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Author Topic: [Mountain Witch] Demo'ing for never-before RPG'ers  (Read 1725 times)
timfire
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Posts: 756


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« on: November 30, 2004, 07:26:48 AM »

This last wekend I twice had the chance of demo'ing The Mountain Witch for never-before role-players.

The first time was with my Father. I needed to practice my demo, so I made my family help me. I had my brother who plays DND almost every week, my sister and brother-in-law who both have role-played a couple times in the past, and of course my father. It was hard to tell how much my father 'got it'. He definitely particiapated, but he was quiet alot. Afterwards, I asked him what he thought. He told me that the type of creative thinking required was kinda difficult for him. Because everyone else had role-played before, I didn't really have the opportunity to dedicate any significant amount of time to going over 'basics' with my father. I'm sure he understood what was happening in a literal sense, but if I had the opportunity to provide more of an introduction, I'm sure he would have enjoyed himself a bit more.

The second time was at the Chicago Gaming Conclave where I was demo'ing the game. A man brought his wife to the Con, who supposedly had never role-played before. Unlike my Father, this woman was into it from the get-go. In an innocent excitement, she would just start narrating events, a couple times narrating past what the mechanics allow. It was funny, her character's zodiac was the tiger, but she got confused and thought her character was literally a tiger. (She said the reason her character was a ronin was because her father ate an entire village, and she needed the money to re-build it.) The thing was, though, that she really got into it. Her husband tried to correct her, but I'm not sure she got it. She would still talk about attacking with "her claws". But you know, I didn't want to dampen the untainted creativity, so I just let things be.

Both times the never-before role-players were playing with other more experienced players. This allowed them (especially my Father) to follow their lead when they weren't sure what to do. So it's hard to tell how much they really 'got it'.
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--Timothy Walters Kleinert
Jasper
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2004, 02:21:17 PM »

Tim,

Did both your father and the women picked up the mechanics pretty easily?  How much introductory talk about the rules did you give (or did you even hand out any materials?)?  Were there any sticking points in terms of the rules?

Also, did you talk with the woman afterwards?  Did she say anything to you about what kind of experience it was and whether she wants to do it again?
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Jasper McChesney
Primeval Games Press
timfire
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 08:00:18 AM »

Quote from: Jasper
Did both your father and the women picked up the mechanics pretty easily?  How much introductory talk about the rules did you give (or did you even hand out any materials?)?  Were there any sticking points in terms of the rules?

In both cases I had printed out pre-gen character sheets that had a distilled version of the rules included on the sheet. I then went over the rules and explained the game, which took about 15-20 mintues. (The entire demo was about an hour.) I believe they both grokked the rules. Adjusting Trust was confusing, but that's confusing for everyone (I need a better way to explain it). This being a demo and not an actual game, I didn't want to get bogged down in long discussions of the rules, so admittedly I walked them (and everyone else) through the mechanics as we played.

The mechanics themselves are simple enough. You roll the dice, subtract any damage modifers, and take the margin of success. But there was a little confusion about the whole Fortune-in-the-Middle thing.

ME: "What do you try to do?"
THEM:"I cut off his head!"
ME: "So you're attacking, roll the dice."
(roll)
ME: "You succeed! So you basically kill it. Now narrate."
THEM: "I, um... cut off its head?"

That of course isn't a direct quote. I would try and to get them to give a descriptive account of what happened. Sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn't understand why they needed to elaborate.

You know, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that my father ever got a chance to narrate.  He lost a conflict or two, and aided a couple of times, but you never narrate if you're aiding someone else. I'm pretty sure I asked him how he helped out, but I don't think he ever technically narrated.

The woman at the CGC narrated alot. Like I said she was really into it, and took on an enemy by herself. She was then aided by others, so she did the narrating for those conflicts as well.

Quote
Also, did you talk with the woman afterwards?  Did she say anything to you about what kind of experience it was and whether she wants to do it again?

She really liked it. She commented that she wanted to keep playing and find out how things got resolved.
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--Timothy Walters Kleinert
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