>>44576662 Your job as a GM should be to be able to convey details about the setting and rules as the players need them. Players who like to wank about small details of lore should be free to do so, but it should not be necessary.
>>44576537 This. I prefer a "learn as you go" style when it comes to learning a game's rules. Start small and basic, work my way up, and walk them step-by-step through character creation instead of dropping a book and a sheet on their lap and saying "make a dude."
This kind of behavior is probably why people are scared to try RPG's it can be intimidating to be presented with a whole book of rules when most non rpgs have a pamphlet at least. GM's with new players should walk them through the process with as minimal book reading on their part as possible.
I studied journalism and a big part of newswriting is simplifying and compressing information down into a form where it's quick and easy to read, but still conveys the important stuff. The same thing applies to teaching people new things, including how to play a tabletop game.
It's been a very useful skill for me when it comes to getting people into RPGs who have told me they think it's too complicated.
>>44575380 Maybe their learning ability is weak on the 'learn by reading' front and they are one of those people who have to either learn by watching others or peeing on the electric fens them selves. Help walk them through it and possibly have other player help too. If they make at least some effort to learn be patient on keep at it. If they are a fucktard who just wants to dick around and refuses to actually try to learn the system by any method at all ask them to leave.
>>44577997 True but even with a players who have played rpg's before I would never just drop a book at them and say, "here ya go, have it read before game night" I would sit down iwth my group and discuss it during the first session or session 0.
>>44575380 >first strike Gently coach them through parts of the rules that they need to know. Tell them where to find the rest of the rules.
>second strike Remind them of stuff I've already told them while distancing myself from them, and reminding them of where to find the rules.
>third strike Kick back and watch the train wreck progress.
This has happened to me before. A friend that I don't game with anymore refused to find a way to procure copies of the rules, even when presented with an easy method to do so. I had linked him to the SRD, to pdf copies of the books, even to a zip file of pdfs of the books I have that I keep as back-up copies.
He refused to look at the SRD, because he knew the rules already, but wanted me to help him to make his character, and he refused to even humor me on the other two, because torrents are all viruses, forever.
Problem is, I hadn't given him links to torrents; the first was just a direct link to the pdfs themselves, that he could open in his browser, the second was a zip I'd made myself and put up on mediafire.
The first time was for a game I was running.
The second was for a game he was running, because he'd sniped my session. He had, literally, started running every day I said I was going to run, preempting my game to the point of running himself ragged and the eventual detriment of the game itself. It died fairly quickly after a week of daily games where he was literally pulling whatever we were doing out of his ass.
The third time he wanted to run again, and it didn't get past the first session, because he wanted me to be a backseat DM for him, but wouldn't give me the information I needed to make DM calls for him. It eventually devolved until I just decided, "Nah, fuck this, I'm getting the info I need one way or another," and jumped into main chat to ask what I needed to know. He started e-screaming that I was lying and didn't know what the fuck I was talking about.
>>44575380 Hey OP, you never told us one key piece of info, why won't they read the books? If they don't want to put the effort forth, maybe it's time to find new players. Maybe they don't actually care enough about the game, and in that case run something else. The biggest problem people have with reading the book is that it's huge and they think they have to study and memorize it. Let them know that that isn't the case. I always tell my players which sections they can skip or skim, and the ones they actual have to have read. It sucks when you have to take a longer route to starting your game, but sometimes it has to happen.
1) Assume that they are the PCs they are and will attempt to be incompetent and fuck you at every turn. You will end up being the living rules no matter what unless its otherwise convenient for them >B-but
Fine, here's what I do.
>Explain the setting in 3 sentences and basic plot >Ask what kind of character they want, regardless of everything else >While talking to them in real time, preferably over a call, walk through the process of creating the character that they want the most and explain how they ought to use it in day to day sessions
IMO a player only needs to know what they want to play, and how the character sheet works. Everything else is your issue as the DM. If the player doesn't know how the game works after a session or 2, despite having you walk through character creation, then they deserve to die or be booted.
RPG books are thick as hell, they are the DM's job for us to know them in entirety. PCs just need them for quick reference and to understand basic essentials. Hell, I'm a perma DM and even I hate reading through those giant tomes, so don't make the group of retards do it.
>But literacy! If its any consolation, I've found that putting an emphasis on their characters being unique and exactly how they want them to be is the biggest hook to actually get PCs to read the material on their own. Encourage them to just read the character creation bits for fun and see if there's anything else they might like. Over time my group has steadily become adept at the whole system just by branching out from the character creator.
>>44575380 We recently kicked someone out for repeatedly failing to grasp even basic concepts of the rules and refusing to read them, then sperging out in session because he didn't understand fuck all. I'm sorry, Emilio, but if you have time to write a fucking screenplay and play KOTOR all day, you have time to read a one page summary of the rules.
>>44575380 >How do you deal with players that, for one reason or another, have not/cannot read the required books by the day of the first session? It's simple. They need to either 1) Have the books or 2) Have a working character sheet. If the character sheet 1) exists and 2) works there is no issue.
I'd say it depends. If your talking about them not reading about the campaign setting, then whatever. If you can make a very small story about it or a very interesting one that happens to be right up their alley, then awesome. Otherwise let them learn about the lore through story in game via interaction with other players, npcs, or knowledge skills.
If you're talking about them not knowing the basics of just their class then duck em. If they're new and know only what their class can do under their class entries, the skills they have ranks in, and basic combat, that's fine. You shouldn't get upset at a player for not knowing the rules for grapple as a wizard, though I'm sure he'll regret it.
I had a similar problem, some of my players (two out of six, one of them That Guy who we never bothered to kick out) straight up refused to read up on the setting we were going to play, even after I condensed into one-page msword document.
I started using only in-setting terms - the calendar, names, titles, organizations, holidays, religions, and stuff.
First thing I did was say when campaign starts, in-game. Those two died of cold because it was midwinter. The rest of the party laughed in their faces.
When they showed up again, and the party delved into some ruins, and passed some knowledge checks, I dropped a name. The party fled because they recognized it. Those two didn't, and died.
After that, That Guy didn't show up. The other fellow actually tried to get into the setting and got hooked, he's now a lore nut and DMs sometimes.
>>44576718 Players that don't know the rules slow the game considerably. Also, I dare you run some settings like Twilight 2000 without a page of exposition. You're gonna spend two sessions explaining to your players what's an IFV or the Warsaw Pact instead of playing.
Every time anyone in my group wants to play a new system, they DM and give us a rundown of the rules. We learn enough together to make characters, and the first campaign is used mostly to get adjusted to different rules and new mechanics. Nobody but the first person to suggest the game is expected to know the whole book, but we all read enough to play our roles.
If a player refuses to read, they tend to die pretty quickly. Not at the fault of the DM but because they're always the annoying kind of people who pretend to want to play just to hang out instead of coming over any other time to do exactly that.
>>44582947 Even though you can summarize any rulebook into 3 or less pages (Except GURPS, that shit is ridiculous) it will take much longer to make a character that isn't shit and still fits he theme you want from the character.
>>44582975 Well if you want to do that, I guess you're going to have to read the rules before the session, anon. You're no longer five years old and I'm not your father. I won't sit by your bedside and read them to you.
GURPS really isn't as bad as people make it out to be - 99% of the gameplay is "Roll 3d6, try to roll under your skill or a given TN." The big deal is chargen and all the modifiers and / or alternate rules you can (emphasis on CAN) use.
When I started my group one of the two players I had was like that. Now that I have two more players it's a lot less annoying since almost all of us had known him beforehand and we're patient to tell and teach him things.
He's a quick learner anyways, and for an upcoming D&D campaign he actually spent his time creating a character for himself and reading the Player's Handbook, which brought a tear to my eye
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