December 29, 2019

The KISS Mentality

We’re discussing not taking our tabletop role playing game experience for granted on today’s #newbieTuesday post.

It may be hard for you to remember for you if you’re an experience player, but for new and prospective players, it can be incredibly intimidating trying to understand what it’s like to play a story.

We all agree how fun, engaging, and important playing stories is…they build friendships, communities, and lasting bonds! We need to be bringing new players in, not gatekeeping them out.

So please, if you’re ever engaging with a new or prospective player, please keep the following pieces of advice in mind:

  1. No stupid questions! You don’t want to turn off someone who is just trying to learn by making them feel dumb. Let them know there are no stupid questions to help ease them into their learning.
  2. KISS: KISS, or Keep it Simple, Stupid! is an old adage which means stick to the basics. There is no need to explain the difference in how combat initiative is determined between Dungeons and Dragons and Shadow of the Demon Lord in the first conversation you have with a new player. Keep your level of detail to the very basics so as not to overwhelm the amount of information being thrown at them.
  3. Be a source of encouragement! If the new/prospective player is having difficulty picking up the nuances of the game as you get into it, don’t shame or embarrass them. Pick them up and encourage them! That there is nothing about playing stories they won’t inevitably understand and have a wonderful time playing. Reinforce that some of the nuances take more time than others to master and that’s perfectly fine!

Let’s all in the TTRPG community keep these pieces of advice at the forefront of our minds with interacting with new players. We must grow the adoption of playing stories into our lifestyles, not shrink it!