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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 85 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Need a Good One-on-One Demo  (Read 3532 times)
Madheretic
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Posts: 21


« on: October 19, 2005, 12:08:01 PM »

Sorry if this isn't the right place for this request:

I just recently convinced someone to try role-playing again after being given a lack-luster introduction with D&D and Storyteller a year or so ago. We'll be doing a one-on-one session over an instant messenger this weekend. I'd like to know what the Forgies would suggest we use (system, and demo if possible).

Now, I've promised something that's very different from what she was doing in D&D and Storyteller, and I figure the most straight-forward way to deliver that would be a heavily Narr-facilitating system and/or something that can get by without a heck of a lot of combat.

She's a fan of Babylon 5, Neverwhere and the novels of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, so if there's anything out there that can reliable recreate the feel of one of these I'd really appreciate it being pointed out!

Below is the list of games I own, feel free to make a pitch for using one these, but don't count out suggesting some of those free pdf's floating around.

What I own:
Polaris
Sorcerer
TRoS
DitV
Conspiracy of Shadows
Shadows of Yesturday
Mountain Witch
Capes

I also have access to the Burning Wheel.
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Sydney Freedberg
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Posts: 1293


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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2005, 01:16:35 PM »

Capes is very good at allowing a creative free-for-all, either darkly absurd or action-comedy, that would nicely replicate a Vonnegut or Adams novel. I'd recommend you kick-start the session with strong scene-framing --- e.g. slap down a character like "Vogon Constructor Fleet" (or, if you're feeling grimmer, "American Bombers") and an initial conflict like "Goal: Somehow escape the horrific destruction of everything around you." Also, contrary to common practice, while you can use the click-and-lock system to slap together characters in a few seconds without thought, it's actually best to think at least for a few minutes before you start the first session and brainstorm back and forth so you have characters you actually care about, even if they end up being straight Click-and-Locks anyway.

Dogs in the Vineyard is also very cool. From what I've seen, it's less prone to comedy and preloaded with some hefty social and religious issues. Its great advantage over almost any other game is an almost idiot-proof process to guide play, from character creation (do the Initiations!) to scenario building (follow the Town Creation and NPC Generation rules! Do not fudge!) to conflict resolution.

The other games I've not played, though from what I understand Polaris , while hugely cool, really needs four players and multiple sessions, and Sorcerer, while also very cool, requires a lot of GM-player brainstorming to tailor Humanity and Demon definitions before actual play can start. Then The Riddle of Steel and Burning Wheel are superior takes on standard D&D tropes -- combat and adventure in a medieval-ish world -- which may either just what you want, if she found D&D frustrating because it promised such adventure but never delivered, or just what you don't want, if she's sour on anything that reminds her of D&D.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2005, 01:39:53 PM »

When you don't know where to post a thread, then private-message me and ask. Posting it somewhere and then saying "gee sorry" creates a pain in the ass for me.

Continue with the discussion.

Best,
Ron
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Graham W
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Posts: 437


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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2005, 01:58:52 PM »

Since you mentioned free PDFs, and that she's a science-fiction fan, have a look at some of the recent Ronnies entries. There's a load of good sci-fi stuff in there. Space Rat from the first Ronnies round is excellent; then there's Sphear from the new batch; Left Coast in the new batch is all about sci-fi authors. There's some very professional, well put-together games there.

Don't look at anything I wrote unless she likes swear words.

Graham
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Josh Roby
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Posts: 1055

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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2005, 02:30:36 PM »

How much time do you have, Mad?  If you really want to grab her, I'd start off with (I believe) Tony's 5-minute demo of Dogs (basically just the example of resolution given in the book, the GM plays the brother off to shoot the prostitute).  Play that out in five (or ten) minutes and then ask her if she wants to try doing the 'whole' game of that, or switch to Capes Lite, available for download.  Play out that demo for a couple pages, and see if she wants to try a 'whole' game of that.  Show her options, and give her control -- if she was turned off by vanilla D&D/WoD, these are the aspects that she hasn't seen before.
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