A recent, extremely dissapointing experience with a clueless GM and an otherwise fun game has driven home a basic need in this community:
We need a sheet we can carry around with us that gives a set of basic principles, preferrably in Bullet format, as to what makes "these kind of games" fun.
I'm not talking about really jargon-heavy stuff from the Forge (although a lot of Forge concepts are good, when you turn them into "plain talking.")
I'm talking about just the basic ideas you need to embrace to make a game "like this" work.
Here's an example:
The players in the group have just as much of a contribution to make to the game as the GM. (Probably a better one to start with.)
*About the Forge there: "Stake-setting" for instance. It's a wonderful idea, and once you've got used to it, stake-setting is a good term. But it's only so much gobbeldy-gook for someone to hear it without a sufficient background education. Is there a bullet point we could use?
A lot of these games look at task resolution differently. The dice are rolled not to determine if you succeed or fail, but what you get out of what you did.
(No, that doesn't quite work, but I'm sure one of you smarter guys can condense it properly.)
Or: There's a difference between saying what happens and saying how it happens. This kind of game takes that very seriously. You can sometimes win the general outcome you want (your character saves the princess but the team gets captured) and then someone else comes along and adds inconvenient but fun details (the princess was working for the other side, the team learns the information you need to finish the quest from eavesdropping on their captor, etc.)
Or: Many of these games are about compensations, succeeding when you have to but discovering the price you're willing to pay.
Or: You need to look at task resolution differently for each of these games.They have a new kind of behavior they want to encourage and once you've found how the rules reflect that behavior, you can understand how the game works. Fortunately, the designer usually states what that behavior is pretty directly.
Well, you can see why someone like me would need a sheet like this. It's very difficult to sell a confused GM on a game when you can't even get across first principles.