Jump to content

Referee Technique Help


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I'm hoping you can help me out here.

As some of you know, I'm introducing a few of my nieces to tabletop gaming, but I'm running into a problem... Both the nieces are introverts and it's hard to get them to initiate any actions at the table. I wouldn't say they're at the 'social anxiety' level, but they definitely prefer to sit back and observe rather than take any actions of their own. The third player is my wife, who has introvert tendencies herself, but she's trying to lay back and give the girls some room to explore.

So does anyone have any ideas on how to gently coax them out of their respective shells? At this point, we've done the basic tasks common to most RPGs... survival, skill challenges, combat, intro to magic, and social maneuvering... and while there's nothing they really dislike, I have found anything they really like to do either.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that this helps:

  • Go around the table and ask everyone what their Adventurer is doing, perhaps making suggestions if they don't know
  • Give them things that they can do, if they are healers give them things to heal and so on
  • Allow them to shine, praise them for doing something well
  • Don't penalise them for not doing anything, instead show what could have happened if they had done something
  • Find put what they enjoy, trap-finding, social interaction (maybe not), solving puzzles or whatever, and use that in the games.
  • Don't shut anyone down, even bad decisions lead to interesting outcomes
  • Use "no but" instead of just "no"
  • Ask them what they think the party should do in a situation

 

 

  • Like 1

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, svensson said:

Hey guys, I'm hoping you can help me out here.

As some of you know, I'm introducing a few of my nieces to tabletop gaming, but I'm running into a problem... Both the nieces are introverts and it's hard to get them to initiate any actions at the table. I wouldn't say they're at the 'social anxiety' level, but they definitely prefer to sit back and observe rather than take any actions of their own. The third player is my wife, who has introvert tendencies herself, but she's trying to lay back and give the girls some room to explore.

So does anyone have any ideas on how to gently coax them out of their respective shells? At this point, we've done the basic tasks common to most RPGs... survival, skill challenges, combat, intro to magic, and social maneuvering... and while there's nothing they really dislike, I have found anything they really like to do either.

This depends on how old your nieces are, but I have found few things better at livening things up that homemade Margaritas.

 

  • Haha 1

Check out our homebrew rules for freeform magic in BRP ->

No reason for Ars Magica players to have all the fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I got the feeling his nieces are on the young side of teenagers.... 😄

The mom, Niece G, is an adult. Her daughters, Nieces C and D, are 'tweens'... between 10 and 13.

And I'm an alcoholic, so margaritas are RIGHT out! 😁

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There’s also the possibility that role playing games just aren't their thing. They may be sitting down at the table to please you or their mum, but really it's just not their cup of tea. It's worth asking them if they enjoy it and want to continue. If they don't, well that's fine - at least they gave it a shot.

  • Like 1

The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

DM logo Freeforums Icon.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

There’s also the possibility that role playing games just aren't their thing. They may be sitting down at the table to please you or their mum, but really it's just not their cup of tea. It's worth asking them if they enjoy it and want to continue. If they don't, well that's fine - at least they gave it a shot.

At which point one might try pseudo-RPG board games... Talisman and the many add-on expansions, the old Mice & Mystics (overpriced, and expansions are hard to find).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

There’s also the possibility that role playing games just aren't their thing. They may be sitting down at the table to please you or their mum, but really it's just not their cup of tea. It's worth asking them if they enjoy it and want to continue. If they don't, well that's fine - at least they gave it a shot.

Well, they seem to like gaming. They've called me to ask when we're playing [twice a month], have bought the RQG rules, and were thrilled when my wife and I gave them dice and dice bags. Niece G [the mom] is very enthused [quote: "I've been wanting to learn this forever!"] and her daughter, Niece C, has never misses a session, whereas her sister, Niece D, has.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

At which point one might try pseudo-RPG board games... Talisman and the many add-on expansions, the old Mice & Mystics (overpriced, and expansions are hard to find).

I have a very comic-style RPG that I gave them an option to play, the 'Usagi Yojimbo RPG'... very rules lite and novice friendly, but that utterly didn't interest them. And their anime fans [and I most definitely am not], so I thought they'd bite on that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the comments and suggestions everyone. Keep 'em coming!

Everything is grist for the mill, and I'm certainly willing to adapt. It's my first time with a full table of women /girls, so whatever I can use is valuable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two daughters and Ive been gaming with them off and on since they were about that age. The first game we played was Mermaid Adventures. They really loved that game and we had a lot of fun. You can even set it in Glorantha. When they were a bit older we played Monster of the Week, also highly recommended for teens. If they're fans of Buffy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, etc.

We had a lot of fun playing through the Fabled Lands game books together. If you don't know them, they take a little bit of explaining. Theyre a bit like Fighting Fantasy, but with a slightly more developed game system. you can play various different character 'classes' but they're sort of skill based. The main innovation is they are "open world" games rather than a single branching story. You can freely roam around the map/paragraph network, returning to locations again and again, and follow little mini "branching story" adventures at locations as you go. They have a code word system that means locations can change to reflect your actions, it's really clever. The books are supposed to only be played solo, but I just had them each create a character. I read the books and followed through the paragraphs, and just doubled up the monsters and improvised a bit around the encounters. I played the books myself first to get a feel for it all.

We started on RQG when they were about 12/13. Kept the rules totally light weight and abstract. Focused on fun adventure like befriending trolls, joining the Unicorn Riders, rescuing people. The Pegasus Plateau adventure looks like it would be fantastic. "How to train your Hippogriff". Just don't worry about strike ranks, and if you find yourself looking up the Impalement rules, I'm afraid to say that's probably a sign you're doing it wrong.

Edited by simonh
  • Like 2

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd try:
 - Tailor adventures to the PC's, especially the PC's of reticent players.  Motivate them with appeals to their PCs' Passions; make problems with obvious solutions involving favorite/best Skills.
 - Start building up (one or more) recurrent rival/villain(s).  Taking down a well-hated opponent is often a highlight.  You can have a formidable one who turns out to be just a catspaw for a MORE-formidable one, scaling the oppo as they improve...
 - Metagame things:  mention to the Mom that the girls seem only so-so happy with the game; ask if she has any info/advice/perspective?
 - Also metagaming, ask the reticent players directly -- "Think about your character, and what you like most/least, what you'd like to change.  Would you like to swap that high-value 85% Passion with this low-value 60% Passion?  Or...?"

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...