I’ve been part of a weekly Roleplay night for the last 8 years and for the most part we play D&D. Now I’m in no means an expert player but I remember what it’s like to be a new to D&D, so I thought I would my five top tips for new players.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Like any new game, learning the rules takes time. I’m eight years and I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time (much to the annoyance of my group on occasion), but I’m lucky I’ve got several really experienced players in my group, so I often end up asking one of them or the DM if I’m not too sure what I’m doing. Trust me, no one is going to judge you for asking questions when you’re new to the game and it’s often the best and easiest way to learn.
2. Make Your Backstory Believable
Remember most games you’re starting at a low level, so the likelihood you’ve managed to save your village single handedly from a dragon, or you stole the rarest diamond in the world is going to be a bit hard to believe, especially when you’re a level 3 bard. Unless, of course, your background is to make over-exaggerated unbelievable stories, then, by all means go ahead.
Now I understand the fun coming up with a really cool backstory that you really want to use, so I would advise using the tried and tested legacy method. Basically you give the backstory to your character’s parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, mentor figure. That way it’s still a part your story and something your character can use for inspiration or too explain their motives.
3. D&D is a Cooperative Game
So don’t steal/fight/kill other players. Trust me, unless you have a really, really good reason (like they killed your parents or something), and even then I would advise you find a way to deal with this without resorting to violence. Every player has their part to play and disrupting the group’s dynamic, will seriously mess up the group and that will come back to bite you on the ass at the most inopportune moment. It’s just not worth it.
4. Respect Other Players Turns
When you’re really into a game, excitement takes over and sometimes you’ll end up interrupting another players turn, and that’s ok, just don’t make it habit. It can cause confusion in the turn order, causing people to miss their turn or to have to many turns.
Of course, there are exceptions, like when you’re interrupting to save another player or preventing the group from getting screwed over, but for the most part try and be respectful of other players turns.
5. Have Fun
The most important tip I can give you is have fun. D&D is a fun, social game and it’s a great way to spend time with friends and to make new friends.