New to 4th Edition?
admin — Tue, 20/10/2009 - 11:35
Dungeons & Dragons
D&D is the original roleplaying game (rpg), the game that created a new category of entertainment. Set in a pseudo medieval fantasy world of magic and monsters, the game allows you to experience stories and adventures full of endless possibilities and amazing surprises. The newest edition of the game showcases an evolution in gameplay and puts an emphasis on fast paced gaming and fun.
The Core Mechanic
At its heart, the D&D rpg uses a core game mechanic. Once you master this, you know how to play the game. It all revolves around task resolution. How do you know if a sword swing hits the owlbear? If an outrageous bluff tricks the guards? If a fireblast spell hits the charging kobolds? It all depends on these basic rules:
✦ Decide what your character wants to do and tell the Dungeon Master.
✦ Roll a d20 (the higher the roll, the better).
✦ Add any relevant modifiers (as shown on your character sheet).
✦ Compare the total result to a target number determined by the Dungeon Master.
If the result is equal to or higher than the target number, the task succeeds. If the result is lower than the target number, the task fails.
During encounters, your character will use powers. Every class gives you access to attack powers you can use to harm or hinder your enemies and utility powers that help you and your allies. Powers in each of these broad categories are further defined by how often you can use them. You can use green at-will powers as often as you choose. You can use red encounter powers many times during a day of adventuring, but you have to rest a few minutes between each use, so you can use them each once per encounter. Grey daily powers are so dramatic and powerful that you can use each one only once a day.
Each character class specializes in one of four basic functions in combat:
Controllers generally stay out of melee combat, and use their powers to attack multiple enemies and control the battlefield.
Defenders get up close and personal with the baddies, taking the aggro, man marking, blocking the enemy from surging forward, and hitting more often than not.
Strikers are fast, mobile, and lethal, able to dart around the battlefield delivering massive amounts of damage when they hit.
Finally, Leaders are on hand to heal characters, to empower their allies, and weaken their enemies.
Every class relies on a particular source of energy for the “fuel” that enables members of that class to use powers.
Arcane: Drawing on magical energy that permeates the cosmos, the arcane power source can be used for a wide variety of effects, from fireballs to flight to invisibility. Each class is the representative of a different tradition of arcane study.
Divine: Divine magic comes from the gods. The gods grant power to their devotees, which clerics for example, access through prayers and litanies. Divine magic excels at healing, protection, and smiting the numerous undead creatures that roam the world.
Martial: Martial powers are not magic in the traditional sense, although some martial powers stand well beyond the capabilities of ordinary mortals. Martial characters use their own strength and willpower to vanquish their enemies.
Training and dedication replace arcane formulas and prayers to grant fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords, among others, their power.
Primal: Some primal powers are more overtly magical than others, but they all draw on the spirits of nature that pervade the world and, to some extent, the echo plane known as the Feywild. Primal characters evoke primal spirits to make attacks and effects in the world. Some characters channel primal spirits through their bodies in order to trans-form themselves and thereby make their physical attacks more formidable.
Psionic: Psionic classes focus on the principle of mind over matter, from the pure dedication and personal discipline of a monk, to the wildly egotistical battlemind, to the enthusiastic Ardent.
Shadow: Currently restricted to the Assassin, the shadow source derives its power from a deal with death itself...
Hit Points, Healing, and Dying
Over the course of a battle, your character takes damage from attacks. Damage reduces your hit points.
✦ Bloodied: When your current hit points drop to one-half your maximum hit points or lower, you are bloodied. Certain powers work only (or work better) against a bloodied target, so you should let your DM and the other PCs know when you’re bloodied.
✦ Dying: When your hit points drop to 0 or fewer, you fall un-conscious and are dying. Any additional damage you take continues to reduce your current hit point total until your character dies. While you are dying, you need to make a saving throw at the end of your turn each round. The result of your saving throw determines how close you are to death.
✦ Healing in Combat: Even in a heated battle, you can heal. You can heal yourself by using your second wind, an ally can use the Heal skill on you, and an ally can use a healing power on you. When a power heals you, you don’t have to take an action to spend a healing surge. Even if you’re unconscious, the power uses your healing surge and restores hit points. And some healing powers restore hit points without requiring you to spend a healing surge. When you are dying, any healing restores you to at least 1 hit point. If someone has stabilized you using the Heal skill but you receive no healing, you return to maximum hit points after an extended rest.
Classic PHB's or Essentials
This is a bone of contention around the Leeds D&D camp, but at the end of the day, the choice lie's with you as a player. The classic PHB classes have been erratta'ed to hell and back, but give a player a lot of choice, while the Essentials classes appear more limited in choice and effect, but are great for newer players. At the moment, we don't restrict your choice, so play what you feel comfortable with!
If you liked what you read, seen being played, or participated in, and want to learn more about the game, your first stop should be http://www.wizards.com/DnD/TryDnD.aspx This page on the official web site contains a free copy of the basic rules and 2 free adventures. From the official website, you can also subscribe to D&D Insider, which gives you access to the online compendium of all the official material, monster, class and races.
You get the monthly Dragon and Dungeon magazines, which include new character options, exclusive content and preview material from upcoming books.
Finally, you get access to the online character builder and monster builder, and the software is unlocked to all 30 levels of play.