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What’s a Good RPG For Newbies?

posted Monday, March 22nd 2010 by Jonathan Drain
News, Reviews & Culture

I’ve encountered a few links this week on good RPGs for introducing new players to the roleplaying hobby.

We’re All Going To Die: a single-page RPG is a short survival horror game. The GM secretly chooses one player character as the Survivor, who will be the last player alive no matter what. The players must avoid whatever terrible threats the GM throws at them, with the GM adjudicating the results of all actions. We’re All Going To Die is free, diceless, and only 590 words long.

Blog gameplaywright.net asks on behalf of a total newcomer to the roleplaying games scene, Where to start? Suggestions include Feng Shui, a rules-light martial arts action RPG; and Dragon Age, a D&D Basic style game based on the recent Xbox 360 license.

Tabletop games podcast The Game’s the Thing has an interview on Entry-Level RPGs with Chris Pramas. In this podcast episode, Chris Pramas of publisher Green Ronin (pronounced “ro-NEEN”, apparently) discusses the Dragon Age RPG and how to draw new players into roleplaying games.

Unrelated to new gamers, but I wanted to post this anyway, blog Playing D&D With Porn Stars has a useful article for DMs, titled Hidden Traits Of NPC You Didn’t Realize Was Going To Be Important Until You Actually Started Playing.


  1. Markus

    March 22nd, 2010

    I have to second the suggestion for the Dragon Age RPG. It’s relatively rules-light, fast-paced and action-orientated. In my eyes, that is an almost perfect mix to draw newbies deeper into the hobby. Plus, the setting has its unique components while still being a rather classic fantasy setting!

  2. Aftermath Monday « Old School Rant

    March 22nd, 2010

    [...] Great post about games for newbies. There’s been a lot of chatter about intro sets and attracting/keeping new players, and I’d love to see some more voices weigh in on this… [...]

  3. Car Games » What's a Good RPG For Newbies? « Jonathan Drain's D20 Source …

    March 22nd, 2010

    [...] Continue reading here: What's a Good RPG For Newbies? « Jonathan Drain's D20 Source … [...]

  4. Andy

    March 22nd, 2010

    Nice list…I love We’re All Going to Die. 590 words. Awesome.

    I would also advocate the Mouse Guard RPG as a good newbie one. http://www.gnomestew.com/reviews/mouse-guard-rpg-review-want-to-play-a-mouse-with-a-sword It focuses on character-heavy play, in-game decisions, and the mechanics are pretty simple.

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