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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Introducing Parents to the Hobby  (Read 9197 times)
Judd
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« on: June 09, 2005, 12:20:51 AM »

My parents have always been very supportive of my gaming.  They think its great that I use my imagination with my friends and always have.

When a co-worker of my father's told him that the game I played was Satanic he shrugged and responded, "We're Jews, I don't think he bothers us much."

So, I am going to visit him in Georgia and I'd love to introduce him to the hobby, just run an adventure, either just a solo game or for a nice couple he's friends with (and possibly their college age kids).

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Setting it up?

Talking about what it is that we are about to do?

I know Luke tried to run a game with his girlfriend's parents; I'll try to dig up that thread...(http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=13513&highlight=parents)

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks.
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Jasper
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2005, 02:42:56 AM »

My only advice is to try a group game, and to focus on what parts you think your father is interested in. My mother has always been fascinated by the idea of role-playing (coming from a sort of literary perspective) and I eventually set up a brief adventure for her -- this was many years ago, so unfortunately it was just D&D; not exactly the easiest for someone not familiar with the hobby.

At any rate, while she liked the fantastical elements, the aspect of creating the SIS with other fellow-players was absent because it was a solo game. While solo gaming certainly is still RPing, I find that it tends to be less fulfilling. And group play is far more representative of the hobby. If you want to help your father understand, the group aspect may be important. Just my 2c.
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Jasper McChesney
Primeval Games Press
Luke
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2005, 06:32:38 AM »

my biggest revelation was that none of the mechanical/technical rpg innovations that are so cool to us mean anything to him.

You need something that addresses his casual gamer priorities directly. How will he connect to the hobby? Does he like historial detail? A fan of a certain genre of movies? Loves to read X books?

What part of his imagination can you spark so he'll say, "I want to be/do/try that" ?

-L
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Judd
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2005, 06:38:42 AM »

My father loves samurai epics.  He also loves big guys with big weapons being a pretty big guy but never having gotten himself a big weapon.

He's the one who got me into comic books and fantasy films.  We used to read Lone Wolf and Cub together and talk about it a bunch afterwards.

He's been in corporate security for a tremendous part of his professional life, having been in charge of JFK's perimeter security all through the early 90's.

I'm thinkin' of saddling him up with a Crab Clan samurai in the new edition of L5R.

I just sent him the following e-mail:

Quote
Dad,

Think of this as a movie trailer but for a game.  You don't have to know what everything means just yet. You  definitely don't have to know how it will turn out.  

All that's important is that you get the vibe.  Its epic samurai fantasy.  It isn't quite Japan.  It has as much to do with Japan as the Lord of the Ring's Middle-Earth has to do with historical medieval Norway.

You'll be playing a big, gruff samurai with a testubo who has recently inhereted his father's castle and is in charge of his family, soldiers and a tremendous responsibility.

Judd



Your father left you a piece of the Kaiu Wall.  It is the same stretch of wall that your family has guarded for generations, set to the task by the Hida Family Daymio, the warrior family of the Crab Clan.  

Above your castle's door are the words, "Millions Die If I am Weak," carved into the stone by masons long ago.

On the western side of the wall is a lovely countryside, white cherry blossoms, rolling hills, a crystal bay.  On the eastern side is a hellish
landscape filled with globlins, demons and all manner of nightmares.

The Empire never thanks you for doing your duty, only notices when some monstrousity escapes.  The Empire does not send enough resources to keep the wall strong, only court politics and disdain.

And you receive three letters:

1) A Lion Courtier from the capital city of Otusan Uchii wishes to take a tour of the Shadowlands, see the danger for himself.  He is being sent to your stretch of the wall.

2) While buying provisions in ths next province, your brother has fallen in love with a beautiful maiden in the effete Crane Clan; she is promised to another.

3) Maidens have gone missing in a nearby village.  The headman has asked that a Kuni Witch-Hunter be sent, but they are few and far between.  One might wait years gaining an audience with a true Witch-Hunter.

Millions Die If I am Weak

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Luke
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2005, 06:44:10 AM »

not to be elitist, but why not use The Mountain Witch?

-L
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Judd
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2005, 06:46:36 AM »

Quote from: abzu
not to be elitist, but why not use The Mountain Witch?

-L


I have found that for beginners, taking contrl of the the narration can be a ltitle over-whelming.

Also, and more importantly, it will likely be a solo game and the trust mechanics would go to unused and they are the heart and soul of that game.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2005, 07:10:41 AM »

My mother is similarly very curious about RPGs, and I've been trying to figure out what to play with her.  She doesn't read a lot of fantasy on her own, and only a bit of science fiction.  She's mostly a murder mystery or "serious books" type.

Hmm...

yrs--
--Ben
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2005, 07:15:02 AM »

Quote from: abzu
not to be elitist, but why not use The Mountain Witch?


That's not elitist. It's good advice, but for:

Quote from: Paka

it will likely be a solo game and the trust mechanics would go to unused and they are the heart and soul of that game.


That's the biggest issue there.

But! I'd say that your dad, being a guy who does stuff, and likes things, and not a gamer, is going to be a lot more flummoxed by D20 or (shudder) Legend of Five Rings than he is by, say, Dogs in the Vineyard, run as Yojimbo.

So that would be my advice. Surprise, surprise.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2005, 07:53:34 AM »

Quote from: nikola


But! I'd say that your dad, being a guy who does stuff, and likes things, and not a gamer, is going to be a lot more flummoxed by D20 or (shudder) Legend of Five Rings than he is by, say, Dogs in the Vineyard, run as Yojimbo.

So that would be my advice. Surprise, surprise.


Its the old roll and keep system, not d20.

I wouldn't go the d20 route for a new gamer who hasn't done anything like this before.

For a solo game with a trusted GM (that'd be me) I think a mainstream traditional RPG isn't going to be bad.

That said, I have to finish reading through L5R 3rd edition yet.  But I'll bring along some different indie RPG's in case what I read in L5R bugs me.

His reply to my trailer e-mail:

Quote
I LOVE IT


I think setting the tone and getting him into the mindset is going to be more important for a first game.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2005, 07:55:41 AM »

Quote from: Paka

His reply to my trailer e-mail:

Quote
I LOVE IT


I think setting the tone and getting him into the mindset is going to be more important for a first game.


Yeah! So use something that sets that mind and tone!

Now, I don't know L5R well at all. But I do know that the reason I haven't played it is because I like samurai movies.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2005, 08:07:02 AM »

Quote from: nikola
Yeah! So use something that sets that mind and tone!

Now, I don't know L5R well at all. But I do know that the reason I haven't played it is because I like samurai movies.


This thread will not turn into a why L5R is crap thread.  I refuse to let that happen.  This is us agreeing to disagree and moving on.  

When sitting a parent down to play, Luke had some interesting words on how he had to back up:

Quote from: abzu
As soon as I started on my standard demo pitch, I realized that I'd already lost the 'rents. They had absolutely no frame of reference for what was going on. The basic die rolling mechanics meant absolutely nothing to them. Why roll dice? What for? When?

Whoa. So I had to start with a very basic discussion of the overarching mechanics of roleplay -- shared imagined space, character/role, resolution mechanic for uncertain outcomes.


This is interesting to me.  I am just thinking of what I will say to him when we first talk about the numbers on his character sheet and when he rolls and when not.

Its just interesting to have to break it all down.

I'm kind of hoping that it goes well and I get to run Star Wars Jedi Paladin with him and a few of his friends.

We'll see.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2005, 08:15:12 AM »

Quote from: Paka
This thread will not turn into a why L5R is crap thread.  I refuse to let that happen.  This is us agreeing to disagree and moving on.


OK. But keep in mind that I don't even know enough about the system to dis it, other than to say that the book's ugly. I seriously don't know anything about the system.

Quote from: abzu
Whoa. So I had to start with a very basic discussion of the overarching mechanics of roleplay -- shared imagined space, character/role, resolution mechanic for uncertain outcomes.


Quote from: Paka
This is interesting to me.  I am just thinking of what I will say to him when we first talk about the numbers on his character sheet and when he rolls and when not.


Yeah! Totally! That's where the conversation should be taking place. I think most character sheets are full of nonsense and distraction and a system that has only what it needs and uses will go a long way.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Nathan P.
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Posts: 536


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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2005, 01:05:28 PM »

Sounds like you have a pretty good thing locked in, which is great. I just want to toss out another opinion real quick.

If I was going to introduce anyone to gaming, I would use Primetime Adventures. The frame of reference is there. The idea of characters that have issues and deal with them is there. The ability to basically do any setting is there. Personally, I think that having players narrate stuff is more familiar to non-gamers, though I'm sure thats not universally true.

Anyway, a couple more cents for the bank.
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Nathan P.
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2005, 01:11:34 PM »

It could very easily be that in my dark, evil heart of hearts, I don't believe giving narration to the first-time players is rough but that it is just, giving narrative control over is something I am just learning to do and I am not yet fully comfortable with it.  So, I am setting the game in a more traditional GM-Player mode so that I can feel more comfortable.

Hm.

Anyway, asked him if he had any suggestions, thoughts or additionns to the e-mail I sent him and he replied:

Quote
I am married to Matua, daughter to a fallen grand master and mistress of the art of -------------. Twin sons Tyi and Sogen 8 years old, and brother-in-law to Hayete who is a Kuni Witch Hunter. Hayete and I have not spoken since the twins were born.


To which I replied:

Holy shit, we have a GAMER on our hands.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2005, 01:45:46 PM »

Quote from: Paka
So, I am setting the game in a more traditional GM-Player mode so that I can feel more comfortable.

Hm.
I'd say that's pretty astute, Judd. And not a bad call. If you're nervous, your players sense it.

And I'm guessing that you're nervous. If you'd asked  "I have a player who's a lot older than I am who wants to play, what do I do?"  that would be a really odd question. I mean, it's just another player, right? The only thing that makes this odd is specifically that you're playing with your father.

And that makes you nervous. Or, well maybe I'm projecting. But playing with my father would make me nervous. Actually I did it once, 27 years ago...

Consider: it's your father, the man from who you've sought approval all your life. And the one who doesn't play games any more, since he's an "adult" (meaning to his generation, "one who has put aside childish things"). So you have to prove to him that this hobby of yours is as valid as his golf habit. Or you're not a man.

Again, I may be projecting here, but that'd make me nervous.

So what I'm guessing is that you're looking for how to not be nervous here?

Sorry, I got nothing for ya. As we say, this is a social level problem. Have you thought about taking up golf? ;-)

Quote
Anyway, asked him if he had any suggestions, thoughts or additionns to the e-mail I sent him and he replied:

Quote
I am married to Matua, daughter to a fallen grand master and mistress of the art of -------------. Twin sons Tyi and Sogen 8 years old, and brother-in-law to Hayete who is a Kuni Witch Hunter. Hayete and I have not spoken since the twins were born.


To which I replied:

Holy shit, we have a GAMER on our hands.
Soo....just why do you think that new players can't narrate their own material? ;-)

Mike
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