Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Adventure Begins (again)

With the start of the school year, my weekly Strategy Games Club has started back up. and among the two dozen attendees, five of last year's players have returned to continue playing D&D at my table.

Last year we started with 5e D&D, but when the players kept getting bogged down we shifted to B/X to keep things fast and simple.

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Pack GameThis year, we are going to try 5e again in hopes that the students will be able to make the leap to managing more complex characters with more bells and whistles.

Ultimately, I want the girls to be able to join a pick-up game, an A.L. game in a shop, or understand easily what they are reading should they decide to grab a starter set or Player's Handbook in a local bookstore with as little confusion as possible.

In my mind that means using:

  •  +5 to -5 array of stat modifiers, 
  • ascending AC, 
  • advantage/disadvantage, 
  • skills, 
  • bonus actions, 
  • reactions,
  • stat-based saving throws.

Image result for into the borderlands goodman games

Seeing all the extra bits that kick in at level three with each character class, they've actualy asked me if they can stay at level two until they feel ready to handle (i.e. remember to use) additional super powers. 

I'm eager to try out the new content and 5e re-writes from Into the Borderlands, but for now we are continuing through The Adventure Begins, also by Goodman Games.

This gem, now hard to find in print but still around in pdf, packs twenty 3rd edition adventures for low level characters between its covers.  

DCC29Some of these are magic--Lair of the White Salamander is as good as anything Goodman Games has put out over the years--others are railroads or fall a bit flat, and a few are just drek.  On the whole, however, it's like have five issues of the old Dungeon magazine compiled and ready to go.  Conversion to 5e on the fly is a snap for any seasoned DM.

The trickier and more rewarding part is threading these unrelated plots together into a coherent, episodic campaign.  This takes me right back to my high school Greyhawk campaign where, with the Overking and Iuz the Old as archvillians, I was always looking for ways to tie together adventure modules. 

I'm hoping that we can stick with 5e and that turns don't devolve into players blinking at their sheet each turn and saying, "Wait.  What can I do again?"  What's Mask of the Wild?"

Have you eased newer or younger players into 5e before?

What tricks did you use to help them manage all the bells and whistles?

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