Encounters really is a great way to introduce new players to D&D. I had known this in theory, but this week learned it in practice. We brought my 18 year old cousin to the game with us. She had never played before, but with the premade characters she was able to determine what kind of character she wanted to play.
The single challenge format keeps the game from going too long, and even though we’re 11 sessions in, third level means character sheets are easy to understand.
She enjoyed herself enough that she wanted dice, so we bought her some.