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Which DnD eddition to choose for starters

RideratRiderat Member Posts: 136
Hey,

It has been a long time, but finally i have found four other people who seem to be interested in table top DnD game. They more or less understand the commitment and the roleplay involved in it. So thats cool.

Im now thinking which eddition would be the best to start with. Neither of us 5 have any experience with DnD tabletop games. I have played a lot of pc games like Bg, Iwd, PST, NWN etc. But I guess that is a completely different story.

The best would be if we could set the game relatively easy and start playing easily. I don't think anyone is super excited about reading 300 pages of rules for setting up their character (I hope that you don't have to go trough that in neither of versions).

So yeah, what would be the most turnkey edition?

Thanks!

voidofopinion

Comments

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,046
    5e.

    And sorry to say, players should still read through the Player’s Handbook, and DM should read through the Dungeon’s Master Guide. (Or at least the race and class choice section)

    I said 5e because, out of all the versions, it is more streamlined in the character creation and rules, while still adding some flexibility. 2e has restrictions on race/class combos and 3e can get a bit min/max and can get confusing when you have a player character that is 5 fighter/ 2 monk/ 1 cleric/1 thief running around.

    5e allows you to pick a class and race and just play. Stats are more or less predetermined (no rolling) to prevent imbalance and has guidelines on how a person can role play their character with background options.

    sarevok57Rideratmodestvolta
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
    Yep, ima say 5e as well. My group uses 27 point buy but I've played with groups that roll and use a standard stat array and it all works pretty alright. It's an easy ruleset but still has crazy multiclassing stuff if that is your jam and with PHB+Volo's Guide to Monsters+Xanathar's Guide to Everything+Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide+Online Suppliments like Unearthed Arcana there are a lot of races, classes, subclasses, backgrounds, and so on.

    Riderat
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 2018
    The best edition is whatever one you as the DM are most comfortable with and excited by. Because it's the DM that has to answer question's, teach the rules and bring the world to life.

    You don't want to be teaching a system to new people that you are still trying to learn yourself or that you don't feel inspired by.

    I've had good DM's make Rifts feel easy to build a character and play in, and I have had bad DM's make Maid feel overly complex and difficult.

    So I would recommend flicking through the books and picking the one that interests the DM the most. Learning that forwards and backwards, then bringing in your group to learn the system and create characters. They shouldn't have to read 300 pages to build a character because the DM should already know the rules and be able to guide them through the process. And as a DM that is going to be much easier if you are excited by the system.

    :)

    ThacoBellGrammarsaladGrond0
  • DorcusDorcus Member Posts: 241
    I'd go with 5e simply bc there's a really fantastic Starter Set package that is fairly cheap and has everything you need to run the game right out of the box and 5e is currently in print so you won't have to deal with the secondary market for used D&D books which can get pretty ugly

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I'd say pick the game most of the group is at least familiar with. 2e if they've played BG, 5e if nobody is all that used to any of those games. Getting Books for 2e might be hard, but you can always buy on Ebay if you end up using older editions.

    I, myself, am most familiar with 2e. I am also very familiar with 1e/1.5e (which is Players Handbook *plus* Unearthed Arcana). I am somewhat familiar with 3e/3.5e. I am currently in a Pathfinder game (which some jokingly call 3.75e). I have never played 4e or 5e, but I hear 5e is good.

    So, that's my advice. Use what everyone (or most everyone) is familiar with/has spent some time playing. Absent that, start new.

    If you need Pathfinder stuff, you can go here: https://www.d20pfsrd.com

    Riderat
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    BTW, I would not, myself recommend 3e/3.5e simply because of the truly horrendous amount of books released for it. This can lead to much priciness and cash out of your wallet if you or someone wants completion.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,046
    It’s 2017. Just get digital. It is so much easier. And you can fit all your books on a tablet instead of a 200 lb book bag.

    www.dmsguild.com is great place to find old versions of books in digital.

    voidofopinionGrond0
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    And www.drivethrurpg.com is a great place to go for new stuff and indy stuff.

    Grammarsalad
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I prefer actual hardcovers because you can pass them around the table as needed. You can't do this as easily on a computer, and everyone having a computer can be awkward. I would say DL to your phone, but that makes its own problems. (People on phones during game instead of paying attention.)

    ZaghouldunbarThacoBellNimran
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    I've had far more problems as a DM with people not paying attention because they were repeating the same 3 monty python quotes ad nauseam than I have people being distracted by .pdf's on their phones/tablets.

    RideratThacoBellGrammarsalad
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824
    While voidofopinion makes such a thought out and well written post that I am loathe to disagrwe with it, I still feel I need to contend with putting 3.5 and Pathfinder above 5e. 3.5 and PF are absolute content traps for beginners. There's just too much stuff to be easily digested by somebody who isn't already at least somewhat familiar with it. Maybe if you limited the election to just core choices. But I'd still say 5e is both simpler to understand and easier to get started with (and lots of less numbers you need to keep track of).

    voidofopinion
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 2018
    My list was from hardest to learn for a new group (2nd edition) to easiest (Maid) so I utterly agree with you and for the reasons you stated.

    I will add a little note to my post to make it less confusing. It was a lot of information to process and I don't think it was edited together all that well.

    :)

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,406
    I haven't played 5e but the fact that it comes with a Starter Set that is reasonably cheap and apparently well thought out makes me think that would be your best option. Being a good DM is really hard and you really need to know the mechanics inside out so that you can keep the game flowing. Whilst some players will want to learn the rules for themselves, a lot of them will just want to tell you what their character is going to do and expect you to tell them what they need to roll to succeed.

    Basically, as a DM you need to know the system before you start and allow the players to learn it as they go along. So my advice would be start simple and start small and the 5e Starter Set sounds like it will allow you to do that.

    Dorcus
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    edited September 2018
    @voidofopinion There is also New World of Darkness. I am also taking part in a game with one of my roommates, Chris Bell, called Tik Tok War, which is all New WOD-based, Several of us are playing Mages (including myself, Ariane Silver, Thyrsus of the Silver Ladder and an ER Doctor in her day to day life. But we also hang around with two Changelings and a Vampire. New WOD is very different from original WOD is all I can say.

    And yes, 3e/3.5e had a ton of splatbooks, which I think can be directly tied to the OGL or Open Gaming License. In addition to the ton and a half of WOTC-released content, there are also tons of books released under the OGL I myself own several, including "The Book of Erotic Fantasy", "Sword and Sorcery Creature Collection", Legends and Lairs "Cityworks", "Mastercraft Anthology" and "Mythic Races".

    So, it's kind of like an endless well for D&D 3e/3.5e. To quote an old joke, it's "Turtles all the way down".

  • RideratRiderat Member Posts: 136
    deltago said:



    And sorry to say, players should still read through the Player’s Handbook, and DM should read through the Dungeon’s Master Guide. (Or at least the race and class choice section)

    Of course, what I meant with that, it might be lackluster to start a game if everyone needs to read a whole book on character creation.

    The best edition is whatever one you as the DM are most comfortable with and excited by. Because it's the DM that has to answer question's, teach the rules and bring the world to life.

    You don't want to be teaching a system to new people that you are still trying to learn yourself or that you don't feel inspired by.

    Uhm.. don't you change DM's pretty much every other gathering? So that everyone can be part of the adventure?
    Dorcus said:

    I'd go with 5e simply bc there's a really fantastic Starter Set package that is fairly cheap and has everything you need to run the game right out of the box and 5e is currently in print so you won't have to deal with the secondary market for used D&D books which can get pretty ugly

    Sounds good, I will check this out.
    LadyRhian said:

    I'd say pick the game most of the group is at least familiar with.

    Ah, I don't think that will be a problem. I am the only one who has played any of DnD games. Others are straight up fans of fantasy and games (both tabletop and digital).

    deltago said:

    It’s 2017. Just get digital. It is so much easier. And you can fit all your books on a tablet instead of a 200 lb book bag.

    I sort of agree with @LadyRhian that paper seems more fitting. But I guess I could look into digital versions and print them out. Or just compare them with what amazon has to offer.


    Basically, as a DM you need to know the system before you start and allow the players to learn it as they go along. So my advice would be start simple and start small and the 5e Starter Set sounds like it will allow you to do that.

    I will definetly look into this.

    Thanks for the answers and discussion so far. Even though @voidofopinion made quite an extensive list of other games that are similair, I think we want to try out some of the WotC content.

    I will look into the 5th eddition. And revert if we actually get to playing or have any additional issues :)

    ThacoBellvoidofopinion
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
    edited September 2018
    On the subject of DMing and all that, my group cycles DMs by campaign. So for example I ran a homebrew campaign set in a homebrew setting that lasted for a year, now we are playing Curse of Strahd which we are close to finishing that has lasted a year, next I think we are doing another homebrew by a different friend, followed by a fourth member running either Dragon Heist or the Rise of Tiamat books.

    Basically we have a person DM a whole campaign before switching. You can cycle DMs more quickly by running smaller adventures in the form of one shots but I don't think I would recommend running a long campaign and cycling DMs.

    ThacoBellvoidofopinion
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I have tended to take on the DM role for most of the 2e campaigns I am in. But my current DM, Chris Bell is pretty amazing, running "Wrath of the Righteous", a Pathfinder game. I am playing a 7th level Aasimar Paladin Oath against Fiends and "Tik Tok War" Set in the New WOD, where I play Dr Ariane Silver. a Thyrsus of the Silver Ladder. He's also running me and my friend Rachel, my other room mate, through another adventure, where I play Tyana Corsair, a female 2nd level Swashbuckler Inspired Blade. She has used her sexuality to get ahead (Quite literally- she bared her breasts in a race to distract the other men who were running alongside her. It worked!)

    voidofopinion
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    edited September 2018
    Basic Box from BECMI :wink:

    Post edited by AstroBryGuy on
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 2018
    The problem with round robin style DM'ing is that it's more difficult to tell a long term story if the narrator changes every game and inevitability you end up with people who say they want to DM but then dont when their turn comes around. So it all falls in the lap of the same one or two people.

    That isnt quite such a problem if you are using pre-built modules in a pre-built world but it's quite a big problem if you want to run your own stuff.

    However, DM'ing doesn't mean you don't get to play. It means you get to play an unlimited number of characters while everyone else gets only one.

    I would strongly recommend having only one DM instead of trying to get an entirely new group of people to learn to play and DM at the same time. Your odds at making it through a successful campaign together without the player group falling apart after 3 game sessions will dramatically increase.

    Also, the big question you have to answer before sticking with a system is what do you want out of it?

    Do you want politics and intreague?
    Solid dungeon crawling?
    An open sandbox?
    A structured series of pre-built adventures?

    Because every system leans a little more in one direction or the other.

    2nd edition is almost a straight up wargame still being an evolution of chainmail with some fluff.
    3.5 is one giant sandbox of options.
    5th streamlines things and takes lessons from the modern board gaming boom which tries to do a more of the work for you out of the box.

    They are all great and you can make them all work for any campaign and playstyle but some are better simply suited than others for certain styles of game.

    Even then 5e is probably best just from an accessibility standpoint.

    :)

    ThacoBellRideratTakisMegas
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 7,766
    As someone who was introduced to D&D by the 2nd Edition rules of Baldur's Gate, I actually find the simplified rules of 3rd edition MORE confusing (which is, I admit, absurd). I am a 2nd Edition partisan for that reason, but most people who actually have knowledge about all of the iterations of the game seem to think it's horrible, so I could never recommend it.

    ThacoBellvoidofopinion
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824
    2nd Ed isn't horrible, it's just not akin to what is in the fashion these days.

    Except for THAC0. THAC0 is always awful.

    ThacoBell
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