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3

Starter Set 5th edition's Starter Set is decent to give you a feel for the basic rules, and outside players are not necessary. It is designed with beginners in mind, and is thus a good intro to the game. The starter set has an adventure in it that goes from level 1 to 5, while covering a lot of ground from a role-playing perspective as well as a combat ...


1

This is a very subjective question, but this is my personal opinion: I think it would be best to find an experienced DM who is looking for players, and play with him, using whatever system the DM chooses. At my local game store, at least, this is a very possible track to take. Playing a few encounters at the game store may help you get a feel for what ...


1

Game Theory for the win! If you have really found yourselves at an impasse, you might consider a technical solution to the problem. The New York Times published a tool for dividing rent fairly among roommates. The essence of the tool is that you kick choices back and forth at different prices until a stable state is reached (i.e. when no one is willing to ...


1

I frequently run a Game Master PC of my own. Here are some of the things I do in order to ensure that they aren't the true spotlight, but they are important to the story: Your character isn't always able to give sound advice. Most of my DM run characters are relatively passive in nature when it comes to making decisions. Those that aren't are likely to ...


0

Just an addition to Kal_Sitala excellent answer... Get them out of the comfort zone: go against type. So, if the player is used to playing no-combat characters, I will suggest they play the party muscle. If they never played cross-gender, I'd suggest they play an opposite sex character. Why? Mostly because it is a one off. You can play something well ...


1

I would go over each character, and then allow choice by "white elephant" style. The first person gets to pick first. The second can choose what has been picked, or one of the other characters. Keep going until everyone has a character. You can also do it blind, where no one knows what sheet they're picking when they grab from the pile. In this case, ...


3

Let the players decide among themselves, unless you have a history of them fighting and not getting along? Also, let more than one person choose the same pre-gen. They want two melee fighters or two socialites? Great! Let them! Also, I tend to split the pregens into two stacks - send one clockwise, send the other counterclockwise. Generally speaking, I ...


4

The following has worked quite well for me as a GM at game conventions where pre-generated characters are the norm. I have done this many times. Sit your players around the table with nothing on it. Place the character sheets face down in the middle of the table. State the following: "Each of you take a sheet, look it over privately. If you are ...


3

What everyone else has said: have people choose by consensus or roll dice for first pick, and suggest easier-to-play characters for newer players. I've always done the "whoever gets to the table first gets first choice in pre-gen characters" when I've had these (like conventions). It encourages people to be prompt. The other thing is to make sure you put the ...


2

Choosing/Assigning Pregens Since you have a mix of players in familiarity and skill, the first thing is to identify which characters are the easiest to run with in terms of mechanics and fictional role - the good "starter" characters. This would be characters who are the least mechanically complex if the game has different rules for different character ...


39

The way I've always seen this done is to simply let everyone look over all the characters, and then let them decide among themselves who plays what. I guess this could lead to problems if there were two players who absolutely insisted on having the same character, but I've never witnessed that being an issue. More likely, one of them will just say "I ...


9

I think maybe you are overthinking it a little. In the past, when I did this, I have assigned each player the character that I thinks he's going to play better, or I think will be more interesting to him. That's because I have very mutual trust with my players. But that way you can assign the simplest characters to the more novice players (e.g: leaving ...


-1

Morrowind had a good approach. Give each player a personality quiz. The personality they're quizzing is that of their character. Based on the results, you give them the character sheet.


3

(I don't know pathfinder, I just play Shadowrun! But should be the same problem.) Wait after your first session It may be hard for you - everyone is well prepared but him. Everyone knows the rules, knows how to act and you all will probably be stuck while playing, if it comes to the guy, who didn't prepare. If he wants to do something, which is against the ...


1

As you mention, there are a couple of ways to handle this. What's most important is that you chat with your group and they agree. The rest of this answer is largely opinion and personal experience. Leveling Up If your character doesn't level up, that puts you in a worse position than the other players when you rejoin the game. This doesn't exactly make ...


4

In terms of how to handle your character's advancement: Your character has XP equal to the lowest xp of the other players. This way you are not advanced beyond your peers in the group, and also not penalized for being the GM when your character is returned to active play.


2

I've done this both ways. In the early 3e days we decided we were going to rotate GMs throughout the entire group, and I bought the first batch of adventures available (Death in Freeport, that WotC twigblight thing, various forgettable third party adventures) and we rotated. In that game, the GM's PC didn't just disappear, he/she took on a background role ...


0

As you are new to RPGs then I'd suggest trying some others as well. There are many freebie games or past editions that could be purchased inexpensively to give you a wider taste for RPGs. Perhaps pick a genre which is different from DnD's high fantasy style, such as a sci-fi setting, or Supers/Heroes, or perhaps even a setting styled on a TV show or other ...


6

Welcome to the wide world of D&D and RPGs in general. This is a common question from new GMs - where do the adventures come from and do I write my own or use pre-written ones? Glossary Quick terminology check - "an adventure" is a single story arc that may last several "game sessions." A "campaign" is a longer arc that usually encompasses one set of ...


2

I would highly recommend that if the game comes with a module, that whomever is the DM at the start should stay the DM throughout. If you wish to rotate in an episodic fashion for each quest, then that is a perfectly fine way to do things. I have seen this done two ways: The person who is DMing levels normally, but they can't just sit around and do ...


-1

First, kudos for a fascinating question. Game is DnD 3.5, not that it matters. Actually, it might. Another responder linked a newbie-friendly roleplaying question. It's possible that the mechanics of a game may get in the way of a player's expectations or such. I can see how the mechanics of, say, Hasbro's latest tabletop-"MMO"s get in the way of my ...


0

Have a first micro adventure (2 - 3 sessions top) with this setup: Bring a set of "here and now" characters (sometimes the players avatars themselves) "accidentally" to the setting and have them explore the world. They just don't know anything and learn everything through the eyes of their characters. (Have a look at Erfworld where that happens and is ...


3

Options Talk to your local store if there is one. Ask if he knows any gaming groups that meet regularly and would be open to a new player. Give him a contact for him to give to them. If there is a uni nearby, check and see if there is a uni gaming group/club. Most uni roleplaying/boardgaming/gaming groups are open to walk-ins, even if they're 14. I and ...


6

I would get in touch with the (or one of the), DMs who runs the Encounters game at your FLGS. Rarely is age a barrier to entry for a gaming group, especially for a store group. Talk to the person running the shop, and then if they will provide contact info, talk to the DM, they should be open to you joining. If you're uncomfortable with this, you might try ...


5

I find that the opening session or two tends to center on feeling out the characters in general. The players, once interacting with each other for the first few times and being tossed into how your world and NPCs work might shift from the expectations. Think about almost every TV show you've seen - the pilot is usually more focused on making the characters ...


24

Same Page Tool There is such a thing. It's called the Same Page Tool. It does require you to talk to the players, but gives you a structured set of questions to work from that can guide that conversation. There's really no way to do this that doesn't involve talking to them in some way, short of running campaigns and watching what they react to & what ...


0

Start off with premade characters focusing on archtypes. The Elven Archer, the Dwarven Fighter, the Human Paladin, the Halfling Rogue, and etc. Have them all sit down, and go over the player's handbook together. Ask for feedback from everyone not just from one person. Encourage participation. Use a Fillable PDF Character sheet that does a lot of the number ...


1

HP HP are an Abstract game concept. They do not necessarily represent physical wounds. It can be anything from luck to dodging capability to stamina to wounds to magical protective aura's that is being stripped away. The higher damage dice of a Greataxe can be seen as the greater amount it knocks one off balance compared to a dagger, rather than the ...


4

Sure, it is metagaming, but then what isn't? Isn't choosing your class metagaming after all? What we need to know here is if it's the kind of metagaming that's accepted in your gaming group or not. Fairness: This is a thing you need to sort out with your gaming group, but maybe you can deduce it yourself from how the game is run. If combat is just as a ...


8

Metagaming In general, no that wouldn't be considered metagaming. (As always, check with your DM!) As you deal damage, you are injuring your opponent in ways that are often visible. Many DMs will give you updates on the status of the enemy after you deal damage anyway. Examples: "He seems to have barely felt it. He's clearly hurting, but not slowing down. ...


-2

Keep it realistic as you can, and the rules will be intuitive when you introduce them. If you just keep the game running at a smooth pace, the players will be caught up in the believable action and will see how the rules, when applied well, just parallel what they already believe about events and environment in the game, instead of being overwhelmed by a ...


5

People learn via practice. So you will need to be specific when talking to your players, and you will have to repeat your instructions each time. After a while they will start remembering what needs to be done and doing it automatically. To use saving throws as an example, don't say: The wizard casts a fireball at you. Roll your save. Instead say ...


10

Teaching a game isn't really something that gets accomplished once at the beginning of the first session. It's a process that will last several sessions, even with experienced players. It's also important to remember that learning is also a responsibility... If your group aren't being good students you'll run into problems just as surely as if you weren't ...


11

Make a Quicksheet You don't need the full rules, just the ones you use a lot. A short, 1-2 front & back sheet of paper with the important references. The value of this isn't just reference, it's because it's a thing for the players to look and fiddle with while they're playing - sometimes you need constant exposure to get things through. But it also ...


1

You are trying to do something that should not be done, which is try to have a bunch of people seriously play the game without having read the rules. There is no way to "just explain" a hundred-page trad RPG ruleset to a group of people. It's especially true if they may have misconceptions about mechanical details based on previous-ed information. You ...


4

From my experience, experienced players are frequently confused by: Spells (including why power level aka spell level is not same as character level) Saving throws Proficiencies Movement and Opportunity attack Action / Bonus action / Multi-attack Conditions But they can also be confused by just about every rule. The more they assume, the more they ...


4

History One trick to making things feel epic is to highlight the history of the place as they travel. This is pretty much one of the big things Tolkien loved to do - he'd talk about some mountains, what they were named, what they were named before that, who lived there, who lived there before that, which ancient spirit shaped them, etc. Of course, this ...


1

One way to make travel feel truly epic, without resorting to mechanics, is to include epic scenery. For starters, create an awesome color map of the lands the party will be traveling through. There are several mapmaking tools available for free. Use visual references - share color pics of the vistas the party will see as they travel through your world. ...


2

I think you have several options available to you to make travel feel "Epic" Core Rulebook Ill start with the basic rules from the core rulebook. You can use weather and terrain variants to make travel VERY interesting. Environment. This gives you all sorts of weather and terrain based fun, like getting lost in the woods, to sandstorms and quick sand. ...


2

You can buy PDFs of the rules from RPGNow. If you're looking to join a group as a player, the Player's Guide should be all you need.


2

Perhaps have them imagine something, and then you make a character based on what they imagine. It would be faster for sure. Instead of showing them what is available, just say "Every weapon that has ever been made that you could ever think of except guns"


9

Stop babying them Ten and eleven years old is not young. I started playing D&D at that age, and I know plenty of fellow players who did too. I read everything I could and learned to play because I wanted to, and nobody was going to do it for me. Speaking from that experience, and speaking as a parent of a young child: If they have concentration ...


7

Focus on Narrative/Character choices, no mechanics Your original approach is how you might help someone familar with the system or RPGs to build their character but it relies on so many assumptions/priori knowledge that it of course fell flat when you were trying to build a character with your cousins. Instead of asking them mechanical questions at each ...


-3

Premise Unfortunately, despite most of the official adventure books being written for "4 to 6 players", 6 characters is not really a thing that works unless you do some serious hack to every encounter. & characters win more easily (because there's more damage in the pot and because in a 6vs4 everybody hitting the same target presses the advantage even ...



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