Best class for a n00b to play


Clockwork Golem
The class that they seem most interested in playing.

It doesn't matter which class you choose - new players are going to have to figure out the best rules and tactics associated with it anyway. If they've already got a learning curve for something that's supposed to be fun, why make it worse by limiting them to archetypes they just aren't interested in?

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I typically use the good old Human Fighter for n00bs. Fighter, is the easiest class to explain because it's rather straight forward and simple in concept. Human for race because it's easy to identify with w/out bothering with a bunch of confusing misconceptions as to what and how Elves, Dwarves and whatnot are like and defined by non-gaming sources (i.e from movies and books, not the game definitions).
Then I let the player choose a weapon or two, any armor, some equipment and maybe a spell-like power/ability or two, and have them come up with a quick description of the character (height, eye color, hair color and style, manner of dress, etc.). Or maybe I'll give them a pre-generated character and let them make a few modifications. All depending on the n00b in question in either case.
After that it's time to set 'em loose with an experienced group of gamers (or at least one, to offer them advice and make suggestions from time to time). I let 'em pretty much try and do anything under the sun within reason, and don't worry about using feats or skills, so they can get a feel for the game.
If said n00b likes the experience, hopefully they'll return, and then the rules and more advanced concepts can be introduced slowly, so the player can learn what's what without bogging them down with an overload of information. This is especially true of 3.X D&D with the skills and feats.


First Post
My vote goes for the fighter, simply because a basic hack'n'slash character will not only be simple for them to play, but get them used to the basic mechanics quickly. I believe, though, that the player should make his (or her) own character-not on their own, of course, but with an experinced player or DM to help them out. If they understand that they have a +6 attack bonus with a longsword because their BAB is +1, they have weapon focus, their strength is 16, and their elf gets a +1 racial bonus, then they'll have a lot easier time when they need to make a character or level up on their own and can say "Okay, my BAB is +2 now. I know that I add my BAB to my attacks, and my old BAB was +1, so now my longsword attack is +7." On the other hand, if they just know they roll a die and add that number there, then they don't have a clue of how to figure this stuff out on their own.

In addition, fighters deal with pretty much every part of D&D except spells: they have plenty of feats (the sooner you understand them, the better), a couple skills, and both melee and ranged attacks (usually). Spells are something that can be learned once a player is comfortable with the core mechanics.


First Post
I would think that for someone who is completely new to D&D, it would be easier for the DM (GM) to guide the player into a character class that would somewhat reflect some significant trait in that person. Does the new player enjoy hack and slash? Steer them toward one of the fighter classes. Does the new player like the sneakiness and complexity (as well as overall fun factor) of a thief? Same. Does the new player enjoy a supportive role? Ding for cleric. Does the new player enjoy raw power from afar? Any of the magic using classes may be ideal.

If the player is somewhat familiar with D&D, then ask him/her what he/she would like to try. To me, there is no better way of learning the game than by starting at ground level, with the DM's (GM's) assistance in rolling the new character and a basic explanation of what that character's role in the group should be.

Either way, a little bit of hand holding at this early and precarious stage can make or break a potential D&D addiction for the future. I wholeheartedly recommend the hand holding at this temporary stage.

As a side note, though sometimes necessary for demo'ing new games and trying out new settings/rulesets, I can understand the need for pre-genned characters. However, during those sessions, I find myself spending too much time reading and re-reading the pre-genned sheet rather than enjoying the game and the roleplay aspect.


The man with the probe
I've never had a problem with new players, and prefer to create a character with them. I try to stear them away from playing a caster class, but find that including them in the creation process that they learn a bit of the game, and how things work, from seeing that in action. Now, I'll make recomendations, but ultimately it's the player's character, and they need to feel they had control in it.

However, I find I have to do that with many of my more veterine players as well, as they know the general mechanics, but they don't realy know how to create a character, or how to do it effectively. Given that I'm usually not a GM, but good with the rules, this ends up falling to me, but I know I'm not the only person they game with.


A lot of people here have indicated fighter, but what about all those feats. SHould a n00b have to figure out Combat Expertise or Power Attack?



The man with the probe
Emirikol said:
A lot of people here have indicated fighter, but what about all those feats. SHould a n00b have to figure out Combat Expertise or Power Attack?

They're simpler than figuring out which spell to cast, and easier to give them advice about. Plus, idealy you're starting off lower level, when those feats don't come into play quite as much.

Ed Cha

Community Supporter
I would say fighter, too. It's a class that starts out pretty basic in concept and the player can learn about the more advanced feats later. The fighter class is also pretty fun to play in 3e.


First Post
Emirikol said:
A lot of people here have indicated fighter, but what about all those feats. SHould a n00b have to figure out Combat Expertise or Power Attack?

It's not to hard to grasp the basics of "subtract X from this, add X (or X*2) to this." Much easier than some feats which deal with "in situation X, gain combat option Y and Z." Power attack and expertise are basic (and logical) extrapolations of the basic combat mechanic, and using them will ease players into the more advanced combat options (Total Defense, various special manouvers).

Also, for Sorcerors, assume they are casting everything defensively. A lot of DMs like to catch players with the "You didn't say casting defensively! Hah!" trick. Just ask them to roll the concentration check for every spell that would threaten an AOO. It'll get them in the habit, and introduce the concept as an integral part of the system, rather than making it seem like a tacked on option.


Consider a "manouver a day" type of combat, especially if you have a few new players in your group. Many modern movies and most anime shows have villians which are seemingly invincible, except for one major weakness or flaw. Have the character(s) fight monsters who depend greatly on their weapons (disarm), are strong but clumsy on their feet (trip), have fights near cliff edges or on catwalks (bull rush), use spellcasters who cast a spell the PC has repeatedly (counterspell), or have monsters with clear elemental weaknesses (various elemental spells or align weapon). Don't be afraid to point out the flaw to the players, and if they ask "Can I do ____" point them to the relevant section of the PHB and explain the manouver in detail. For introducing newbies to higher level campaigns, a jack of all trades fighter with several of the Improved _____ feats or a sorceror with several types of elemental damage spells can give the player a lot of straightforward options that are fairly logical, and also very dramatic. While such a character might not be the most effective on pure damage, the player will feel very rewarded when his/her character defeats foes with logical tactics. This sort of character play, in my mind, is the best way to have players understand a lot of the other strange combat tactics in the game, since they'll be used to the concept of special manouvers to defeat specific foes.
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First Post
I used to think it would be best to keep newbies away from casters. However, I now think that the newbie will be more interested and try to learn the rules if he gets to play a character in which he's actually interested (which may well be fighter).

Granted, if he were joining a group that was at level 15, that'd be another story, but at level 1? Just let him play what he wants.

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