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Old 09-28-2017, 06:22 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default Re: Advice for new players thread.


1) Play a character, not a number. Very early in the character creation process, you should develop a sense of who your character is. Use that insight to guide your character creation decisions as well as your choices in play. Don't spend your time trying to figure out what the optimal mathematical option is. Real characters have strengths and flaws, and real drama comes from characters having to do things even when they aren't experts.

2) There's nothing wrong with pre-generated characters. They're legitimate adventurers, and they enable you to start playing quickly. Go for it!

3) Pick one or two options as your go-to combat choices. As you are learning the system, especially if your character has lots of combat abilities, it can be helpful to focus on doing one or two things and knowing the rules for those things solidly. As you get comfortable, you can expand your use of various options.


1) Ultimately, RPGs are about choices and consequences. Put the PCs in situations that give them meaningful choices and make those choices have results that impact the game.

Choices can be about direction (do we search for traps or race after the guards?) or about method (should we search for traps by looking around or casting spells?). Consequences can be in terms of what further options are available (you looked for traps, now you can do try to disable or avoid this trap but you can't chase after the guards anymore) or resources used (you chased after the guards, so now you have fewer FP available).

When you ask the players what to do, quickly check that there are at least two options available and make sure each has a consequence. Sometimes, you can even say those things explicitly to your players ("You can try to chase after the guards, but you'll have to exert yourself to catch up, or you can slow down and search for traps but the guards may escape.") You are never limited to what you say; players can always be creative. You just need to make sure you have at least two meaningful choices with consequences.

2) Use generic modifiers whenever you're not sure what the rule is exactly. You're not quite sure how illuminated the target is when there's torchlight but the target is just outside the glow? It's really hard to hit: call it -6 and get on with the game. What's interesting is the choices players make and the consequences of those choices, not what the exact sequence of modifiers is.

Remember that you can't really get this part wrong. Whenever the dice are rolled, there's a chance that characters will succeed and a chance they will fail. All you're doing is shifting what those odds are. As long as you're making reasonable judgment calls, the dice are more important than your difficulty estimates.
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