Me and some friends are thinking of starting a D&D adventure, the problem is some of my friends already played D&D and some didn't...

I will not be the DM (one of the experienced players will be), I intend to play the game seriously and immersively. While a lot of my friends (who will play with us) are up for the challenge of being immersive, I am afraid that some of them might not take this as seriously as I think they should and maybe upset the more experienced players...

I wonder if anyone out there has any tips on how to make the immersive part as good as possible and thus hard to ignore/ridicule?

Just to be clear when I say ridicule I mean not take seriously and for instance laugh at the voice we make and such. They aren't bastards or anything, I just don't know how some of them will react when we play this, so this is just a precaution O'm asking/taking.


I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who helped me with my troubles / concerns ! :) It's really appreciated ^^

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    \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, an immersive D&D game is one that involves some amount of good roleplaying. If you'd like tips on how to encourage RP, you might consult answers given to similar questions on this site: user2754's answer, Yosi's answer, Gustav Bertram's answer, mxyzplk's answer, Tavis Allison's answer and so on... there's no lack of advice on that topic here. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2016 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Immersion itself is a very popular topic on this site: consider reading some of these so you can see all the problems other DMs have experienced with player immersion: Another of mxyzplk's answers and Lord Vreeg's answer. By the way, I'm not trying to say your question is a duplicate - I think that everyone has different problems with immersion. My point is to illustrate just HOW MANY immersion problems DMs experience. There are as many problems with immersion as there are people you will play D&D with. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2016 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


Before the game

Make sure you are all on the same page before that game start. Explain that you want to play a serious game with lots of immersion. State that you are both willing to help others with immersion and lead by example. This is best done before the game starts. If not all players agree, then you might want to rethink join said game.

As a side note, new players might not be fully cognisant of all the intricacies of the same page tool. This is but a chance to explain to them the differences between play styles. The new player might not know what they want but a hint is better than nothing. A small word of warning that the same page tool is not meant to be a survey of what is wanted but a way to build a consensus on what they want to play. The aim here should be to give new players as much knowledge as you can to help them make an informed choice as to what to try. Descending into a lowest common denominator where no one is happy is a sign that you want different things: this is fine too.

During the game

Some new players can be intimidated and not wanting to be perceived as ridicule themself, make fun of others. So, the more experience players need to show that it is not worth of ridicule (even if it is silly) and encourage said new player to play a role, however silly that role might be.

We all have seen and read much fiction and finding a stereotype to play ("Your character is Conan as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger") might be helpful. It is easy to see how said barbarian would act in a given situation.

Show new players the difference between:

My character moves to the rocks to get a +2 to defence from bandit's arrows.


You bandit dogs! I run and jump under the cover of rocky formation, setting dust as I land. Scum! You made me dirty!!! You shall pay with your worthless lives!

Another idea we tried many times is to always be in character: even when you ask for the bottle, or chips, or say you're going to the loo. There is nothing funnier than trying to stop Conan ordering pizza over the phone! ☺

Props can help here or they can hinter -- I happened to be at the receiving end of either reactions without being sure why it worked once but not the other time.

Finally, one encourages timid players to role play in the same way one encourages them to do anything else. However, these methods are beyond the scope of this answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for making sure everyone is on the same page. There's nothing wrong with wanting an immersive game, but there's nothing wrong with not wanting one either. I personally wouldn't want to play a serious immersive game. My group has the most fun by making so many OOC jokes and wisecracks that our DM often asks whether what we just said was in character or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – David K
    Jun 14, 2016 at 12:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAyume: The same-page tool is intended for the group to have a conversation about what everyone wants. It's also for informing the uninformed about possibilities. A situation where some players might not even be aware of some of the possibilities, or, who don't yet know what they want even out of the possibilities they are aware of, is the best use-case for the tool. It's designed to give people a way to get on the same page. It's not a test of whether you're all on the same page or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beanluc
    Jun 14, 2016 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the criticism of the same page tool in this context is valid - so you tell some newbies 'about the possibilities,' that doesn't help them find out what they really like, only trying a variety of things will. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 16, 2016 at 12:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk: While not perfect (and no tool is ever going to be perfect), it does give new players an idea of what is out there. With this, they have a better chance of playing something they might enjoy. A good analogy would be a restaurant of unknown cuisine. With a menu detailing what is in the dishes and how they are cooked, you can pick something you might enjoy. It is certainly better than just ordering something random. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16, 2016 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it will be harmful instead, prioritizing groupthink over trying something new to see if you really do like it or not. With inexperienced participants it'll be easy for it to turn into a search for the lowest common denominator. "Do you have chicken nuggets?" \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 16, 2016 at 13:23

You are all out for a good time.

My idea of a good time often involves watching rugby league; my idea of a bad time involves watching motorsport. How can that be? Aren't they both sports?

Sometimes, in order to spend quality time together with friends, I watch motorsports. And they, being good friends, might watch rugby league even if it is not their thing.

The point of this ramble is that you need to make sure that everybody is given the space to enjoy the parts of the game they enjoy and the patience to tolerate the parts they don't.

Now, part of what they might enjoy is having a polite giggle at your silly voice - trust me, unless you are a professionally trained actor, it will be silly. My advice: smile, laugh along and then say "Guys, look I really like this part so can we keep the laughs to a minimum while I have my fun? Afterwards, we'll go disembowel some ogres and I promise not to laugh when you get your fun."

You might also want to search this site for the phrase talk to players. It is truly amazing how telling people what you want and listening to what they want often involves you both getting what you want.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll add that you should also talk to your DM to make sure everybody has a chance to have fun. \$\endgroup\$
    – user29601
    Jun 14, 2016 at 10:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlivierGrech In what game is the DM not a player? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jun 14, 2016 at 10:34

As a player, you can talk before the game to your DM and mention your desires and concerns so he knows where you're coming from. You may also learn how he intends to approach things, and you can ask him if there are ways you can help support him in keeping things running smoothly, etc.

As a DM, there are endless ways to affect the atmosphere of a group, and there are endless types of people with different experience, skills, expectations, tastes, interests, senses of humor, etc. So if the DM can learn those things about the players in advance, it can be very helpful. So can "same page" techniques, where through talking or forms or whatever, the DM and players discuss what they hope/expect the game will be like, what they're interested in, what they can't stand, etc.

One DM approach which I've often seen work well, and which comes to mind for the situation you describe (where several first-time players join some experienced players) is for the DM to briefly roleplay how the players' characters meet and form a group, perhaps in quite short small sessions with only one new player at a time. That way, the DM can introduce players to the style of play by demonstration, and first-time players won't have other first-timers present to short-circuit to. All the first-timers will see is other people playing in-character, so they can learn by example. I've seen this style of starting a campaign also be very effective for adding to the immersion of even experienced players in the forming of the group and their character's place and reasons for being in it, as well. Its effects tend to last throughout the campaign, not just at the beginning, particularly by heading off another common type of immersion problem, where the group's reasons for being together and cooperating can seem artificial - which can be headed off early if it was actually roleplayed out and made sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's actually reall helpful as well ! Definetely something I'm gonna try ! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 15, 2016 at 6:21

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