Cheapest way to start D&D

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flameboy84

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#1  Edited By flameboy84

I've been interested in starting up since the first Unplugged episode. My major problem was having no one to play with but a few of the wifes high school friends have expressed an interest. So I want the cheapest and most simple way to get it going, having my wife be involved and the simpler it is the better otherwise she'll be out.

I found this:

No Caption Provided

http://www.amazon.ca/Pathfinder-RPG-Beginner-Box/dp/1601253729/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1424488530&sr=8-3&keywords=pathfinder

Any good? Pathfinder is D & D right or am I confused?

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Aquablak

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Pathfinder is not D&D. It's an pen and paper RPG like D&D, but it's an entirely different game.

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alanm26v5

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I could be completely wrong and there are probably rule differences too but I think it's more that D&D is a framework and Pathfinder is an adventure in-a-box. I would guess Pathfinder would be cheaper and easier for a group of people new to any of that, where for D&D you would want someone with some experience as your DM that could make something interesting.

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MezZa

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There's always the D&D 5th edition starters kit. It'll come with enough stuff to get you going for not that bad of a price. It won't have the full content, but if you decide you like it and want to keep things going with your group of people then you can talk about buying the individual books. It's also simpler because it comes with a lot of pre-made stuff and only has the bare bones needed to play.

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Tits_Matador

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#5  Edited By Tits_Matador

Pathfinder is a game made by a different company but is based on the 3.5 edition of D&D. If you want to play what they are playing in the current Unplugged series, that is the 5th edition of D&D.

Go here for a free basic version of 5th edition.

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

There is also the 5th edition starter set which is currently $12.

http://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-Starter-Set-Roleplaying/dp/0786965592

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JohnsonvilleBratwurst

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If you just want to play some D&D, WotC has a game finder on their website. There's also a D&D Encounters thing which is supposed to be for new players. Both of those are free.

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Rorie

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#7  Edited By Rorie

Pathfinder is indeed based on D&D 3.5. It's a pretty hardcore ruleset. D&D 4th Edition was very heavily miniatures-based and felt really targeted towards adaptation for games (which didn't seem to pan out really well) whereas 5th edition feels much more loose and less tied to physical maps and miniatures. Can't go wrong with either 5th or Pathfinder as far as I can tell; they both have their pluses and minuses. 5th Edition will probably be a lot more expensive to get a starting set, though; ideally each player will want to have a Player's Handbook. The DM will want to have that, as well as a Monster Manual and a DM guide. Each book runs $50, which quickly adds up for a playing group. You can get by with the starter set but it will only get you so far.

I bet Pathfinder would be cheaper to get a group together, especially if you opted for PDF versions of the rulebooks, but it's still pretty hardcore. D&D 5 seems more streamlined for new RPG players, but it's also a lot more expensive for the books.

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Corevi

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#8  Edited By Corevi

@rorie: Pathfinder and DnD 5e are basically the same except where Pathfinder has pages and pages of very specific rules for very specific situations 5e just says do whatever, and you can ignore those pages yourself.

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jaycrockett

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That Pathfinder beginner box is really excellent. But to be honest, the new 5th edition D&D starter set is cheaper.

If you have some experience with board games, the fact that you have pieces to move around on a map might make things easier to get into, the pathfinder box gets you that.

But 5th edition D&D is simpler over all, so that's not a bad choice either.

Really they are both good.

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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Get some 3.5e PDFs for the books and print off some character sheets and then start reading! At that point all you need is a map mat with squares, dice, and maybe some miniatures. It can be a bit complicated at first but you'll get more used to it as you play.

5e is more streamlined, but it'll cost a buttload to get the books. I've never played Pathfinder, but I've heard talk of that being excellent as well. There are a lot of options at this point for table top RPGs, so just look and experiment as much as you can with different versions and games until you find the one that you're most comfortable with.

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deactivated-5cc8838532af0

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If you want to just hop in you can for free. A beginner's player guide and dm guide are up on Wotc website. I'm not sure how much you can do with it exactly but it should last you a few levels. Maybe like 3 levels are so. After that I'd just recomend getting a players handbook and a monster manual. Dungeon Master's guide is really useful but the least necessary. Especially in system like 5e where magic items have taken a real back seat.

Another good way to just hop in would be buying the beginner's box for 5e. Has a pretty decent adventure for levels 1-5 and premade characters.

link to the starter guides

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

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Hunter5024

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#12  Edited By Hunter5024
@rorie said:

Pathfinder is indeed based on D&D 3.5. It's a pretty hardcore ruleset. D&D 4th Edition was very heavily miniatures-based and felt really targeted towards adaptation for games (which didn't seem to pan out really well) whereas 5th edition feels much more loose and less tied to physical maps and miniatures. Can't go wrong with either 5th or Pathfinder as far as I can tell; they both have their pluses and minuses. 5th Edition will probably be a lot more expensive to get a starting set, though; ideally each player will want to have a Player's Handbook. The DM will want to have that, as well as a Monster Manual and a DM guide. Each book runs $50, which quickly adds up for a playing group. You can get by with the starter set but it will only get you so far.

I bet Pathfinder would be cheaper to get a group together, especially if you opted for PDF versions of the rulebooks, but it's still pretty hardcore. D&D 5 seems more streamlined for new RPG players, but it's also a lot more expensive for the books.

My friends and I haven't had any trouble playing 5e with just one of each book, and we got them for like 35 bucks apiece on Amazon. I don't even really use the DM's guide. The only hassle is that magical characters kind of have to copy their spells from the book, either with a scanner or by hand.

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Carnage1290

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If you're not sure if your group will really be interested in it and want to spend as little money/time investment as possible try Dungeon World (http://www.dungeon-world.com/). The full PDF is only $10 on drivethroughrpg and the system is super easy to learn and run. As the DM you only have to read about a hundred pages (with rather large text) and it's really easy to explain. When I got the idea to run a game for some friends so we can try it I choose Dungeon World as the game because it was super cheap and easy to learn and it worked out great. Rather than being super stat heavy and rely on d20s it's much more reliant on improv and creativity. We ended up making the switch to D&D 5th Edition because it fits our group better (more combat, less RP) but Dungeon World was a great place to start. Especially if you're not super experienced DM-ing, D&D has a lot of rules you have to understand and memorize (although Dungeon World will rely more on everyone at the table being creative).

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SinGulaR

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The cheapest way to start is with the core rulebook and a set of dice and I think you can google the core Ad&D rules and use online dice.

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MonkeyKing1969

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#15  Edited By MonkeyKing1969
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I just bought 5th Edition books for my library. In addition, I bought D&D Starter Set, and that seems like the best bet for someone who want to get into it cheaply. I bought my books and kit from Amazon.com since everything was $5-$10 cheaper than directly form Wizards of the Coast.

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: includes a nicely printed 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started, a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1 – 5, five pregenerated characters across common races and classes, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice. [From the look of it you could run a fairly nice starter adventure with the above kit, at least a few hours. If you and you group liked it you could buy some 5th edition books.]

AS A LIBRARIAN: I might add that your local library may have Player Guides, DM Guides, Monster Manuals, etc for loan. From experience, I can tell you that MANY municipal library' have 3rd and 4th edition books, and worst (or best if you are over 40) they have Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (1977-1981) books. From what I hear 5th edition is very good and worth getting into, its is streamlined in some ways while getting back to some aspects that were lost in 3rd and 4th editions...that's what people say.

I am trying to get a local group of adults together. I really really want to play, so I'm going to figure out how to attract some good people even if it means I have to DM.

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FinalDasa

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#16  Edited By FinalDasa  Moderator

You can download and print out the basic rules if you want and go from there. That's 5th edition and will dump you into the deep end of the table top pool (it can be intimidating but it's just a RPG).

Or, if you're looking for something a bit easier for yourself or others try some of the board games they put out. They're a bit on the expensive side to try to shop around. They do introduce a lot of the concepts you'll find in D&D and is helpful to get comfortable with what D&D is about. It also has a lot of replay value, my friends and I still bust it out to play, so the price is almost worth it.

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flameboy84

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Thank you so much for everyone giving some great feedback. I guess I only have one question coming out of this. I've read from a few of you that the D&D 5 starter set comes with premade characters are there the mechanics to make your own characters within this set?

@rorie Cheers for your input too, it is your stellar DM'ing in the first Unplugged episode that has made me interested in this in the first place!

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Corevi

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#18  Edited By Corevi

@flameboy84: The rules to make your own character are up on Wizards website as part of the Basic Rules. You can only make Fighters, Rogues, Wizards and Clerics though. The other classes (Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock) are in the Player's Handbook.

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TooSweet

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If you go to a PAX convention they have beginner games. I tried it just for kicks at the first PAX East and got into the game after that. Never thought I'd be into this type of gaming but when I get to play it's a blast.

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alexl86

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The most important thing is to find a group. For one, you can split the investment around, because you pretty much need the core books to play.

Pathfinder is D&D 3.5 with some customization options layered on top. It fixes a lot of the problems people had with 3.5, and overall is a good way to play the game. It is, however, more complicated than 4th and 5th edition. There's a lot of rules, a lot of different stats and I think an inexperienced DM will spend most of the first session reading the rules.

4th edition is a combat/miniature focused game. There are opportunity for role playing there, but fighting dudes will take up most of your time. Even encounters that seem simple, can take an hour to resolve. It also has the problem that all the classes follow the same template. As a consequence, none of them feel unique. If you want to focus on the fighting, then 4th edition is a pretty good miniatures combat game, but I don't think it's as good a role playing game.

5th edition is probably your best starting point if you have little experience. 5th edition is made to be easy to get into, and very open to player's changing or adding to the core rules. As a result, the core rules are very simple and easy to follow. There aren't a hundred different bonuses to keep track of. It doesn't quite have the complexity in combat that more experienced players are used to from Pathfinder or 4th edition, in terms of rules, not necessarily what your character can do. If you're completely new to D&D, 5th edition is probably your best bet.

Final tip to the prospective Dungeon Masters. Don't tell your players what to do. Sure, you can give them hints on where to go, tell them about a bounty posted on Goblins by the duke, or have a sleazy pirate sell them a treasure map, or have them stumble on an open door in town and find a murder victim, but it's really up to the players if they want to participate. You can have a hundred things planned for them to do in a city, and as they approach they may decide to go hunting for treasure in the woods instead. Be flexible and improvise.

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Shindig

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All you need is an imagination, notepad and a dice.

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fattony12000

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#22  Edited By fattony12000
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YoThatLimp

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The 5E starter set is hands down the answer here, 12$ and everything you need to play from level 1-5.

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jakob187

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#24  Edited By jakob187

You can spend the low, low price of free for all things that are D&D necessary. Wizards has all of the sheets available on their website, and there are plenty of places that have the Monster Manuals, Classes/Races, Player's Handbook, etc online (although they may not be "legit" or whatever). Beyond that, you just need some dice (and trust me when I say that EVERYONE has a set of D&D dice laying around, even if they didn't know they do...those things fucking multiply like crazy). If you can't find some dice for free, then ask around. Hell, I have an entire goddamn bag of D&D dice, and I'd be more than okay with sending you some D&D dice for a full party.

As for stories, homebrewing is probably one of the best and most fulfilling things, but it's definitely not quite something to begin with. 5e is honestly the most solid place to start at this point. The way they've streamlined that rule set is both smart and fun.

Hope you have fun, man!

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MonkeyKing1969

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@jakob187 said:

As for stories, homebrewing is probably one of the best and most fulfilling things, but it's definitely not quite something to begin with. 5e is honestly the most solid place to start at this point. The way they've streamlined that rule set is both smart and fun.

I am just starting to get back into playing, I haven't played since high school and that was 24 years ago But, after I get a group through Hoard of the Dragon Queen I think I would try homebrewing some small adventure. Seems like work, but if you get into that sort of thing it would appear to be very fulfilling. In my areas, I think finding three or four adults will take a TON of work on my part, but I just really want to play...so I could even get to the point of making something up to play.

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Junkerman

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DnD is basically free to play if you want to double down on your imagination.

All of Pathfinder's rules are available on their website, like 100% all of them, for free. Pathfinder is 3.5 DnD.

5e you basically just need a Player's Handbook to share with your buds and in my opinion a good DM screen is just a nice quality of life saver. A lot of 5e's rules and resources are also available for free on the web or as PDFs from their website and dragon magazine (A free online digital magazine) but if you want all of the fluff and story stuff that comes along with each subclass and feature then you'll need to spend the $$. They're well made books if you're into it, but 100% ancillary to the experience if your crew is good at just making up whatever.

Some people like having the little boost of fluff to get them going though.