Friday, August 19, 2016

#RPGaDay 2016 Day #19 Best Way to Learn a New Game?

The Best Way to Learn a New Game?

Baby steps.
No, not that kind of baby steps!
The path to RPG enlightenment is fraught with those dishonorable people who claim one must cram every nuance of a system into your brain in order to completely experience a game.   

Learning a system piecemeal is the best way to go, particularly with a small rotating group of players.   Learn character creation, then move on to basic combat/magic/psionics/vehicles/starship combat, and on and on and on...  That's how our group learned Hackmaster, all the while determining what few mechanics we decided to ignore.  

For a more recent example, I've been running my daughters (ages 4 and 6) through a Pulp game.  I had been running games for them through my homebrew system, TIARA, and decided to shift the miniatures-centric game to Savage Showdown.  TIARA had three stats, Agility, Strength, and Heart.  With Savage Showdown, I stripped the ability scores down to a similar three (Heart = Vigor) and added not only Shooting, Fighting, and Throwing skills, plus Toughness, Pace, and Parry, but exploding dice as well.

Another session or two and I finally added the wild die, and made adjustments to rules I misinterpreted until I realized they were rock solid).  The kids are now 5 and 7, and I gave my eldest, Maja, the honor of fleshing out a long-time character from basic Savage Showdown stats onto a full-blown Savage Worlds Character Sheet. 

We've gone from the TIARA version:
Maja Millie, Treasure Hunter
Agility d6 Strength d4 Heart d8

to Savage Worlds:

Maja Millie, Archaeologist and Treasure Hunter
Agility d8  Smarts d6  Spirit d4 Strength d6 Vigor d8
Pace 8  Parry 5  Toughness 6 Charisma 0

Edge: Luck, Fleet Footed
Hindrances: Code of Honor: No Hand Guns 
Skills: Fighting d6 Shooting d4  Stealth d4 Swimming d4 Throwing d4  Investigation d8 Streetwise d4 Survival d6  Climbing d4
Equipment:  Knife
16 xp

Maja Millie, some zombies, and a handy dandy cannon....
In a little over a year we went from basic mechanics to a ready to go characters for two little girls over eight sessions.  I have faith that the largely adult population reading this can do the same with any system, with fewer sessions, and in much less time.    Whether or not you will as much fun as my girls is completely up to you. 

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