New Player? Pick a Comfortable Personality

. 27.07.2016 . 0 Comments

While rolling up a character for a new ten week D&D 5e campaign, one of my fellow players new to the game said something that got my mind thinking, and so I thought I would share.

If you have ever had the pleasure of running a game with players that are new to table top role playing one of the things that you need to overcome is their apprehension to become the players that they have created.  It is a foreign thing if you are not used to embodying a fictional personality and pretending to be in crazy situations presented as if you were actually there.  Often times you get the “my character says…” or “my character does” type responses.  This is normal and will go away in time as they become less self conscious about acting in what would be in everyday circumstances as a bit odd.

Reminiscing on past characters my colleague commented that the character that he was creating was going to be a tottering old man, struggling with bouts of senility and would be prone to childish reactions and mental disjointedness.  A fun character to be sure, but what grabbed my attention was why he chose to make this type of character.  His response:  “I don’t see myself as a serious person and I don’t think I would enjoy acting like a grim BDFs or serious wizards for the next ten weeks”.

I think in this statement there is a great piece of advice for new characters.  If you have been playing for decades like many of us, playing personality types that are alien to us makes the game more fun because you get to stretch yourself in new and different ways.  But if you are fresh to this type of game the exact opposite is true; characters that are comfortable to play and are often similar to your own personality are the ones that are most enjoyable.

I’m not saying that this is the most profound thought ever, but if you have a new player rolling up their first character it might be worth encouraging them to build a PC that is more similar to themselves rather than their favorite heroes from books or movies because odds are they will be radically different from themselves and much harder to play game after game.

Anyway, I found this juxtaposition to be interesting.  What do you all think, are there PC  personality types that are better suited to newbies?  Let us know in the comments below or tweet to me @Tanz444.

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Oh, and if you were curious about my latest character it is a Half Orc Circle of the Moon Druid.  However since the campaign takes place in a sci-fi futuristic type environment he has been skinned to look like a large robot.  The Wild Form ability that is characteristic of the class has been replaced with a Transformers-esq shifting that lets him become the type of robot that is most advantageous at the time: e.g., Assault form (Brown Bear), Stealth Form (Tiger), All Terrain Mode (Spider).

I’ve tried to take spells that seemed more robotic and off the beaten path just to give myself a challenge.  At level 2 he has Detect Magic which I have skinned as Anomaly Detection Lenses (with dark vision becoming night vision), Longstrider, and Jump.  Thunder Wave also seemed pretty robot-y, but it seemed to me the most popular choice coming from the base book and I was going for different.

If you have any suggestions on how I can better robotize my Druid I’m happy to hear them too, and  Thanks.


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Category: Off the Cuff

About the Author ()

Tanz is an enthusiastic GM, Blogger, and avid table top gamer with over 15 years of experience. His first brush with tabletop gaming was with Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Ed. Over the years he has transitioned from player to GM, and has run many types of game systems favoring games that bend toward horror and with a supernatural twist in contemporary settings. His DM style is one that leans heavily towards adventure path style play, preferring to give players options rather than unrestricted 'sandbox' style play or narration on rails. He regularly engages with the tabletop gaming community on twitter @Tanz444, his articles can be seen on various digital venues, and loves to GM at conventions whenever possible.

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