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Re: [dnd-823] Online Gaming (going virtual)

From: David H.
Sent on: Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:58 AM
Not understanding where you are going with the rule set question.  But I think I know what you are asking.  I have a brief explanation of the editions (rule set) as I know it.  Please understand that there was a lot of politics and what ever you want to call it when each of the editions were introduced.  All I am doing is doing is providing a kid glove explanation.  There was 1st edition, also known as AD&D (there some other slices to this (expert, basic)) which is what I think is rule set 1st edition.  Then there was 2nd edition which was also AD&D but it expanded from the first edition to the point the monsters where not as easy to remember on statics (i.e. Ancient Red Dragon with 11 Hit Dice would have 88hp and would be able to breath its breath weapon 3 times a day at 88 hp a breath (1st edition).  2nd edition introduced the great wyrm and the ability for the dragon to breath more then 3 times a day and the damage was rolled out versus a set number.  I consider this to be rule set 2. Both of these editions used the THACO concept.  But during the later part of 2nd edition when there was a discussion/rumor of another edition, the expanded books came out.  These set of books I believe were the introduction to 3rd edition, mainly I remember the Attack of Opportunity piece (AO) and the long drawn out discussions/arguments utilizing it.  But none the less I still felt it was a intro to 3rd edition.  Because 3rd edition or 3.0 as other might say it, was the next edition or rule set.  It had the AO concept and alot more.  My perception of 3.0 was that it favored the wizards to a point, if you looked at the spell Haste in 3.0 it allowed you another attack and even the ability to cast another spell.  So the wizards were stomping on the fighters.  Nothing like dropping 2 fire balls a round.  Also, the spells in 3.0 lasted a heck a lot longer.  Thus if you spent the money and time and created a couple of potions (3 of them) at your caster level (like i.e.Bull Strength caster level 8), then you could have the effects of a bull strength for 24 hours, although the points were rolled out each time.  But think of the power!!!!  Then there comes 3.5 (rule set 3.5), which some consider a patch to the 3.0 edition.  This is where the fighters over through the wizards and destroyed the spell power they were wielding and made it more fighter centric.  They did add a bunch more spells to offset the loss of power and the spell durations became realistic.  But in the case of 3.0 and 3.5, the THACO went away, its easier to up in positive number then down.  And really, the first two edition had limitations on armor class based on their charts.  The best the AC chart had was -10.  But with +5 Plate, +5 Shield and a +5 Defender set at defense would allow you a -13 AC and I'm not counting on the Dex part.  Plus, with 3.0 and 3.5 it introduced the Epic level, which were levels after 20th level.  So no more 40th level fighters ;(  Also, 3.0 and 3.5 allowed open gaming rules, which meant other sources could be used in the game as long as it recognized the D&D rule books.  I know, there where other reasons for this but like I said before, I'm leaving that out. Especially with the introduction of 4th edition (4th rule set).  There was so much controversy about this edition and what it did to the open gaming sources, that there has been a separation of players.  Even to this day.  Now interestingly in my perception, the Book of Nine Swords was the introduction to 4th edition.  Just like the expanded rules introduced 3rd edition.  The main concept I got from 4th edition was to compete with the war hammer crew.  Those guys spent boku of dollars on figures and the battle lasted 1 session.  And they always had new books and armies.  Thus, 4th edition (my perception) was trying to get a niche into this with small gaming session and combat actions recharging and such.  4th edition gave the feel of a miniature (table top) gaming style where the earlier editions did not.  Now there is a 5th edition although I am not allowed to say this, but its called D&D Next.  But none the less it's the next edition.  It's being play tested and they had a few sessions at GENCON 2012.  But since GENCON seemed to be Pathfinder centric, they didn't have much realastate I think.  Now, Pathfinder is what a lot of people call 3.75 (rule set 3.75ish) which is a boosted system from 3.5.  This edition (I believe) competes with 4.0..  But who am I, I'm just a gamer whose addiction is to collect all the books.  When the Book of Eli comes to fruit, my books will be next the encyclopedia set.  LOL
So to answer your question, I am planning on using the 3.5 rule set.  As for the books that you lack, I am adding a website that will allow you to access a SRD which is the books broken apart into a format that can be printed and such.  It doesn't pictures and all that stuff, just word documented type stuff.  But its a start.  Now, if you email me at the email I have added below with your mailing address.  I can send you a CD with pretty much all the books.  Or you there might be people in the Austin Meetup that you could meet face to face and get the same results.  Of course you could download them through what ever sources that's out there, but it's real time consuming.  And maybe costly. But if you are wanting to feel the actual book in your hands, well that might be hard as well.  So if you find some books at a gaming store, chances are they might be 3.5. For the most part it will say 3.5 on the front.  If not, look at the back and it will also mention it there.  Another minor tell tale is the word pick pocket versus slight of hand on the character sheets.  Justa FYI.
I know this was alot of stuff. But I hoped it answered your question.
The following link is to the SRD:
And from your email, you are choosing Option 1 and you have a +1 player.
As an added note, I will try and send out more information about my game, some house rules that I have picked up along the way.  Nothing to far out there, but some handy things for the players.
From: Dale Shadle <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28,[masked]:32 PM
Subject: RE: [dnd-823] Online Gaming (going virtual)

Hi David,
Very well formed thought out note.  I’m an old AD&D’r from the original just after the box.  Even had the opportunity to party (drink) with the man himself Gygax J  So what ruleset are you talking about for this campaign?  I saw you mentioned interest in 3.5 ruleset later.  I don’t’ have any of those book currently.   I’m not very fond of the 4.0 ruleset being as it’s very “Mission/Encounter” based though some of the rules I do like and also like how the objectified movement during battle and such. 

So I like the original AD&D system however I do think some of the rules from the 4.0 system were good.  I never really played the ones between so I’d be open to what they offered.   I’ve also never played Pathfinder..again I’m all for good rules that we can follow and streamline well to keep it moving smoothly.  Of course the magic system of original AD&D was pretty lame for early characters.  I recall we ended up using a mana based system calculated from relative attributes (Int,Wis poss Cha) which I enjoyed better.
Anyway I have most of the original books (including the greyhawk box/map) and was curious which game system you were going with.  Also my 15 yr old son would likely be interested as well.  I believe option 1 for time would work best for us (Sat 10 to 2)..not sure I could make the other two.
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of David Hudak
Sent: Wednesday, November 28,[masked]:31 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [dnd-823] Online Gaming (going virtual)
I am almost finished with my intro that will hopefully initiate the on-line gaming session.  As I have been hacked already on Monday (yes this past Monday) for replying to a blog on Meetup (and Yes, the Meetup), I will probably only respond to a email sent via meetup.  And when I do, I will probably have a link to the future game site.  Be warned, you have to create a profile to the roll20 website and you will either need firefox or google crome to access the link.  There was some problems with IE and it not being able to go to the actual page.  Just a heads up on that piece.
Please read through this long email.  I have also presented a start time (3 options to chose from).  Later we might get away with a weekday game or a Friday night game.  I have to work this Friday, so not available.  I will need a majority vote on the option being chosen.  If there is alot of people, again I might host 2 sessions.  I will also need a copy of the character sheets sent to me at [address removed]
Who can play:  Well of course any meetup member, but if you have a family member who would like to play, then let me know.
What do I need from you up front: I need to know who is interested, what option (time slot) best works for you, if there is a +1 player, a basic idea what you want to play. I need this by Thursday night.  I plan to send out information Friday letting everyone know about the game(s).
What do I need next: By Friday night (this Friday), I need a copy of your character sheet )completed) you will be playing.  If you are a spell caster, your spell sheet (arcane casters only).
I'm looking to play a group of 4 to 8 players, since there seemed to be alot of interest in doing this.  Which brings up the problem, what happens if there is more then 8 players wanting to play.  Well, I could offer a second gaming session for another 4-8 players or another DM takes on some players.

My gaming concept or at least how I am going to attempt to run this gaming sessions: Because we won't have all day and night to talk or should say role play everything, I want the game to move fairly fast and spend most of it doing something that requires rolling dice (roll20 has a dice roller) or at least progressing some where that will earn exp.  Save the long dialog for blogs (on another web site).  It is my attempt to play each session that will end that same game day.  So they will probably consist of at least 1 combat encounter and some other stuff (like getting to the fight).  Also, I have a few places out there where I might reopen and set up folders to post important information between games.
I am also wanting to play a 3.5 game,  I have all the editions too include some D&D-Next that I am play-testing. But I currently prefer just 3.5.  I am not fully up to par with Pathfinder, even though I GM'd a few games this past GENCON.
I am also staying away from actual published world settings (i.e. Forgotten Realms, Eberron, etc), just a straight generic home brew world setting where I know where all the hideouts (player knowledge) are and such.
1st Game: All Central Time zones
Option 1: Saturday 1 Dec 10am to 2pm
Option 2: Saturday 1 Dec 6pm to 10pm
Option 3: Sunday 2 Dec 4pm to 8pm
Starting Level: I know some people would like to start off with a 1st level character, but I for one do not.  I am wanting to start the group off at 3rd level.  This allows a variety of options for the players and maybe some survival skills.  My reason is that everyone has played 1st level characters, possible there are those who have millions of them from other games that went away for whatever reason.
Books: So, the books I am using are the standard Dungeon and Dragons on the top of the book. The players can use the Players Handbook, Complete series, Race series (with some exceptions to say no, i.e. no race of eberron, destiny, or dragon), Cityscape, Dungeonscape, PHB2, Spell Compendium, and Magic Item Compendium.  You may have noticed I left out some other books.  That being said it will have to be a serious case by case.  Chances are, these books should be enough.
Alignment: LG, LN, NG, N, CG (noticed I left out evil and CN.)
Classes:  Whats in the books.  You must provide me the source and the page if you are using something not in the PHB.
Race: Whats in the books.  You must provide me the source and the page if it's not in the Player Handbook.  I will make a ruling on any race that's not in the PHB.  I say this because there are some races in the Races of Destiny that I do not feel comfortable.
Starting Gold: 2900gp.  You can use all of it to equip your character.  Just understand, chances are if you spend it all on a horse and the accessories, you might not be using it in the first encounter.  Also, I am using a DMG variant, which is the 10% or 30% rule.  This variant allows you reduce the cost of a magic item by either 10% or 30% of the market cost.  The trick is, you must either establish 1 or 3 restrictions to use it.  I.e.1 restriction can be either a race, or a class, or a alignment.  Such as a +1 long sword that can only be used by elves.  Its still master worked, but the magic is not usable by the human.  The 3 restriction will either be all three (race,class,and alignment)  or some combination such as dwarf cleric/fighter.  You don't have to use this variant, but its there to be used.  This option can only be used fro permanent magic items, no scroll, potions, wands, or anything that can be burnt out/consumed when used up.  Any questions to this just ask.  You may also buy wands with reduced charges in case you are trying to save money.  Until we actually paly a few games to get a feel of it, no wand or scroll above 2nd level.  You can buy a special potion belt that either holds 6 or 10 potions (stolen from Forgottenrealms (sorry), cost is 10 gp or 60gp.  This allows you to draw a potion as a free action (no AO), usage is still a standard action (yes on AO).  But it at least allows you to move in case you wanted to heal someone.  I think that's enough on Magic and equipment.
EXP: 3500.  This allows players to scribe scrolls and maybe brew a few potions with their hard earned cash.  Those that are thinking about adding spells in their spell book will use this formula to determine the cost of each spell being added (written): Spell Level X 50gp + Scribe Scroll cost + 100gp per page used (i.e. 1st level spell = 162gp 5sp (1x50 + 12gp +5sp + 100gp)) and of course the 1xp.  You cannot add a spell you cannot cast due to level or specialization class (i.e. Evoker).
Ability Scores:   Point buy (refer to chart on page 169 of DMG): 36 points, scores start at 8, then 1 for 1 to a ability score of 14 (i.e. 8 +6 = 14), 8pts for 15, 10 for 16, 13 for 17, and 16 for 18.  I know this is in some cases alot, but I really hate the point buy, but since we are playing virtual, I'll never see your rolls.
Character name: Please come up with one.
Basic Description: Please come up with a basic visual description of your character, as a person would see it.
Basic Background: Maybe not important but I will leave it up to you.
Picture:  I need a digital picture of your character.  This will be you icon on the virtual map.  If you cannot find one, I will have a few to chose from.  And maybe later you can change it out.
I think this about does it for the initial game information.

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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Dale Shadle ([address removed]) from The Austin Dungeons & Dragons Meetup Group.
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