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Subject: Trying to learn D&D for the first time, need some tips on groups and such. rss

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Joseph Hopkins
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Hi, I'm new to table top gaming. I became interested in it after playing RPG-genre video games for a while. My first inclination was to learn Dungeons and Dragons, as, that is basically the archetype for all other table-top RPG's. I bought the books and gave them a once-over, but I heard that the best way to learn was to find a Friend, or a group who knows the rules and just have them teach you on the fly.

Now that my annoying preamble is out of the way, i'd just like to ask if anyone here knows of any groups that would be willing to teach a "noob"?

Also, I'm 17 if it matters, I'd just not like to get all excited about a suggestion just to find out that it is a strip club or a bar or whatever.

Thanks a lot!!!! I really appreciate it.
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Rob Stevenson
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You could repost this on the RPG Geek forums, specifically here:

rpggeek.com/forum/379246/rpg/conventions-and-meetups

There might already be a nearby group looking for players on there.

You might also try looking on a website like Meetup to see if there are any clubs in your area.

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Edmund Proctor
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Agreed, you need to join a RPG group. A D&D group would be good, but any game system would be good since it wil teach you how to Role-Play. And at a later date you can run a D&D game for them.
 
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Alan Shirey
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Do you have a local game store near you? If so, i'd suggest going there and see if there are any groups that advertise or play there and see if you can join in. I know the store near me always has flyers up for groups looking for people to join them. Not necessarily just for D&D, but for a variety of systems.
 
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Andy Leighton
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joehop67 wrote:
Hi, I'm new to table top gaming. I became interested in it after playing RPG-genre video games for a while. My first inclination was to learn Dungeons and Dragons, as, that is basically the archetype for all other table-top RPG's. I bought the books and gave them a once-over, but I heard that the best way to learn was to find a Friend, or a group who knows the rules and just have them teach you on the fly.


I will echo Rob Stevenson in pointing out RPGGeek - click RPGs at the top of the screen.

Joining an existing group is one way. Try your local game store see if they have a RPG night. Look for D&D Adventurers League or Pathfinder Society (one uses D&D 5e and the other Pathfinder).

However if you have some friends you want to play with, there is nothing stopping you starting right now. It is how many of us started in the old days. As you have the books you will most likely be the DM (that's how it usually works). For a first time you might want to search out a free adventure online - see https://merricb.com/dungeons-dragons-5e/dungeons-dragons-5e-... if you don't have an adventure module.

Finally there are often user organised Play by Forum and Play by VOIP games on RPGGeek many of them newbie friendly and some of them D&D 5e. Also in October we have the annual Virtuacon - where there will be loads of play-by-VOIP games.
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joehop67 wrote:

Also, I'm 17 if it matters, I'd just not like to get all excited about a suggestion just to find out that it is a strip club or a bar or whatever.


    Dungeons and Dragons at a strip club. That paints quite a picture.

    Ask a couple of buddies and go for it yourself. It's not as hard as it looks at first glance.

             S.


 
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Joseph Hopkins
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Thanks for all the tips! I'll definitely be going to a game shop for at least a full set of dice if nothing else. And I'll also be looking for groups around me that hopefully won't bash me too much for being newbie.

I would play with friends, its just that my friends don't share my sudden interest in the Table Top variety of games, so starting my own group is kinda out of the question. Not to mention the rules are bloody overwhelming for someone who hasn't even played the game.

Also, one last quick question. Do any of you know of any really good table top game simulators I can find online or on steam or whatever? Just as a handy "quick-start" utility or whatever. I'd imagine it's not quite the same experience as it would be in person, but it would help me get a better feel for the rules and such.

Thanks again everyone!
 
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Andy Leighton
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joehop67 wrote:
Thanks for all the tips! I'll definitely be going to a game shop for at least a full set of dice if nothing else. And I'll also be looking for groups around me that hopefully won't bash me too much for being newbie.

I would play with friends, its just that my friends don't share my sudden interest in the Table Top variety of games, so starting my own group is kinda out of the question. Not to mention the rules are bloody overwhelming for someone who hasn't even played the game.

Also, one last quick question. Do any of you know of any really good table top game simulators I can find online or on steam or whatever? Just as a handy "quick-start" utility or whatever. I'd imagine it's not quite the same experience as it would be in person, but it would help me get a better feel for the rules and such.


Hmm I know people who play with Roll20 but I don't know if it would be a good way of getting a feel of the rules.

One final place you could find help learning the system is youtube. There are videos on how to create characters, and quite a few actual play videos - these for example.
 
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Colin Gillespie
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If it hasn't been said already, the D&D starter set isn't a bad choice. It'll include a set of dice, a prewritten adventure, that walks the players through bit by bit, and pregenerated characters. The Starter rules available on the D&D website have enough to get you started and are abailable for free, but lack detail in some places. The Players handbook has everything you would need as a player apart from paper, dice and a pencil though. There are other supplemental materials available, but they aren't needed unless you really want to dive in. The Monster Manual is a cool reference, but should only really be in the hands of the DM at the table, and you shouldn't need the DM guide yet.

Going to the D&D adventurers league as mentioned above might be a good idea, since they would be less likely to have rules errors or houserules to mess you up, and being open to the public at large, they would hopefully be welcoming to newbies.

If you are completely new, I wouldn't necessarily recommend starting off with running a game, but start as a player. And even as a player, some classes are simpler to use than others. Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, Paladins, and even thieves are pretty good for beginners. Clerics, Wizards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, Monks, and Bards are a bit more complicated, if only because of the spells and special abilities that they have to keep track of, and they tend to be a bit squishier.

If it's hard to go from the rules on the page to seeing how a game would actually run, then there are all kinds of podcasts and youtube series of live play. Since you made note of your age though, it is worth noting that several are not age appropriate, and many use a loose interpretation of the rules for the sake of storytelling and production decisions.

I think that the D&D website even has a "find a game" section where you can look up groups that are looking for new players.

Hope that helps, and if any of us know a good group in your area, I'm sure that we could point you towards them.
 
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Andy Leighton
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coligill wrote:
If it's hard to go from the rules on the page to seeing how a game would actually run, then there are all kinds of podcasts and youtube series of live play. Since you made note of your age though, it is worth noting that several are not age appropriate


Why? At 17 surely virtually everything you will see in a RPG is age-appropriate unless the OP is from the most cossetted of backgrounds. For example a bit of swearing isn't going to be an issue I am sure.
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Joseph Hopkins
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Because excessive profanity isn't allowed on this board, I'll just say fuck and get it over with I'm no prude when it comes to swearing, or even the more risque bits that can come with an RPG. I've been watching the YogCast live games, HighRoller I believe it's called, which has only gotten me more excited to actually play the game and experience my own adventures.

Other than that, I'll be trying to get up to a game shop some time this week and I'll be looking for the starter set for sure. Hopefully the people working there will know of some groups, or I'll see some ads posted around. If all else fails I'll just check around the internet, looking on MeetUp or the official DND website. I know some gaming shops like to hold game nights and such, so maybe I'll check those out too.

I also definitely want to be a player for my first game, just to get a grasp on the rules in practice, as well as the feel of the game.

But seriously guys, thanks for all the help. It makes me a bit less nervous about trying to get into the scene, seeing as all you guys have been pretty helpful.
 
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coligill wrote:
If you are completely new, I wouldn't necessarily recommend starting off with running a game, but start as a player. ...


If you weren't aware of already because video/computer RPGs take care of this for you, pen-and-paper RPGs require a human Dungeon Master to actually run and manage the game, story, creatures, encounters, rules, etc. that everyone else in the group play as adventurers in. Being a DM is a LOT more challenging than being a player, so it'll be better to get started playing first to get an idea how an RPG is run.

If you are interested in being a DM, the D&D Starter set as Colin mentions is a good starting point.


 
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Also found some beginner's guides: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&e...

And a D&D solo: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&e...

If you're looking for mini's and dungeon tiles, get the D&D Adventure System (Castle Ravenloft, etc.). For prepainted mini's, get the Dungeon Command series.
 
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Joseph Hopkins
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Well, I pretty much want to become an all around player. I feel that I am a pretty decent storyteller, so I could hopefully create some nice descriptions and interesting NPC's and battles and that sort of thing, once I get a grasp of the rules. I don't have any qualms with being a DM or a player. For now though, I feel that I should just be a player in a few games before I start DMing, because what good is a DM if he doesn't know the rules and has to look up everything all the time? I'd imagine that would break the flow of the game quite a bit.

But yeah, for sure I would love to be a DM at some point in time. I hear it can be a great experience, possibly even better than being a player in certain cases.

Either way, my main goal at this point in time is to just get a grasp of the rules in a practical manner, and really to have fun and meet new people.
 
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Dan Williams
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joehop67 wrote:
For now though, I feel that I should just be a player in a few games before I start DMing, because what good is a DM if he doesn't know the rules and has to look up everything all the time? I'd imagine that would break the flow of the game quite a bit.

But yeah, for sure I would love to be a DM at some point in time. I hear it can be a great experience, possibly even better than being a player in certain cases.


Do what you feel is right of course, but don't assume that you have to know all the rules inside-out to be a good DM. If being a DM appeals to you, try it. Players (good ones anyway) will 100% understand a new DM having to look things up. The more important thing is to not get hung up on things and keep the action/adventure/story flowing and fun. If you don't know a rule and can't find it quickly, just make it up and let the players know that you'll look it up after the game so you know for next time. Matthew Mercer and Chris Perkins are two of the best DMs you could watch, and they look things up still.

joehop67 wrote:
Either way, my main goal at this point in time is to just get a grasp of the rules in a practical manner, and really to have fun and meet new people.


Sounds like you're doing it right then
 
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Joseph Hopkins
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spitfire23bc wrote:

Do what you feel is right of course, but don't assume that you have to know all the rules inside-out to be a good DM. If being a DM appeals to you, try it. Players (good ones anyway) will 100% understand a new DM having to look things up. The more important thing is to not get hung up on things and keep the action/adventure/story flowing and fun. If you don't know a rule and can't find it quickly, just make it up and let the players know that you'll look it up after the game so you know for next time. Matthew Mercer and Chris Perkins are two of the best DMs you could watch, and they look things up still.


Awesome! I really enjoy weaving tales of Mystery and Adventure, so after some practice with playing a bit and getting the feel for a game, as well as keeping the story flowing nicely even if I don't know the exact rules, I'll be ready to don the title of DM. I think I also might have found a decent group to try learning with. A DND Adventures League group that's located in a shop near me. With luck I'll be able to go to their next meeting tomorrow and dive in head-first.
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Justin S.
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spitfire23bc wrote:


Do what you feel is right of course, but don't assume that you have to know all the rules inside-out to be a good DM. If being a DM appeals to you, try it. Players (good ones anyway) will 100% understand a new DM having to look things up. The more important thing is to not get hung up on things and keep the action/adventure/story flowing and fun. If you don't know a rule and can't find it quickly, just make it up and let the players know that you'll look it up after the game so you know for next time.


Agreed, one of the best DM's in my group is shaky on the rules, but a great storyteller. She'll occasionally have to check with her players on the rules for a particular situation, since she knows we'll know them, but it doesn't interfere with a great game.
 
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Dan Williams
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joehop67 wrote:
spitfire23bc wrote:

Do what you feel is right of course, but don't assume that you have to know all the rules inside-out to be a good DM. If being a DM appeals to you, try it. Players (good ones anyway) will 100% understand a new DM having to look things up. The more important thing is to not get hung up on things and keep the action/adventure/story flowing and fun. If you don't know a rule and can't find it quickly, just make it up and let the players know that you'll look it up after the game so you know for next time. Matthew Mercer and Chris Perkins are two of the best DMs you could watch, and they look things up still.


Awesome! I really enjoy weaving tales of Mystery and Adventure, so after some practice with playing a bit and getting the feel for a game, as well as keeping the story flowing nicely even if I don't know the exact rules, I'll be ready to don the title of DM. I think I also might have found a decent group to try learning with. A DND Adventures League group that's located in a shop near me. With luck I'll be able to go to their next meeting tomorrow and dive in head-first.


I hope you have a great time. D&D is an amazing game! May all your rolls be high
 
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Joseph Hopkins
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spitfire23bc wrote:
joehop67 wrote:
spitfire23bc wrote:

Do what you feel is right of course, but don't assume that you have to know all the rules inside-out to be a good DM. If being a DM appeals to you, try it. Players (good ones anyway) will 100% understand a new DM having to look things up. The more important thing is to not get hung up on things and keep the action/adventure/story flowing and fun. If you don't know a rule and can't find it quickly, just make it up and let the players know that you'll look it up after the game so you know for next time. Matthew Mercer and Chris Perkins are two of the best DMs you could watch, and they look things up still.


Awesome! I really enjoy weaving tales of Mystery and Adventure, so after some practice with playing a bit and getting the feel for a game, as well as keeping the story flowing nicely even if I don't know the exact rules, I'll be ready to don the title of DM. I think I also might have found a decent group to try learning with. A DND Adventures League group that's located in a shop near me. With luck I'll be able to go to their next meeting tomorrow and dive in head-first.


I hope you have a great time. D&D is an amazing game! May all your rolls be high


Thanks so much, all of you. I was a little shaky on the whole joining a group thing, as I'm not the most social person, but all this help and hospitality has really given me the confidence to get out there and learn the bloody game!
 
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Colin Gillespie
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andyl wrote:
coligill wrote:
If it's hard to go from the rules on the page to seeing how a game would actually run, then there are all kinds of podcasts and youtube series of live play. Since you made note of your age though, it is worth noting that several are not age appropriate


Why? At 17 surely virtually everything you will see in a RPG is age-appropriate unless the OP is from the most cossetted of backgrounds. For example a bit of swearing isn't going to be an issue I am sure.


I meant it more as a disclaimer than as a restriction, and even then for more of the tabletalk on the podcasts and the videos than for the D&D content itself. I used to listen to Brian Posehn's playthrough podcast until it ended up being 90% dick jokes and wild tangents to 1970s b-movie trivia. Acquisitions Incorporated and the new Force Grey series both start off with a quick "This Let's Play features adults, using adult language. You have been warned" or equivalent. I don't know where he would watch or listen to such media, or how closely his history is monitored, I just mentioned it a something to consider

Also, it makes things easier if you find a group that is around your own age, or at least has a variety of ages. My group are all thirty-somethings at about the same stage of life, several of whom have been playing RPGs since they were kids. I'm not saying it would be a problem to have a 17 year old at the table as well, but it would be a different vibe from a group of teenagers and early twenties folks, or a group of all mixed ages.

And lastly,

Quote:
I was a little shaky on the whole joining a group thing, as I'm not the most social person


You're joining a group to play Dungeons and Dragons. I'm sure that some amount of social awkwardness is just par for the course.
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Joseph Hopkins
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coligill wrote:


I meant it more as a disclaimer than as a restriction, and even then for more of the tabletalk on the podcasts and the videos than for the D&D content itself. I used to listen to Brian Posehn's playthrough podcast until it ended up being 90% dick jokes and wild tangents to 1970s b-movie trivia. Acquisitions Incorporated and the new Force Grey series both start off with a quick "This Let's Play features adults, using adult language. You have been warned" or equivalent. I don't know where he would watch or listen to such media, or how closely his history is monitored, I just mentioned it a something to consider


Let's just say that I have my own computer, in my own room, with a door that locks. My parents are pretty much okay with whatever I watch, so long as it doesn't disturb them.

coligill wrote:

Also, it makes things easier if you find a group that is around your own age, or at least has a variety of ages. My group are all thirty-somethings at about the same stage of life, several of whom have been playing RPGs since they were kids. I'm not saying it would be a problem to have a 17 year old at the table as well, but it would be a different vibe from a group of teenagers and early twenties folks, or a group of all mixed ages.


Yeah, I was thinking something similar, the only issue being that I have no idea where to look for such a group, and my friends aren't really that interested in DND so I can't really get them to play with me either. I'll (hopefully) go to that meeting tomorrow, and if I get any weird vibes due to age difference or whatever, I just won't go back and I'll find a new group.

coligill wrote:

You're joining a group to play Dungeons and Dragons. I'm sure that some amount of social awkwardness is just par for the course.


We're all geeks here, I'm among my own kind now
 
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Wait, you are 17? Aren't you a little old to be learning to play dnd?

I kid, of course, but want to echo what a few people have said, don't limit yourself to Dungeons and Dragons.
There are many great popular RPGs (Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Dark Heresy, Call of Cthulhu) as well as many amazing niche/ specialized RPGs.

After spending the better part of my teenage years playing dungeons and dragons, I got into niche games like Dread, Technoir, and the Esoterrorists. These games have been "the best RPGs" I've ever played.

The point I'm making is that while dnd has a wider appeal, looking for the perfect game (a better system, an appealing theme) can help you find better roleplaying groups and experiences.
 
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Joseph Hopkins
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Oh no worries, I will definitely be looking into other games once I get a grasp on the basics of table top roleplaying. But I choose DND because, not only is it one with a large fanbase, it is also set in a genre that I really like (typically, that is.) I really enjoy the high-fantasy types of settings, you know, swords and sorcery and all that jazz. Like the Elder Scrolls games, and the type of fiction that I enjoy, such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Throne + A Song of Ice and Fire.
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Jon Baxter
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Haven't seen where you are living yet, so if in Calgary there's a lot I'd link to for you.

If not then I wish you good luck.

 
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Joseph Hopkins
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jgbaxter wrote:
Haven't seen where you are living yet, so if in Calgary there's a lot I'd link to for you.

If not then I wish you good luck.



Oh, did I forget to mention which city I was in? Oops. Yes, I live in Calgary.
 
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