Friday, October 16, 2015

Starting a New Player

I've been reading various posts and the subject I've been drawn to lately are about starting a new game.  A new game with new players specifically.

There are several posts about easing a new player into a campaign world.  And others throw them in the middle of the pool of information and tell them to swim.  I prefer somewhere in the middle.  I've never been fond of extremes either way.  I prefer somewhere between the two positions and that somewhere may lie anywhere, depending on the player I am trying to introduce to the my game.

As I say in many of my posts, I will with this one, this is what works best for me and I am not saying if you prefer to use different methods that you are wrong.  I don't get paid to be the game police.

When I get a new player introduced into my campaign there a few factors that I take into account.
  • What is the player's gaming experience?  Is this their first gaming or are that a 30+ year tabletop warrior.
  • What is the player's age?  Once in a while you'll have a youngster join the party.  I would introduce a 10yr old into the campaign differently than a 40yr old. 
  • How far along into the campaign is the party?  If the new player starts with the rest of the party I will take more time creating something to introduce them to the world.  But if a new player come in at the middle (I don't like doing this, but at times I have done it), I will give them a sketch of what is the current situation, and notes focused on how the party came to be where they are.  I don't want to disrupt the flow of the game, by bogging down the party's momentum to explain why this happened or this is how that happened.  
  • Talk to the player.  If someone is going to join my game, I like to explain what the campaign is about and what kind of game are they looking for.  If they want a western theme, or a high powered video game experience I let them know they will be very disappointed in my game.  Plus, you want to make sure your new player isn't a dickhead.
I don't do much more than that.  If I have the time I'll do an outside session with them to develop their character and run them solo to get a feel for the background of the character and the tone of the campaign.