#RPGaDAY2022 Day 1 – Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

Welcome to #RPGaDAY2022! Now in its ninth year, #RPGaDAY was originally created by RPG author and games designer David Chapman (Conspiracy X, Doctor Who, etc) as a bit of fun and to get people talking about tabletop roleplaying games. August was chosen, I believe, to coincide with tabletop roleplaying’s gaming mecca that is Gen Con – which usually takes place in the States (Inidanapolis these days) every August.

#RPGaDAY is open to everyone so if you want to join in just check out the prompts below to inspire a blog, vlog, or social media post to celebrate everything great about our hobby with the tag #RPGaDAY2022

Day 1 : Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

I’ve been lucky enough to have loads of friends over the years who have been interested in trying tabletop roleplaying games, if they weren’t already playing them.

A number of people who got into the hobby in the 80’s, or 90’s, have often spoken about how hard it was to find people who wanted to play, or how the hobby was often treated as a slightly embarrassed past-time that you didn’t speak about to non-gamers.

I’ve, very thankfully, never experienced this. Probabaly due to a combination of things. I worked in a games store (I started after school and Saturdays when I was 14) so gaming was something I really couldn’t hide even if I had wanted to (“So where do you work?”). Possibly growing up in London, and hanging out in a lot of counter-culture haunts, also meant that pretty much everyone I knew was pretty opened minded and found the idea of roleplaying really interesting and cool. Most of the people I knew, and have known, either roleplayed already or wanted to give it a go.

I do believe I was incredibly lucky in that regards and that my experience is certainly not everyone’s by a longshot.

I love introducing good friends to gaming. It’s a great hobby and a really social (and hopefully fun) experience. Lots of people are nervous before they start playing, but soon relax and get stuck in once the game gets going. The things to do are not pressure them to act, allow them to ease themselves in when they are comfortable. The other thing is to largely “don’t say no”. Roleplaying is all about the imagination so don’t stiffle a new gamers by putting loads of rules and boundaries in. Let them try things out, even if those things may fail, or aren’t exactly within the rules of the game (the only rule that is important is to try and make sure the players go away from the session having had fun). Give them a story to remember. I have often found that many new players have fantastic imaginations that haven’t been dampened by prior experience of rules telling them what they can, or more often can’t, do.

I’ll never forget when I ran a game for my sisters for the first time (I think I was 15, and they were all younger) and did the whole “starting off in a tavern with a notice board” and they took their characters off to look at the notice board and started telling each other what they found on it without any input from myself. Let new players explore, and be willing and flexible to guide the adventure down pathways that they want to explore – even if it means making things up on the fly.

I’ve been in a few games over the years (thankfully a incredibly small minority) where the GM has forced us from one encounter to the next down a path that your characters couldn’t stray from, and I hated them. They restict the players to basically dice-rolling robots that have no real say or any control over the events. Freedom for the players to influence the story is a big reason for people having fun role-playing. Let them have fun!

So, who would I like to introduce to RPGs? As many friends as I possibly can :p

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