th edition D&D yet.

My brother is opening a game shop and I've decided to run periodic D&D games, either as a regular thing to get people coming in, or as a demo. Since this is a format where the games will be relatively short, maybe 1-4 hours, and without consistent players, its not going to be a campaign.

The basic premise is a mercenary guild working in the edge of a big city. That will give me the option to take out smugglers down at the docks, kill a goblin camp harassing travelers outside of town, or infiltrating the house of a local nobleman to steal important documents (that sort of thing). The mercenaries simply take the job and do it, so no having to worry about why people are working together, they'll return to town after their done and it won't seem odd that the next week half the characters have changed and I can go from lower level encounters to higher level ones and back.

I will have a set of pre-made characters of various classes and levels that people can choose from (so we don't spend 2 hours having people build characters and never do anything with them). Although if someone shows up regularly they will have the option of running their own character assuming they have it made up before hand. It also eliminates power gaming and all players will be on a mostly even power level.


So the question is would Pathfinder or D&D 4th Edition be the better choice for this sort of setup? Is one that much easier to teach to new players and scale encounters from large groups to small groups relatively easily.

And is there any suggestions someone could give for doing this sort of thing. I know its going to be a lot of work to set up originally, but at least I don't have to worry about a long story arc.


And on a secondary note, what books and material from each system should the store keep in stock (considering limited overhead so we can't carry $1000 worth of the stuff). Obviously the core books from each set, but I'm not sure about supplemental books, map packs/tiles, miniatures, etc. How does the D&D Monster Vault compare to the normal MM; is there a reason to have the MM instead of the vault, or both? What about the D&D Essentials Dungeon Masters Kit as opposed to the normal DMG book by itself?

hivedragon
2011-07-04, 10:27 PM
PF/3.5 has the vancian spell system which is very fun and filled with detail, however this system requires a lot of strategic thinking. Also spellcasters quickly outshine the other classes.

In your case 4e sounds like the better option. 4e is easier to set up and it's really hard to build a character that doesn't contribute something.

Techsmart
2011-07-04, 10:40 PM
As a 3.5/pf player, i would suggest 4th ed. 3.5 is a fun, open system, but it requires a good bit of setup in the form of teaching new players the rules (which is what I'm assuming you will be doing for now, at least). From what little I've done with 4th ed. it seems to be quicker and easier to get into the game, due to fewer rules to learn, less skills to track, etc. It is also probably better for your brother, since it's probably cheaper and easier to get 4th edition books (helping him make more sales).

Sorcerer Blob
2011-07-04, 11:53 PM
I'll have to third the vote for 4E.

As much of a Pathfinder/3.X fan as I am, it is considerably more complex and takes longer to really learn. Frankly, 4 hours just isn't enough time to give it a demo that'd be worthy of it. And scaling/spontaneously adding or subtracting monsters can be done, but with more work which is harder to accomplish effectively/correctly on the fly. That said, PF/3.X is endlessly customizable and has options out the wazoo.

4E, on the other hand, is relatively easy to pick up, even with all of the combat rules. As stated above, it is really hard to build an ineffective character who doesn't accomplish something meaningful in any battle. It is also a much more forgiving system for players (nothing sucks worse than dying in your first ever D&D game...) It is pretty customizable in that it has a ton of playable races (without LA) and classes and a lot of source material (and a lot of errata..) Your best bet here would to be to try and snag a Free RPG Day adventure or get signed up for the D&D Encounters sessions as quickly as possible. Easy to run, easy to play, and a whole lot of fun.

Now, if you have interest in both systems, by all means play both. Pathfinder is a great rules update to 3.X and is a blast to play. Hell, 3.X is still a blast to play, but sadly (or not, I guess it's up for debate) has WAY too many splat books, many of which are either grossly under or over-powered. Same argument could be said of some of the 4E classes as well, I suppose. I'd encourage trying to run both, or at least find someone to run whichever system you end up not running as I think it'd be a great attraction for your bro's shop.

Curious
2011-07-04, 11:59 PM
I'd have to disagree with the rest of the people here; I personally found the 4e rules very opaque and difficult to wrap my head around. Conversely, Pathfinder isn't really a very complex system when you get down to it. Just tell your players to roll to hit, and ignore things like terrain bonuses, bring in the more complex stuff later. For spellcasters, just give them spontaneous casters.

MeeposFire
2011-07-05, 12:39 AM
The shorter the game the more 4e is the better game for you. 3.5/PF takes more work to do so if you are going to do short games 4e is faster and easier to do. Also the more you change characters the easier it is to use 4e since all characters work under the same system. Switching and changing is easier to new players whereas you need to teach for every kind of subsystem they want to play in 3.5. 3.5 has by far more details that you actually need to keep track of than 4e.

Ravens_cry
2011-07-05, 02:01 AM
Fourth edition is pretty quick to grasp and gives all classes some fun options right out of the gate. It also gives a lot of tools to assist the DM apparently. I do not feel it has the depth that Pathfinder or 3.5 has, but Fourth Edition is a lot more fun for a quick introduction to the concepts of a role playing game. Though I do not think I would go back to it, preferring 3.P, I am glad I was introduced to role playing through the game that is Fourth Edition D&D.

WitchSlayer
2011-07-05, 02:10 AM
They do the whole 1-4 hour session thing for 4e, its called DnD Encounters

TheAbstruseOne
2011-07-05, 02:48 AM
Okay, this started off as a quick post, but before I'd even finished a paragraph I knew it would be a very long one. So I'm going to spoiler all the details behind my reasoning and give the summary now: 4e is better for new or rotating players, while Pathfinder is better for an ongoing campaign like the one you described. Here's the detailed reasoning behind that:


Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition
Pros:
- Every class is as easy to learn as every other (except classes new players won't want to play like Psionic or Runepriest). This counts even if you don't go Essentials-only.
- More adventure support for in-store gaming. Get in on Encounters if at all possible with the next season because it's quick, easy to play/run adventures for 4e meant to introduce new players to D&D while still being interesting.
- Not a lot of confusing advanced rules. There are a few advanced rules that don't come up frequently, but they're few and far between and even those (mounted combat, underwater combat) are pretty easy to learn.
- Balance. Balance balance balance. See Cons for Pathfinder for why this is important in a rotating game.
- Simplified skill system. Again, see Cons for Pathfinder.
- "Officially" supported system. You're playing the current edition of Dungeons and Dragons that's in-print, which means something for a lot of people if nothing else due to brand recognition.
- You have to try really, really hard to kill characters D-E-D dead. A good challenge will drop a character to negative HP, but the character won't be dead. Nothing puts a new player off D&D more than losing a character, and it's really hard to kill a character for good.
- Players always have something interesting to do every turn. Even if they've used all their Daily and Encounter powers, they still have interesting at-will abilities.
- Easy to time out adventures. A session will take between 30-90 minutes per encounter depending on the complexity of the encounter and the amount of time the players spend screwing around. Because of the action economy (see Cons below), every turn in combat's pretty much the same for each character as they do three things: "I move here", "I use this power *roll* I hit/miss, so the power does this *roll*", and depending on class "I heal/mark/curse/whatever this character with my minor action".
Cons:
- The basics are harder to pick up.
- More "junk" needed. Minis, tokens, maps, tiles, power cards, etc. They can get pricy (especially if you go for minis over tokens) and they take up space. But it can be worth it if you see Dungeon Tiles set up with 3D effects using wooden or plastic blocks and painted (even pre-painted D&D Minis) miniatures. It's impressive.
- The At-Will/Encounter/Daily system can be hard for new players to wrap their heads around. This can be helped by using pre-printed power cards in color-coded card sleeves.
- Status effects can get to be a pain to keep track of. Weakened, Dazed, Immobilized, Slowed, Dominated, etc. And that's not counting the class abilities like the Warlock's Curse, Avenger's Oath of Enmity, and every single non-Essentials Defender class having a different Marked ability. There's dozens of ways online to help with this (plastic rings, poker chips, little stickers), but the fact there are dozens of ways to keep track of this makes it a problem worth noting.
- Characters are similar. You pick two random characters of the same Class/Race combo, odds are there's going to be little to no difference between the two on the character sheet. Maybe an 18 instead of a 20 for the prime attribute or one different power choice at a specific level.
- Players (especially new players) are very tempted to "play their power cards/character sheet" rather than their character. If it's not on the character sheet or power cards, many players think it's not an acceptable action. I'm not going to go into too much detail about this one since it's a keystone argument in the Edition Wars and I've actually written a 2000+ word essay on this problem, but in your situation, it's something you should keep in mind while running the game to encourage the players to try actions that aren't necessarily spelled out for them.
- Players aren't as attached to their characters. This is a good thing/bad thing in your environment though, but since 4e characters are so alike, players aren't as likely to get attached to them like a Pathfinder character. This is bad because they won't be as invested in the story, but good if they're going to be playing pre-gens and possibly not playing the same character week to week.

Pathfinder
Pros:
- Basics of the game are easier to pick up. There's a reason most people's first characters are either Fighters or Thieves. The mechanics for those classes are insanely easy to pick up. Roll d20. Add attack bonus. Roll damage if you hit. Rinse, repeat.
- More variety in characters. While you still have a skill system in place, it's more detailed than just "trained/untrained". The feats add a lot of variety. And even though there's typically 2 attributes important for every class, there's rarely one that's completely worthless for any given class. Therefore, even if you have two Human Fighters, there's a lot of potential for variety between the two. A Dex-based agile fighter with Weapon Finesse feels very different from a sword-and-board Str-based fighter which feels very different from a polearm reach fighter.
- One rulebook. You have the massive Core book (or a laptop/iPad with the SRD), you can run the game as long as you have the adventure printed out with monster/NPC stats.
- Forces more creativity. See above in 4e's Cons for more, but basically since potential actions aren't as spelled out for the player, they're more likely to try different things both in and out of combat then consult their sheet to see what their chances are rather than the other way around.
Cons:
- Lots and lots and lots of advanced or situational rules. While Pathfinder's done a good job of cleaning up a lot of it, things like grappling or mounted combat can get very complex very fast.
- Spell system's a pain to pick up quickly. It's very possible to get a new player who wants to play a wizard. The way the spell system is designed makes it hard to grasp quickly and easily, and the combat uses of a lot of the spells aren't easy to figure out. You really need an experienced player to play the spellcaster, even the Cleric.
- Classes aren't balanced. You get a group of experienced players and someone wants to play a fighter, they know what they're getting into in later levels (or play a wizard at lower levels). But you get a bunch of newbs, you WILL hear someone whining and complaining about how their fighter doesn't get to do anything in combat with the wizard throwing spells around like crazy or the wizard complaining how they ran out of cool spells in the first fight or the paladin complaining how the fighter hits harder and the cleric heals better and so on. If you're using pregens, there will be arguments over who gets to play what character because that one's "better" (granted, they'll do this with 4e characters too, but in Pathfinder, the argument has weight).
- Still need junk. Pathfinder isn't nearly as gameboard-based as 4e is, you'll still find combat running much faster and more smoothly with the use of minis/tiles/etc. Unlike 4e though, it is possible to run a Pathfinder game without a map even if it is a headache.
- Everything's more complicated when you get into it. While the basics are easier to pick up than 4e, there's depth to everything. This is one of Pathfinder's strengths as a system, but it's a weakness in a game type like this. 4e's learning curve is steeper than Pathfinders, but Pathfinders is a LOT higher since there's so much to learn.
- Sessions are harder to time out. Because there's more freedom in player's actions, it's harder to figure out exactly how long a session will take, especially with newer players. Because of the added freedom, players will take longer describing what they do in combat and it can be as quick as "I attack *roll* and miss/hit for *roll* damage" or as long and drawn-out as several minutes of action descriptions and checking tables and performing different actions.
- Skills are more complicated because there's more of them. While a lot of 3.5's confusion is gone ("Do I use Spot or Search?"), there's still a lot more going on in Pathfinder's skills that can cause confusion and arguments from newer players. Again, it's Pathfinder's depth coming back to bite it in the ass.
- Death is easier. I know it's sort of a D&D tradition for long-time players to be able to wallpaper an apartment in trashed character sheets, but that's really not fun. Pathfinder's a LOT less lethal than previous editions, but it's still possible to one-hit-kill low level characters (something that's pretty much impossible in 4e). I remember playing in a 3rd Ed game back in my early 20s every week for a year. I got exactly ONE character to 3rd level and that was because I got lucky repeatedly and we started off at 2nd level (the only time I got to play a 2nd level character for the record). The DM was the owner of the FLGS, and he ran 2-3 sessions a week. That meant I had 1-3 new worthless character sheets every single week. It was demoralizing and killed a lot of the fun for me.

Conclusion: Pathfinder will give you a more open-ended gaming experience with more variety, which makes it good for a long-term game with the same players. 4e is very quick to learn and incredibly balanced, making it better for groups of new players or a rotating group of players. This is why I'd suggest 4e over Pathfinder for the type of set-up you're talking about.

As far as what books to carry, that's a harder call since it depends on the market in your area. My suggestion is Rules Compendium, Heroes of Fallen/Forgotten Whatever, and Monster Vault for 4e, and the Core, Bestiary, and Gamemastery books for Pathfinder. Given time, your customers will tell you with their dollars what they want. Knowing gamers though, make sure to have LOTS of dice, dice bags, miniatures, and stuff like that. Gamers are notorious impulse buyers, so if you wave something shiny at them, they'll want it.

Othniel Edden
2011-07-05, 02:48 AM
Yeah, for 4e stuff, I'd probably get the store to sign up with wizard's and run encounters of Wednesday nights, and then have yourself run a change of pace game of pathfinder, perhaps running their APs and then selling them in store. Its effective marketing.

Erloas
2011-07-05, 09:58 AM
Knowing gamers though, make sure to have LOTS of dice, dice bags, miniatures, and stuff like that. Gamers are notorious impulse buyers, so if you wave something shiny at them, they'll want it.
My brother and I have been arguing about that for a couple days now. I've said we need lots of interesting dice and he thinks no one will buy many and just carry the cheapest ones, I've been saying gamers love their dice, you need more options on them.


As for the systems we will carry, we are going to be carrying books for both systems. We'll have to figure out what people are actually buying and adjust, we just need a good place to start from in terms of merchandise. Neither of us are big into RPGs* so we weren't really sure what people buy most after the core books, if its more of the table top things like tiles and models, the crunch books with extra mechanics, or the fluff and background books like Forgotten Realms, or how many people run pre-made adventures.
He'll be signing up for some of the WOTC stuff, which he can qualify for with MTG or D&D players.

*I play them a bit (and I'm here) but I haven't managed to find a game that ever lasts and haven't gotten really into things where I'm out buying a lot of stuff for them.

I didn't know about the D&D Encounters thing, I'll have to look up some more on that.

We're primarily Warhammer players and so we will have a lot of painting and modeling things and should have a decent amount of terrain.


And from what I've heard, it does sound like 4th Edition is the way to go for this. Which is kind of what I thought having heard some of the "complaints" about the system, but I haven't actually picked up any of the books or learned the system at all yet. So obviously I'm not going to be starting the games within the first couple weeks of us opening.

I do know of a couple people playing Pathfinder in the area, and while we're going to try to get them to come in and play, I'm not expecting to take over any campaigns or transition them to a new campaign that I run. I'm mostly looking for something people can come in and play without having to commit to a campaign and can still happen even if we don't always get a lot of players coming in. Because its so annoying to come in to play a game and then not being able to because not enough other people show up.

I'm planning on having some tiles, terrain, game mat, and models available for use at the shop to get people to bring their current games in to play. I'm not sure if we'll rent that stuff out for a couple dollars a day to use while they run the game in store or if we'll just make money selling them pop and candy while they play.

Nero24200
2011-07-05, 11:42 AM
I'd go 4th simply because it has a very good "Easy to pick up and play" factor.

Sorcerer Blob
2011-07-05, 12:50 PM
My brother and I have been arguing about that for a couple days now. I've said we need lots of interesting dice and he thinks no one will buy many and just carry the cheapest ones, I've been saying gamers love their dice, you need more options on them.

This! Gamers do love their dice, I know people with more dice than they could ever need and still they buy more and more! There are a lot of good high-end dice that would probably sell decently and some cheaper ones for the gamer on a budget.

As far as for hosting games (whatever system you choose to go with) I'd suggest having some "community dice." I stress this because it sucks being a new player and having to borrow or share dice with someone at the table. Some gamers are also superstitious about people touching their dice, and that's a whole 'nother issue. For cheap dice in bulk, try Chessex' Pound O' Dice (http://www.amazon.com/Chessex-Dice-Pound---Dice-Approximately/dp/B000X75BFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309888148&sr=8-1). It's $15-ish for approx. 100 dice! It's a great bargain for community dice because dice will wander away, or people will forget to return them, etc.

MeeposFire
2011-07-05, 12:53 PM
This! Gamers do love their dice, I know people with more dice than they could ever need and still they buy more and more! There are a lot of good high-end dice that would probably sell decently and some cheaper ones for the gamer on a budget.

As far as for hosting games (whatever system you choose to go with) I'd suggest having some "community dice." I stress this because it sucks being a new player and having to borrow or share dice with someone at the table. Some gamers are also superstitious about people touching their dice, and that's a whole 'nother issue. For cheap dice in bulk, try Chessex' Pound O' Dice (http://www.amazon.com/Chessex-Dice-Pound---Dice-Approximately/dp/B000X75BFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309888148&sr=8-1). It's $15-ish for approx. 100 dice! It's a great bargain for community dice because dice will wander away, or people will forget to return them, etc.

Good idea though consider asking for collateral (not money but something like their car keys) so that they don't forget to return the dice as that is a very common problem for community dice.

Sipex
2011-07-05, 12:58 PM
Agreed.

Dice could only be more addictive if they were made of cocaine laced with caffene.

TheAbstruseOne
2011-07-06, 06:02 AM
This! Gamers do love their dice, I know people with more dice than they could ever need and still they buy more and more! There are a lot of good high-end dice that would probably sell decently and some cheaper ones for the gamer on a budget.

As far as for hosting games (whatever system you choose to go with) I'd suggest having some "community dice." I stress this because it sucks being a new player and having to borrow or share dice with someone at the table. Some gamers are also superstitious about people touching their dice, and that's a whole 'nother issue. For cheap dice in bulk, try Chessex' Pound O' Dice (http://www.amazon.com/Chessex-Dice-Pound---Dice-Approximately/dp/B000X75BFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309888148&sr=8-1). It's $15-ish for approx. 100 dice! It's a great bargain for community dice because dice will wander away, or people will forget to return them, etc.

If you're running a game store and you don't have one of those Double Bubble containers that's full of random dice to buy for $.50-$1 each, you're doing something wrong. That's what we always used at every gaming store ever for dice if we were short for a demo game. The Pound of Dice is a great way to fill that tub, but if you've got a commercial distributor, they may have something cheaper.

But I'm going to reiterate this for emphasis. Gamers are impulse buyers. I go to the FLGS solely to play games and buy stuff I shouldn't be buying. Between online gaming stores and Amazon, I can get my books and dice cheaper there since I'm paying closer to wholesale than retail. What I can't do is walk through a store and see a dice set or mini or random game module or initiative tracker or maps or tiles something that I HAVE TO HAVE IMMEDIATELY that I never would've bought online.

This probably isn't universal, but I always feel guilty if I go to a store and take advantage of their free services (open gaming at my FLGS, signings at bookstores, stuff like that). However, I've spent a loooot of time in my youth in gaming stores playing either D&D or M:TG and I can guarantee you that if you have cheap stuff (even if it's marked up to insane amounts over wholesale), it will get bought on impulse.

One other money-maker if you have open gaming is sodas/snacks. The store I used to hang out in, the guy just went to Sam's Club or Costco (or the equivalent we had in Southeast Texas in the early 90s) and bought up cases of sodas and boxes of candy bars/twinkies/little bags of chips, then sold them to us for $.50 each for sodas and $1 each for snacks. Probably his biggest money-maker since he'd spend like $5 for 24 sodas or $15 for 36 candy bars and make $12/$36 respectively off them. Remember what I said about impulse buys? Hungry gamers will buy anything snacky.

Edit: Oh, and proof dice are like crack to gamers? I had a Crown Royal bag ready to burst with dice I've collected since I was around 13 (I'm 31 now). So I ordered 100d6 to plan for a Shadowrun game and the aforementioned Pound 'o Dice. So now I have two Crown Royal bags ready to burst. What's top on my wishlist on Amazon? ANOTHER Pound 'o Dice!

Sorcerer Blob
2011-07-06, 09:05 AM
Edit: Oh, and proof dice are like crack to gamers? I had a Crown Royal bag ready to burst with dice I've collected since I was around 13 (I'm 31 now). So I ordered 100d6 to plan for a Shadowrun game and the aforementioned Pound 'o Dice. So now I have two Crown Royal bags ready to burst. What's top on my wishlist on Amazon? ANOTHER Pound 'o Dice!

I bought a Pound O' Dice that came with a sweet dice bag (the skull bag from Dorkness Rising... yeah, I know..) In addition to that I also have 7 sets of dice that I purchased separately over the course of a few years. (I've only been gaming since 2008, so I feel pretty good about my restraint.) I have more dice than I'd ever need, could easily supply my newbie friends with your standard set of 7 dice and still be "rolling" in the dice (YES, pun intended.) You know what else I want to buy? Another Pound O' Dice that I don't need!

Erloas
2011-07-06, 09:34 AM
We are planning snacks and drinks at the shop. A main part of the point of me running games is to get people in there to buy stuff like that.
We're looking into cans and bottles versus fountain drinks (the startup cost for fountain drinks here isn't too bad because the distributor supplies the machines as long as you are buying the syrups) but then you are much more limited on selection. There is also a difference in the health codes selling fountain drinks compared to cans and bottles.

I've compared the wholesale prices vs what Amazon has stuff listed at and they really aren't making much per item. Of course they have the big advantage of volume. We run into the hard fact that I don't think we can afford to sell at what they do, but if we don't then I don't think we sell much of anything, which we can't afford to do either. I think we've probably got to split the difference between MSRP and what Amazon has it listed for. (and in checking I've found that Pathfinder has a lot better margins then D&D does)
They don't make anything that can't be bought online, the hard part will be figuring out what are the impulse sort of products and what aren't, so what people will get right now rather then waiting to have shipped to them.
What the impulse cost limit is will come into that a lot.

Are people more impulsive with individual dice, or do people mostly buy sets of dice? While we can buy random assortments of dice we also have no control over what is in them. And there are some pre-sorted single dice boxes we can buy but they are surprisingly expensive. Of course if we buy the blocks of dice (d6s or the 7set polys) we have complete control over color choices but there are too many options (3 options per color and about 100 colors) to carry many of them. Then when you compare the basic ones to the fancier mixed colors a set goes from ~$5 to about $15 and of course while the $15 ones are a lot neater and fancier, I'm not sure if they're getting to the point of leaving the impulse buy cost range.

Techsmart
2011-07-06, 09:40 AM
I want to resound the "gamers love their dice." I don't know a single DND player in my area who has less than 5 complete sets of dice. Do we need them all? definitely not. Do we like having them? hell yeah. I've spent $20+ on a single set of dice just because of what kinda dice they were. I would recommend the pound-o-dice, as said above, too.
The community dice pool is a nice idea, but my experience would say that that pool will not last forever. Dice will fall into obscure spots that you can't reach, or will find their way into someone else's game bag, etc. If this happens, just say "don't have your dice? there's the bucket."

Sorcerer Blob
2011-07-06, 09:49 AM
Are people more impulsive with individual dice, or do people mostly buy sets of dice? While we can buy random assortments of dice we also have no control over what is in them. And there are some pre-sorted single dice boxes we can buy but they are surprisingly expensive. Of course if we buy the blocks of dice (d6s or the 7set polys) we have complete control over color choices but there are too many options (3 options per color and about 100 colors) to carry many of them. Then when you compare the basic ones to the fancier mixed colors a set goes from ~$5 to about $15 and of course while the $15 ones are a lot neater and fancier, I'm not sure if they're getting to the point of leaving the impulse buy cost range.

Both. Personally, I like to buy matching sets over individual dice. Having the option for individual dice is great though. There is also a website that will make custom d6s for relatively cheap in bulk. You can customize a side of the die (traditionally the 6-side) with your game shop name. I have seen that at a few different stores and I think it's great, I have bought these custom die because it's like a badge of honor at all of the game shops I've played at.

Sipex
2011-07-06, 10:00 AM
Agreed, get both types. I'm a set man myself but half my D&D gaming group at home prefers to make their own sets.

There's no set rule.

Following shops in my area though? Get a few nice looking sets at all times (5-10, depending), these sets should be shiny and very interesting.

Then get a bunch of random dice which can range in whatever you want for assortments.

Arutema
2011-07-06, 06:39 PM
So to preface this, I've DMed very little and mostly know the PF rules and haven't really seen 4th edition D&D yet.

My brother is opening a game shop and I've decided to run periodic D&D games, either as a regular thing to get people coming in, or as a demo. Since this is a format where the games will be relatively short, maybe 1-4 hours, and without consistent players, its not going to be a campaign.

The basic premise is a mercenary guild working in the edge of a big city. That will give me the option to take out smugglers down at the docks, kill a goblin camp harassing travelers outside of town, or infiltrating the house of a local nobleman to steal important documents (that sort of thing). The mercenaries simply take the job and do it, so no having to worry about why people are working together, they'll return to town after their done and it won't seem odd that the next week half the characters have changed and I can go from lower level encounters to higher level ones and back.



Paizo has a system for 3-5 hour games called Pathfinder Society, which has a premise much like the one you've just detailed.

Here (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety) is its official website.

Knaight
2011-07-06, 07:01 PM
As someone who doesn't play 4e or Pathfinder much, but has played a one shot of each -one was a convention game, the other a Free RPG day game, which means they are comparable- I'd say go with Pathfinder if you have to pick one. However, if both products will be in stock, having both at different times is an option.

Othniel Edden
2011-07-06, 09:25 PM
Card sleeves and deck boxes too...:smallwink: Trading Cards sell better than candy for your MTG crowd.

Knaight
2011-07-06, 09:55 PM
Card sleeves and deck boxes too...:smallwink: Trading Cards sell better than candy for your MTG crowd.

This is very true.

Erloas
2011-07-06, 11:11 PM
Paizo has a system for 3-5 hour games called Pathfinder Society, which has a premise much like the one you've just detailed.

Here (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety) is its official website.
I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that both companies offer a similar setup to address the problem I could see without really playing either game. I'll look into that one too, though I probably won't start running both soon unless there seems to be a lot of demand.

As someone who doesn't play 4e or Pathfinder much, but has played a one shot of each -one was a convention game, the other a Free RPG day game, which means they are comparable- I'd say go with Pathfinder if you have to pick one. However, if both products will be in stock, having both at different times is an option.We'll have both available. I guess I'll know a bit more once I sit down with the 4th edition rules and look over them closer. I know that there are a couple current pathfinder games running in the area, but whether or not that means people will want to see more pathfinder or see something different is a bit of an unknown. It does mean that it will probably be easier to find other willing DMs for Pathfinder games though.
And at least at this point running D&D is a benefit to the store in that WOTC uses the same system for both MTG and D&D for tracking players and activity at a given game store. So have more WOTC players at the store (irregardless of the system) will make it easier and faster for us to gain additional store support from them.


Card sleeves and deck boxes too...:smallwink: Trading Cards sell better than candy for your MTG crowd.
Yeah, we have plans there. My brother is fairly up on the MTG scene and already has a lot of plans for what he is going to do. And we both know Warhammer and several of the more common board games. Its the RPG side of things we've got less familiarity with.

Mark Hall
2011-07-06, 11:45 PM
4e or Pathfinder?

Yes.

Demo games are great to bring people into a store. Since you're looking at running for a varied group of people, to help bring them in, I'd use the same general set-up and run several different games. Run 4e one week, PF the next, then HMb and watch people REALLY get scared ("What do you mean the cleric can't have two healing spells in a day? He's got a bonus 1st level slot!"). Throw in some C&C, or highlight the used rack with some 1st edition.

Start in your comfort zone, but broaden everyone's.

Othniel Edden
2011-07-07, 02:52 AM
Maybe something world of Darkness going on. If you get the storyteller system those are quiet excellent.