New player frustration - Myth-Weavers


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New player frustration

New player frustration

I can't get into a game. I keep getting denied. Are there any games specifically for new players so we get some posting experience built up?

@mnbrightblade New player games do sometimes pop up in Games & Ads, it's just a matter of watching for them.

As far as getting into a game, looks like you're applying to D&D 5e games, which is the second most popular system on the Weave. Competition for openings is fierce, so it is very important to pay careful attention to the individual game ads when creating your character. Everyone on the site has been rejected from at least one game, most of us far more than once.

Attention to the setting is also critical in 5e apps, because if the character doesn't fit well they won't get selected. Some games have an in character pre-game thread for when character creation is complete, and posting in there can help show that a) you are a regular poster and b) demonstrate your character's fit with the setting through their interactions/personality.

One option if you're attached to wanting to play a specific type of character (looks like you're favoring paladins?) is to apply to Adventurer's League games. Those are often recruiting, and it can be less difficult to get in as long as you have a well built character to the Adventurer's League guidelines.

Community involvement can be a huge help as well, since some games don't advertise, they just recruit from among individuals they know who are looking for a game at the moment. Participating in discussions on the forums or hanging out in the MW Discord server can help with finding a game.

Or you can do what many of us in a similar situation have done in the past: bite the bullet and run the game yourself. There may not always be room for another player in a specific game, but there's always room for another GM in this hobby.

Yeah, Collin gave you some good advice here, mostly. What I would emphasize with what he said is to show interest in the setting you are applying for and be involved with questions and comments in the OOC and pre game threads.

Activity is important. I noticed you joined in Nov of 2018 and have 38 posts. I am going to guess that you've made some applications and asked a couple questions but beyond that you haven't made yourself very known. Getting started here is difficult, but get involved in other discussion threads on the site, especially the Game Planning thread where many games get started without ever putting up an ad. You could even start a thread asking for a GM to run a game for newer players that have struggled to get into a game.

Be active in any game that you are applying to, ask the GM questions about his/her setting so you can immerse yourself better and the GM will notice that. When you don't get accepted ask for feedback from the GM. Look at applications of players that get accepted and learn from them.

The only part I would caution about what Collin said is about the Discord server. It may work, but it may not. It has become pretty cliquy for the regulars there and sometimes new folks try t talk and get ignored completely so I would hate for you to go there and get more discouraged. I would stay on the forums here and as I mentioned, the Game Planning thread.

Good Luck! We were all there at one point.

Originally Posted by mnbrightblade View Post
I can't get into a game. I keep getting denied. Are there any games specifically for new players so we get some posting experience built up?
On occasion, you'll see a newbie-friendly game. They're not common, but they do show up every-so-often.

As the others have mentioned, getting active around here is part of the trick. In part, because we GMs look for those who will not flake out. This is incredibly important to the lifeblood of a game - players that stick around (and this is harder than it sounds like it should). With your lack of posting history, you're not recognized as a stable player yet.

Yes, that's somewhat of a paradox - can't get into any games, so there's little reason to keep posting. But if you get around the forum at large, you have a better chance. For example, posting here in the game discussion or in the general corner will get you a little further. Or getting active in the OOC and/or world building threads of the games you apply for. Even being active on the Discord channel occasionally makes a difference. But the key point here is activity - we gotta know you exist, and who you are. Make yourself known.

Beyond that, bringing your A-game to your writing makes all the difference. The medium is heavily based around writing skills, and that is more important than some realize. Building plot hooks into your character's background and integrating them into the world itself is huge for many GMs. The less generic your characters are, the better your chances are. Furthermore, the more they fit into the world, the better. Making sure your character has a reason to be with the party helps, too - nobody wants the loner edgelord. And do not discount good grammar and spelling. We're pretty forgiving if English isn't your first language, but you need to make that apparent, if so.

Which brings me to to the point that nobody else has made, much to my surprise - maybe it's time to look past the d20 systems. D&D is fine and all, but let's be frank here - it's crazy popular, thus the competition is equally crazy. Likewise, Pathfinder, especially higher level games that involve 3PP, can easily get up to 20, 30, even 40 applicants (although rarely are all of those finished enough by the end of recruitment).

Take a look at the other systems being offered. If something interests you, see about joining. There's usually space for a newbie to jump in, and the GMs of such systems are happy to help. They enjoy spreading the word of their favorites.

Heck, my first game here was a Shadowrun 4e game. I helped get my foot in the door by being really helpful to the newbies to the system (I mean, I kinda was a newbie too, but I had a bit of experience running 5e), and generally being chatty. Eventually I got into a Pathfinder game and got buddy-buddy with a few other players/GMs, which really helped me in the long haul. And I've only been active around here for less than 2 years, I think.

And sometimes, it just boils down to luck of the draw.

TL:DR version - Get active on the boards, write your best, don't be afraid to check out new systems.

Oh, is it that time again?

Not meaning to be dismissive, but this is a complaint that pops up ever few months or so. Some of the posters stick to it and eventually become valued members of the community, others don't.

Thing is, GM's are the most precious resource there is here. The handful of GM's that consistently run multiple excellent games can pretty much fill their games with just people they know and get solid groups. Which is not to say they should only ever do that or even that they do, just that they easily could. There are a number of them that make deliberate attempts to recruit at least some new players any time they open a game, but that is a rare event.

The stuff the others told you? That's the same stuff we say every time, because it's true. Get into gaming discussion or general discussion threads, keep applying to games, maybe branch out a bit into other systems (Good choices that might not see super heavy competition? 4e, World of Darkness, FATE, Star Wars (Saga or the Fantasy Flight stuff), Shadowrun, various old school editions of D&D). Generally, just stick to it. Everybody here was new once.

Echoing the sentiments about learning new systems. It's worth a shot as D&D/PF games are always overcrowded.

But one thing I'd like to mention is that character application is not a game about creating the best character, it's a game about influencing the GM. It's about creating a character the GM wants to see. It's about reading what the GM wants and shaping your application to fit that in an interesting way.

What more, application is also a game about influencing the GM to see you as the best candidate. Posting a character, no matter how good, will only get you so far. Everyone else is posting a character too. What you need to do is to stand out in some way. Engage with the GM, express your interest in their game, ask questions about the game and how to create the best character. Show that you're a player who is interested and motivated.

Ask yourself: if I were the GM, would I pick this character? What does this character bring to the game? And what does this player bring to the game?

One other thing that I haven't seen mentioned (though could've missed it) is to take a good look at the apps that did get accepted. They can serve as a good template to see how much they wrote, what details they included (or didn't), the format, etc.

Something to note: Back before MW's was a thing, I did an estimate of the amount of players to DM ratio I ran into and that's what, 20 years ago? So I imagine the number is more bloated than it was then, but about 20 years ago the online player to DM ratio was roughly 100:1. Many new systems, versions have come out since then, and many new sites, many upgrades to home computers and the internet, lots of folks converting from video RPG's to trying their hand at tabletop RPG's have come up along the way.

Let's not forget the purchasing of TSR and changes WotC did to make DnD more user friendly to folks who weren't nerds who could do geometry just to tell how many times your lightning bolt would bounce of walls and hit your own party, or the curving flow of outward pressure of a fireball to fill halls and rooms that could lead to friendly fire, as well as THAC0 and the like. With a shift in the mount of raw intelligence needed to play the game into a wider audience, this brought more players in.

Put simply: The ratio of player to DM is very, very skewed. Most DM's run between 3 and 6 players per game. So if there are 100-150 players per DM out there, far, far more *don't* get to game than do per DM. DM's can be picky and cherry pick who they favor due to that supply and demand ratio. So as the others said, get involved and keep trying.

I looked through both games you applied to and the characters that were accepted, primarily those that would fill the same roles as your character, and took a gander at the OOC chats. I didn't see anything in particular going either way as to why you weren't selected.

In the spirit of honest, though, as a GM, nothing stood out to me about either character particularly, but the same could be said for a few of those that did get picked up. I don't want to go so far as the apps were boring, but neither did they particularly instill a great sense of "Yeah, I want this guy in my game!" Give the GMs a good hook to bring you in, something meaty and juicy that lends itself towards the story you all will be creating -- and it is most certainly a collaborative story! Bring something in the character that contributes to the story simply beyond just being there and you'll see more success.


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