A Bunch of Characters

A Bunch of Characters

Even the simplified D&D 4th Edition could do some things to make it easier to create characters for a group of kids.

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I can hardly wait, I hope everything goes as planned.

Ditto

Now... personally I've never understood D&D.
If you can create such in-depth storylines and characters, write a book.

Loop Stricken:
Now... personally I've never understood D&D.
If you can create such in-depth storylines and characters, write a book.

A book is linear. With D&D, the players can actually influence the direction the story takes.

A lot of your problem come from the fact that your players have not read the player's handbook. I understand that's tricky with them being younger, but yeah... when you have a group of players who had read the books, creating a character takes less than 5 minutes.

Regardless thought, 4edition does a better job at this than previous edition did. If it took you this long to get everybody, I would have hated to see the amount of time you would have needed to explain vacian casting and than help the young ones pick their spells 0_o.

Playing RPGs with kids that age can be surprisingly fun, if you're willing to put in the extra effort.
I used to actually get paid for playing roleplaying games with children :)
I'm surprised you're not slotting more than 3 hours for a session though.
I realise there are time constraints, but I'd suggest upping to 4 or maybe 5 hours and maybe use a weekend day to play for an even longer period, if you and your kids are up to it.
Especially if you're planning combats, they can be cumbersome even with the new 4th edition.
Just remember to take breaks or the kids might lose concentration

Good luck man, you've got my attention. Nice article, reminds me of when I was a kid and how frustrating it was to try to get a game going, but never even starting.

Until this day, I've never really played at all.

Now hold on, I've used that generator a fair bit, and it ISN'T perfect. I noticed that, like, the to-hit on some encounter abilities weren't factoring in my rod, and/or the specialization for it. It's definitely useful though, just be sure to double check the stats before you use them.

I really do hear you man, about the length of character creation. It takes at least an hour to roll up characters for Shadowrun, to the eternal chagrin of my players.

World Of Darkness is really good that way. All of the flipping is more or less non-existant, since all of the splats and powers are put into the one chapter.

Hmm, I've seen the Insider creator in action, and I love it to death, AND I haven't gotten the 4E rulebooks yet. Maybe I'll have to pick this up for myself...

Copter400:
World Of Darkness is really good that way. All of the flipping is more or less non-existant, since all of the splats and powers are put into the one chapter.

More importantly, you can teach a retarded chimpanzee the mechanics of PLAYING WoD games inside of five minutes. No d20 for this, 2d8 for that, modifier, flanking etc etc. Just "roll x + y d10s and the number of dice that come up greater than n is your score for that roll, versus my roll of the same".

Yeah, but World Of Darkness is mostly meant for adults, it's not really heroic fantasy like D&D is and since the guy is already well underway with his project probably not a viable alternative.
Not that you couldn't play World of Darkness games with kids, but you'd have to cut out or ease over a lot of intrinsic content unless you want their parents or local clergy knocking on your door armed with torches, pitchforks and a restraining order ;)
Still, World Of Darkness rocks. Mostly the old one though

Huh, double post

For a WoD-ish system there was always Trinity which was a Sci-fi setting with WoD rules.

One thing in the article really struck me though, the computer character generator "made character creation a snap".

To be honest I found a similar experience with the old 3.0 D&D character creator and several freeware windows applications. Hell, I programmed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my Wizard's spell list in 3.5. I used that spreadsheet for a final project in a college course in Excel and got an "A" in the class.

I could have gone really crazy and programmed an Access Database to create printable character sheets.

My point is this: Either the system for Pen and Paper rpgs are becoming too complex or the hobby is migrating to the computer.

I'm not saying we should all migrate to MMOs, the "human element" of getting a bunch of people around a table for an evening of dungeon crawling is better than having to communicate through a text-based chat. It just feels like a Tablet PC is going to need to be required to play RPGs in the next couple of years.

SachielOne:

Loop Stricken:
Now... personally I've never understood D&D.
If you can create such in-depth storylines and characters, write a book.

A book is linear. With D&D, the players can actually influence the direction the story takes.

More than that; the players are the characters. Done properly, that brings a level of immersion that can beat all but the most excellently-written book.

DDI, especially the character and monster generators, are the best thing to happen to D&D in a while. Whenever I'm DMing for people who have never played before, I always ask them to pick a race and class. Or if they have no idea what I'm talking about, I ask them who they would be if they could be any fantasy character. Then I make their characters in advance with the generator and bring their character sheets to the game.

Not to mention with 4e, most rules questions go like,
"How do I-"
"It's on the card."

4e is fantastic for DMs, is what I'm saying here.

How old are Marty and his pals? We were making 2nd ed characters and playing modules when we were like, 12 with no trouble. Hell, my 1st dwarf fighter was finished in time for Voltron....

That said, 4everything from 3.5 ed on sucks balls. Try Hackmaster 1st ed. It's more fun.

That's because you guys had read the book Zero.

Like I said earlier, the main issue here isn't that the system is overly complicated, but rather that you have one person who isn't all that familiar with the rules guiding 4-5 more. Things will get bugged down no matter which system you're using.

Is this an ad for DDI subscriptions?

Seriously, creating a 4th Ed character is a snap. The book DOES tell you what you need to do, and you just look over your character sheet and fill in all the blank spots....you honestly can't miss anything. And if you're only using core books, then the choices for the character's abilities are a breeze, you only have like 3 choices for your at-will and maybe a handful more for the encounter and dailies.

I can understand confusion on HOW to apply your character's abilities ingame, since they muddle things up with the different defenses and what modifier YOU apply compared to what defense THEY defend with. As for everything else....have you played 3rd Edition? Creating a character is a couple of hours unless you are a veteran dice-jockey or just making a quick-n-dirty fighter without planning his progression. The author complained about missing what modifiers to add with skills and the like(which is ON THE CHARACTER SHEET), but that is nothing compared to 3rd's synergies and all the random crap that adds to skills. In 4th, skills are pretty pointless because there is no specialization and the only difference between 2 characters is one may have a higher modifier to add to his skill. Most characters will have the same skill modifier, unless they are untrained, then they have 5 less.......that is all.

4th is simple, if you need to pay the additional subscription fee to what is basically a non-online rpg just to make characters....you're doing it wrong.

I found page 29 on the Player's Handbook very handy for a quick reference when creating characters. The other tip is in 4th Ed high rolls are good.

I'm kinda curious about what characters these kids came up with. Names, classes, concepts, etc. Should be highly entertaining.

It's true that 4E is pretty complex...it just seems much simpler, relative to 3.5! I've had an easier time bringing new players in with 4E since it came out, and as a DM I find it almost startlingly easier to run and write scenarios for. I look forward to the next column!

camazotz:
It's true that 4E is pretty complex...it just seems much simpler, relative to 3.5! I've had an easier time bringing new players in with 4E since it came out, and as a DM I find it almost startlingly easier to run and write scenarios for. I look forward to the next column!

The hardest thing for me to get used to is keeping all my powers in mind. I constantly forget exactly what my character is capable of, especially at higher levels. The power cards help a lot.

BTW, your handle is my cat's name.

Garaw:

camazotz:
It's true that 4E is pretty complex...it just seems much simpler, relative to 3.5! I've had an easier time bringing new players in with 4E since it came out, and as a DM I find it almost startlingly easier to run and write scenarios for. I look forward to the next column!

The hardest thing for me to get used to is keeping all my powers in mind. I constantly forget exactly what my character is capable of, especially at higher levels. The power cards help a lot.

BTW, your handle is my cat's name.

Your cat is named Camazotz? That is freakin' sweet!

camazotz:

Garaw:

camazotz:
It's true that 4E is pretty complex...it just seems much simpler, relative to 3.5! I've had an easier time bringing new players in with 4E since it came out, and as a DM I find it almost startlingly easier to run and write scenarios for. I look forward to the next column!

The hardest thing for me to get used to is keeping all my powers in mind. I constantly forget exactly what my character is capable of, especially at higher levels. The power cards help a lot.

BTW, your handle is my cat's name.

Your cat is named Camazotz? That is freakin' sweet!

A bat-god seemed appropriate when she was attacking my feet in the middle of the night.

Cammy for short.

 

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