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How do you efficiently teach the game to one-shot groups?


klecser

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Time zone difference.

You're not paying attention.

Why would there be a time zone difference if, as I suggested, they just recorded the session playing during normal hours in their own (EU) timezone?

There was no compelling reason iirc that it be done live.  That's the only reason you'd need to suffer such a time zone difference.

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2 minutes ago, styopa said:

You're not paying attention.

Why would there be a time zone difference if, as I suggested, they just recorded the session playing during normal hours in their own (EU) timezone?

There was no compelling reason iirc that it be done live.  That's the only reason you'd need to suffer such a time zone difference.

Maybe if you'd actually seen the shows rather than speculating about them, you'd know that they were with popular RPG Twitch streamers and players who largely reside in the U.S. As the owners of the channel, they were probably more comfortable hosting the show at a time that accommodated their and their audience's schedule. As the folks seeking to promote their show to the streamers' audience, Jeff and Jason probably accepted their terms. 

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4 minutes ago, styopa said:

Why would there be a time zone difference if, as I suggested, they just recorded the session playing during normal hours in their own (EU) timezone?

There was no compelling reason iirc that it be done live.  That's the only reason you'd need to suffer such a time zone difference.

Ah, if only I was young again and that all to sensible question styopa asked made no sense whatsoever!
Alas.

A game at 3 bells, coitainly! Let me get my cache of skittles and jolt!

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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I introduced some players to RQ through the RQ6 (adjusted) stuff from the Caravan of Quests (IIRC)

In particular, with a larger group, I did the competition run - 7 (?) daily competitions... which gives them ample opportunity to roll lots of dice for lots of skills and abilities without the threat of death. It also had a Yelmalian local chief playing unhappy host to their Lunar Overlords in an Orlanthi town. So, having characters do things for normal "selfish" reasons was one thing... having them do things which may matter on the much larger scope of the game world (ie, Glorantha) was something different. It meant what they did, and how they acted, would have an influence (this was done at a time when we were discussing a couple of computer games like Skyrim - it didn't really matter what you did, your actions didn't really make much difference... so much for being a hero!)

The game also had a couple of plot twists... including the ogre who was occasionally leaving dead bodies behind at night, and choices over honour etc... And, the no magic rule (do they break it to win? Or not..??? And if they do, what are the consequences?)

All of the above got them involved in the game - not just playing one.

(granted, I was a crap GM, and so things didn't go as smoothly as I'd have liked)

 

On 5/6/2019 at 5:20 AM, David Scott said:

You're all in the treeline outside the stockade there, it's night with no moon, but you can see a tall rocky outcrop on the left that is part of the stockage, in the centre there are high stockade gates with a watch tower behind and to the right.

If you change that to "half moon", then you can tell them about the Red Goddesses rise, and the expansion of the empire. Also, if described well, the eerie red night will evoke more interest in the setting. If your characters are the victims of this imperial invasion, then it can add tension (particularly if you're playing with Vostor the Pre-Gen...  (is that a cool character name?? 😛 ) and makes it seem more real).

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13 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

...  If you change that to "half moon", then you can tell them about the Red Goddesses rise, and the expansion of the empire. Also, if described well, the eerie red night will evoke more interest in the setting. If your characters are the victims of this imperial invasion, then it can add tension (particularly if you're playing with Vostor the Pre-Gen...  (is that a cool character name?? 😛 ) and makes it seem more real).

Yeah, but the "Black Moon" phase means less Imperial Lunar magic to face!

If you want to include that, I'd go a touch less in media res, give them a bit of travel, in Crescent-Going and/or Dying Moon nights (so their actual raid happens on Black Moon).

Honestly, I'd add the whole "eerie red moon" and Lunar Moon Cycles later.  We can't fit ALL of Glorantha into one short intro scenario...

Edited by g33k
calendrical clarity
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20 hours ago, EpicureanDM said:

Maybe if you'd actually seen the shows rather than speculating about them, you'd know that they were with popular RPG Twitch streamers and players who largely reside in the U.S. As the owners of the channel, they were probably more comfortable hosting the show at a time that accommodated their and their audience's schedule. As the folks seeking to promote their show to the streamers' audience, Jeff and Jason probably accepted their terms. 

I did see the shows.  Again, since I apparently failed to communicate it successfully: I'm certain there are web quasi-celebrities in EU (which are in the same time zone). Or if not, I'm equally certain that there was NO compelling reason for that session to be live, meaning even if they were on the US west coast, EVEN if as youtubers they sleep in until noon, the game could have run at 2pm PST and 11pm CET...which is still a helluva lot more sane than 3am.  

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22 minutes ago, styopa said:

I did see the shows.  Again, since I apparently failed to communicate it successfully: I'm certain there are web quasi-celebrities in EU (which are in the same time zone). Or if not, I'm equally certain that there was NO compelling reason for that session to be live, meaning even if they were on the US west coast, EVEN if as youtubers they sleep in until noon, the game could have run at 2pm PST and 11pm CET...which is still a helluva lot more sane than 3am.  

None of which options are exactly subtle or mysterious, eh?

I mean, everyone knows that Chaosium these days NEVER has to face differing time zones, so maybe the issue was just too complex for them to solve.

 

Or maybe there were other considerations.

...

nah.

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10 hours ago, g33k said:

Yeah, but the "Black Moon" phase means less Imperial Lunar magic to face!

If you want to include that, I'd go a touch less in media res, give them a bit of travel, in Crescent-Going and/or Dying Moon nights (so their actual raid happens on Black Moon).

Honestly, I'd add the whole "eerie red moon" and Lunar Moon Cycles later.  We can't fit ALL of Glorantha into one short intro scenario...

I understand the Black Moon to make it darker - no problems there...

 

9 hours ago, EpicureanDM said:

Absolutely. Lunar Magic is too far into the weeds for an introductory scenario for people new to RQ.

But the Lunar Magic doesn't need to be brought into the scenario itself... just the idea of of it.

That is, we firstly need to remember that our new players don't realise that there's no big whitish coloured moon out there to light up the sky at night. Secondly, it would help to introduce the idea that the gods are fully real in the world, and this has real in-game affects - and some of those affects are literally visible and tangible.

So, tell the PCs that they're starting this raid during a Dying Moon so that a) it's a little bit darker (how bright is the Red Moon normally???), and b) it will make the Lunar's magic less powerful. They also need to complete the raid/scenario fairly quickly (within days/nights), otherwise that magic comes back bigger and stronger. That's just created the atmosphere of being in a truly magical world which is quite different from almost any other game world. (this assumes the idea of this one shot is both to get them into BRP in general, and Glorantha/RQ in particular).

 

My thinking of bringing this in stems directly from when I tried a one-shot (again from RQ6's quest book). A chaos creature had just wiped out most of a village. It was coming back the next night to wreak more damage (however, using different tactics!) In the ensuing battle, one of players was saying that he should be able to see in the light of the moon... oh, yeah, I forgot to mention - there's only a Red Moon, she's a goddess that put herself up there, it powers magic, and it's not as bright as ours here on earth! (that quickly changed their mindset!)... Of course, having enemies that think and use different tactics was very frustrating for them too :D

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On 5/6/2019 at 7:29 AM, Jeff said:

I ran a wonderful session of RQG in Poland last week to a group of great players. None had ever played RQ (in any form before) - two were familiar with Call of Cthulhu, one was familiar with D&D, and one just started playing RPGs two days before. We played the Cattle Raid from the GM Adventures Book and used the Pregens.

A few suggestions: 

1. Don't overexplain stuff. The key concepts that players needed to grasp were: how do skills work? how do Runes work? how do passions work? How do I augment? Once they were familiar with that, they were 90% of the way there.

2. Only tell them about the spells they have. That's three special Rune spells and about an equal number of spirit magic spells. Let them know about Heal Wound and Divination - none of the other Common Spells really matter in the initial play. Tell them Rune spells are powerful and you aren't going to get your Rune points back until there is a holy day at your temple. Spirit spells are easier to recover and every day you will wake up refreshed.

3. Walk them through the first combat with something they are very likely to beat, but will show them that combat is dangerous. Rock Lizards, Saber-toothed Cats, Pig Dogs - all are good options. SR just gives them the order of action.

4. Give them non-combat conflict with their characters. Play up those Runes and passions. Make sure their characters have a backstory and connections between them. Give them a moral dilemma they have to wrestle through.

5. Tell them a little bit about THEIR gods but use the god's title as much as its name. Storm King says more than Orlanth to most people. Same thing with clan and tribe. You are a member of the Clearwine clan (Ernaldoring) who are the most powerful clan of the Colymar Tribe, the most important tribe in Sartar. Most players grab that quickly.

IMO, the best current starting scenarios are either Broken Tower or Cattle Raid. Both are easy to run, teach elements of the setting, and have lots of different ways of resolution.

As others have said, I'm thinking that Defending Apple Lane, as much as I love it as a scenario, may be a bit much for a one shot game. I really like the idea of "escorting the cattle to market." Thanks Jeff. I don't take it for granted that designers respond!

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On 5/7/2019 at 6:46 AM, Shiningbrow said:

If you change that to "half moon", then you can tell them about the Red Goddesses rise, and the expansion of the empire. Also, if described well, the eerie red night will evoke more interest in the setting.

Actually that is part of the plot, it's a lunar temple. Black Moon is deliberate as it means Only 1-point Rune spells available for Lunars, and no spells stackable. As I mentioned earlier, part of the description is that they are in a formally occupied land and there was a rebellion. Vostor is normally one of the adventurers, so he has the same magical restrictions.

3 hours ago, klecser said:

I feel like a Baboon should be included too.

If Vishi Dunn is one of the adventurers then there's a baboon, Cousin Monkey. He's a coward.

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18 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Aren't we all on occasion?  Sympathy for the monkey.

!i!

Eddie Izzard used to do a stand-up routine about how cowardly characters in peril are actually so much more interesting and relatable than heroic ones. He cited Shaggy and Scooby Doo as examples of very reluctant protagonists, along with Falstaff... 

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On 5/7/2019 at 10:20 PM, styopa said:

I did see the shows.  Again, since I apparently failed to communicate it successfully: I'm certain there are web quasi-celebrities in EU (which are in the same time zone). Or if not, I'm equally certain that there was NO compelling reason for that session to be live, meaning even if they were on the US west coast, EVEN if as youtubers they sleep in until noon, the game could have run at 2pm PST and 11pm CET...which is still a helluva lot more sane than 3am.  

That's when the game was.

Even RQ SuperHeroes have to abide by when the other Players can make the game, or when the game is scheduled.

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

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On 5/6/2019 at 1:32 PM, Jeff said:
On 5/6/2019 at 5:33 AM, EpicureanDM said:

EDIT: It's probably not a coincidence that the two public games I found on YouTube GMed by RQG's designers either didn't involve combat or fudged/ignored the SR system for the new-to-RQG players. ;)

That's not the reason at all. Both Jason and I were running those games at about 3 am our time and had a very tight time limit for the game. 

That is one of the dangers of running a game as a Designer or Expert. People read things into whatever rulings you used or how you played the game. It is one of the things to be aware of, that people follow these games and treat them almost as gospel.

What people don't understand is that every game is different. You might run a game one week and not use SRs and then run another game for different players at a different game and use SRs. 

I just look at online games and take ideas from them. Occasionally, I laugh and wonder why they did things in that way, or I think that I would never do that.

Edited by soltakss

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

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On 5/11/2019 at 6:25 AM, soltakss said:

That is one of the dangers of running a game as a Designer or Expert. People read things into whatever rulings you used or how you played the game. It is one of the things to be aware of, that people follow these games and treat them almost as gospel.

What people don't understand is that every game is different. You might run a game one week and not use SRs and then run another game for different players at a different game and use SRs. 

This makes no sense to me. Are you suggesting that a game's designer shouldn't use the rules they published in their rulebooks when running a public game aimed at getting people to buy those rules?

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I had the same reaction when viewing those two games. I understand the limitations they were made with (the time zone difference, and the very popular Twitch people involved), but what I was looking for from the designers is a example of the RAW. Sure it's exposure for the game, it's all good, but if you have time only for two games, one from each designers, then perhaps make sure you show the rules as they're actually written. I mean some 5 hours of RQG without a single reference to SR seems like a wasted opportunity. It wouldn't be a problem if those were two online games out of 4-5, but they only made those two.

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On 5/12/2019 at 11:26 PM, EpicureanDM said:

This makes no sense to me. Are you suggesting that a game's designer shouldn't use the rules they published in their rulebooks when running a public game aimed at getting people to buy those rules?

No, I'm saying that if a Game Designer uses some other rule on the spot, because he doesn't want to spend five minutes finding it in the rulebook, then he shouldn't be surprised to see people questioning the use of the rule and wondering why he used that rule rather than the rules in the book.

 

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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

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42 minutes ago, soltakss said:

No, I'm saying that if a Game Designer uses some other rule on the spot, because he doesn't want to spend five minutes finding it in the rulebook, then he shouldn't be surprised to see people questioning the use of the rule and wondering why he used that rule rather than the rules in the book.

It actually begs the larger question: Whose responsibility is it to please fans?

I don't view it as the designer's responsibility. If someone follows anything so intensely that they have a perceived "gospel" for it, it isn't another person's responsibility to curate unreasonable expectations. There is room for all at tables, so long as they are fun-first for all, not just themselves. People will be dissatisfied no matter what someone chooses to do or not do. I'm not interested in sitting at a table where a GM feels "obligated" to play a certain way because they are trying to please people with the least healthy perspective.  I find that more enabling than empathetic.This is the exact reason my friend group stopped attending Cons. We were sick of other people telling us how we "should" feel. I don't think a lot of gamers understand how much "canonism" contributes to death of games and anxiety at Cons. It is often wielded like a hammer to exclude/discourage variant perspectives and styles at tables.

That said, I started this thread because I want to give my group a great experience running RQ the first time, and I know my players. That means finding a good balance of factors based upon where they are, not where I wish they were. Any new GM should ask the question: What are my player's approaches to fun and how can I craft a reasonable balance that will be fun for everyone? If one player's canon-focus is wrecking it for everyone else? No thanks.

Edited by klecser
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To answer the OP:  actually TEACH as little as possible.

- have as MUCH prepared for them as possible; like the pre-gens, have as much on that character sheet in terms of rules as you can.  Hell, I'd even have special/critical/fumble % for their main weapons written down.  Avoid looking crap up in the book.

- YOU have to be crazy-prepared.  Avoid looking crap up in the book.  Have everything you need at your fingertips (and in your brain) to maximize playing and minimize rules-searching.

- let the world and the adventure sell the game.  Let playing in the world be interesting, fun and intuitive.  Wing it if you have to. Avoid looking crap up in the book.

 

My point, if you haven't already gotten it is that "teaching the game" should be your last motivation.  People learn complex things by doing and stay with it because it's fun.  Better that they learn almost by accident than in some deliberate pedagogical exercise.

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