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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Feb 2012

    Default Resources for Novice Roleplayers [UPDATED]

    Hi!

    My name is Eden. Iím a guy, and I live in Israel. I've been playing and DMing RPGs for the better part of my life, and having a blast throughout. A few months ago, my old group split apart, each for his own reason. I've searched and found a few people for a new group, but not one of them had ever played an RPG before. Never one to give up, Iíve decided to teach any of them who was willing, and though I have done this kind of thing a few times before, I was still somewhat reluctant.

    While my own Ďinitiationí into the hobby was relatively smooth, the first time I taught people wentÖ unsmoothly. That was a few years ago, and those who didnít leave after the first session stayed confused for quite a while. We figured it out in the end, but I heard stories worse than my own, with new people being turned off of RPGs entirely, because of that one, easily avoidable bad experience.

    So this time around, though I was better than I was before, I wanted to play it safe. I went online, and started looking for something I could give my players (or at least easily copy and teach it myself) that would explain to the players, from the ground up, how to play RPGs, and well. Not for any system in specific, for RPGs in general.

    But I couldnít find anything: not books, not blogs, not anything. I knew this was something that would help a lot of people, both players and DMs, but I still couldnít find anything like it. No one seemed to have created something like this.

    So Iíve decided to create it.

    This was all last week. After asking around in this forum and in other places, and finding a lot of very smart and useful things (full list below!) that werenít quite it, I've put together a tiny survey that I posted here for exactly 3 days to help me focus on exactly what would help people most.

    Iíve started work on an ebook. It will be no longer than 15 pages long, all for people whoíve never played an RPG before and want to learn how to. It will be given away absolutely free to anyone who wants it, as soon as itís ready. If all goes well and people use the guide, I also have a few more ideas in store.

    But to get there, I need your help. Right here below is a list of all the resources (books, blog posts, tools, whatever) Iíve found with your help. I want to fill that list up. If you know about any book, blog, or anything else, and especially if you just have some good advice, I want to hear all about it.

    For questions, feedback, requests, or anything else, you can shoot me a PM or an email at [email protected]. Iíll be posting updates here in this thread until the blog is up and running, and Iíll link to the blog as soon as itís up. Thank you very much for your help!

    And here's the list:

    (Things that appear on more than one list belong in more than one list. No mistake there!)

    Books:
    For players:

    For GMs:

    Blogs:


    Tools and Misc.:
    Last edited by Eden Landau; 2014-06-20 at 08:17 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    You meant it when you said that survey would be tiny. And you're right, a semi-detailed roleplaying guide for newbies would be really useful to show potential players.

    Only tip I can offer is to remember that people are much more willing to read about something they're already interested in. If this is for people who have never roleplayed, you want your hook/introduction to be intriguing but not very wordy. If your reader has to get through more than a full screen of text to get a rough idea of what roleplaying is and why they might be interested in continuing to read, you probably need to cut out some excess wordage.

    Also, tiptoe the stereotypes a bit. Not every roleplaying game is high fantasy like D&D, but there are too many genres to make a comprehensive list without boring the viewer. Find a nice middle-ground and you'll garner interest in a lot more people.

    That's just introductory and "What Is Roleplaying?" stuff though. I'm not a good enough roleplayer to offer tips on the guidelines you might provide the new players, so all I can do is wish you the best of luck on your project.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    I think you misspelled "Player Characters".
    Actually, I think he defined it.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    One of the biggest concerns is a simple problem of information overload. Your standard D&D player is already asked to be familiar with a 300+ page PHB, and generally assumed a passing familiarity with the other 500+ page DMG/MM. Most other systems don't reach that page count but do ask all players to be familiar with all the content inside. Plus, most of this text is just rules and clarifications - there generally aren't much guidelines for creating a character, leaving players to create their characters and put together backstorys and work with the other PCs with little assistance or guide in doing so. Asking players to absorb another 100+ page book is probably asking too much.

    Ideally, I'd like to see a short guide explaining what to expect from a RPG and some tips on how to work together better in a roleplaying game aimed at the players. This would preferably be more in depth than the one-paragraph "What is a RPG?" introduction in most systems along with an example of play, but I doubt it would be a book-length description. I would also like to see a more lengthy discussion and help book aimed towards GMs, as they are frequently the ones who need more assistance between working with people, running a game, assembling a setting and running it successfully. I'd also like to see help with actually running the game in such a book, not stuff like "The ten most common problem players" or stuff like that. Not only are such guides marginally helpful - they don't help someone run the game better - but they set up the expectation that problem players are the standard and some solution needs to be in place against them.


    I'm not a fan of submitting forms asking for my email address. I can certainly understand why you'd do it (to prevent duplicates) but I'll just post responses here if it's okay with you.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Melville's Book View Post
    Also, tiptoe the stereotypes a bit. Not every roleplaying game is high fantasy like D&D, but there are too many genres to make a comprehensive list without boring the viewer. Find a nice middle-ground and you'll garner interest in a lot more people.
    Thank you for the tip. My intention was not to compile a collection of tips for specific system, but rather to teach methods and principles that are true and useful in any system. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    I'm not a fan of submitting forms asking for my email address. I can certainly understand why you'd do it (to prevent duplicates) but I'll just post responses here if it's okay with you.
    I asked for an email address for two purposes: (1) is, as you said, to prevent duplicates, but (2) is to keep people who are interested in this project 'in the loop', and send them updates about it, or at least a link to find the end result. Of course, it'll be very easy to unsubscribe, and this is all written in the survey itself. And of course it's okay! And perfectly understandable. I'll post updates here, as well.

    And thank you both very much for the input and the advice! I'll put them to good use.
    Last edited by Eden Landau; 2014-06-15 at 03:26 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    When talking about settings, it might be enough to just say, "While most rpgs are fantasy-based, they can be about anything you can think of, especially if you're the game master (or dungeon master, as some games will call it)."
    You'll also want to talk about the suspension of disbelief, probably relating it to a tv show or video game. Probably a definition of roleplaying. And give some kind of help with character sheets.
    I usually post from my phone, so please excuse any horrendous typos.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    [to somebody getting upset over somebody else's house rule] Maybe you should take a break, you're getting rather worked up over magic elf games.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by rlc View Post
    When talking about settings, it might be enough to just say, "While most rpgs are fantasy-based, they can be about anything you can think of, especially if you're the game master (or dungeon master, as some games will call it)."
    You'll also want to talk about the suspension of disbelief, probably relating it to a tv show or video game. Probably a definition of roleplaying. And give some kind of help with character sheets.
    A definition of roleplaying is certainly called for, and so is rudimentary help with character sheets. The line you wrote is excellent! Do you mind if I use it? Although, I feel adding 'dungeon master' may be unwise, because there are many other names for it. Would you agree it'd be better to add those bits about names and pseudonyms in a lexicon of some sort, or maybe a sidebar?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    I don't want to steal your thunder or anything, but there're quite a few solid resources for this already.

    I particularly think Greg Stolze's work: "How to Play Roleplaying Games" (Download link at the bottom of that page) pretty much covers it, but a quick google search finds a bunch of alternatives including http://learntabletoprpgs.com/ which looks pretty solid.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    I don't want to steal your thunder or anything, but there're quite a few solid resources for this already.

    I particularly think Greg Stolze's work: "How to Play Roleplaying Games" (Download link at the bottom of that page) pretty much covers it, but a quick google search finds a bunch of alternatives including http://learntabletoprpgs.com/ which looks pretty solid.
    Not at all, and thank you very much for sharing! I was aware of Greg Stolze's guide, and have read it. It still didn't quite feel right to me. In my feelings, Greg missed the point in his guide. While it was short, simple, and encompassed the basics of roleplaying games, it still felt to me like it didn't teach it. Like a dictionary tells you what a thing is, but doesn't show it.

    I felt like I could give it to someone who never played before, and he'd read it, and nod his head intelligently, and then put it down and ask, "So... How do we do this?" It would make my job as a GM easier, because he might know some terms and have a general picture of what this thing is, but he won't get it. Which is, I feel, a shame. Am I explaining myself clearly?

    As for the blog, that looks really interesting! I haven't found it when I looked. I'll read through it. Thanks!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Gary Gygax himself also wrote a book on Role Playing: Role-Playing Mastery, which is an excellent resource for the principles of generic role playing games. I'd give it a quick look and it may be a good source to cite. Having other books on the same topic does not detract from what you are doing, as you may be going about it in a different way, and a properly researched and cited book carries a lot more weight than a book that is just about your own thoughts and ideas about the hobby.

    Good luck in your endeavor!
    There can be no resurrection of 3.5. But the SRD is the phylactery of 3.5 and it's kind of eternal for that.


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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by lakerking008 View Post
    Not at all, and thank you very much for sharing! I was aware of Greg Stolze's guide, and have read it. It still didn't quite feel right to me. In my feelings, Greg missed the point in his guide. While it was short, simple, and encompassed the basics of roleplaying games, it still felt to me like it didn't teach it. Like a dictionary tells you what a thing is, but doesn't show it.
    I think you lost me with this bit.


    I felt like I could give it to someone who never played before, and he'd read it, and nod his head intelligently, and then put it down and ask, "So... How do we do this?" It would make my job as a GM easier, because he might know some terms and have a general picture of what this thing is, but he won't get it. Which is, I feel, a shame. Am I explaining myself clearly?
    I'm not sure if you're explaining clearly; It seems to me like most games at this point contain the 'how' in some capacity, or maybe I've just spoiled by the huge section in TBZ on this stuff, I dunno. The mechanical "how" of "someone is the GM and they will do X, while you with your character do Y" seems like it's already in most game books.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    I think you lost me with this bit.
    I think what the OP is saying is that the source is a great example of what RP is but not tips on how to RP.

    Its like defining stew as a mixture of meats and vegetables in a broth. That is a fine definition but to would not tell you how to cook a stew.
    You surrender after you're dead. Lan Mandragoran

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Calen View Post
    I think what the OP is saying is that the source is a great example of what RP is but not tips on how to RP.

    Its like defining stew as a mixture of meats and vegetables in a broth. That is a fine definition but to would not tell you how to cook a stew.
    I think I understood the metaphor somewhat, but I wasn't sure how it applied in context.

    But "tips on how to RP"? Can we even agree on what 'RP' is? x.x

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Lupus View Post
    Gary Gygax himself also wrote a book on Role Playing: Role-Playing Mastery, which is an excellent resource for the principles of generic role playing games. I'd give it a quick look and it may be a good source to cite. Having other books on the same topic does not detract from what you are doing, as you may be going about it in a different way, and a properly researched and cited book carries a lot more weight than a book that is just about your own thoughts and ideas about the hobby.

    Good luck in your endeavor!
    I have seen it before. It seems excellent! I've added it to the list. I'm certainly aiming at a different direction here, but you're absolutely right; it is an excellent source. Thank you very much!

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    I think you lost me with this bit. I'm not sure if you're explaining clearly; It seems to me like most games at this point contain the 'how' in some capacity, or maybe I've just spoiled by the huge section in TBZ on this stuff, I dunno. The mechanical "how" of "someone is the GM and they will do X, while you with your character do Y" seems like it's already in most game books.
    Calen's put it excellently. Back when I was a new player I was always frustrated about this, because I felt that no matter how much technical knowledge I read from the D&D books, I'd still need my DM to walk me through it, up to a point, of course. Granted, I was only about 8 at the time, but that's still a need I see in anyone I ever teach how to play roleplaying games.

    If to build up on the stew metaphor, even if I did have a recipe, I still had no idea what a pot is or how to use it. I didn't even recognize most of the vegetables, and the meats were all from weird animals I've never heard of.

    ...I didn't confuse you even more, did I?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by lakerking008 View Post
    Calen's put it excellently. Back when I was a new player I was always frustrated about this, because I felt that no matter how much technical knowledge I read from the D&D books, I'd still need my DM to walk me through it, up to a point, of course. Granted, I was only about 8 at the time, but that's still a need I see in anyone I ever teach how to play roleplaying games.
    Yeah, but the D&D books were incredible examples of A) S**** writing and B) Assuming you already knew how to play and were playing, and just needed something to codify the 'rules' for you.

    If to build up on the stew metaphor, even if I did have a recipe, I still had no idea what a pot is or how to use it. I didn't even recognize most of the vegetables, and the meats were all from weird animals I've never heard of.

    ...I didn't confuse you even more, did I?
    But...what does this mean? What PARTS of the actual game do you feel need to be explained or demonstrated? It's fine to make a metaphor, but you have to map the metaphor to something. Otherwise it's like me saying "If RPGs are the Serengeti, nobody tells me how to hunt a Blue Wildebeest!" Uh. Okay? But what do you really feel isn't being explained? Even your original post seems painfully schizophrenic, talking about GMs AND players, and talking about "How to run a game" on one hand and "How to create good characters" on the other. I guess I feel like you don't even know what you are looking for at this point?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    What do you really feel isn't being explained? Even your original post seems painfully schizophrenic, talking about GMs AND players, and talking about "How to run a game" on one hand and "How to create good characters" on the other. I guess I feel like you don't even know what you are looking for at this point?
    I'm sorry it came off that way to you. It wasn't my intention. What I feel isn't being explained is all of these things, really. This is why every one of them is an option in the survey, because I feel there are no books I know of that really explain how to play roleplaying games, as well as run them, and make characters (while world creation is something that's covered in a fair number of books, those are exclusively aimed for writers, and are adapted for fiction writing, and not for players rummaging through).

    If you already know how to play roleplaying games, you can pick up any corebook for almost any system, read it, and be able to play it. But I have yet to find a book that teaches the core principles of roleplaying games in general, for people who've never played/GMed before.

    Like if someone handed you a cookbook with baking recipes but you had no idea how to work an oven, or roll out dough, or to be precise with your measurements, you'd have no idea what to do with. Like an experienced programmer could see code from pretty much any programming language and understand it, because he understood the core principals of computer code. Like a talented linguist who knows enough Russian, English, French and Arabic, could (roughly) understand any Cyrillic, Indo-European, or Semitic language.

    Do you see what I mean?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by lakerking008 View Post
    Like if someone handed you a cookbook with baking recipes but you had no idea how to work an oven, or roll out dough, or to be precise with your measurements, you'd have no idea what to do with. Like an experienced programmer could see code from pretty much any programming language and understand it, because he understood the core principals of computer code. Like a talented linguist who knows enough Russian, English, French and Arabic, could (roughly) understand any Cyrillic, Indo-European, or Semitic language.

    Do you see what I mean?
    I do and I don't. Can you cite a specific thing that you feel is not being taught? Because I feel like all of the things on your survey are things I have read about on the interwebs, some of them quite recently. Sure, there may not be a 'book' on the topic of how to create an interesting character, but A) I'm not sure a 'book' is the right format for any of this (see below) and B) There are tons of articles on this topic already.

    Here's the see below: Are we sure that a 'book' is a good idea? I mean, "Sure you can play in our game, you just have to read this book first" isn't really a particularly exciting proposition in the first place, and RPGs already HAVE that to a certain extent - lots of people complain about the difficult of getting new players into the hobby when they feel like have to read (sometimes multiple) 300 page rulebook(s).

    In fact, to some extent, I feel like the best way to 'solve' the situation defined in your original post is to have the new player come watch a session (or even half a session) of the game. That's going to give them much more information about how the game actually works for this group than any book.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    I do and I don't. Can you cite a specific thing that you feel is not being taught?
    Well, yes and no. It isn't really that a there's specific thing that I've noticed wasn't mentioned anywhere else before, but more that I haven't seen anything for people with no experience. Like you've said, the best (and in my feelings, only) way to teach new players is to come watch sessions, or sit him down and explain everything to him.

    I don't know of any way in which someone who's interested in roleplaying games, and, say, can't find a group, or doesn't want to approach one without knowing a bit first can learn anything about roleplaying games, not really. The closest thing is to watch recordings of people play roleplaying games, which really is not an ideal way to learn, at least for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    Are we sure that a 'book' is a good idea?
    Sure? No. That's, in part, what the survey is for: to know what people want more of, and what isn't such a good idea. However, a book does seem like a good idea to me because:

    (a) it's the standard medium in our industry;
    (b) it's something a lot of people can relate to (opposed, say, to a podcast, which I personally find less agreeable than books);
    (c) it's relatively easy to revise and add things to books (and generally improve), as opposed to video recordings, for example; and, most importantly
    (d) because -- while I am biased, being an avid book reader myself -- I firmly believe that a teaching book that's short (30-60 pages long), easily digested, light and just plain fun is a much better way to test the waters on a something new than (like I did) to read the 300-something pages books before I knew I'd even like it.

    Of course, if you have different ideas I'd love to hear them! What do you feel would be a better format?
    Last edited by Eden Landau; 2014-06-16 at 03:26 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    The one thing I'd recommend is this:

    Play different games

    There are lots of different games out there, some of which have very different takes on what roleplaying means. Playing a number of them (and trying to understand them) will broaden your ideas of what "roleplaying" is, and improve your ability to have fun, no matter what game you're playing.

    And by "different games", I don't mean D&D 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder. I mean play AD&D 1e (yes, with GP for XP). Play D&D 3.x/PF. Play some Fate. Play Apocalypse World. Play Fiasco. Play some Paranoia or World of Darkness.

    Play them, understand that they're different, and try to find what's good in each of them.

    All of these games will help you expand your understanding of RPGs in general, and each will teach you things that, while other games may not *focus* on them, will be useful in other games.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    The one thing I'd recommend is this:

    Play different games

    There are lots of different games out there, some of which have very different takes on what roleplaying means. Playing a number of them (and trying to understand them) will broaden your ideas of what "roleplaying" is, and improve your ability to have fun, no matter what game you're playing.

    And by "different games", I don't mean D&D 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder. I mean play AD&D 1e (yes, with GP for XP). Play D&D 3.x/PF. Play some Fate. Play Apocalypse World. Play Fiasco. Play some Paranoia or World of Darkness.

    Play them, understand that they're different, and try to find what's good in each of them.

    All of these games will help you expand your understanding of RPGs in general, and each will teach you things that, while other games may not *focus* on them, will be useful in other games.

    While this is good advice, I'm not sure this is good advice HERE in this thread. I think the OP is asking for stuff to help people who have NEVER played an RPG before enjoy their first one. (I think. The purpose of the OP still seems a bit ill defined to me.) Saying "Play lots of games." is like someone asking "How do I use my stove?" and getting a response that says "Cook lots of different food!"

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    While this is good advice, I'm not sure this is good advice HERE in this thread.
    Fair 'nuff.

    That said, the advice I'd give for a *specific* game would be completely dependent on the game - I'd give way different advice for AD&D 1e, 3.x/PF, and Fate.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Fair 'nuff.

    That said, the advice I'd give for a *specific* game would be completely dependent on the game - I'd give way different advice for AD&D 1e, 3.x/PF, and Fate.
    Yeah; I dunno, I think the OP is looking for "lower level" advice than anything that might be system specific. Stuff like...uh... I dunno, how to behave at a gaming table? I'm still really a little vague, but the intent seems to be 'generic advice for first time players'.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    Yeah; I dunno, I think the OP is looking for "lower level" advice than anything that might be system specific. Stuff like...uh... I dunno, how to behave at a gaming table? I'm still really a little vague, but the intent seems to be 'generic advice for first time players'.
    Quite right. I'm not looking for anything system-specific, but I'm not looking just for generic advice, either. I'm also looking for advice on specific parts of roleplaying, for novices. For instance, something like Fennu's Balanced OC meme is great for newbie roleplayers, but it's hardly generic.

    Anything that'll be helpful to newbie players, newbie GMs, and anything in between is most welcome. And thank you!
    Last edited by Eden Landau; 2014-06-17 at 09:16 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by lakerking008 View Post
    Quite right. I'm not looking for anything system-specific, but I'm not looking just for generic advice, either. I'm also looking for advice on specific parts of roleplaying, for novices. For instance, something like Fennu's Balanced OC meme is great for newbie roleplayers, but it's hardly generic.
    Really? What do you feel the function of that is? o.o

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    Really? What do you feel the function of that is? o.o
    I'm bringing it up as an example for a resource that could be helpful to novice roleplayers, but isn't generic. It works specifically on character creation, and not on roleplaying games in general.

    It could be helpful to people who feel their characters are unbalanced roleplay wise, and they can't seem to get it right by themselves. It's not something to write a book about, but it could be helpful.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Here's the advice I'd give for a novice roleplayer, system agnostic.

    (Keep in mind, "system agnostic" means I literally don't assume *anything* about the game they're playing - Fiasco, AD&D, 3.PF, Fate, Kingdom, Apocalypse World, whatever.)

    1) Don't make a loner. RPGs are social, and a lot of the enjoyment comes out of the interactions. A loner PC will, by definition, not interact and can be very, very dull to play.

    2) Things won't go your way. This is inevitable. Suck it up. If you disagree with a call the GM (if there is one) makes, express your disagreement, let him/her evaluate, and then *live with that decision*. If you still disagree, bring it up after the game.

    3) There's lots of things your character might do. Unless playing in a heavily PVP game, find one that doesn't completely screw up the game for everybody.

    4) Have social skills. Let other people be the center of attention on occasion.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    For new GMs:

    1) Run a few games of something based on Apocalypse World. Dungeon World and Monster of the Week are probably the most accessible, but any will do.

    2) Remember that the game is about the *players*. Make sure they have interesting things to do, and interesting choices to make. Don't make their choices for them. Try not to even predict what they'll do.

    3) Give anything a player says consideration, even if it's not what you imagined would work. Unless there's *no way* something could possibly work under any circumstances, give it a difficulty and let the dice decide. Nothing sucks the fun out of a game faster than the GM saying "no" to everything - the game devolves into "guess what the GM wants", which is less fun than "guess the verb" in a text adventure.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Kyoryu, these are excellent! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all down.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    @OP:

    I think what will help us to help you is to define your goals a little more. As a Thought Excercise consider this:

    What: I want a book for prospective/novicee roleplayers. (I'd recommend a PDF over a 60 page book, but that's me.)
    Why: To help them decide if they are interested in roleplay/get started with roleplaying.
    How: Content. List out some of the stuff you KNOW you want included - this will give us an idea of your direction, and help you organize your thoughts. I.E.

    -discuss genres
    -discuss the role of the GM
    -discuss the need fo player investment and their role
    -discuss table ettiquette.
    -discuss common vocabulary
    -list several different systems with tag words for their "style" (you will open yourself up to alot of criticism here, so you may just want to list the title and genre.)


    Make an outline:

    Intro: What is a Rolplaying Game? (brief description of the hobby, mention several different syles.)
    Chapter 1: Role of the Player
    Chapter 2: Role of the GM
    Chapter 3: Commons Terms in RPGs
    Chapter 4: Table Ettiqutte.
    Chapter 5: Examples of Play
    Glossary
    Appendix 1: List of several RPGs by Genre.

    The problem is you propose 2 very different areas of focus when you say:

    "So I was browsing the internet the other day. I was looking for books, blogs, or anything else on how to roleplay, how to run roleplaying games, etc. But just the very basics of the art in general, with no references to specific systems or settings. I'm Eden, by the way.

    I wanted to be able to walk up to someone who's never played a roleplaying game before, but who is interested in starting, and say to him, "Hey, Bob. You wanna join our roleplaying group? Excellent. But before you do, please read [INSERT_BOOK_HERE]. That should give you a very clear idea of what roleplaying games are, and then you could decide for yourself if it's the right kind of game for you. If you'll still be interested, just come along, I'll explain the system and the setting and we'll be good to go."

    I couldn't find anything like that. In fact, despite the huge number of of books about specific roleplaying games like D&D or WoD, I've discovered a startling lack of books about how to roleplay, or how to run roleplaying games, or create good characters or setting worlds (with the exception of Robin Laws's Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering and Graham Walmsley's Play Unsafe, both of which are excellent but neither of which cater to novices)."


    Paragraphs 1&3 have a different focus from Paragraph 2. My above outline would be an example of something for paragraph 2, but for paragraphs 1 and 3 you want a few more sections and design goals, such as:

    -Helpful ways to think up unique PCs
    -Discuss how to make a party function well together in game.
    -Discuss different ways of handling loot.
    -Discuss ways to work with the DM on XXXX

    Or any other number of things, and that's just for players, leave the DM stuff alone, your new player is probably not about to GM, it happens, but not often - there are more players than DMs. Focus on the Player stuff and just kinda of explain wht the DM does. Also, keep it brief. 30-60 pages? Dude, like 20 tops. This is a handout or lengthy article for somebody to read to see if they are interested in the hobby. Maybe have a longer one available for if they decide they want to do it, but your stated design goal seemed to be to help them decide if they want to try the game, not make them proficient at playing it.

    Anyway, outlining your thoughts will make this easier for both yourself and us. Good Luck and have fun!
    Last edited by Garimeth; 2014-06-18 at 02:52 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    To say that there is nothing new under the sun, is to forget there are more suns than we could possibly know what to do with and that there are probably a lot of new things under them.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Resources for Novice Roleplayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Airk View Post
    These are great! Thank you very much. They're still not exactly what I'm looking for, since they don't mean anything to people who've never GMed before, but every little bit helps. It's added to the list.

    I've also just edited the original post. The survey is now closed. Thank you all! See the original post for more details. I still intend to keep maintaining this thread and to keep posting updates here.

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