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Patrick Zoch
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A question suggested by

Dan Conley
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How do you try to get folks to try an RPG other than D&D and its clones?

Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Mario Silva
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If they're new players just start with any other game. The best thing I did for my nephews was to start with a bunch of other games. I knew they'd eventually play D&D with someone else, and so it was.

If they're players of only D&D and all it's paths, then see if they like to try a new setting and keep the system.

I would use missing time or players as an opportunity to run one shots with lite games (msh fae risus cdark Lasers&Feelings)

Sharing games with the players that might enjoy it, having one or two players interested in another game gets other people curiosity.
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Bruce McGeorge
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"It's like D&D, but..."
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Mavis
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No one in either of the two groups I GM for has ever played D&D so I can't really answer the question.

Edit: Actually that is not quite true, I ran a couple of games of Pathfinder for a few of them once but they hated it.
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Michael Lawing
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I'm interested in hearing some suggestions on this myself. I've run 5e for some friends, but pretty much everything else has been on the Geek with people who didn't need any convincing.

I've had a fair number of folks casually ask about DND. I think they'd be open to any kind of fantasy/sword swinging game, not knowing the difference really. I'd love to find a way to get friends into stuff that's a little more rules lite or collaborative storytelling vs. stats and dice.
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Mark Wilson
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While I've dabbled in others, up to and including full campaigns, I'm very much in the "almost exclusively D&D" camp. Frankly, I haven't felt like I'm missing out, despite enjoying other RPGs. Reason being, 90% or more of the hobby is the social experience for me, so the system is something of an afterthought. As such, there's no reason to try to drag people to anything else when it's just easier to get games of D&D going.

I suppose I'd just start with a one-shot, then suggest a mini-campaign that lasts 3-5 sessions. The one time I tried that, it stopped after the one-shot, but not because they didn't like the game, but for other logistical reasons.
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Peter Robben
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I just pitch the ease and elegance of Savage Worlds and the great number of settings. I hardly ever run D&D anymore. Some 5e, maybe, on occasion.
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Mavis101 wrote:
No one in either of the two groups I GM for has ever played D&D


I have the opposite issue. I have two players (out of three) that really only want to play D&D. And I mean D&D... not any other dungeon crawling RPG. Our last two members that left the group due to moves were the same way.

I'll typically do a game pitch at a session or through e-mail to judge interest. I once infamously spent an entire session pitching 20+ rpgs to the group. And yes, I really do start from "It's like D&D, but..." With one of my players, it's the only way forward.
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Mavis
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brumcg wrote:
Mavis101 wrote:
No one in either of the two groups I GM for has ever played D&D


I have the opposite issue. I have two players (out of three) that really only want to play D&D.


I have been playing D&D at a local FLGS on Wednesday nights for 18 months now and attitudes there are pretty similar. There are six or seven D&D games going on, one Edge of Empire game and one group who rotate through a wide array of systems except D&D. Admittedly not helped by a GM who reads out all description in the published scenarios he runs verbatim but I just cannot see the appeal.
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Jim Patching
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I tell them "We're playing this game now guys."
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In years gone by I would introduce Gladiator and Melee/Wizard using some of their modules. From there it was a short step to D&D. Haven't tried new RPGs with f2f players lately, though I have recently been playing some interesting short ones via PbF.
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Chad Bowser
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As far as games I run are considered, D&D is the rara avis. We've played it occasionally, but several of my players don't like the game in any of iterations.

Now, if we want to look at this from the perspective of switching from a fairly mainstream game to another game (define mainstream however you want for this purpose), I use the following. Presupposing I do this with my home group, I pick three games I'd be willing to run. I set out the core books in front of my players and describe each one. We then talk about each one in turn and the one that has the most engagement (questions, discussion, picking up the book and flipping through it) gets run.

If I want to do this cold, as in not with my home group, I typically post on the game's forum/social media page looking for players for an on-line game and go from there.
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brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."


👆
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Harry Lee
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I'm a big fan of many of the implementations of D&D, but I've also been fortunate enough to live in an area where there's a pretty robust RPG scene, with plenty of folks interested in a variety of games.

Years ago, when I was in a weekly Pathfinder group with some friends, I was desperate to try some of the weird small press stuff that I had been picking up. There was some interest from the other people in my group, but underlying it all was the understanding that PF was the game we were there to play. That's completely understandable! It was a game that they were both invested in and excited about, and they had a lot of reluctance to learn a new game after that.

Anyway, I ended up attending a public meetup for folks who were interested in weird indie games, met a lot of new friends through that, started running games at conventions, met people through that as well, and eventually had a pool of potential players to draw from for a given game. For me, it ended up being more helpful to seek out people who have some curiosity about other kinds of games, rather than asking my friends to give up (or play less of) something they really enjoy.
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Andy Leighton
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brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."

But a lot of games aren't very much like D&D.
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andyl wrote:
But a lot of games aren't very much like D&D.

Dissimulation sometimes is necessary for simulation.
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This honestly never been a problem for me. I've played much more non-D&D in my life than D&D.

But I think my answer is, assuming we are talking about people whose only experience is some kind of D&D-ish game:

* be visibly excited about running the game you are trying to get players for.
* tell the prospective players the exciting things their characters will do that they have not done and can't do in a game of D&D
* set a low bar of commitment; a one-shot session, or a very short campaign

The 2nd bullet means it is difficult to sell people to go from D&D to some other kind of similar fantasy game directly. It's better to go to something completely different (sci-fi, super-heroes, 1920's pulp, etc.) at least at first.
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andyl wrote:
brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."

But a lot of games aren't very much like D&D.


That's where the "but" comes in. "It's like D&D, but your characters are defined by their relationships and needs, everything plays out like a Coen brothers movie, each player can choose to set *or* resolve a scene, and the only dice we use are d6 that are only rolled a few times."
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Bruce McGeorge
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andyl wrote:
brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."

But a lot of games aren't very much like D&D.


Right, but that's the starting point.

It's like D&D, but instead of murder-hobos you play anthropomorphic mice who - instead of killing things and taking their stuff - safeguard the mouse kingom and - instead of rolling D20's...

Maybe there's nothing of D&D left at the end. They don't have to know that.
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Roger Hobden
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The setting would be the main draw, I believe.


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Alternate approach:


D&D is like Microsoft Windows.

"This RPG" is more like Apple products.
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Alexandre Santos
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This was never an issue for me, I just pitch the game and its merits. In my environment, Ithink I would actually have an harder time pitching D&D than many other RPGS.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I suggest that the group try another game so it is fresh instead of constantly playing D&D. Sometimes my group gets rules fatigue and that is another motivation for switching.
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Andy Leighton
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cjbowser wrote:
andyl wrote:
brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."

But a lot of games aren't very much like D&D.


That's where the "but" comes in. "It's like D&D, but your characters are defined by their relationships and needs, everything plays out like a Coen brothers movie, each player can choose to set *or* resolve a scene, and the only dice we use are d6 that are only rolled a few times."

I can tell you there are plenty of people for which that will not work. They just want to go down a dungeon and kill monsters. They are also hyper-focused on D&D - they don't even want to try stuff like 13th Age and Dungeon World. I think for those sort of people you just have to forget getting them to try other games. True, for some others your approach may work - but I think that Fiasco with D&D players who were reluctantly recruited is going to crash and burn in a bad way.
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Michael Ink
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The easiest way I have found is to find a system you like and a theme others like. I have only moderate success but almost enough to be satisfied. For example, if you really like Mutant Zero, you will undoubtedly find players for the Star Trek version. If you really like PbtA, you can find people that enjoy fantasy that would try Dungeon World.

Once you transition them to the new system with a theme they like, if they like the system, they will be more comfortable with trying out other games in that system. Like going from Dungeon World to Apocalypse World or Star Trek to Coriolis.

It doesn't always work but it is worth trying.

Also, if you know that they will tolerate a medium amount of crunch, then target systems around that like Savage Worlds and use whatever setting they are interested in to get them comfortable.
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