View Full Version : Trying to start D&D group

Dumbledore lives
2009-05-19, 05:43 AM
Hi, I've played 3rd edition D and D quite a bit, and used to play in a group before I moved here. I've played a couple of PbP games but they didn't end up working out that well so I am trying to start a D and D group with a couple of friends of mine.

The thing is, most of my friends have absolutely no idea what D and D is, they just know the stereotypes like that it is played by nerds and that you use dice for it. That is basically the extent of their knowledge. Most of them seem pretty interested, so I'm planning on running a session sometime in the next week to introduce them to the rules and show them what D and D is like.

I've got a lot of the rulebooks and I've got some miniatures and a mat that would work fine for the combat, I also have a couple of published adventures that could work fine. I was planning on starting them at level two and giving them just a few classes and races to select from, I'd be the one mainly creating the character sheets.

Mainly I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to tell them about D and D, as I'm pretty much clueless. I tell them it's basically a board game with a lot of options, and that you can do pretty much anything. This isn't a very good description, and I'd like something better to tell them. I also wanted to know if the playground had any advice on any of this, like what characters, or levels, or monsters to start them off with. Should I just do a dungeon crawl, or should I have them look for stuff in a town first?

Tempest Fennac
2009-05-19, 06:00 AM
My approach with new players is to ask them what sort of character they would want to use before picking a class based off that. I normally let players look over the SRD themselves for things like spells, feats, etc. once they've picked a class and race while only interjecting if someone makes a really bad decision (I take this approach due to wanting new players to be able to use whatever they want, but I think it's best if the characters are reasonably optimized so they don't get frustrated if they make bad choices). Making characters yourself based on what the players want would save time, so that could be a good idea. I'd probably go with a basic dungeon crawl to start with to let them get the hang of the basic rules as well (the rules are harder to understand then the concept of RPing so they should probably be your priority with new players).

2009-05-19, 06:06 AM
There was a thread ages ago that I'll try to dig out a link to, where someone was soliciting "intro to D&D" explanations for new players.

Until I can find that more detailed workup, I would suggest a summary like:

"D&D is a game where you as a player take on the role of a character in a fictional setting. The DM describes the world around you and the actions of non-player characters, you describe what your character tries to do, and the dice and DM help you figure out if you succeed. To make success/failure fair and impartial, and as a kind of game in itself, your character has a bunch of numerical attributes that describe how likely he is to succeed at various tasks, but these are there to help resolve conflicts, and the important thing about the character is their personality as you imagine and represent it.

D&D specifically is a fantasy-themed game with the assumption that the players form a group of adventurers working together, exploring ruins and battling monsters and gaining wealth, magic equipment, and personal power as they do so."

I'd suggest starting them out with pre-made characters, maybe after a preliminary discussion of roughly the types of characters they'd all like to play, but emphasizing a balanced party and cooperative play (just ensuring that, e.g., the cleric does heal, the rogue does flank, that sort of thing). A one- or two-session game that is painfully standard will serve as the clearest introduction, after which you will have a better base from which to play around with assumptions.

For an introductory game, perhaps go with the assumption that they all know each other and are already working together, and they come to a village with a problem involving a nearby underground ruin...

Give them the opportunity to level up and treasure with the standard boosts (a wand for the wizard, a +1 sword for the fighter, etc.)

None of the above should be taken as saying the game should be boring - spice it up as much as you want - I just recommend hewing closely to the standard assumptions of the game while showing them "this is how things work". Then once they understand playing in a party, XP and loot, HP and AC and casting and positioning, they'll be better placed to determine the type of character they'd like to play in a longer game.

2009-05-19, 06:56 AM
Fear The Boot (http://www.feartheboot.com/ftb/index.php/archives/363)

If you are listening to this, right now what you're hearing is the first in a 7 chapter series that we're going to do explaining what role-playing games are and how they're played.
So if you're hearing this you probably have a friend, a family member, a co-worker or, heck, maybe you just randomly browsing around the internet, but probably you know someone that plays role-playing games and they want you to understand what it is they do with their time and we're here to help shed a little bit of light on their hobby.

2009-05-19, 02:43 PM
The way I describe it is "It's sort of like a play, minus the stage, all the actors (players) are ad-libbing all thier lines, and there's only a very vague script. The DM (director) plays all the parts not covered by the main characters."