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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Finally got her to try it! YES!

    Now we need some help figuring out a character that's right for her. I'm not saying I need this to get her attached to the game for her entire life, I just want her to kind of get why I love gaming so much.

    We'll be running through the Trollhaunt Warrens. It's for our annual "winter break one-shot", which has the tradition of being paragon tier since everyone else always goes with Heroic tier one-shots up at school. 11th level. Rough for a first timer, I know, I know. But there are simple enough Paragon Tier Builds out there for her.

    I was thinking we might pick up an Essentials character for simplicity's sake, but none of us play it, so I don't think we'd be able to help her very much compared to a class one of us knows pretty well.

    We have a Paladin, Warlord, and Rogue right now, which leaves her and the other 2 party members free to do whatever they want role-wise.

    Some stuff I'm considering:
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    Archer Ranger- I play one, and I'll be the first to admit how simple they are.
    Sorcerer-Blast stuff from the back. Extra damage is static.
    Warlock- The Con-version is less controller-esque and the extra survivability will be good, too.
    Barbarian- While we're on the topic of static damage mods and survivability...
    Pacifist Cleric- This...just sort of suits her. I could explain it to her fairly well, I think. Eliminating damage rolls might make it simpler for her.


    What would you guys say is good for this?

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    It depends on whether she has experience playing other games. If she does, then she may find the archer ranger rather boring because it's a one-trick pony class (albeit with a highly damaging trick). If she does not, then she may find the warlock rather confusing; it is more difficult to play than most.

    In terms of straightforwardness, I'd say it goes (1) ranger; (2) barbarian; (3) sorcerer; (4) cleric; (5) warlock.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Elven druid dude. Girls always love the elven druid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alleran View Post
    * I am no longer permitted to Wild Shape my druid into a bear riding a bear while summoning bears.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozreth View Post
    Elven druid dude. Girls always love the elven druid.
    What he said.

    But you're asking the wrong people what your girlfriend's character should be. Since you have no role requirements you should let her make up her own mind.

    Give he the PHB and have her read the intro paragraph for each class. Once she has picked one (without your input), recommend a few races that would suit the class. Once she's picked one of those (again without your input), you can fill in the details.

    Or...

    Describe an adventure. Describe a combat encounter. Describe what the individual members of a party do at various stages of the encounter. Then ask her what she sees her character doing in an encounter. You should be able to narrow it down from there.

    Of course the above may be redundant if your girlfriend has a basic understanding of the game from having observed you play it, or if she has said something like 'I don't want to decide; you make a character for me'. In that case go with the elven druid like Ozreth said.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    When I talked my wife into playing with our group, I also thought that the easiest thing for her to play would be some kind of striker, possibly a Sorcerer, as she really likes Harry Potter (I know wizard != sorcerer, but I wanted striker). However, after me telling a bit about the different classes, she fell in love with the Warden, a relatively complicated class mechanics-wise with all the marking and managing of Immediates. But I helped her make one, and she absolutely loves playing her tough-as-nails panther girl Warden now. I still have to help with the class features (it helps that my taclord character tag teams with her a lot in-game), but she's doing fine, really. Let her pick whatever she think sounds cool and be ready to help mechanically to make it work.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Something that I consider quite important when introducing new players, is to not get them to do certain builds without having an understanding how that build works and why it should be chosen.
    It's better to have a character that is sub-optimal but created by the player, even when the choices were poor ones.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by salt3d View Post
    But you're asking the wrong people what your girlfriend's character should be. Since you have no role requirements you should let her make up her own mind.
    This if possible. Also, I wouldn't recommend a warlock for a new player. Both from what I've heard (and seen of a new player's con-based warlock in our group), they can be horribly ineffective when played by someone that doesn't know what they're doing. Our inferlock has a dpr literally half that of the party's other two strikers, and the player doesn't know how to capitalize on the control ability, or use the extra survivability tactically to make up for it. (Admittedly this is at least partly due to bad build choices and a refusal to take advice, so if you're going to be helping her with her build it might not be such a problem).

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I say let she come up with a character, then you make it work and do all the crunching mid-session until she gets curious and seeks it herself.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Pacifist cleric can be fun, but you have to be aware that it requires a lot of teamwork on behalf of the other party members as they have to be able to protect the pacifist cleric, and able to capitalise on the opportunities they create. Their powers really make them leader/controllers, and so they're a bit trickier to get the optimal use of.

    I would second (third?) the idea that you give her a general idea of what classes there are, and maybe explain a bit about roles, and let her choose herself. Its probably the best way to let her get attached to the character (If that's what'd interest her) and the hobby itself.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozreth View Post
    Elven druid dude. Girls always love the elven druid.
    ...they really do.

    Seriously, in like 2 of my D&D4 campaigns there has always been one Player who is a Druid - and the Player is always female and the Druid is always Elven! Heck, in a third the female Player is a Elven Seeker - who took MC Druid and spends a lot of her time in Wildshape!

    What's up with that?
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-12-14 at 10:23 AM.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I have no idea why girls like Elven druids so much.

    My wife's first character idea was a druid but we started with only the PHB1 (PHB2 not having been released yet) so it wasn't an option.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozreth View Post
    Elven druid dude. Girls always love the elven druid.
    I was going to say something about that being an unfair stereotype, but then I remembered my first character was one too. I'll be quiet now.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    To be fair, elven druids make kick ass characters in most editions so it's not really a bad thing.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    To be fair, elven druids make kick ass characters in most editions so it's not really a bad thing.
    But it's specifically Elven Druids that the ladies seem to enjoy. It's not just that they play them - anyone can play a druid - but, in my games at least, the ladies who pick Elven Druids get some sort of inherent thrill in playing one; a thrill that is distinct from how they act when playing other characters.

    I never really thought about it, but now it strikes me as weird. Any ladies want to sound off on this?
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Honestly that druid was my least favourite and least memorable character, hence me literally forgetting I'd ever played her right up until my previous post. I'm not quite sure why I even wanted to play one in the first place, I think the GM suggested it to me. Perhaps that's it? It's a self perpetuating stereotype - it's suggested to new female players and they, not knowing what else to do agree to play them, reinforcing the idea that girls like playing female elven druids? (I hope this post makes sense, we just made mulled wine and I think we added a bit too much rum.)

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I'm thinking hard but I can't think of it being heavily enforced or anything.

    Fantasy books aimed at female readers don't particularily focus on it or anything.

    What's weirder is from what I've seen it's never "I want to play an elf with these outlined powers." which just happens to be druid, it's always "I want to play an elven druid."

    Or at least it's that way from the exposure I've had.

    Sorry, not trying to make this a sexist topic or anything, it's just kind of odd and I can't figure out for the life of me where it comes from.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Actually, I have never encountered the elvin druid thing and I have played with quite a few ladies in my time. In fact it was a girl who first got me into PnP and she never played elvin druids. She actually played demonic, undead and lychanthrope characters more(and this was back in middle school BEFORE the Twilight craze, underworld and popularization of the vampires vs. lychans genra.)...and she usually palayed rogues. My girlfriend playes elves a lot, but not any old elves...she almost always plays drow(If she ever gets into 3.5e we have a LA+0 version of the drow simmilar to the "Lesser Aasmair" though it's ability score bonuses are OBVIOUSLY toned down majorly, among other changes. In addtion she also playes rogues a lot, and wizards ocasionally. She also likes rogue/wizard multiclasses and trust me, my girlfriend is SCARY good at abusing spells and rogue abilites...however, this is going by 1e and she's not played 3.5e yet however I can already see her going for arcane trickster.

    However, it may be the fact that the girls I play with(I will admit that there is actually a lot of femals I play with, mostly via online chats and my group in fact has MORE females then males...suprising...but very fun.) don't like the pretty, "girly" type characters and prefer evil/dark characters, but then again our whole playgroup prefers evil in general and almost all of our campaigns are evil games...so yeah, we all love being bad.

    So I frankly have never seen the girls play elvin druids thing in my playgroup but then again I am not saying it dose not exsist. It's just that the girls I play with tend to like evil characters just like the rest of the group.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Maybe it's just a 4E thing? I have to admit none of the girls I've played with in previous editions were at all interested in Druids - Elven or otherwise.

    Maybe it's just a quirk of perception. I mean, 4E Elven Druids are an optimal selection and Lord knows that not every girl I've played with in 4E has selected the Elven Druid.

    *shrug* as for the OP, I'd pick somthing mechanically interesting but simple. Of the things he selected, I'd go with a Lazor Cleric since Pacifist Healer is actually more complicated than it needs to be for a new Player. Being able to drop Sacred Flames and Lances of Faith should be engaging enough without being unduly complicated.

    Plus, a ranged character is less likely to get into trouble in combat - good if she's not a wargamer.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I've got to go with the folks saying to ask her what she wants to play, and then make that work.

    For many classes, you can make a relatively simple build that's still effective... especially for a one-shot.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    4e? Barbarian. Don't bring her into 4e playing a caster, do that in 3.5

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Ah, but see, those of you saying you are girls or know girls who aren't in to the elven druid things are people who are already familiar with the game/genre. A complete n00b to everything gaming and/or fantasy will flock to the elven druid if the option is presented : )

    And this is coming from a pretty PC, uber feminist kinda guy ha. Anyways, I love elven druids as well. Such a classic character idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alleran View Post
    * I am no longer permitted to Wild Shape my druid into a bear riding a bear while summoning bears.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I'd say just let her play whatever she wants to play.


    also I totally don't have an elven druid right now, nope.
    BEEP.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Agreed, just let her play whatever, most classes are easy enough to learn. Just don't try to teach her how every class actually works, let her choose one from flavour then restrict your teaching to that one class.

    edit: I will also add that you should really consider a lower level campaign over being able to play paragon for once. Would you rather play paragon now and risk your gf getting frustrated and not playing ever (with the rules overload)? Or would you like her to get into it and possibly start a campaign with her and local friends which will eventually reach Paragon Tier?
    Last edited by Sipex; 2010-12-14 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    I will also add that you should really consider a lower level campaign over being able to play paragon for once. Would you rather play paragon now and risk your gf getting frustrated and not playing ever (with the rules overload)? Or would you like her to get into it and possibly start a campaign with her and local friends which will eventually reach Paragon Tier?


    I didn't notice you were starting at Paragon! For the love of God, don't start a n00b on Paragon! It'll overwhelm and frustrate her; not only will she need to learn how a character works, but also how her particular build functions.

    Start at LV 1 and work your way up. It's the best way to teach someone D&D in any edition.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I also agree with letting her chose her own class. As for heroic vs. Paragon, it personally depends on whether or not you feel she could handle paragon. I will admit when I learned 3.5e I was "babtized in fire." My first ever D&D game was high level, started around level 15. Now I had played Neverwinter Nights before then and was fammilar with the system, but I hardly knew the intracacies of it. So yeah, it was rough. However, I played a sorcerer and had good fun, mainly because I picked the class myself. Despite the old cliche of "make the new guy roll a fighter" in 3,5e that was NOT the best way to start somebody off at all. I personally feel the best class to show a new player the ropes in 3.5e is a fixed list caster like the Dread Necromancer or a sorc with spell selection help from the DM and/or other players. Fixed list casters are rather difficult to screw up build wise since all you need to worry about is feats and skills. You can never pick or prepare the wrong spells with a fixed list caster. As for the sorcerer, while picking the wrong spells can really mess you up, if the DM and players help the new guy with spell selection it's a good begining class and the spell selection help can become a good oppertunity to teach the new player about certain spells, which spells are good, which spells are lousy ect...and that lesson will be invaluble when that player finally rolls his first wizard.

    4e however, is a different story. While the fighter is still not the best roll for a new player(defenders, despite being a "hit people with weapon" class take lots of skill to play as they are the ones always in the thick of combat and their job is to survive as long as posible and make people attack them...thats not a roll for a new player to take as most new players would have difficulty being the one to try and survive and keep all the enemies focused on him/her.). The best classes for new players are in all honesty strikers. Strikers do take SOME thought but in general have the easiest roll. They do lots and lots of damage to things. They may have SOME controler-ess abilites depending on the class but in the ehnd strikers serve as blasters(or flankers at times.) or DPS classes. Thus they are easy for newer players since all they really have to do is stand in the back and shoot stuff until it dies. No having to worry about survival and keeping enemies on themselves. No being a controller and having to ustilize tactics and "play chess" with enemies. No having to worry about picking the right buffs at the right time and keeping track of the party's HP so you can drop a heal when it's needed. Just sit behind the melee fighters and shoot things until they die.

    Thus, personally, an archer ranger, sorcerer or zap cleric all work well for a new player. The archer ranger and to a lesser extent the sorc for simplicity and the zap cleric for a player who is new but wants to be a bit more diverse and have a few more options then just sit back and kill stuff.(Though a zap is still somewhat like that. He's basicly, sit back, shoot stuff and buff my allies/debuff enemies at the same time.)

    However, in the end it really should be her choice. I say let her read all the classes and rolls and chose which one she likes the best. Then, from there on out, teach her the ins and outs of that class and help her to really understand it. A little teaching can go a long way.
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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    I agree with everybody else, let her pick whatever sounds cool to her. Who cares about a build or how good her stats are? Let her first d&d experience be like the rest of ours.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alleran View Post
    * I am no longer permitted to Wild Shape my druid into a bear riding a bear while summoning bears.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    Back when Dark Sun came out in '91, I was convinced that it was the Forgotten Realms, just 2000 or 3000 years in the future. I believed this because "Tyr" was both a god in Forgotten Realms and a City in Dark Sun. I thought that TSR was going to roll out some massive magical/psionic apocalypse that would kill Elminister, banish the FR Gods, and turn Faerun into a desert.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Maho-Tsukai View Post
    4e however, is a different story. While the fighter is still not the best roll for a new player(defenders, despite being a "hit people with weapon" class take lots of skill to play as they are the ones always in the thick of combat and their job is to survive as long as posible and make people attack them...thats not a roll for a new player to take as most new players would have difficulty being the one to try and survive and keep all the enemies focused on him/her.).
    A more damage-focused defender wouldn't be a bad fit, though, like a great weapon fighter, certain paladin builds (4[W] as a 1st level daily), or even a tempest fighter. If they take a striker-like role, they can still do decent damage (with an axe or fullblade, those d12s add up!), and the increased survivability sure doesn't hurt.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Actually, since you're pretty open on whatever role she can play, you might want to look into running a quick adventure for her, just so she can get how each of the classes works. There's a solo adventure in one of the online Dungeon magazines that would probably work well for explaining how the mechanics work. I believe it has at least four encounters, so you could come up with one character of each role to let her see in play which of the roles appeals to her the most.

    But yeah, the person whose input you should be seeking is your girlfriend's, not ours. We could suggest all sorts of stuff - including elven druids - and if she doesn't take to it, then it's all for naught.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    A classic mistake I've made in the past is to have a new player play something very simple, or play the healer, since no one else wants to and they can just be told what to do. What always seems to end up happening is the player feels useless or outclassed, even if their character is technically as effective as the others, simply because they either see the other players doing all kinds of complex stuff, or because they don't directly see the benefit of what they're doing if they're just buffing/healing.

    How complex you want to go depends on the player though. Someone who doesn't really play any games (besides say the Wii and some Flash games) will need a lot more time to understand the basic rules, so you want to go with something interesting, but that doesn't require remembing tons of stuff or playing off of the more complex rules. A defender may be good for this type of player, since it's obviously helpful to the party, is part of the action, and often gets to do things in reaction to enemies, thus giving them a good portion of the spotlight time in a fight, but they mostly just need to be told what the nastiest monster is to go tank. For a player that's played games before (board games, non-D&D tabletop RPGs, video games, whatever), give them something complex and useful to play. They'll pick up the rules quickly.

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    Default Re: My Girlfriend's First Character [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post


    I didn't notice you were starting at Paragon! For the love of God, don't start a n00b on Paragon! It'll overwhelm and frustrate her; not only will she need to learn how a character works, but also how her particular build functions.

    Start at LV 1 and work your way up. It's the best way to teach someone D&D in any edition.
    Hahaha, I appreciate this advice, and I also knew it would come up.

    This brings us into the topic of "Do I want to tick off the rest of the party for the sake of my girlfriend?"

    Every time we go to a one shot, whether it be at school, the gaming store in town, or back home, always seems to be Heroic Tier. We're sorta sick of it.

    It's not optimal, I know. I should put together something else to teach her DND, but I'm DMing two campaigns this break, that's enough for me.

    I'm not throwing away a shot to let my friends play a decent Paragon Tier adventure.

    11th level is easy enough. But trust me, I worry plenty about scaring her off with complexity. Thus my requests for builds that start simple and stay simple.

    Here's my thought for a comprimise:
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    After she picks a character, we'll build her at level 1. I'll let her try it out in a little encounter, maybe with some DMPCs I can provide? She can get the feel for the rules and such. Then we can make her 11th level.

    As long as it doesn't change too much, and the Paragon Path feature isn't super complex, I think she be okay.

    My one friend learned this game at 14th level. He's not perfect, but I know he has a blast, and his artificer (and a very complex build at that) has helped us out of a tough spot or two.

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