Tabletop for my mom
February 15, 2011 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for short easy Table-top system for a one shot game.

I am planning on doing a table-top game for my family since they have shown interest in it. They have never done anything similar to this so I would need something simple. I also do not think they would want to sit around for 6 hours playing.

I will be the game master and am familiar with aberrant, 3.5e Eberron D&D and 4e D&D.

Does anyone one know good, simple, easy for new players to understand without needing to spend hours reading books?

I do plan on mostly telling/helping them with what they need to roll and do, but it would be more enjoyable for them if they did not feel overwhelmed. I also think I might make pre-made characters for them to pick since that can be the most time consuming aspect.

I would like something that is fantasy based like D&D since my mother first saw it on "Community" and that made her interested. I would still want to make sure it gave them a good sampling of what playing D&D or other similar table top gaming is like without needing for them to have to get into something so intense.

I think this should be fun, but I would like to make sure they get the most out of the game and system. there would likely be no leveling up as this would be a one shot game.
posted by Jaelma24 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you can find the old Big Eyes, Small Mouth (before the D20 version came out), that's a super easy, super intuitive system to build a character. Basically, if you can add three numbers, you can play.
posted by mornie_alantie at 6:32 PM on February 15, 2011

How simple do you want the system to be? Yo can't get much simpler (or cheaper) that RISUS.
posted by lekvar at 7:35 PM on February 15, 2011

"Kobolds Ate My Baby" is reputed to be very easy to pick up. It's also very silly, but that may not be a disadvantage. (Your call.)

A different possibility is Munchkin, which is fantasy but based on cards. It, too, is very silly.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:38 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Paranoia. It's not as incredibly simple, but it has the system to be racuous and fun. The maniacal computer with a homicidal rage against Commies. . .

Or Toon, which is hilarious.
posted by curuinor at 7:42 PM on February 15, 2011

You may want to consider one of the recent D&D board games. They play in about an hour, contain all the usual elements (characters, dungeons, monsters, treasure), and can be a good gateway to RPGs:

Castle Ravenloft Board Game (Video Review 1, Video Review 2)

Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game (Review)
posted by alienzero at 8:07 PM on February 15, 2011

Legends of Middle Earth is a free, fun, and simple system using basic D6's. It also manages to deal with the power differences between the awesome sorts (wizards, Elder Men, etc.) and weaker types (hobbits) through plot points players can use to add to the story.

If folks are willing to go a little Steampunk-y, Lady Blackbird is a great choice.

If you want to stick in the vein of D&D Swords & Wizardry White Box is a White box D&D clone that's pretty clearly written. You'll probably want to start characters at 3rd level so they have some survivability, but yeah, a nice free option.
posted by yeloson at 9:19 PM on February 15, 2011

Curuinor is right: Toon is another good choice. It's roleplaying, but not sword-and-sorcery. Instead, you play a cartoon character in something like a Warner Brother's cartoon setting.

An added bonus is that it is impossible to die.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:10 PM on February 15, 2011

Well, if you like the general vein of D&D, why not play D&D? The new Essentials stuff is designed to be simple and easy to pick up, and if you use their online character generator, it's a cinch to get up and running.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 7:45 AM on February 16, 2011

I have played munchkin before. i love that game and own way to many decks.

Well, if you like the general vein of D&D, why not play D&D? The new Essentials stuff is designed to be simple and easy to pick up, and if you use their online character generator, it's a cinch to get up and running.

I am thinking of running 4e since that seems like it could be easy and i am familiar with it. I was just curious if there were other systems out there that would be worth it to try.

Thanks for the advice.

I will have to checkout all the suggestions even I do not use it for my next game. It might be cool for something else.
posted by Jaelma24 at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2011

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