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Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

How to guide new players

Jerry Stratton, April 27, 2006

Martin Ralya has a good article over on Treasure Tables giving short, simple advice for introducing new players to your game. The advice is basically “keep it simple” and “keep it fun”.

I agree; they’ll let you know when they want complex and serious.

He compares introducing role-playing games to introducing board games.

Start simple. For someone who’s never played an RPG before, there’s a lot going on, and it’s easy to forget that for them, it’s all new. So you keep it simple—run a pretty basic scenario, not the Meatgrinding Dungeon of Doom™ that you’ve been itching to try out. Playing an RPG for the first time can induce option paralysis: “Holy shit, I can do anything? Cool!” becomes, “So… what do I do?,” and the goal is to avoid that.

That’s what I tried to do with The Lost Castle of the Astronomers and its accompanying fiction: provide a fairly simple adventure with a simple goal, to whet their appetite for more. One of these days I want to try something even simpler that almost does turn it into a board game, and will work for new Adventure Guides also.

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