Thinking of introducing a new player to your tabletop role-playing group? This can sometimes be a delicate process. However, these quick tips can help smooth the transition from new kid to core member!
Assess Their Experience
It’s always good to know if the person you are thinking of bringing into your game has experience playing TTRPGs. Someone who’s never played may be looking for a different experience than someone who’s been playing for years. Chances are this is something that you already know about your new player. But it never hurts to ask what types of games they’ve played before, why they are looking to join a new game, and what they’re looking for out of the experience.
Ask Their Commitment Level
A new player’s idea of how much of a commitment your game is might differ from your own. Double check that everyone is on the same page about this. How many hours is a usual session? How do you schedule games? These types of questions can prevent so many issues. You don’t want to introduce a new player’s story into your campaign and have to write them out again because the time commitment wasn’t clear.
Hang Out Casually Before Playing
Before inviting someone to join or start an ongoing campaign, schedule a chill hangout session with everyone first. Do something non-committal, like watching a movie or playing a board game. This gives everyone a chance to feel out group dynamics and see if it is a good fit. If you are already considering inviting them to join your table, chances are they’ll vibe well with the others. But it is always good to test the waters, just in case!
Consider A One Shot
Once you’ve determined that the new player is compatible with your group, you’re ready to hit the table! But before jumping right into a big campaign, consider trying a one shot adventure. This will help the new player get acclimated to everyone else’s play styles and personalities. It also gives you an idea of what the new player is like in game, and how they play off the others.
Craft A Cool Introduction For Their Character
This is an especially good idea if you are introducing a new player in the middle of an ongoing campaign. Bring them in with a bang! Plan the entire session’s events around this new character’s story to get the other players interested. This takes a little planning on the GM’s part, but it has the potential to re-energize your campaign and make your new player feel pumped!
Bring Their Favorite Snack To Their First Session
This one is just a simple act of kindness that shows you value them as a person. Find out what types of snacks they like, their favorite beverages, any dietary restrictions, etc. You don’t have to do this every time they play, but try to pull out all the stops for their first session. It’s just a nice, affordable, and unexpected gesture that makes them feel welcome.
Explain Inside Jokes
When you’re the new person, it always makes you feel out of place when a long established group’s inside jokes come up. Always make it a point to explain an inside joke so that everyone feels included. Even if it’s the type of story that you had to be there for, it’s better to explain it rather than to leave your new player scratching their head and uncomfortably quiet.
Give Them A Special Welcome Gift
This can either be in or out of game. Buy your new player a set of dice that matches the color scheme of their character, pick up a portable rolling tray, or make them something personal. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Alternatively, you could give their character a gift in game to start their journey. It could be a special item, the first piece of a quest, or anything else you might dream up!
Best of luck with your new tabletop companion! Until next time, stay creepy and happy gaming.