#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 14: "GUIDE"

I'm on the Asset team for Monte Cook Games. This means that I volunteer to run games at conventions and stores. It helps promote the products and company, of course, but that's not why I do it. I do it because I am passionate about the games and I love sharing my passions with other people, and guiding them through the experience of telling unique stories in a unique system.

When I run games, I normally have three types of players, and I love all three for different reasons.

Some people know the game, love it, and are showing up because it gives them a chance to do something they love. These are fun because they are already excited when they show up. I get to introduce them to a new story, new secrets of the world and do it in my personal style of running a game. They always have fun and help infect the table with their enthusiasm.

Some people have purchased the game, and may even have read the rules, but they haven't ever had a chance to sit down and play. These are fun because it's my chance to demonstrate how easy it is to run and to play. The mechanics are simple, the stories can be very straightforward but fun, and you don't need a ton of prep time to create characters or play. Some of these people leave the table excited to go try it on their own. A few have talked to me the next year and have been regular games.

But my very favorite is people who have no experience with the game systems or company, or better yet, have no experience with gaming. To some, gaming is a hobby they've heard about, their friends play it, or they are there because a friend or significant other brought them along. When these people show up at my table, they represent an opportunity to bring something new and amazing into someone's life.

Gaming is all about collaborative storytelling, and the rest is just mechanics. So I go over the mechanics for the table, simply. I explain what's on the sheets and how to read it, but I also run the games such that new players quickly have a chance to do things on their own. When they have to do an action, I'll say "Difficulty is X, does anybody have a skill they could make relevant on the left side of the sheet that might lower the difficulty?" or "Your difficulty is X, do you want to spend some points on effort to make it easier?" I put the directions into my description of what's going on, with them making their decisions from the first on what they want to do.

I also work hard to ensure that everybody at the table is contributing (at their level of comfort.) Many people who show up are quiet. I direct questions to them and try to draw out their ideas, and per tips by Monte and Darcy, I really work to ensure that any idea contributes to the system--so that they are participating in the collaborative stories.

I love running demos of Role Playing Games; I love playing games with people I haven't met before; I love sharing my love of MCG games, and honestly, I just love sharing the whole experience of RPGs with other people. But ultimately, new players are my favorite because there is no feeling like seeing their excitement and connection, through that combination of fun and light-touch guidance. And it's great when they leave the table, talking excitedly, and you guess they're off to try other games, confidently.

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#RPGaDay2019

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