So I've finally convinced the members of my board gaming group to give Pen and Paper RPGs a try for the very first time. We all have experience with CRPGs, a number of which are based on D&D (Baldur's Gate Series, Neverwinter Nights Series, ToEE, etc.), but none of us have ever tried any true Tabletop RPGs. I will be the GM as I have the most experience with D&D in a computer form, and I am the one in our group who always learns the rules of a new game and explains them to everyone else.
So my question is, which RPG would be better to teach first time players and for their first time GM, Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, or Grimm? Now I know that posting this question on this forum may lead to some biased answers , but I know that anyone here will have more RPG experience than I do, especially with Grimm. I think Grimm may be the better system to teach as it is simpler and much easier to learn, but do you think it's a good "starting point" to jump into the world of tabletop RPGs with? Or is the classic D&D that started it all a better choice? I don't think theme will be a problem as I believe my players will all like the idea of Grimm, and are at least a little bit familar with D&D in it's computer version. Or would it perhaps be better to get the core books for D20 World of Warcraft setting (something they all play avidly and would be very famiar with)?
I already own the Grimm RPG (it was cheap and I picked it up since it's all one volume and I love the theme and rules), but could probably acquire any of the others pretty easily. So does anyone have any thoughts on this? What would be easy to teach? And easy for someone who has never GMed anything before to do a good job with? If anyone has any tips for the first time RPG group, or about being a good Game Master I'd love to hear them. Any thoughts or opinions would be much appreciated.
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I've not played the new DnD 4th edition, so can't really comment on its suitability (played 3.5 and previous editions, but they are rather different to 4th edition i think) but i think Grimm could be good for new players, although some of its mechanics aren't really representative of rpgs in general (no real initiative type rolls, team work being critical, not a great deal of variation in chances to succeed etc, are all things that make Grimm very different to "regular" rpgs, IMO)
This might not be a major issue if you're just looking for an rpg to cut your teeth on, but if you then move onto another system, you'll likely have to learn a lot of new concepts that appear in a lot of rpgs.
Now, this wasn't in your original post, but have you considered the shortly to be released WFRP 3rd edition?
If you are a fan of FFG board games, then this new game is looking to come with a lot of touchy feely components, which although FFG haven't come out and said it, I think FFG is doing to make the transition from board game to rpg much easier and almost seems to be perfect for someone like you and your group.
It seems to have a lot of innovations in it, and some of the info released so far remind me of some of the grimm mechanics, as well as some more classic boardgame mechanics
it also seems to be aimed at giving a lot of help and guidance to novice GMs
The downside as I see it for you may be price (apparently its going to retail for $99 in the US, I'm in the UK so not sure yet how much it might cost me!, either way its a lot of money to spend giving rpg "a try"), although apparently that is pretty much how DnD 4th ed is retailing for? and the other downside is that it isn't out yet!
having said that, the 2nd edition is still available and personally i think is a much better system that DnD anyway (but that is just my opinion)..so you could always look to pick up a copy of that?
if you're not in a rush though, i'd wait to see what happens when 3rd ed warhammer roleplay comes out, get hold of some independant reviews and then see if you and your friends fancy the look of it.....
Thanks for the thoughts, I had not even looked at or consider the upcoming Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, but took a look at it after seeing your post. It has indeed piqued my interest and I think I would concur with your statement that it's almost like they're trying to make a transition game from board games to RPGs. I do love FFG's board games as does my gaming group and I think that may make a very nice introductory game with all the "touchy feelies".
I am in no hurry to rush in, I may give Grimm a bit of a try with some of the members of my group, though I do see your point that it is very, very different from most other RPGs. I am looking forward to Warhammer's release though and I'm very curious to read some reviews on it. The price tag is a huge buzz kill, and a real negative toward me buying it though. If the reviews are positive though, I'd gladly play that for a fun roleplaying experience with my group. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definately be taking a closer look at that game now.
Glad I could help!
There have been a lot of comments on the boards about the price, but it does come with 3 books (page size yet to be determined!) and all the other components, which knowing FFG are obviously going to be great quality.
Some groups have discussed splitting the price up amongst their gaming group as it does contain all the materials for play, all the players as well as GM, which might work in some instances but i think in most cases it will be down to the GM to shell out for it!
Anyway, i hope you enjoy your Grimm sessions, there are plenty of experienced GMs on the boards who can always pipe up with tips and advice, but i think the actual Grimm board is pretty quiet I only checked it on a whim (my fortune dice must have come up trumps!), but I'm sure if you posted a general gm question on one of the other boards rather than a Grimm rule specific question, someone would pick it up...
hope you enjoy your forage into RPGs!
I say run Grimm. If you own it why spend more money on other games at this point? Get your players to give Grimm a go and get at least some of your money back out of the enjoyment of a few sessions. I know Grimm would be the very FIRST choice for me given the games you have listed here.
So I say stick with Grimm for now and look into another option later if players want something completely different.
Every wolf suffers fleas. 'Tis easy enough to scratch!- The Lord of Darkness
I can't say which is the best starter RPG. But I will tell you to stay away from White Wolf as a beginner. You will just end up buying the books for all the fluff and never learn how to actually play. I keed i keed.
Seriously, stay way from WW and the GURPS they even have the motto "evolve your game from the other RPGs". Both these system have no pre-made adventures also.
Grimm is a great start. It is very simple to learn and very easy for beginners because the world and setting is known. DnD is a great system also for beginners. DnD only has like 15 pages of actual skill check rules and combat rules. The rest is all the spells, abiliities, equipment, etc. If you can find it, the Hero system is easy too.
Pull from the subconscious and never give up on your dreams.
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