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KnotKnormal
2014-11-05, 11:14 AM
Recently I've started a new 5e campaign. (that makes three,all going at the same time... help me... I'm drowning in plot) I', using an already established world that I've used with 3.5 and creating a filler campaign between 2 already played story arches. so I'm not having trouble coming up with a the scenes and settings. The question I have regards a new player (J) that I have invited to the group. He is a great friend of mine from high school however he has no gaming experience, what so ever. (not even video games) He's also very unfamiliar with the Medieval/Fantasy setting. (hasn't even seen lord of the rings) I think we did a good job of walking him through character creation and acclimating him to the idea of there being magic and adventure. We didn't want to smash him with rules so we plan to explain combat when combat shows up, also much of the first few sessions will be role play, so we should be able to ease him into the environment.

The first session the party was gathering information on an old abandoned palace just to the north of their current city. The 2 other players knew what had to be done and decided to test J and send him to question the scholar who had originally found and reported the existence of the palace. I had no problem with this, I already had a get out of jail card prepped for him, but then he surprised me. He was so incredibly thorough in his questioning of the scholar. He learned history of the the world i created that would never have been discovered by my normal group. He gathered information on the environment, weather, trails, and any and all dangers that could be faced along the way. In the second session he made sure he and the group had everything they need to face the possible dangers along the route the carefully planned and double and triple checked with different people around the city making sure the conditions for their trip will be what he predicts. (He has contingencies for his contingencies. Not unlike your standard lvl 20 wizard) at the end of the session they disovered that there might be a polar bear roaming on the trails they chose to take. It's a CR 2 they are lvl 3 character, so there shouldn't be much of an issue. But then J asked something that surprised me considering how quickly he acclimated to the environment. He asked if there were any modern day weapons to deal with the polar bear. We explained that there are no Rifles, or Pistols, and that swords, bows, and magic is how creatures are dealt with but he still seamed concerned about fighting the bear.

Is this something I should keep an eye on? I'm not sure if it was that he doesn't yet understand the difference in power level between villager and PC, or that he just hasn't experience combat yet but I'm slightly concerned that i messed up or missed something somewhere. Tell me what you guys think and feel free to offer up advice.

Kid Jake
2014-11-05, 11:19 AM
It's normal to be scared of bears. After he's killed one then he should be a little more confident in his abilities and stop looking for an 'ace in the hole'.

braveheart
2014-11-05, 12:22 PM
It sounds like he is expecting his character to be approximately equal to his own strength, and has not yet become aware of the heroic power that a level 3 character has. I think that you are going to need to explain to him that your characters are all heroes and therefore are stronger, faster, and..(I was going to say smarter, but the party actually has a tendency to prove stupider than any player is)

anyway, let him know that for adventurers a polar bear is actually a fairly small threat.

Galen
2014-11-05, 12:37 PM
You should count your blessings. You have a player that's fairly easy to impress. Enjoy it while it lasts.

DM: "A bear!"
This Player: "Ooooh! Aaaah!"
Same player, a year later: "Yawn"

Palegreenpants
2014-11-05, 01:25 PM
Oh, I once had an entire group of newbie players terrified by a single cobra. They, of course, finally cut its head off, but that new-player naivete is awesome to play with.

Vitruviansquid
2014-11-05, 02:02 PM
If you think this is a problem, you might weave a vague description of the power level of creatures while you describe them or reference them.

For example, you wouldn't say "the party sees a group of kobolds in the clearing." Instead, you'd say "the party sees a group of kobolds, the lowest rung on the monster hierarchy, in the clearing." As another example, instead of "signs are that this crypt is inhabited by a Lich," you'd say "signs are that this crypt is inhabited by a Lich, and any adventurer knows that Liches are just about the baddest mother****ers around in the undead world."

Delwugor
2014-11-05, 04:48 PM
Instead, you'd say "the party sees a group of kobolds, the lowest rung on the monster hierarchy, in the clearing." As another example, instead of "signs are that this crypt is inhabited by a Lich," you'd say "signs are that this crypt is inhabited by a Lich, and any adventurer knows that Liches are just about the baddest mother****ers around in the undead world."

"The party sees a group of kobolds, the lowest rung on the monster hierarchy, in the clearing. One is carrying the well known banner of Tucker."
Players: "Let's go fight the Lich."

Rondodu
2014-11-05, 05:49 PM
Hereís a trollish answer. Drop DnD and have him play a good game. A game where youíd rather avoid fighting a bear because itís actually dangerous. A game where a villager who jumps you with its fork might kill you before you get your sword out. And where three villagers with forks are a threat no matter how prepared your sword is.

Save him before he as well becomes a crazy murder hobo.

Vitruviansquid
2014-11-05, 06:21 PM
You mean pitchfork, not table fork, right?

Milodiah
2014-11-05, 09:11 PM
Play Call of Cthulhu with him and the others. Watch him end up being the only one still alive.

To be fair, though, I have to point out that 'dire' animal CRs are all over the place. Freaking Dire Elks are CR11s or 12s, IIRC. And one of my players made me promise not to have Dire Toads. Apparently due to his Tiny size class one can easily kill him in one-on-one fights up until the latest levels.

Galen
2014-11-06, 12:45 AM
Also, in D&D 3.5, Polar Bear is CR4, and deals something like 30-40 damage on a full attack, therefore a 3rd level PC would be completely right to fear it. In 5E for some reason they made it a lot weaker, but your player has no way of knowing that.

NikitaDarkstar
2014-11-06, 04:02 AM
Play Call of Cthulhu with him and the others. Watch him end up being the only one still alive.

To be fair, though, I have to point out that 'dire' animal CRs are all over the place. Freaking Dire Elks are CR11s or 12s, IIRC. And one of my players made me promise not to have Dire Toads. Apparently due to his Tiny size class one can easily kill him in one-on-one fights up until the latest levels.

Take a look at the antlers of a regular elk and then tell me why that CR is so insane for a dire elk...

As for the OP, it's awesome that your newbie is that through and interested, but please make sure that A) your old players don't get bored, and B) Actually use the information he digs up, he'll get bored/jaded fast if it never comes up in play again.

As for the bear situation, I'd honestly let him figure that out on his own. besides, he'll feel a lot more awesome if he beats something he thought was a serious threat, just as he won't feel as bad if he gets his butt handed to him by something that was supposed to be easy. So really, run your monsters right and guide him through combat and you shouldn't have to worry about that.

Also the lack of genre savvy-ness will probably sort it self out. If he gets hooked on the game and fantasy in general he'll most likely seek out movies, books, tv-shows, games, what-have-you's, feel free to steer him clear of some of the uglier pitfalls (such as the cartoon version of lord of the rings...)

Rondodu
2014-11-06, 11:54 AM
Play Call of Cthulhu with him and the others. Watch him end up being the only one still alive.Applying common sense in Cthulhu is not a good idea. I played Call of Cthulhu once, and my character, as a university professor, tried to rationalise a lot. So sticking his hand into a weird slimy plant-like mass to open a window seemed like a disagreeable but reasonable action. The only thing that opened was the giant mouth that ate him.

That said, the other players died to something much worse so maybe it was a good idea after all.


You mean pitchfork, not table fork, right?Well, Iíll admit it. Systems that let PC be killed by silverware in a matter of seconds might be pushing the deadliness a bit too far.

Knaight
2014-11-10, 07:42 PM
This sounds like an excellent player to have. It might be worth pointing out that D&D has a quirk where animals are generally less dangerous than they should be, but that's about it.

Galen
2014-11-10, 07:48 PM
It might be worth pointing out that D&D has a quirk where animals are generally less dangerous than they should beIt's just D&D 5e has this property. Because in 3.5, you know, cats vs. commoners etc....

I would recommend not to point out anything. His character have never seen a polar bear, so it's okay to have the player completely oblivious. Let him learn by trial and error. The time for gameism will come later.

Knaight
2014-11-10, 07:53 PM
It's just D&D 5e has this property. Because in 3.5, you know, cats vs. commoners etc....

I would recommend not to point out anything. His character have never seen a polar bear, so it's okay to have the player completely oblivious. Let him learn by trial and error. The time for gameism will come later.

The cat is an odd case, but even in 3.5 there's some of that. It's surprisingly easy to punch out an elephant, for instance.

Galen
2014-11-10, 08:01 PM
The cat is an odd case, but even in 3.5 there's some of that. It's surprisingly easy to punch out an elephant, for instance.:smalleek:
I'm sorry, are we talking about the same elephant? 104 hit points and a gore attack dealing 2d8+15?

For reference, 104 is the total hit points of twenty six commoners, and 2d8+15 is enough to kill a commoner six times over.