Every game that a Storyteller runs needs players. Such is the life of one who runs games that when a potential players comes forward, he has no choice but to explain the game! However, many times, our enthusiasm for a game is so great that we scare people away with an overload of information instead of catching them in a net of fun. Here are some ways on how to ensnare people into joining the table over which you rule supreme!
Keep it simple
If you can't describe a game in less than 30 seconds you should start thinking how you could do that right now. You don't want to preach to a person who isn't interested in a game the way you, as the Storyteller, see it. You're just wasting your time and their time, not to mention the voice that can be better utilised to, like, run games and such!
It is obviously very hard to give a short description of a game but nonetheless, if you are running a High Fantasy games with Organic Robots flinging magic at each other with added drama and the potential player isn't interested in that at all, it doesn't matter how many words you use to describe the game. Not everyone is into everything and not every Storyteller sees the game the same way.
Use general terms
Games use a lot of terms for a variety of system elements. Throwing them at a player usually ends up being extremely confusing, especially if you don't have a sheet handy to show it's actually not as hard as you're making it sound. Try and avoid any game specific term. It's nigh impossible to do that but if you try not to, your end of the conversation will be much more accessible to someone with little to no knowledge of the game.
Do not ask to read a dozen books
Unless you really don't want any new players, never expect a person to read a book just for your game. Tell them it might help but is not essential. Be prepared that no one at the table will know the rules, explain and show them the game's system and world gradually. After a few sessions, they'll know what's going on better than you do.
Telling someone they can just show up and sit down creates that sense of entertainment, like going to the cinema or for a walk. When you ask someone to read a book, which is essentially learning something brand new during their free time, even before they have a chance to know if they like a game or not, you'll scare them away faster than get them to touch the thing. Sure, some people love learning but you don't have to tell those people to learn! They'll grab the book anyway.
And it really is a nice feeling when one player asks another player to lend them their copy of the core rules so they can have a look through it over the week without you doing a thing to cause that other than create a very enjoyable game!
Designers & Dragons: Sneak Peek released - When I first encountered roleplaying games in the early 1990s, the hobby was already about 20 years old. The first games I’ve played were Games Workshop’s ...
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