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Misadventures of a returning middle aged gamer

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A couple months ago when my son and I decided to begin playing pen and paperpaper I wasn't worried. I played for nearly 10 years starting in the late 80's. I figured I could brush up on a few things and off we would go. It didn't take long to see I was in way over my head. The basics are still the same but the characters and chapters are much more intricate. I had already committed so we set out to read up and watch a lot of YouTube. I am trying to get through the books quickly as we are anxious to play, but they are quite meaty. We found ourselves frustrated and confused, which did dampen the fun parts we were so stoked about.

Now I am about halfway through the books. Have not successfully filled out most of our character sheets. It seems we are light years away at this point. I called around some local gaming stores but they were less than inclined to aid our cause. It sucks because my son should get to play a proper game, just him and mom seems a shame.

So here I am, pleading for guidance and thirsting for knowledge. Hoping I can save some face with my bubs. If anyone lives in the Seattle area maybe we can observe one of your campaigns. If not any help is appreciated. I have searched a lot on the internet for a dummies guide to 5e but alas all you fine folks are much smarter than I and it seemingly doesn't exist. We are both creating 2 characters so it won't be a lame solo mission. We really do appreciate your help and input.

Thank you

PunkRockMom & Charlie
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Updated 07-31-2017 at 12:12 AM by PunkRockMom (mispellings)



  1. Isada's Avatar
    Hi! I'm Isada. There aren't any 5e games recruiting at the time I'm writing this, but a 5e game comes up every so often here:

    And 5e games tend to fill up quickly, so it's a good idea to check often! A lot of games are new-player friendly, so you won't need to worry about not knowing everything in the books. You can just ask if you ever have any questions, and in my experience everyone here has been super friendly and informative.

    I came in knowing 4e instead of 5e. I'm in 5e games now and still don't know everything, but it hasn't been a problem.

    Best of luck finding a game!!! (Maybe several, a lot of my friends here and I are in more than one)
  2. PunkRockMom's Avatar
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, a little insider info is great!!!
  3. Isada's Avatar
    Yeah, no prob! There are some great people on the Tangled Web's Discord who can help answer questions too:
  4. Xubrai's Avatar
    Dang it Isada! Why you always gotta be so helpful and nice? People are gonna get the wrong idea about you if ya keep that up.

    Jokes aside, there's plenty of people and games on TTW that are newb friendly. The Discord channel is great to hang out and ask questions. I myself have had a character essentially crowd-sourced in there. I've been known to check my private messages from time to time. If you're really stumped and have a question about 5e, I own some of the books and will answer to the best of my knowledge.

    Once you get the core mechanics of the game down, it's one of the simplest systems I've played to date. I prefer Pathfinder personally, but that's because I'm cheap and I like stupidly large numbers.
  5. Isada's Avatar
    Penance for my gaming sins.

    Yeah, I just like to hang out on Discord a lot of times to chat and give/get movie/book recs.
  6. PunkRockMom's Avatar
    After all my research I am still struggling with character development and properly filling out character you guys know of a link or site I can reference
  7. Isada's Avatar
    Most of my games use Mythweavers for sheets:

    Getting an account is free and they have all kinds of sheets on there--mine are mostly 5e and Pathfinder. Actually, if you just want to see a sample of a filled out sheet, you can see a couple of my characters.

    Here's a 5e character--he's Lv.6:

    I hope that helps!
  8. Xubrai's Avatar
    I agree with Isada. Mythweavers is kinda the standard for character sheets on this site.

    As far as character development, one of the great things that 5e added was the Backgrounds, broken down into Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. I'd have to check the book later to confirm where in the PHB they're listed, but you'll notice that Mythweaver's 5e sheet has sections for all of these, and they're great at helping you build your character's personality and history.

    Some of the backgrounds are tailor-made for certain classes, such as the Actor background. Great for Bards.
  9. RealWittyAlias's Avatar
    This looks like a good guide on creating a character:

    It breaks down the process of creating a character and tells you where exactly in the player's handbook the relevant character-making information is, so you don't have to read through the whole book when all you want to do is fill out a simple character sheet. I kind of wish I'd looked for something like that before I created my first 5e sheet.
  10. sarynkitamo's Avatar
    5e is, fortunately, easy to get into. But to start the only sections in the PHB you really need to know are the ones about the character class/race you want to be and how to play. You don't need to read the Dungeon Master's Guide or Monster Manual. Like... at all.

    Lordjeb tried to get in touch with you regarding inviting you to his Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign, a beginner's game. If you haven't already, please get in touch. LMoP here was my first campaign and I've learned a lot since. If you would like to step in, I have no problems stepping out.