Working With New Players

Dead Poets Society

Now that I’ve got my do’s and don’ts out the way, I want to start to dig a little deeper. One thing that’s definitely changed about my games over the past few years is that I stopped playing with the same group of people and starting recruiting. Vigorously. In the past three years I’ve introduced about eighteen people to D&D through long term campaigns (longer than a year), and working with new players is something I love doing, though it can occasionally tax my patience a bit. It’s definitely been for the better.

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My Don’ts

Dexter

The 40th anniversary of D&D gave me a chance to really reflect on how my GMing style has changed since I started playing. I’ve gone from teenage autocrat to adult sandbox GM, but lately I’ve noticed that my style has become a bit paternalistic. I’m starting to set the boundaries and define what people have fun at and what they don’t, and I think that’s a problem in some cases. I want to write and reflect on that a bit, because I think it’s useful for me and hopefully for you. So today, my don’ts. The things that, after this long, I’m just finished dealing with in terms of PCs. Some of these are justified, and some of them are just pet peeves, but it’s all worth thinking about.

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Valentine’s Grab Bag

moulin-rouge-photo

One of the things on my GMing bucket list is to have a PC fall in love when it’s not their idea. It’s one thing to have a PC dream up a love interest and have it as a goal, but something else entirely to have their character develop an attraction to an NPC all on their own. I’ve had PCs fall in love with each other. I’ve even had players fall in love (I’m in their wedding in May), but never a PC and an NPC when it wasn’t specifically the player’s idea. One day. I’ve had some time to reflect on romantic relationships in rpgs though, and I want to share some of that this morning.

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Mid-life Crisis

Magic Sword by Capcom

Congratulations, D&D. 40 is a big number, but you made it. Despite edition wars, changes in ownership, and forums teeming with grognards, you’ve done pretty well for yourself. Your kids are all grown up and out of the house, offspring like 13th Age, Dungeon World, Savage Worlds, and a billion other spinoffs. You’ve launched some really great settings (but we won’t talk about Spelljammer). It’s time to buy that sports car and cheat on the old-fashioned d20 with some of those hot new fudge dice. They come in sets of four, you know.

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Playing With Others

Breaking Down the 20

The last three questions of the twenty question background are probably the hardest to answer because they’re usually answered in a state of ignorance. It’s difficult to say why a particular character is with the party when you don’t know who else is in the party, what their purpose is, and why they all hang out together despite being murderers and centaurs. These questions are holdovers from Conversation Cafe, but I find that they help encourage people to develop ties within the group and it alleviates some of those early trust issues that fantasy adventurers or paranoid investigators tend to have.

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TPktalk for Jan 25

It’s the 10th anniversary of Opportunity! That little rover has been running around Mars for ten years! That’s a whole other planet! For weird space things, art things, and other stuff you should check out the Concept Crucible Hexup, though you should not do so until partaking deeply of the gaming articles contained herein, which include history, advice, and lessons learned from World of Warcraft, that MMO that everyone played for too long (if you’re still playing World of Warcraft, you’ve also been playing it for too long).

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TPKtalk for Jan 18

It’s been a fun-filled week for us. I put up the first episode of my F.E.A.R. full play, and on Monday I record the first episode of a new podcast series for my other blog, Concept Crucible. It’s been a good week in gaming too, and we’ve got some nifty posts for you as well as a Kickstarter that’s basically the thing you’ve been dreaming about since you were a small child. Not that. The other thing.

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