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CountD
2010-07-28, 05:39 PM
I really like the Shadowrun setting and I wanted to play it, but the group I would be GMing for has never played pen-and-paper before. Two of them had no idea what it was. I was just wondering if I could get some input on what would be the best system to introduce them to pen-and-paper, since Shadowrun seems fairly complicated.

Thanks in advance

drengnikrafe
2010-07-28, 05:50 PM
I've found there are two possible answers to this question, in most cases.

1: The system you are most comfortable with, as a GM. If you know all the various things about a game, then you can easily help anyone who is in trouble, right? So, why not start them on what you're best at? Odds are, they'll make poorly designed characters. So does everybody, especially on their first time playing a new game.

2: Risus. (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm) Of everything I've ever heard of, I think this one is the simplest to work with. Plus, it's free.

Prodan
2010-07-28, 05:57 PM
Paranoia - because you don't have to worry about the rules.
Just everyone else.

Satyr
2010-07-28, 06:01 PM
I don't like treating new players as if they were stupid just because they are new, so I don't think that an overtly simple game is that much of a good choice for beginners for the sake of its simplicity alone.
The best idea is to find a system and a setting which are enthralling enough for the new players to just not test it, but stay with it. The setting is probably more important however, because a new player does not have much associations with established systems and therefore no preferences, so I think you should first establish a setting and plot which is interesting and fascinating for your players and try a system which catches this feeling the best.

Dust
2010-07-28, 06:03 PM
I found the old World of Darkness series works well.

akma
2010-07-28, 06:05 PM
Freestyle at first, to let them understand the rules, or let them watch the beggining of the game with another group to understand how it works, then let them in.

9mm
2010-07-28, 06:33 PM
I <3 Octane

The White Knight
2010-07-28, 06:35 PM
I found the old World of Darkness series works well.

This. My introduction to P&P was oWoD. I sat in on one session and read rulebooks while they weren't in use. By the end of the night I had a character sheet filled out and started playing at the next session.

Lord Vampyre
2010-07-28, 06:43 PM
I have to agree with Satyr. Starting them off with a simple system to get them into roleplaying isn't necessary. The problem is that most systems have vast differences like going from WoD to Shadowrun to D&D.

Eventhough you could probably say one system is easier to learn than another, it won't help them learn the system you want to run them in because of the differences.

Your best bet is to simply give them pregenerated characters to start off with. Allow them to determine the characters personality and appearance. Then introduce them to rules slowly as you go. After they have become comfortable with the mechanics of the system and finished their first story arc, I would then introduce them to character creation.

Tinydwarfman
2010-07-28, 06:47 PM
Don't coddle your players. Whittle the weak away! Throw them head-first into FATAL, and those that survive are those can play your table (unless they actually liked it, in which case you should run very fast)

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-28, 06:47 PM
First of all, This.


I don't like treating new players as if they were stupid just because they are new, so I don't think that an overtly simple game is that much of a good choice for beginners for the sake of its simplicity alone.


Anyways, I think the two things you have to worry about most are to not bore your players and to give them a setting they understand. Not boring your players is a pretty universal thing for introducing people to almost anything, you want to make a good first impression that shows what your RPG (and RPG's in general, even) is capable of. To this end, I recommend playing with pre-generated characters and giving your group its first encounter (whatever that may mean for your RPG) quickly. Thrust them into the action so they don't get discouraged before you can introduce them to the meat of the game's mechanics. There's also the fact that roleplaying isn't the easiest thing in the world for people to get comfortable with, so you might want to take the angle of the RPG as unlike a boardgame before you get into the RP (unless, of course, your group is specifically interested in pen and paper RPG's for roleplaying).

As to what specific game... I think you can't go very wrong with Dungeons and Dragons 4e, at least to start with. They'll be familiar with the setting due to movies, video games, fiction, and even stereotype, if nothing else. Also, people may be more inclined to stick with it even if they find it boring at first because it has a good reputation. It's nice and popular, so people will want to discover what the hubbub is about, and will probably give it more of a chance than a lesser known game, like Shadowrun.

Of course, even if you do everything right, some players just won't like RPG.

I mean, I'm just saying. >_>

Yuki Akuma
2010-07-28, 06:48 PM
Risus.

Not because it's simple, no. Because it's awesome.

Be sure to buy the Excessively Deluxe Edition and use all of the optional rules.

Evard
2010-07-28, 06:52 PM
Well with new players... Something that is easy to learn... Sword and Wizardry or DnD 4e .

S&W cause its based on old school dnd (and fricken awesome) but it is very rules light and lets the DM/GM make stuff up as you go...

4e.. well cause its simple as heck to learn :p At least it is for people who are not hard core 3.X players :p (i joke)

Ravens_cry
2010-07-28, 07:09 PM
I started out with D&D fourth edition, and though I didn't stay with it long, I still enjoyed it as a way of starting out in the hobby.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-28, 07:10 PM
I don't like treating new players as if they were stupid just because they are new, so I don't think that an overtly simple game is that much of a good choice for beginners for the sake of its simplicity alone.
It really depends on whether you want to introduce them to roleplaying (in which case having too many rules is really a distraction) or to introduce them to a complex combat simulation system (e.g. D&D).

Anyone who's already into "heavy" boardgaming or complex computer games will probably appreciate the latter. Anyone casual or who comes from an acting background will most likely prefer the former.

Aroka
2010-07-28, 07:20 PM
I don't like treating new players as if they were stupid just because they are new, so I don't think that an overtly simple game is that much of a good choice for beginners for the sake of its simplicity alone.
The best idea is to find a system and a setting which are enthralling enough for the new players to just not test it, but stay with it. The setting is probably more important however, because a new player does not have much associations with established systems and therefore no preferences, so I think you should first establish a setting and plot which is interesting and fascinating for your players and try a system which catches this feeling the best.

Same. I haven't yet found a RPG that seems like it'd be materially more difficult for new players. The greatest advantage is the GM knowing the system well enough to teach, but even that isn't entirely necessary - so long as you've read the main parts of the system and created a few characters beforehand, it'll be okay.

When your players are completely new to RPGs in general, you may want to play to shared interests - if you're all big Star Wars fans, go with a Star Wars RPG, and so on. (Although this approach would lead to missing all sorts of awesome RPGs that don't have a connection to other media.)


It really depends on whether you want to introduce them to roleplaying (in which case having too many rules is really a distraction) or to introduce them to a complex combat simulation system (e.g. D&D).

D&D 3.X is hardly complex combat simulation. Hit points, AC, attack bonus, saves, DCs is all you need, especially at first level, and it's easy to introduce new things one at a time ("there's some special attack actions, here's how they work").

Sindri
2010-07-29, 12:04 AM
Original Dungeons and Dragons. No, not Basic, the first one. The one that came in a beige pamphlet 20 pages long and made references to the Chainmail rules. There are six classes, Fighting Man, Magic User, Cleric, Elf, Dwarf, and Hobbit. Every weapon is exactly the same, in game terms, with identical to-hits, 1d6 damage, and no mention of "dual wielding." The entirety of the rules can be memorized in 15-20 minutes, and you get all the enjoyment of modern "realistic" and "balanced" systems.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-29, 03:31 AM
D&D 3.X is hardly complex combat simulation. Hit points, AC, attack bonus, saves, DCs is all you need, especially at first level, and it's easy to introduce new things one at a time ("there's some special attack actions, here's how they work").

Well, it's not as complex as Hackmaster, 4E, or GURPS. Nevertheless, it's more difficult than Risus, or Paranoia, or Over The Edge.

Satyr
2010-07-29, 03:53 AM
As I think that the function of an introduction to RPGs for new players is to convince them to stay and play it for the rest of their lives, I'd recommended not using pre-generated characters. The chance to create an absolute unique character of your own as one big alter ego is a large part of the appeal of RPGs and taking this chance from the players is not very helpful.

Actually, I would probably do something like this: Get my Gurps books. Ask the new players what kind of setting/genre they are interested in. Build characters with them, trying to show them that the individuality of the character is what makes them interesting (and Gurps is usually a good system to create unique characters and so streamlined that it's easy to learn the basics). Play a game in their chosen genre using one of the standard plots (a treasure hunt almost always works) and make sure that it's a high tension, high drama story.

Earthwalker
2010-07-29, 04:05 AM
I think you should just run Shadowrun for them.
Explain a bit about the game world.
Generate a number of characters for them toc hoose from, maybe allow them to change the hobby skills and some background ones so they can have input on the character personality.
Then just run a quick one shot adventure. If they like it you can then launch into a bigger campaign. You can even have the one shot adventure fire off the campaign, even if you use different characters for the campaign.

Theo Hammond
2010-07-29, 04:28 AM
I've run twice to new groups (or groups involving total newbies) and am shaping up to do it a third time. Each and every time i've picked oWoD (original World of Darkness).

Reasons

Super easy mechanics:
Its stat+skill in #dice. Count all those dice that equal or beat the target number. Thats it. Means every player can immediately look at a character sheet and grasp what that character can do.

Freedom of Generation:
They can, quite literally, make pretty much any sort of character they want. many other systems are quite restricive, particular anything involving classes, not so with oWoD. Near enough any concept they come up with can be statted out.

Freedom of Scenario:
Talk to the newbies, find out their likes and dislikes, particularly genres, books, films, tv shows etc. Then, pretty much whatever it is you should be able to write something along those lines to hook their interest. Many other systems lock you to a setting or style, not so with the oWoD rules set (i've used it to pen Shannara-fantasy, LOTR, Battlestar Galactica, LXG, Scion-years-before-Scion-came-out, Fallout).

I'd say the most important thing though is, whatever system you use, use it to run something THEY want to play. That is way more important than it being something YOU want to run. Cater it to them, thats the biggy (imho).

Morph Bark
2010-07-29, 04:48 AM
Same. I haven't yet found a RPG that seems like it'd be materially more difficult for new players. The greatest advantage is the GM knowing the system well enough to teach, but even that isn't entirely necessary - so long as you've read the main parts of the system and created a few characters beforehand, it'll be okay.

D&D 3.X is hardly complex combat simulation. Hit points, AC, attack bonus, saves, DCs is all you need, especially at first level, and it's easy to introduce new things one at a time ("there's some special attack actions, here's how they work").

Indeed. Me and my group all started with the three core books without even having heard what DnD exactly was, though we'd played a simple starter box one night, which got us more interested. As long as everyone understands the basics, you're good to go. Slowly build from there.

Dada
2010-07-29, 05:14 AM
Slightly related: What are good adventures and encounters for catching the interest of new players? I am primarily interested in D&D 3.5 but any system and thoughts would be helpful.

Psyx
2010-07-29, 05:21 AM
Something simple and engrossing.

There's such a thing as not treating players as if they were dumb, but there's also giving them the impression that the game is about maths, which is bad. Find a system that doesn't actually intrude or requires any reference.

Roleplaying is what the hobby is, so you need a game that results in more time spent RPing than looking at tables/doing maths/rolling dice/explaining dull stuff.

New WoD is really good for this. It's dead easy, the rules are consistent, and you only have one pile of dice to worry about. Plus, everyone can understand it (oh; I'm in a haunted house / a vampire) easily.

Feng Shui is kind of cool, but a little more complex.

prufock
2010-07-29, 06:34 AM
Ghostbusters d6 is awesome, if you can get a copy. Simple mechanics, character generation takes about 5 minutes. If your group contains fans of Ghostbusters, gameplay is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, it's difficult to even find it.

Dogmantra
2010-07-29, 06:44 AM
Risus.

Not because it's simple, no. Because it's awesome.

Be sure to buy the Excessively Deluxe Edition and use all of the optional rules.

This man is the most right. No man can be more right. Risus is great fun, and it will certainly avoid the urge to pregen characters because it's not like writing "Hairdresser (3) Astronaut [2] William Shatner (3)" requires much system mastery.

Ruinix
2010-07-29, 07:42 AM
first place for Toons, who don't ever see a cartoon ? is the best way to learn to think and play IN char.

second place for paranoia cause u can't win and every wrong step u die and a clone take ur place XD

Zovc
2010-07-29, 11:36 AM
Is Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 really that complicated? The game works fine if the player says "I want to do [this]," then the DM says "roll [this]." If you want to teach them the system, explain to them how the system is based on rolling d20s. Each time they make a new type of check, tell them what they're using and have them find the modifier on their character sheet.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-07-29, 11:36 AM
1: The system you are most comfortable with, as a GM. If you know all the various things about a game, then you can easily help anyone who is in trouble, right? So, why not start them on what you're best at? Odds are, they'll make poorly designed characters. So does everybody, especially on their first time playing a new game.
This is the correct answer.

The only thing you need to consider are the sorts of games you'd like to run and the sort of people your players are. There's no sense in starting off your players with a rules light system if you intend to play SR all the time. However, if your players are not the sort of people who enjoy what makes SR fun (e.g. complicated and intricate rules, the setting, the power) then there's no reason to push them into playing.

When I want to "introduce" people to RPGs these days I use D&D4. It's well supported, has excellent software tools, and a rules system that plays as it reads.

Lhurgyof
2010-07-29, 11:38 AM
Call of Cthulhu. :smalltongue:

Psyx
2010-07-29, 12:07 PM
Is Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 really that complicated? The game works fine if the player says "I want to do [this]," then the DM says "roll [this]." If you want to teach them the system, explain to them how the system is based on rolling d20s. Each time they make a new type of check, tell them what they're using and have them find the modifier on their character sheet.

Yes, it is. There's a bunch of different dice, different 'target numbers', initiative, to-hit, damage. You're adding this, subtracting that...

Compare with NWoD where you add two numbers together represented by dots, roll that many d10s, and announce how many are over 8. For everything.

TooManyBadgers
2010-07-29, 01:04 PM
I prefer a stripped-down version of Fate.
Say, 6 skills, 6 aspects, no stunts.

There are about 3 skills to keep track of, it's not based on the disgusting D&D mentality that "you can't do **** unless you have a feat/power/nonweapon proficiency for it," there's no complex skill/magic system, the rules can be explained comprehensively in about 10 minutes, there's none of the fiddly number- and ability-tracking that goes with more involved systems, and character creation becomes a fun storytelling experience instead of a potentially overwhelming dig-through-twenty-sourcebooks-for-the-abilities-you-want sort of ordeal.

And this isn't me dumbing the system down for newbies, either. This is my preferred system for any game.

Aroka
2010-07-29, 07:17 PM
Yes, it is. There's a bunch of different dice, different 'target numbers', initiative, to-hit, damage. You're adding this, subtracting that...

Are you being sarcastic, or did I miss the OP saying the players are nine? I was able to handle running RuneQuest and Basic D&D at age 10, and was only slightly confused by MERP (and we played and had fun despite horrible misunderstandings of rules), and it is highly improbable that I was some kind of prodigy.

Tengu_temp
2010-07-29, 07:52 PM
Well said, Aroka. Grade school-level math is not something incredibly complex and confusing that complicates the game to impossible levels. It's grade school-level math. If a teenager or an adult has problems with adding and substracting numbers in the 1-20 range, then something is wrong.

DonEsteban
2010-07-29, 08:47 PM
If you'd thought about what Psyx wrote for a minute you would have seen that it's not "adding and subtracting is so difficult" but knowing which numbers to add and subtract and what to do with the result. Admittedly it is not rocket science, but it can be confusing to truly understand what all the numbers mean.

On the plus side, you don't have to understand what all the numbers mean in order to play. And as a beginning player you tend to select only simple options, so you don't need all the details. I don't think that the system is all that crucial, actually. Setting and style are obviously far more important.

You could also consider go d20modern or GURPS Lite if you don't want to play in a high fantasy setting.

DementedFellow
2010-07-30, 12:09 AM
I got into RP with Call of Cthulhu. Character Creation was simple enough with that Byahkee tool.

Lhurgyof
2010-07-30, 12:29 AM
I got into RP with Call of Cthulhu. Character Creation was simple enough with that Byahkee tool.

You sir, are my hero.

Aroka
2010-07-30, 05:23 AM
If you'd thought about what Psyx wrote for a minute you would have seen that it's not "adding and subtracting is so difficult" but knowing which numbers to add and subtract and what to do with the result. Admittedly it is not rocket science, but it can be confusing to truly understand what all the numbers mean.

I've explained it to a pile of new players over the years.

"That's your initiative. You roll d20 and add it. In a fight, everybody takes turns in order from highest to lowest.

"That's your attack bonus. You roll d20 and add it. If you equal or exceed your target's armor class, you hit.

"That's your armor class. It's what your enemies have to get when they attack in order to hit you.

"That's your save bonus. You roll d20 and add it. If you equal or exceed the save's difficulty class you make it.

"That's your damage. You roll that die and add that number. It gets subtracted from hit points. Once your hit points hit zero, you're down, and you die at -10."

You can add more stuff - disarm, trip, bull rush, grappling, spells beyond 1st level - as you play and the players get a grip on the existing stuff.

Very few RPGs get materially more complex than this; The Riddle of Steel, for instance, has such a broad variety of options that it might confuse a newbie ("so I pay 1 to half-sword then counter and roll on that table and how many dice do I get again?"), but even it has quick-start rules that reduce the number of combat manoeuvres to three (from about 20) and work great for complete newbies. GURPS has GURPS Lite, etc.

So long as one person has read the rules enough to have a basic grasp on them, everything will go fine.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-30, 05:34 AM
"That's your initiative. You roll d20 and add it. In a fight, everybody takes turns in order from highest to lowest.
This is a list of a hundred feats. You get to pick one of them, two if you're human or a fighter, three if you're human and a fighter, mm'kay? Most of them are only allowed if you have the right prerequisites, some of them are very powerful, some of them are pretty much worthless, and some of them are worthless at level one but powerful in the long run. This will define the next few months of your character's career, and once you've made your choice you're not allowed to change it. Good luck! :smalltongue:

Aroka
2010-07-30, 05:49 AM
This is a list of a hundred feats. You get to pick one of them, two if you're human or a fighter, three if you're human and a fighter, mm'kay? Most of them are only allowed if you have the right prerequisites, some of them are very powerful, some of them are pretty much worthless, and some of them are worthless at level one but powerful in the long run. This will define the next few months of your character's career, and once you've made your choice you're not allowed to change it. Good luck! :smalltongue:

Seriously?

You pick Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, maybe Power Attack. It doesn't even matter. You could forget to pick feats entirely and have fun.

Do people actually think you have to play the game like a veteran right from the start or you shouldn't bother?

Kurald Galain
2010-07-30, 05:56 AM
Do people actually think you have to play the game like a veteran right from the start or you shouldn't bother?

No, that's not it. What I'm saying is that novice players, particularly those who are not regular players of complex board or computer games, can easily be overwhelmed or confused when you show them a D&D player's handbook. D&D is one of the hardest RPGs to learn on the market, because of its complexity. That you can play it while ignoring most of the ruleset doesn't make the ruleset any less complex.

"Here's one page of rules and that's it" is, I think, a better approach than "here's one page of rules; there's five hundred more of those but you don't need those yet".

Psyx
2010-07-30, 05:57 AM
"That's your initiative. You roll d20 and add it. In a fight, everybody takes turns in order from highest to lowest... et cetera


Versus: These dots are your stats, these are your skills. Add them together, roll that many of these dice (the only ones on the table). Roll an extra one for every 'ten' you get, and tell me how many you get that are 8+.

Basic maths is not hard, but D&D is not overly consistent, and all that explanation detracts from the whole point of an RPG.
You don't have to be 9 for this kind of thing to bother you. It's called stress loading. Every tiny annoyance or bit of bother, or lack of comfort adds together. The total unpleasantness experienced equals everything added together. So ten minor annoyances are... quite annoying.

I'm all for using a game that the GM is comfortable with, but I'm even more in favour of getting people playing straight away and fully immersed, rather than requiring a lecture first. RPGs has a reputation as a nerdy, boring hobby partly because of the sheer number of people who 'tried D&D once and didn't understand all the numbers and talk about rules'. There's a lass I go out with who is very intelligent but won't go anywhere near RPGs for precisely this reason: She tried it before and it wasn't fun, because although she understood roleplaying, she didn't understand or enjoy the barrage of rules that were thrown at her.

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-30, 06:03 AM
No, that's not it. What I'm saying is that novice players, particularly those who are not regular players of complex board or computer games, can easily be overwhelmed or confused when you show them a D&D player's handbook. D&D is one of the hardest RPGs to learn on the market, because of its complexity. That you can play it while ignoring most of the ruleset doesn't make the ruleset any less complex.

"Here's one page of rules and that's it" is, I think, a better approach than "here's one page of rules; there's five hundred more of those but you don't need those yet".

I don't know about that. Some players, especially those familiar with RPG video games, might enjoy knowing that they're going to get a lot more depth and complexity later on, or that they'll have the option of playing around with stats and character generation.

Psyx
2010-07-30, 06:19 AM
That's true, but there's nothing to stop you saying: 'Ok; now you've got the essentials (ie roleplaying), let's try something a little more complex.'

Earthwalker
2010-07-30, 06:20 AM
I would find it difficult to start with all new players playing DnD, then I also suggested Shadowrun earlier and that might also suffer from some metagamey issues.

We had one new player in our group, only playing a barbarian but when it came to his action he would mve and attack, we would be then telling him that moving past him will get you attacked, you might want to power attack etc

So he would change his action. It was ok with other players that knew some rules but when it comes to all new players then its the GM saying perhaps you could do this not that. Making it seem to the players that the GM is running things.

Of course I may be completely wrong here as it depends on your game.

Again a suggestion of starting simple with a one shot then moving onto playing the campaign (maybe with different characters) for real sounds good to me to get them hooked.

Tyndmyr
2010-07-30, 06:33 AM
D&D. Not because it's easiest...it's not...or even the best..its not that either. But it IS popular, and it means they can easily find a second game without learning an entirely new system right away. And they'll also have heard of it, and be able to reasonably find books for it, and all that jazz.

After all, no matter how good the system is, if you can't find anyone to play with you, it doesn't matter.

Psyx
2010-07-30, 07:46 AM
So one should learn to drive in a trailored 16-gear big rig, because there's a lot of them on the road?

Ruinix
2010-07-30, 07:49 AM
D&D. Not because it's easiest...it's not...or even the best..its not that either. But it IS popular, and it means they can easily find a second game without learning an entirely new system right away. And they'll also have heard of it, and be able to reasonably find books for it, and all that jazz.

After all, no matter how good the system is, if you can't find anyone to play with you, it doesn't matter.

if u go for the route of the "popular" or "what is fashionable" XDD for that moment u can if u want play Twilight Rol or 10 years back Buffy Vampire slayer (nice system, crapy game XD)

so i say no NO .. nno NOOO hell no.

what new PLAYERS need to know first and to lern is the distinction, the difference between PLAYER and CHARACTER and finally get IN ROL, THINK IN ROL

and for that D&D it completly fail and sux at least for new players.

pick any light rule game focused on ROL and forget the rules, that is why toons and paranoia is the best for new players.

Drascin
2010-07-30, 07:55 AM
pick any light rule game focused on ROL and forget the rules, that is why toons and paranoia is the best for new players.

...are you honestly recommending Paranoia as a game that makes the players get in-character and roleplay, and slamming D&D for being too unconductive to Roleplaying? Compared to Paranoia? Seriously?

Kurald Galain
2010-07-30, 07:58 AM
...are you honestly recommending Paranoia as a game that makes the players get in-character and roleplay, and slamming D&D for being too unconductive to Roleplaying? Compared to Paranoia? Seriously?

...are you honestly saying Friend Computer does not make you happy, citizen?

Dada
2010-07-30, 08:02 AM
what new PLAYERS need to know first and to lern is the distinction, the difference between PLAYER and CHARACTER and finally get IN ROL, THINK IN ROL

and for that D&D it completly fail and sux at least for new players.


You can't assume thats true for all new players. People play for many different reasons. Some like to play D&D, and other roleplaying games, like they would play a strategic wargame. Thats fine.

Some new players might have gotten too used to WoW, and would be scared away by a roleplaying-heavy introduction. They need an introduction which focus on the game-aspects, not the roleplaying aspects. They can come later.

As for getting in character and seperating player and character, that has nothing to do with the system, and everything to do with the DM and the players.

Some people need a rules-light introduction, in particular those who aren't already gamers. If your group focuses heavily on roleplaying aspects, then your new players would need to be taught that early. But this is not an universal truth - it all depends on what kind of experience you want, and what kind of person you are trying to introduce to roleplaying.

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-30, 08:12 AM
if u go for the route of the "popular" or "what is fashionable" XDD for that moment u can if u want play Twilight Rol or 10 years back Buffy Vampire slayer (nice system, crapy game XD)

so i say no NO .. nno NOOO hell no.

what new PLAYERS need to know first and to lern is the distinction, the difference between PLAYER and CHARACTER and finally get IN ROL, THINK IN ROL

and for that D&D it completly fail and sux at least for new players.

pick any light rule game focused on ROL and forget the rules, that is why toons and paranoia is the best for new players.

You know what? If your players are into Twilight, go for it.

Roleplaying systems, especially Shadowrun, which the OP wants to eventually bring the group to, are complex creatures and most people won't see the appeal for awhile, before it "clicks" with them. Part of the objective when you're introducing a new game is to show the players what *the game is capable of,* and since RPG's are so complex, it won't be easy to show that right away. That's why you need some way to attract the player's attention long enough for them to actually want to investigate what the appeal of these games are.

Showing them a game about their favorite setting is great because their attention would be hooked by the setting, even if the mechanics fail to wow them shortly. Showing them a popular game is also more likely to get their attention for a longer time because they would want to know what's so great about it before dismissing it.

Dizlag
2010-07-30, 09:20 AM
I recommend Savage_Worlds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_Worlds) because of the lighter ruleset being great for beginners and it's Fast, Furious, and Fun!

It's also light on prep for a DM, so you can create the Shadowrun world or use one of the "Shadowrun to Savage Worlds" conversions out there.

Dizlag

IdleMuse
2010-07-30, 10:57 AM
I've heard good stuff about Savage Worlds, but getting my hands onto it it didn't seem THAT simple from the get-go, not something I'd try and learn in an afternoon.

Risus (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm), on the other hand... best incarnation of the 'one page rpg' I've ever seen. Although, I just counted, it is six pages, but a lot of it is suggestions or illustration or 'further rules'.

Fax Celestis
2010-07-30, 11:39 AM
So one should learn to drive in a trailored 16-gear big rig, because there's a lot of them on the road?

No, you learn to drive an automatic because 90+% of cars manufactured today (http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/market-insight-top.pag?docid=IMAY-4USKDP) are automatic transmission instead of a manual.

Psyx
2010-07-30, 12:06 PM
OT:

1) America/CONUS is not the world.

2) And that's the daft way 'round. You learn to drive a manual, so that you don't have to then learn -with no legal requirement for supervision- how to drive all over again on public roads, putting other people at risk the first time you get into a manual. I'm utterly appalled that learning to drive in an auto in many countries gives you a legal entitlement to drive a manual.

Fax Celestis
2010-07-30, 12:10 PM
You learn to drive a manual, so that you don't have to then learn -with no legal requirement for supervision- how to drive all over again on public roads, putting other people at risk the first time you get into a manual. I'm utterly appalled that learning to drive in an auto in many countries gives you a legal entitlement to drive a manual.

Continuing the metaphor, then, you believe that a new gamer should learn the most complex system available rather than the simplest? And that learning the most complex system available then qualifies you as a master of other systems that accomplish the same thing but do it in a different fashion?

Satyr
2010-07-30, 12:38 PM
No, but it is still somewhat condescending to assume that new players couldn't handle a more complex system just because it is complex. Being new to something doesn't indicate stupidity, only lack of experience.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-07-30, 12:54 PM
No, but it is still somewhat condescending to assume that new players couldn't handle a more complex system just because it is complex. Being new to something doesn't indicate stupidity, only lack of experience.
In much the same way that teachers are condescending to students by providing simple material before more complicated material :smallconfused:

Listen, all of these analogies are extremely suspect. The point of selecting by mechanical complexity is to pick a system where the player doesn't need to learn a bunch of things before having fun. Experienced RPGers either already know a lot of basic information already (e.g. rolling dice, target numbers, character sheets) or already know that RPing is fun - new players need to learn all that stuff in addition to the rules of a given system and may not be sure that RPGs are a thing they want to spend time on.

Now, if you're just looking for a training-wheels RPG I'd say skip it - there's no reason for the veteran players or the DM to waste their time playing a game they don't want to play. Start with whatever you plan on playing and see if the new players will keep up. Learning how to play one particular RPG isn't like learning math or driving - the skills are not necessarially transferable. At best, the new player will become familiar with some "universal" RPG concepts which will make learning a second RPG more fun - but they have to have enough fun the first time to get that far!

Fax Celestis
2010-07-30, 01:09 PM
No, but it is still somewhat condescending to assume that new players couldn't handle a more complex system just because it is complex. Being new to something doesn't indicate stupidity, only lack of experience.

I don't disagree.

Jayabalard
2010-07-30, 01:25 PM
I don't think that an overtly simple game is that much of a good choice for beginners for the sake of its simplicity alone. I agree. But I think it's useful to use a system that can be played at a variable level of complexity, and some games lend themselves better to that than others.

So, start off the game with only the simplest set of rules, and add to them as you're players get comfortable with them. If you have players who pick up rules fast and jump right in, you can move on to using the full ruleset quickly; if you've got people who are still uncomfortable with the rules after playing a few sessions, you can stick with the simpler rules; if you have a mix of the 2, you can try to find some sort of middle ground where everyone can be happy.

I've always throught that D&D (not 3e+, but basic D&D or 1e/2e AD&D) worked fairly decently for this; at the beginning they just need to know how to roll a D20 and add/subtract modifiers; later on you could use some of the more advanced rules, including some pretty complex ones in the later books (1e with the simulationish rules in the survival guides, more options in UA, and 2e with all of the options presented in the later books, for example). That was the premise of the colored box set of D&D.

Psyx
2010-07-30, 02:03 PM
Continuing the metaphor, then, you believe that a new gamer should learn the most complex system available rather than the simplest? And that learning the most complex system available then qualifies you as a master of other systems that accomplish the same thing but do it in a different fashion?


You can't accidentally kill someone if you don't know how to calculate your skill points in Rolemaster. I was talking about motor vehicles, hence the 'OT'.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-07-30, 02:04 PM
You can't accidentally kill someone if you don't know how to calculate your skill points in Rolemaster. I was talking about motor vehicles, hence the 'OT'.
Well, unless you're playing "Ultimate Rolemaster" :smalltongue:

Fax Celestis
2010-07-30, 02:50 PM
You can't accidentally kill someone if you don't know how to calculate your skill points in Rolemaster. I was talking about motor vehicles, hence the 'OT'.
You didn't answer my question.

Satyr
2010-07-30, 03:00 PM
In much the same way that teachers are condescending to students by providing simple material before more complicated material

Different roleplaying games are usually not based on each other. Knowing how to play Wushu (random example) doesn't help you much to play D&D (another random example), especially when the paradigm behind the systems is very different, in which case the previous knowledge (or the associated expectations) can be actively detrimental to the learning process.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-07-30, 03:14 PM
Different roleplaying games are usually not based on each other. Knowing how to play Wushu (random example) doesn't help you much to play D&D (another random example), especially when the paradigm behind the systems is very different, in which case the previous knowledge (or the associated expectations) can be actively detrimental to the learning process.
Which is orthogonal to the "simple games are condescending" argument that was being addressed - merely because you introduce something that is simple before proceeding onto something that is more complicated does not mean you think the consumer is dumb; it means you believe they lack education - which you are trying to correct.

Whether or not that extra education is strictly necessary is a different question entirely. There's no reason to bring in "hurt feelings" in any case.

Dubious Pie
2010-07-30, 03:33 PM
I learned with Mutants & Masterminds 2e. It is simple, and so much fun.

Satyr
2010-07-30, 04:08 PM
I don't think that simple games are condescending per se - there are some very viable reasons, like personal preferences. What I dislike is to use a simple system solely because it is supposedly easier to learn (assuming that the new players cannot cope with something more complex).

I know at least a few cases where a complex game with a strong inner logic and plausiiblity which therefore works on a coherent inner logic becomes simpler to learn because it is deductive how the rules work; these rules are basically easier to understand than a more abstract and therefore more disconnected set of rules might become easier to apply but harder to understand.

Psyx
2010-07-30, 04:10 PM
Different roleplaying games are usually not based on each other. Knowing how to play Wushu (random example) doesn't help you much to play D&D (another random example),

I completely disagree. Mechanically there is no comparison, but once again, we are talking about roleplaying games. It's the roleplay that they have in common. Additionally there's the concepts of using the dice, becoming familiar with them, gaming etiquette and social 'rules', the concept of character sheets and building characters, and overcoming the inhibitions of playing in character in front of other people.

I used to teach people to SCUBA dive, and the first thing you do isn't to teach them anything technical, or really tell them anything - you get them in the water, get them immersed, get them diving, make it simple, supervise them while they adapt to something alien in the most simple and safe environment possible, and immerse them (quite literally in this case). Make it simple and fun, and get them hooked. Everything else comes later. It's the same for any kind of instruction. If I sat people down for half an hour of talking before getting them in the pool, half of them wouldn't come back.

Aroka
2010-07-30, 06:01 PM
Continuing the metaphor, then, you believe that a new gamer should learn the most complex system available rather than the simplest? And that learning the most complex system available then qualifies you as a master of other systems that accomplish the same thing but do it in a different fashion?

Why would that be a logical continuation of the metaphor? It just means your analogy was horribly inappropriate.

Neither simple nor complex systems are preferrable for new players by reason of simplicity or complexity. A system the GM is most comfortable running, combined with the setting everyone is most interested in, is preferrable for new players.

And learning to drive stick first is a way better idea. And bad analogies are bad.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-30, 06:07 PM
The point of selecting by mechanical complexity is to pick a system where the player doesn't need to learn a bunch of things before having fun. Experienced RPGers either already know a lot of basic information already (e.g. rolling dice, target numbers, character sheets) or already know that RPing is fun - new players need to learn all that stuff in addition to the rules of a given system and may not be sure that RPGs are a thing they want to spend time on.

Well said.