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Welcome to RollD4e!

A RPG Blog focused on the ins and outs of fantasy role playing (specifically a lot of the time I’ll be more focused on Dungeons & Dragons especially 4th Edition which is what me and my group are currently playing, though I will be posting mainly system neutral at first.) Giving DM Advice, PC Advice and just some interesting articles on playing these games we love so much.

This blog started as merely a glimmer an idea that has now come round into a big shiny ball of light that will hopefully be a long lasting project, as a bit of an amateur writer I hope to extend my writing skills to be more creative and informative delivering interesting articles to a whole new audience I have been part of for just over three years now.

Though three years is not alot of experience compared to some of the other bloggers out there such as the ChattyDM (Musings of the Chatty DM) and Yax (Dungeon Mastering), but in that time I have managed to survive insanely troublesome players, introducing new comers to our wonderful hobby and have written enough material that I have yet to use that my desk tends to be a mass of dice, books and folders filled with lined paper, some of this may even (well at least the fluff anyway) make it’s way here onto the Internet.

I have currently run two campaigns to a finish and at the end of this weekend my third outing begins, up until now my group have been playing mini 4th edition campaigns “Super Adventures” at the most at various levels until then, and finally this weekend where moving onto a full blown game. Which I will be discussing at some point in the near future. As well as DMing two full blown campaigns I have also played in three or four within the group and so have experienced a number of 1-20 run throughs with 3.5 edition, anything that I learnt in that game has actually transfered to 4e quite well when it comes to just being prepared strategising with others at the table and taking down evil stuff.

Away from the table I’m just trying to get through life and leave my black hole of a school so that I can get out into the world and prove my worth as a game designer (that is what my ambition is) in the mean time I fill my time with developing my writing skills, playing video games and just trying to enjoy the insignificant life I leave.

I hope to post at first at least twice a week slowly developing further as I go along.

Thanks For Reading,

OneManHorde

I’d Like to thank the ChattyDM (Musings of the Chatty DM) and Yax (Dungeon Mastering), even though I havn’t actually talked to them their blogs are what sparked this idea, and I’d like to take this moment to say how awesome I think they are.


Every player knows that when they sit at that game table take out their pencils, character sheets and dice they are fitting into the role of a entirely different person, during my first experience will role-playing games I would attempt and often fail to play the role of Lidda, Halfling Rogue, I would often act with male brash and show little elegance in the little things to do and many of my players at the time would agree maybe I should have been Redgar, Human Fighter instead. When we finally moved onto my first ever campaign (my first experience was that of the 3.5 basic game…) I picked myself a Human Sorcerer and found myself better able to role-play.

Many Newbie’s like I did will often fall into the common mistakes a role-player can make when playing a character, and some of the problems that turn may even have been avoided if you did the first few sessions just right, everything has an effect on how you play your character including the other characters in your party and the world your characters are adventuring in. Firstly I will outline the common mistakes a Role-Player may encounter when playing as his latest character in the current campaign:

1. Clichés, if your character is entirely based round a Cliché you have created yourself a problem from day one, Cliché becomes very familiar ground to players and instead of actually playing a unique character you yourself have discovered and made you instead tend to just go through the motions.

2. Over Planning. Some of the more experienced Role-Player may no this well. Being able to describe what your character looks like, what he’s like and what has happened to him is good, but there is such a thing as Over Planning and this can cause problems in how your role play your character. So, your playing a quiet guy disturbed by a past of terrifying torture and war you have written pages on what happened to him and what he is like in realistic detail. You are not the only one. Your party of four now consists of four very quiet tortured souls. Does that sound fun… unless you are a mute or mime… I don’t think so…

3. Embarrassment. Often a problem for a newbie, gone are the days when you could run about your garden in child like make believe killing ninjas and saving princesses with out getting real funny looks and mutters of “is he crazy…” and so acting and improvising in your character role can often bring feelings of embarrassment and shame, even though in the company you would normally do it, you should not be embarrassed as it’s all part of the game! I am myself guilty of this often but I am getting better.

Fixing These Problems, or avoiding them entirely.

Clichés

If it is to late to change your character mechanically, you can still avoid the Cliché. If I for example am playing a Orc Barbarian, I can avoid the normally Cliché of stupidity and brutality in a number of ways, yes he is illiterate and not very good with people but that doesn’t mean he is brutal savage, quite the opposite for maybe he loves nature and is actually quite friendly it’s just hard to show this with what nature has given him, but by no means should he then become the quiet type, another pain in the arse Cliché often found, no though he finds it hard he is persistent to improve his communication skills and so often talks to almost anyone he can and strikes up conversation with anyone who will listen.

Over Planning

When creating a character you can truly unleash your creativity, and to avoid the problems of over planning you will need to take control of the creative power locked away in your brain. Instead of detailing in chapter length pieces your characters live write three or four paragraphs on their life, providing the key details, these can then be expanded on the more you play the character so that you can get more of a feel for him or her, if you have already written everything about them it’s to set in stone and you may find that something you thought was cool earlier is not so further on. Expand your horizons the more you play, at first when writing the personality of your new character talk of likes and dislikes, little quirks here and there but do not make it so your character as nearly every nervous tick in the book and no room for his personality to change and expand as the events of the campaign unfold.

Embarrassment

Embarrassment can occur no matter how long you have been role-playing and even I do suffer from it sometimes at the table. But I am getting better, and this is how. You see the first thing you need to remember is your not being foolish or crazy, but in a way you are acting performing with and to you friends, this should help straight away if it makes you feel better you should play in a comfortable and secure location where on-lookers can’t simple look into a room or through a window and see you acting out chopping an Orcs head off. Make sure you are playing with people you are capable of narratively speaking with develop ideas with your fellow gamers to better immerse your self into your characters. These things can help keep the tides of embarrassment at bay and in the end you may find yourself letting go entirely so that there are no boundaries to what you can achieve.

I hope this helps you get into character better, I know there are things I have missed as there are an infinite possibilities to some of the problems that occur, be patient and sometimes thing will work themselves out. Speak with other gamers about there experiences at the table, help yourself by helping others.

This Week On D&D Insider

Listed below are all of this weeks updates on D&D Insider, Enjoy!

Since the days of early role-playing Player and DM alike have clashed in battle over such a very simple problem which, has a very simple solution, I am talking about splat books and homebrew rules. Whether you are a particularly open minded DM who will allow anything that is balanced and fair as long as the players provide or if your a straight core man there may have been a point when a player has asked to use something that you have not wanted in your game. I think I may have a solution, that will save time and possible money (your players may never have to buy a splat book again…).

In the little time I have been role-playing the only trouble I have come across is when a player no matter how experienced he is thinks he has a amazing understanding of the rules and so goes out creates a homebrew class and race and expects me to let him play it before I’ve got past the +6 level adjustment that has appeared in my head and wandered why he has +0 level adjustment where it should be. This quickly spiralled into an argument and the player soon left my group, but I think had I known what I know now he could have remained in the group and we could have played quite happily, he still would be playing his weird ass race (whose specific feature I have trouble remembering) and he could still play his more unarmed combat focused class. You see my solution requires only minute changes in the mechanics and a creative imagination.

Now before I explain exactly what I’m suggesting I know this won’t work for all concepts but it is at least worth a try. You see though Splat books provide characters with more and more options they also can add to the intimidating pile of content a player can choose from this can slow down play, where it could have easily have run smoothly my solution should allow that player who decided to play a Samurai / Psi-Warrior / Warblade to just play simply a fighter or paladin multiclass into wizard. Where as the original is basically and insane katana swinging, psionic, martial bad ass it would take more time and more tracking and more paper working to use in game compared to more simpler second idea. Remember however that this could really just be applied to almost any system, as the mechanics barely have to be touched and in most cases don’t even have to be touched at all.

My idea is that you should look at the tools provided for you for example, the Fighter and the Wizards class features, and change the slightest details to match the concept you want, this means no searching the 20 Kilo stacks of books for that feat or spell you need, and instead just carrying the simplistic players guide.

The Example

So using my example, A player at my table wants to play a guy who not only swings around a cool slightly curved blade of awesome known as a Katana (in 3.5 this is represented as a masterwork bastard sword), but can deliver flashy magical effects such as beams of energy or improved strength but also has some descent martial prowess. He decides to be a Samurai / Psychic Warrior / Warblade. Though these classes may provide him the tools he needs for his concept combining the psychic powers, katana wielding and martial maneuvers his selection of classes provide just by changing some fluff of a class here and their he way have had a simpler character who still holds true to his character concept.

So here we go, By instead choosing to be a Fighter he automatically gains a bunch of proficiencies in weapons and armour, if he wishes he could just re-flavour a Longsword so that is essentially a Katana or he could spend a feat on Exotic Weapon Proficiency, otherwise he should spend his fighter feats on improving his martial prowess this means things such improved disarm and power attack. At some point he should multiclass into Wizard or Sorcerer, this will provide him with the flashy effects, now I know in D&D 3.5 we had a little thing called Arcane Spell Failure this isn’t much of a problem if he decides to wear no armour or, chooses Mithril Armour, as Mithril reduces the spell failure by 10% and this makes arcane spell failure an insignificant risk.

By choosing his spell wisely the player will be able to buff himself and create some slightly flash effects, remember by adjusting the fluff and the mechanics and fluff just slightly a character could be summoning blades of steel instead of force missiles when he uses magic missile and this may suit better to a certain characters concept.

This will result in a character who still swings around a Katana, still has martial prowess and still has magical effects and you only had to use the core rulebooks in the case of 3.5, this can be done in other concepts to, one concept I hope to use in the near future for a character is a man who channels Primordial energies through him to make him harder to kill and allow him to deliver powerful attacks, such a character will appear in a 4e game and by using the Barbarian released on DDI something all of the players at my table have access to, and a bit of re-flavouring such a character will be possible without using anything actually made by self, the powers will mechanically be the same all that is changed is the flavour, and often that is all you need to change to play the character you want…

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