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Old 04-20-2018, 12:19 PM   #11
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
I suppose it's not practical for a company like SJG to officially recognize customers/fans that give back to the company in big ways (promoting games, helping other players, etc.). Probably difficult in terms of verifying claims and what not.

But if there were such a thing, your effort sure sounds worthy of recognition. From one fan to another, nice job!
Wasn't there some kind of fan-rep programme ... Men in Black or something?
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Wasn't there some kind of fan-rep programme ... Men in Black or something?
I know there’s been such a thing. I’ve heard we’re no longer supposed to talk about it, or some elements of it, but I’m not cleared to read the page which tells me what I shouldn’t talk about, and the person who admonished me about not following the guidelines dropped the subject as soon as they realized I wasn’t cleared to know about the guidelines.

That sounds more like a Paranoia synopsis than and SJG policy, but who knows? I’m not cleared for it.

e-mailing SJGames sounds like a good idea.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:51 PM   #13
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DO you mean this? http://www.sjgames.com/mib/mibjoin.html
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Wasn't there some kind of fan-rep programme ... Men in Black or something?
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:55 PM   #14
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Giving out massive amounts of prize support and product rewards to volunteers killed the first incarnation of WizKids. It's not that difficult to put the organization together, the difficult part is that people WILL cheat you. I know for vertain (but can't prove it) that there was a network of people in the area I was a statewide rep volunteer at that were signing up massive numbers of events that they knew would never find players for to get the generous prize support. What they did with the miniatures I can't say for sure (but I assume they were selling them via Ebay).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
I suppose it's not practical for a company like SJG to officially recognize customers/fans that give back to the company in big ways (promoting games, helping other players, etc.). Probably difficult in terms of verifying claims and what not.

But if there were such a thing, your effort sure sounds worthy of recognition. From one fan to another, nice job!
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Back in October, I posted a thread (DRFPG for kids) about using DFRPG at my middle school. I bought a few box sets and GM screens last weekend and launched the activity on Thursday. We had twenty students (which was our cap... we had to turn some away!) divided into four groups of five. Students from grades 6-8, ranging in ages from 12-14. We only get 45 minutes per session, and there's a bit of logistical overhead on the first day (kids finding the classroom, learning names, picking groups, etc.) so we didn't get very far, but the students were very excited about it.

I gave a short presentation on the basics of roleplaying games (imaginary worlds, heroes, dungeon delving) and the 3d6 mechanic in DFRPG. Groups formed and chose a GM and pregen characters for the four players. We looked over character sheets, made adjustments, discussed the significance of disadvantages and skills. Then we were out of time. A few students were so excited that they borrowed Adventurers overnight so they could create their own characters. One of those students asked me today where she could buy her own box. (Woot!) Multiple students also downloaded GURPS Character Sheet so they could experiment with their own builds. (I used GCS for all the pregens.)

We continue next Thursday with our second session. My intention is to run the beginner tables through a few training encounters so that they have a clearer understanding of task resolution (using skills, ability checks, etc.) and then a simple combat. After that, I've got "I Smell a Rat" as a possibility for groups that want to run an official adventure, though based on past experience I expect most of the GMs will come up with their own adventures (often just a series of monsters chosen haphazardly from Monsters; if they're having fun, I stay out of the way).

Because the time is so tight, we're not using the cardboard heroes and hex maps. This also helps reduce the details to manage during combat so they don't obsess over the rules.

I'll post an update next week, but considering the response yesterday and the number of questions and conversations I had with students about it today, I think we're off to a great start.
I'm very curious to hear about your experiences, as I'll be doing something very similar soon at the high school where I teach!
I'll have about 2 hours a day with 24 students for a week. I have 5 DFRPG box sets to play with, and I don't know the kids yet so I'm assuming they have little to no rpg experience and almost certainly no GURPS experience.

So I'm looking for advice from someone who's done it! How do I get them started when they know nothing so far? Without assigning the GMs huge amounts of homework, how do I get them GMing in roughly the time it takes to get the players playing? How do I structure all of this within my time frame?
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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I'll have about 2 hours a day with 24 students for a week.
One thing I did many years ago to explain an RPG game to about 20 players or so is to let them play single characters "as a group". That meant that for instance 4 players <shared> a single characters, deciding together what they will let their character do (e.g. with quick votings for different ideas). Maybe they'll decide one person to be "the speaker" in a scene when it comes to an interactive dialog. You get the idea... ;)

That way you can play a little demo game as a single GM with all other students in the room as "the player group" to explain things while actually "doing" it.

The "trick" here IMHO is that everyone is already "playing" very soon, in comparison to a pure "theoretical" explanation. People hopefully feel more involved being part of the game and then likely they are more actively trying to understand what is being explained.

---

Anyway, I would choose a very simple plot for the demo game and tell them to use <very simple> plots in their game (short time!). For instance I remember once playing a really cool shadowrun game with the whole plot just being "Try to get out of this pub alive..." (It was sieged by Renraku elite troops and time was running until the building would be destroyed).

In that example there is already a lot of room for creativity, you have to scout for the guards, think of and explore possible exits, search for (improvised) weapons, maybe you try to build some helping tools etc.

---

As you're playing dungeon fantasy (very good choice! :p) I would print out very little demo example dungeon maps as a nice helping tool for the GMs in their own sessions. You could attach some nice small notes like "Behind the closed wooden door of this room are 4 orcs having lunch. In a small chest in a corner there are 24 silver coins." That comes along with their stats/weapons.

Just the most important informations are certainly enough as they probably will have a lot of creativity to fill things with life if you can give them the idea... ;)

Every group can use the same things so you don't have much prep work, also normally they will find it cool to talk about the same (and still very different!) experiences after the session ;)

---

For the gamemasters, when it comes to rules, I would strongly recommend to explain the "task difficulty" table as their 'backup tool' for all the unknown special cases. (Print out copies as a help!) E.g. if the GM knows that something he/she expects to be "a hard task" is about -4/-5 and something which is "daily routine" is about +4/+5 it helps a lot! (Also explain what the default +0 means - that there is 'adventure' condition meaning some stress, maybe enemies around, not having time etc.)
Last but not least obviously keep it quite basic with the rules, not complex, just mentioning that one could do more cool stuff of course later on.

Last edited by OldSam; 05-01-2018 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
I'm looking for advice from someone who's done it! How do I get them started when they know nothing so far? Without assigning the GMs huge amounts of homework, how do I get them GMing in roughly the time it takes to get the players playing? How do I structure all of this within my time frame?
OldSam's response is a goldmine. I love the idea of modeling with each table being one character. I may try that on our next iteration.

I had been planning on modeling combat and action resolution by running a simple training scenario for the full room (four tables of five players each). So maybe they would all find a locked door. I would explain different ways to resolve it (pick lock, bash through it, maybe burn it) and then let each table GM resolve it for their group. Similar with a simple melee encounter. Then a ranged encounter. Then something that requires a spell. Each one super fast... a few rolls.

As it turned out, at session two my students were ready to roll and just jumped right in. They were hardly staying true to the rules, but they had a blast and didn't really care.

One take away for me was a reminder that beginners usually don't care about doing it "right." They just want to have fun. If they understand the basic mechanic—roll low on 3d6—then they can resolve most situations. Maybe they don't pay attention to retreats and armor divisors and casting times. So what? Let the fireballs fly. Since then, I've just made myself available to answer questions. You may, of course, have groups that are more into sticking to RAW. These folks are probably motivated enough to borrow a rulebook and read it.

Regardless, I think the key is less about teaching all the rules as much as letting novice GMs know about the basics of how to manage the fun. Diverse challenges, following the group's interests, pacing, etc. I've had a few conversations with my GMs about making sure they have ideas for what happens if the group fails. What if they don't make it over the pit? What if they don't pick the lock? There should be a fun plot available no matter what. This is often a revelation to young GMs who are like, "Oh well, there's no way out of the room. Now what?"

Another great option for DFRPG is the solo adventure, "Trapped in the Living Tomb", in Pyramid 3/104. If your budget has any wiggle room, it might make sense to pick up a few copies that you can print and loan out to students who want to learn the basic mechanics on their own. I'm definitely going to try that next year. (I've loaned my copy to a few students informally this year, and they've loved it.)

Last edited by Dalin; 05-20-2018 at 09:26 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Wasn't there some kind of fan-rep programme ... Men in Black or something?
To quote Morpheus, "We are still here."
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:27 PM   #19
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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. . .
They were hardly staying true to the rules, but they had a blast and didn't really care.
. . .
Thanks again for sharing these developments.

I'm interested in knowing how real people apply the DFRPG to their games.

Keep us posted.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:53 AM   #20
Gnome
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
OldSam's response is a goldmine. I love the idea of modeling with each table being one character. I may try that on our next iteration.

I had been planning of modeling combat and action resolution by running a simple training scenario for the full room (four tables of five players each). So maybe they would all find a locked door. I would explain different ways to resolve it (pick lock, bash through it, maybe burn it) and then let each table GM resolve it for their group. Similar with a simple melee encounter. Then a ranged encounter. Then something that requires a spell. Each one super fast... a few rolls.

As it turned out, at session two my students were ready to roll and just jumped right in. They were hardly staying true to the rules, but they had a blast and didn't really care.

One take away for me was a reminder that beginners usually don't care about doing it "right." They just want to have fun. If they understand the basic mechanic—roll low on 3d6—then they can resolve most situations. Maybe they don't pay attention to retreats and armor divisors and casting times. So what? Let the fireballs fly. Since then, I've just made myself available to answer questions. You may, of course, have groups that are more into sticking to RAW. These folks are probably motivated enough to borrow a rulebook and read it.

Regardless, I think the key is less about teaching all the rules as much as letting novice GMs know about the basics of how to manage the fun. Diverse challenges, following the group's interests, pacing, etc. I've had a few conversations with my GMs about making sure they have ideas for what happens if the group fails. What if they don't make it over the pit? What if they don't pick the lock? There should be a fun plot available no matter what. This is often a revelation to young GMs who are like, "Oh well, there's no way out of the room. Now what?"

Another great option for DFRPG is the solo adventure, "Trapped in the Living Tomb", in Pyramid 3/104. If you budget has any wiggle room, it might make sense to pick up a few copies that you can print and loan out to students who want to learn the basic mechanics on their own. I'm definitely going to try that next year. (I've loaned my copy to a few students informally this year, and they've loved it.)
Very helpful advice, thank you. I was pretty much going to recommend the "roll and shout" method to my budding GMs, so I'm glad to hear that went well with your group. I also like the idea of helping everyone try the same few actions just to see how it goes, or assigning one character per table at first. Any thoughts on how to present the advice about how to keep things fun, etc.? I think something like Robin's Rules would be a bit too much reading to assign, so I want to break it down to a short bulleted list of advice points or something.

And I'll check out that solo adventure if I can find a few bucks.
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