Daily D&D Ramble: The worst type of call

On Thursday, I received two very similar messages. The first was from my little brother, who was apparently running a game of D&D the next day and needed some fast advice. The other was from our DM, who had to plead unavailable and now I will be running a small thing Saturday night.

This is what I call: Par for the course. Once you have elected to bear the torch of the DM, it stays with you and you will be called upon. Getting some time to prepare is a rare occasion. I’m still not 100 on what I’ll be running. I have an idea, but I need to sit down, draw some things, and flip through the Monster Manual (which I have just remembered I lent to the DM and I don’t have) and jot some final notes down. I don’t want to spoil anything, in case anyone at my table reads this before, so I’ll cover the actual idea and how it goes later. It’s a nifty idea, I think.

But my brother’s call was interesting. He has a D&D club at his school. Apparently, its popular enough that he’ll have to run a game with little or no support from his advisor for it. I guess. I don’t know all the details. All I know is he called me the day before asking for advice on what he should be doing.

And as much as it’s called a D&D club, they were actually playing Pathfinder. Which may be close enough. I don’t know. I know almost nothing about Pathfinder. I know it’s related to D&D. ANd I know its close to 3.5 or something, but I don’t know a lot about 3.5. I played it once, but only once. I don’t know what skills there are, how the actions work, anything.

But I am a quick study and the game hasn’t changed that much. Well, no tint the things that matter. The core rule stays the same, even if the DCs are wonky. So I basically gave him a crash course in ignoring the actual rules of the game you’re playing and how to run something with little prep. Then I walked him through a few encounter ideas he may or may not have time for, then gave him a pep talk. I have yet to hear back.

I should use mephits tonight. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use those. Respawning monsters would work well with the theme I’m thinking of.

I am convinced my brother’s teacher is what I term a 3.5er, someone who refuses to move on, who refuses to accept the validity of the newer editions. They will never move on. For them, 3.5 is where the game was perfected and where it stopped.

I have no problem with people playing in an older version of the game. They have something they are comfortable with and don’t want to change. That’s not really my business. And if that was all it was, they’d just be people who played in 3.5. A true treepointfiver has this attitude, this feel that emanates from that because you’re running in a new edition, you’re not a gamer.

I try to avoid people like that.

Anyway, his game was in Pathfinder. We found a statblock for a gnoll and some goblins, I explained how to resolve skills, coached his scene painting, and gave him a run down on combat. In short, I prepared him as best I could for a system I don’t know. I’ll try to see if I can record or at least well document his response.

I will admit that Pathfinder has a nice looking wiki for their monsters and stuff. I couldn’t read all of the statblock. There were a few odd numbers in places, but it seemed to be okay.

I think that’s if for today. I have to go draw some maps and stuff for my sudden one-off.


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  1. Great read. I especially enjoyed the discussion of past editions and threepointfivers. I understand that you don’t know that much about past editions, but a ramble on the history of D&D in general from your perspective would be interesting to read.

    By the way, you probably know this, but Pathfinder has all of its content online. This makes it free to play which is ideal for schools (particularly high schools, but colleges are certainly no stranger to free). I just thought that was a fun fact.

    1. Pathfinder being free makes a lot of sense. Its a bold move, but it would make it more accessible than other editions, easier tho they may be.

      I might give the history of D&D ramble a try. It’d be cool to do it with what I know, sans research. Then post again having done the research and see how close I got passively picking it all up.

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