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56

Best way to learn is to do, in my experience. I've DMed for a number of groups that have never played before (with players from age 11 to age 56(!!)), and in my experience, they really struggle to understand the game until they play it. Step one is to get everyone a character sheet-- if they're really lost, make one for them, or get a pre-made one from ...


47

Here are pitfalls that I would watch out for: Confusing Stress with Hit Points - Stress is not hit points. Stress is not damage. Stress is a measure of your ability to avoid lasting consequences from conflicts. Don't get hung up on the false equivalence of Stress and "damage". Looking to the mechanics to drive the fiction - In Fate, the fiction drives, and ...


46

I've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "landscape" of how people at the table viewed their role in the game. I didn't set out to deliberately address the challenges you're facing, but it's ...


42

I DM for new players alot, and even play with my wife and 8 year old daughter. Boredom is the enemy, even with seasoned players. If a player gets bored, you lose them. Keep things moving, even if it means handwaving some things. I make a point of trying to know as much about the rules as I can, so my players don't have to. I mean, I want them to pick up ...


37

All you need to play 5e is the Basic set, some pencils and paper, and the standard 7-die RPG dice set. The basic set player pdf has the four core classes, fighter, wizard, cleric & rogue featuring the most simple of their sub-class options allowing player to easily slide into the game and learn it. Additionally it covers the various pantheons of gods ...


36

Based on having run several sessions of the playtest and the fact that little of the standout features have changed since, here are the things that stood out to me on the first pass through the Basic rules: The Inspiration mechanic. We saw from the previewed character sheets in the starter that there are traits/flaws/bonds/ideals, these can be selected, as ...


34

It depends on what you're looking for You're comparing two entirely different products. Starter Set: I have no idea what D&D is and want to DM The Starter Set has everything you need to start playing. It has a bunch of pre-made characters, it has enough of the rules to get going and it has a short campaign to play through. If you simply want to get ...


30

Same Page Tool There is such a thing. It's called the Same Page Tool. It does require you to talk to the players, but gives you a structured set of questions to work from that can guide that conversation. There's really no way to do this that doesn't involve talking to them in some way, short of running campaigns and watching what they react to & what ...


29

How to explain D&D to new players? I like easy questions: don't. Set up a session where you can show them the concepts and be explicit about what you are doing: This is a short session to show you what D&D is like, to see if you like it and want to play more. We will have four encounters and to make it easy for you I'm going to tell you now that ...


21

Gomad has a great list already. Here's a few more I've thought of. The first one, especially, is something I've both experienced, and heard of others experiencing: Understanding how aspects differ from traditional bonuses - Aspects may be "always true," but that doesn't mean they provide a constant mechanical effect, the way that a "+2 sword" might. They ...


20

The games are completely different and it would only mislead you. At most, you could get some flavour from the old 2e set, but enough has changed that even for flavour it would hinder as much as it would help. The new Starter Set is a very good introduction to 5e though, so there's no additional benefit you could extract from the old set anyway. Stick with ...


19

The DMG is the least useful of the core books First, welcome to 5th edition D&D, the learning curve isn't too steep for this system and you should be able to pick it up fairly easily. Before I get to the main part of the answer there is something I would like to clear up. Unlike other systems which publisher all the important rules in a single Core ...


18

The systems have very little to do with one another. They are both trad games (as opposed to indie) and are both printed on paper. That's it. You won't be porting anything crunch-based from one game to the other (you can crib plots and characters, just not the stats). Combat Pathfinder has a complex D&D/d20-derived combat system with hit-avoiding ...


18

Play a session or two of Roll For Shoes. Like an improv exercise, it will shake out your narrative muscles and make you stretch them a bit in a gaming context where it's ok to do the "wrong" thing or take the game in absurd directions. This is the game that did the most to transition my old group from a D&D context to a more player-driven context. We ...


18

First things first. There are two different Dungeons & Dragons. There is Dungeons and Dragons the brand, which is what the marketing materials are about, and then there is Dungeons and Dragons the TRPG. Dungeons & Dragons the brand is the stories of Dungeons and Dragons. Such as the Tyranny of Dragons, or the Sundering, which existed in books, games, ...


17

Preface: The most recent resource I played was this digital release on drivethru rpg (2010). I like the game and would play it again. There are some things to know about Tales from the Floating Vagabond (Vagabond, from now on). Vagabond is not a serious game You probably already knew this to some extent, but you need to make sure your players know it. ...


16

I think the answer to this question depends on what you mean by "requires a thorough understanding of a language to fill the world with life as well as adequately explain the surroundings". I don't believe a particularly broad or elaborate vocabulary is required to do either, unless there is for some reason a major mechanical difference between, for example, ...


16

So this is more of a guess because I played half this module and DM'd it once for another group. If you really just go for main plot and your group is straight forward, then I think it still would take at least 30 hours. When your group likes to roleplay or have some fun combined with some sidequests, then I think this can easily go up 70 hours. The ...


15

The AD&D manuals are awful to learn from in an efficient manner. They are wonderful for long, meandering explorations of the game (probably sitting in an overstuffed leather chair in front of a crackling fire, with a snifter of brandy or somesuch signifiers of studious leisure), but when you're just trying to get up to speed for the first time on how the ...


14

You will have to pause the game to explain mechanics as needed, but this is far better than trying to explain everything up front! (I learned that lesson the hard way.) Don't remove things from the game. Instead, run the game such that new mechanics are gradually introduced over the course of play. Here's what I do when I'm running Mouse Guard at a ...


14

If you don't mind playing the most recent edition ... You can do what a lot of people have done over the past 5 years, and get the D&D Starter set, or the more recently released Essentials Set Some basics on introduction ... The starter set has enough material to get you started. A key to doing this successfully is to discover the game together as a ...


13

I remember reading somewhere that one GM created a power card of sorts for one of his players having the analysis paralysis issue. He wrote out a few things the character could do (attack, block, etc.). After the first couple of sessions the player started asking questions, and he'd have her write out a new power card. After a while the player caught on ...


13

Do not look at systems but at settings. If the setting is interesting enough, if the lure of the story to be told is captivating enough, and if each player can see a protagonist they would like to play then you have won them over. Then, if you must, find a system that match. There are several ways you can do this: A commonly known setting: say Conan or ...


13

Gygax wrote up a sample in the 1st Ed DMG - Pages 96-100. There is also some lead-in and outline discussion that sets the scene for the sample play. It narrates, multi-voice in the first person, an initial exploration and beginning combat in a low level dungeon. You only get the voice of the DM and the party leader. Apparently Gygax's method involved ...


13

The point of Dungeon World published adventures is, like all published adventures, to take some of the burden of prep off of the GM. But in Dungeon World, prep is limited to detailing fronts and drawing maps with blanks (both literally and metaphorically). So published adventures in general just do some or all of that for you. A good DW published product ...


12

You need the basic rules and dice. A few standard sets (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d%) for the table should do fine for getting started) and you could use an electronic dice roller if you really wanted. Everything else is optional. The PHB gives you (lots) more options for creating characters. The DMG gives you lots of advice, alternative rules, and ...


11

Emphasize the Differences Nobilis, as you've noted is a very different game than almost any other game. As it's been a while, I guess you've probably already figured this out, but this may be of help to someone else. It's important to manage expectations up front with Nobilis. Players who are used to rolling dice are going to have a severe disconnect to a ...


11

Fate Core supports diving right in (focusing on actual playing), just as much as it supports collaborative story-building. First off, it's important to remember that collaborative world-building doesn't really stop once you start actual play. You can always, as a GM, tap a player to answer a question about the world for you. "You head to the local coffee ...


11

Start with basics and play rather than explain Don't explain, just play. The play's the thing. A good approach is to do the first few sessions in the Theater of the Mind. No maps. No figures. Just character sheets, a few dice, you, and your players. Have them introduce themselves in character, tell them about whatever adventure the party will be ...


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