I have been a GM for a few years on and off, for at least half a dozen of groups with at least 20 different players and have played my fair share of systems.
A few weeks ago my colleagues asked me to introduce them to roleplaying. I was delighted to share my passion with the people I see and talk to daily. We now have played two times with a group of me plus 4 player characters. Nearly all of the player were completely oblivious to roleplaying in general.
We are playing "Splittermond" which is a German system with a typical high fantasy setting which is comparable to "The dark eye" or "D&D".
All in all the two sessions have been a lot of fun but I struggle with one of my players that seems to have big problems with imagining the real situation the characters are in.
Things like trying to build things without any of the necessary tools, trying to run from a enemy that is obviously about ten times as fast as him, although they have cover and are not yet discovered and so on. The result is that the other players and I are very confused and partially frustrated since those false interpretations can put the group in very rough spots, which is dampening everyone's fun. Which in turn might demotivate the player in question.
The player in question has not played any pen&paper games before and is only casually playing board games or computer games.
The specific situation that sparked the discussion in our group was the following:
The group went out into the wild to try and figure out how to slay or at least bind a wild crow beast, which had ripped apart a group of adventures (The characters of a one shot I previously played) as well as a pack of rattlings. So they know quite well that this beast is dangerous.
The player in question is safe and sound in a already deserted camp of rattlings and hidden under some bushes and trees under which the group covered themselves with the remains of the tents of that camp.
While he is on watch duty he is playing with fire (so far so good, this is part of his "pyromania" character trait). Then he hears a loud shriek which they already hear before and could/should therefore connect to the beast they are hunting.
First of all he does not realise that the light coming from the flames in his hands is a dead sure giveaway of their location for the beast, which can fly and hunts during the night. And after someone else woke from the beasts noise and extinguished the flame he wanted to jump and run across the open field in hopes to escape instead of assuring himself that the beast had yet to find them.
We collectively stopped the game there because we knew the player really struggled with building his character and would quit the game if his character died within the first few hours of the game.
What I Tried
I try to picture their situation as clearly as possible, even using a smart board in the room we are playing in (we luckily can use one of the rooms in our office) to draw the current situations. Still these problems accrued.
I never had this happen in one of my groups before. Is this to be expected and will sort itself out over time, or should I try to tell them even more?
Does anyone have any experience with players like this?
Is there any technique I can use to make it clear to him that he is a real character in a real world and cannot do things that would be impossible in a real world as well (apart from magic)? I fear that he is somewhat used to the game mechanic of just try things and reload if they don't work.