Late to the party: D&D 4e online one-shot?
So I've always been one of those computer RPG guys who read the D&D books but never played PnP, back from the Basic Set red box days. I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and with the tactical 4e ruleset and the tools available like the D&D character builder and Maptool, the experience seems a lot closer to the computer RPG playing I'm comfortable with. I'm interested in seeing if there are any other QT3ers like me who aren't experienced roleplayers, just CRPG lovers who already sped through Dragon Age and Mass Effect and want to give 4e a shot without having to commit to a big campaign or real human contact. I'm talking a single session with a party of five players run with online tools, just to see whether it's up your alley.
Disclaimer: I am not any kind of experienced GM, and although I think I've got a fair handle on most of the rules, this will be a learning experience for me as well. Anyone who wants to play is welcome as long as they are roughly familiar with rpg conventions and are decent, understanding human beings and and not Chaotic Neutral ninja looting forum pricks.
For anyone who is interested, this is what you'll need (all of these tools are free):
1. D&D Character Builder. The demo is free for characters level 1 to 3. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/tool.aspx...aracterbuilder. This is basically like the character creation screen of a game, and it automatically calculates values so you can't really mess things up like you can with a blank character sheet. You can build a 1st level character using any of the core rules provided; you can send me the character builder file or upload to a place like iplay4e [link to our campaign: http://iplay4e.appspot.com/campaigns...wYWlnbhjP1TEM] so I can make sure the character is kosher. You'll also need to add in some kind of picture I can use for your token.
2. Maptool (version 1.3b63). http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=downloads .I've put together the sample campaign using the Veggiesama framework for 4e (you don't need to know what that is). The adventure is based off a simple dungeon delve module so it will be pretty hack and slashy.
3. Skype and a headset. I'm aiming for a level that is less personal than spilling Doritos and rolling dice at a table, slightly more personal than chatting up a sexbot over irc.
What you DON'T need:
1. The rulebooks. You can view the free "quick start" rules here: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/TryDnD.aspx, and that should be enough to give you the basics.
2. D&D Insider subscription - the character builder will encourage you to get this but you don't need it for the one-shot.
PARTY IS FULL - but I'll take a couple alternates in case people have to drop out.
Session: Thursday 8:30 Eastern
Anticipated Party/Character Races/Classes:
1) Pogo - Faren Oshkun, Dwarven Cleric of Ioun
2) Rob O'Boston - Naegl, Human Wizard
3) Djscman - Thufir Onyxvein, Dwarf Rogue
4) Gendal - Kava, Dragonborn Paladin
5) Funkula - Rothak the Typhoon, Half-orc Barbarian
interested but bad timing (for possible future sessions):
Last edited by xahlt; 02-23-2010 at 08:02 PM.
Reason: Updated party list
Oh man I'd love to try 4th ed out. Seems like a lot of interesting changes to the game (I used to DM 2nd ed extensively, played 3rd ed with several characters). I'd like to be a part of your learning experience, if you'll have me.
This sounds fun, but sadly I won't have the opportunity to join.
I notice you mentioned iplay4e which I've looked at briefly and it would probably be interesting reading if you share your experiences with how it worked after the game.
WotC has posted some videos of the Robot Chicken people playing 4e, and since they're mostly new to D&D I guess it's possible to pick up some of the basics on the tactical aspects of the game from the videos.
I am interested in playing. I've played a good amount of 4th edition, which I like quite a bit, so I hope that doesn't disqualify me. But I've never played any table top games online, and lately I've been really interested in trying it out. I've even gone so far as to buy a full license for Fantasy Grounds with thoughts of running a game of my own at some point.
Getting some experience with an online game sounds great to me, especially with other beginners.
One drawback is that I won't be available until after 8:30 on Thursday.
I too am interested in playing; ive got the 4th edition books and such, but every time I DM it people get bored fast(why does everything have so much health?)
So any restrictions on classes? or are you guys calling classes already?
I usually like healer/support
Alright! Looking good so far.
Pogo, I'd love to have you.
Rob, that sounds fine by me, I'd love to have someone with some rules experience. I can work with 8:30 as long as it works for the other players.
Jørn, I considered using something like Obsidian Portal but for a short module iplay4e seemed to serve the main purpose of allowing easy access and sharing of character record sheets.
Speaking of iplay4e, here's the link to the campaign repository: http://iplay4e.appspot.com/campaigns...1wYWlnbhjP1TEM
Guys, feel free to start rolling up characters and/or have some discussion about party composition.
Who else wants in?
That's pretty much me. So yep, interested if you have room.
Originally Posted by xahlt
Thorn, I don't have a lot of experience with it, but I get the feeling combat via something like Maptool actually can go quite a bit quicker and be less grindy, especially if you automate it heavily with one of the frameworks available. I've read that some DMs try to up the damage and lower the grind by multiplying damage by 4/3 and reducing HP by 3/4 for monsters but I'll keep it straight for my first run.
I've also tried adding a short skill challenge into the adventure to give a little bit of non-combat flavor. We'll see how successful it is.
Gendal - you're in.
Still looking for one more to round out the session!
Any other day than on thursday. (When my real life DnD group meets)
Ooh, I'd love to get in on this. Are you planning on using some kind of game table software or is it going to be more abstract than the grid movement/positioning focus of D&D 4th?
Edit: OK, I guess that's what MapTool is.
Jon Rowe - I'd love to have you but unfortunately Thursday is my open night for goofing off right now.
Funkula - welcome to the party!
Yeah, Maptool is a VTT (virtual table top) tool. Basically, it serves as the game client and just about everything will take place within it - the maps, the player tokens, text chatting, dice rolling, etc. There are some other options (Dundjinni, OpenRpg, Fantasy Ground) but I was drawn to its capabilities and the extensive video tutorials on the Maptool site. The only thing it doesn't have is integrated voice chat (which Skype will handle) and an easy way to share the character sheets (iplay4e).
I'll try to set up my Maptool instance as a server ahead of time so we can test that every connects properly; I don't trust that the port connections are just going to magically work for us all.
I'm currently playing a defender in a different game, so I'd rather do something else in this game. I'll leave striker to the new players since they tend to be the most obvious fun (they bring the pain). It sounds like Pogo would enjoy leader, so I'll play a controller. I'm leaning towards a wizard at this point, but I might change my mind and play an invoker.
Picking roles, deciding on powers, and then making all the characters mesh well in combat is my favorite part of 4th edition.
The Vexing Clouds didn't help either.
I ran a 4e campaign with MapTool for a while. I think MapTool was the best option for that I did, but it was pretty frustrating sometimes. In the end, the game fell apart, and I think there were four major factors:
1. technical difficulties with MapTool
2. my hardscrabble, near-low-fantasy approach interfered with game balance
3. I accidentally wiped the party*
4. I don't really like D&D.
*Goblin Skullcleavers. The PCs were fugitives who took refuge in a system of caverns that also contained a goblin settlement -- the Black Cap tribe -- that had accepted recent dwarven immigrants. The PCs and the goblins shared a mutual distrust that tended to violence, especially when the party started slaughtering its way to the heart of the township.
I did a lot of thinking about the Black Cap military. For every PC level, I devised believable mixes of troop types. Dwarves and goblins deployed separately, each often used combined arms but sometimes fielded a homogenous unit, and I was building up to a final confrontation in which dwarves and goblins would operate together to assist dwarven and goblin NPCs with the most effective power synergies I could devise based on past gameplay.
Before we had gotten to that point -- quite a bit before, actually -- the players were storming a goblin cessfill (entering the town by, ahem, the back way) and they ran into a force that included three Skullcleavers. The Skullcleaver is basically a berserker; not only do they do 1d10+5 with their axes, they do 2d10+5 when bloodied. The party's downfall saw Skullcleavers rolling SEVERAL natural twenties to hit.
One intrepid drow sorcerer -- who posts on these very boards, hi quatoria! -- was standing at the end of the fight. Everyone else was a corpse. I developed a way to bring them back (they didn't meet the level requirements for Raise Dead), but the game wound up a corpse too.
Looking forward to the session. Trying to devise a paladin, so there is a defender for the party. Will play anything though depending on what we need.
I think what worries me most about automated system rolls is that the GM has less power to manipulate the rolls to provide an experience that doesn't make the team feel shafted. If I had rolled several 20s in a row in a tough battle, and that would have killed the whole team, I would flub it and just make the battle tough without getting everyone mad that they were dying.
Maptool seems to have some pretty good facilities for rolling; you can broadcast the result, or roll privately, or roll a hidden value and show it to the DM and not you, etc. I'm not using the actual macros for combat that are possible in some frameworks, because they seem easy to break and also part of this is to get familiar with the rules. Not to give away the magic but I'm not trying for a TPK and I am the type to bend the rules slightly for an epic game, so if things start going badly you might not see all the rolls.
Then again, since it's a single module, I may find your death sweet and delicious due to my rapacious hunger for PC misery.
Ok: I made a Rouge Eladrin with point buy. Not quite done with him and a cool paint picture of him, but scratch that off yer list.
Also: does the system/you allow us to input our own dice rolls or not?
I'd like to be on the standby list, please. For some reason I purchased an awful lot of the 4e rulebooks, even though I couldn't convince any of my friends to give this Dungeons n' Dragons thing a try, and it's too scary to go down to ye local game shoppe and ask if any strangers need a new player. Anyway, I have a bunch of 1st-level characters rolled up, and since I don't know how to minmax they're ripe for the slaughter.
Made a Dragonborn Paladin, would appreciate any tips for him or things you would change since outside of a quick rule look over and the PA podcast I have zero 4e experience.
I've played quite a bit of 4e so I'm cool with whatever role. Sounds like every role has one supporter, so should I go for the standard second striker or would doubling another role be OK too?
Not sure if I totally understand, but yeah - you actively roll the dice for your character, either with a dice macro or rolling in chat. Here's a video tutorial in Maptool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QF4YqoJgkI
Originally Posted by ThornFalconeye
But where's the sense of imminent doom and fear of an indifferent, uncaring world run by a megalomaniac DM with that? The nicest thing I've ever done in a campaign was let somebody who was at exactly -10hp not completely expire as long as he got healed before his turn came back around again.
Originally Posted by Pogo
I made lots of dungeons and adventures in advance. I wasn't going to ruin my whole game over one severely unbalanced fight that I had no predicted! I did get better at balance after that.
Originally Posted by Reldan
I play a dragonborn paladin in my weekly campaign. Prepare for the rest of the group to laugh and claim you're a victim of wish-fullfillment fantasies. Then you can remind them that at least you're not a drow :)
Originally Posted by Gendal
I see you're going for Charisma as your main attribute (the exact opposite of my paladin), so I'd consider Virtous Strike (from Divine Power, it's in the demo of the builder) as one of the At-Will attacks. It's based on Charisma, and it can be used as a Melee Basic Attack. This means that you won't be dead in the water when you charge, make opportunity attacks or make basic attacks granted by a warlord (if someone plays one) since all those are based on Strenght.
I would probably not spend my feat on Healing Hands. It only affects the healing on allies, and you'll probably heal yourself with Lay on Hands more often than you heal others. One of the feats I've probably gotten the most pure enjoyment from with my Paladin is Battle Awareness [Fighter Multiclass]. Once per encounter you get to do a melee basic attack as an immediate interrupt when an enemy adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that doesn't include you as a target. It might be somewhat fiddly in an online game since it is an interrupt, though. Draconic Challenge is also somewhat nice since it gives you another option for marking enemies.
In addition to take out small clusters of minions, Dragon Breath is also somewhat handy to sustain Divine Challenge. Since you need to either attack your mark, end adjacent to your mark or spend a minor action to Divine Challenge someone else (and either have attacked or ended adjacent to them), it's handy to have a minor action attack with some range available.
I've got to pull out now- got a meeting scheduled at 7pm CST.
I am definitely interested, and if this comes up again I will be back!
Sorry to hear that Thorn -- Djscman you are in!
How are those characters coming, gentlemen?
I just downloaded the character builder tool. I gotta play around with it.