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The actual rulebooks for certain editions are available legally in PDF. Moldvay (B/X), Mentzer (BECMI) and Alston (Cyclopedia) are available at DNDclassics.com The D&D 3.5 Rules Compendium also is available at DNDclassics.com. AD&D 1E has most of the supplementary books available, but the core rules are not at present available in legal PDF. Poor ...


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The definition for Barbarian according to Merriam-Webster is wrong in my opinion. Barbarian came from the greek "Barbaros" which means: stranger, from another culture, uncivilized, someone from a tribal society. The greeks used to call barbarian, everyone that was not greek, that couldn't speak the greek language. They used this word as an insult and ...


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Used books often turn up with old copies in paper. I've seen them at Half-Priced Books in College Station, Austin, Houston, and Dallas. They're usually pretty beaten up but not too expensive. If they are in good condition expect to pay big bucks. eBay, Amazon, et al are also your friends but expect to pay more (although as I type the top result on eBay ...


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If you're interested primarily in learning the rules and can't find a group, consider playing video games rather than reading through books. To learn 3.5, consider Temple of Elemental Evil, which faithfully implements most of the game's core mechanics, including classes and feats from the Player's Handbook. It's slow to start, so I never got into it. ...


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As excerpted from earlier question How do I learn to become a good GM?, for each game you are interested in, go watch it be played (or participate in playing it). The actual differences in 'the rules' are less important than how the combination of rules, adventures, and common approaches particular to those games actually come out in real play. Watch In ...


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There's four main kinds of DnD played at the moment, by my understanding. I'll try to give a brief overview of where you can look for resources for each of the three you don't know about. 3.5e The SRD for 3.5e is free to read and hosted on several internet sites. Additionally, people write about it a lot. Unfortunately, the SRD is missing a lot of ...


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Nearly every early edition has a free clone or near clone. Lists mapping the retro-clones to editions are easily found. I would look at several of those and based on that pick one or two early editions to pick up. I would note most early editions are available at DriveThruRPG and core books are reasonably priced. You could sample Moldvay, and Mentzer ...


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Wikipedia has a page about the different editions of D&D, and also pages for each edition, which should cover the most important parts. If you want to know more about 3.5e, the SRD has all the rules on it - and it's completely free and legal. Sadly most editions of D&D aren't freely and legally available on the Internet, and if you want to learn ...


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mxyzplk covered the history of the term in gaming, and Alex P has covered its history in fantasy literature (which greatly influenced gaming). I'll try to summarize the real-world context (which doubtless influenced the literature). Barbarians The word "barbarian" was really invented by ancient Greeks, and used for people who weren't culturally Greeks. The ...


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It's all about this guy. Conan the Barbarian established the trope of the "barbarian" as a strong and courageous warrior, made mighty by his rugged close-to-the-wilderness upbringing and stoic individualism. (Really it's the fictional American frontiersman with a sword instead of a gun.) Early Dungeons & Dragons was heavily inspired by ...


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By "almost any system" you probably mean "all the D&D-derived systems written in the last decade." In those cases, the reason is pretty simple. 0e - The 1970s The first instance of a raging fighter was actually called a Berserker, published in Dragon issue #3 (October 1976) as "New D&D Subclass: The Berserker". (See also: In what edition of DnD ...


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Also, the 10 ft pole would have been assumed in the making of maps while exploring. Things have to be measured (which is one of the reasons exploratory movement in AD&D was so slow) and you need a standard by which those measurements are taken. If you know that your pole is 10 feet long, and the room is "two-poles by four-poles" then you know that's 20 ...


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A statement along the lines of "X is always true" is easily proven false, but nearly impossible to prove true. Proving such a statement false merely requires a single counterexample, while proving it true requires examining every single element in the set that the statement covers. In this case, it is false that a "critical" failure always produces a ...


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As with the vampire-to-lawn-chair problem, it involved Matter magick in Mage 1e. One of the examples listed of "coincidental magick" for Matter was "transmuting bullets into air" with the coincidence of "the gun was never loaded." Now, earlier examples in the book of coincidental magick in the book suggested that to be coincidental magick, the coincidence ...


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No, it's not universal for games to have some sort of fumble triggering an event. In some games, it's a good thing that idea has been removed, in some other games the fumble mechanic is what moves the game forward. I'm going to show you why it's bad or good depending on the situation with examples of both. I've been playing D&D 3.0 with an old ...


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Disclaimer: not sure, but I'll find this funny ^^ On TVTropes under the Table Top section examples we find this In Mage: The Ascension this is a popular method of stopping a bullet, since it is entirely coincidental if done properly (and thus incurs no Paradox) - as long as an observer cannot be fully certain the mage didn't have a Bible or ...


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Possibly the Original Fumble Mechanics While I'm no role-playing game scholar, Chaosium's Runequest (1978) apparently included fumbles, at least as early as 1980 (which is the Runequest version I just extracted from my shelf and dusted off and whose binding cracked when I flipped through it). It reads FUMBLES An Adventurer using a weapon for which he ...


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This idea goes back to the very first edition of the Mage: the Ascension player's handbook. Stephan Wieck discusses it as an example of how the loose rule system can produce unexpected results. Title : Book of Shadows Date: 1993 Page 203 Subheading: Turning Vampires into Lawn Chairs and Other works of "High" Magick Edit note: The initial version of ...


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In first edition Mage, vampires fell entirely under the sphere of Matter, and changing the shape of matter was available at fairly low levels. (This was referenced in Book of Shadows, the Player's Guide to Mage, in a subhead: "Turning Vampires into Lawn Chairs and Other Works of 'High' Magick" -- although it wasn't a rote.) The notion that a starting mage ...


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No There exist systems in which there is no “event” on a natural-1. It’s by no means a necessary component of an RPG. And this is ignoring the existence of trivial answers like RPGs that don’t use dice, or don’t use any kind of randomization at all. Those may not even have a meaningful definition of “fumble.” ...



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