Questions regarding players who are new to a specific system or to RPGs in general.

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66
votes
9answers
13k views

I'm at a loss with “Dungeons and Dragons.” How does one play it, anyway?

I'm no gamer at all, so this could be like a very silly, basic question for you guys. The thing is that I always read about "Dungeons and Dragons" game (not the video game, but the normal game to play ...
57
votes
13answers
5k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
38
votes
13answers
4k views

Playing 4th Ed D&D for the first time, what should I read to avoid holding everyone back?

I've been invited to join a new game of D&D 4th edition this weekend, but haven't played proper D&D before. Are there any resources I ought to read or get before I turn up, so that I'm not a ...
35
votes
6answers
2k views

Did I do a bad job as a GM?

Last night we played our first RPG (ever!) and I'm not sure if it went well. The game was Deathwatch and the basic story was to find someone. There were three possible places where he could be; then ...
35
votes
4answers
1k views

How to get my Paranoia players to stop cooperating and start killing each other?

I've read some of the questions and answers on paranoia here, but I seem to be missing some kind of key element to play. I ran Robot IMANA-665-C and I didn't seem to be able to get the players to ...
33
votes
6answers
1k views

What is role-playing, and where do I start?

I have been told that roleplaying is great fun. I've looked and looked and it all seems so complicated. Could anyone tell me a good place to start, and what sort of things you end up doing in ...
30
votes
14answers
2k views

How can I help a player craft a backstory that gives me plot hooks?

I have a new player joining my game soon, who has taken the place of another player. Unfortunately, this character's backstory is lacking. It doesn't tell me a lot about the character. Because I draw ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

Acting role vs Player personality

I am new to RPGs and can't figure this out: should I act as my character or should I be me - in the sense of thinking and making decisions? For example, what if I am a senior cop involved in ...
27
votes
4answers
540 views

Spoilt for choice: helping traditional-system players adapt to narrative-control games

My group teethed on D&D 3.5 and loved 4e, but now we're eager to take advantage of FATE's more narrative- and character-driven philosophies. However, on our first (DFRPG) game last night, my ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it normal that players share their characters' thoughts?

I am totally new to RPGs and haven't participated in a single game yet. However, I'm interested in the topic and today, I found a link to Dungeon World on this site and started reading. There's ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a core campaign setting for DnD 4e?

I'm completely new to RPGs in general, so I apologize in advance if this is an odd question. There's such an overwhelming abundance of lore on all the different campaign settings for DnD that I've ...
25
votes
6answers
564 views

How do I fit my character in to a universe I am unfamiliar with?

I have recently finished my second session of a game universe I am only vaguely familiar with (namely Rogue Traders in Warhammer 40k, but this is a generic question). This universe has a very heavily ...
24
votes
7answers
10k views

How do I get started playing Dungeons and Dragons by myself?

I've been wanting to start playing D&D for some time, and I was wondering how I could get started by myself with relative ease. I own the first two player handbooks, and a set of dice.
24
votes
6answers
433 views

Non native speakers and Pen & Paper Role-Playing Games

I'm among a group of people which doesn't share the same mother tongue. We are speaking English every day and can communicate very well in daily situations and even in an academic way. Some of them ...
23
votes
4answers
728 views

How do I explain stress to a d20 crowd?

In the next month or so I'm going to start running the Dresden Files RPG soon with a group that has most of its experience in D&D 3.5 and 4e. We're all new to FATE, and I tried to explain the ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Helping a player who states “I have very little imagination” enjoy the game more?

I have a friend in a couple of my role-playing groups who just isn't enjoying the games very much. (We are currently running Exodus in one campaign and an D&D retro clone in the other.) This ...
22
votes
15answers
1k views

I am looking for a game to ease my friends into role playing

Let me start with saying it's been many years since I played D&D. I have a group of friends that meet every week to play board games like Descent, Heroquest, etc. The thing is, none of these ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How to tell your players about the setting without make them read?

I'm a (quite) new GM who's going to start a Traveller campaign, where my players don't know anything about the setting (be it the canon one or a modified one). I tried to sum the basic setting ...
21
votes
6answers
713 views

How can I treat old and new players fairly, without upsetting anyone?

The last time I ran a game of D&D there was a lot of tension between new players (both to the group, and D&D) and old players. It stemmed partly from oldbies not wanting their ball taken away, ...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the things every Savage Worlds player should know?

I'm playing in my first savage worlds next week, and I have no idea what the system is like. What should I know going in?
20
votes
7answers
967 views

How can I screen new players to make sure they are a good fit for my game?

I'm looking to start a new Savage Worlds campaign and I need a full set of players for it. I've played in games before and ran a couple of one-shots, but I've never GMed a full campaign. There's ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

How to introduce a pen-and-paper RPG to family?

My brother and I have dabbled in D&D when we were younger. Also, at the last place where I worked, we had a weekly Pathfinder game session, which was fun. Usually at our family get-togethers my ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Where it says longsword +3 and short sword +2, what does the +3 and +2 mean?

In the following example character, in this case Valeros: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/npcCodex/iconic/valeros.html What does the +3 and +2 mean in relation to his weapons? Are these ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I explain the concept of “staying in character” to a newly starting player?

I've always had difficulty trying to explain the concept of "staying in character" to newly starting players. Typically, what we end up doing is just start playing the game. Sooner or later (often ...
19
votes
3answers
930 views

What actions should I avoid when joining a new group?

I am a tabletop game noob. I'm fairly interested in joining into a gaming group but I haven't the foggiest Idea how to seek them out and join them, or even where to begin to look. I've done a bit of ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

What role-playing games should I pick for an absolute beginner group?

I've always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but where I live it's more of an underground thing, so it was difficult to find other players. After recently moving to a new school, I made a few ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
17
votes
9answers
2k views

New players missing the big picture?

Ok so I've just started my two daughters on their first ever Pathfinder campaign using the pre-built TC1 "Into the Haunted Forest". It's going ok, they are having fun, but they seem to be overlooking ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

I'm fairly new to D&D but want to GM; where do I go from here?

I'm a 16-year-old male, and I have been interested in tabletop RPGs for a long time, especially D&D. I sorta dove into D&D really fast and hard by buying the Red box, Dungeon Master Kit, ...
17
votes
4answers
725 views

How do I, as a DM, help a girl integrate into a group of all male role-players? [closed]

We have recently had an addition to our gaming group. She is very bright and has picked up the rules quickly and seems to have enjoyed herself. We have had one session with her involved and she has ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

What's a good class and race for beginners?

I'm a newbie GM and I have a new player at the table. He wants to play and I'm letting him (despite his loud, overly energetic behavior, and has a short attention span). Whats a good 3.5 class for ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

What adventures focus on courtly intrigue and social conflict instead of combat?

My wife bought me the Dungeons & Dragons 4e Player's Handbook for my birthday, and we've been talking about playing it. She has experience with video games: we've always played video games, and ...
15
votes
9answers
635 views

Does GMing diminish or detract from being a player in games?

I started playing RPGs last year with the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I have been GMing and writing a campaign, but have also encouraged members of the party that are interested to run a one-off Beginner ...
15
votes
1answer
454 views

What is the definition of a natural roll on dice

So I am starting in the world of pen-and-paper RPGs, and sometimes the material I read mentions a natural roll, like a natural 1 is always a miss, and a natural 20 is always a hit. I understand that ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I create an introductory D&D encounter intended for teaching the rules?

For my next D&D campaign, I want to introduce the players to the ruleset by having them play through a sample combat encounter. All of them have prior RPG experience, but they haven't played any ...
14
votes
4answers
579 views

How do I help a player who struggles with a tactics-focused character?

I'm a fairly new DM with fairly new players. One such player rolled up a warlord, casting the character as a "tactical genius". Unfortunately, she's having trouble getting "moments of glory", because ...
14
votes
7answers
348 views

Advantages and disadvantages in using a one-shot pre-gen to introduce a new system

In questions about how to learn new systems, or teach them, a common suggestion is to run a single-session game with pre-made characters and a pre-made scenario. In your experience as a GM and/or ...
14
votes
4answers
350 views

I have read the D&D PHB but am still having trouble grasping some of the basics, how can I learn more?

With credit to one of the more experienced members on the site, mxyzplk, I thought I'd ask where noobs like me should ask or find answers to basic questions about Dungeons & Dragons mechanics if ...
14
votes
5answers
420 views

How do I support an anxious friend's introduction to Role-Playing?

What is a good introduction to Role Playing? I have a friend who has some anxiety around it, as he is afraid of being judged. I've suggested a couple of things, namely an RPG that would be right up ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Any problems playing a dragon PC in a 1st level party?

We are about to play a new campaign and I have been itching to play a dragon with the rules from the Draconomicon. We are starting from the bottom at 1st level characters. Is it OK/balanced/allowed to ...
13
votes
6answers
573 views

Introducing System Mechanics to new players

Context Hello, I'm assembling a DnD/Pathfinder group, and all the players are new to tabletop rpg. All they know is rpg is about storytelling, dice rolling [ and macabre rituals <- just kidding, ...
13
votes
7answers
476 views

How should a GM handle novice players?

In our game, we have 5 players - two are completely new to roleplaying, and one is new to the system we're playing (Pathfinder). At the moment, the GM grants the new players no leeway - if the player ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Starting the first game tips?

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to start our very first session. Everyone, counting the DM, has yet to play the game and we are not exactly sure were to start. Our PCs are: Drow ...
13
votes
4answers
631 views

How to get back into gaming?

So I used to play RPGs a lot back in the day, but then life, work and the usual dull stuff got in the way and it all fizzled out. Now I've seen this site my interest and memories have returned and I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How does an opposed (stealth) check work?

I was reading the Players Handbook 1 and I don't understand how the opposed check works, especially in context of a stealth check.
12
votes
7answers
747 views

How to get new a new player to understand the time investment of a table top RPG

I have a problem and I was hoping you guys could help me. My friends and I are about to start a Pathfinder campaign. We are all very new, none of us have played any sort of table top RPG before. Most ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Choosing DnD 4th edition or Essentials for a new group and DM?

Recently I've got interested in roleplaying. My background is more or less hardcore boardgamer, I have played quite a large number of board games, even some of the most complicated ones and found it ...
12
votes
4answers
544 views

What should I look out for during my first game of Apocalypse World?

I am coming close to playing my first ever game of Apocalypse world. This will mark my first post-apocalypse based RP, and will see me trying to transition from a combat heavy D&D 4e background ...
12
votes
6answers
411 views

How to help a player to roleplay the character he created?

When we first met to create my players' characters, the first thing I asked was to create normal characters (e.g. no freaks/depression/obsession/psychologically disturbed, etc). Normal people with ...
12
votes
2answers
208 views

Anyone have some links to “easy to read” resources for a DND newbie?

Howdy! I am about to start a campaign with some friends in a month or so when they finish their current game. We will be using the 4e rules and characters. My wife has expressed interest in playing ...