Sunday, February 5, 2012

A new beginning

Over the weekend the enthusiasm of me and the other players in my pen & paper roleplaying group for changing to Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition grew, and as a result we are starting to play tonight. The adventure is written, the battle maps are printed, everything is prepared. I'm very excited, although I'm a bit scared of the fact that I will have to DM in French. Well, I learned English with Dungeons & Dragons, so maybe that isn't such a bad plan.

The original idea was to ask players just for the power source they wanted to use, and have them choose their character class only at the end of the level 0 adventure, when they will level up to 1. But most players went further and already selected what class they will ultimately play. That is fine by me. Fortunately I had asked them for a first and second choice, because three of them wanted to play rogues, which could have caused problems. By asking some of them to rather take their second choice, the group became very well balanced: A warlord, a warrior, a rogue, a ranger, a cleric, and a wizard (or warlock, only player who still left his options open).

Only one player choose human as a race, which is probably a relic of experiences with previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons, where humans were a bit bland. In 4E the humans not only get good racial bonuses, but they are the only ones who get very flexible ones that can be customized. I kept Dragonborn, Eladrin, and Tiefling out, and restricted choice to the other 5 races, to keep a more classic feel to the campaign.

Assuming all goes well tonight, I will have to start preparing the campaign setting and the next adventure, for when the players reach level 1. I've been looking through the official D&D 4E adventures, but found them to be a throwback to the early days of D&D: Dungeon, open door, kill monster, get treasure, next door. At best the combat encounters aren't set in a dungeon but in some more interesting setting, but there is often very little opportunity for roleplay and exploration. And the stories are often unoriginal, of the "collect X parts of the magical artefact" variety. I think I'll have to write my own adventures. Well, preparation can be a lot of fun too!

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