Playing as a character in a story can be a confusing concept for new players. Getting used to the idea of making choices on behalf of a character you’re controlling within a story isn’t intuitive for lots of folks. Add-in all the rules, the stats, the math…and oftentimes you’ve got yourself a recipe for a bit of a slog at the beginning.
I’ve written quite a bit in this Newbie Tuesday (#newbieTuesday) space in months past about how to get your friends and family into tabletop RPGs. But today’s advice is specifically tailored around asking them one question to help clear things up: what is your character good at?
If you find a new player overwhelmed with everything that’s being thrown at them – even with the “red carpet” experience we try to offer with StoryNite, just ask them what they believe their character is good at. It’s a simple exercise; they may or may not know offhand.
If they don’t know, just remind them of their character card/sheet. And if they do, then simply reorient them back to the choice at hand. Marry what the new player is being asked to choose between and what their character is good at. If, for example, they’re playing Sherlock Holmes and they’re being asked how to proceed in a crime investigation, picking the path which uses Holmes’ strength in Deduction would be a wise move.
Once new players learn the how & when they can make choices while leveraging their character’s strengths, they quickly gain confidence. And sometimes all they need is a little push to get them to see just how easy it is to be a valued part of the table!