Roleplay Workshop

Matthew Valkanov

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Jun 8, 2011
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Hey there fellow Forum-dwellers!

I'm organising an introduction to pen and paper roleplaying games at my university, with the obvious aim of introducing people with little or no experience with roleplay to this particular type of game, but also to potentially start a new group of roleplayers on campus.

The reason why I'm telling you this is that I'm thinking about which particular system and setting to use on this occasion, and I'm wide open to suggestions and commentaries on the ones I'm already considering.

The audience for this introduction will be comprised of History and Philosophy majors (so there's a minimum amount of geekiness in all of them), and I'm looking at things that are either set in familiar contempary settings, or in very undefined settings that I can edit and make up as we go along. System-wise, something simple but enough leeway for creativity, and I'd rather have an "end of mission points that you spend as you wish" rather than the D&D style level system.

Games I'm looking at are : -In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas : French indie RPG where you play as a demon or an angel in a contemporay setting. Lots of humour (such as Demons of Ugliness having bonus skill in Modern Art). Uses 3d6 for all rolls.
-DragOOns : Another French indie RPG, free for download if you're interested. Each player is a hero created by one God or another for whatever purpose, but to make sure you don't get ahead of yourself you have a mark of misfortune, such as a tendency to turn into an octopus when you see the colour blue or whatever you want to come up with. Uses a d20 system, where each dice corresponds to a different level of difficulty. Medieval fantasy setting, but doesn't go to far into detiails.
-A Song of Ice and Fire RPG : Love the system, love the setting(which is also popular with most of the crowd I hope will be coming). But I think the system might be a tad unforgiving for new players...


Well anyway, hope to hear your thoughts!
 

Malyc

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Was gonna recommend Pathfinder RPG system, but saw that u didn't want the D&D style level system. Try D10 system games, like Werewolf or Exalted. They use D10s for all rolls. Be warned though, no matter how many d10s you may have, it's still not enough for exalted.
 

Berenzen

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I'm a big fan of Shadowrunner myself, though I prefer the earlier editions which can be broken to all hell. The only other one that I've really played was the Pathfinder RPG system. I sorta want to check out the Mistborn RPG as well, it looks like it could be interesting, and I wouldn't think that it would use the DnD system either, simply from what I know of the series.

Considering your group, I'd probably say Shadowrunner- it's cyberpunk, but it's closest to modern day. But if you want to get some of the fantasy RPG's you're going to have more difficulty getting something for your group, most of them have pretty defined worlds. Though in your introduction, I would say to ask your group what they want, rather than picking for them. Some of them might suprise you, simply because they're philosophy/history majors, doesn't mean that they won't like a fantasy series, in fact, the History majors might really geek out on you and read a lot of the lore. Just speaking as a history minor here.
 

ShadowStar42

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Personally I would recommend either Godlike or Spirit of the Century dependent on the attitudes of the group.

Godlike is a superhero RPG set in an alternate WWII, it's history is very detailed and is designed for very gritty superheroic action. The rules are sufficiently complex to introduce the types of things that they'll see in other RPGs without being so complex as to be difficult to pick up.

Spirit of the Century is a Fate based RPG (same system as The Dresden Files if you're familiar with that), it is a very rules light system which would do a good job of teaching new players about the idea of shared storytelling. The setting is very action oriented and pulpy (the cover is a jet pack clad hero attacking a gorilla flying a biplane) and character creation is very simple if you have a creative group.
 

Matthew Valkanov

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Berenzen said:
I'm a big fan of Shadowrunner myself, though I prefer the earlier editions which can be broken to all hell. The only other one that I've really played was the Pathfinder RPG system. I sorta want to check out the Mistborn RPG as well, it looks like it could be interesting, and I wouldn't think that it would use the DnD system either, simply from what I know of the series.

Considering your group, I'd probably say Shadowrunner- it's cyberpunk, but it's closest to modern day. But if you want to get some of the fantasy RPG's you're going to have more difficulty getting something for your group, most of them have pretty defined worlds. Though in your introduction, I would say to ask your group what they want, rather than picking for them. Some of them might suprise you, simply because they're philosophy/history majors, doesn't mean that they won't like a fantasy series, in fact, the History majors might really geek out on you and read a lot of the lore. Just speaking as a history minor here.
What I meant by the contemporary setting wasn't so much that they wouldn't enjoy fantasy setting (their enjoyment of that genre is what made me think about doing the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG), but rather seeing as how I'll be introducing people to RPGs I wanted something that they could relate to or navigate a lot easier. And the reason I'm having to choose for them rather than let them suggest what they'd like is also because of their lack of experience. Plus, with a hundred plus students in the two student circles without a unified or accessible info hub it's a tad difficult to organise.

Mistborn? Doesn't ring a bell, I'll look it up, and Shadowrunner is also a good idea, didn't think of that.


Malyc said:
Was gonna recommend Pathfinder RPG system, but saw that u didn't want the D&D style level system. Try D10 system games, like Werewolf or Exalted. They use D10s for all rolls. Be warned though, no matter how many d10s you may have, it's still not enough for exalted.

Maybe for an intro I'll skip the ones with a large number of die :D But Werewolf, or Vampire the Masquerade could be good indeed. Recognisable setting with a lore of which the basics would usually be known...yeah, thanks for the suggestion ^^
ShadowStar42 said:
Personally I would recommend either Godlike or Spirit of the Century dependent on the attitudes of the group.

Godlike is a superhero RPG set in an alternate WWII, it's history is very detailed and is designed for very gritty superheroic action. The rules are sufficiently complex to introduce the types of things that they'll see in other RPGs without being so complex as to be difficult to pick up.

Spirit of the Century is a Fate based RPG (same system as The Dresden Files if you're familiar with that), it is a very rules light system which would do a good job of teaching new players about the idea of shared storytelling. The setting is very action oriented and pulpy (the cover is a jet pack clad hero attacking a gorilla flying a biplane) and character creation is very simple if you have a creative group.

I vaguely remember the Dresden Files, I'll have to re-read the playbook to refresh my memory. But I do like the sound of the Spirit of the Century (have to admit I had to take a minute to compute your description of the cover). And Godlike sounds like something the group could get a kick out of.
 

Doc Gnosis

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I'd recommend Vampire: the Masquerade or Mage: the Ascension for their sheer storytelling potential, though I give the caveat that both games have a mature setting that can be disturbing if you're not prepared for it. If they're open minded, then it could very well be a headfirst leap into history, morality, psychology, and life itself, especially with Mage since everyone can get something out of the in-game universe's elasticity.