Author Topic: Learning to play  (Read 1964 times)

Offline BG_Josh

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Learning to play
« on: December 15, 2011, 01:41:37 AM »
This subject came up in another thread.

Learning how to play the game, whats the "best" way

Some people try to learn everything about a system before they play.  That is just not possible.  You will never learn everything by reading.  You need to play.

Important factors:
1) Pick a good game
2) Make sure you are interested in the game genre, the setting and the mechanics. 
3) Manage your expectations, first game is never perfect
4) play the game exactly as intended
5) Just try the game
6) Play to win

Playing lets you get an idea what you need to learn from the book.
Ideally you can learn from someone who knows the game.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Learning to play
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 07:51:41 AM »
It really depends on whether (a) you're learning the game from scratch by yourself, (b) you're learning from scratch with a group, or (c) you're learning it to join an already active game.

(c) is the most forgiving, as long as the players and GM (if there is on) understand that you're new and work with you to remedy the situation.

(b) comes up most often.  Absolutely it's impossible for someone to learn all the rules at once before playing the game, but at the very least the GM needs some amount of preliminary mastery or else the initial game sessions will be entirely comprised of everyone looking up rules (= boring and annoying).

Personally, if I'm a player I spend a while on the introduction and overview, getting a feel for how the system is supposed to work together (in the authors' eyes).  Then I skim through the character generation options and pick out a few that I like, and read about their mechanics more in-depth so I could start to put together a character.  I find that the character generation process teaches you a lot about how the game works.

And I wouldn't usually volunteer to run a game in a system that I hadn't read thoroughly.
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Offline Stabbald

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Re: Learning to play
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 08:01:31 AM »
Learning is an incredibly complicated subject, and there is no real 'best' way. Just because Bill picks up the game faster by reading the rule book doesn't mean Jim will, for him playing may prove more efficient. Unfortunately, because gaming groups usually involve three or more people it can be quite difficult to find a solution that will work well for everyone.

I used to know someone that wouldn't play boardgames without first reading the rules as they also became confused when surrounded with game peices that they didn't understand.

Personally I would suggest trying to play the game, with the understanding that things can be changed. If there are any players that have difficulty picking up the game in this way consider loaning them the book to read between sessions.