Rock and Role: Welcoming new blood

Something magical happens when you have a player completely new to gaming sit down at your table. Usually, it grinds everything to a halt. Even with everyone’s best intentions at work, it usually turns into a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many people start giving what is ordinarily excellent advice, but with three people giving it, that advice becomes overwhelming in a big hurry. It is especially overwhelming for people who have never thrown dice before,

The easiest way to handle that situation is to isolate the new individual. Talk to the new gamer, make sure that the gamer is comfortable and talk about role playing, and give ideas if necessary. Most new gamers can readily relate to books and movies, but find out what the gamer enjoys and try to pull examples from those sources. Once the concept of role-playing is understood by the new gamer, it is time to get some basic mechanics explained.

It is important to make sure the gamer is comfortable, and it is important to be patient. It is also important that they know it’s great to ask questions. New players come up with some of the best tactics, they bring innovation, and they can help get a gaming group out of a rut. At the same time, it is important that old gamers don’t try to silence those questions and new thoughts.

So take your time with the newbies. Don’t insult them. Make the experience positive. Make the gamer want to come back. The new gamer might not be the best gamer right out of the gate, or they might steal the show. There’s something magical about having a new gamer at the table, and it’s even better when that new gamer leaves with a smile, and comes back with even more energy.