What are the best pen and paper RPGs for beginners?
I've used AD&D 2nd edition, 3rd ed, Cortex and a couple of homebrews, but I want to see what RPGs others think are the best for introducing new players to RPGing.
Check out Warhammer 2nd edition (not 3rd edition, I think it's more about tabletop miniatures and such). It's easy to get into, a lot of customization, fluid combat, and it's easy to learn.
Does anyone still play with pen and paper? I used to play a lot of AD&D both 1st and 2nd edition but don't really see anyone playing anymore. Seems everyone these days are into their online worlds.
IMO, the best intro RPG is now out of print. Basic D&D is how I got my start, back in the day. The new D&D now reproduces the feel of MMORPGs in its mechanics. If your focus is on combat, this may be a good or a bad thing, depending. But if your focus is on the story and the roleplaying, it's fine, and easy to learn.
If you want versatility, I'd go with GURPS, from Steve Jackson Games. The rules are a bit more complicated, and character creation is a bit bookkeeping-heavy, and min-maxing is easier than I'd like, but you can take a GURPS character from a fantasy campaign and drop him into an outer-space campaign and not have to do any rules conversions, which is a wonderful thing. If you're willing to help new players through the character creation process and the combat stuff, GURPS is a good starter system.
I began story based role play online but then took up D&D 2nd Ed with a group of friends who had been playing it for years. D&D was the first pen and paper game I played and it was easy and a lot fun. I think the Dungeon or Game Master plays a big part in how easy and fun a game is to play. (And yes there are many people still playing it! Socializing is an fun aspect of pen and paper.)
MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing) is in my opinion the best of the pen and paper RPG's...
I've tried a lot of others like AD&D, Warhammer and some obscure games like Paranoia, but MERP is by far my favorite.
Depends on their likes and dislikes. There are role-playing games for sci-fi (Alternity, Rifts, Cyberpunk, Shadowrun) or fantasy (Palladium, Iron Kingdoms, World of Warcraft), there are RPG's based on shows and movies (Stargate, Star Wars, Firefly, Harry Potter to name a few).
So maybe find out the groups interests as this is always an easy way to get them into pen & paper role-playing.
And yes there are still old school pen & paper gamers out there. I, The Almighty Geek am one. I play as often as possible in as many games as possible. I not to bad as a DM or GM either.
I have recently been playing a game of Amber based on the books by Roger Zelazny. This is a diceless role playing system and is quite easy to pick up and focuses more on the way you roleplay as opposed to the dice you roll when deciding whether you succeed or not.
I'd say Basic Dungeons and Dragons or Savage Worlds. I've been a new player in both and ran new players through them and they seem to work out best. Savage Worlds is simple and only requires the main book, and character creation is fun. But if you want to give them a true "first roleplaying" experience, D&D should keep them happy.
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