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Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:56 pm
by Melchizedek
I am going to be introducing a new group of friends to the viking goodness of FOTN:R in a few weeks. My question is for those norns out there who have a lot of experience introducing new players to the system in a short amount of time. Do you have any go-to/must-have encounters that are good for teaching new people the ropes? Any reliable tools that help build excitement fast?

For context, I'm running a short homebrew campaign. I plan on kicking things off with a few simple checks, followed quickly by some combat. I just want to avoid falling into a "D&D but with runes" kind of vibe.


Re: Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:17 am
by andrew
In Fafnir's Treasure the thugs encounter is a straw-man setup where players can learn their characters without too much risk. You can even toss in twice as many at level 3, so players get a lot of easy targets.

Another neat feature is to get players into the action right away by using cinematic/generic actions. Ask them to describe what they want to do, and for each VERB they need to play ONE RUNE. This way you get right into the action without having to explain every detail beforehand. Then you can graduate them to playing SYMBOLS to trigger the associated POWER. LAstly, if they got a handle on everything, they can explore the meta tags. This is a gradual introduction by using 3 levels of crunch, with maximal time playing and less time explaining the rules.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! :)

Re: Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:37 am
by Melchizedek
That's great advice! I hadn't thought of focusing on each level of crunch in succession, but it makes good sense. I'll be playing with people who tend to gravitate toward low-crunch systems like FATE, so I'm definitely going to take advantage of the generic actions at first.

I'll report back once we play!

Re: Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:38 am
by dafelsheim
Here's a few things I've been doing to try to highlight the uniqueness of the setting:

- It's Fimbulwinter. This is more or less an epic Ice Age WITHOUT THE SUN OR MOON. I use descriptive language heavily to emphasize this. It's not just dark, it's pitch black; even the stars are blotted out by a perennial blizzard whose whipping deafen you like a choir of howling Banshees. With every blink, your tears freeze your eyelashes together, making it a struggle to simply keep your eyes open...

- I am a huge fan of Norse Mythology, culture, history, etc. I've read the Eddas and.. Well, a lot more. Andrew here has done a nice job of interpreting the Eddas and framing them for the setting in The Illuminated Eddas. Throwing in casual references to the figures and events in these myths does a lot to enrich a play session. For example, in my latest session of Fafnir's Treasure, I had a messenger from Knutt reading a letter from the latter in which I tossed in the term "Augu" (Eyes) referring to his spies, and threatened some children the Dwellers had taken under their wing, threatening to send the Dwellers the kids' eyes, ".. in hopes they'd gain some of the All-Father's own prudence. But probably not."

Re: Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:17 pm
by andrew
I was emailed a question on how to on-board a new set of players. My reply was pretty exhaustive, so I'll cut and paste here:

Fafnir’s Treasure is the best place to start. It holds your hand throughout the adventure and the pregens (found on the second tab of the downloads page) explains rules and options right on the character sheet (that’s why they’re 4 pages). Those are level 10. Alternatively you can go with the newer pregens who are only 2 pages, but you forego the verbose game explanations. Either set will survive the perils of Fafnir’s Treasure. The first fight against the thugs is an easy victory, but designed to allow players to try out their powers and spells. The adventure in the Core Rulebook is a starter one as well, but if you’re more apprehensive about the rules, Fafnir’s Treasure is the better choice.
The best place to ask questions is on the forums:
In fact there is a sub-forum just for norns.
There you’ll find a bunch of tips.
Also if the diagrams in the book aren’t helpful, and you’re a more visual learner, then the youtube channel may be of help. ... 7MrBBPYMnw
and more of a deep dive:
...and you probably want to avoid the videos where we're drinking ;)
Lastly if you need a printed primer to reference on a phone during play

Re: Introducing new players to FOTN:R

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:00 pm
by Panjumanju
I think the learning curve is actually not as bad as people think it is, mainly because it avoids needing a big "info-dump".

I've run this game for people with limited or no roleplaying experience, and the simplicity of: "Draw X number of rules, they're colour-coded for physical/mental/spiritual. Special symbols can trigger special actions if you want" has always been pretty intuitive at the table. The advantage of the system is that the complexity builds on itself gradually as players understand more.

And, people tend to fall in love with the setting, mechanics, or both, and interest propels the system forward.