It feels good to be back…even though one could say I’m quite late.
But to those, I say a writer is never late nor early, they write precisely when they mean to. Now before writers pick up their torches and pichforks, let’s move to the actual reason I am here. This is RPGaDay 2022! I missed last year, even though I wasn’t as busy as this year. Maybe my brain considers this a means of therapy and reminded me it exists because I need it. Who knows!
We are already past the halfway mark but that doesn’t mean I cannot join the celebration. And if you haven’t joined already, I highly suggest you do. Just pick up the hashtag #RPGaDay2022 and go crazy. Now, let’s take a look at this year’s prompts/questions/thingies.
This year we have questions that follow the format of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Very simple, very classy. I like it. So, now that I have 17 questions to catch up with let’s see how many I’m going to answer in this post. No, I seriously don’t know, we will find out at the end of the post. Let’s go.
1 – Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?
The simple answer to this question is that I would like to introduce my parents to RPGs. They know I have a hobby that has to do with books and writing and dice. They also know I have published a few things (which you can find here and here for now) and they are proud of me. However, they haven’t grasped the idea of tabletop RPGs yet and I’m not sure they would be that interested. Maybe my father would be more interested because he likes games but I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I should find an easy RPG I could use to introduce them to the hobby. And this is actually a nice way to move to the second question, which is…
2 – What is a great introductory RPG?
The easy answer would be D&D, and I wouldn’t be wrong. The reason is that D&D is the biggest and most well-known RPG out there, currently, so the amount of support it gets outclasses everything else. This means a lot of people create content for it and that content covers all levels of experience, including new players. Wizards of the Coast has some nice Starter Sets out there but there are also third-party publishers that offer some good introductory adventures.
But now let’s try to move away from the easy answer. Another RPG I like for many reasons is Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound. I consider it a nice introductory RPG, not because it is simple but because it has some mechanics I like (is this foreshadowing for another question?) that can get new players into the idea of RPGs and, most importantly, show them this is an activity that involves collaborating with others.
Before I move on I have to say just one thing. If you read this, please make some suggestions for introductory RPGs. I will really appreciate it.
3 – When were you first introduced to RPGs?
This is a bit fuzzy for me. Was I introduced to RPGs when I was browsing my favourite PC gaming magazine(in actual physical form! Can you believe there were physical magazines at some point?) and saw an advertisement for a store that sold various nerd stuff, including D&D books? Was it when I set foot in a game store for the first time at the age of 10 and bought a box of Warhammer 40.000 miniatures and a D&D 3rd Edition starter set? Was it when I tried using said starter set almost 10 years later in order to play, without knowing exactly what I was doing? Or was it when I actually got to play in a session and understood how RPGs work?
I don’t really have the answer, to be totally honest. Every single moment I mentioned has played a role in order for me to be here and talk about being introduced to RPGs. Maybe I would have gotten into RPGs at a later time and in a different way. It’s easier to be introduced to RPGs now and I am happy about it. But for me, this little chain of events is my funny story of how I was introduced to RPGs.
4 – Where would you host a first game?
I think my answer for this is anywhere that is comfortable for everyone involved. This can be at the home of one of the group’s members, for example. However, that requires extra work for that member. A solution we have found that works well for us is hosting a game at one of the cafes that can be found all around the city. Having a university in your city creates a lot of places that can fit all tastes. There are some quiet places that have nice coffee and good food. I think that also can make people less awkward for a first game, since a cafe can be considered neutral ground.
However, if the question is connected to the one about who I would like to introduce to RPGs, I think the kitchen table is quite as good.
5 – Why will they like this game?
I think this question is connected to the who I would like to introduce to RPGs. If it is, indeed, connected then my good introductory suggestions probably won’t cut it. My parents haven’t been exposed to the fantasy genre, at least not as we know it. They know Lord of the Rings and that’s it. That’s why it’s hard for me to introduce them to RPGs.
My guesses would be that my father would enjoy a Western style RPG because of some comics he used to read when he was young. As for my mother, I think maybe a RPG set in the Victorian era would have a chance to pique her interest but she’s a tough customer so I’m not sure. If you have any suggestions feel free to let me know. I would be happy to try my luck and see if I was right.
6 – How would you get more people playing RPGs?
At this point in time, I don’t really have to do much. RPGs are becoming mainstream. Well, technically, D&D is becoming mainstream but once you set your foot in the hobby the world is your oyster.
Now that I think about it, one thing that would help would be less nagging. One of the greatest aspects of our hobby is how fluid it can be. If you don’t like one game, there are a gazillion others you can try that will suit your taste. If the play style of a game group doesn’t suit you, there are other groups out there that you will find closer to your tastes.
This reminds me of another RPGaDay post I had written in 2020, which gives some other examples on the matter.
7 – Describe a cool part of a system that you love.
Would you look at that?! It’s like I knew this question would come up and I coincidentally mentioned that I like some of the mechanics in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound.
Well, it’s not exactly a mechanic but the question asks for a part of a system, anyway. What I like in Soulbound is the concept of the Party Sheet. The Party Sheet tracks a resource that is shared between the characters, which is also a really fun mechanic. It also mentions the goals of the party, short-term or long-term, which is also nice because characters can have goals but so can parties as a whole. Having them written in front of you is different than having them as an idea in your brain because each player will think of the goals in a different way.
But what I like the most is the Doom counter. There is the meme that the character in a game does all the side quests and when they start the first quest on the main questline they are already at the max level. And everyone and everything sits quietly and patiently waiting for them. While that happens mostly in video games, it definitely happens in tabletop RPGs as well. Well, the Doom counter takes care of that, sort of. During the sessions, the characters come across rumors. Of course, rumors can be just rumors so you don’t have to investigate them. But what if the rumors are true? Then they spread fear and, finally, become a threat. And what happens when lots of Doom is accumulated? Well, I don’t want to find out.
The Party Sheet tracks all that and is set in the middle of the table for everyone to see.
8 – Who introduced you to RPGs?
This question is connected to the question about when I was introduced to RPGs. Since I don’t have a clear answer to the when, I can’t have a totally clear answer to the who. Was is it that PC gaming magazine? Was it the owner of that store I visited? Was it that friend who invited me to a session? What came first, the chicken or the egg?
And I think I will stop here, for now, otherwise, I will get too tired and you will stop reading. I will definitely return with more answers soon. I had forgotten how fun this is. Again, I highly suggest taking part in this. The questions are simple, yet thought provoking. It’s fun!
So, until next time, have fun!
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