I'm looking for advice on how to explain 4E to a couple of players

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It's weird. Once I really got into 4E, it became clear that it really was a lot more simple than the previous editions.

Unfortunately, there are a few players at this new shop I'm going to that just... don't get it.  I think that the players are fairly new, having only ever played 3.x. Which is fine. But they're balking over the simpliest things in 4E.  Things like... "I don't understand what these different powers are! Why can't I just smack something?" or "Okay, so how many actions do I get in a turn and what is this "power point" thing"?

Of course that's not verbatim, but still.  I think the problem really stems from the fact that they didn't make their characters themselves. They didn't pick out powers, feats or anything like that. They picked race and class and the DM just kinda fleshed things out for them.

I'm the only one in the group who has ever played 4E before and I can tell a few players just aren't... really getting the game or enjoying it that much.  We had two combat situations the last time we played and not only was the combat dragged out because some of the players had absolutely no idea what they were doing, you could tell that they had no desire because they didn't understand anything.

I need a good way to try to explain a few things to some players to help them get past the third edition mentallity of "me smack things because I melee!!".  We have 5 players right now. A Human Warlock, an Eladrin Mage, a Tiefling Fighter, a Tiefling Marshal and me as the Dwarven Shaman.  The two melee are the ones having the hardest time adjusting to fourth edition.

Any advice y'all?
I would just explain that powers are sort of "specific special attacks'' that make your class unique.  You can still hit things with a heavy weapon, but it sort of guides how you uniquely do it.  

Also, with my players I just wrote up a simple chart and showed them how their combat turn broke down (what actions were available and what classified as what).  

They were in a similar situation as yours, but telling them both of those things sort of cleared it up for them.

Hope that helped.

If they just want to smack things, direct them towards classes like the Slayer.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Few ideas:

- Restric the sources: start with PHB only, or even Essential. Too many options can scare new players off.
- Have them print out their power cards, either with the character builder or a tool like this one: www.dnditalia.it/pcc 
- Explain that they can just 'hit things' with Melee Basic Attack if they want to, but using powers is always a better option: nothing to lose all to gain 
- Don't use action points at the beginning if that's a problem. Keep it simple.

Of course in case they are 3.x fans with a bias against 4e it means they are stuck in self-fulfilling profecy and there is little you can do, I'm afraid.

Hope it helps.
That's a problem i have found...it's ALOT easier to teach 4e to players that have never played older editions D&D or Pathfinder than people that have played older editions of D&D or PF...new players into PnP RPGs will master 4e in 1 or 2 sessions, or even as far as too learn most rules just by watching a session or 2...alot of the veterans of older editions will take months, or even years to understand some of the basics of the game and get very frustrated at it
For actions, I've had success with action flash cards.  Just little hand drawn things on index cards like:

Standard Action!
- Make an attack of some kind
- Use Second Wind
- Trade for a Move Action

For the melee ones, I'd say just teach them their MBAs and tell them to just smack stuff until they feel more comfortable exploring other options.  At that point, you can try to encourage them to think of their powers as manuevers like trip or disarm.  3.x has some defined powers out there, refer back to those for comparison.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Thanks guys. This will all come in handy, but at the moment it seems as if our 4E game might be ending sooner than thought.  The two players I was talking about earlier decided not to show tonight.  Well, one was out of town for what ever reason and the other was almost an hour and a half late to the game.

If we can't get the 2 guys at least some what enjoying this version of the game, the campaign will end unless we can grab in 2 other players. But there's such a bias against 4E at the shop, that might be tough to do.  Which would also put a damper on my thoughts of DMing some time in September.

Play by Post groups always need more DMs.  Just sayin' 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
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