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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OGDojo's Avatar

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    Default For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Hello everyone this is for "New Players"
    You know the ones, people who show up to play cuz its fun but don't know any of the basics.

    This forum is for helpful tips for new players, not so much rules or rulings, more things like
    "Keep a bag of marbles on you"
    "When in doubt buy a bow"
    "Multiclassing casters is almost never worth it because your losing casting ability and supplementing something else but can be useful for martial classes"

    things like that. also lesser known rules like
    Flat Footed and denied dex aren't the same Or
    passing out in water or deep sand will kill you on your next turn.

    or you could give tips on how to keep track of information or adding up numbers on your character sheet like
    Skills are x+int x 4 for first level but you can actually think of it like this,
    At character creation its X+int mod x (lvl + 3) (This has saved me so much time while building characters)
    You can also think of it like this
    you can pick x+int mod of skills to put max ranks in.

    if you have any other hints or tips for our new players please post them here

    Having a Progress sheet of your characters abilites for each level and feats and even items is very handy especially if you wanna rebuild that character and play it often.
    Heres a progress sheet i made and you can print it out to your hearts content:
    Progress sheet by OGDojo
    Last edited by OGDojo; 2019-08-25 at 05:01 PM.
    Check me out on TikTok @OGDojo also check out my Youtube @ObscureGamingDojo
    All Martial Arts Begin with Imitation.
    Factotums are the weakest yet most powerful class, if built properly

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OGDojo's Avatar

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    BAB=Base Attack Bonus
    PHB=Players Handbook
    DMG=Dungeon Masters Guide
    DM=Dungeon Master
    GM=Game Master (same as Dungeon Master)
    AoO=Attack Of Opportunity
    CC=Cross Class (Applies to skills)
    MC=Multiclass (only really useful for specific builds)
    CL=Caster Level (the class levels of the caster casting the spell)

    ---added by Antandor---

    - Don't be a deliberate *******. It may be fun a few times, but it quickly gets on the nerves of the party and DM.
    - Communicate with the party and the DM. It may seem obvious, but I had seen a few instances where it was lacking.

    Inside of the game stuff:
    - A wand of cure light wounds can save your life.
    - Do not go into melee if you are low on hp.
    - Initiative is king

    ---Added by saintheart---

    - a wand of lesser vigor would also work|

    ---Added by Zaq---

    Itís sometimes appropriate to sacrifice accuracy for damage (Power Attack is legitimately a good feat on most beatsticks). However, donít take it too faróif you donít hit, your damage is zero.

    Preventing damage is usually easier than healing damage. One of the best ways to prevent damage is to make sure that the enemy in question doesnít get to do anything good on their turn.

    ---Added by particle_man---

    A good class for beginning spellcasters is Warlock

    ---added by InchHighGuy---

    A RPG is not like other games: Don't ever think an RPG is like a classic board game like Risk or Life or Clue. You can not expect to just come over, not know the rules, roll some dice, goof off, and have a fun time.

    RPGs are NOT the sort of game.

    RPGs take a bit of time and work and effort on your part. You MUST know the rules. You have to do a bit of work and effort BEFORE you play the game and when you are NOT playing the game. You should expect to spend at least an hour a week or so doing preperation.


    Write Everything Down/Print Everything Out: If you character can do it, have it in front of you. Feel free to personalize it too.

    During the gameplay, even more so the role playing, Take Notes. It's also an excilent idea to make a web page so all players can share thier notes.

    ---Added by Gnaeus---

    Systemless guide to roleplay

    ---added by Aniikinis---

    Keep Rule 0 in mind at all times
    Keep Rule of Cool in mind at all times unless it doesn't fit the feel/setting
    Don't play a bard as your first magic character.
    Don't be surprised if you play a strange race and get treated differently than other members of your party. This is Not!Middle Ages and things literally go bump in the night. Strange things tend to eat babies in this game. It's a good idea to be wary of strangers, especially strangers with horns/feathers/fangs/tusks/wings/tails/etc.
    Try to defer to players who have played the game longer than you. You're not always right, even if you think you are. But keep in mind that neither are they always right.
    If you find a rules snag, don't be a rules lawyer at the table. Leave that until after the session and bring it up casually, not confrontationally.
    Don't assume that your house rules are played at a new table. Find out how much they do things by the book and try to ask for a list if possible.
    Keep your hands to your own books. If you can't, don't eat cheetos or greasy food. Respect other people's property.
    Don't throw dice, especially D4's.
    Take criticism, but only if it's constructive. If they're being a wangjob, find out why and ask them to keep it considerate if it's at the table.
    Charisma is a love it or dump it stat for most characters. You'll either love it unconditionally or scavenge it for points/other stats.
    Diplomacy Is Broken but Your Mileage May Vary.
    Bad GMs are death sentence to your enjoyment of the game.
    You don't need to optimize much to have a good character. A few thoughts on how well things will synergize together and how it fits the class/character you're making can go a long way. You don't need to waste the equivalent of a master's degree and write a thesis on wizards unless you want to be the ultimate god at understanding how they work to the atomic level if you just want to learn how to throw a fireball better than baseline.
    ^On the flipside, however, if you read optimization handbooks but don't know the reasoning or understand anything about how the class or game functions, all your doing it copying "the good stuff" and not learning how to build the class or character itself.
    Always ask the DM about what you want to do. Don't just roll for it and expect it to work, that's how you waste good Nat 20s and other high rolls.
    Roleplay tends to be better than Rollplay. If you play the game like a video game and just mindlessly swing the sword to hit enemy and repeat, you're not gonna have a fun time. If you Slash at the Hobgoblin Warrior with your Scimitar while quipping in elvish, however, you just might. But again, Your Mileage May Vary depending on your group and the character you're playing as.
    You're playing a character, not a set of stats.

    ---Added by Bean illius---

    * The game is entirely different every 5 levels or so. If you're going to play a 10 level campaign, remember that when you build your character.
    * Conceive the character you want to roleplay, then ask others for help achieving that.
    * Specialize in a few thanks. Keep some utility, but don't spread yourself too thin.
    * If you're a rogue, ask your DM about Max UMD. It makes a rogue into a Caster at high levels.
    * It's just a game. Don't over-invest yourself, and enjoy your friend's creativity.

    ---added by saintheart---

    If you think you've got to work hard to get a character together just to play this game, spare a thought for the guy who has to put everything together for you to have a good time. He is human, which means he may miss things from time to time, he gets bored too, he burns out, and unlike yourself he has to manage between four and six personalities who don't often work together. No DM, no game. Respect him, respect his calls, and remember: the DM is not your *****.
    Last edited by OGDojo; 2019-08-26 at 11:12 AM.
    Check me out on TikTok @OGDojo also check out my Youtube @ObscureGamingDojo
    All Martial Arts Begin with Imitation.
    Factotums are the weakest yet most powerful class, if built properly

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    I would love to add these to the list:

    - Don't be a deliberate *******. It may be fun a few times, but it quickly gets on the nerves of the party and DM.
    - Communicate with the party and the DM. It may seem obvious, but I had seen a few instances where it was lacking.

    Inside of the game stuff:
    - A wand of cure light wounds can save your life.
    - Do not go into melee if you are low on hp.
    - Initiative is king

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OGDojo's Avatar

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtAndor View Post
    I would love to add these to the list:
    Added to the list thanks for the help! :)
    Check me out on TikTok @OGDojo also check out my Youtube @ObscureGamingDojo
    All Martial Arts Begin with Imitation.
    Factotums are the weakest yet most powerful class, if built properly

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtAndor View Post
    - A wand of cure light wounds Lesser Vigor can save your life and is many times cheaper out of combat than any cure light wounds potion or wand.
    Added important qualifier.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    "Multiclassing is fun but ultimately less powerful than a straight lvl 20 of 1 class"
    That's a lie unless you're talking about leaving Wizard to dip Monk or something. Staying as the same class for 20 levels is never justified power-wise unless you're a Druid. There'll always be a dip/PrC better than straight 20 for every class, with very few exceptions. Straight from my mind, Druid(but Planar Shepherd), Artificer, Dragonfire Adept, and Truenamer(but only because there's no class that advances it) are the only cases where you don't want to get out of the class as soon as you're level 6. Even Shadowcaster is better off dipping Wizard and picking Noctumancer-Mystic Theurge.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    "Multiclassing is fun but ultimately less powerful than a straight lvl 20 of 1 class"
    Multiclassing can be worth it for martial classes. A couple of levels of Fighter if your build needs a lot of feats, or a level of Lion Totem Barbarian to get pounce for example. Basically never worth it for casters though (only exception I can think of is to qualify for Dweomerkeeper).

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Itís sometimes appropriate to sacrifice accuracy for damage (Power Attack is legitimately a good feat on most beatsticks). However, donít take it too faróif you donít hit, your damage is zero.

    Preventing damage is usually easier than healing damage. One of the best ways to prevent damage is to make sure that the enemy in question doesnít get to do anything good on their turn.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for Round 19, so come join in the conversation and be taken as an authority figure whose opinions matter!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Apr 2019

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Multiclassing is more for players with experience and is quite easy to gimp yourself with it if you don't know what you're doing. Beginning players are perfectly fine with a single class or one class and one PrC, with some guidance from their DM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    If you want the easy version of the magic using character try warlock.

    Light the lamp not the rat LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT!!!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    A RPG is not like other games: Don't ever think an RPG is like a classic board game like Risk or Life or Clue. You can not expect to just come over, not know the rules, roll some dice, goof off, and have a fun time.

    RPGs are NOT the sort of game.

    RPGs take a bit of time and work and effort on your part. You MUST know the rules. You have to do a bit of work and effort BEFORE you play the game and when you are NOT playing the game. You should expect to spend at least an hour a week or so doing preperation.


    Write Everything Down/Print Everything Out: If you character can do it, have it in front of you. Feel free to personalize it too.

    During the gameplay, even more so the role playing, Take Notes. It's also an excilent idea to make a web page so all players can share thier notes.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Apr 2019

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    My tip: Don't split the party without talking to the table first. Dungeons and Dragons is a team game and trying to take on challenges meant for a group of people as one person can end with a dead character very quickly.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Read my systemless guide to practical optimization (in sig)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Aniikinis's Avatar

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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    I have a few, I guess.
    • Keep Rule 0 in mind at all times
    • Keep Rule of Cool in mind at all times unless it doesn't fit the feel/setting
    • Don't play a bard as your first magic character.
    • Don't be surprised if you play a strange race and get treated differently than other members of your party. This is Not!Middle Ages and things literally go bump in the night. Strange things tend to eat babies in this game. It's a good idea to be wary of strangers, especially strangers with horns/feathers/fangs/tusks/wings/tails/etc.
    • Try to defer to players who have played the game longer than you. You're not always right, even if you think you are. But keep in mind that neither are they always right.
    • If you find a rules snag, don't be a rules lawyer at the table. Leave that until after the session and bring it up casually, not confrontationally.
    • Don't assume that your house rules are played at a new table. Find out how much they do things by the book and try to ask for a list if possible.
    • Keep your hands to your own books. If you can't, don't eat cheetos or greasy food. Respect other people's property.
    • Don't throw dice, especially D4's.
    • Take criticism, but only if it's constructive. If they're being a wangjob, find out why and ask them to keep it considerate if it's at the table.
    • Charisma is a love it or dump it stat for most characters. You'll either love it unconditionally or scavenge it for points/other stats.
    • Diplomacy Is Broken but Your Mileage May Vary.
    • Bad GMs are death sentence to your enjoyment of the game.
    • You don't need to optimize much to have a good character. A few thoughts on how well things will synergize together and how it fits the class/character you're making can go a long way. You don't need to waste the equivalent of a master's degree and write a thesis on wizards unless you want to be the ultimate god at understanding how they work to the atomic level if you just want to learn how to throw a fireball better than baseline.
    • ^On the flipside, however, if you read optimization handbooks but don't know the reasoning or understand anything about how the class or game functions, all your doing it copying "the good stuff" and not learning how to build the class or character itself.
    • Always ask the DM about what you want to do. Don't just roll for it and expect it to work, that's how you waste good Nat 20s and other high rolls.
    • Roleplay tends to be better than Rollplay. If you play the game like a video game and just mindlessly swing the sword to hit enemy and repeat, you're not gonna have a fun time. If you Slash at the Hobgoblin Warrior with your Scimitar while quipping in elvish, however, you just might. But again, Your Mileage May Vary depending on your group and the character you're playing as.
    • You're playing a character, not a set of stats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
    The Rest of my Signature
    My Hombrew

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rocky Mountains, Colorado

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    * The game is entirely different every 5 levels or so. If you're going to play a 10 level campaign, remember that when you build your character.
    * Conceive the character you want to roleplay, then ask others for help achieving that.
    * Specialize in a few thanks. Keep some utility, but don't spread yourself too thin.
    * If you're a rogue, ask your DM about Max UMD. It makes a rogue into a Caster at high levels.
    * It's just a game. Don't over-invest yourself, and enjoy your friend's creativity.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Perth, West Australia
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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    * The DM is not your *****.
    * The DM is not your *****.

    If you think you've got to work hard to get a character together just to play this game, spare a thought for the guy who has to put everything together for you to have a good time. He is human, which means he may miss things from time to time, he gets bored too, he burns out, and unlike yourself he has to manage between four and six personalities who don't often work together. No DM, no game. Respect him, respect his calls, and remember: the DM is not your *****.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ken Murikumo's Avatar

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    Jul 2014
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    A Room Between Rooms
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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    -If it's not on your character sheet, you don't have it (this goes for items, feats, spells, languages, etc...).

    -Organization is key. The default character sheet is usually pretty bare minimum. Look online for better sheets. Also, don't be afraid to write things on the back of sheets or even on notebook paper if you need more room. Spells and Items usually take up more room than what they give you on a normal sheet.

    -Take notes. Write things down: names, places, plot points. They can be short hand, but having them available will help you in the long run. It also wins brownie points with the DM.

    -Houserules. Every table has them. These are made up rules added by the group. Most are helpful and make playing easier. Some are not so helpful. Ask about them before starting. Lots of table "take max" HP for example, instead of rolling for HP each level like the book says.

    -Jumping right into roleplaying can be intimidating. If you want to dive in without holding back, go right ahead. Otherwise you could sit in and watch for a session or two, make a mousy character that tags along, or even ask the DM to take control of an NPC to get warmed up into things. My group did this with the son of one of our players. He took control of a summoned ice golem and learned how combat worked indirectly. Soon after we helped him make his own character.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA

    Post Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    "When in doubt buy a bow"
    In general, have backup equipment. For example:

    • Low level casters should have a crossbow, to use when they run out of spells.
    • Melee characters should have a ranged weapon, to use when facing flying opponents.
    • Casters should have an extra spell component pouch or holy symbol, in case theirs gets sundered.
    • Wizards should eventually invest in a backup spellbook, in case they lose their main book.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    D&D stands for: Dungeons and Dragons, not Drinking and Drunks.

    Excel is your friend.

    Always have a backup: book, character sheet, file, weapon, wand, etc.

    Pay attention when it's not your turn.

    Be able to tell the difference between what you know and what your character knows.

    Don't try to keep up with the Joneses.

    Don't get mad at players for what their characters do.

    Don't get mad at the dice; you rolled them.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    You can only put so many ranks into a single skill. For class skills that number of ranks is 3+your character level. For cross-class skills it's half that. But, you only need one level in a class that has the skill to use the larger maximum.

    Almost always round down. Occasionally you'll find a specific case where you get to round up, but those are pretty rare.

    One case where you do get to round up is your speed in medium/heavy armor. 2/3 your original speed, rounded up to the nearest 5ft (because 5ft is how big a square is on the mat). Unless you're a dwarf; dwarves don't reduce their speed at all.

    Pay attention during other people's turns. Always have a plan for what you're going to do when it makes it to your turn. Trust me, this will save so much time.
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2019-08-26 at 05:12 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.
    Optimization Trophies

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Asmotherion's Avatar

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    May 2015
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    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    For Spellcasters:

    -90 percent of blasting spells are not worth your spell slot.
    -Saves are important. Failing a save may result in your death.
    -Regular AC is relevant only at lower levels. The higher your level the more you want to rely on a good touch AC. Also as i said above saves... they're always relevant.
    -A fundemental understanding of spell durations is necessary. Some spells allow you to use their magic all day long. instantaneous effects are more real as they can't be dispelled and are permanent.
    -Avoid having too many spells that allow SR unless you have a reliable way to overcome it (truecasting+assay SR).
    -There is a number of imunities you need to have at each level to survive. Death effects/Negative Levels/Being mind controled/being restrained. Have a spell or item for each.
    -Don't underestimate Divination and Abjuration. if you're against a Mage and you don't have protection from scry attempts do assume he's constantly spying on you. Failure to protect from scrying will get you murdered in your sleep.
    -Avoid spells that allow a save to negate them. Also don't cast reflex half spells on rogues.
    -(Ranged) touch spells are your friend. if you can fit a relatively good Dex into your build the better. Very few creatures have a half-decent Touch AC.
    -Controling the Action Ecconomy is one of the best things you can focus on.
    -Be aware that if you can do something so can the DM. if you're not prepared to face a level of optimisation don't just copy an online guide or you'll be facing enemies you have no idea how to fight against.

    Please help/contribute in creating the: Complete list of Magically Created Constructs, Elementals etc

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    You'll notice that some bonuses have a 'type', like dodge, luck, racial, morale, competence, etc.. For the most part, bonuses of the same type don't stack, you just use the higher one. Some bonuses do stack: dodge, racial, circumstance, and bonuses that don't have a listed type all stack with other bonuses of the same type (and with bonuses of different types, like normal).
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.
    Optimization Trophies

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    You'll notice that some bonuses have a 'type', like dodge, luck, racial, morale, competence, etc.. For the most part, bonuses of the same type don't stack, you just use the higher one. Some bonuses do stack: dodge, racial, circumstance, and bonuses that don't have a listed type all stack with other bonuses of the same type (and with bonuses of different types, like normal).
    Racial and Circumstance?

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    Racial and Circumstance?
    Racial bonuses definitely stack (this is most relevant when using templates). I'm actually not 100% on whether circ. bonuses stack, but I think they do.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.
    Optimization Trophies

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: For New Players (Helpful hints)

    I have an entire "Manifesto" that aims to cover a lot of what I would want new players to a game to grasp. But it's more cumbersome than I want it to be at 3 pages. I could pasted it all here, but it's usually better to just link it, and those who are interested can read it, those who don't care can skip to the next post.
    https://www.dropbox.com/preview/D%26...?role=personal

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