So I've been thinking of writing this take for a while, mostly after I heard a person in CVS say to their friend that they wanted to try Dungeons and Dragons because they saw it on the Big Bang Theory.
1. Saying you want to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons because you saw it in The Big Bang Theory in a Gaming store is something you WILL regret.
That person was lucky they were not saying that in a gaming store because mentioning that you like that show in a gaming store is like going to a New York City Sports Bar during a baseball game wearing a Red Sox Shirt and yelling about how the Yankee's suck. The show is, controversial to say the least in that kind of circle. To be specific, the debate is whether it is basically what could be called, Nerdface and I actually have to say it is or at least became nerdface at some point.
2. When you say you want to play a game, make sure you say the right edition.
Another thing you should know is that the divide over Edition's of a game is something people take extremely seriously. The biggest is if you say anything positive about fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons, be prepared for massive amounts of angry nerds yelling at you. However at least the line is at least semi clear cut there. That's why people are playing Pathfinder instead these days instead of D&D its like 3.5 perfected and given even more awesome. The lines become less clear when you talk about other games like Shadowrun.
3. Your first Character should NOT be a spell caster
Those are a handful of 1st level wizard spells for Pathfinder. The fact is that while spell casters basically become gods with Clerics and Druids being the most powerful at higher levels. The fact is the downside is that they have A LOT of extra mechanics. If you play a spell caster as your first character. It's highly likely that the entire table will temporarily hate you at the end of the session.
Good first time Classes, Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, 2nd time characters, Monk, Ranger, Paladin, Third time and up, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard, in pathfinder you can add Gunslingers as well.
4. You're first couple characters will probably be Murderhobos
There is more to Tabletop RPG's than killing people and taking their stuff, there are also sorts of things you can do, but the fact is that Murderhobos are incredibly easy to play.
Now the Term Murderhobo comes from the fact that the very basic RPG hero (or villain protagonist) A. Doesn't have a home and wanders around (a hobo) B. Goes around killing bad guys in their homes (dungeons, Bandit camps, caves, etcera) and taking their stuff. So there really isn't that much difference when you think about it from an RPG hero and a homeless vagrant who kills people and takes their stuff to survive. That doesn't mean its necessarily bad to play say, a Conan Like Barbarian who wields a big axe or sword and kills enemies. It can be awesome fun.
5. Do not piss off the GM
The DM runs the game, if you piss of the DM enough, don't be surprised if a lightning bolt hits your character and kills them instantly, forcing you to pay for resurrection spell if you want to play that character. On the flipside, there are things that can make it so that you get a little leniency oftentimes. Like paying for the DM's Lunch, buying them beer or in the case of last week for me, Hard Cider.
Also don't be surprised that if the DM's Girlfriend or Boyfriend is playing that their characters will get better treatment, even I was guilty of this at one point myself.
I am also considering doing a part two of this so tell me what you think