Crash course on combat went decently. Incrementally introducing cards worked well. Had to keep scope of questions down to what was being discussed. “Right now we’re interested in things that directly affect your character.” Wanted to play with the miniatures, so far as moving position—may or may not be a problem in-game. Overall went well.
Dialogue introduction was a bit more all over the place. Got freedom and wanted to use it to pickpocket everything from some people. Attempted god-modding, which “you can try” seemed ineffective at handling. Little regard for the rest of the party, seems there isn’t a solid understanding of the team mechanic of the game. Even less regard for NPCs, tried calling me out on whether or not these fictitious characters would remember that character and its actions. Indeed, had incredibly little respect for the GM position in general.
Barfight, of sorts, erupted. Some drunk priest wandered in and picked a fight by taking Jon’s ale. Alex pickpocketed him in broad view of the bar, while Jon threw a knife at him and hit him in the leg. A brisk argument ensued in which the priest grabbed Alex up off the ground, tried to throw the ale at Jon, and Alex tried to kick him in the face. Val showed up on the scene and escorted the priest off the premises.
The barkeep referred the party to three people in town, in order to pick up quests before traveling to Kobold Hall. En route, Alex dallied in front of a shop and wanted to enter and presumably either buy something or steal. Both of the other party members just kept on walking, seeming to seriously consider whether they wanted to be paired with this one.
They arrived at the keep to speak with the town mayor. Almost immediately Alex began rifling through the room, looking through bookshelves, inside of plant jars, and under furniture for money. Jon and Val went in to see the mayor, while Alex was asked to leave. Jon endeared himself to the mayor via what he learned through his History skill while Val gave a status report on her duties in town. They received the quest Kobold Bounty.
Meanwhile Alex cased out someone in the streets to pickpocket. At first they noticed a person being followed by three other people and approached them to let them know, certainly jarring that individual with their manner. Then they found a likely mark and got some coin off of them, but wasn’t happy stopping at only one pocket (same as before with the priest). After that, Alex went to a store they had not yet stolen from and told the storekeep they wanted to be quick to “race” to which the patron merely winked and let them get away with the bluff.
Presently, two-thirds of the party will be leaving the mayor’s manor and moving toward the other two destinations in town. Not sure how the third will rejoin them.
Both of the other party members were frustrated by #1’s utter lack of regard for the party. They are acting with newfound freedom and giving little thought to the actions they have on the game world. It is my belief that they do not have experience with such continuity and thus don’t have an example with which to grasp its effect. If it continues in this way, then I will need to supply/use an existing reason for why the party splits when they enter civilization, so that each team can pursue its own goals unhindered by the other.
Failure to respect the GM position should not be met by an abuse or even demonstration of that position. It must be handled out-of-game; the session should never be viewed as some sort of retaliation. If #1 had more gaming experience, and/or more maturity regarding how they treat others, then such jokes/effects in-game might be more accepted but at present any out-of-game spilling over into in-game would be irresponsible on my part. My role as a teacher and fair arbiter of rules cannot be compromised in this game or it won’t be fun for anyone.
Things people liked/disliked:
Alex liked using their thief skills a great deal. They also responded well to NPCs heckling them, surprisingly.
Jon liked playing smart, as well as smartass. He used his cantrips to showy and interesting effects.
Val liked entering as a town guard and immediately using her authority. She engaged in antagonism with Alex but it is unknown whether this was fun or not. Interesting to note, since usually this player engages in antagonism with the one playing Jon.
Both of the latter were unfond of Alex’s antics. Jon: “Why didn’t I play the rogue” and Val: “Can we just leave Alex somewhere? Am I going to have to arrest them?”
Alex was very short and rude with the other two players. This suggests they were impatient with them, or perhaps impatient with the flow of the game.
My stance personally:
That went better than I could have expected. Val has faith in my ability as a GM, she expressly stated, and I believe Jon feels the same. I don’t feel pressured to correct the problems I noted in the group’s dynamics and the new player’s understanding versus the general way the party plays. I believe all of these can be reconciled and managed in the way I nudge the game and challenges I present. There are some ways Alex’s playstyle will need to be brought in line with the other players (we are teaching them after all) but there are also some ways that Alex can more safely exercise the freedom they want to. The trick will be in making their consequences fall more on their character instead of spread evenly over the entire party.