Rules handout for conventions?

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Celebril
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Rules handout for conventions?

Post by Celebril » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:56 pm

I am hoping to run a game of The One Ring at the 2018 DundraCon convention in San Ramon, California. Has anyone made a rules handout for convention players? I couldn't find one on the TOR resources link. I could just make one but if someone has already created it that would save me a lot of time.

BTW, the "Collected Official Rulings:" link in the TOR Resources forum page is broken.

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zedturtle
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Re: Rules handout for conventions?

Post by zedturtle » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:31 pm

I'm pretty sure the Palantir will reveal one or more handouts.

However, I've pretty much moved away from handouts at conventions. There are two dangers with handouts, either they'll read them (in which case you have a silent table staring at papers) or they won't (which means they're of limited utility). Instead, I have a standard spiel where I run through the character sheet in brief. ("You have 18 common skills. The number of dots filled for a skill is the number of six-sided you roll. Notice how they're arranged in columns. You can spend a special resource called Hope to add your Attribute — Body, Heart or Wits to your roll. Normally you add the small number in the big circle. But if the skill's underlined you get to add the big number in the small circle. Speaking of Hope, there's a place at the bottom of the sheet for Hope and Shadow...") and I then just bring up rules as they become relevant.

Most folks are looking for an impression of the game. Very few are going to hold you to an absolute interpretation of the the rules, each and every one (my spiel definitely includes "Those dots over there are for Advancement Points but for this game we're not going to worry about keeping track of them."). Hope that helps!
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Majestic
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Re: Rules handout for conventions?

Post by Majestic » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:30 pm

zedturtle (as he often does) speaks much wisdom.

I used to use handouts like these, as they can be helpful. But if I were you I would wait on handing them out until you're solidly into a session. I've even gotten where I've held off on giving out the character sheets at a convention game, as the moment you do you tend to lose your players to them.

After they are handed the character sheets, often many players hear "You'll note in the bottom right of your sheet the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...".
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HunterGreen
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Re: Rules handout for conventions?

Post by HunterGreen » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:13 am

I used the same approach as zedturtle when I ran two sessions at a convention a couple of years ago and it worked great. Most of what's on the character sheet doesn't even have to be introduced until a situation comes up where the relevant rules apply, so you can start playing after just a few minutes, and spread out the teaching over the course of the entire session. However, I did offer a one-page summary that I handed out near the end of the session for those who were interested in the game. Worked well; the dealer room sold out of TOR merchandise and took a few orders for more after my first session. (Dealer room has closed by my second session but most of the attendees said they planned to visit their FLGS after the con.)
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Wbweather
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Re: Rules handout for conventions?

Post by Wbweather » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:41 pm

Having now run about 15 games of TOR at various conventions, I second what Zed said. I usually give a quick overview of the game. I talk about the setting, that this is a narrative RPG, I explain what the skills are briefly, talk about traits and their usage, talk about Tolkienesque heroes. Then I explain how the dice rolls work. It takes about 5 minutes. Then I jump in.

I explain the relevant rules for encounters, travel, and combat as they come up.

The system is easy enough that most people pick it up without any problem as they play. My goal is to just give them an overview without getting too heavy into the rules. Occasionally someone will as a question like, "what about mounted combat" or "Can I hit two enemies at once?" This gives me the opportunity to explain that there are additional rules in other supplements, like Rohan or the Adventurer's Companion without getting bogged down in how those all work.

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Celebril
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Re: Rules handout for conventions?

Post by Celebril » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:37 pm

Thanks zedturtle, Majestic, HunterGreen and Wbweather! Having the player's undivided attention at the beginning of the game would be optimal. I would like to have them listening to me instead of reading through a sheet but I am so used giving out rules summaries. This is going to be a new experience for me. Thanks again.

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