11
\$\begingroup\$

Background

I have played most cRPGs on the market, but have never player a TTRPG before. I've been reading and watching a lot about D&D 5e for quite some time now, so I think I have a decent grasp of the rules and style of play I'd enjoy (low magic, realistic, living world). I've bought the Starter Pack and some additional things (like card packs for specific classes and dice) to make it easier for everyone. I'm planning on introducing 4-5 gamer friends to TTRPGs via D&D 5e in a couple of weeks and am planning on doing a Session 0 in order to hopefully get everyone on the same page. Everyone is a gamer in one way or another. For the past 3-4 years we've played many different board games (including Descent and Gloomhaven) together.

The problem

My question is mostly aimed at two of the players, who I fear will have trouble differentiating TTRPGs from games like Diablo and other, D&D-like cRPGs. I don't have very high RP expectations from anyone, but I fear the pair will push the whole group into the murder hobo style, completely bypassing many social encounters/options. The other problem I'm fearing is the 'kill and loot' style of video games. If they kill 10 goblins, they will expect to loot 10 short swords and bows to sell them in town later. While I understand there are weight restrictions, I'm looking for some tips to avoid such mentality in the first place.

One of the players also remarked, in response to my suggestion that everyone should pick a pre-made character for our first couple of sessions, that he wouldn't mind playing a Fighter as I can just give him some 'fireball throwing-item', which makes little sense.
I would rather he just play a Wizard then, but that might lead to the party being 3 Wizards and a Rogue (since Wizard sounds cool and Fighter somehow sounds boring). When only 3 players will be present, that might mean I will have to run the game for a party of 3 Wizards, which will be extremely hard for them, since they are completely new to the game and will start at level 1 in Lost Mine of Phandelver. I am also very much against constant waiting around and long resting, which is a common "tactic" in cRPGs, but completely unrealistic in D&D.

How do I transition these sorts of players into the low magic, more diplomatic D&D mentality for LMoP? Am I thinking like a bad, stubborn DM?

TL;DR

I'm looking for DM pointers an upcoming Session 0 about how to reconcile player's Diablo/cRPG-like mentality/expectations and get them more in line with the modern D&D style, without sounding like "my way or the highway".

We are all first timers, players and DM (me) alike.

Note: I've checked for similar questions, but I can't find any.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already. and check out the help center for more guidance. I'd suggest narrowing your question's scope a bit; rather than asking how to set expectations for cRPG players in general, you should focus on the specific problem you're facing. Which particular misconceptions are they coming in with that go against your own expectations? You sorta address this under "The problem", but your title and the "TL;DR" are worded much more broadly. If you narrow your question as a whole to focus on that issue, it's less likely to be closed for being too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 16 at 1:23
10
\$\begingroup\$

I did quite a bit of research before starting DMing the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. It's my first time DMing and everything has gone okay so far.

I had a session 0 with my players. We basically used the "ride from Neverwinter to Phandalin" as our session 0. I didn't devote enough time to that, because I didn't have a good session 0 format I was working off. I knew enough about the adventure, but didn't give concise direction on what type of adventure we were having.

If I were you, and needed a format for my Session 0 talk, I would use the Same Page Tool, which was recommended to me on this very site. It poses some targeted questions for you to discuss at length with you players to see what everyone's expectations even are. It's very helpful, in my opinion.

I don't have very high RP expectations from anyone, but I fear the pair will push the whole group into the murder hobo style, completely bypassing many social encounters/options.

LMoP is actually a great start for combat hungry players. If that's not the type of game you'd enjoy DMing, then you should explain that. Otherwise they should feel right at home

The other problem I'm fearing is the 'kill and loot' style of video games. If they kill 10 goblins, they will expect to loot 10 short swords and bows to sell them in town later.

Just narrate what happens. Let them try things that don't work.

You hand the town armorer the jagged goblin sword, the blade rusting from blood.

'Where did you find this?', she asks.

'Oh, in a nearby cave,' your buddy says. 'We also found this wagonful of loot.'

The merchant droops her head, 'So it is true, they're all dead.'

'Hrm?' your buddy inquires.

'Thank you for retrieving the shop's goods - I truly appreciate that - but please, get these weapons, stained already with too much of my people's blood, out of my sight.'

She pushes you through the shop door, tears welling in her eyes as you stand in a vacant street with your hands full of goblin weapons.

Let them know that when it comes to loot, there may not always be a buyer. Make that clear at the start of the campaign. When they get cheeky, drop a moral nuke on them, make their actions have consequences. Cite the Session 0 you had with them earlier as justification: "I told you guys that not everyone is going to be interested in swords that have felled their families, items that have ruined their lives, etc." They will learn.

I fear the pair will push the whole group into the murder hobo style, completely bypassing many social encounters/options

Lost Mine will probably kill them naturally. Let them know you won't be pulling punches. During your session 0. explain that one great reason to use premade characters is that they may die, and that is a great way to learn the game. If you don't let their dumb decisions kill them, you won't be doing them any favors for learning the game, or any favors for yourself making an interesting story. Just my humble opinion.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll except your answer since it covers most of what I've exposed in my admittedly chaotic question. After digging around for punishing long rest abuse, I've found some good ideas - more enemies (reinforcements), constant patrols (in dangerous areas) or even finding the place abandoned upon return, the opportunity simply missed by the adventurers (bad guys advance their plans unhindered, run away etc), depending on circumstance. I have no idea how to handle a very unbalanced party of 3 Wizards, but I hope it doesn't come to that. Will use your point on more 'expendable' premade chars. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Ziga Mar 15 at 17:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ziga I would recommend separating out the portions of the question regarding party balance and long rests. There are multiple questions already on this site that may address your concerns regarding party balance, as you don't need to have a perfectly balanced party to have fun, but it may be additional work on the part of the DM. If you find the answers on this site not to your liking, you can always pose a new question. Best of luck. \$\endgroup\$ – Tyler Gubala Mar 16 at 5:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.