Monthly Archives: May 2021

Teaching New D&D Players


Tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons can be really big and complicated. New players can be easily overwhelmed with all the rules and weird terminology.

If you want your friends or family to role-play with you, it is important to be patient and supportive while teaching new players to learn your game.

Creativity and fun are at their best when the whole group works together.

keep it simple

Don't overwhelm new people with too many rules.

Only teach the race and class the player is using from only the main rule book. Don't let them try to create some weirdly complicated character from a 3rd party rule book. Keep it simple. Let them learn the basics first.

 Focus their learning on what is personal to the student. Attacks. abilities, and spells, that are specific to their character.

Make sure they know what dice to roll and how to find information on their character sheet.

Let new players base their characters off of a famous or recognizable character. This way they can think "What would Legolas do? How would John Wick do this?" 

Using a famous character will give new players a framework or guideline to follow instead of being overwhelmed with infinite character possibilities. This gives you a good point to start with.

create a supportive environment

 Let new players tell you (the DM) what they want to try, and you can tell them what checks or rolls they will need to do. Instead of overwhelming new players with all the rules, let them experiment in game, and learn as they go.

Let new players be ok with not knowing all the rules. Let them know that it is okay to make mistakes.

Be open and accepting. Don't condescend or make fun of players who don't know what to do.

Allow new players to make mistakes. Do not judge or criticize a noob mistake. Being critical or judgmental automatically kills the learning process.

The more you criticize, the more new players will not want to play. Nobody wants to be judged or bullied when they are trying to learn something new. If this is happening, new players will be disengaged and they won't be interested in playing again.

Hopefully most behavior and play styles were previously agreed upon during session zero and house rules. However something can always become an issue no matter how many rules and expectations you establish.

 Don't assume the worst in people or new players.

working with new players

Don't make assumptions about people or their actions without talking to them first. ask them to clarify whatever you are worried about.

Nothing is worse than that person who complains, criticizes, or starts ranting without knowing what is going on. Do not be that guy.

Players and dungeon masters will like you a lot better if you aren't complaining. 

Be welcoming

Most tabletop RPGs are big and complicated and it can be overwhelming for new players. Ease the burden by helping out any way that you can.

A lot of players are new to the game, we should never assume that people know everything.  

Be welcoming, supportive, and inclusive. A group game doesn't work unless you are actively part of the group. If a new player doesn't feel welcome, they aren't going to want to play at all.

review your house rules before Each session

Remember that every dungeon masters play style is different. Every group has different players and a different group dynamic. No two games are ever the same. So don't expect assumptions or behavior to be exactly the same.

Make sure all players who come and go from your table know your house rules and the consequences for their actions.

This might feel harsh at first, but you'll know it's worth it when there are a lot less arguments about how to calculate critical hit damage.

Behavior expectations should be common knowledge.... Things like waiting for your turn. Or rules like don't be a cheater. It is important to talk about this stuff instead of assuming that everyone knows how to behave.

Dungeons and Dragons is supposed to be fun. The more supportive and relaxed environment you create, the more fun everyone at the table will have.

Thank You!

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Finding meaning in the game of life (part 3)

shiny math rocks!

focus on what excites you,

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us
J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

After leveling up a bit more, you realize that the game of life can be worth playing because you find things that you want to do. You choose things that you are passionate about. You allow yourself to become inspired and therefore energized to win the battles you want to win. And that gives you even more opportunities to level up. 

You decide to start working on what excites you and you realize that you want to add your own unique voice to the world. And maybe, just maybe you have a reason to keep going. A reason to get out of bed and you have some energy and motivation to do what you want to do.

You now have reasons to get up everyday because you made the choice not to give up. You chose to fight just a little bit more every day. And it wasn't easy. You chose to get a little better at life, and you know that as a result life got a little bit better. It got a little bit easier because you chose to level up.

You leveled up a little bit more everyday and everyday it got a little easier. You didn’t give up because along the way you found out that life doesn’t have to be all that hard.

You found out that those level 1 demons that used to be kicking your ass everyday can be easy to dealt with now that you have leveled up. It is now finally your turn to slay those demons and who aren’t so scary anymore.

Seeking excitement and adventure

Adventure heh, excitement heh, A Jedi needs not these things
Yoda, Jedi Master

Wait? Why would Yoda say this? Isn’t the whole point to seek adventure and excitement? What is going on here?

Yoda is saying that we don’t need adventure because we already have adventure. Living is the adventure. We can’t need what we already have.

Yoda told Luke not to crave adventure and excitement because Luke was not looking in the right place, he was focused outside of himself for a thrill. Yoda was saying that the adventure is our lives.

Yoda was saying that we already have adventure and excitement. We need to be able to embrace life as the adventure.

If you are seeking adventure, you can start by fighting the battles that are already in your life. Take care of the battles in front of you instead of searching elsewhere.

If life is the adventure, then you get to choose to start by working on the problems that are already facing you.

Creating a life around what excites you means getting past the real life the obstacles that are in your way. If you want to have more adventures and survive encounters, you have to start with the problems and encounters that are currently facing you.

Adventure is taking on new challenges in the game of life and forging paths that no one else has ever thought of. Paths that only work for you and what you want.

Excitement comes in knowing that we might not survive and we’re excited to take on the challenges that the game is throwing at us.

Life is a long game, just like D&D. Life only ends when someone decides to give up. The game only ends when you decide to stop playing.

be prepared

Being prepared means, knowing what excites you everyday. Being prepared means knowing what you want to work toward so you can ignore the side quests that might just distract you from your goal.

The more prepared you are, the more you will know what you want out of life.

Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. Going into a dungeon full of monsters could be fatal if you aren’t prepared first. Make sure you have the right weapons, armor, equipment and healing potions.

In the game of life, we need to prepare ourselves and understand the challenges that are facing us.

Knowing focuses you to work towards building that life that you dream of. The more focus you have, the more excitement and energy you can get!

gaining experience points

Part of the excitement of life is constantly learning, growing and leveling up. When we learn new things, there is always more excitement and adventure to be found in the next thing we learn. We experience the sense of wonder when we go over that next hill. We feel the excitement of life when we discover a new horizon.

The more you learn and grow, the more you are leveled up and can handle more challenges within the game of life.

Keep learning in order to level up. That is your ongoing quest. When you get better, life gets easier to handle.

Learning and growing is essential to life. Living is essential for adventure. Without growth, there is no life. You can’t level up without gaining experience points.

A player who has mastered the game of life understands that learning is an ongoing, lifelong process. Learning does not stop after high school or college. If you have stopped learning, you have stopped leveling up.

If you are doing what you have always done, you aren’t growing. If you stay in the same level of the dungeon, you’ll never be able to move forward and find what you are seeking.

The difference between a successful high level character and a low level character is that a high level person is constantly learning. A high level character in the game of life is always learning and applying what they learn.

High level characters in the game of life are always reading books, going to classes, taking workshops, and watching videos about whatever subjects they are passionate about. If you aren’t continually learning about the game of life, you will never be able to level up.

Successful people become masters at their skills and their professions. A goblin slayer needs to know all about goblins in order to survive while fighting them. They need to know how goblins operate, how they live, how they fight, and how to to kill them. Successful goblin slayers know exactly what weapons to use, when to use them, and how to use them proficiently. Goblin slayers never stop learning and they never stop fighting.

When a successful goblin slayer encounters a new goblin that they have never seen before, they study it, they learn all that they can about it.

High level characters are always learning and adapting to new situations. Because they understand that adapting is essential to surviving the game of life.

Successful people know their characters inside and out. High level characters are the ones who have mastered their skills in a way that serves and helps people, in a way that will make lives better.

Learning and growing is how you gain experience in the game of life.

enjoy thenadventure

“We were put here on earth to act as agents of the infinite,
to bring into existence that which is not yet, 
but which will be, through us.”
-Stephen Pressfield The War of Art

Having an adventure means being actively engaged in the game of life. Life is the ongoing and continuing journey that makes you who you are. If you resist life, or refuse to participate in life, you will never find what excites you.

We know that leveling up takes time. Learning and growing cannot happen instantly.

Experiences are not instant. Life requires patience because it take time to gain experience points. It takes time to practice and get better at the skills we choose.

If you ignore the game that is life, you’ll never experience the joy of playing. When you resist the urge to play, you are resisting a chance to become part of something greater than you are.

The game of life is greater than all of us. It was designed for us to play how we want and enjoy all the different aspects of it.

The game of life was designed for us to have the freedom and adaptability to create whatever kind of life we want. Whatever type of game we enjoy playing. We get to choose our class, our abilities, our skills, and our professions. 

We get to choose who, and what will be in our lifetime of adventure. If we don't like our character or our skills, we have the freedom to change. Create a new character for yourself.

Life is a marathon because we have to know how, and when to pace ourselves. We have to pace ourselves in order to have the time and energy to enjoy everything that we can. Everything can’t happen all at once.

Embrace life, enjoy life. Allow yourself to be excited about the things you love. Be your own dungeon master, give yourself projects and games you want to play in life. Be open to new adventure and opportunity in the game of life. Create your own place, and your own quests in the game of life so that it can be something that you enjoy!

There are no rules, so why not enjoy yourself?