How long do new players get before they're expected to know the rules?

MichaelSomething

Adventurer
About a year. I don't expect you to know every rule in the book, but you should definitely know your own class. It's disrespectful to me if you don't put in some effort.

It's one of my biggest complaints about Critical Role. They've been doing D&D for too long to not know their stuff.
And people say CR doesn't reflect how people actually play D&D...
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Lazy players have been around long before CR.
CR just rustles my jimmies because of how often they forget their stuff.
Simple stuff, too.

However, Mr. Mercer does a good job as a DM as he either knows the answer, is able to look things up quickly without breaking the flow too much, or can make a quick table rule that is close to the actual rule.
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
I have extremely high standards for myself, my players?, well...

I certainly expect people to know enough of the rules to play their character without help by around 5 sessions in if they're new to the game, or session one of they're not.

I'm the DM, don't ask me how Rogues work, as I have enough on my hands as it is!
 

Inchoroi

Explorer
That depends a lot on the player. If I really like the player, they'll get more leeway, but if I already don't like you that much, you won't get as much leeway--assuming you even end up remaining in the group longer than a session or two.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
In general I give the group until level 5 to learn their characters and the flow of the game. At that point I stop making suggestions and trust that they can keep track of their abilities themselves. During the game I am too caught up in trying to balance everything that is going on to manage the PCs.

Before level 5 though I will offer suggestions as to what kinds of things a player/character can do in the game. This includes approaches to scenes as well as using character abilities.

A recent example - A player wanted to cast Shatter so I told them that if they do so they're going to create a loud noise and create a rumble in the building that is directly above them. After level 5 I would stop interfering and let it rock.
Level 5 !?

We've been playing our current campaign for a year and most of the party has only now reached level five.

Yeah, I know that's not normal, but I guess I would base it on number of sessions than by level, though I'm not too concerned with players knowing the rules so longs as they are engaged.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Level 5 !?

We've been playing our current campaign for a year and most of the party has only now reached level five.

Yeah, I know that's not normal, but I guess I would base it on number of sessions than by level, though I'm not too concerned with players knowing the rules so longs as they are engaged.
The default leveling system has characters level up to 5 very quickly. Then at 5 things slow down incredibly. If I remember correctly it takes about twice as long to go from 5 to 6 as it does from 4 to 5. Levels 1 and 2 are the quickest in the game followed by the top levels.

The game is designed to have the most time spent from 5-10. Characters are mostly balanced at 5 and get their defining class features (some classes get main features at 6 or 7, but they all get a huge boost at 5 regardless). This is why tier 1, levels 1-4, is the apprentice tier.

We always start at level 3 now too which I don't think is uncommon.

So yeah, I feel like players don't have a lot of agency before level 5. They don't have a lot of resources to manage and they don't get to do much on their turns. Their lower proficiency bonus and lack of major class abilities means they have less character specific things to do in the different pillars.
 

Seramus

Adventurer
Simple stuff, too.

However, Mr. Mercer does a good job as a DM as he either knows the answer, is able to look things up quickly without breaking the flow too much, or can make a quick table rule that is close to the actual rule.
Yeah. I have no issues with Mr. Mercer as a DM. Minor quibbles at best, such as his reliance on single enemy boss fights which definitely favors full casters, but that's small potatoes compared to all the things he does right. Including dealing gracefully and quickly with his players forgetting stuff. :p
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
How did your 83 year old mother come to join your gaming group?
She started playing with us in the late 70’s. My late father played a lot more, until his health declined too much. We played as a family for years. Current group is Mom, husband ( met him gaming) and 3 friends. My older brother and I play online.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
If they can't bother to achieve some level of system mastery and study the forums to optimize their build then they should go find another game. Especially if they are girls.

Ha. Kidding.

I'm with @iserith. If they can describe what they are trying to do and how they are going about it, if I call for a roll I don't mind figuring out for them what their die modifier is.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
Yeah. I have no issues with Mr. Mercer as a DM. Minor quibbles at best, such as his reliance on single enemy boss fights which definitely favors full casters, but that's small potatoes compared to all the things he does right. Including dealing gracefully and quickly with his players forgetting stuff. :p
I guess that's an important lesson from the world's most famous DM. Part of being the man behind the curtain is making the world run smoothly. When the internet at large rolls their eyes about the cast missing rules, Mercer himself keeps his cool. Not a bad trait to pick up.
 

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