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43

They are all fun, so you don't need to worry any on that count. For cheap, you're in luck—Basic D&D 5th edition (the current edition) is free to download and play right now. Fifth edition is an edition designed to be easy to get into for new players, while still being the full D&D adventure experience. The free PDFs contain the complete rules, but ...


15

There is a huge number of options to get D&D basically for free, since there are so many different versions of D&D. My personal favorites are Basic Fantasy and Lamentations of the Flame Princess (which each loosely emulate early 1980s Basic/Expert D&D). There is also OSRIC (closely matches Advanced D&D, 1st edition) and Swords & ...


14

Ultimately, your “normal-distribution random number generator” is neither random nor normally-distributed. It’s also not actually continuous; all numbers in a computer are always going to be discrete. Any system that rolls a number of equally-sized dice and sums them up is more-or-less approximately normal (see also: central limit theorem). More dice ...


11

If you want something that fits in directly with the time period of the Forgotten Realms as depicted in Phandelver then the new Princes of the Apocalypse adventure starts out just to the east of Phandelver. I have the book and the initial adventures are in the Dessarin Valley. The north end begins at the eastern terminus of the Triboar trail as you can ...


10

Good news - the Basic Rules of the latest edition of D&D is available free-of-charge from the publishers. I have recently started playing it with a group of beginner players (though I am an experienced DM), and they are loving it. I have also DMed AD&D 2e and D&D 3e with beginners, and I would say that the 5e rules are both easier and more fun. ...


7

It's very hard to detect the difference. You can just use 3d6 or something similarly simple, because you won't really notice a difference Let's pretend you have two ways of determining the result of tests like the one Jill is participating in. One of them generates results from an ideal normal distribution. The other is a small handful of dice, say 3d6. You ...


5

If you are looking to purchase something, I'd like to present 3 different options, all of them have their own pros and cons and none of them are the right choice for everyone. If you're just getting into D&D there's no reason not to head right for 5e, there is copious information published by the publisher free on the website and all of the currently ...


5

It's easier to get in than it ever has in the past. A useful thing to consider is if you are set on playing "D&D" as it name-branded D&D or one of the many, many "clones" which have been put out there (most of which are, D&D, with minor modifications). Actual D&D The current 5th Edition of D&D has starter rules available for free ...


4

If what you're wanting is more granularity than, say, 3d6 provides, then use whatever distribution curve you like, express the probability of success p as a decimal between 0 and 1, and success is defined as rolling a fraction smaller than p using d10 (or d20 ignoring tens digit) as many rounds as necessary to either reach the stated precision or know that ...


4

I incorporated the TMNT as NPCs in my Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game campaign many years ago, and it worked out rather well. Animal-Mutations as seen in the cartoon The Street Fighter Players' Guide had rules for animal hybrids, although most folks considered them overpowered. I don't think that'd be much of an issue if the entire team and/or ...


4

As an alternative, you might consider checking out the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide. It's substantially cheaper ($20) and includes not only the rules for Leverage (which is Cortex Plus Action) but also a lot of advice and examples for manipulating the mechanics to fit your play style. It also contains the rules for Cortex Plus Drama (the basis for Smallville) ...


4

You already mentioned a good one, FATE Core is probably the next best thing aside from the Leverage System. You already have a really cool way to introduce complications and allow players to do flashbacks with the fate point system. Say in one scene a security guard is about to check the room one of your players is in, another of the players says "When we ...


3

Yes, this exists... sort of. I say "sort of" because you're assuming that continuous probabilities are possible to generate, when it is physically impossible to do so. (All random number generators, both digital and physical, can only produce discrete numbers, even if there are so many that the curve looks smooth; and the results from physically-contnuous ...


2

With so many mentions of Microscope, I think it would be unfair to gloss over Ben Robbins' Kingdom It's a game about communities and people in them. What you can and cannot do as a key character depends mostly on which of the three roles (power, perspective, touchstone) you currently have (it can change in-game). A well defined set of rules keep the game ...


2

Your girlfriend's birthday has almost certainly passed, but this seems to fit your requirements so well, I'll answer for future Googlers. Monte Cook games recently released Weird Discoveries: Ten Instant Adventures for Numenera. They are self-contained short adventures, specifically set up for minimal prep and pressure on the GM, and have pregenerated ...


1

Hack Apocalypse World In my unreleased Apocalypse World superhero hack, each playbook includes a move that allows the PC to have some degree of retroactive narrative control. Retconning happens all the time in comics, and as my hack's goal is genre simulation, retconning needed to be baked-in. For example, The Detective playbook has the following move: ...


1

Unfortunately, much of our universe appears to be quantized. One could imagine a system wherein, instead of rolling dice, you precisely measured the net magnetic spin of some ideal gas on non-interacting magnetic moments each of either spin up (1) or spin down (-1). Theoretically such a property, when measured many times, should form a gaussian ...


1

This is only meant as an added option, as the answers above are all very good suggestions and lots of useful information. The cheapest paper-based RPG I have ever seen was one a friend had done using only charts and tables loosely based on AD&D, maps he had made on inexpensive graph paper, and the only real or significant expense were the dice. It's ...


1

With a little resourcefulness, you can play 5th Edition D&D for free. It is possible to try 5th edition with just paper, pencils, and a computer. You need: Rules for players and DMs Character sheets and pencils Monsters Mats and figurines (optional) As stated by other posters, the basic D&D 5th edition rules for both players and DMs can be ...


1

There exists a Finnish indie game (in the sense of independent; the system is traditional), currently in development, called Vector. The designer is Antti Eronen. Vector has standard, though very rules-light, system for characters taking actions when not in vehicles. What makes it different is that there are rules for constructing vehicles and for fighting ...


1

Rather than creating a whole new campaign and making a one-shot, have you considered creating characters in your bosses images and having them in as guest-PCs/NPCs? Explain that while they're there they'd be 'acting' and 'controlling' the characters, but since they're part of the environment, you'll be taking care of any complicated rules for them. Explain ...


1

Blood and Tears, Simplified. I have tried this yesterday, using a modified version of John Wick's Blood & Tears system. The modifications, and the reasons thereof, are given below. It works with a steam punk aesthetic. Apart from changes made in order to simplify the system, satisfying this point needed a considerate amount of thought. By ...



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