"I just literally do not know how to play."

edited August 2013 in Story Games
A friend of mine, who has never played any RPG and is not particularly knowledgeable about nerd culture, somehow got interested in D&D from some middle-school aged campers at a rock camp where she volunteers. So she went to a bookstore and picked up the D&D 4E player's handbook, then took to Facebook to talk about it.

Brian: You should to to [local mini-con]! I've run games there before, and I might be there this year.
Shauna: I would totally go! I've never played it, so I don't want to slow everyone down but would love to watch. Or play if that's not a bummer...
Brian: Um you can't WATCH, you have to PLAY.
Shauna: ok! I just literally do not know how to play. That was not in my giant book.

Game makers, take note!
«1

Comments

  • That's pretty funny.

    Curious though - why not invite her to watch? Watching a game being played is a great way to learn. Many of the newbies I have played with "learned" the basics of how RPGs work from TV shows like Community and Freaks & Geeks. (Or is this a mini-con specific rule?)
  • If I'm reading Brian's post correctly, the point is that despite reading a _huge_ book the person did not get a clear idea of how to play. How to play, not included.
  • If I'm reading Brian's post correctly, the point is that despite reading a _huge_ book the person did not get a clear idea of how to play. How to play, not included.
    Yeah, for sure! That's both hilarious and deeply troubling. But I'm also curious why watching a game was ruled out as a possible remedy to that situation!

  • Warning: don't turn this into a discussion of how texts communicate gameplay!
  • I would always suggest an interested person play rather than watch. Half of playing D&D is watching other people do their thing anyway; it's easy to pick up; and I don't think watching a game of D&D is as likely to inspire ongoing interest actually playing it.
  • Most good cons/gamer gatherings should have some kind of way to flag "newbies welcome" games. I think it's an important detail: let people they can relax and come play, that there will be no hardcore expectations.
  • edited August 2013
    We hear this refrain at Story Games Seattle all the time. People aren't sure they're allowed to come if they don't know anything about all these exotic games or if they've never played a role-playing game before. Our answer is always the same: Everybody's welcome, no experience necessary! Just bring your brain and a good attitude! We have wonderful people there who will teach the rules. And they show up and play and have fun.

    But that doesn't change the point that not everyone has a community available to teach them the game the book was supposed to teach them. A rule book should teach you how to play, right?

    You certainly should not walk away from reading a game thinking "I still have no idea how to do that."
  • Yeah, that's the funny part. She is totally interested in playing, and got this giant book and read it, and is no closer to understanding what the hell to do.

    I don't necessarily think that's D&D 4E's fault. Maybe RPGs are just way more opaque than we think they are to people with no context or guidance.

    As for watching vs. playing, why watch when you can play, right? I offered to run a game for her. She's gonna round up some friends.
  • Show her a Replay.

    The only ones I'm aware of are the ones in Maid, Fiasco, and Golden Sky Stories.

    Golden Sky Stories has the best one, because it has art and stuff: http://starlinepublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/GSS-TheBrokenWindow.pdf

    BUT, it's a far different experience than D&D. BUT, I believe that it essentially shows you universally How To Play A Role-Playing Game (just doesn't then go into D&D Combat and the like, which I expect is easier to pick up and understand given that at least that aspect is explained well in the rules). What a session Looks Like.

    -Andy
  • edited August 2013
    There's definitely different ways of learning. I think if you handed D&D4 to my 7th grade self I would have learned it much better than I learned Red Box D&D just because it's really procedural/ultra-logical and that's where my strengths were (are?)

    Actually I had friends in high school who showed up just to watch the game a few times and then decided they wanted to play. Basically they would hang out, do homework, quip and joke, but listen, and eventually they got it and wanted in. I also had a few that showed up to watch, seemed to enjoy themselves all right, and said they'd rather not play. I take that as "getting it" too. :)

    Now that I think about this, this open-ness to other people's hobbies/ideas was actually a pretty significant strength of my school that I don't think everyone else had.
  • As for watching vs. playing, why watch when you can play, right? I offered to run a game for her. She's gonna round up some friends.
    Great! I was thinking more if she genuinely felt more comfortable watching-and-learning first, there's no need to insist she play. But it sounds like that's not the case. :)

  • The Dragon Age episode of Tabletop is useful for this. Or the Fiasco episode, depending on what you're trying to illustrate. There are any number of AP podcasts as well, but Tabletop is particularly easy to follow.
  • The Dragon Age episode of Tabletop is useful for this. Or the Fiasco episode, depending on what you're trying to illustrate. There are any number of AP podcasts as well, but Tabletop is particularly easy to follow.
    I just came back to suggest an AP podcast or video as a good intro (and an alternative to replays for Western RPGs), but you beat me to it.


  • As for watching vs. playing, why watch when you can play, right? I offered to run a game for her. She's gonna round up some friends.
    This can be a good approach if the person feels shy: if they're surrounded by their friends (who are also new to the thing), they don't have to worry about "not knowing the ropes". In fact, they could be the best-informed person (by virtue, for example, of having read the book).

    I'm actually curious to hear what the experience of reading an entire D&D book cover-to-cover is like, particularly for someone who has no idea how it will be applied. (How many people have actually done this? It sounds awe-inspiring, if not sanity loss-provoking.)

  • What makes this especially interesting is that the first chapter of the 4th edition PHB is "How You Play", including a short example of play among other advice and description of, you know, how one plays an RPG, D&D 4th in particular.
  • Playing a roleplaying game may be one of those things like riding a bike or learning a language. In order to do it, you usually have to do it -- just reading a book may not be enough for many people, no matter how clearly the "how to play" section is written. A few people might be able to read a book about it and make it work for them, but many will need to get actual experience through interaction with others before they can gain the confidence to give it a try.

    I'd guess this has a lot to do with one's experience (or lack thereof) in childhood games, especially in games of pretend like cops & robbers or house, maybe even video games and board games too, I'm not sure. But I do know it has nothing to do with so-called "intelligence".
  • Do you know what's missing in the books? The Techniques!! That's the reason why it seems you can only learn from watching other people play, reading APs or by trial and error. We discussed this here if you want to know more about it. I'm still working on a generic AP in comic format to explain better the most usual Techniques. Feel free to give us a hand!
  • That's really interesting. In thinking about this a bit more myself, I remembered something Meguey Baker said about her nanogame Valliant Girls, that she was able to give it to a group of Ethiopian girls with no RPG experience and they were able to play it without any problem. (At least I think I remember that correctly.)

    Keeping that in mind, I wonder if the theory I wrote about in my previous post is not really valid. Maybe the problem is not that you needd to do roleplaying in order to understand it (after all, who doesn't roleplay at somepoint in their life?). Maybe the comes from D&D 4th Ed. apparently being about telling adventure stories together, while actually being a tactical war game with its focus on combat. The roleplaying aspect is there as something you can do if you already know how to do it, or if you can just draw on previous experiences from childhood, but the game's mechanics don't support it so much in themselves. That might be what confused the person in this example.

    Maybe if she'd happened upon another game first, her experience would have been very different.
  • I picked up the 3.0 D&D Player's Handbook when I was a teenager, knowing nothing about roleplaying games but just having an intuition that this was something that I would love. After reading it through, I still didn't know what roleplaying was. But I felt more strongly than ever that roleplaying and me were meant to be, if only I could figure it out. So, since I didn't know anyone who roleplayed, I bought the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual.

    It was two thirds of the way through the DMG that I suddenly discovered a transcript of an imaginary session - an example of a dungeon adventure. Suddenly, it made sense - it was a game you played through talking about the shared situation the characters were in, with each player taking one character, and the DM looking after the rest. No where up until then had this been explained. I'd had this vague idea that it was like a super complicated board game, but I'd known that couldn't be right because it also emphasized complete creative freedom. Now that I understood, I had to go back and reread everything again, and it all made much more sense once I knew the fundamental thing they were driving at.

    True story.
  • edited August 2013

    This can be a good approach if the person feels shy: if they're surrounded by their friends (who are also new to the thing), they don't have to worry about "not knowing the ropes". In fact, they could be the best-informed person (by virtue, for example, of having read the book).

    I'm actually curious to hear what the experience of reading an entire D&D book cover-to-cover is like, particularly for someone who has no idea how it will be applied. (How many people have actually done this? It sounds awe-inspiring, if not sanity loss-provoking.)
    4th Edition was the first RPG that I read. I knew the basic idea of roleplaying beforehand, but it wasn't until I came to the table that I learned that attack roll and damage rolls were different things. Also, from reading the book, I thought the entire game took place in dungeons, since that's the only thing the rules talked about.
  • edited August 2013
    Sounds like the authors are writing for other roleplayers rather than folks who night never have played an RPG before and are simply curious. Negative point to them then for not reaching out beyond their core audience. Having said that, I don't know to what extent RPG game books can explain roleplaying to non-roleplayers; maybe they can a bit, but ultimately you have to play a game to have a hope of understanding it. I have the same problem with a lot of rulebooks even now, even though I'm an experienced roleplayer, that is to say I often can't get a proper handle on a game until I've played it a couple of times.

    As to letting someone watch rather than play initially: I understand the principle behind 'No, I usually say they have to play' (after all, see above), but if they really would rather watch (which could actually be better than playing for this purpose, outsiders having a better view of the game etc,)- it seems a bit exclusory to not let them.
  • catty_big: Sure thing, if someone really wants to watch, rather than play. But sometimes, including this case, the request is to watch because the newcomer doesn't feel they're allowed to play, or they will ruin it for the other players, or simply doesn't know what to do.

  • edited August 2013
    catty_big: Sure thing, if someone really wants to watch, rather than play. But sometimes, including this case, the request is to watch because the newcomer doesn't feel they're allowed to play, or they will ruin it for the other players, or simply doesn't know what to do.

    Oh ok, in which case you're being encouraging, i.e. saying don't be shy, we don't bite, we'll all help you with the rules etc. That's grand- kudos.

  • Yeah, I forget about this from time to time. (Can we please kill the "It's Cops and Robbers with dice!" cliché? /end tangent)

    I learned about RPGs from watching RPGs, from other RPG players. D&D in particular is steeped in the "tradition handed down through the years" model, in my experience. We know what an RPG is because someone showed us. This isn't universally true, but I'd wager it's largely true.

    I'm taking mental notes.
  • To be fair on Wizards, their 4th edition Red Box had, if I recall correctly, both an example of play and a very simple rulebook which functioned as both a choose-your-own-adventure game and a tool for explaining the rules. It was a good starter.

    Sadly however, the RPG industry is obsessed with these big hardback books because that's how to maximise your profits from the existing fan base. An awful lot of Kickstarters for example are about getting existing fans to buy a $200 leatherbound hardback of something they already own. The sort of box sets that I grew up with in the 80s thanks to Games Workshop (before it went Warhammer mad) just don't get the sort of attention they once did.

    I don't know what the answer is because those big companies have staff to keep in jobs and a willing audience. But the indie crowd has no such existing market and has every reason to grow their own audience (although I've read too many indie rule books with the words "experienced gamers only" in them as well - at least they're honest I suppose).
  • Perhaps I'm an an extreme minority, but I actually did learn how to run and play D&D from how to play chapters. I'd been running games for years before I ever got a chance to play in someone else's. In my experience, reading a few RPG main books and using a bit of empathy and understanding of social dynamics are a more reliable way to start running games, than trying to discern which habits of a mentor are good or bad, or for that matter easy or difficult to acquire.

    I've wondered how much abusive and juvenile behavior in RPGs comes from people doing what they saw others do, and then retroactively justifying it in the play advice. Sure some of it comes from simply immature social dynamics, but it seems possible that these sections often fall under the "do what I say, not what I do" - and this become apparent when you compare folks playing to the idealized descriptions often occurring in books.

    - Mendel
  • Again, it's the Techniques! It's like glasses: you can't see a thing without them and once you wear them for the first time it's like a new world ahead of you... but then you get so used to them you forget you're wearing them. The same has happened to you, me, and way too many game designers out there.

    You see, it's true, we have roleplayed at some point in our lives, that's easy and intuitive. But Techniques are a missing key piece that isn't intuitive at first, but becomes a second nature once you see them in action. That's why everything becomes clear ONLY when you read an actual play or see people play. You're probably still using the same ritual expressions to convey each step of the process, just think about it:

    -"You are in the town of X doing Y when suddenly..." and then you learned about scene framing and how this is a cue for everyone to pay attention.
    -"What do you do?" ...and then you learned that this was the cue for when the GM had finished framing the scene and it was time for your input.
    -"I try to convince him of N, do I roll Diplomacy?" and that taught you about how to give your input as an intention and not as a fact, that in this kind of situations you might be asked to roll the dice and how you could back up your roll with skills to have a higher chance of success.

    And so on. These ritual phrases aren't roleplaying, but they are so ingrained with it we often confuse both, think Techniques are also intuitive and end up writing books that doesn't explain them, except for the actual play examples, which could actually be better at this or at least could be given a lot more of importance.
  • I don't know what the answer is because those big companies have staff to keep in jobs and a willing audience. But the indie crowd has no such existing market and has every reason to grow their own audience (although I've read too many indie rule books with the words "experienced gamers only" in them as well - at least they're honest I suppose).
    I suspect that releasing a "starter box" alongside the main rules is just a major no-go, given the much lower sales of the indie market. Hard enough to sell one rulebook for a game, let alone two.
  • edited August 2013
    For me, this situation is clearly gendered. It's a woman saying that she feels uncertain about attending a convention and playing a game (with men, probably). She's uncertain, she doesn't feel she understands the rules, she doesn't want to slow people down.

    So I'm wary of turning into a technical question of How Do You Communicate Rules, because there is so much else going on. You turn a very human question - of how can we make newcomers, especially women, feel welcome at conventions - into a technical one.

    She was keen to watch. I think she should come and watch.
  • I've seen other-gendered players in this situation too. I'm aware it's an issue, but that has been discussed before to no end, so can we please not go there in this thread?
  • edited August 2013
    We just did, I'm afraid. (Although I imagine we'll go back to discussing How Texts Communicate Rules shortly.)

    Even if we don't want to talk about gender, though, we might discuss why newcomers like our games but don't want to play them at conventions. That's more than a technical issue of communicating rules.

  • ....Suddenly, it made sense - it was a game you played through talking about the shared situation the characters were in, with each player taking one character, and the DM looking after the rest. No where up until then had this been explained. I'd had this vague idea that it was like a super complicated board game, but I'd known that couldn't be right because it also emphasized complete creative freedom. Now that I understood, I had to go back and reread everything again, and it all made much more sense once I knew the fundamental thing they were driving at.

    True story.
    Agreed. The term "game" has an implication that there are strict rules to follow, turn orders, win conditions, whatever. And if you buy a massive Player's Handbook for D&D to "learn" the game without any handholding, forget it; it's a hundred pages of magic spell tables and reference guides. If you have no knowledge of what an RPG is, you come in thinking it's a big complicated boardgame, and then the PH is just a large excel spreadsheet.

    Heck, I haven't played D&D for 20 years or so, but my wife wanted to pick a Monster Manual just because she thought it would be a cool reference guide for all of the fantasy novels she was reading at the time. And looking over that tome, with the countless stats and terms...it just made my head hurt. It's complete data overload.

    Really, the best way to learn to play an RPG like D&D is to sit down with someone who has played before...and be told "the only rule is, tell the GM what you want to do, he'll tell you what to do next." Or, watch people playing (and watching a TV show playing doesn't really count). Once you get over the hurdle of "it's a game with rules and charts and stuff" the lightbulb should turn on.
  • edited August 2013
    For me, this situation is clearly gendered. It's a woman saying that she feels uncertain about attending a convention and playing a game (with men, probably). She's uncertain, she doesn't feel she understands the rules, she doesn't want to slow people down.
    Graham, what does that mean? Specifically, what is it for a thing or situation to be gendered? And what's the interesting thing to be thinking about in this particular case?
  • edited August 2013
    Come on, you're all stepping on it, is right under your noses, in fact, I've trying to tell you several times! It's something that was mentioned many years ago in the Forge, one of the reasons norwegians RPG are so advanced and *Ws games are close to it with their Principles.

    It's not a gender issue, it still isn't part of the rules (though it should be), and as I mentioned it's so ingrained with roleplaying that we think it's also intuitive when it's not.

    It's the Techniques! I can't stop saying how important these are for playing any RPG at all! Once you learn how to use them it becomes a second nature to you to the point that you'll take them to any other RPG you play, and you may even have a hard time playing other way if you learned and used only a limited set of techniques. So, the sooner they get explained in the rule books, the easier is to understand how to play. The more of them you explain to the players, the better they adapt to different games.
  • edited August 2013
    Graham, what does that mean? Specifically, what is it for a thing or situation to be gendered? And what's the interesting thing to be thinking about in this particular case?
    Just that gender is important here. There's something very different between a man saying "I would totally go, but I don't understand it and I might slow people down" to a woman saying it.

    There are some fairly classic things going on. She feels she doesn't understand, she feels she might slow people down. I'm not saying Gender Is The Reason Behind All Of This, but I'm saying it a factor we can't ignore.

    And gender is important in this thread. It's a very man thing to say: let's reduce this whole situation down to rational rules and techniques! (WarriorMonk's post, above, is a classic. And I am very happy to explain the link between rationality and masculinity off-line. It is fairly convincing.)

    Anyway, I won't go on about this. There is something highly strange about gender conversations that just involve men. I'm just saying that gender is a factor, that's all.
  • Yeah right Graham, there's a connection between men preferring to go rational rather than emotional and previous accounts of women who feel umcomfortable with man that don't want anything remotely emotional involved in their almost chauvinistic way of playing; but the possibilty that this particular thread isn't the case is higher than you think.

    On top of that I feel you're implying women can't focus on nothing else than emotional situations, that men can't be sensitive enough to realize they are being rude by keeping things rational (oh, yes, I admit that saying "no, you HAVE to play!" to a lady was the worst move ever) and a large etc. Most possibly I'm wrong about thinking you are implying any of this, and I hope you understand that you may be wrong on your interpretation of my previous posts too. I'm thankful you realize how complex is prodding the Gender landmine in this or any issue and why it deserves a thread of it's own.

    You see, that's why I was asking you not to take the thread there; it's not that I'm denying there' s a bazillion of problems there too, it's just that I had a point I feel it's important to solve the subject stated in the very first post: How to explain the game to anyone, regardless of gender issues.

    And I won't get tired of saying it again until someone takes it seriously: Techniques. Properly explained, these could do a lot for the hobby. I mean, a lot.
  • edited August 2013
    My main group is about half female, half male, and the female half tends to be a bit more intense about our games. I've had women and men that we've invited to play with us both get a bit skittish about diving in right away rather than watching.

    I think the issue here is Impostor's Syndrome, which can affect anyone, but in general affects women at a much higher percentage than men. "I read the manual, but, I mean, I'm not a D&D nerd or anything, so I couldn't possibly start playing." "Wow, you guys all seem to really know what's going on! If I jumped in, I would just slow you down with my questions." "I'm not a 'geek', so I'll never totally understand this crunchy system."

    Gaming in particular, I think, can make people feel like impostors because we have a strongly embedded idea of what makes a typical gamer. It's easy to compare yourself to this caricature of a gamer and see why you don't add up.

  • On manuals: I think teaching techniques in the game manual could definitely help alleviate Impostor Syndrome. When you read something like the sample play in the Dungeon World guide, you can see what exactly it takes to do the job, and see if you realistically measure up. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have a manual full of weapons tables with no instruction on how that's used in play, and you don't know if you are expected to memorize the table or even be remotely familiar with it.

    Imagine if you joined a soccer team but no one told you if it was going to be a recreational, amateur, or professional team... you were just supposed to find out when you showed up for your first game?
  • Thanks a lot Samsara, the Impostor's Syndrome summarizes this case better. Now I'm thinking it would aso help greatly if every section of the rulebook had an actual play example of how the rules of that section come into play. Not all rulebooks do that these days.
  • I wouldn't have pushed to have her play if she just wanted to watch. Spectators have often been a part of my groups at various times. It's cool to have spectators around, they help with breaks in the game.
  • ^^^ Yeah, spectators are fine. When you actually see people having fun doing something, it tickles the mirror in your brain and you begin to see how you could have fun doing it.

    Plus, inviting someone to sit in and watch your group play is several orders of magnitude less fraught than telling them "Just show up at this convention full of people you have never met before and play something." Unless you know for a fact that you're talking to someone who is enough of an extrovert to absolutely love being crammed into a room with dozens of strangers, it would probably be nicer to give them a lower-stress environment for their introduction to gaming.
  • @Graham, @WarriorMonk

    I don't think it is entirely fair to reduce this down to a gender/intruder syndrome situation here (and, sidenote, let's neither simplify the intersection between the two nor pretend there is no intersection, shall we?), because the specific case we're talking about here is a person who said she just didn't pick up the basics of playing from reading the book. Since none of us are privy to knowing the individual in question, let alone her inner monologue, I think it is safe to say that it could be both a presentational issue and an inclusivity issue, and that both are valid lines of inquiry, surely?

    I fear there is a lot of self-serving oversimplification going on in this thread. There isn't just one problem to be solved; if only.

    @CarpeGuitarrem

    I didn't mean to suggest that a full bells and whistles "starter box" approach was viable for indie publishers, although I can see how I may have given that impression. All I was really suggesting was that taking the effort to provide clear explanations, examples of play and definitions of terms (for example) was something that writers should and can aspire to - and that I've read too many books over the past year which don't even aim for that.
  • edited August 2013
    Roleplaying games suck at explaining how to play the games. Yes, even your game. If you want my opinion, nanogames are the way to go. It's not quiet there, but those games are going in the right direction. Why are they not there? Because they still lack how to lure out the imagination of the participants; to show the way in how to think when creating stuff together. They still lack how to get the group to form a creative environment, where people cheer and build on each other's ideas. They still take things for granted. Things that we "experienced" roleplaying gamers take for granted. That's what sucks about roleplaying games. We lack the ability to see things from an unexperienced mind.

  • @CarpeGuitarrem

    I didn't mean to suggest that a full bells and whistles "starter box" approach was viable for indie publishers, although I can see how I may have given that impression. All I was really suggesting was that taking the effort to provide clear explanations, examples of play and definitions of terms (for example) was something that writers should and can aspire to - and that I've read too many books over the past year which don't even aim for that.
    Very, very true. Even as an experienced gamer (though the system is great), I found Hollowpoint difficult to parse early on.
  • Nanogames seem better at this when they focus on an specific procedure to start playing. Whenever players have clear guidelines to start playing and this part of the process in provocative enough to inspire the rest of the game, there's not much need for additional techniques: all the ones that you'll need for playing are implied on that starting process. I think we all could be better at explaining the game if we managed to raise awareness about teaching techniques at least a bit.
  • There are no techniques.
  • edited August 2013
    I think we all could be better at explaining the game if we managed to raise awareness about teaching techniques at least a bit.
    This creates a problem, because people don't read techniques. I'm basing this statement on my first game that was heavily based on techniques. This is why I'm not talking about game mechanics and techniques anymore but instead about structures. By explaining the game in structures, which includes both game mechanics and techniques but also a lot more, you can more easily explain how to play the game, rather than explaining how the game works (which is common when explaining game mechanics).

    GAME MECHANICS
    1. Roll initiative.
    2. Roll attack.
    3. Roll damage.

    TECHNIQUES
    Typical for this genre is to attack someone by spinning, jumping or running.

    STRUCTURES
    Roll attack roll and, if it's a success, include one of the following in the description of the attack.
    - Spinning.
    - Jumping.
    - Running.
  • Nanogames seem better at this when they focus on an specific procedure to start playing. Whenever players have clear guidelines to start playing and this part of the process in provocative enough to inspire the rest of the game, there's not much need for additional techniques: all the ones that you'll need for playing are implied on that starting process. I think we all could be better at explaining the game if we managed to raise awareness about teaching techniques at least a bit.
    Nanogames are a great way to train explanation. When you only allow yourself, say, 500-800 words to give a full game, you realize how much stuff you need to concretely put down, so you get rid of everything that (in a longer game) would obfuscate the point.

    One thing I've noticed in particular about nanogames is an authoritative voice, because it's necessary. Not things of "you can do this or that", but "in this situation, this is what you do".
  • edited August 2013
    Ok, first problem, looks like nobody here knows what I'm talking about when I say Techniques. I'm talking about the ritual phrases we use for negotiating the fiction, giving cues for turns in player/gm input, etc and all the stuff everybody keeps calling "good game advice", which could be really easily turned into clear procedures for newcomers and thus, an important part of any rpg book.

    Take for example this comic by David Berg for his game Delve, which features exactly what I'm talking about.

    We've been discussing Techniques in this thread if you want to know even more about it. You will find there a list of these Techniques; as you will see they are everyday's bread for veteran roleplayers and mostly everything you actually need to learn how to play any RPG, besides the mechanics and specific procedures of the game you're playing.

    Of course, not all apply to every game and group; some games will require other techniques... which you may probably bring with you to other games too. AW's Principles may be confused with Techniques too, but actually they are more like guidelines which make you remember or develop Techniques to handle the negotiation of the fiction.

    Also, most people can either infere/learn this Techniques by reading APs, watch other people use them in play and the hard way, by trial and error while playing. So, you get my drift now?
  • For me, this situation is clearly gendered. It's a woman saying that she feels uncertain about attending a convention and playing a game (with men, probably). She's uncertain, she doesn't feel she understands the rules, she doesn't want to slow people down.
    By way of clarification, the conversation I had with my friend was not really about attending a convention. She got the rulebook, read through it it, and was mystified. It was only then that I suggested a local con as a place she could play with people.

Sign In or Register to comment.