Second session tonight! Probably the last of it for now because our Urban Shadows regular returns to the game next week.
Per standard procedure, I reread the hell out of the rules after last session. Isn’t it aggravating how common it is that many RPG rulesets just don’t make total sense until you have the context of fumbling through a session? Maybe it’s just me.
I have no idea how to fix that, either. Not once, not ever have I played an RPG where this didn’t happen to some degree. At least when I’m specifically learning from the text and not being taught by someone else. Now granted, Blades only offers the quickstart rules, and they’re on-purpose incomplete and sketchy. I wouldn’t say they’re really any worse than fully published robust adventure games.
I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever played a tabletop game with a preprogrammed tutorial. It seems like something I’ve done, and it seems like it’d be really unsatisfactory since learning to apply fairness and discretion is the heart of running any good game (that requires outside facilitation blah blah). I guess demos, like The Sword scenario for Burning Wheel, are about as good as it gets: learn fairness and discretion while you’re exposed to these various subsystems.
Always makes my first sessions feel kind of wasted. Not every time! If I’m picking up a PbtA game that hasn’t strayed too radically from doctrine, I can usually muddle through and have a pretty good time with it. At that point I guess I’d say I’ve already been through the tutorial (via playing lots of other PbtA games). Kind of like how you can pick up a shooter and do okay with it, as long as you’ve put in your Call of Duty time or something.
Familiarity is no small thing. It’s got to be a huge commercial consideration as well. Sometimes the fetishism of novelty in indieland (“real design”) seems either foolish or user-hostile. And yet here I am, looking for new ways to play make-believe every chance I get.