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Author Topic: Help: New Game Advice  (Read 1995 times)
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« on: June 04, 2003, 04:07:20 AM »

It's my first TROS game next Sunday. Can anyone offer advice on the best way to introduce the system to the players?
I'm planning to get them to design characters quickly, but telling them from the outside that this is just a familiarisation session: if they find they have made bad choices, we can redesign them the next session.
Then I want to showcase the combat system and SA's, but I'm not sure of the best way to proceed. Is there a demo adventure or anything like that anywhere?
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2003, 05:39:07 AM »

Hello,

Here I'll make what appears to be a very standard, and very effective suggestion. First off, you create the characters for them. Make them mostly soldier types, because the first session will be about them guarding a caravan which is transporting something of value.. Perhaps the king's taxes, the prince's bride to be, or some sacred relic. Make their SAs so that they can be used if the caravan is ever attacked.. (hatred of brigands, loyalty to the king, etc.) Because that's exactly what you're going to do. Tell them up front that they are not to get attached to these characters, because they're not meant to be permanent.

Then, once you've gone through a little bit of flavor, maybe some stuff which involves skills being used, and a little bit of plot exposition for any greater plots you might want to run once this introductory session is out of the way, have the caravan attacked by overwhelming odds. They're meant to kill lots of brigands, (or whatever) but they're also meant to fail, and die. The relic is lost, the princess is kidnapped, whatever.

By this time they'll have a good idea of combat, and probably how some of the skills work. They'll also have a decent idea, if you did some plot exposition, of what else is going on in the land, and how it might relate to the attack that their temps didn't survive. Have them create new characters related in some way to the attack, so as to give them a starting point (related to one of the guards, hell, the prince who was supposed to marry the princess might even be valid, something like that).

Now, this approach may not work very well for your group. It depends mostly on how your players take failure. Some of them might hate it, because they died; If you think this response is likely, then you might want to find some other tactic. But this scenario has been suggested many times as a good way to introduce people to the game, and has proven to be effective.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
ethan_greer
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2003, 05:46:07 AM »

Hey, that sounds pretty clever.  After months (and months) of careful consideration, I've decided to give TROS a try, and I'll probably use this idea for an intro session.

So, here's another question:  What sorts of handouts should a GM give his or her starting group?  Quickstart rules?  Combat charts?
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Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2003, 06:41:28 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen


First off, you create the characters for them. Make them mostly soldier types, because the first session will be about them guarding a caravan which is transporting something of value.....


Excellent suggestion, thanks.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2003, 06:44:30 AM »

If you're playing the full-up game, I wouldn't give them the official quickstart rules, "A Hint of the Riddle". The rules are so much lightened in that as to be almost a different game. If, however, you meant writing up what you felt was pertinent as a "quickstart" handout, that could be acceptable.

If you've the time and willingness, printing out a couple copies of the damage charts (available as a .pdf from the website) would help quicken combat a bit. Perhaps putting it into three separate handouts (for cutting, thrusting and bashing) might even speed it up a bit more.

Also, someone (don't remember who, off the top of my head) has a write-up which does a really good job of simplifying character creation, or so most say; I've not got a copy myself. They're requiring that you show proof of owning the book before they'll send it to you, as it's got a lot of information from the book within it.

Beyond that, whatever handouts you might usually give, such as details on the specific area/setting you're centering the story in, or some similar thing.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Salamander
Member

Posts: 450


« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2003, 11:17:28 AM »

Jake set up a support page on his TRoS site for just these kinds of things. There are numerous programs that have been made by the more computer savvy than I. Many of them are going to find thier way onto my lap-top once I have the chance to transfer them. Although sadly, my screen res is not high enough to support the Char-gen, by Brian Leybourne, that Wolfen speaks of. It is the only bit of software that requires you to own a copy of the book to open, all the others do not.

http://www.theriddleofsteel.net/support/
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"Don't fight your opponent's sword, fight your opponent. For as you fight my sword, I shall fight you. My sword shall be nicked, your body shall be peirced through and I shall have a new sword".
Bankuei
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2003, 11:39:59 AM »

Hi,

A fun "throwaway" type intro would be a family fued/gangwar type scenario, with folks fighting in a plaza or alleyway.  

Load up the PCs with SAs ranging from hatred of a particular rival, to familial love of a cousin(who, of course is on the other side), to love with one of the opposition's girls or sisters, a Vow to protect another PC, and this kind of stuff.  Keep all the Passions specific to a particular person, not the group in general.  Stuff like Drives or Vows("Kill all the men who killed my brother"), work better for general type things.  Give someone a high conscience and have a 12 year old boy come after him with a sword.

Here, you introduce the basics of combat, and SAs, all in one fell swoop.  In order to expand things, have the groups move the fight into a garden with a pond, trees, bushes and stairs(Terrain rolls anyone?), give them things to climb, jump from, and hide behind(basic skill rolls) and keep it going.  If one of the PCs die, hand him a new cousin (prepped for such a thing, preferably with a different weapon, to make it interesting), and keep going.

I'd prep up about twice as many pregens as you have players, explain the basics, maybe run them through a couple of exchanges as a trial.  And let'em go!

Chris
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2003, 11:51:12 AM »

Hello,

This short thread, Setting up the drama, might be helpful.

Best,
Ron
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2003, 11:53:10 AM »

Quote from: that screwy lizard
Although sadly, my screen res is not high enough to support the Char-gen, by Brian Leybourne, that Wolfen speaks of.


I'm not talking about the program, I'm talking about a document of some sort that someone put together for their group which facilitated play. The character generator is nice, but I'm assuming group character creation around the table, without easy access to a computer.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2003, 12:43:59 PM »

Lance's suggestion is what amounts to the only "pre-gen" adventure ever released for TROS - many of us have used that as starting boards for our campaigns and it's an excellent way to introduce the players to the game and get their blood pumping right away.

It can have interesting consequences as well, as in one such start of mine one of the characters - against all odds - actually survived and rescued the princess, so he kept that character while the others rolled up new ones and we carried on from there. It went really well.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Darren Hill
Member

Posts: 861


« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2003, 12:09:42 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hello,

This short thread, Setting up the drama, might be helpful.

Best,
Ron


Aha, you pre-empted me. See the new thread Give me your SAs.
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