February 15th, 2007

  • trgiaol

Introducing a New Game

As a pretty new GM, I'd like to ask for some advice: how do you go about explaining the story and background and rules of a new game to your players without losing their interest?

The background: I game with 5-6 other people, all of us good friends. They're not roleplayers, but I've been slowly converting them (first with D&D, then with Paranoia). We played a very stripped-down version of D&D (really basic combat and magic rules, and so on), and the classes and races are all pretty well known/self-explanatory. Paranoia, well, they don't need to know the rules (such as they are) at all. Our D&D game is on hiatus right now, though, and they told me they wanted to play something a little more cooperative than Paranoia for our next session, so I suggested Werewolf.

The problem: Although they're interested right now, I have a feeling that if they get bogged down in too much pre-game stuff they're going to get bored fast. But they need to pick a tribe, a breed, an auspice, skills, attributes, specialties, gifts, and so on and so on. They need to learn about combat and complications, and, well, practically the whole book (I only have the one book, so letting each person read it would take weeks, if not months). How do I balance giving them enough information that they don't regret their character choices or otherwise feel cheated without taking an eternity letting everyone read?

Even if I could get by in this case by withholding a lot of information, I'm still curious to know what methods you guys have to fill people in on an entirely new game system succinctly and interestingly - home-made pamphlets? really short summaries ("shadow lords are sneaky. glass walkers like computers")?

Thanks for all your help!

ETA: Sorry, I should have been more specific - I'm playing oWoD.