Last night, I had an opportunity to create a new adventure for 4 gamers who were relatively new to Role Playing Games.
I decided to run character creation through an OSR system I hacked together a few weeks ago. This allowed me to keep character creation simple and under half an hour. The adventure was run in a generic fantasy setting, but I used Monster of the Week for the structure of the adventure.
This group of mostly inexperienced role players ended up being intuitive, resourceful, and an absolute delight to run a game with.
The adventure started with a letter to one of the characters, asking for help with a “wolf problem” on a farm. Recently, the Lain Farm had lost a few chickens to these attacks, but didn’t have the resources to deal with the wolf problem. And so the characters stepped in to help.
I was quite impressed with the players, as they very quickly recognized that this farm had a problem much larger than a single wolf (especially after investigating the newly plowed fields on the far border of the farm).
They were tenacious in talking with anyone relevant to the mystery, including Pharlip Wayne the local trapper, Sybeth Starr the mystic, and Lady Bethel the Lady of the town. The players were able to determined a pattern of attacks, and set up a trap for the “wolf”.
The adventure closed with a fight that lead to a quick victory, and a hook – the players had discovered a gate to hell had been opened. The Lain Farm and the town of Westhold would need heroes to defend them from anything that might come through…
Inexperienced Yet Intuitive
I was quite nervous before this game. This was the first real role playing experience for three of the four players. They were looking to me to provide a fun, first night of Dungeons and Dragons (though they called it Dungeons and Divas). Happily, the adventure was a hit, and was an absolute joy to run.
I also couldn’t help but notice the contrast between this group and my more regular players. The inexperienced players picked up on almost every clue left for them, and followed every lead throughout the adventure. They used what they learned and the resources they had to give them advantages in combat. They approached their next decision cautiously, had no problem splitting their party – and sometimes didn’t even bring their weapons! It was a style of play that I wasn’t quite used to. After all, my regular players like jumping into battle first…and then running away when things go south!
New Seats At Your Table
Perhaps the best part about last night happened at the end of the adventure. A few players immediately asked to play again – and soon. That request brought me back to my first game, when my dad lead my brother and I through our first dungeon. I remember finishing the session full of wonder and awe, eager to play again. I saw a little bit of that last night with the new players.
If you at all have the opportunity, I suggest you try to add new seats at your gaming table. Find friends, co-workers, or family who have expressed interest in your hobby. Set up a game night for some inexperienced role players!
I had a ton of fun last night. Now, a few more of my friends have role-playing experience – and I might have found myself in the middle of a new campaign.