#RPGaDAY2022 Day 2 – What is a great introductory RPG?

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 2 : What is a great introductory RPG?

I, like the vast majority of people who have ever roleplayed, started with an edition Dungeons & Dragons. In my case it was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons back in 1984.

D&D might not be the greatest game to introduce people to as far as the rules and complexity are concerned, but for a beginning player I feel the rules and complexity should be in the background and the Gamemaster should be concentrating on taking the new player on a storytelling adventure, without getting too bogged down with the rules and what they say you can and can’t do.

Turning up for your first game can be nerve wracking enough without then being told “you can’t do that, the rules don’t allow it” or “your character can’t do that, you don’t have the skill” – whereever possible let the player try and weave a story. If they want to use a skill that isn’t on their character sheet, let them – even if you give them a penalty. If the skill isn’t actually in the game then (depending on what it is) let them succeed or atleast roll dice and see.

Generally rules light games that are more storytelling focused are great for beginners – although as I mention above for a players first game the rules should be in the background or left to the Gamemaster to carry out. Phase the rules in slowly. The biggest hurdle for many new players is seeing a copy of a 200+ page rulebook and thinking they need to read it to know what’s going on.

A friend of mine, a 23-year old girl, was round a month ago and we were talking about tabletop roleplaying as she had other friends who gamed and she was interested in knowing more and possibly giving it a try. I explained about the storytelling, the adventure, what the Gamemaster did, about creating a character to play, etc. She was really liking the idea. I popped upstairs and brought down the D&D Player’s Handbook (and Dungeon Master’s Guide) to show her a few things and could instantly tell by her expression when she saw the size of the two books she was thinking “OMG! Do I have to read all of them???” – so I promptly told her that she didn’t, and actually most people (even the Gamemasters) wouldn’t ever have read the entire books.

The page count of the rulebooks can be really off-putting/intimidating to new gamers.

I think it’s less important to have a great introductory RPG than it is to have a good Gamemaster for your first game. A good GM can make any game fun, and fun is the key to getting a new player to become a regular player.

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