Friday, August 30, 2013

New players

In the world of online tabletop roleplaying, new players are fairly easy to come by, but what makes a new player a keeper?

I've had the pleasure of running some games with new gamers recently. Here is what makes a player "stick".

1. They fit in with the banter of the group. I know this might seem obvious, but there is a lot to be said for chemistry. It is so nice to see a player come in and start to joke with the other players in the way the other players like to joke. This honors the current way the players are doing things and gives the new player the chance to add a bit of their own flavor to the conversation.

2. Interest in other characters. The best players I've had so far have come in and instantly wanted to know who they might be working with. They ask specific questions that can be as simple as, "what class are you" or as detailed as "what has been your favorite exploit so far?"

3. Jiving with the GM. In newer games like #DungeonWorld and #Fate the GM's role is a little different than traditional games. The GM must be able to ask questions of his players and then be able to use the answers provided. Due to this difference, when a new player pays attention to the questions being asked and answers them with enthusiasm, it goes a long way.

So there you have it. My big three. I was tempted to include something like "basic understanding of the rules" or "knowledge of how to play an RPG" but in my experience those haven't necessarily been helpful. In fact they are just as likely to hinder the experience. With so many awesome games being published and enjoyed by so many, it's almost impossible to say "this is how you role play." I mean if you just look at the differences between D&D 4th edition, games like Fate or Dungeon World, and a game like Fiasco you'll see, there is no right way. Each has their merits and benefit to the gaming community.

So what about you? What do you see in a new player that makes you want to invite them not only to your next game but also to your next campaign?

Happy Hunting!