Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

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Lichtbringer
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Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby Lichtbringer » Wed May 16, 2018 7:25 am

This was an interesting episode for me, because I kept agreeing to roughly 80%.

For example, I would say that EDO fantasy is the second best way to introduce a newbie to RPGs. It certainly works great, because its clichés and tropes are well known in pop culture.
However, there is an option where the new players will feel even more at home: In my experience, scenarios work even better, if the PCs start off as normal people in the real world.
Call of Cthulhu and other horror games work well here. But I had the most success with an adventure, where the (pre-generated) PCs start as people in the real world who get transported into the Middle Ages by a time travel accident. I ran this adventure six times by now. It requires no more imagination than picturing another person in real life. I brought at least ten people into the hobby with this set-up.

Btw, I usually use Fate for these introductory games. I observed all the problems with the mechanisms of Fate that were mentioned in the episode – I observed them with seasoned players. My newbies almost never had any trouble understanding Fate. It's the established players, who find their expectations violated.
So if you want to convert someone to tabletop RPGs, I can definitely recommend Fate Core or Accelerated.

As a side note: I think it was Chad who described D&D as tolkienesque. I really need to get around to write an article, why modern EDO fantasy is clearly an American genre and by no stretch of the imagination tolkienesque.

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VaMinion
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby VaMinion » Wed May 16, 2018 12:01 pm

Lichtbringer wrote:Btw, I usually use Fate for these introductory games. I observed all the problems with the mechanisms of Fate that were mentioned in the episode – I observed them with seasoned players. My newbies almost never had any trouble understanding Fate. It's the established players, who find their expectations violated.


The problem I've found with Fate as a new player introduction is that their fun completely collapses if they don't understand or enjoy the narrative simulation. That's almost impossible to teach in a session or two.
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Lichtbringer
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby Lichtbringer » Thu May 17, 2018 5:13 am

VaMinion wrote:
Lichtbringer wrote:Btw, I usually use Fate for these introductory games. I observed all the problems with the mechanisms of Fate that were mentioned in the episode – I observed them with seasoned players. My newbies almost never had any trouble understanding Fate. It's the established players, who find their expectations violated.


The problem I've found with Fate as a new player introduction is that their fun completely collapses if they don't understand or enjoy the narrative simulation. That's almost impossible to teach in a session or two.



Err... It seems to me that you are putting the cart before the horse.

The Fate philosophy (if there is such a thing) is that you first decide what you want to do and then you (usually the GM) judges how to express this in rules.
Thus, the newbie only has to declair their intent, and I tell them, how this will be handled.

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VaMinion
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby VaMinion » Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 am

Lichtbringer wrote:The Fate philosophy (if there is such a thing) is that you first decide what you want to do and then you (usually the GM) judges how to express this in rules.
Thus, the newbie only has to declair their intent, and I tell them, how this will be handled.


That's good and grand and has nothing to do with my point.

Fate, as an engine, is a narrative simulator. Alice takes her lumps in act 1 to have the resources to triumph in act 2. Bob is given chips for playing to the archetype created by his aspects and Carol is taxed if doesn't want hers to cause complications for someone else. The game wants you to load Chekov's gun with your aspects, play to your consequences, and edit the scene to fit your needs by placing aspects.

A player who groks how all of these different pieces fit together will have a blast. Someone who doesn't will be miserable. Because Fate's subsystems are so tightly integrated it's difficult if not impossible for a new player to analyze why they liked or disliked Fate, so they write off the hobby. I know this because I've had to do rehabilitation games with new players whose introduction was Fate. Their experience wasn't bad in the "GM was a jerk" sense. They just didn't enjoy it and couldn't explain why because of how Fate operates.

It's an amazing start for the right people. But you have to pick those people extremely carefully.
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby Knaight » Sat May 19, 2018 11:18 pm

VaMinion wrote:A player who groks how all of these different pieces fit together will have a blast. Someone who doesn't will be miserable. Because Fate's subsystems are so tightly integrated it's difficult if not impossible for a new player to analyze why they liked or disliked Fate, so they write off the hobby. I know this because I've had to do rehabilitation games with new players whose introduction was Fate. Their experience wasn't bad in the "GM was a jerk" sense. They just didn't enjoy it and couldn't explain why because of how Fate operates.

It's an amazing start for the right people. But you have to pick those people extremely carefully.

While this is true, the exact same thing can be said for D&D, the standard entry point.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw

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VaMinion
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby VaMinion » Sun May 20, 2018 12:45 pm

Knaight wrote:While this is true, the exact same thing can be said for D&D, the standard entry point.


Not to the same degree. You can carve out skills, spells, and even combat if you wanted and D&D runs more or less the same. You can't do that with Fate's aspects and chip economy.
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Re: Episode 484 – non-sequiturs

Postby Penguinsushi » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:41 pm

I haven't had the stated problem with Fate as an intro game. If there is a problem with Fate as an intro game, it's probably in its level of required creativity: some new players want to just "observe" until they get their head around how games work, so they don't do as well with making good aspects and/or making up stories that tie their characters together, etc. A more codified game like D&D where you just spend points and buy abilities is a little "easier" on them on that score, even if the amount of reading/content/mechanics could seem more intimidating.

D&D works pretty well as an intro game, for reasons Dan stated. Plus, with LotR in the public consciousness, the vague genre is generally accessible these days. I think a Star Wars game would work for the same reasons.

The last new player to our group came in in a World of Darkness game, and then we moved on to Numenera - but she was the only new player, and we didn't really pick the game based on her newbiness. It's worked out fine, so I'm not sure how much the "right game for new players" really matters as long as the player wants to play.

It probably makes a difference whether you're got one new player, a few new players, or all new players, too.


Still listening...

Chad: I can't even guess how it will play out, but your story structure sounds awesome, and I am fascinated by the idea.


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