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henry proctor
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If people are interested in game mechanisms, character build potential or just simpler rules, you've got a angle to work with.

It's people who are simply content with a rules system they know and enjoy, that are harder. It delivers a satisfactory experience.

My personal solution is simple. I'll play DnD, but I don't GM it. If you want me to GM, I will. But I'll find (or make) a system that supports the intended narrative/style of the game.
(And whatever else happens, armour won't then add to AC.)
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Bruce McGeorge
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andyl wrote:
I can tell you there are plenty of people for which that will not work.


Sure. "No thanks" is an acceptable answer.
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Michael Ink
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henry proctor wrote:
If people are interested in game mechanisms, character build potential or just simpler rules, you've got a angle to work with.

It's people who are simply content with a rules system they know and enjoy, that are harder. It delivers a satisfactory experience.

My personal solution is simple. I'll play DnD, but I don't GM it. If you want me to GM, I will. But I'll find (or make) a system that supports the intended narrative/style of the game.
(And whatever else happens, armour won't then add to AC.)


Ditto. I play D&D but will not run it.


As an additional note, as a boardgamer, I can tell you that if potential players enjoy a theme of a game, they are more likely to listen and learn the rules of the game, even if the game is more complex than they are used to playing.
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Eric Jome
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We agree on terms like "I'd like to learn this system I bought, so if you do this with me, I'll do one with you." or "Let's take a break for a session to try out something different."

If your fellow gamers are buyers of other RPGs, they'll likely agree to terms like these.
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Patrick Zoch
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The reluctance my group has to other RPGs is not theme or system related but time related. They enjoy D&D so much that they do not want to play another game because they do not have as much time to play D&D as they want. IF such an anomaly in the time space continuum did occur to permit room for another RPG, they would not be interested in a D&D clone. In fact, I have discovered that they do not even want any similarities at all to their current D&D game (including engine).
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Jamie Hardy
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Let me throw a wrench in this:

How do you get a new gaming group together that will play something besides a version of D&D?

Much of the previous advice was to start a group playing D&D to get a group. So, what if you do not want to start with D&D? Or, are you just out of luck?
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Brian M
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"Hey, I want to run this game".

What I'd really like to know is how do I get to try an RPG without having to buy the books and learn the rules and run it myself.
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Dan Conley
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First off, clear credit to
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for help with the question.

This one stemmed right from my previous one about starting a group at the FLGS. I started playing face to face games when Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition) came out and I loved it! But it didn’t take me long to want to branch out into the joys of Call of Cthulhu (2nd - 6th Edition), Star Wars (WEG 2nd Edition), Deadlands (Original Edition), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition) and others.

It seems that the only thing going at the shop is D&D5e and I get it: it’s the five hundred pound gorilla of RPG’s. My hope is to get folks to try something else.
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Club Squirrel
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Talk about it.
Email.
Facebook PM.
Take the book to games club.

Than put book back on shelf and run Star Wars


I'm really fed up of my running Star Wars
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Pandora Caitiff
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yosemite wrote:
It seems that the only thing going at the shop is D&D5e and I get it: it’s the five hundred pound gorilla of RPG’s. My hope is to get folks to try something else.


I think it might help if you can lure them in with something that's very different to D&D either mechanically or stylistically.

Switching to Space Opera, Horror, or Superheroes should be possible if you lead with a comparison to a media they like - "How would you like to try a new game where you can play Malcolm Reynolds/ Batman/ Ash from The Evil Dead?"

Mechanically you can try something less crunchy, or you could try something with a cool gimmick (my group tried Apocalypse World after reading some of the more "powerful" moves), or even show them something with a cool and intriguing character sheet
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Chad Bowser
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yosemite wrote:


It seems that the only thing going at the shop is D&D5e and I get it: it’s the five hundred pound gorilla of RPG’s. My hope is to get folks to try something else.



I've started up a few games at game stores. Over the years I've started Call of Cthulhu (6th Edition), Mythras, and LotFP games.

Here were the keys to my success. Please note that in none of these cases did I start out by running or playing D&D first. My intent was to run the games I wanted to run. You just have to be prepared to do a little bit of leg work.

0. Sell it as a one-shot, not a long-term commitment. Play on the desire to try some game they might of heard of, not ask them to agree to show up on a regular basis for a period of time. When the demo is over you can talk about another session.

1. Get the game store on board. They can do a lot to publicize your game among their regulars.

2. Put up a flier in the game store. And possibly other gamer-frequented places.

3. Make use of the game store's social media to advertise your game.

4. Commit to showing up. Even if nobody's RSVP'd, you've agreed to be at the game store at a certain time on a certain date. I've had players wander by and ask what's being played and if they can join.

Now for the success rate... With CoC, I had twelve people show up. I had to break it up into two different groups. I then poached one of those 12 for my home game. I'm kinda picky in that way. With Mythras I had 2 RSVP and those same 2 show up. We continued for a couple sessions before the store closed up shop. For LotFP, I had 4 players show up despite no RSVPs. I had only intended for that to ever be a demo, so it was one and done.
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Chris Abbott
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I hosted movie nights with western, war, and spy themes; the 80s produced many entertaining films in these genres. These evenings sparked the players' excitement about settings other than fantasy. Subsequently, we dived into systems like Boot Hill, Twilight:2000, and Top Secret/S.I.

That there were so few superhero flicks worth watching from that decade might explain why I could never raise enough interest in playing Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, or Heroes Unlimited.
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When it was my birthday I used to ask my group the gift of letting me ran a completely different RPG for them. It was back in the dnd 4e years.

That's how we played Fiasco, and the The Shab Al-Hiri Roach. So I think from those sessions on they started being more open to new systems.
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Chris Abbott
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StormKnight wrote:
"Hey, I want to run this game".

What I'd really like to know is how do I get to try an RPG without having to buy the books and learn the rules and run it myself.


I've been able to try new game systems by attending a local quarterly game day.
Only a 4-hour time commitment per trial to see if there's any appeal.
Simply no other way for me to hook up with other players (shift work).
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Douglas Bailey
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“I would have made this instrumental, but the words got in the way...” —XTC, “No Language in Our Lungs”
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Offer to GM it, then keep badgering people until they actually make time to try it. I don't get through both stages all that often.
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Douglas Bailey
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“I would have made this instrumental, but the words got in the way...” —XTC, “No Language in Our Lungs”
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brumcg wrote:
"It's like D&D, but..."

"…you die more and go insane a lot."

"…the only point of similarity is having 'and' in the title."

"…if Ron Edwards had written it."

"…not."
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Michael Ink
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trystero11 wrote:
Offer to GM it, then keep badgering people until they actually make time to try it. I don't get through both stages all that often.


Honestly, I am not sure this approach is suggested. If you come off needy, no one wants what you are selling...no matter what it is.

Instead of badgering, just talk about how awesome the game is. If they are interested in playing pr learning more, they will tell you.
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Mike D.
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I was in a group that played pathfinder for 5 years straight, we played one adventure path another. I didn't want to do it anymore and tried to see if the rest of the group was ready to move on to another game for a bit after we finished the current AP we we're in.
They weren't interested, they liked the tactical aspects, the build aspects and the "crunchy" aspects (treasure/magic items). As I could no longer do this I bowed out.

You're best bet is to find people not in a group that want to game more than they want to play D&D et al. If people are happy playing their game there is no reason to quit playing.

What I'm trying to say is unless they're tired of it, they're not going to change just because you are. Your best bet is to build a new group.
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bobcatt wrote:
I hosted movie nights with western, war, and spy themes; the 80s produced many entertaining films in these genres. These evenings sparked the players' excitement about settings other than fantasy. Subsequently, we dived into systems like Boot Hill, Twilight:2000, and Top Secret/S.I.

That there were so few superhero flicks worth watching from that decade might explain why I could never raise enough interest in playing Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, or Heroes Unlimited.

The supers of that time were hidden in plain sight:
Futureboy conan
Knight Rider
Captain power
Thundercats
Predator
Alien
Robocop
Automan
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J.J.
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Ugh. I have to admit, I hate that's all you can usually find is D&D/Pathfinder. I'm not really a fan of fantasy.

My group is big into urban horror/urban fantasy. Which I rank above "fantasy" but not by a great deal.

I'd rather play something else. At times anything else.

Mark said: "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." But there is. There is. It suuuuuucks. If the game is just background noise for your socializing why NOT try something else? Maybe it'll be more fun/interesting than background noise and spare people like me (I know I can't be alone) the eyeroll strain and bemoaning of "yet another f'ing D&D game."

No offense to those who genuinely like it or love it enough to be exclusive. Enjoy your fun, folks, but maybe give some other people a chance if they bring it up?

YMMV
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Hein Ragas
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skalchemist wrote:
* 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

After their first fight in a game of Dungeon World, which got pretty wild, one of the players remarked that the stunts they pulled off would require having about a dozen Feats in Pathfinder. And in DW, they could be awesome right out of the gate!

Mallet wrote:
D&D is like Microsoft Windows.

"This RPG" is more like Apple products.


Most RPGs are more like Linux, though.... whistle
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Roger Hobden
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fubfubfub wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
* 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

After their first fight in a game of Dungeon World, which got pretty wild, one of the players remarked that the stunts they pulled off would require having about a dozen Feats in Pathfinder. And in DW, they could be awesome right out of the gate!

Mallet wrote:
D&D is like Microsoft Windows.

"This RPG" is more like Apple products.


Most RPGs are more like Linux, though.... whistle


I believe at least one RPG uses C++ or a a similar programming language to explain the rules of the game.
Totally unplayable, from what I heard.
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shiva666 wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
That there were so few superhero flicks worth watching from that decade might explain why I could never raise enough interest in playing Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, or Heroes Unlimited.

The supers of that time were hidden in plain sight:
Futureboy conan
Knight Rider
Captain power
Thundercats
Predator
Alien
Robocop
Automan

I remember all of those characters, and none were deemed worthy of emulation by my group at the time. Frankly, most of them wouldn’t match our gang’s narrow concept of a classic superhero.

My movie night ploy was intended to entice the players to request a new genre & system. No matter how cool I thought Alien was, I couldn’t get them to play a straight sci-fi setting.

Arguably, the best superhero films of the 80s were Reeve’s “Superman” set, and it’s tough to get a group interested in a solo act (“we’ll draw straws to see who plays Lois and Jimmy”). As I was the only comics reader/collector in the group back then, no one was clamouring for X-Men/Justice League style adventures.
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Michael Ink
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Personally, I find it sad that some people that prefer low crunch games keep playing D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder because they are intimidated to try a new rpg. They all expect the next rules to be as dense and they already slogged through this one so why change...

This is a surprisingly common mindset with millennials I meet.
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Inkwan wrote:
Personally, I find it sad that some people that prefer low crunch games keep playing D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder because they are intimidated to try a new rpg. They all expect the next rules to be as dense and they already slogged through this one so why change...

This is a surprisingly common mindset with millennials I meet.


Honestly, there has been a challenge I think since more than one RPG came out.

I view it as a version of the QWERTY problem. Players already know a set of rules. They already enjoy the game. If they play another game, that means they have to learn another set of rules. If they are already having fun and trying something else will require them to learn something else, it is simply too much trouble.

I do believe that D&D being the dominant game makes the problem worse for two reasons. First, since all they see is D&D, there is little exposure to other games. This makes it more difficult to see, experience, learn, desire, etc. to play something else. This is one of the primary reasons I suggest to anyone getting into RPGs to play anything else other than a D&D or clone for a long time prior to trying D&D. It seems much easier to start with non D&D and then go to D&D than the reverse.

Second, D&D is more crunchy that another games and gets players the internalize the class/level treadmill. Since this is their reference point, they will think that other games have the same issue. This makes them believe learning a new game will be time consuming and expensive. When it reality, almost every other RPG has just one core rule book. Many systems as less crunchy and easy to use.
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