Tuesday 8 November 2016

New Players and Magic

Lister: All we've got is us guys, us and our own resourcefulness.
I play with new players a lot. As well as players of some experience who are seemingly unable to read a rulebook. I can’t blame them. Rulebooks are for GMs. The trend to producing player-focussed rulebooks – AD&D2e, you started the rot! – has exploded the crunch on both sides of the table. That’s not for me, or for my players.
One of the things that I find hardest to deal with in any game is magic. And high-technology, but, let’s face it, that is the same thing as far as matters in a sci-fi RPG. It is particularly difficult with new players. It is one thing for a player to say, ‘My character does X, where X is something within the ranges of human potential’ as a GM and the players can use a combination of common expectations and a – hopefully – straightforward resolution system to adjudicate the success of this action. Magic tends to create ‘exceptional’ rules, introduce new resolution systems, and threaten the common understanding shared by the table, at least until the table has absorbed both the rules and the setting.
This is just a long way round to saying that I tend to find it easier to GM games for my group in which access to magic (for PCs and NPCs) is pretty restricted, at least at the start of a campaign.
So, you know, WFRP!
Cat: My God, it's worse than I thought!