January 12, 2011
>Learning any new Role-playing game For Dummies
Here’s a quick, multi-step process of what I consider the best way to learn any new role-playing game – or, if you prefer:
Learning Any New Role-playing Game Ever – For Dummies.
1. Learn the Core Mechanic – The reason for this is pretty simple. The core mechanic is the one rule that pretty much all other rules of the game are derived from in some way, and it’s the thing you’ll be doing most often during actual gameplay – other than role-playing, which is independent of rules.
For instance, the core mechanic of the d20 System is: Roll 1d20 + any modifiers, and compare the result to the Difficulty Class of the task, aiming to roll high.
2. Learn how to create a character – Skim the character related stuff until you figure out what kind of character you might like to make, and read any examples that seem related, paying close attention to any sample characters provided that look fun. Figure out how actually building one works, and do it – the best way to learn is by doing, after all. If you have trouble coming up with an idea, find an image you like and use it for inspiration!
3. Learn how best to use the mechanics specifically related to the character you have created – there’s no need to learn the rules for everything in the game, because there are more rules than you’ll need. Just learn how to do what your character does – how to use their attacks, and after skimming the sections related to combat and maneuvers, any tricks you can see them using. Figure out what kinds of things your character will be doing most often and memorize how they work to the best of your ability – it’ll make things easier later.
4. Start playing – contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to know every rule in a role-playing game in order to start playing it as a PC – this is one of the many ways in which an RPG is significantly different from a board game or card game. Heck, even the DM doesn’t have to know every rule, just enough of the basics to make a convincing ruling and a working knowledge of where to find things in the book as necessary.
RPG’s are designed to have rules for a lot of different kinds of things – especially if the RPG is considered “crunchy.” But because the rules are often exception based, knowing all of them is overkill unless you’re playing two dozen different kinds of characters. Just learn what you need to, and start playing – anything else you need that you didn’t get through the first three steps, you’ll learn by doing.
5. Above all, have fun – This is considered “rule 0,” of any good RPG. It’s a game. Have fun with it. 🙂