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Role-playing with Family

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26 Jan 2018 08:47 - 26 Jan 2018 08:58 #262200 by Mr. White
I know this sounds like a BGG type topic, but for sake of conversation I'll drop this here. I mean, I think I even know the right answer so again, this is mainly for discussion.

So, my son read Ready Player One and loved it. My wife read it...liked it alright. I read it...eh...not a fan. That's another topic though.

Thing is it has my wife and son wanting to try a D&D session, so I'll probably run them through a little something this summer. I figure these are my options:

1) Basic Erol Otus Magenta D&D box with Keep on the Borderlands. This being the quintessential intro module seems like it would give them a real taste of the real game and where most got their start.

2) Current D&D 5e starter box. Probably has a little bit better rules. Adventure may be ok, but is it a classic? Something people will refer to decades from now? How strong is it in the D&D lineage? Not sure the art in this set is nearly as iconic as the Otus/Dee work in the magenta set, but maybe that's nostalgia.

3) Lone Wolf Adventure Game by Cubicle 7. This was designed for new players so has simple rules. Also, of the three probably has the most cohesive setting with a lot of lifting already done (the players all being from the same organization and such working for a common goal). However, this isn't 'D&D' proper, so maybe if they're only doing a one shot taste we stick with the classic.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2018 08:58 by Mr. White.
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26 Jan 2018 09:06 #262204 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Role-playing with Family
If they really want to try out D&D, I would go classic for the most authentic experience. I didn't learn D&D from that Basic magenta box with the Erol Otus art, but I read through it a few years later and was very impressed with the clarity and organization of the rulebook and overall presentation. Likewise, I never played or ran Keep on the Borderlands, but it reads like a well-rounded starting adventure. I like Otus and Dee artwork, but recognize that they are very stylized and not that great in terms of sheer art. It's more for the nostalgia.

For what it's worth, I haven't looked into 5e yet. I hear good things about it, but it sounds a little too stream-lined and generic for my crunchy tastes. I am also unfamiliar with the Lone Wolf Adventure Game, though I need to check it out if it is based on the Lone Wolf and Cub comics.
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26 Jan 2018 09:09 - 26 Jan 2018 09:20 #262205 by Mr. White
Replied by Mr. White on topic Role-playing with Family
Yeah, OG Basic is what I'm thinking too. If they like it we can then run some other classics. Another option would be to use the 5e rules to play these older modules, but I'm not sure I want to do any sort of converting work. My only hesitation in going with older modules is my guess that more recent designed offerings are perhaps more balanced in ecnounter type. So diplomacy and character may come into play more. If this is true or not...I have no idea. I'd also be running 'golden oldies' when perhaps I should go more current and relevant.

The Lone Wolf game is based on Joe Dever's RPG books.



cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/lone-wolf-adventure-game/
Last edit: 26 Jan 2018 09:20 by Mr. White.

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26 Jan 2018 09:20 #262209 by san il defanso
I'm running the D&D starter adventure with some friends now. It's a good adventure, and crucially it's pretty short with a wide variety of things to do. My group is kind of heavy on murder hobos and power gamers, so we are inclined toward a more dungeon-crawly kind of atmosphere. Roleplaying hasn't entered into it much yet.

I couldn't give you a comparison between that and other products, but as a fairly green DM I've appreciated it.
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26 Jan 2018 09:25 #262211 by Mr. White
Replied by Mr. White on topic Role-playing with Family
Looks like there's a set of conversions out by 'DMs Guild'. I have no idea if they're official or not, but picking up a copy of the 5e starter, Keep on the Borderlands, and this conversion doc would be a lot cheaper than a magenta box.

However, it goes back to maybe being more work than it's worth and a hack job when maybe I should just roll pure OG or 5e.

www.dmsguild.com/product/177381/Classic-...n-the-Borderlands-5e

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26 Jan 2018 09:29 #262212 by SuperflyPete
Part of me thinks that DCC would be a better starting point because it’s a relatively simple system. No THAC0, etc.

I’ve not played 5e and still see 3e as probably the best iteration of D&D, but DCC is so easy to get into...

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26 Jan 2018 09:30 #262214 by repoman
Replied by repoman on topic Role-playing with Family
I would suggest that you keep the scope very small for the first session. I think creating a very small and limited adventure of your own might be the way to go. A very contained objective. Raid the goblin cave to rescue the kidnapped children or some such. Maybe 3 encounters, two combat and one trap or mental challenge.

If you include character creation as part of the session, this will be several hours of play and give them a taste of what D&D is like in way that they can relate to if they haven't done any RPing before. They will know if it's something they want to get deeper into before you commit to a longer campaign style game. If they don't dig it, well no big deal. It was one night and a good experiment. If the do dig it. Then we can move on to a good low level adventure/campaign.

As to what to run. 5th edition is good. Yes, combat has been streamlined and simplified over previous editions which is to the good for beginning players and also for those who like the RP aspects over the tactical combat. For those who do like more complex fighting, I have heard that it becomes a bit bland after a while. But again, for starting new players I think it's a good choice.

DMs Guild is a good place to go for those classic adventures. Many of them have been converted already and you can get copies of the updated stats and such for a pittance in PDF form. Also a bunch of cool third party stuff available for download there too.
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26 Jan 2018 09:32 #262215 by Mr. White
Replied by Mr. White on topic Role-playing with Family

SuperflyTNT wrote: Part of me thinks that DCC would be a better starting point because it’s a relatively simple system. No THAC0, etc.

I’ve not played 5e and still see 3e as probably the best iteration of D&D, but DCC is so easy to get into...


Despite me absolutely loving DCC....it is far to gonzo and lethal for what I'm looking to experience here.

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26 Jan 2018 09:33 - 26 Jan 2018 09:39 #262216 by san il defanso
The only thing about the 5e starter set is that it kind of assumes you will have a grid for combat. But if you have experience doing more theater of the mind combat, then you will have no trouble.

One thing the starter set has is a really strong set of pregenerated characters. They have all sorts of motivations and stories that tie into the main story. It definitely smooths out the rockiest bit to teach new players, the character creation.

Edit: Should you run the starter set, Mike Shea at Sly Flourish has a great run down on DMing it.

Here's the link.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2018 09:39 by san il defanso.
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26 Jan 2018 09:51 #262221 by Chapel
Replied by Chapel on topic Role-playing with Family
I would probably start with the 5th edition, as that is what the kids are playing. If he gets into it, why muddle the pond and expose him to something the other kids aren't into.

Plus, the are releasing Into the Boderlands for 5e: rpggeek.com/thread/1924841/b1-b2-borderlands-5e

Best of both worlds.
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26 Jan 2018 10:05 #262223 by Jexik
Replied by Jexik on topic Role-playing with Family
Couple years ago I saw the D&D 5e starter set at a book store while out with the wife and kid (5 at the time). We got it and played with the maternal grandparents the following Friday. The only one who had role-played before was grandma- she had played 1st edition or classic back when she was in the army circa 1980. As Nate says, the pre-gens were solid. There are 5 of them - your classic Fighter/Cleric/Wizard/Rogue, with an additional Fighter who specializes in archery instead of close combat.
Without spoiling much, the first set of encounters is very much "fight a couple of goblins, save some townsfolk," as suggested for a first encounter above. The first few sessions pretty neatly lined up with getting people up 1 level at a time, and within a couple months we had excitedly completed it and then sought out new books to start new characters. Had Grandma not moved, we'd probably have kept up pretty well.

Is "The Lost Mine of Phandelver" an instant classic adventure? Eh, I don't know, but my wife excitedly talks about a Bilbo-esque moment she had whenever anyone mentions D&D within earshot of her. I recommend the set highly, and enjoy 5th.
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26 Jan 2018 10:07 - 26 Jan 2018 10:10 #262224 by Mr. White
Replied by Mr. White on topic Role-playing with Family
I'm turning from OG to 5e now, fellas. Run the 5e game...if it goes over...the Goodman classic conversions down the road.

All around seems best. It's current and also the cheapest route.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2018 10:10 by Mr. White.

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26 Jan 2018 10:24 - 26 Jan 2018 10:25 #262226 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Role-playing with Family

Mr. White wrote: I'm turning from OG to 5e now, fellas. Run the 5e game...if it goes over...the Goodman classic conversions down the road.

All around seems best. It's current and also the cheapest route.


One of my sons is playing 5th with his friends and 2nd with us. He's fine with both and jumps between them easily.

5th is likely easiest to purchase and work through. Make your own mini adventure (I have a couple of ideas I've used if you're interested), be sure to include an NPC to help guide your family on how to make the adventure proceed. The NPC can take a starring role to get things going (it gives your family a way to talk to you in-character as well) and then fade him into the background as they start taking charge.

Have fun. Keep it light. The game is approaching 50 years old and still is quite an experience.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2018 10:25 by Sagrilarus.
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26 Jan 2018 11:31 #262237 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic Role-playing with Family
I used Basic Fantasy when introducing D&D to my wife and daughter. It's the B/X rules with a few changes like making higher Armor Class be better (instead of lower being better like pre-3e D&D). It's free in PDF and only costs $5 on Amazon because the creator sells it at cost. Great simple rules that you can use any old D&D product with (or any OSR product for that matter). Although I want to use DCC as my ruleset for next campaign, Basic Fantasy got them into roleplaying without the burden of learning a ton of rules.

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