Choosing a game

Ok so this will be a relatively short post, going out to enjoy the warm early summer weather the best way I can, find a place with AC and avoid the heat 🙂

Some have noted that in several of the posts and reviews I have made I tell people over and over to make up their own mind, this is all my own opinion. I have been told thanks for that by some, and I have been told things like ‘How do I pick a game or make up my own mind if I don’t know what I am getting into.”

Now then while I could go off and be insulting about making up your own mind, I wont. I have already done a post about where I go to chase down games, but I have not really touched on why I pick a game. So that is what I am going to try and put into words here.

For myself there are a lot of different reasons I may get into a game. Here are a few,

  1. I am familiar with the works of the publisher. I like their games and want to give something new that they have come up with a try.
  2. Similarly I may be familiar with or a fan of the games author. This one drives me a lot as some game authors really strike a chord where others don’t.
  3. It is a licensed product (tied to a movie, comic book, or novel series) that I enjoy.
  4. I have read reviews on places like RPG Now, Pen & Paper, or even the publishers web site, and really enjoy the high points being brought up about a game.
  5. Sigh… yeah sometimes it is an impulse buy…

There are a lot of other reasons that can come into play as well. Like with my last review, I had been looking for a way to incorporate supers into a d20 fantasy game and all the rules available, at the time were so far out of balance, or such a hodge podge of rules changes I could not use them. Aberrant d20 actually worked for what I wanted to do, and I enjoyed the original game so, it was an easy pick.

With my broad tastes and knowledge of the industry and the publishers my usual problem is narrowing down my choices so I don’t try and spend too much money on something, or several somethings.

For someone who is just starting out in table top RPGs I would suggest doing something methodical to get your first game. Something methodical like going down this list…

  1. Narrow down what you would like to start with. The broadest categories would be Fantasy, Sci Fi, and Modern settings. Pick something that you like a lot.
  2. Be mindful of the following. There are complex rules systems and there are simple ones. There are some that are designed for a younger age range than others. I would honestly recommend starting simple. Just remember that the more complex the rules, the more specific detail they add to what you can do in the game and how. Some people like the complex rules, some prefer to rely on imagination to fill in the details.
  3. Talk to people who know you who play these games, their honest thoughts could lead you to a great game that really suits you, your tastes, and your sense of fun. If you do know people who play consider borrowing books from them or asking to join a game to see if you like the specific game they are playing and its rules.
  4. If you don’t know any gamers who play table top games look online for reviews and go to stores that sell the games and talk to the people who work there. That is what the stores are there for. And do not worry about going into a store and not buying anything your first time or two in. Talking to the people in the store obligates you to nothing.
  5. Be ready to read, and to take time tinkering. Making your first character and seeing what you can do with the rules in regards to that character can be a little time consuming but, it will also give you a great handle on how to play. Additionally it will help you figure out what sort of characters you want to play.

You can use the same list if you are a parent or guardian of smalls and they have expressed an interest in gaming, but instead of using your tastes, and your opinions, use theirs. I have found over the years that nothing drives a small from wanting to play faster than not paying attention to what they enjoy. If they tell you they want space ships do not bring them D&D.

So yeah, in the end I am not going to tell anyone a specific game to start with, I am not going to say this is the best thing in the world to play, because quite frankly, I don’t know what everyone else wants. Not a telepath, not all knowing, and don’t want to be. I have enough trouble knowing what I know 😉

Well hope that helps someone 🙂

Now gimme the dice… maybe I can role high enough to find a freezer to hide in for the summer.

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  1. #1 by dantherpgman on June 28, 2015 - 5:23 am

    The only thing I would add is that personally I think how good a campaign will be is based something like this:

    GM – 50%
    Players – 40%
    Game System – 10%

    In other words, whatever game you use is going to have very little impact on your enjoyment, much less so than the GM and fellow players. Finding a good GM is so tough that when you do just play whatever they’re running. Well unless it’s 4th Edition D&D, screw that noise 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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