Day One: Starting at level 5

In D&D, you can pretty much start at any level you want.  The point of the game is not about what level you are but in how creative you can be with the skills you have.  That said, there is a lot I forgot about playing a rogue and figured I’d document some of the things I need to remember here or just to talk about my thoughts on the game.

Character Sheet

Redoing a character sheet is a pain in the ass, especially if it’s an online character sheet like the one I did on roll20.net (third times the charm guys?). The traditional pencil and paper character sheet is by far better because it feels like you’ve created this sacred parchment paper of regulations for your character to follow.  I know people who love doing their character sheets, but it is time-consuming and some of it is just downright tedious.  However, once it is all done, the finished product can be quite impressive.  Seeing your character’s abilities and understanding on the skills for your character begins the process of developing some very strategic planning skills.

Plus in the traditional sense, you get figures (or tokens) that you use to play out your character.  The art of the game and the dedication of your role become extremely creative at this point.  You can paint your own character figures or purchase them and that character becomes the physical representation of your character sheet.  Online, you can create a token as well but it’s not nearly as sentimental as the real thing.

Character sheets consist of several features: core stats, skills, your background, class/racial abilities, weapons, spellbook, armor, and your inventory.

My core stats are as follows:

11 STR
17 DEX +3
13 CON +1
14 INT +2
10 WIS
10 CHA

These stats were created by using the Attribute Point by Calculator.  It just makes things easier but it should actually be created by rolling specific dice.

BUT because I’m a level 5 rogue, at level 4 I get 2 more points from Ability Score Improvement, but cannot go above 20 points.  So my stats change to:

11 STR
18 DEX +4
13 CON +1
15 INT +2
10 WIS
10 CHA

Everything else, such as spells and racial abilities, are pretty much in the D&D 5e Player’s Handbook.  However, there are also ways to create custom characters, which are commonly known as Homebrew-created characters.  Beware though that some Dungeon Masters may not accommodate Homebrew.

Play Styles

Every Game Master or Dungeon Master (GM or DM) has their own style of storytelling. As a kid, the adventure led to any possibility of options and a lot of drawing up of maps.  We did mostly dungeon quests, so there wasn’t a whole lot of RP because I think the concepts were just a little too complex at the time.

As an adult, storylines seem to have become even more complex yet innovative. Decisions can affect life or death situations, which means that creating (or rolling) a new character may be inevitable if you die.

In the game we will be playing tonight, I expect there to be some challenges but also a lot more role playing or story to the game because of the person who will be our DM.  So I definitely am looking forward to our game tonite.

Adventurers

In our game tonight we will have a variety of new adventurers.

  1. Agua Myst (myself — technically not a new character), a halfling lightfoot rogue
  2. Alphius, Beastfolk, Cannoneer (Beastfolk Homebrew, Cannoneer Homebrew)
  3. Myrin Greenslayer, Firbolg, Shaman (Firbolg Homebrew, Shaman Homebrew)
  4. Norand Sylverant, Human Paladin (also the husband)
  5. Yara, Otterfolk, Water Shaman (also falls under the beastfolk and shaman homebrew)
  6. And our DM, who’s name shall remain mysterious.

Basic Campaign

Not to burden anyone with the details of our two and a half hour campaign, I kept this short and sweet.  We were captured from our individual areas and thrown in a dungeon.  We tried to escape but every time we did something, it alerted several guards.  We are eventually forced to fight a bunch of slaves in an arena for our freedom.  After a long battle and winning the fight against the 5 other slaves, the organizer of the fight tries to strike a bargain with us while we are chained in enchanted shackles and his cart is taking us to his farm.

Discrepancies

In every campaign, there are several questions that the adventurers have because the player’s handbook isn’t exactly explicit on certain things. This may be because the description in the book is unclear or simply not believable.

For example, my character is a rogue and I constantly have an issue with understanding how the dual-wielding works for her. There has been some argument as to whether or not the rogue dual-wields daggers naturally or if they need the feat to dual-wield. In the book, the rogue gets the opportunity to use 2 daggers (which are light, finesse weapons).  Why should the rogue have to use the dual wield feat if they automatically get 2 daggers at level 1 and not just one dagger instead?

Well, after reading the description for the dual-wield feat, it doesn’t really apply to weapons that are light, however, there is another page that the DM found where it states (p. 195):

Two-Weapon Fighting
When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.

And then there is a section labeled finesse and the section states (p. 147):

Finesse. When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

But because daggers are both finesse and light weapons, that makes the matter even more confusing because page 195 is in chapter 9:

Light. A light w eapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for use when fighting with two weapons. See the rules for two-weapon fighting in chapter 9.

If I’m a skilled assassin, such as a rogue would be, I should naturally be able to hold two daggers in my hand and fight with equal or similar force with each dagger, especially if I got that at level 1.  Obviously, some people favor a specific hand over another (like with writing with a pen, using a mouse, or wiping your ass), but when you’re trained to fight in such a manner, I believe they should be equal.  However, in this case, I chose to agree with the terms the DM stated because (1) what he referred to in the book made sense, and (2) I didn’t exactly want to keep beating a dead horse, so to speak.

The resolution, which was totally fair, was to roll 1d4+my dex modifier (so 1d4+4) with my main-hand dagger and just a 1d4 with my off-hand dagger. I still have the ability to make use of sneak attacks, which is 3d4 and why rogues cause a lot of issues in campaigns with how high their damage can be.

So, it is natural to argue over details of the book because there are just some sections that conflict with other sections.  This is part of the whole enjoyable D&D experience.

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