Cameo time!

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Cameo time

Looks like I’m going to have a special PC cameo during my next game. A good friend of mine who has never played an RPG has recently shown interest. So what will I focus on for that special occasion?

  1. Make him understand the DM gets free pizza, chips, and salsa.
  2. Let him roll a character – it’s much more fun than having him play a pre-made NPC.
  3. Ask for my regular players’ collaboration. I’ll get their opinion on what kind of situation could lead their characters to teaming up with a total stranger. I just want to avoid the “we’ll team upbut only because he’s a PC” problem.
  4. Encourage coolness. If the new player wants to bull rush a monster with his shield, I’ll encourage him.
  5. Use simple mechanics. I’ll explain the rules and he’ll be rolling his own dice, but I’ll make the experience as smooth as possible by handling all complex mechanics.

What do you do when you have the responsability of representing the RPG hobby and introduce a new player to the game?

7 thoughts on “Cameo time!”

  1. When I’ve got a new gamer, I actually usually do most of the character creation stuff before-hand, or I simplify it a lot for them, unless they really seem interested. For a new player, character creation sounds really cool, but actually diving into the crunchiness right off the bat can be intimidating. So I talk to them about what kind of character they want, or what they want to be able to do well, and then work out a character for them, often with simplified rules. I find that new players really love creating characters, but they often tend to get bored and confused quickly in crunchy systems like D&D.

    I also usually sit the new player next to someone they know who can also help explain rules when I’m busy doing other things. Especially as a DM or GM, it gets harder to split my attention between answering questions and running the rest of the game smoothly, and most of the questions are ones that anyone who’s played the game for a while can answer.

    Also, definitely get the other PCs on board. I find that I need to remind my players that you can justify your character doing almost anything if you want to, even if you’re committed to roleplaying in-character almost all the time, so you might as well justify them doing something cool that moves the game forward, rather than sandbagging because “its what my character would do”. This is especially true of new players, who will interpret in-character rejection as out-of-character rejection.

  2. The reason I was saying a lower level character is that it’s not easy to play a 12th level character when you have no RPG experience. Too many variation, too many abilities.

  3. The only way I think the lower level cameo PC could have as much fun as everyone else is if he had some kind of special/secret weapon that really, really rocked.

  4. I’ll have to keep Nic from killing him!!!

    But a good idea would be for him to have a lower level character and for us to have to protect him (we’ll let him dish some damage).

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