Optimal introduction method?

Greetings! I have been burnlurking for quite some time now. I have done the rpgnet, bwwiki and enworld rounds and what have you in effort to solve my problem.

So recently my 4 copies of bwg arrived (woot!) and my SO and I have been reading the rules in preparation for play this week with a third. After we get the third person settled in we plan to move in on the fourth. This third person is highly critical to our plan! She has no experience playing rpgs, but will give it a go. She’s very intelligent, critical, and sociable.

Now even with her own book I can just about guarantee that she won’t read it unless we can suck her in within the first few sessions. Even then she may prefer to just lean on others instead of actively reading the book.

As for her likes I know she digs Tolkien. We plan to actively seek her input for things like settings and what she is into. We plan to emphasize conflict,drama, and the need to actively engage the system for the best results. We’ll probably keep it simple with no magic at first and men stock only. However, first we must actually introduce the system to her!

I’ve seen where Mr. Crane has suggested the use of pre-fab characters and going through a few rounds of DoW or Fight! We’d probably opt for DoW only if we went that route. But then what next? Character burning? The Sword/Gift/Hochen series? Setting creation?

I can’t ask her too many questions for fear of overloading her, yet I have the sense that there is some optimal method with which to ensnare her mind with without spamming her mental inbox with all of the goodness that I know exists within Burning Wheel!

I probably have three sessions at most to do this. Now after the snare has been set, naturally the progression includes Torchbearer and Burning Empires once the funds are alright, and maybe even some Mouseguard which we already own!

If we can enrapture the third person, the fourth is all but assured!


Welcome to the Forums!

Wow, that’s a lot to put on the first session of a new thing. I wonder why she’s so critical if she has no experience with RPGs, but okay. It would make it a lot easier if she was excited to give 100% of her enthusiasm to this new venture.

That being said, I’d probably introduce things with a play through of The Sword, as long as everyone understands that it’s set up as a demo of the mechanics and is more PVP than your typical adventure. There are some good youtube videos of Luke running people through a demo of the Sword at various cons.

After that, I would start imagining a Situation together, probably something Tolkienesque. Decide if you’d rather play humans, dwarves or elves and sketch out the big idea behind the game. Once you have something you’re all interested in, create characters together, work through the lifepaths and Beliefs, Instincts, Traits etc.

Then play. Keep things simple at first, sticking with the hub and spokes rules. You don’t need to add complicated subsystems until everyone’s on board.

I believe it’s critical as in important, but also critical as in a analytical.

I’ll briefly echo everything James is saying: start with The Sword, which contains a great setup for an initial Duel of Wits. For the campaign, find a situation that appeals to everyone and flesh out the details together, following with burning the characters together. Start with the hub and spokes, and add in the other rules slowly. Those three steps are the best sequence for long-term buy-in.

Also, if the new player has a particular sub-system that grabs her, charge her with being the representative for those rules. As you said, she may not read the entire book at first, however likely she’ll be invested in something that pertains to her character, like Fight!, Duel of Wits, or sorcery. She can concentrate on that part of the rim and guide the group when it comes up in play.

Good luck! Be sure to report back as the game develops.

Oh my sweet Jesus! I had typed out a long reply and then the forum monster burner ate it! Quickly as thoughts are fading (and the autosave system is currently unfathomable to me as I got logged out somehow)! I thank you heartily for your replies. I typed out my whole plan, which might have been of marginal use to others with the same problems, but can not convince myself to retype them.

Also I didn’t mean that she had a bad attitude from being critical. She’s just a really sharp thinker. OK so my immediate throes of frustration are starting to disappear so let me see if I can raise from the dead some of the lost text (forgive my succinctness).

So we’ll play The Sword. I’ll indicate that this is a demo that highlights certain subsystems and has an uncharacteristic focus on PVP. I’ll probably introduce the Duel of Wits. After the game is over we’ll take likes and dislikes. I’ll explain in better detail some of the linkages between play and rewards, how failure is not failure and instead leads to growth and that sort of thing.

Next session we’ll talk about what THEY want to play, figure out stocks and settings, hash out the broad strokes, and finish with character creation! EZPZ lemonz squeezee!

Then later as warranted (and through Machiavellian levels of enticement) she’ll be the caretaker of certain systems because she generally likes doing stuff like that anyway! Now a lot has been left out, which I’m sure is better for all concerned, but hopefully the general gist has been laid out. I’ll try to take notes so I can tell everyone how things went so that they may learn from my mistakes!

Thanks again!

[Wow! Logged out again. I better check my preferences as this post was eaten too. Ctrl +C -->Ctrl +V bitches!]