training a new player!

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okay so my group and i welcomed some new blood in our group who was a friend of the DMs, well he used to play a bunch of dnd with a couple of players who left our group a couple campigns ago (no surprise these players cant stay in a campign longer then a session they just want combat.)
well we assumed cause he played alot with them that he knew how to play,such was not the case.Turns out he had absolutly no idea what he was doing, to be more precise the way he was taught how to play was just plain wrong. we play pretty by the rules with some straying ill admit on certian subjects, but we make it clear what rules we stray or bend a bit. The ones who taught him how to play literally have no idea how to play themselves. and are the kinda players and DM who think its a DMs job to kill the players, as well as a very aggressive bunch, this poor guy was verbally abused and was made sure he was never in he spotlight, so i told the dm id take it upon myself to teach him how to play the game right,(which to be fair people do play differently,just i thought everyone adhered to the basics at the least.) question is how do i go about this? i want it to be a fun learning experiance for the guy while encouraging creativity and thinkin on his own. i wanna run through some scenarios and just plain monster fights and maybe some pvp so he has some experiance if we do a tournement or something. we are a very mature group with a bunch of immature people(we love our gentalia jokes. we are a very close group of friends) made up of all males with a female DM. and the party makeup is as follows!

Richard the undead rev warlock (me! and ive been told i play him rather well! very happy to play this character!)

Kane the minotaur paladin (who was a god whos powers were stripped away and trapped in a mortal shell. so he follows himself in religion. sounds crazy but honestly its a very hilarious roleplaying)

Brethos the half elf wizard (hes a tinkerer and alchemist and prolly the biggest pain in the behind for us. his player likes to cause some trouble and forces the DM to cater to his ego to a certain degree.still can be very fun to play with when he is in line.)

Gotrak the dwarf cleric( plays a merchant who constantly tries to sell us heals when out of battle and sometimes even then. player is a very fun rper to rp with.)

and Talok the half elf druid (the new player! very quiet but was his first time with a bunch of guys he didnt know so we will remedy that!)

i plan on doing something with these existing characters in some trainin sessions so he can get used to team dynamics and he can learn how to combat, getting him to learn that he can make a check anytime for anything. its combat mainly he needs help but the checks and stuff for like puzzles is a need to know especially traps. monsters with special abilities. and how to promote creativity.  any input would be most welcome on how to best do this!
It's all about trust. It sounds like his trust will have been pretty ground down.

Talk to him first and tell him about the way you guys like to play. Find out exactly what he's used to and what he prefers.

To encourage creativity, try to back this player's choices as much as possible. Avoid "correcting" his ideas at first, and just have him in an environment where he's not learning the "right" way, but is just trying things out. Otherwise, act as you normally would and set a good example for the player.

What do you mean "it's combat mainly he needs help"? If the DM isn't a killer DM, it shouldn't matter too much what the player does in combat. Druid is sort of a tricky class to play, I feel, which will increase the possibility of him doing something "wrong." Even though you try to adhere to the basics, I don't recommend slowing down or stopping the game just to correct something, and definitely don't make him feel bad if he makes a mistake.

Good luck.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

well we all want him to feel like a member of the group, make him feel welcome to just laugh and have fun like the rest of us.
and i like the idea of letting him do his own thing like he knows and just letting him know this is how we do it, and his combat rules are realllly really crazy the way he was taught, he knew nothing of minor actions, and just a bunch of different things, and the DM wont kill us perma dead if we die its just bad luck that it happened with rolls or something, and she will let us go and ressurect him first chance we get. and yea thats what i wanna teach him, how to best use his actions. and to encourage him to do creative stuff, we still do the ol grease and fire spell combo. and i really wanna prepare him to more or less meet any challenge the DM throws at us. because while this DM  (i have to do a little co DMing and such cause shes new and wants to have someone who will help her when she has questions or needs some ideas) is fairly lenient on alot of things. i dont want him to get one of the others that DM alot and thier much more stricter and the trouble player when he DMs he has the mindset the DM is trying to kill you. And i want to arm him with all the knowledge he needs so he will feel like he can hold his own against anything thrown his way. and i strongly suspect the trouble player may try to pvp a bit and if he picks on him, i want to make sure he kicks the trouble players tail. And i agree the druid is tricky, but he seems to have a good knack on choosing good powers so i think after a bit of learning hes gonna be a great player.
Yep, overall just set a good example for him. After the game, ask him how he thought it went and ask if he wants any pointers. Don't correct him during play

and i strongly suspect the trouble player may try to pvp a bit and if he picks on him, i want to make sure he kicks the trouble players tail.

Hm. I recommend no PVP play at all, or if you do, allow the target player to decide their effect on their character. That way, there's no need for rules and the DM is never put in the position of adjudicating between players.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

To help get the creative juices flowing for my players, I supply them with a photocopy of the middle section of the DM screen. It has a handy dandy list of common actions and such that players can take and roll with. Sometimes it can just give them a little leg up on the ideas and maybe bring your friend out of his shell if he's sitting back a lot and trying to fly under the radar by habit.

If you want to run through some scenarios just the two of you to get him acclimated to the rules as your group plays them, just use the Random Dungeons section of the DM's Toolbox in the DMG to take him through a generic dungeon, and pick a handful of level appropriate monsters. Each time he gets to a chamber, drop a monster or two in front of him and run through combat the way your group plays. This static way of playing will give him a chance to just practice and get used to playing how everyone else plays, without any pressure from the rest of the group or the campaign. 
My house rule when I DM is that a new player is to play a human fighter as his/her first character. Most players can relate to your everyman warrior with a sword and shield and there is much less to keep up with for such a character... few special abilities. I have them pick the 'simple' feats that don't require special situations or on-the-fly calculations to make them work... feats like toughness, endurance, diehard, skill focus, great fortitude, iron will, lightning reflexes, combat reflexes. Doing this, the player gets an idea of what my campaign world is like without having to interrupt the game for 10 minutes after every attack trying to figure out how to calculate for special things such as rage or spells. A human fighter is pretty basic, quick character to make, easy to figure out his abilities. After the player has played long enough to get the role-playing elements of the campaign figured out and I have had some time to assess the player's play style and everyone has acclimated to each other, the player can make a new character or keep playing the basic fighter.

Well, that's what works for me, anyway...

That paladin minotaur of self-worship... I had a similar character...  A priest sorcerer called Vazt, the Thwarter of Plans (God of Discord). I entered into an epic campaign after a college hiatus from my regular group. They're all 30th level and above, but I prefer not to begin play above 1st level... so I needed a good back story as to why a 'nobody' would be allowed to travel with them. "I'm a fallen god who will reward you all for aiding me in achieving my re-ascension". I played each player against the other (which was the theme of the campaign... paranoid evil characters) until actually achieving ascension. The gods that be had each player in turn offer their most valuable sacrifice. The sacrifices the other players were making looked like the list of Major Artifacts in the DMG. I was pretty high level by the time they got there, but still 20 levels below anyone else in the party. I didnt' have artifacts. So Vazt told the 'elder gods-that-be' that he would give the ultimate sacrifice, he climbed on the altar and died (becoming the God of Discord in the process since Vazt somehow managed to mess up all the other parties plans from the moment he arrived because he didn't know all their back stories). But I digress....
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
haha well i start the boot camp today, thanks to the forums i got plenty of ideas! all the ideas are most welcome and appreciated.

and yea hes pretty fun to watch roleplay though i am a bit surprised and not surprised, the player has a thing for big characters, has to have the biggest character or he gets upset, but he hardly roleplays alot. he defintly will have to roleplay alot as an fallen god. generally those tend to be things of interest.
Yep, overall just set a good example for him. After the game, ask him how he thought it went and ask if he wants any pointers. Don't correct him during play

and i strongly suspect the trouble player may try to pvp a bit and if he picks on him, i want to make sure he kicks the trouble players tail.

Hm. I recommend no PVP play at all, or if you do, allow the target player to decide their effect on their character. That way, there's no need for rules and the DM is never put in the position of adjudicating between players.


I think I've come over to the 'target player decides effect in PVP' idea, at least when one player is trying to murder/rob the party and 'win'.

Our regular group tends to go along to get along and can do PVP without taking anything personal. As DM I don't go out of my way to encourage PVP, although I'm fine with conflict that doesn't need to end in violent resolution.

My world is difficult enough without the players killing one another. It has happened though. The 'innocent' player was able to be resurrected by his powerful aristocratic/sorcerous mother (a case for non-orphan characters if I ever heard one).

My worry with the "na-na-na-boo-boo ya missed me, ya missed me" rule (your character can't hurt my character rule) is a slight loss of realism (or railroading requirements to explain why an attack/effect didn't work when it should have) and maybe even somewhat of a role-play loss as two violence-prone characters try to work out agreements with one another... it makes for nice dramatic tension. I suppose in the end it's a trade-off that each group has to decide which is better for them?

In my group, I have some less mature players that this rule would take killing one another off the table and therefore make the whole experience better as they now must say "Well, I can't simply rely on a high strength score to get my way here... I may actually have to role play".
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
yea well the trouble player is the wizard, and i built him cause the player is too lazy to make his own, just said "make me whatever and ill roll with it" but he did express interest in the class and race so i went with that since i knew he wanted something akin to that. And while not the best character op im still fairly good at it if i may toot my own horn. i knew he would be a problem player as he usually is. but i wasnt going to jip him by making a useless character. i made him a good all around build with plenty of goodies without giving him all the powers i knew he would abuse most. showed him the build and he liked it and wanted it so i went with it. but we dont like the loss of realism in our campaign. and ive done this with my character before. when i started 4e he kept being a real dbag to my charcter cause i wasnt sure what i was doing as far as the new edition and he knew it. i then learned all i could about the basics and learned how to make a character and the next campaign he tried it again to have his characters ass throughly handed to him repeatedly without me killing him which he tried to do with me. So im hoping if i can teach the new guy how to throughly hand a wizards ass to him it wont get outa hand and my character wont have to step in (im pretty much the DMs voice in the game and her way of subtly railroading is through my PC because im very intricatly tied into the story.) either way im not gonna let a player be bullied in or out of game in any campaign im in. good natured ribbing is fine and dandy, but deliberatly going out of your way for trouble is another.
yea well the trouble player is the wizard, and i built him cause the player is too lazy to make his own, just said "make me whatever and ill roll with it" but he did express interest in the class and race so i went with that since i knew he wanted something akin to that. And while not the best character op im still fairly good at it if i may toot my own horn. i knew he would be a problem player as he usually is. but i wasnt going to jip him by making a useless character. i made him a good all around build with plenty of goodies without giving him all the powers i knew he would abuse most. showed him the build and he liked it and wanted it so i went with it. but we dont like the loss of realism in our campaign. and ive done this with my character before. when i started 4e he kept being a real dbag to my charcter cause i wasnt sure what i was doing as far as the new edition and he knew it. i then learned all i could about the basics and learned how to make a character and the next campaign he tried it again to have his characters ass throughly handed to him repeatedly without me killing him which he tried to do with me. So im hoping if i can teach the new guy how to throughly hand a wizards ass to him it wont get outa hand and my character wont have to step in (im pretty much the DMs voice in the game and her way of subtly railroading is through my PC because im very intricatly tied into the story.) either way im not gonna let a player be bullied in or out of game in any campaign im in. good natured ribbing is fine and dandy, but deliberatly going out of your way for trouble is another.

Assuming the 'trouble player' is a reasonable person, you should be able to circumvent all these problems by simply letting him know that some of his tactics are seen as abusive. Not that I see it as a bad thing that you are helping the other players discover ways to defend their characters against wizards (there are also NPC wizards to watch out for, after all).

If the trouble player is simply unreasonable, is it really even worth the trouble to invite him to play?

p.s. I don't think you realize this, but 'jip' is a racist term, and should be avoided.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
p.s. I don't think you realize this, but 'jip' is a racist term, and should be avoided.




had no idea, if i offended i deeply apologize.




I don't think it was meant in that capacity, Joseph.  Yes, the word does have negative connotations behind it, but it's not used as a jab at the Romani any more.
I don't think it was meant in that capacity, Joseph.  Yes, the word does have negative connotations behind it, but it's not used as a jab at the Romani any more.



It means "to be like a gypsy, in that you are a cheat".

It's a racist slur, even if you didn't know it was a racist slur.  If you didn't know, okay, no ill will, no harm done, now you know and can stop saying it.

If you keep using it after you *do* know it's a racist slur, that's a problem.

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
the best way to include him is to back him up. there will be times that he will not like the way you play. but dont allow that to be stronger than friendship. hes from a different land.  

Troll king

the best way to include him is to back him up. there will be times that he will not like the way you play. but dont allow that to be stronger than friendship. hes from a different land.  



Being from a different land doesn't make one a bad player, and most DM's really only know their own system. When they are brought into a different world, it can be a bit like having your balls placed on the railroad tracks with a runaway train.

Be more open with him about the expectations at your table, in your game and ask what his goals are in playing the game. Sometimes, I have learned "Former DM" types have more fun playing monsters against the group or running a batch of 2-3 NPC's than playing an actual character.

I have also learned when I play in the campaigns of others (VERY VERY rarely, might I add), I notify them of my D&D experience, however I also introduce the DM to my world and offer them a one-shot game with a level 3 character. The purpose is to teach the DM how I do things so the GM can learn what my short comings are. Maybe the DM will learn by watching me what my expectations are, what habits I need to break to succeed at their table and what I am "used to". This is important because when I play at anothers table, I have some habits to break, and a few things to learn. My campaign and in fact, game system itself is 80% homebrew, so my experience doesn't "translate" very well most of the time, and I wind up being more like "The Newb" of the table, albeit one who is very skilled.

The most valuable "DM Skill" to bring to any table you aren't the DM at is this:  Never argue with the DM. Just sit back, have fun, watch the behaviors of the players and DM, ask if there is anything "right" that you could do at your own table and take it as a learning experience.

Good luck and happy gaming!

Within; Without.

p.s. I don't think you realize this, but 'jip' is a racist term, and should be avoided.




had no idea, if i offended i deeply apologize.





All to the good. One of my friends is a Rumney (gypsy). I used to use the expression all the time, not knowing it's origins. So did he, for that matter. The word has probably for the most part lost all connection to its etymologically racist meaning, but I just wanted to point it out so you might avoid an awkward situation by throwing out an unintentional insult.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.