Do you enjoy playing roleplaying games in which you have no clue about the rules? - Page 5
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    The tall corn
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    This is how we did our first campaign of Vampire, way back when. I was the only one with the book and it took a bit of cajoling to get the rest of the group to buy into something besides D&D. We actually did a short-run game in the spring before heading home for the summer (college). It went well and people wanted to do it again, in the fall, but no one else had any books, yet. So, I just sat down with each player and did a kind of fluid prelude that established who they were, then went home and statted up their characters. I showed them the dots on the page, once, then just handed them a brief, dossier-type page on their character, in plain English.

    I rolled all the dice for the entire campaign and the players never saw their sheets for the entire campaign. I handed the sheets to them before the next summer break. Everyone raved about the game and ran out and got books. The next fall, we had so many freaking rules arguments everything broke down. We did, eventually, find our groove, but it was more D&D, less story.

    I tried to recreate it by bringing the character sheets back to the GM side of the screen, but it never quite worked. I think you can do it, but it has to be a relatively simple system (yeah, calling Mage "simple" is dubious) and the players have to be willing to roll with things. I've never been quite that in the dark, but I've done several systems where I've just kinda jumped into the first game session and learned as I went (Shatterzone and Ars Magicka were both a blast, even though I never did get the books for either).
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  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    St. neots, cambridgeshire
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    3,009
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    I agree with this.

    If the players don't know the rules, then how do we work out whether or not a PC has spellcasting abilities? Is that a fiction thing? A mechanics thing? A fiction-read-off-the-mechanics thing?
    I think you are misunderstanding what I was saying. I never said characters wouldn't know the rules. Character creation is one thing but do players new to a system need to know everything especially new players to the hobby.

    For example, does a player who makes a character not based around grappling need to know the grapple rules? Not until that situation comes up really and then the GM can explain how it works.

    I'm not saying that this how games should or even need to be handled. I'm simply saying in response to the topic that yes, you can play a game where you don't need to know all the rules upfront.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC USA
    Posts
    121
    I would have to know the GM and even then I could only put up with a one-shot or short campaign. Where the boundaries are for physics and magic can easily ruin the gaming experience for me. I'd probably rather not play without knowing the rules or based setting for risk of something occurring that retroactively feels like I'd wasted my time.

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