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realbombchu
2010-02-10, 08:56 PM
A female friend of mine wants to learn to play DnD, but knows almost nothing about it. She wants to play human characters, which makes my job a little easier, and wants an urban adventure.

She says any setting is fine, so I would like to run the adventure Steel Shadows, from Dungeon 115. It's an Eberron adventure, kind of an urban mystery. My question is, well, how do I do this?

Supposing you're about a thirty-year-old woman learning DnD for the first time from a friend, what would you like to see in the adventure? What would make the experience perfect for you?

Note: Yes, I DM sometimes, but teaching the game is a weakness of mine, and I really want this to go well, so I'm looking more for advice on teaching the game and still keeping it fun.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-02-10, 09:06 PM
I'd start by keeping things simple. During the first session, you probably don't want to get into bull rushing and grapple checks. You might even encourage her to pick a class that is more straightforward, such as a rogue or barbarian, in order to avoid overwhelming her with feat and spell selection. Maybe throw in a few "tutorial encounters" with various creature types. Other than that, I think it would largely depend on the type of person you are teaching.

SilverStar
2010-02-10, 09:09 PM
Give her a "companion", even if her class wouldn't normally allow it. I suggest something reasonably intelligent such as a tressym. It would have the wit to aid her without the problem of running a full-fledged NPC as a tutorial.

Also, find out what she's looking for in the game. As a female gamer, I find that a lot of males think that we want to shy away from combat. Untrue; we like to burn stuff as much as the next guy.

Try very hard to avoid anything totally terrible happening to her until she starts to understand the game, and try to steer her away from really complicated classes. Sorcerer is good for new players.

realbombchu
2010-02-10, 09:15 PM
Thank you, this is great advice so far. Please keep it coming, if any of you have anything else to offer.

As for what she wants, she said she'll play whatever (except like I said, she wants human PCs in an Urban adventure). I'm a little concerned that I've chosen the wrong adventure now. Does anyone have a good Dungeon adventure suggestion from issue 150 to about 2 or three years before that?

Amphetryon
2010-02-10, 09:17 PM
Ask her to tell you about the character in her head. Work with her to make the rules produce something as close as possible to that concept. Introduce more complicated concepts, like Grappling and Turn Undead, gradually and with encounters where other mechanics will be unlikely to confuse the issue.

Superglucose
2010-02-10, 09:51 PM
I learned on a wizard, but I learn quickly. How quick of a learner is she? I know someone who's been playing D&D for years and still doesn't know how combat works (she keeps asking me which actions she gets). I suspect it'll be better for a straight newbie, just remember: move action, standard action, ever round. Keep track of your modifiers.

D&D really is simple unless you start delving into grapple. Even magic: cast a spell, enemy makes a save (or doesn't) and things happen (or don't). After a while they'll start to realize what works well and what doesn't, and then eventually you'll have a new player!

Also, gender is largely irrelevant. I know a girl who picked up D&D in one session, and a guy who's still blundering about actions in combat (the boyfriend of the first girl).

1stEd.Thief
2010-02-10, 09:58 PM
Roleplaying; Thog may not like the talky-talky, but it is an *RP* G.

DragoonWraith
2010-02-10, 10:01 PM
How quick you learn D&D has most to do with how interested you are in learning D&D. *shrug*

Anyway, Rogues and Barbarians aren't too bad, but really, do not let her start as a Fighter. Do a Warblade (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060802a&page=2) before that (starting from level 1, you only have 3 maneuvers (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20061225a) to choose from a fairly limited list). A Fighter seems like the most straight-forward class, but in reality feat selection is extremely difficult and incredibly important to a Fighter. Rogues and Barbarians aren't too bad, but I think something self-optimizing is better than something with few options.

My personal choice? Warlock. You avoid a lot of issues (not many Invocations to choose, from a small list, no /day abilities), plus you're decently powerful and fairly flexible. You can't really screw up a Warlock (well, just don't let her pick Hideous Blow; point out Eldritch Glaive if she's interested in that direction).

After that, I'd say the Warblade, as above. Seriously, Warblades are awesome because you can totally pick whatever sounds cool and it'll work nicely. The other two ToB classes are equally so, and power levels are remarkably similar, so just pick whichever's fluff works best for her.

Bad choices? Sorcerers, unless you let them repick their spells known more often than they can by RAW (which is not a bad idea at all), Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Monks, Fighters. Anything Psionic (for the same reason as Sorcerer). Anything Incarnum. Anything from Tome of Magic (Binders are good but have absolutely mind-boggling numbers of choices to make, every day; the other two are a bit weak). Artificers. Heh, CW Samurai.

But mostly, I'd suggest not focusing on her being female. That really matters a lot less than her individual preferences, which may or may not have anything to do with her gender and may or may not be different from a male player.

Also, is this a solo adventure? That's a bit weird, I think; typically you have a party, and the game's kind of designed around it. Having a couple of friends over for a game might help a lot, I think.

V for Victory
2010-02-10, 10:05 PM
When I got my girlfreind into dnd I just had too have one of my players team up with her to answer her questions. In fact whenever I have a new player I pair them with a veteran to ask questions too during the game.

Altima
2010-02-10, 10:06 PM
Find out what aspect of the game she likes and cater to that.

I'm assuming this is a solo-adventure.

It may be easier just to make your own campaign. Simply take her starting class and start her in the logical place. If she's playing a caster, for example, start her in tower where she's an apprentice. If she's a rogue, a possible thieves' guild. Druid? Remote village with little to no contact with the outside world, or in a circle grove.

Introduce her to the concepts slowly. Allow her to figure things out on her own--don't offer suggestions unless it's vitally necessary, or you'll risk stampeding on her own character. On the other hand, if she asks advice, give it.

Be sure you reward her with each action. Not just XP (leveling should be covered waaaay later) but tangible items she can use. Using the aforementioned mage, give her a familiar and let her get used to that, for example.

Make it as least complicated as you can. Don't even mention complexities until she has a grasp for the system itself.

CTLC
2010-02-10, 10:08 PM
seconding warlock, a level 1 warlock was my first character ever, and it was a great character to learn with/on.

Keep the invocation choices simple, choose eldritch glaive or baleful utterance first. Although the rules for defensive casting, con checks, and all that jazz to get glaive to work gives me issues still.

Superglucose
2010-02-10, 10:23 PM
Druid I think would be a good idea. They're self-optimizing, and most players I've seen will go, "OOOOH! I can have a wolf follow me around?!" Sure, wolf is slightly worse than riding dog war trained but the difference is 2 points of strength. With a few hints ("Would you like armor for your wolf?" "You want your wisdom to be as high as possible") it doesn't matter if she picks useless spells: she or her wolf can still beat the living tar out of whatever it is they're facing.

Cleric is in the same boat, thought somewhat less-so.

Mongoose87
2010-02-10, 10:34 PM
Get her to read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress. My girlfriend loved it, and it taught her a lot.

Ernir
2010-02-10, 11:45 PM
But mostly, I'd suggest not focusing on her being female. That really matters a lot less than her individual preferences, which may or may not have anything to do with her gender and may or may not be different from a male player.

Yeah... she doesn't play D&D with her ovaries. :smalltongue:

It is going to depend more on what she's like. If she's shy, you're going to have to hold her hand. If she's aggressive, you'll have to rein her in to prevent her from being (predictably) stomped by the local law enforcement. If she wants to just kill goblins, supply goblins. She wants to have fantasy sex with slutty elven princes, supply slutty elven princes. :smalltongue:
Her being new just means you have to watch out more closely for signs of what she finds fun - she probably doesn't know it for sure yet.

Lyth
2010-02-11, 12:04 AM
But mostly, I'd suggest not focusing on her being female. That really matters a lot less than her individual preferences, which may or may not have anything to do with her gender and may or may not be different from a male player.


Agreed. How you teach a female how to play D&D is no different from how you teach a male how to play D&D. I promise :)

If you're unsure of your ability to teach by yourself, gather a few friends who know the game to play with you - don't run a solo to teach someone, especially if you know that teaching is your weak point. It'll be a lot easier on you and her - your friends can jump in if you forget something, and she'll get the experience of RP between other PCs and working in a group in the game world.

Also, some groups are very focused on power-gaming and optimization. If yours is, keep in mind that it can be extremely overwhelming for new players - 3.5 rules alone are somewhat mind-boggling for a first time D&D player, adding complex builds won't help. If she chooses to make an orc monk, let her, as long as she has fun with it - just make sure you can tweak the encounters slightly so she doesn't end up rolling 10 characters in 1 hour :p

Find out what she's expecting to figure out what would make this "perfect" for her. Is she expecting a hack and slash dungeon crawl? If so, is that what she really wants to play in, or would she prefer something more, say, politically intriguing? Does she shy away from RP, or is she an actor at heart? Is her heart set on blood and guts and explosions? If she's not sure, sit down and talk it out.

Good Luck ^^

Dyllan
2010-02-11, 12:32 AM
If you're still looking for module suggestions, I think you could do much worse than The Devil Box, from Dungeon 109.

It's a small village setting, has a bit of humor, a bit of sleuth work and a number of challenges that can be completed through roleplay or combat. The good thing is, whatever method she prefers to use to handle situations can, and should, work with this one. I quite enjoyed running it in my campaign. It calls for a 2nd level party.

ZombieGenesis
2010-02-11, 12:36 AM
My girlfriend surprised me by getting into a D&D session without even knowing I was into it in the first place. She played a 4e game before I did, so I guess people all approach things in different ways. Not sure if age is a factor since my girlfriend is sixteen, but she picked it up in a snap.
Now to teach her 3.5 so she might play that Lichlover cannibal...

Serpentine
2010-02-11, 12:46 AM
Yeah... she doesn't play D&D with her ovaries. :smalltongue:ALTHOUGH...
Actually, never mind. That's a terrible idea.

Not much to add, otherwise. Sex/gender is irrelevant. K.I.S.S. I'd personally probably avoid spellcasters, and perhaps start a bit higher than 1st level - 5th, maybe (my first ever game was about 15th level, but I don't recommend that at all). It might be worth starting out with a sample encounter before starting a proper adventure, just to get the hang of what you roll for what when and what you add to it. Said encounter could lead into an adventure easily enough.

Vaynor
2010-02-11, 12:48 AM
perhaps start a bit higher than 1st level - 5th, maybe

This. 1st level is often thought to be the easiest to play, because it is the lowest level, but actual play at first level can be quite difficult if you don't know what you're doing, and it's a lot easier to die. I'd second 5th level.

oxinabox
2010-02-11, 01:17 AM
Get her to read Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress. My girlfriend loved it, and it taught her a lot.

heh, most female roleplayers i know laugh and laugh at it, and think it it absolute drivel. "Her Bard wants knew shoes? heh, Only if they are enchanted. Nice cloths, - circumstance boinus to charisma checks please"

(i've been following the 4e online thing by the same author and find it relitively entertaining, it's a look into the inhouse playtesting though, rather tan a guide for girls)

the standard female stating out classes tend to be (in my gaming clubs experiance)
1) Sorcerer
2) bard
3) paladin

Sorcerer is good, much easier than wizard.
bard== Sorcerer, but not direct combat spells. and more class features.
the first gish base class.
paladin, a fighter that gets spells, but not until your at a high leval (and therefore are ready to deal with them) nice easy class, if you arn't too hard arse about the Falling. consider Paladin of Freedom

Funny thing is those three classes are the charisma bases classes.
they all make decent party faces.
Warlock is also a charisma based class, and is the easiest spel lcaster to play.


4) would probably be druid
Druids good, it gets powerful class features, is good in combat, and gets the coolest most useful spells. what's not to love?



-----
as this sounds like a solo game, you might as well go for 32 pt buy (or even more maybe) and full HP (rather than rollign for it)

Serpentine
2010-02-11, 01:42 AM
Fun fact: I've never played a Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin or Druid :smalltongue:
(to be fair, though, I've only really played variants of Rangers, a Knight and a Rogue)
Actually... I think Rogue could be a good 1st (5th level) character. No spellcasting, flexible enough to give a good idea about various D&D actions (including spellcasting, if a magic item is used), interesting but relatively straightforward and simple abilities...

dariathalon
2010-02-11, 01:43 AM
as this sounds like a solo game, you might as well go for 32 pt buy (or even more maybe) and full HP (rather than rollign for it)

The rest of oxinabox's advice seems fairly decent, but I have to disagree with this last bit. First, try to avoid a solo game if at all possible. Roleplaying is, at its heart, a social activity. It is best when shared with a group of friends. If they are experienced, they can help teach the newbie. If they are also new, then sometimes that works out for the best too as they can commiserate about their confusion.

I would also not start with any higher than a 32 point buy (unless your group uses 36 point buy regularly). Use whatever is the standard for your group. Once she gets involved in a regular campaign, you don't want her to feel inadequate because her character is so much worse off than her starter-character. I'd say do whatever is standard in your group for hp too. Instead of max hp per level, just give her a few more levels. A level 1 character may be nice because it doesn't have as many abilities to keep track of, but really a level 3-5 character doesn't have that much more to worry about. I would say start at level 3 or so.

GolemsVoice
2010-02-11, 02:46 AM
I think giving her some kind of intelligent, yet trustworthy companion is good, because you can literally speak through it and offer her advice while still RPing. Imagine it kind of like the obligatory Disney animal sidekick.
Also, I would start with a sample encounter (a barroom brawl, a fighting tournament, etc.) where she can try out what she can do, or you can ask her.
"The man stands before you, readying his sword and shield. He looks frightened, though." "I try to get the weapon out of his hand..." "Well, you could do that with a sunder attempt, which works like this..." etc.
This way, she can learn about what actions are possible in combat, and you can advise her which actions are prudent and which not, or only after she took certain feats.
Also, try to find out what movies and books she likes. This will a) give you a general idea of how much she knows of fantasy, and b) what kind of stories she prefers.
Another advice I'd give is: make it fantastic, and show the world in it's full splendor. If she begins in a normal human village, talks to and fights with ordinary humans, and solves an ordinary human mystery, what sense does it make for her to play a fantasy game? I'd introduce some stuff that is both representing an important aspect that is different from the real world (like a wizard's tower with strange creatures and lot's of magic, or a temple with clerics and paladins) and wonderful at the same time. Though that's what I would play D&D for, the fantastic and wondrous, so that might just be me.

For character class, I would start with asking her what kind of character she thinks she wants to be. Veteran D&D players will instantly think of a concept and the class/feat combinations that suit best, but she will probably think in archetypes (I want to be like Gandalf, I want to play a tough fighter, I want to play someone who fights crime with gadgets like Batman...). After ahving established the general direction she wants to go, suggest classes, and point out the general features of the classes in non-rules terms, so that she can get an idea what is avialable and who can do what.

And some general advice on teaching. I don't think you can be that bad of a teacher as long as you remember some basic rules:
1.) Be patient. This is the most important rule. There are so many things she won't know that you take for granted, and so many things she will do wrong. Be patient, explain her mistakes, tell her the rules again and again if she needs it.
2.) Talk to her, and make sure she talks to you. Again, your knowledge of the game, it's concepts and rules is so much bigger than her's. So don't let her just stand there and figure it out for herself. Tell her what actions she can take in combat, tell her to ask questions if she has any, tell her whenshe's doing something stupid or something that would be unwise, but she doesn't know it because of the lack of setting knowledge, and maybe give her some info by the way, when it seems appropriate ("Talking about gods, here's how things work in Ebberon..."). Of course, you should make sure not to sound patronizing or be annoying.
3.) Be merciful. She WILL make mistakes, and I think offering her a little time rewind, especially in non-combat situations, is fair. Tell her that you are willing to "reset" situations that have gone out of hand, but also tell her that this won't always be the case.

faceroll
2010-02-11, 02:57 AM
Thank you, this is great advice so far. Please keep it coming, if any of you have anything else to offer.

As for what she wants, she said she'll play whatever (except like I said, she wants human PCs in an Urban adventure). I'm a little concerned that I've chosen the wrong adventure now. Does anyone have a good Dungeon adventure suggestion from issue 150 to about 2 or three years before that?

I am playing with a kid who's played a lot of videogames prior to D&D, and one of the biggest changes he's had to face is adapting to scenarios where the opponents actually have good AI, so to speak.


I would also recommend going rules light. There's a lot of stuff new players want to try that eventually fails because the rules aren't conducive to it (outside of super specific builds). Try to have situations where max ranks isn't necessary, and there's room for partial failure. This is especially important for sneaky characters.

Altair_the_Vexed
2010-02-11, 02:59 AM
When I was teaching my girlfriend (who's now my wife) to play D&D, I did my best to keep all the rules on my side of the screen, and only had her rolling her saves and attack and damage rolls.
I gave her a dumb fighter friend to follow her around (she was playing a sorcerer) and do whatever she said.
I gave her second chances if she chose to do something that was a bit dumb through not knowing the setting or the rules.

Now she's been playing for years, and her latest character is the longest surviving character in the current campaign.
And no, I never went easy on her characters because she's my sweetie - I've killed more avatars of my wife than any other DM. But she's enjoyed every minute.

faceroll
2010-02-11, 03:02 AM
When I was teaching my girlfriend (who's now my wife) to play D&D, I did my best to keep all the rules on my side of the screen, and only had her rolling her saves and attack and damage rolls.
I gave her a dumb fighter friend to follow her around (she was playing a sorcerer) and do whatever she said.
I gave her second chances if she chose to do something that was a bit dumb through not knowing the setting or the rules.

Yeah, this.
I long for the days of having the rules on the other side of the screen. Now optimization is like meth. I hate it, but I can't stop.

oxinabox
2010-02-11, 04:36 AM
It's no different from teaching dnd to a young child.
wait, that came out wrong.
I mean that wether you are teaching a you child, a man, a woman, your grandfather, you can all teach them the same way.
they are all going to come up with stupid things, that don't make sense.
that make ypou want to face palm,
Eg (this one was from a moderatly experianced player)
'You get to add your strength Mod, to youyr attack? Are You Serious!!!"
No wonder life has been so hard for my fighter

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-11, 05:03 AM
Fun fact: I've never played a Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin or Druid :smalltongue:


Fun fact:neither my female D&D players. One Druid and then Ranger, the other one Telepath Psion and then a gestalt mix of Fighter, Knight and Warblade.

Grey Paladin
2010-02-11, 05:20 AM
At least from my experience, women have an unnatural attraction to druids. Every single one of the six I got to play with played a druid as her first character.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-11, 05:37 AM
At least from my experience, women have an unnatural attraction to druids. Every single one of the six I got to play with played a druid as her first character.

My data does not show a significance toward Druid preference.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-11, 05:40 AM
At least from my experience, women have an unnatural attraction to druids. Every single one of the six I got to play with played a druid as her first character.

My data does not show a significance toward Druid preference. Other female gamers I know rolled Barbarian, Rogue, and Wizard.

I had the impression of the Druid tendency, but actual data does not fit with the hypothesis.

oxinabox
2010-02-11, 06:28 AM
All our sample sizes are too small, to make any prediction.

Lets say there are 500,000 female gamers in the world.
None of us has played with with more than 100.
lets say that we have played with 100, just for the sake of argument.
now we've played with 1/5000th the total world population of world.
that's 0.02%
Any statiticion will tell you that the sample size is way to small.

We can't hope to make a prediction.
Hypothisis testing says we can't test the hypothisis (with any realistic margin or error)

Serpentine
2010-02-11, 06:29 AM
Possible support for Druid tendencies among female gamers on my end, statistics pending, but probably not. Had 2 female players play druids, but also had 2 (myself included) never (so far as I know) do so.

edit: Actually, I don't think that is too small for at least a preliminary study, at least if it were a random selection (which it probably isn't). Say someone's doing a study of a forest. This forest is... lets say, 50sqkm. The ecologist wants to get an idea of its biodiversity. They may only do, say, 100sqm, for at least a preliminary test. Then they go to this other equation to work out how many samples they should get...

Weimann
2010-02-11, 06:40 AM
I personally love teaching game systems, to the point where I'll ramble on about them to people who are obviously (but not to me :/)

Not having read the rest of the thread, here is mjy instinctive advice:

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Since it's her first time, she doesn't want to mess around with optimized builds or the like. Explain to her the baseline structure of the game, and get into specifics as you encounter them.

Instead, focus on her wishes. If she has an idea for what she wants to play, even just a hook or a detail, apply your knowledge of the game to put out suggestions for how he could arrange that. Help her by being her Google; she puts in what she's looking for, and you bring up alternatives.

onthetown
2010-02-11, 06:56 AM
Shouldn't matter if she's a woman. I learned 3.5 with some guys in older grades than me back in high school and I was blasting with the best of them. Just teach her how you'd teach anyone, I suppose.

Urban Ranger's a good alternate for an urban campaign.

GolemsVoice
2010-02-11, 07:25 AM
I agree. Her being a woman shouldn't matter. Maybe there will be differences, but I guess they would, if at all, only affect her roleplaying.

Kaiyanwang
2010-02-11, 08:21 AM
More on topic: this is how I generally manage to generate the starting involvement..

Once the class and the race has been selected, I manage a starting short adventure in solo, role-playing heavy.

In this adventure, the player has an hint of his/her starting race, culture, political or social situation, basing on the kind of society he/she belongs.

Moreover, hooks for "escaping" this situation and/or a starting quest are placed, to manage the meeting with the party and future hooks and general consistency.

Finally, I noticed that is better to use more "comedy" in the start unless the campaing is realy gritty, because increases the comfort with the PC and the story.

Just few copper pieces..

GolemsVoice
2010-02-11, 08:39 AM
Finally, I noticed that is better to use more "comedy" in the start unless the campaing is realy gritty, because increases the comfort with the PC and the story.
That's what I think, too. If the RP is funny in real life, people will be less inhibited. Just make sure that she doesn't get the impression that roleplaying is just about goofing around with funny names and strange people.

Jayabalard
2010-02-11, 09:31 AM
Agreed. How you teach a female how to play D&D is no different from how you teach a male how to play D&D. I promise :)In general, this isn't true: How you teach a one person how to play D&D is often different from how you teach another person how to play D&D. Whenever you are teaching someone, you need to tailor your teaching to the learning methods that work best for them. Gender is one of the things that has a strong correlation with learning styles (others include age, culture, etc)

There are some pretty strong tendencies for the learning patterns for men and women; they aren't universal by any means, but they are worth knowing.

So, the bottom line: yes, you probably will need to teach a female how to play D&D differently than you would a male. Likewise, you probably will want to teach an adolescent differently than you would a college student or retiree. You probably need to teach someone with a graduate degree differently than someone who failed out of their undergraduate program. and so on.

Masaioh
2010-02-11, 10:43 AM
I would advise you not to use any books other than the big 3 for the first session.

valadil
2010-02-11, 11:00 AM
Note: Yes, I DM sometimes, but teaching the game is a weakness of mine, and I really want this to go well, so I'm looking more for advice on teaching the game and still keeping it fun.

Don't presume to know what she'll like and what she won't. Show her all parts of the game and see where her interest lies. This is made easy by running a solo game. If she'd rather come up with an elaborate roof hopping scheme than knock out that one guard, you can roll with it and you won't be boring the other players.

You should help with character creation. You should even consider making the character for her and if she likes it, then she can roll a character of her own for the next game.

Dyllan
2010-02-11, 11:18 AM
I've killed more avatars of my wife than any other DM.

I beg to differ... and my wife would likewise argue that point. The first campaign I attempted, I didn't kill my wife's character when I should have; not because it was my wife, but because it would've been a party wipe in the first session, and I didn't want my campaign to die before it started. It didn't work. I had two players who didn't want to play in my campaign in the first place, which is why we ended up with a party wipe scenario in the first place - they had death wishes.

But I learned the lesson - if I PC is going to die, let them.

My next campaign, with different players, was a meat grinder. Since then, my wife's died as much as anyone.

As for first characters, when I was teaching my wife to play... well, her first character was a fighter, but that didn't last one session. She decided it was too dull of a character though, and told me she wanted to play a quick fighter... whirlwind of death type thing. After discussing what she wanted, exactly, I showed her the Dervish PrC.. and she shot for that.

I helped her, made tons of suggestions and explained a lot, but she made all the decisions... she ended up with a Human Barbarian/Ranger/Fighter/Dervish/Tempest who is still among the most memorable characters of our campaigns (just below Ember, the sorceress who became a goddess <not my wife's character>, I'd say).

Superglucose
2010-02-11, 11:38 AM
ALTHOUGH...
Actually, never mind. That's a terrible idea.
although... :smallbiggrin:


Fun fact: I've never played a Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin or Druid :smalltongue:
I'm so sorry! Druids are awesome fun.


Actually... I think Rogue could be a good 1st (5th level) character. No spellcasting, flexible enough to give a good idea about various D&D actions (including spellcasting, if a magic item is used), interesting but relatively straightforward and simple abilities...
Again, I have to lean in with Druid. Not because "she's a girl" and "Girl's like druids" but because to me, Druid is one of the easiest 1st level characters to play with tons of options. Keep in mind that starting at 5th level can confuse most people because they have to learn the magic item rules... or you have to just give them the magic items you want them to have.


My data does not show a significance toward Druid preference.

Mine does... 100% of girls who's first character I know played a druid first. (1/1 because the party needed a beatstick and also needed some heal spells, and Druid is the easiest way to satisfy both needs (cleric works too but tougher to play than "I send my bear at it"))

AslanCross
2010-02-11, 05:43 PM
One of the most intimidating aspects of D&D 3.5 is character creation. I'd suggest a step-by-step walkthrough with her for this. It's good you're only teaching one person; I had to teach twelve people how to make characters. @[email protected]

erikun
2010-02-11, 07:29 PM
Roleplaying; Thog may not like the talky-talky, but it is an *RP* G.
This. If you're teaching someone a new roleplaying system, probably the easiest thing to do is focus on the roleplay and keep things rules-light. Thankfully, she's asking for an urban adventure, so you'll have plenty of chance to describe people, places, interact with NPCs, and have fun with a plot that doesn't involve tripping charging grappling spellcasters.

Use plain english. Say "you can try to break his weapon," not "you can make a sunder attempt." Keep a copy of her character sheet, so that you have an idea of what her character is capable of.

I'd honestly recommend another system, especially if you are not familiar with D&D 3.5e either. However, I can understand if you/the rest of your group is more comfortable with D&D.

Jayabalard
2010-02-11, 07:37 PM
None of us has played with with more than 100.
Well, Wilt Chamberlain has, so who knows how many some of the people might have played with.

JoshuaZ
2010-02-11, 07:41 PM
A female friend of mine wants to learn to play DnD, but knows almost nothing about it. She wants to play human characters, which makes my job a little easier, and wants an urban adventure.

She says any setting is fine, so I would like to run the adventure Steel Shadows, from Dungeon 115. It's an Eberron adventure, kind of an urban mystery. My question is, well, how do I do this?

Supposing you're about a thirty-year-old woman learning DnD for the first time from a friend, what would you like to see in the adventure? What would make the experience perfect for you?

Note: Yes, I DM sometimes, but teaching the game is a weakness of mine, and I really want this to go well, so I'm looking more for advice on teaching the game and still keeping it fun.

First of all, I'd try not to think too hard about the gender. Going in with gender preconceptions for this sort of thing can really interfere. You are helping a friend learn D&D. That friend just happens to be female. It really shouldn't substantially alter how you would teach the game.

The only thing that matters is that if you are a het male (or a bi male. I'm assuming you aren't a bi or gay female from the post), whatever you do, do not use this an opportunity to hit on her or flirt. If this is someone who might become something more than just a friend, keep it well away from D&D. Otherwise, drama and problems can easily result. And it would likely turn off to the game permanently.

realbombchu
2010-02-12, 04:39 PM
I am male, and yes, I only like women. She and I are about the same age, and it has been suggested to me that she would be a good choice for a girlfriend, but no, we are not "like that." I don't see us becoming that way either, but if we do, I don't plan to let it be part of the game.

Thank you so much for the awesome advice. I think this is one of the reasons this board is so awesome. The people are nice and helpful here, and that's really cool.

It's a solo game, yes. Unfortunately, next week (when she and I are going to try this) my buddies are out of town and can't play. I kind of wanted to wait for them to get back, but I'm excited, too, and don't want to wait another 2 weeks or more.

I plan to use a lot of the advice I got here, including switching to the "Devil Box" adventure, and I'll update this thread as I figure more out. Thanks again so much!

randomhero00
2010-02-12, 08:31 PM
You could try making her a few notecards with basic rules and basic class abilities she has. Like an action card, describing standard, move, swift, immediate...then describe what each generally entails. Remind her a shift is her move action, etc.

Also go overboard with the maps and figures so she can easily visualize what's happening. If you don't own them, make paper cutouts, graph paper, etc. Get creative for her first game. Although becareful not to bog her down in details either.

Jayabalard
2010-02-12, 08:44 PM
Also go overboard with the maps and figures so she can easily visualize what's happening.I'm kind of of the opinion that you should probably keep it much more rules lite to start, almost free form. So no need to have a map, or figure at all.

taltamir
2010-02-12, 09:10 PM
op... I don't think a person's age or gender really has nothing much to do with learning DnD. What I would like to know is what her fantasy experiences are.

What fantasy books has she read? narnia? LOTR? newer stuff? (and which did she like / didn't like).
What fantasy movies has she watched and did she like/dislike them?
what comics/manga?
what video games (this is an important one). Has she played computer RPGs before? did she like them? did she play NWN1 or 2?