Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

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Dustinian
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Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:05 pm

Good evening,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Even though it happened a few months ago, I wanted to take a few minutes and tell you about my first experience running BFRPG.

I--along with many others, I'm sure--crossed over from video games to table-top games after listening to the great "Penny Arcade D&D Podcasts." I picked up several D&D 4e products, assembled a group, and--3 years later--we're still gaming.

4e has its issues (to make it work, I now double monster damage and halve monster hit points), but my players love their characters, and we're having fun with the minatures/battlemat concept, which is what 4e does best.

But I'd been longing to try out a different system. I'd heard stories of the "theater of the mind" style play from older RPGs, and that sounded really alien to what we were doing, so I was intrigued by this.

I actually picked up a copy of Chaosium's "Call of Cthulhu" and read it cover-to-cover. But before I could give CoC a shot, Amazon recommended BFRPG to me, and I checked it out. I discovered the site, downloaded some PDFs, read enough to know that I'd enjoy the books, and purchased the books.

This was back in June. I took the BFRPG books to the beach with me (I ordered all 5 available in print). I read though large portions of all the books. My 9-year-old niece wanted to know what I was reading, so I described the game to her. She wanted to play.

BFRPG was so approachable that I agreed, downloaded a dice-rolling app, and started a game that night in the condo. I wound up converting "Dusk" (a tongue-in-cheek adventure by Mike Kraulik at Penny Arcade based on Twilight) into BFRPG on the fly.

Let me re-state those factors back:
  • GM's first game in a new system.
  • 9-year-old player's first game ever.
  • Converting an adventure on the fly.
That's not a list that would add up to a great outcome in 4e, I admit. But with BFRPG, it worked beautifully. At every point... RPG interactions with NPCs... investigating clues... combat... the focus was on the narrative. No minis, no maps... heck, we only sat at the table because my niece delighted in the math, keeping track of her hit points on her hastily-constructed character sheet.

My wife and sister-in-law were amused to observe my niece get more and more into it. She was so into the game that I converted another adventure for her the following night, and she talked about the adventures for days.

I really enjoyed this experience. I have a daughter that's about to turn 2, and I'd love to be able to encourage her creativity by running narrative-focused adventures in a rules-light system. And I know that, in a few years--when she's ready--BFRPG will be that system.

Thanks for that experience, and keep up the good work. I don't know that I'll ever contribute, but I'll certainly consume. :)
Dustinian
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SmootRK
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:08 pm

:D Great First Post!

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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:17 pm

Its awesome that all of you get the true tabletop essence and feeling.
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Jandolar
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:32 pm

That was an awesome first posting! I'd like to give you kudos on letting your 9 year old niece get involved in the gaming. When you mentioned that she likes doing the math with regards to her hit points and such it made me smile. I firmly believe that table top gaming like BFRPG is a much better platform for introduction to gaming than a button mashing marathon on a damn computer/console game. It not only helps expand the imagination but teaches interaction via face-to-face rather than face-to-screen-with-headphones.

Congrats on the gaming experience and keep it up. Just be sure to post once in a while to let us know how things are going. :D
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Dustinian
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:44 pm

I hope no one minds the grave-digging, but I wanted to follow up on my first ever BFRPG post.

So here we are, 8 or 9 months later, and I FINALLY got around to converting my D&D4e group to BFRPG.

I ran my first adventure, a home-brewed abandoned tower based on Fallcrest's "Tower of Waiting," this past Sunday.
Image

The game went well. Combat was so much faster, and... considering it was a new system to my players... they grokked it VERY quickly. One of the guys even said that after one session of BFRPG he felt like he knew it better than 4e.

The primary failure was on my part. My monsters were WAY under-powered. I started my PCs at level 7 (to match their 4e level), and I hugely under-estimated how effective they'd be. The toughest fight by far was the mimic. Thank goodness I included it at last minute!

I'm running another round of BFRPG for those same players on 6/22 (now that we're converted, we're well and truly converted)!
Last edited by Dustinian on Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dustinian
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Metroknight
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:02 pm

Congrats on convert more the the faith of BFRPG. Soon if we are pass the koolaid around, we will take over the world. :D

Actually that is great to hear that you were able to get your group to move over to bfrpg. It is liberating isn't not to worry about maps and minis. The whole ability to add on the fly is an incredible thing that I think D&D forgot about or grew to complex to do it properly.

Keep us updated and don't be a stranger

Oh, is your niece still gaming?
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black1blade
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:09 pm

I personally find that minis are pretty for room dimensions. I use it in combat now but only follow very loosely with movement and positioning rules. I'm quite a minis buff myself and I enjoy painting a lot.
Tree Ant
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:11 pm

I don't mind mini's. Sometimes they are nice when people starting throwing around area of effects left and right. I just don't like it when they are mandatory and built into every character's abilities (making them a pain to houserule out).
Jered Taikith
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:02 pm

I'm very much a believer in the power of the imagination. I don't want to waste time on minis and maps and such. To me it takes the focus from the imagination and the roleplay and puts it on the tabletop while the mechanics kill the flow. The whole point of role play is to liberate the player from those mechanics so they can fly freely in their imagination and to be their characters. Roleplay is supposed to be pure fantasy escapism where you are your character. At least, that's my dearly held opinion. Others, of course, have their own dearly held opinion.
black1blade
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Re: Beginner's Feedback on a Great System

Post Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:03 pm

Agreed, I just like using things that I've put time and effort into. There's nothing quite like finishing a miniature.
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