August 9, 2003

Wish 59: Games for Non-Gamers

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 59: Games for Non-Gamers

Ginger Asks this week:
Name three games you might use to get someone who has never roleplayed before into roleplaying.

Well, this has turned out to be a quickly answered WISH, and my answers are going to sound a lot like other fine people's ideas, because, well, they are true. I can only speak from experience of games that I have actually played, or at least for which I have a rulebook.

Newbie would-be gamers are, I don't feel, very suited to a lot of the games on the market. Most of the White Wolf stuff is too complex, even if "once you understand one, you understand them all". Amber? Well, if done carefully, perhaps, but not my first choice again either.

Hong-Kong Martial Arts Action! Lots of fun, relatively simple, character templates which makes it easy (albeit limited) character creation, mechanics which encourage cinematic, fun roleplaying. By this point, Jackie Chan is a household name--who wouldn't want to be him? And things like the "mook rules" help avoid the "one hit and the PC goes down" problems that playing, say, a mage in D20 might have. The game is designed for the PCs to duke and shoot it out, and newbies can be hooked with that.

I had a lot of fun with this the couple of times I played it, long ago. And there were, as I recall, a couple of gaming newbies at the session at the college, too. Keep the dark humor up, and the newbie will eat it all up, even when her clone is sent to be terminated. The Computer IS your friend!

Star Wars D20
Yes, I know I am advocating the sometimes dreaded D20 here, but let's face it. Everyone knows Star Wars. There is a concept in the universe for just about anyone...and who hasn't imagined being one (or more) of the characters in one of the movies? And isn't that is part of what roleplaying is? A good GM can design a simple, straightforward scenario to hook the newbie and their character, and show them what an RPG game is all about.

Posted by Jvstin at August 9, 2003 12:08 PM