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Best D&D edition for noob?

kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
I'm looking at 5e, is it easier or harder than the others? Thanks.

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Comments

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    I have to ask "In what context"? Are you looking to get into PnP? With a group? Or are you just talking about video games?

  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    I'm sorry I meant tabletop d&d possibly with a real group.

  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    edited September 2015
    @Dee I just picked up this here 5e starter edition set will this work? I read some like it and others find it lacking. Thanks so much. :) I appreciate your informative post.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    The starter set has everything you need to get started, as its name suggests; if you like what you see there, picking up a copy of the Player's Handbook (and Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide, if you're planning to run games yourself) is a good next step.

    kristaokelminsterJuliusBorisov
  • SvarSvar Member Posts: 157
    edited September 2015
    I'm going to recommend 3.5e for beginners, because it runs on the most conventional tabletop rules without limiting you creatively with your character, i.e. you can be nearly any race/class combination you want and there is a huge array of choices in both categories. The same cannot be said of previous editions, nor of 5e, if I recall correctly. I enjoy 4e a lot, but the game mechanics might seem really weird to a beginner, despite being more streamline than other editions, in my experience, so I don't recommend starting with that one.

    I'm personally not a fan of 5e. I think it's oversimplified and limiting to creativity. I find many of the rules to be unreasonable as well and I feel like they tossed everything that was good about 3 and 4e out the window.

    That being said, which edition is best for you is more a matter of what you want out of the game than difficulty.

    Post edited by Svar on
    kristaok
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    edited September 2015
    Dee said:

    The starter set has everything you need to get started, as its name suggests; if you like what you see there, picking up a copy of the Player's Handbook (and Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide, if you're planning to run games yourself) is a good next step.

    Yeah...what she said. Starter sets are a good way to try the game out and see if you like it. The only way I'd recommend you dive straight into the PHB is if you already know a group that's running that game and you plan to join it, and familiarise yourself with the rules so that you can come prepared.

    Also, it's probably a good idea to run with the most current version, since that way you'll have access to the most up-to-date content.

    I personally wouldn't buy D&D3e now (or any older version for that matter, simply because any other source books you buy will need to be sought out from second hand traders, and you can end up paying stupid prices for them), but it's worth taking a look at Pathfinder, which is almost identical - you used to be able to download a free PDF of the rules from Paizo's website (don't know if you still can), and I think Paizo are still releasing stuff for it. Trouble with 3rd edition (and Pathfinder) is, while easy to learn the basics, you have to know what you're doing with feats, multiclassing, spells, etc, or you can end up with a horribly gimped character that can't do anything.

    As for 4th edition...let's just say my opinion of that version is well known, and it is not favourable. ;) Bear in mind, though, that it is just that: my opinion.

    kristaok
  • SethDavisSethDavis Member Posts: 1,812
    Svar said:

    I'm personally not a fan of 5e. I think it's oversimplified and limiting to creativity.

    Dude, 5e lets you grapple swarms of insects! How can you not love the creativity of that?

    NonnahswriterNimran
  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    Thanks guys for all the opinions, I do like creativity, but I'm also looking for something that is easier to learn.

    I heard with the d&d 5e starter you can't be who you want, is this so? Is there a way around that? If not that's okay -- thanks all.

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,446
    I've played a lot of 5e and a lot of 3.5/Pathfinder.

    I enjoy Pathfinder personally but I think 5e has the easier ruleset.

    Also I never tried the starter kit so no idea :(

    kristaok
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    My personal favorite is Advanced/2E, but I freely admit that this is not 'The easiest' to learn if for no other reason than the sheer volume of, well volumes and manuals for the game (not to mention the Dragon Edition enhancements along the way). Not to mention THAC0.

    I learned to like 3.5E, so that would probably be my second favorite. I haven't played 4E and what I have heard about it is hearsay so I won't repeat it. I have heard good things about 5e though.

    Basic was pretty, well basic. I think the entire rules set constituted a single box with about 4 paper bound manuals. I bet it would be easy to learn, the bits that made sense. As that was the very first edition, a lot of the rules needed some cooking time to be thought out fully. Things like 'Elves' as a class and such.

    And for what it is worth, I think that any new starting group would probably gravitate towards 5e anyway as that way they don't have to go and FIND all of the manuals and supplementals for a previous version. I'm not sure if they would cost anything extra or even how ready they are to get a hold of, but I think that the 5e books are probably at your local Barnes and Noble or whatever.

    kristaokJuliusBorisov
  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    Thanks guys for all the insightful answers :)

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    If the Starter Set doesn't give you what you want in the way of character customization, the Basic Rules give you a small group of options with which you can build your character from the ground up. You can find them here: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

    Just to respond to what @Svar said earlier:
    it runs on the most conventional tabletop rules without limiting you creatively with your character, i.e. you can be nearly any race/class combination you want and there is a huge array of choices in both categories. The same cannot be said of previous editions, nor of 5e, if I recall correctly.
    This isn't really true of 5e. In 5e, any race can be any class (and even any alignment, if you're feeling especially persnickety), and many races have subraces attached to them that further distinguish your Elf from another player's Elf. At the same time, each class features one Archetype line of features, which allow you to customize your class to fit a particular theme (dragon-blooded sorcerers, for example).

    On top of that, the Backgrounds system gives you a sturdy framework with which to build your character, and the Player's Handbook offers eighteen (18) backgrounds to choose from. If that's not enough to suit your needs, the beginning of the Backgrounds section explicitly states that a DM can allow their players to create their own background types using the ones in the book as guidelines. That being said, the eighteen choices they provide cover quite a few bases, and are generic enough (in terms of the kind of details they include) that you can usually refit any given background for any character.

    Taking just the Player's Handbook, with its 15 races (including subraces; add nine more if you want to count each color of Dragonborn as a separate race), 41 classes (including archetypes), and 18 backgrounds (including variants), there are over 11,000 possible character builds before you even start to think about spells, weapons, armor, feats, and multiclassing.

    (That's more than you'll find in Baldur's Gate, incidentally--more than you'll find in any video game--and all in just the Player's Handbook.)

    So, circling back around, 5e offers plenty of customization options and room for creativity. The things it simplifies are the mechanics of those options, so that you can (if you want) just dive in with a newly created character and start playing within minutes, rather than having to spend an hour explaining to the group's wizard why they have to "memorize" their spells every day.

    kristaokNonnahswriterelminsterJuliusBorisov
  • ShapiroKeatsDarkMageShapiroKeatsDarkMage Member Posts: 2,428
    Dee said:

    5e is almost certainly the simplest edition to learn. The rules are all built on top of the basic concepts described in the very first chapter of the Player's Handbook, and they use common terminology that makes it a breeze to understand as you start to explore more advanced concepts.

    5e is also, incidentally, the best amalgamation of design philosophies across all previous editions (at least as far back as AD&D Second Edition). It gives you all the tools you need to flesh out your character into something you can roleplay right in the very first session, without shoehorning your character if you want to expand the character's backstory or personality nuances later.

    There are things that are weird about 5e, but that's true of every tabletop system. If you're just getting into D&D, 5e is definitely the one I'd recommend.

    5e has probably become my favourite edition. The only downside is the alignments getting shafted in a small paragraph.

    kristaok
  • SvarSvar Member Posts: 157
    edited September 2015
    SethDavis said:

    Dude, 5e lets you grapple swarms of insects! How can you not love the creativity of that?

    This isn't really true of 5e. In 5e, any race can be any class (and even any alignment, if you're feeling especially persnickety), and many races have subraces attached to them that further distinguish your Elf from another player's Elf.
    I guess I recalled incorrectly.

    Fun as that may be, one combat feature does not a fertile field for creativity make, I don't think. Besides, I was more referring to creative independence. 5e feels to me like being handed a cookie cutter set instead of a knife, especially with regards to the arrangement of the monsters.

    kristaok
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    That's fair. I guess for me, the cookie cutter is nice because it lets me focus on the ingredients in my batter, rather than starting by trying to figure out what shape I want my cookies to be.

    kristaok
  • SvarSvar Member Posts: 157
    Yeah, as I said, it all comes down to personal preference. I certainly do not begrudge anyone their enjoyment of 5e if that's what they like.

    kristaok
  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    Ty all I'm slowly learning

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Dee said:

    ...so that you can (if you want) just dive in with a newly created character and start playing within minutes, rather than having to spend an hour explaining to the group's wizard why they have to "memorize" their spells every day.

    Wait, what? So no hours and hours of character creation before the initial adventure? No tortuous agonizing over the various options and how they 'Fit' together? No having to think up your background and then try to cobble together skills and feats that are "Appropriate" and not overly 'Power-gamey'?

    Where's the fun in that?

    (this is sarcasm for those who didn't read that into it).

    kristaokelminster
  • wubblewubble Member Posts: 3,156
    I'm going to join a tabletop society to play D&D this year at uni, not sure what edition it'll be as it depends on who runs the game but I figured I'd read the basic rules for 5th edition, anything else anyone suggests I do to prepare?


    Oh and to further the line of cookie discussion (this is the Beamdog forum after all). I would advise everyone not to buy any 3D dinosaur cookie cutters, cookies rise and after being in the oven for a while your promising dinosaur cookies don't fit together :cry: .

  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    I read most people are going to the 5th edition.

    wubble
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    edited September 2015
    wubble said:

    I'm going to join a tabletop society to play D&D this year at uni, not sure what edition it'll be as it depends on who runs the game but I figured I'd read the basic rules for 5th edition, anything else anyone suggests I do to prepare?

    GURPS is a popular one with gamers, so it might be worth a look. Some people also like World of Darkness, and the Warhammer 40k games (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, etc ). But generally, there are so many systems that nobody will expect you to know them all right away, and most likely, people will be there to help you through character creation etc. Gamers are generally accomodating to new members, so I wouldn't worry too much about learning rulesets just yet.

    eta: oh, and Pathfinder (which is basically D&D 3.5 enhanced).

  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    There's definitely so many, I'd like to get the star wars one. :)

    the_spyder
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    edited September 2015
    Svar said:

    SethDavis said:

    Dude, 5e lets you grapple swarms of insects! How can you not love the creativity of that?

    This isn't really true of 5e. In 5e, any race can be any class (and even any alignment, if you're feeling especially persnickety), and many races have subraces attached to them that further distinguish your Elf from another player's Elf.
    I guess I recalled incorrectly.

    Fun as that may be, one combat feature does not a fertile field for creativity make, I don't think. Besides, I was more referring to creative independence. 5e feels to me like being handed a cookie cutter set instead of a knife, especially with regards to the arrangement of the monsters.

    You guys know that if you don't like the rules you can just change them, right? Nothing is hardcoded in tabletop. You can just change it at your whim.

    Case in point: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/665149/#Comment_665149

    Post edited by meagloth on
    the_spyder
  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    True maybe you could change the rules. :P

  • AerevynAerevyn Member Posts: 14
    I'll chip in here & say that 5e is the most elegant and flexible game system I've yet encountered in almost 20 years of PnP gaming.

    Think of a character concept, pretty-much anything you like. You can probably make it using the player's handbook and nothing else (strange races excepted perhaps). You want a half-orc skald bard who wields a greataxe? Easy. How about the quintessential Elven sword-mage bladesinger? Easy. Other rule systems have mountains of expansion books to make these things happen. I have the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual and feel that the only books I'll need to buy in future are additional monster manuals ('cause hey, everyone needs more monsters in their lives).

    It also keeps the crazy math & numbers in check (something 3, 3.5 & pathfinder don't do so well) and one of it's great strengths (imo) is that even a high-level party can't ignore the threat of several hundred orcs (again, not the case with 3, 3.5 & PF) because of the way that bounded accuracy works.

    Magic feels magic not mundane and it's not all about the +1, +2 but far more about special powers of those items.

    Balance is good without being the sole driver behind the design (as in 4e).

    The whole of 5e is built around the premise that RAI > RAW. That is "RULES AS INTENDED" are more important than "RULES AS WRITTEN" and the Dungeon Master is the absolute arbiter of the rules which passes the power back to the DM after the rules-heavy 3, 3.5 & 4E.

    It also adopts the Forgotten Realms as the default campaign setting (though obviously doesn't restrict you to it if you want to use another locale).

    kristaokFinneousPJ
  • kristaokkristaok Member Posts: 51
    Thanks I've never been too good at math :P I like easy to play RPGs. :)

    Calmar
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Aerevyn said:


    Magic feels magic not mundane and it's not all about the +1, +2 but far more about special powers of those items.

    Not sure how I feel about this one. In my (personal and subjective) view, a magic sword should hit harder and more often, not cast fireball or other effect not related to combat. Or am I missing something here?
    Aerevyn said:


    The whole of 5e is built around the premise that RAI > RAW. That is "RULES AS INTENDED" are more important than "RULES AS WRITTEN" and the Dungeon Master is the absolute arbiter of the rules which passes the power back to the DM after the rules-heavy 3, 3.5 & 4E.

    Yay. We used to have a "Rules lawyer" way back in 2e. He was not a popular member of the group. I much prefer the DM being the ultimate arbiter and letting the DM weave the story, not the rules books.

    Makes me almost want to find a group and get back into PnP. If only I had the time.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    Aerevyn said:


    Magic feels magic not mundane and it's not all about the +1, +2 but far more about special powers of those items.

    Not sure how I feel about this one. In my (personal and subjective) view, a magic sword should hit harder and more often, not cast fireball or other effect not related to combat. Or am I missing something here?
    You'll find +1, +2, and +3 weapons in the world, but they're not the "focus" of the magic items section of the DM Guide. Most of the magical weapons are also +1/+2/+3 weapons, but their most noticeable effects are things like the Flametongue's bonus fire damage. Things that make the weapon more interesting to wield, rather than things that just make it generically "hit harder".

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