Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: RPG recommendation for beginners

RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 04:55 #155854

My kids were asking me about the Sherlock Holmes game I was playing (the old blue box) and the ensuing discussion led to the old D&D choose your own path books I read to them when they were younger.

The short of it is, both my kids expressed interest in trying D&D. I don't want to shell out a shitload on this as my kids' track record with gaming in the past few years has been, well...nil.

I have zero experience with RPGs so any guidance would be great.
  • Dr. Mabuse
  • Dr. Mabuse's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Ambassador of Truth
  • Posts: 2452
  • Thank you received: 697
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 08:55 #155861

Keep it cheap and simple.

Theres quite a few free PDFs kicking around, and some RPGs go very cheap in the second hand market on ebay.

Labyrith Lord, and Dungeon Crawl Classics are both retro DnD clones but with the rules tightened up for the modern world. You can get free PDFs of both; Labyrinth Lord is available from The goblionoid games website, and DCC has its beta rules as a free download. DCC is slightly simpler than LL. LL keeps the same stat system as original DnD and uses a fancy table to flip the dice results around.

If you want an actual book copys of the original DnD box set (DnD Basic) come up on ebay at a fairly regular clip. Its not a complex game by all accounts (i have actually read the books though).

Copies of GURPS 3rd edition and 4th edition also regularly sell for under $10 (or even $5). The core rules of GURPS are very simple, theres just tonnes of crap you can layer on top. But you can easily ignore all but the basic stat tests and combat system. Personally i'd go with DnD though as generating a character using a class based system like that used in DnD is probably more fun.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 11:29 #155869

There's a Beginners Box set for Pathfinder that's quite good. Pathfinder is an evolution of the Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Ed rules and actually isn't that easy a system to learn, but the box set makes it fairly straightforward. It's great value too, you get loads of stuff in the box and there's enough to keep you busy for quite a while.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 11:42 #155870

Been playing Apocalypse World, and while I wouldn't recommend it for a younger crowd, the rules really don't put much burden on the players. I've been reading Dungeon World and it's probably worth a look.

Also, I think D&D Next is still free
  • wadenels
  • wadenels's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Ninja
  • Posts: 1849
  • Thank you received: 1152
Sneak Attack!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 12:04 #155872

I'd just pick up one of the old school D&D Basic Box sets. They don't seem to go for too much, have very easy rules, contain an adventure, and if it doesn't go over well you at least played and own a piece of gaming history. Keep on the Borderlands!

Here's a cheap one in ok shape:


I prefer the pink box with the Erol Otis cover:


(these are essentially the same games)
  • Mr. White
  • Mr. White's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D12
  • Posts: 5287
  • Thank you received: 2322
Life & Death & An American Chainsaw
Last Edit: 05 Jul 2013 12:49 by Mr. White.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rliyen, Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 13:05 #155875

A second for the Pathfinder Beginner's Box. This is easily the greatest boxed set ever created for an RPG. It supports levels 1-5, comes with a decent about of support material in the included books, and the rules are written and presented SO clearly and in a style more resembling videogames. Plus battlemaps and standees. And Paizo/Pathfinder has suggestions for adapting their other adventures if you want to keep going.

I tend to prefer the more modern boxed sets, as the actual old-style rules are often just a touch clumsy. But be wary because some more modern boxed sets cut and paste their rules from the "big book" too much and are unreadable as a result.

Runner Ups:
The two D&D 3.5 ed boxed sets with minis. They were very cheap, and the bits were gorgeous, but not as much actual game content.
The AD&D 2nd edition First Quest Boxed set. Three included adventures with full-size poster maps, and some nice character cards and minis. The second adventure exploring a haunted house is actually surprisingly thematic. ....And frankly I'm a sucker for the included CD of narration tracks. It is actually pretty awful, like a bad D&D radio play.
  • moofrank
  • moofrank's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D8
  • Posts: 1212
  • Thank you received: 254
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 13:14 #155876

I'd go with Tunnels and Trolls. Simple system and not overpriced. Also, if one of your kids loses interest before the other, there's a lot of solo adventures available for it.
  • faceknives
  • faceknives's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D4
  • Posts: 107
  • Thank you received: 25
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 13:14 #155877

How old are your kids?

D&D is the classic entrypoint for hack and slash but I've heard alot of interest in alternative themes like Mouse Guard. Whatever it is, I've always found themes and licenses that interest the players go a long to hooking them. If they like fantasy, scifi, etc., then go that direction. Star Wars, etc.

Keep the system-specific stuff to a minimal and just roll some dice. As a GM, feel free to cheat and just let them participate in making a fun story.
  • jgriff
  • jgriff's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D4
  • Posts: 160
  • Thank you received: 38
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Schweig!, Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 13:19 #155878

Many RPG players started out with D&D. It has the advantage of being pretty adaptable, so you could make it very simple and non-violent (or comically violent). 3rd edition on its basic level is very simple, because the mechanics are simple dice roll and number comparisons. (No THAC0!) So you could prepare characters for your kids with all attack, skill and saving throw rolls already calculated - now they only need to know which modifier to choose for which action. Roll the dice, add the modifier and you can tell them whether they succeed or not. (Which also gives you the necessary room to cheat in their favour.)
  • Schweig!
  • Schweig!'s Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D10
  • i'm not a
  • Posts: 4172
  • Thank you received: 739
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rliyen, Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 13:40 #155882

I personally would avoid things like Pathfinder and GURPS for an intro game -- the rules can be pretty fiddly and complicated.

Fate Core is excellent and there's a pay-what-you-will downloadable pdf version (the hard copy is not in print yet). You would need fudge dice to play. One great thing about Fate with first-timers is that you get to create the world together, tailoring it to the kind of game you want to play. You may have to get over some terminology hurdles, but once you grasp the way the game works, it's pretty great and will make your kids feel like heroes.

Jason Morningstar recommended a free no-prep game called Lady Blackbird to me a while back. I haven't tried it yet, but if your kids dig Miyazaki at all, it's supposed to be a cool little game along the lines of Nausicaä/Laputa that plays out over 1-3 sessions.

Tales of the Arabian Nights is a a boardgame, but it might be a fun RPG intro since it revolves around character decisionmaking.

I am really looking forward to trying Storm Hollow (formerly Story Realms) with my seven-year-old daughter, but it won't be out for a while, and does not qualify as cheap.
  • Jason Lutes
  • Jason Lutes's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D6
  • Posts: 758
  • Thank you received: 252
Last Edit: 05 Jul 2013 13:43 by Jason Lutes.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 14:58 #155894

I will second panzerattack and moofrank and highly recommend the Pathfinder Beginner Box. That thing is cheap and packed to the gills with content, standees, maps and concise rules. Your kids will love it and jump right into the action in no time. The production quality is extremely high so if your kids are impressed by shiny high-gloss books and stellar art they will be in hog heaven. There's even a step by step introductory adventure that makes learning the game easy to learn. On top of that, when the kids have graduated from the basic adventure there's a fully fleshed out dungeon to explore that climaxes with a battle against a dragon. All in all it's damn skippy.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 15:02 #155899

Depending on the age of the kids, complexity isn't necessarily a barrier. By the time I was 13, I was already playing both AD&D and Avalon Hill war games, and those were both very complex kinds of games. My dad taught me to play Acquire around the time that I learned how to read, though I didn't win at Acquire until around age 10. I'm sure that I could have started playing D&D at a younger age if someone had shown me the game and taught me how to play.
  • Shellhead
  • Shellhead's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • D12
  • Posts: 6885
  • Thank you received: 2600
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 15:08 #155903

Shellhead wrote:
I'm sure that I could have started playing D&D at a younger age if someone had shown me the game and taught me how to play.

This audience is precisely what the Pathfinder box was intended. Kids can pick up the books and learn step by step without an experienced gamer there to hold their hands. I remember trying to learn D&D from the red box back in the mid 80s as someone new to RPGs and I was completely lost. That thing was not designed for a kid to pick it up and start running. The Pathfinder box is and it does an outstanding job in teaching the game in a fun manner. Hell, the introductory adventure is essentially modeled after the old choose your path books and is an awesome way to get young gamers interested in trying out a table top game.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 15:11 #155904

Dr. Mabuse wrote:
My kids were asking me about the Sherlock Holmes game I was playing (the old blue box) and the ensuing discussion led to the old D&D choose your own path books I read to them when they were younger.

The short of it is, both my kids expressed interest in trying D&D. I don't want to shell out a shitload on this as my kids' track record with gaming in the past few years has been, well...nil.

I have zero experience with RPGs so any guidance would be great.

I have the Dungeon Crawl Classics rulebook (big as fuck, but readable) and several modules. I spent like 100$ on it, but most of it was "free money" from Amazon CC points.

Let's work something out. I'll hook you up, you're one of the few F:ATties that won't punch me hard in the mouth on sight. :)
  • SuperflyTNT
  • SuperflyTNT's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • D20
  • Posts: 9333
  • Thank you received: 3365
youtube.com/watch?v=ZkHxIlNZTk4
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dr. Mabuse

Re: RPG recommendation for beginners 05 Jul 2013 16:13 #155913

My only addition to this conversation would be if they were interested in something other than D&D. Feng Shui. If they like HK action movies (or action movies in general), I'd think they'd like it. The only dice you need are a couple of different colored six siders and a d20 (not used in game, it's used as a shot counter for combat).

You can pretty much do whatever you want with the system, it's about as flexible as a Circe du Soleil performer. You don't even have to use the established factions if you don't want to. Prior to Larry Correia licensing the Monster Hunter International books to become an actual RPG, I was using the FS system to imitate the world.

Check it out, it couldn't hurt
  • Rliyen
  • Rliyen's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • D8
  • MAN UP!
  • Posts: 1530
  • Thank you received: 181
Imperial: Yes, we released the Great Darkness... Sue us.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Moderators: Jackwraith, Mad Dog, wadenels
Time to create page: 0.323 seconds