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New member, Dad to 2 boys who want to learn D&D

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
Hello,

I am the dad to 2 boys (14 and 9) who have decided they want to learn how to play D&D. I played when I was younger (last played 35 years ago), and so I told them we would get some books and try it out together. I went on e-bay and found a fair deal on 4e PHB, MM, DMG, and 2 other books. The books should be here by the weekend and I already have dice, etc. My question is is 4e a good place to start them at? I will be DM'ing to start as I have some limited experience. I have heard 4e is fairly user friendly, and it was much less expensive to get the books for than 5e. I know if they want to play with school groups, etc. that they may need to get 5e books but for now am hoping this is a good way to give them exposure to RPGs. I am sure I will be using this site as a resource for a lot of questions (I have already started reading a lot of threads).

Regards,
OED
 

Snoof

Time-Travelling Layabout
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I am the dad to 2 boys (14 and 9) who have decided they want to learn how to play D&D. I played when I was younger (last played 35 years ago), and so I told them we would get some books and try it out together. I went on e-bay and found a fair deal on 4e PHB, MM, DMG, and 2 other books. The books should be here by the weekend and I already have dice, etc. My question is is 4e a good place to start them at? I will be DM'ing to start as I have some limited experience. I have heard 4e is fairly user friendly, and it was much less expensive to get the books for than 5e. I know if they want to play with school groups, etc. that they may need to get 5e books but for now am hoping this is a good way to give them exposure to RPGs. I am sure I will be using this site as a resource for a lot of questions (I have already started reading a lot of threads).
I like 4e a lot (I'm currently running a campaign!) but it's not really the most user-friendly edition of D&D; there's a lot of numbers and states to track for any given character, and it's a game that rewards system mastery and coordination. It's also designed around having at least three, preferably five, characters in a party and using a battle mat. By comparison, 5e scales to lower PC numbers better and can be played using theatre-of-the-mind.

Finally: a brief note about 4e monsters: the Monster Manual I and II are partially deprecated. They reworked the monster maths for Monster Manual III and the Monster Vault books, and I find the game plays better using that new math. If you'd like to convert the existing monsters in MMI, there's info about how to do it here.
 

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
I like 4e a lot (I'm currently running a campaign!) but it's not really the most user-friendly edition of D&D; there's a lot of numbers and states to track for any given character, and it's a game that rewards system mastery and coordination. It's also designed around having at least three, preferably five, characters in a party and using a battle mat. By comparison, 5e scales to lower PC numbers better and can be played using theatre-of-the-mind.

Finally: a brief note about 4e monsters: the Monster Manual I and II are partially deprecated. They reworked the monster maths for Monster Manual III and the Monster Vault books, and I find the game plays better using that new math. If you'd like to convert the existing monsters in MMI, there's info about how to do it here.
Thank you for the info. I guess we will give it a try and if it doesn't work for us we will bite the bullet and get the 5e books.
 

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
I like 4e a lot (I'm currently running a campaign!) but it's not really the most user-friendly edition of D&D; there's a lot of numbers and states to track for any given character, and it's a game that rewards system mastery and coordination. It's also designed around having at least three, preferably five, characters in a party and using a battle mat. By comparison, 5e scales to lower PC numbers better and can be played using theatre-of-the-mind.

Finally: a brief note about 4e monsters: the Monster Manual I and II are partially deprecated. They reworked the monster maths for Monster Manual III and the Monster Vault books, and I find the game plays better using that new math. If you'd like to convert the existing monsters in MMI, there's info about how to do it here.
Quick question, would it be advisable to have each son create 2 characters to control so the party would have 4? Not sure if this would help.
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
Quick question, would it be advisable to have each son create 2 characters to control so the party would have 4? Not sure if this would help.
IMO, More than one character at a time is not really good for learning the game. Something like a Fighter and a Cleric would do well as a starting party. You could always have them hire a thief or wizard as needed but they should be GM characters.

A Fighter and a Thief with access to healing potions would work well too.

BTW, I am always happy when I hear of parents introducing their kids to RPing.... we can keep our hobby alive by breeding our own replacements. ;):)
 

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
IMO, More than one character at a time is not really good for learning the game. Something like a Fighter and a Cleric would do well as a starting party. You could always have them hire a thief or wizard as needed but they should be GM characters.

A Fighter and a Thief with access to healing potions would work well too.

BTW, I am always happy when I hear of parents introducing their kids to RPing.... we can keep our hobby alive by breeding our own replacements. ;):)
Thanks again.
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
If you do get into 5th edition, you will NOT need the GM manual to play any of the published scenarios. It is mostly advice on how to GM D&D and how to create new games with the 5e rules.

The monster manual is useful but almost every monster in there can be found on-line with all the game stats like on this site.

The Players manual is currently going for about $25. If you feel you need more than what is in the free starter stuff, that is the only book I would recommend.
 

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
If you do get into 5th edition, you will NOT need the GM manual to play any of the published scenarios. It is mostly advice on how to GM D&D and how to create new games with the 5e rules.

The monster manual is useful but almost every monster in there can be found on-line with all the game stats like on this site.

The Players manual is currently going for about $25. If you feel you need more than what is in the free starter stuff, that is the only book I would recommend.
Now see why wasn't I smart enough to find this out BEFORE I bought the 4e books lol. Oh well, live and learn.
 
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