69

Play the game Just play. Give the person a pregen character for the first couple of sessions (something simple, Champion Fighter for example) and just let them play. Don't worry about rules, just ask them to describe intentions. Fighty McFightFace runs up to the nearest goblin and munts them with his maul! Fighty glares at the mayor, "That offer's too ...


56

Best way to learn is to do, in my experience. I've DMed for a number of groups that have never played before (with players from age 11 to age 56(!!)), and in my experience, they really struggle to understand the game until they play it. Step one is to get everyone a character sheet-- if they're really lost, make one for them, or get a pre-made one from ...


53

I think that if your players say that they learn by doing then it is a good idea to listen to them. Otherwise you will just end up banging your head against a brick wall. The dynamic of every table playing a campaign is different and, as their DM, it is your role to set things up to make the game enjoyable - without neglecting your own sanity of course! Here ...


50

NO It's not overkill, it's awesome. I just used the SPT to kick off a new group. Most (4 of 7) had never played before, and one thought that D&D was some sort of board game. We had a get-together before the first session where we just hung out and talked about media - what games, tv shows, books, etc., we liked and what kind of stuff we would want to ...


48

I've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "landscape" of how people at the table viewed their role in the game. I didn't set out to deliberately address the challenges you're facing, but it's ...


48

Here are pitfalls that I would watch out for: Confusing Stress with Hit Points - Stress is not hit points. Stress is not damage. Stress is a measure of your ability to avoid lasting consequences from conflicts. Don't get hung up on the false equivalence of Stress and "damage". Looking to the mechanics to drive the fiction - In Fate, the fiction drives, and ...


44

I DM for new players alot, and even play with my wife and 8 year old daughter. Boredom is the enemy, even with seasoned players. If a player gets bored, you lose them. Keep things moving, even if it means handwaving some things. I make a point of trying to know as much about the rules as I can, so my players don't have to. I mean, I want them to pick up ...


41

All you need to play 5e is the Basic set, some pencils and paper, and the standard 7-die RPG dice set The basic set player pdf has the four core classes, fighter, wizard, cleric & rogue featuring the most simple of their sub-class options allowing player to easily slide into the game and learn it. Additionally it covers the various pantheons of gods in ...


37

Well, the systems are really in different paradigms, but I'll boil some of the differences down for you. First the concepts you have to throw away. Attributes. There aren't any. There is no way to say that character a has a strength of 18 and character b has a strength of 15. Levels. Again, there aren't any. There is a way to judge power level, but it ...


36

Based on having run several sessions of the playtest and the fact that little of the standout features have changed since, here are the things that stood out to me on the first pass through the Basic rules: The Inspiration mechanic. We saw from the previewed character sheets in the starter that there are traits/flaws/bonds/ideals, these can be selected, as ...


36

It depends on what you're looking for You're comparing two entirely different products. Starter Set: I have no idea what D&D is and want to DM The Starter Set has everything you need to start playing. It has a bunch of pre-made characters, it has enough of the rules to get going and it has a short campaign to play through. If you simply want to get ...


31

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 ...


31

Simply encourage correct behavior by awarding or removing Favor points. "Ecchi nano wa ikenai to omoimasu!" ("I think lewd things are bad!") — Mahoro, Mahoromatic The Maids are rewarded with Favor points entirely at the discretion of the Master, and can be likewise penalized if they behave in a manner the Master dislikes. However, the ...


29

How to explain D&D to new players? I like easy questions: don't. Set up a session where you can show them the concepts and be explicit about what you are doing: This is a short session to show you what D&D is like, to see if you like it and want to play more. We will have four encounters and to make it easy for you I'm going to tell you now that ...


22

As someone who introduced multiple people to the hobby, in many cases without even having access to a rulebook, I realized that there is just one thing you need to explain to a new player who wants to start playing DnD (and most other pen&paper RPGs). And that's the basic game loop: The dungeon master describes the situation The players say what their ...


21

4e, like all RPGs is exactly as good as its GM. With that said, it depends on what your requirements are. I've experienced a campaign that went from 1-30 in 4e. It had significant RPing in it. With that said, 4e offers few rules (but a few excellent books on suggestions) of how to guide RP. If you're looking to simulate a world, it's not the best system. It ...


21

Gomad has a great list already. Here's a few more I've thought of. The first one, especially, is something I've both experienced, and heard of others experiencing: Understanding how aspects differ from traditional bonuses - Aspects may be "always true," but that doesn't mean they provide a constant mechanical effect, the way that a "+2 sword" might. They ...


20

The games are completely different and it would only mislead you. At most, you could get some flavour from the old 2e set, but enough has changed that even for flavour it would hinder as much as it would help. The new Starter Set is a very good introduction to 5e though, so there's no additional benefit you could extract from the old set anyway. Stick with ...


20

The DMG is the least useful of the core books First, welcome to 5th edition D&D, the learning curve isn't too steep for this system and you should be able to pick it up fairly easily. Before I get to the main part of the answer there is something I would like to clear up. Unlike other systems which publisher all the important rules in a single Core ...


20

There's GURPS, and then there's GURPS I've played GURPS since it's first (medieval combat only) version came out in 1985. I've memorized most of GURPS 3e and have had lots of success running GURPS for new players. But even I find the 4e Basic Set a bit overwhelming. Even though most of the core rules are very similar to the core rules of the 1986 1e Basic ...


19

First things first. There are two different Dungeons & Dragons. There is Dungeons and Dragons the brand, which is what the marketing materials are about, and then there is Dungeons and Dragons the TRPG. Dungeons & Dragons the brand is the stories of Dungeons and Dragons. Such as the Tyranny of Dragons, or the Sundering, which existed in books, games, ...


18

Preface: The most recent resource I played was this digital release on drivethru rpg (2010). I like the game and would play it again. There are some things to know about Tales from the Floating Vagabond (Vagabond, from now on). Vagabond is not a serious game You probably already knew this to some extent, but you need to make sure your players know it. Power ...


18

In my experience, the biggest differences involve incorrect expectations among players about mechanics, setting, and PC behavior 1. Mechanics The Star Trek Adventures game system is a bit odd. My group adapted to it well enough, but we constantly had expectations about how play would mechanically proceed which were based on experiences with other games. We ...


16

So this is more of a guess because I played half this module and DM'd it once for another group. If you really just go for main plot and your group is straight forward, then I think it still would take at least 30 hours. When your group likes to roleplay or have some fun combined with some sidequests, then I think this can easily go up 70 hours. The ...


15

The AD&D manuals are awful to learn from in an efficient manner. They are wonderful for long, meandering explorations of the game (probably sitting in an overstuffed leather chair in front of a crackling fire, with a snifter of brandy or somesuch signifiers of studious leisure), but when you're just trying to get up to speed for the first time on how the ...


15

I have so far used two approaches to this (and since learned a third): Club Style I play in a university club. When I GM, I am always prepared to explain rules, but I only explain them a) when they come up and b) when I haven't already explained that rule several times. Because even I have a limit. Well, maybe there's also a c) I break down the rules into ...


15

Treat this as an opportunity to grow together as a group. While you are the only experienced player, you will be learning D&D 5e as a group. Together. That can be a lot of fun. I strongly suggest that you let go of your instincts and assumptions from your last edition. Treat this like a new game. It will help a lot. This is from personal ...


14

You will have to pause the game to explain mechanics as needed, but this is far better than trying to explain everything up front! (I learned that lesson the hard way.) Don't remove things from the game. Instead, run the game such that new mechanics are gradually introduced over the course of play. Here's what I do when I'm running Mouse Guard at a ...


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