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Matthew Hunt

English 91
Informative Revised

A Start
Pushing into the darkness, a burst of light cast into the chill that was forming up their
backs; a soft word of magic warms the group and shows the end of their journey. Finally the
blood, the death and horrors are over, they are at the end. Opening the chest, the skillful rogue
dismantled a trap, saving his friends from a nasty shock. They have found the relic that will free
the goddess Ehlonna from her imprisonment. This is just one of the ways a good Dungeons and
Dragons (DnD) campaign can run getting this game going can be very challenging. To run your
own game there are a lot of key components, or the game cannot run smoothly. The necessary
components are the core book, making your charter, a minimum of four players, the Dungeon
Master (DM), and a story.
Getting your core books is going to be the first step to get your game started. These books
can be bought at any local book store, gaming store, or even online as PDF files. The first book
that is needed is the Players Hand Book (PHB). This book will help you make your character
and learn about how your character will live in their world. The Monster Manual (MM), as the
name implies, has all the beginning monsters (mobs) that one will fight. The Dungeon Master
Guide (DMG) has the rest of the rules of how the game is to be run, for as we all know that
without the rules there will be no direction to run our course. Of course, the DM does have the
ability to make house rules that can be used in their game and/or take out book rules that are not
to be used in their game. With these basic books mastered, you can advance onto the next set of
helpful books.
Most players choose to use the Epic Level Players Hand Book (EPHB); this book will
show how to continue your class once you have progressed past level twenty. Other player will
choose to expand on their characters abilities by using one of the complete compendiums by add
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a class to what they have now, either a new one or a class that expands upon the skill they
already have. Of course for the extreme players, there is the Rules Handbook (DMG II) and the
other smaller guides that one can get to just expand the world itself. No matter what books you
do pick up and use, you must find the ones that you like and that can help your adventures grow.
Always keep looking for a new book that might be able to give you an edge over the other
players to make a better of a character that can last longer, hit better, and role play with more
style. If anything, the more you play, the more you can learn about each class and how they can
improve or hinder each other.
Finding a group of friends to play with can and will be difficult. There will be long gaps
of time when you will not find a game to play, or have the right fit of players to keep the game
going. That might sound a little strange. How can you not get four or five people together who
enjoy playing a game together two or four times a month? Most of the time, work, family,
school, and other events keep people busy and it is really hard to find a time that works with
everyone's schedule. For this, and this alone the love of the game will keep you wanting you for
more to try again to find that group to play with.
Once you have that magical group, you are ready to meet up for that first time. The DM
is now either picked or already has been picked; for most games they are the one that gets
everyone together. At the first meeting the DM sets their rules getting the players apart so each as
a private area to make who they want to play so that player knowledge and character knowledge
is not easily mixed. The DM will meet with each player to get their stats, which are based on the
rules that were set by the DM. This is done of three ways: point buy, in where each stat is started
at 8 and to increases a score you spend a point, roll mostly four die six reroll one and tens, or
given stats; though the last is very rare. Once these are on the Character Sheet (CS) the player
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will now input the rest of their race, class, skills, feats, and equipment on to the CS while the DM
is now helping the other players.
The players will be using the PHB for the following pages listed here to complete the
making of the character they will play. Once placing the stats into the right places on your CS
you will then add the modifiers (mods, found on page 8 of the phb) to the right place on their
character sheet, these ability mods are placed into other places such as class skills, reflex, will,
and fortitude saves. Now we pick the race of who you will play: Dwarf, Human, Elf, Gnome,
Halfling, Half-Orc, and Half-Elf. These will go in hand with your class, due to the stats that can
reflect on your characters class (page 12 to 20 of the phb) will have all the base races that can be
played. The class is your next choice (page 24 to 58 of the phb): Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid,
Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Wizard, are all of the base choice classes.
Each class has its own abilities, spells, class skills, and feats.
Now, you will need to spend your skill points. This is based on your classs intelligence
modifier and how many skills they have (page 62 of the phb). Each skill is then listed in
alphabetical order, as in tradition with the whole book. There are some classes that need to have
skills to do anything. For example, a magic user needs Knowledge Arcane and Spellcraft to
cast their spells, or the Rogue class needing Move Silently and Hide to sneak. There are many
other skills that each class can use, and then some that are not part of their class skill there are
listed in on the page that each class is listed on. To gain one rank in these you need to spend two
skill points on any skill. After your skills, you now need to pick your feats all but Humans
only get one. This is due to how versatile that race is (page 90 of the phb).
With all of this on your CS, we now have a rather shapely character starting to form in
this world ready to be played maybe a Dwarven Fighter or Gnome Wizard. With each party and
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each player being so different, we can never know what can really happen until that day. This is
the allure of the game. Now you can get to the equipment section (page 115) which will have
weapons, armor, gear, and water; everything an adventurer will need to journey into the word.
Always remember that your starting gold is limited, but you must get what you need for the
journey. Dont worry youll get more as you travel, quest, and loot bodies will get you more
supplies and gold.
Now that CS is almost full, there a few empty spots like height, eye color, gender, deity,
aliment, this is up to the player. Think of how your person has lived their life; what has happened
to them and why are they out doing whatever it is they are now doing: pushing for powers, trying
to save the area from evil, proving their worth to their self? Now you need to find your
characters morality. For example, does he/she drink alcohol, eat meat, or worship a Deity? Once
you are done, you will show this and tell your background story to the DM alone so that only
they will know. You want to keep what you can from the other players until your characters meet
and you know how they will interact with each different character in the game, just in case
another person might of made some who would harm you.
Once the game is going, the DM will start the story. This will also be covered later on.
You will be asked questions about what your character will do for each scenario. Most of the
time you will need to roll a dice. How this works: roll the required sided dice and add the
specified modifiers. The most common roll is the die twenty (D20). The required dice can be
acquired at most book stores and game stores, like the books. For example, if you want to see
who is coming up on the road some distance away, you roll your D20 then add your spot check
to that roll to see if you can make that person out in distance. The DM would already know the
difficulty class (DC) of that check before you rolled the dice to know what you can make out.
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As for most gamers its all about the fighting, this always starts with the initiative roll to
see who the first responder is. This is done by rolling the D20, and adding your initiative to that
roll. The fight is done in order from highest to lowest, for ties, higher initiative score is always
first. If there is still a tie, you reroll until one player has a higher roll. Within each round you, as
the player, now have two actions that can be taken. These can be mixed in many ways that you
can think of. For instance, a double move action, full attack, move attack, charge attack, or
standard action spell cast. There are a lot of free action moves as well, the most common being
dropping something and talking. In the terms of the world you are now playing once every one
has now made one full round a full six seconds has past in this world.
Once you have attacked, you will roll the D20 to try to hit your opponent. You have to
meet or break your opponents armor class (AC). To calculate AC, add 10 + dexterity modifier +
armor + shield + natural + deflection and dodge. The DM will let you know if you hit or miss,
this done to keep the suspense. Each weapon has a critical (crit) chance; if this chance is rolled,
based on DM rules you confirm critical. If you roll a hit again you score the critical damage hit,
if you want to try a triple critical for an auto kill you would roll again; if you do not score a
critical it will only be regular damage. After hitting, you will roll damage based on the die
your weapon has and add any modifier available to you. The combat rounds continue until one
side is killed or has fled from field; to flee you have to out distance the opponent by 250 feet or
Now that the game is going and you know what is going on, you might someday want to
be that DM. That is always a good choice you can run the players story to see if they can live
or die in your world. First you want to get your rules down; most follow what is in the PHB and
DMG. Each DM has their own idea on how they want their world to work and what that can
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happen in that world. Now you need your story. As a new DM, you can find some modules or
prewritten campaigns. Take your time get a few of them, and read them if you dont like them,
dont run them. Use what you played, read, seen, to build your own story, making the game
In every aspect of this game, you will always want to make sure that you are enjoying
yourself. If you find that the enjoyment has left, stop playing for a while and find different
players or a new DM that can keep you locked into the world a bit more. There is always more
that can be done, more that can be learned, and even more of the world of Dungeons of Dragons
that can be scratched at with this small amount of knowledge. With just the base knowledge, you
can go far. With just the core books, your new friends, a DM, and a story can keep your night
going. Have fun in your own game of Dungeons and Dragons!