Starter Characters especially for new gamers
#1 ought to be a bit optimized where appropriate
#2 simple to play
#1 Optimization increases survivability and decreases the "wiff factor" a well built character with a decent life expectancy is more fun to play and elp a new player who may not have been exposed to any RPG (even something like World of Warcraft) feel like they have "won" . This can increase immersion and the chance of a second session
#2 Many RPG's are complex enough that adding more layers will make a start up game harder than it needs to be. Keep it simple to start, not dumbed down but easy to play and if the game clicks, players can add complexity as they learn the rules over time.
#3 Boring characters are well just that boring. My favorite trick is to give everybody an off kilter ability or a special ability (within the rules of course) that gives them an extra fun thing to do in the game. This gets players thinking a bit and gives them something extra to do that can be fun at just the right time.
D and D is cool - The *New York Times *recently published an opinion piece explaining "Why the Cool Kids Are Playing Dungeons & Dragons." Of course, *I* have known that D&D ...
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