This is an adventure I had with my friends with the previous edition, 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I had made many characters for this adventure as I kept on dying. The adventure itself was set on “Hard mode” so the monsters were smarter and the traps were deadlier but the rewards and encounters were grander.
It all started when my friends and I had quit from a certain TCG as the game had died out and there was fewer and fewer player base. We all had played D&D before with the previous editions ranging from 2nd to 3.5 and of course there were the videogames. The current edition at the time was 4th and it had a lot of negative reviews but there was still a lot of support for the game. I found that a bit strange at the time since the negative reviews were everywhere and even in the shop that was trying to sell the product. I thought maybe it was not worth my time but I said “well I think I’ll look into it”. I started out with just the first Player’s handbook and tried to read the book.
It was simple enough to create a character and the concepts of levelling up was easy enough. I then asked my good friend Adrian (we call him Caps) if I could play this RPG but he said “No” of all things. He then explains that there aren’t many people willing to play this edition, especially on a Tuesday which is in the middle of the week. At the time I still worked heavy weekend shifts and I won’t be able to make it on Sunday to play the set sessions. I then asked Caps how many players was the minimum to play this game. Normally in a pen and paper RPG you need at least 2 other people to play the game (1 being the DM and the other being a rival or a teammate). He told me that you could run the game with just 2 players + 1 DM but sadly in this edition that could not be done. The minimum players for that edition was in fact 4 players. But we didn’t figure it out until much later in the year as we could not complete even the simplest of mission or even just a simple fight with a band of 4 goblins. Pretty sad huh?
The main reason for this is I hadn’t played any kind of pen and paper roleplaying games in a while. It was at least 6+ years ago since the last tie I had played. But back then I never made my own characters and the DM was this know-it-all snot, that bullied us saying you can’t do this or that. The game had merit but it just wasn’t too fun.
Anyway the other reason for sucking at the game was that in 4th edition D&D it revolved around types of character class instead of just the class. The types are Striker, Defender, Controller and Leader. Strikers deal heavy damage, Defenders are the tanks of the game and absorb/soak most of the damage, Controllers are the AOE characters or the heavy support character. While the Leader is like a healer mixed with a fighter. They allow the team to survive. We did know these concepts until maybe 3 months later and a lot more reading and research.
So all in all, I played an elf ranger and my friend Josh played a Human Monk (thinking it was the same as 3.5e). But it wasn’t. So simple fights were harder then they should have been since Caps was still unsure about the extra defences on the character sheet. In previous editions like 3.5 or AD&D. The character’s defences was just AC and depending on the class they either had high saving throws or low ones. AC or Armour Class was also very different, I think it was the lower the number the less damage you would take or the harder it was to strike you.
In 4th edition, however you had 4 defences. The game set your defences depending on your class. 4th edition’s defences are AC, Reflex, Fortitude and Will. AC was used for normal attacks. Reflex was for quick attacks, Fortitude was for strong attacks. But Will was uses for Mind/Mental attacks. There was only one save system in this game and it was a roll with no base (dex, int, wis, cha) modifiers added, with a success rate of 10 and higher.
Our first game with 4th edition was with myself, my friend josh and my friend caps. Caps was the DM and we were the players. We made quick builds of available characters at the time. Player handbook 3 was already out and we had a better selection of classes as well as races. Josh was a Human Monk and I was an Elf Ranger. Our first mission was to investigate the troubles in the city sewers. Destroy any monster inhabitants and report back.
It sounds simple enough but since both of us were pretty rusty we went all gunhoo, swords blazing. We managed to dispatch two waves of enemies (mostly goblins) and made it to the end. But the stage of the last area was a single rope bridge and two platforms on either side. We needed to cross the bridge defeat the final wave of enemies and loot the room for whatever valuables we could find. Unfortunately it was an ambush and we were out numbered 4 to 1. They were just goblins and we let down our guard. They goblins were just on the other side but also in the ladder leading to the bottom of the sewer under the bridge. Josh had charged and made it to the other side and dealing with 2 of the creatures we thought we had won. But like I said it was an ambush. I got surrounded on my side and the nasty creatures cut the bridge loose, forcing my friend to travel down to the sewers then back up again. If you all were wondering why he didn’t just try to jump to the other side, well thats because he was meta gaming at the time. Meaning he judge by the rules that it was too dangerous to do the act. By the time he got to my side of the platform I was dead (because we didn’t know how to heal, ie second wind) and he was out numbered 3 to 1. Yes I killed one of them at least. I wasn’t just doing nothing while josh was fighting on the other side of the platforms. I was shooting ones he couldn’t reach. 3 vs 1 at level 1 was just too hard and Josh too died. By the way, one of the little goblins was a boss and you just couldn’t take it down with one character.
That’s when we decided not to play until we had at least 4 players for D&D, as this edition wanted it’s players to play as a team.
Next time on [My Adventures] blog we had recruited some of our other friends to play.
Tune in next time.