I Was a Teenage Wizard
Tabletop RPG Notes and Introduction
Justin says: I want to compile a list of some general RPG advice and orientation for them, to get us all on the same page since this is very new territory for them. Any further thoughts, suggestions, pointers, or insights you’d like to add would be very welcome here. What are some things you’d tell your group?
1. This game is about telling/creating a story together, and enjoying the process of problem solving together. If you think something might work, or might be fun, try it!
2. There’s a big difference between what you know, and what your character knows. Or what you would do in a situation, and what your character would do. It’s much more fun to do something crazy or dangerous because you know your character definitely would, or wouldn’t know any better, and then work together to deal with the results.
I would expand this point beyond the dichotomy between character and player knowledge. My recent discovery (meh, I’m young), is that RPGs are the best when you can let the characters take on a life of their own, like when writing creatively. Let characters develop themselves- motivations and fears and quirks. My favorite character ever was made as a shapeshifter bard. One of his main disguises he used to fool the party was of an old gypsy woman named Madame Talaitha. After a while I realized that I stopped using my shapeshifting abilities because Madame Talaitha was a much more compelling character than my original. So I took my character to the drawing board, changed everything about him, and ended up with one of the most fun characters I’ve ever played- I’m even using her as a main driving force in the campaign I’m running now for a totally different group of people. That’s an extreme example of character development, but there’s nothing like a character that suddenly speaks up and suggests her own motivations, desires, or (my favorite) secrets.
Oops. I rambled. Feel free to edit this one, Justin.
3. You’re shaping this story along with me. I’ve planned plot threads and story hooks, but I’ll be adjusting and adapting to what you do and what you’re enjoying most. So if you want to pursue something, or try something new, go for it and we’ll see where it leads.
You don’t need to tell them this, trust me, they’ll wander off course just fine on their own. No (GM’s) plan survives contact with the
4. Here are some questions to answer when creating your character: (I’m planning to present the character creation process as the final step in the school application and acceptance. Essentially a biography and skills assessment that each student must complete as part of their admissions process)
- Demograpichs? (age, sex, race, gender, name, physical description etc)
- Where were you born?
- Who are your parents?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What is your greatest success, triumph, or achievement?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is the one thing you want to do or become more than anything else?
- Who is/was your enemy or rival? Who has tried to stop you from achieving your goals? (parent, sibling, peer, teacher, etc)
- When did you first realize you had the Gift? How did it happen? What did your family/friends think?
- Besides your awakening, have you encountered the supernatural previously? What/when/where?
- What connections, if any, do you maintain to your old life?