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Icewalker
2008-03-15, 10:38 PM
These threads pop up now and again, and now it's my turn to make one.

I have a friend who I need to explain dnd to. She knows almost nothing about it, except the basic idea, ie role-playing game involving dice, etc. I can't even figure out where to start. Further more, I don't have the opportunity to actually play a game, so it'd have to be through explanation.

I'm thinking of starting by describing the idea of what you do and how it is done world-wise, leaving out the specifics first (like actions), then describing the attributes, then from there explaining race/class and how leveling works, then moving from there into actions/combat/skills and the like.

Any suggestions?

Nohwl
2008-03-15, 11:04 PM
give her your players handbook, tell her to read over the first 10 pages and then read the description of each chapter. you might want to have her read it while youre there so you can answer any questions.

Icewalker
2008-03-16, 01:08 AM
Oooh, yeah, there is a whole introduction up front there. Handy.

Glyphic
2008-03-16, 01:10 AM
If they're new to the genre of roleplaying games as a whole, you might get some tips from this episode of Fear the Boot.

http://feartheboot.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=282267

Mark Hall
2008-03-16, 01:17 AM
IMO, dropping a rulebook in a person's lap is only going to work if they're the kind of person who likes rulebooks and persnickety little reasons for things to happen.

I'd start with a simple game... something to let her sink her teeth into playing, without dropping the entire rulebook. Condense the rules down to one page of paper... something easy to refer to, but not daunting.

Drop her in a situation (I love the old modules "Keep on the Borderlands" and "The Village of Hommlet" for this; they're very open modules, and have a lot of opportunities for role-playing with well-developed NPCs) and give her some pointers as to what she can do. A couple other players (especially other newbies, perhaps with one person who can give them a couple nudges) will let everyone get used to it, without plopping a big book in front of them and saying "Read this and understand the game."

Icewalker
2008-03-16, 01:36 AM
Well the first two pages of the PHB appear to be just that: a quick introduction to the idea, then the very very basic outline of the ideas of the rules. Then from there you move into easy gaming stuff as you suggested (any idea where I might be able to get those modules, and are they free?)

Mark Hall
2008-03-16, 01:41 AM
Well the first two pages of the PHB appear to be just that: a quick introduction to the idea, then the very very basic outline of the ideas of the rules. Then from there you move into easy gaming stuff as you suggested (any idea where I might be able to get those modules, and are they free?)

Those two modules are about 30 years old or so. They're not free, but they utterly rock.

Pocketa
2008-03-16, 01:51 AM
Ah, Icewalker, Icewalker...

If you really want to help her learn how to play DnD...

* Learn if she has the materials. For all you know, she could have her own set of dice and a rulebook.

*Figure out what she already knows. There's no need to review things she's already gone over before.

*Learn if she's already experienced with a Dungeons and Dragons system, whether it be NeverWinter Nights 2 Platinum Edition or another game like that.

*Learn if she's ever had experience doing simple tasks such as making a character sheet.

*Learn if she's ever played Dungeons and Dragons IRL.

*Learn if she's ever been to DunDraCon and gotten a DunDraCon d6.

*Learn what she needs to learn.

And, last of all...

*Don't tell her where you've posted a thread about her, anywhere on the intertubes.

*Learn to tell when she's messing with your head by pretending she doesn't know anything about Dungeons and Dragons.

xoxo pocketa

P.S. You failed your listen checks, didn'tcha.
P.P.S. Yay! We're friends! Automatic boost to your Charisma...probably not friends after this post, though, huh...sorry...

---

In descending order, by posting time:

To Nohwl:

I have a Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition Player's Handbook (thoroughly battered) that my mother found at the recycling center. I've gotten the basics of Dungeons and Dragons from that. I get the way it works. Of course, it changed in editions 3 and 3.5. I'm not going to get anything until 4th edition though, just in time for my birthday! (at least my friends *pokes Icewalker* FRIENDS will know what to get me this year...)

To Mark Hall:

I am the kind of person that loves rules and rulebooks. I like reading them, I can't seem to retain the knowledge though. I mean, I get the concepts, but not details. Stupid example, I know, but I can memorize the dice system (d6=6 sides, etc.) but I don't remember what each die is for.

I have tried a simple 'campaign' (doesn't really count as one though), because my mother bought me a boxed DnD set, called the 'Core Set'. It must have been 3.5, it was green with gold trim, has some figurines, character sheets, etc. It has a sample game. It wasn't really good, though, because I only have 1 sibling, so I was stuck as a DM, and that wasn't good...obviously...

---


Basically, I've played NeverWinterNights 2 Platinum Edition, apparently that uses the Dungeons and Dragons system. I have the handbook that came with it. It has information about the races, classes, etc. I don't think it has information about weapons. Of course, it isn't as good as a PHB, but it'll suffice. I don't have a lot of money to spend right now (I'm just a student) but I'm sure that my friends *poke Icewalker* FRIENDS will lend me some materials.

Dungeons and Dragons materials in my posession:


*set of dice, d4 to d20. Anyone got a d3 spare?
*NWN2P Handbook
*interwebs
*Icewalker's stuff
*Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition Player's Handbook
*figurines and a board, etc. (stuff that came with the Core Set)

AslanCross
2008-03-16, 02:17 AM
I was able to introduce some of my students to it quite easily. (Of course, they're all fairly geeky and thus can get along fine by starting with the rulebooks.)

Anyway, I started by asking them what kind of character they'd want to play as in a fantasy game, then I went from there. Reading the introduction and the classes is enough, I'd say. Many of the combat rules are highly situational apart from "roll d20, add modifier, beat AC, roll damage." Anybody who'd want to play a Wizard would be fine with heavy paperwork and bookkeeping, anyway.

Solo
2008-03-16, 02:50 AM
These threads pop up now and again, and now it's my turn to make one.

I have a friend who I need to explain dnd to. She knows almost nothing about it, except the basic idea, ie role-playing game involving dice, etc. I can't even figure out where to start. Further more, I don't have the opportunity to actually play a game, so it'd have to be through explanation.

I'm thinking of starting by describing the idea of what you do and how it is done world-wise, leaving out the specifics first (like actions), then describing the attributes, then from there explaining race/class and how leveling works, then moving from there into actions/combat/skills and the like.

Any suggestions?

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you play you begin with P-H-B
P-H-B, P-H-B
The first three letters just happen to be
P-H-B, P-H-B

Now Perducci, PHB, MM, and DMG
are only the tools we use to play DnD.
Once you have these rules in your head,
you can play a million different campaigns by mixing them up.

When you know the rules to play
You can play most any way!

Together now!

When you know the rules to play
You can play most any way!


P . . . HB
D . . . MG
T . . . oB
C . . . aD
L . . . oM
X . . . PH
P . . . iH CAr
SaS ECS -- Du, UA, SpC


Here's a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56384&highlight=beginner+guide)for beginner's advice on class.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-03-16, 10:12 AM
*Learn to tell when she's messing with your head by pretending she doesn't know anything about Dungeons and Dragons.

Hehe.


*interwebs

Most of the CORE rules can be found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35).

When you have guidance that is all you need to be able to play/learn the rules.

MorkaisChosen
2008-03-16, 10:33 AM
I'm very sorry if you were joking, but I'm no good at telling that on the internet...

D3s don't exist- you half a d6 result.

Other than that- PHB, incredible nerdery, possibly show them a couple of PbP game threads (Such as the ones on this esteemed forum) to give them an idea of how the game works.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-03-16, 10:49 AM
D3s don't exist- you half a d6 result.

That is the normal way of doing it, but you can get d3s. They usually take the form of triangular prisms with rounded or pointy ends.

Kevin Cook, who also frequents GitP forums, has a homepage (http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_WHAT_SHAPES_DO_DICE_HAVE.html) with a lot of dice info and photos.

senrath
2008-03-16, 11:13 AM
I'm very sorry if you were joking, but I'm no good at telling that on the internet...

D3s don't exist- you half a d6 result.

Other than that- PHB, incredible nerdery, possibly show them a couple of PbP game threads (Such as the ones on this esteemed forum) to give them an idea of how the game works.

Personally, I use a d4 and reroll 4s. What can I say, I just love the d4 *hugs Magic Missile*.

Anyway, what I do with new people who want to join the group in is first ask them a bunch of questions about what kind of character they want (I usually restrict them to the classes in PHB only) then assign them one (unless they object to in, in which case it repeats until they don't object). I then have them read about their class, answer any questions they might have from that, then roll up a character sheet. We then start playing, and I might give them a hint or two, but not much. I will, however, take notes, and say what a "better" choice might have been in certain situations. And by better, I just mean another possible choice that is not as obvious, mostly because it requires a better knowledge of how your character works that the new player didn't have.

MorkaisChosen
2008-03-16, 11:28 AM
You can buy d3s? Awesome.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-03-16, 12:08 PM
You can buy d3s? Awesome.

Yes it is, even though some might consider it a little nerdy. :smallwink:


A d6 with the numbers 1,2,3,1,2,3 on the sides you say?
No thanks, I want a real d3!

Pocketa
2008-03-16, 12:20 PM
Yes it is, even though some might consider it a little nerdy. :smallwink:


A d6 with the numbers 1,2,3,1,2,3 on the sides you say?
No thanks, I want a real d3!




I'm very sorry if you were joking, but I'm no good at telling that on the internet...

D3s don't exist- you half a d6 result.

Other than that- PHB, incredible nerdery, possibly show them a couple of PbP game threads (Such as the ones on this esteemed forum) to give them an idea of how the game works.



*sigh* Boys, boys...

It was a joke. I want a d3. I can't have a d3. kinda impossible, no? I mean, technically, it's possible, but it would have curved faces...It would be like, a sphere, partitioned into 3 parts...

Not all girls are dum at maths.

Or topologiez!

MorkaisChosen
2008-03-16, 12:29 PM
Yeah, sorry, I'm no good at telling on the interwebs.

Anyway, if you've played NWN I'll assume you're fairly familiar with the whole class thing- what charaxters have you tried out?

Chronos
2008-03-16, 12:41 PM
Bah, double-marked cubes are for posers. Real gaming nerds use a d30, with 10 of each number marked on it.

Alternately, here's a perfectly good d3:


int d3(void)
{
int rnd;
srand( (unsigned)time( NULL ) );

rnd = rand();
return((rnd%3)+1);
}See? No funky geometry or distorted prisms necessary.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-03-16, 01:04 PM
Bah, double-marked cubes are for posers. Real gaming nerds use a d30, with 10 of each number marked on it.


If you really like your polyhedrals you should use the
disdyakis triacontahedron. :smalltongue:

(d120)

Pocketa
2008-03-16, 01:13 PM
There are such things as d3's...

http://www.doordice.com/images/uploaded/d3.jpg


^ Basically, a cylinder with 3 flat faces each touching one another in row or something.

I've tried playing a half-elf/elf rogue and sorceror before, was okay, quit playing recently, might take it up again.

Solo
2008-03-16, 01:15 PM
^Doublepost.

Here's a link to a thread that might help.

A DnD Primer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54449&highlight=bruce)

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-03-16, 01:21 PM
There are such things as d3's...

^ Basically, a cylinder with 3 flat faces each touching one another in row or something.

You must have missed my post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4065759&postcount=13) above. Check out the link for further d3s and other funny dice. :smallsmile:

MorkaisChosen
2008-03-16, 04:09 PM
Right, so some experience with casters- that should take some off the learning curve, and I have to say casters are foten the most fun to play...

Pocketa
2008-03-17, 10:06 PM
Right, so some experience with casters- that should take some off the learning curve, and I have to say casters are foten the most fun to play...

I've usually played cleric in Amtgard LARPs, or what they call a 'healer'. I'd like to try something new...bard perhaps?

Anyone need a Dashing Swordswoman?

JamesHowlett
2008-03-17, 10:45 PM
Start out by telling her that it's like acting. Without a stage. And the audience is just her friends. Then help her through what she would like to play, advise a class, then tell her when to use a d20 (whenever the word "check" comes up or she has to attack). Then, if she's got a good character concept, the rest should be pretty easy, seeing as she won't be playing by herself and can ask for help if she needs it. It's a really basic intro, but it is a LOT less intimidating than throwing a huge book at someone and explaining strange charts to them. Hope that helps.

holywhippet
2008-03-17, 10:50 PM
The easiest way I'd say is to run her through a basic battle. Roll up a fighter, a rogue, a cleric and a wizard for her. Pit them against something fairly simple like goblins or kobolds. Explain everything as you go along, and when it's her turn suggest options for her. After she understands the basics, have her read the skills section of the PHB followed by the feats. Then describe each class to her and work out what shes interested in.

Keep up with making suggestions, but never force or argue with her regarding an action. Warn her if she might be making a big mistake but ultimately she is in control of her characters and pain is an excellent teacher.

Kevin_Cook
2008-05-02, 08:39 AM
D3s don't exist- you half a d6 result.

I have found 6 different shaped D3's to date CLICK HERE (http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_WHAT_SHAPES_DO_DICE_HAVE.html) ... bottom of the page

SilverSheriff
2008-05-02, 09:55 AM
my first game was kind of a tutorial to roleplaying, we got first class tickets on the Funny-bones Train, thats probably the best way to introduce people to roleplaying, then run a less rail-roaded campaign to make them feel like they are getting one of those 'choose your own adventure' books once a week.

Man, I loved those kinda books...:amused:

Nohwl
2008-05-02, 11:51 AM
why was this topic brought back to life?

crimson77
2008-05-02, 01:00 PM
Furthermore, I don't have the opportunity to actually play a game, so it'd have to be through explanation.

Any suggestions?

I would recommend teaching through playing. Just a bunch of rules might give here the impression that it is boring. I would recommend rolling up 4 characters and letting her choose one. Have the other three be NPCs and go on a mini-adventure for an hour or so. Have her lead the party and give her the feel of how to roleplay with the NPCs and fight a few monsters.

Kevin_Cook
2008-05-02, 01:20 PM
why was this topic brought back to life?

My fault ... Someone emailed me about the D3 issue this thread ... I saw it was about 1.5 months old and didnt think it was a resurrection ... sorry

Feel free to chastise me accordingly :)