Friday, November 19, 2010

Introducing New Players

Daily Blog Challenge post 18.

I'm constantly talking about D&D around my non-game buddies. It looks like it may have paid off again. Over the past few years since getting back into the hobby, I've made sure to proudly promote the game as much as possible. I sometimes see blog posts where people talk about being uncomfortable about being a gamer. They talk about how they keep it secret from their co-workers and non-gamer friends, fearing some sort of negative reaction. It never made a whole lot of sense to me, but I'm pretty lucky. My profession (librarianship) is filled with nerds of varying degrees. The crowd I run with is already pretty nerdy, too. Many of them grew up as one of the outcasts of their respective high schools, where they learned early that they could survive with out "fitting in". Punk rockers and headbangers, record collectors and comic book readers, musicians and horror fanatics, freaks and geeks of all flavors. So, yeah, they're all pretty accepting of the whole thing. Most of them have some hazy memory of "trying" to play the game at some point...memories that mimic my early experience. It all seemed so cool, but they could never quite get to work out right.

I'm quite jealous when I hear stories of those teenage groups that ran multiple year campaigns. Those groups that got together again on Fall, Winter, and Spring break from college, to run those classic characters through one more dungeon. I didn't have that experience. I both the old box sets and some of the books, but it seemed we never got past that solo night of fun. We never quite made that next step from guys that played D&D during the sleep-over party to guys that scheduled our lives around playing the game. Then punk rock and heavy metal kind of stepped into place and the games were left behind, but that's another story, for another time, maybe.

So, I've got two new people who has progressed from humoring me while regaling of them with game stories to actually inquiring about playing. Both of them are pretty entertaining and creative, so I think they'll be a perfect fit. One of the guys, Ed, is a great writer, and has a lot of potential to be a great DM some day, I think. The other, Ben, is a freak...a total maniac, who has the potential to be a real handful at the table, but I think I'm up for that challenge. From what I know, Ben has never played the game and Ed's experiences haven't been very positive, but they both seem excited about it, so we're going to roll. I think both of them would excel in a looser system where they can use their creativity to their advantage. They'd likely find the tactical combat focus of newer editions of D&D to be stifling. They'd likely have a lot of fun with something like Hollow Earth Expedition or Savage Worlds, but since they don't really have a lot of experience with RPGs, they really just want to play "D&D" right now. I'm thinking of putting together a little dungeon delve, using Labyrinth Lord and running it as a one-shot with a couple folks from my regular gaming group (probably the others who haven't had much experience with the older editions) and see what happens.

If everything rolls as planned we might need to find a few more seats at the Tuesday night game...Any suggestions you might have for indoctrinating new players would be nice. I've been through the process a few times, but any kinds of extra hints would certainly be helpful.

1 comment:

  1. Ah D&D the game of a thousand flavors. Do you have any idea of what they want to play, like the level of fantasy or style of play? Do they want to go all Indiana Jones and work their way through a trap filled dungeon? Do they want to ride dragons and kick ass like something out of Heavy Metal? Do they want to vie for glory while routing the orcish horde? Those are all good for D&D, especially old school.

    If they really don't know try sketching out a dungeon that has exploration, a puzzle, some traps, a couple monsters, includint a tough one that they can't just straight up beat on, and something to interact with. Or I can dip into my collection and either lend you a module or email you a pdf of something old.