Hey, Gauntleteers, I hope this post finds you well.
Hey, Gauntleteers, I hope this post finds you well. I’m new around here, and I’m definitely not in the habit of using G+, so please pardon me as I ease into the community. I’m excited to get to know you all better!
There’s something I’ve been thinking about lately that I’d love to hear your thoughts on. If it’s come up before and it’s easiest to point me to an old thread, that totally works!
I play regularly with a couple of groups who are very comfortable with story games and collaborative storytelling. (A friend and I will often call it a “table full of GMs” since we regularly rotate between different systems, with different people running them in a cycle.) Recently, though, we’ve brought on a good friend of ours who’s relatively new to RPGs and isn’t accustomed to “generating story” for lack of a better way of putting it. They and I have chatted offline, and some of it sounds like those new-to-roleplaying jitters I’m sure many of us have been through. The other thing I’ve gleaned, though, is that they have a seem to have bent toward a certain brand of traditional-style roleplaying, where there’s lots of rolling of the dice, a focus on action, and more often reacting to things the GM puts in front of you than coming up with new stuff yourself.
Through our conversations, we figure there are a few things we can do when running a game to help make their experience more comfortable and pleasant (and, I think, all of these are certainly doable in the system we’re running):
1) Setting or framing scenes for them — rather than asking what they’re doing in a completely open-ended way — to put a clear obstacle, conflict, etc. in their way, and then letting them react.
2) Focusing on external, tangible conflicts rather than internal, personal, or intangible ones.
3) When it does come time for character development or the like, suggesting something fairly specific and letting them “fill in the blanks” or, should they feel so inclined, letting them suggest an alternative.
Put another way, perhaps: We’re a bunch of story gamers who have played or run traditional stuff before, but we’re no longer used to it, and now we have a player who, at least for the time being, would probably be more at home in traditional games. Aside from the “obvious” answer of sticking to trad games for now (which is totally valid and something I may recommend to our friend if it seems that’s best), I’m curious to hear what thoughts you might have on adapting story games to a traditional playstyle and easing new players into story-driven systems. Thanks!