Wednesday, January 18, 2012


There's a lot of talk comparing D&D to video games.  This is usually a negative comparison.  I however believe that D&D could learn a lot from video games.  Especially in the "getting people playing" category.  For the most basic version of D&D (dndnext and all that jazz) rather than toss in an example of play I feel the system should have an introductory adventure that teaches the system as it plays through the adventure.  This should teach the system both to the players and to the DM.  In other words a completely new group of players who have not played before should be able to jump right into playing the adventure.  That's how video games do it.  Straight to the action.  At least in the good ones.  While it is tougher to make such an adventure with roleplaying games I think D&D should take a page from the video game play book and not dink around with long character creation beforehand, especially for new players.  If they want to put that in the advanced version that's fine by me.  I do like me some crunchy fiddly character bits, but I know lots of other people don't and having a new person's first experience with the system be "look at all these options that mean nothing to you right now before you can play" is downright atrocious.

The other proposal I'd like to put forth is no choices at first level.  In other words the basic box (to steal an old term) will only have pre-generated first level characters.  Each one has a short description highlighting their skills and "if you like this, you should pick this character".  You pick one and off you go playing the game.  As a addendum to this, by the end of the first session (which should coincide with the end of the tutorial adventure) the players should reach level 2 and have their first character decision as they level up.  It's fine if the game has to have a few more levels to compensate for this.  Again all of this is for the basic box set to get people into the game.  The indepth crunchy character options can show up in the "advanced" set.

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LooneyDM out


  1. I've never understood the animosity that springs forth when someone compares an RPG to an MMO. They both have many things in common and many things they can learn from each other.

    I totally agree with your idea for an introductory adventure that teaches the rules. Most systems have a simple adventure designed to aid learning, but they always assume that you have already learned the rules (to some extent) and are using the adventure to reinforce them. Having an adventure that actually taught the rules would be extremely helpful.

    I don't play 4e but from what I understand, the "essentials" line starter kit had something similar to this. Either way, I'd like to see that sort of thing incorporated into 5e when it comes out.

  2. I have to admit that I haven't played the essentials line of 4e. I got in earlier when it was first released and didn't take a look at them. If they do have a tutorial adventure that is a step in the right directon.