ADVANCED DUNGONS & DRAGONS(tm) for New Players
What is AD&D?
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is one of the oldest and certainly the most well established fantasy role playing game system. By the term "system" we are referring to a product line that includes core rules, expansion rules, campaign worlds, adventure modules and referee accessories. The game rules are very complex, however, only a few basic requirements are necessary to begin play. The purpose of the rules is to provide a framework of probabilities to the game master. By being able to estimate the chance of your success at a given task, he can gauge whether you are successful when you actually roll the dice to find out. For instance, a dice roll is made to see if you successfully attack a monster. Your chances of success are based on statistics that measure you strength, the type of weapon you are using, your experience and situational modifiers (like you are on fire while trying to fight or some other hindrance/advantage).
The dungeon master is the person who develops the fantasy world and judges the machinery of time and events. The game master can arbitrarily rule, but a good judge uses the games mechanics to judge play and tries not to influence the party. Impartiality has it's price, player character can die. Fortunately, in the fantasy world, there are two distinct advantages where death is concerned. The first is - it doesn't REALLY inflict pain and misery on you AND there is the possibility your loved ones and comrades and brink you back from the beyond. There are several flavors of fantasy gaming. Your participation in each type will vary with your personal taste, that's the beauty of it.
Hack & Slash: As the name implies, the hack and slash variety is one that emphasizes combat. While certainly a valid method of play, it tends to be more statistic intensive and less emphasis is placed on the fantasy and dream like qualities of the game. Hack and slash usually leads to a form called "Monty Haul" because it reduces the process of gaming to rolling dice just to accumulate more loot. At some point in time, the enjoyment of the game suffers because there is less color and atmosphere. Hack and slash is the domain of the "rules lawyer".
Free Form: Free form gaming is a variety of role playing that evolved from on-line conferences. As you may suspect, the play of such a statistically intensive game in an on-line environment can be difficult - especially if a lot of players are present. In free form gaming, there are no statistics used and generally, there is no game master. It resembles more of a never-ending story than a game. When strong role players get together, and have a firm grasp of the rules, the players interact in a very believable fashion. The story has no beginning, and no particular ending, but the emotionally captivating scenes can be very enjoyable. Where the free form game has difficulty is when some players are not willing to play within believable boundaries. A character may arrive in a room and proclaim to be a 50th level dragon and explains how he just fireballed everyone in the room for 200 points of damage. Clearly, the you have to establish some boundaries. Some free form games have a "no bloodshed" rule because it is nearly impossible to have a fair fight with no rules and no referee. To avoid the conflict altogether, no combat is allowed. Anarchists particularly enjoy this type of role play.
Balanced Rules & Role Play: Clearly, a blend of the two styles is what most people favor. The whole point of fantasy role playing is to actually have some fantasies. You want some rules to establish rewards and advancement but you don't want the rules to be cumbersome. You don't want to spend your time rolling dice, you have tales to tell, foes to slay and certainly a poor maiden somewhere needs rescue. Balanced play works best with well organized parties. Players who know the rules well and understand the mechanics use the rules as a framework for their role play. When they are making their heroic soliloquies, they are recognizing the AD&D game rules and role playing around them. The rules become somewhat invisible because everyone is only doing things within the framework and events flow smoothly.
It should be pointed out that our preferences should not prevent our users from playing whatever sort of RPG they want, but it does give you an idea of the kinds of game events we will be conducting.
Potential Players: There are two kinds of potential players in our audience, the experienced gamers and the prospective new gamer. If you are experienced with AD&D, you have some passing familiarity with the rules. If you are a new player, undoubtedly some explanation is in order. Here you will find the core elements of the AD&D character sheet with explanations in 2 languages (basic, and advanced). To participate in an on-line game, there are but a few pieces of information required to get started. These items are listed under "Basic Information". You don't need to be concerned with any more details to the game than those bare essentials. After the mini character sheet you will see a more detailed explanation of the statistics. If you are a long time avid AD&Der your character information can be as detailed or as sketchy as you like.
Character Restrictions: Games conducted by staff game masters from Electric Adventures do follow the core AD&D game system. We really don't have ANY character restrictions. Keep in mind, if we are liberal to you, we will surely be liberal when considering our villains. If you really want to be the 30th level Elven Wizard/Assassin - you might get what you asked for. However, it is part of the game masters function to keep the game balanced, you can bet that there are not just one, but two 30th level Wizard/Assassins and the other one is looking for you. The AD&D racial/class restrictions are very awkward, they don't really allow for a wide diversity of character types. Most games will be using AD&D 2nd edition rules, and any published materials are considered valid.
Prospective Consumers: If you find you like the AD&D system, buying appropriate materials is essential. If you don't think you'll ever play anywhere but here, then don't worry about it. The "essential" materials for AD&D players are: AD&D 2nd Edition Player Handbook and the Tome Of Magic. For DM's, add the AD&D 2nd Edition Dungeon Master's guide - and ABSOLUTELY pick up the Catacomb Guide & Campaign Source book. The Catacomb Guide should be the Dungeon Master's guide. For people who want to expand further, the series of Complete (Fighter, Thief, Ranger, Mage, Priest, Bard, Dwarf, Elf, etc....) Books are excellent rules expansions. Also, for new DM's pick up any one of the AD&D core campaign worlds - Forgotten Realms, DragonLance, Ravenloft, SpellJammer, Dark Sun, Al-Qadim.