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What's a good tabletop system for beginners?

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  • #39478

    I have the 4e books but I was organizing a D&D group, and all of us are beginners (I for one am DM’ing), and I thought that 4e seemed like it would be difficult for the kind of people I am playing with to learn and adapt to: Is there a system that is very newb friendly? And possibly online sources to use? (It would also be awesome if there was a system in which players could have a little more fun with creating their characters).

    For the Commonwealth!

    #39479
    Doug
    Keymaster

    Honestly, the Ghostbusters RPG (D6 system) is perfect for newcomers. I had never DM’d before, and it made things so easy for me. When Nina finally joined us during Season 2, she’d never played a tabletop RPG (and was even kinda wary of them). But once she saw it wasn’t all about numbers and that she could actually have an impact on where the adventure was going, she started having a blast.

    General Manager of the Central Florida Ghostbusters
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    #39482

    That sounds neat: but what about for a fantasy setting?

    For the Commonwealth!

    #39484
    Arctic Banana
    Participant

    West End Games offers their D6 System in several different genres for free. Here’s the Fantasy one.

    Fate, RISUS, and The Window are also really simple to use and understand. And like D6, RISUS and The Window are also free.

    #39488
    Garayur
    Participant

    The Fate system is great. Its designed to encourage and reward role-playing as part of its mechanics. It also does a good job of getting the players involved in the creation of the world which makes it easier to get into it and helps give a feeling of ownership. It is by far my favorite system so far. Currently you can download the core books for free if you want just the vanilla system which you can adapt, or you can buy books for the Dresden Files(urban fantasy) or pre-order the books for Atomic Robo(action Science) and get the pdf’s instantly.

    Steam: Garayur
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    #39610
    Delphi
    Participant

    Am I the only one that actually thinks 4e is a pretty good system for beginners? Beginners whose rpg background is mostly mmos anyways. I don’t know, maybe I’m not the person to ask because I’d started with 4e myself, but I found character creation and leveling up pretty straightforward. I will admit I had a lot of guidance from experienced players in my group to make sure my character wasn’t completely useless (Use such and such feat to make up for a low strength stat, advice on when to use certain skills, etc.) but I didn’t have any trouble understanding the rules. Honestly the hardest thing for new players is getting in character, to stop thinking about things from a player’s perspective and start thinking like the person they’re playing. That’s the sort of thing that can only be learned through experience though in my opinion, though I’ll agree with Garayur that Fate is a good system to encourage it.

    #39624
    Armadon
    Participant

    4G is perfect start up or dragon age rpg. Any start up player should be given very little source info, dragon age is good for that as us the 4G core book

    however if the player knows an intellectual property that has an rpg (I.e. Ghostbusters and Dresden Files) then all they would need is a walk through of game mechanics, which though being essential will be easier is the player has a good sense on how the creative world works

    I hope you can understand that, I couldn’t vocalize the last part very well.

    #39642
    Max
    Participant

    I had a similar experience to @Delphi. I joined a group that was making the transition to 4e as it was coming out as a brand new player. I’d bought the 3.5 starter set and tried to teach myself how to play in a vacuum, and that didn’t work at all. With 4e, it really spoke to my background as a video game rpg player and more recent experience as a game developer. There are a lot of good resources for both players and DMs, and the rulebooks are organized exactly how I wanted them to be as a new player. So many non-D&D books seem really proud of the world fiction (a common failing of aspiring designers: your story idea is not a game idea, it is a setting. Tell me how your game works, then give me your fiction), and use that to set them apart. Palladium rpgs are really bad about this. The good thing about Palladium is that all their games use the same rules, so if you ever do figure out how to play one system, you can play any of them with any source book. But good luck finding all the rules in one place. The D&D books (at least for 4e) had a good breakdown of the character sheet, what it meant, and then a step-by-step walkthrough of how to create a character. Classes are balanced and all feel useful (though obviously Rogues and Rogue-ish Wizards are the most generally useful); the Role concept helps to frame how you should play your character. In contrast: The Rifts (palladium) source book has over 200pgs of story and world background before you get to a page called “How to Play.” Situational rules are then found all over the place, in no particular order. There are no encounter building guidelines for the DM.

    The other good thing about D&D is that it is so ubiquitous. Odds are good that somebody who enjoys it will be able to find a group someplace. The new 5e rules seemed pretty easy to pick up when I was getting the playtest packets. I’ll be curious to see the final version (of which the core rules are going to be a free pdf) When it launches I think in August.

    #39644
    Armadon
    Participant

    Very true. I am a fan of Palladium but it is not for beginners so stay clear. D&D has been doing this for so long they have built themselves to cater to first timers.

    #39769

    These have all been great suggestions, but for now I think I might go with D6 fantasy due to its accessibility and the fact that it’s free.

    For the Commonwealth!

    #39770
    Max
    Participant

    The 5e D&D basic rules will be free starting tomorrow.

    #39777
    Sage Zer0
    Participant

    @Max free as in available or “here, have some, no charge”?

    #39781
    Max
    Participant

    They are free on purpose, and they dropped today.

    #39782
    Max
    Participant
    #39784

    Wow that is actually really straightforward and easy to understand: maybe I’ll use that.

    For the Commonwealth!

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