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Subject: Advice for Teaching rss

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I've been playing Ghost Stories for a few months now. I want to introduce it to new players, and I think I've been doing a fairly good job since I got the game but would like some advice on how to do better. I make sure I know the rules backwards and forwards, have read the errata and gone to forums like this to clear up rules I don't know before I try to run a game which helps enormously--but while this helps me be more efficient, with Ghost Stories I always end up front loading the rule explanations.

One thing I love about Ghost Stories is how easy the rules are. There are a lot of them, but they make sense. The symbols are lovely and exceedingly clear, the components are well themed which also helps memory, and so forth. I've also read in various places (including on the Dice Tower) that this game can be taught fairly well as you play rather than up front.

The trouble is, due to the cooperative nature of the game, it feels to me as though a lot of the rules DO need to be front loaded or it will be hard for new gamers to get a grip on their surroundings as ghosts appear and have to be dealt with. I absolutely refuse to railroad new players into the decisions I think are best, as that isn't fun for them and I could always play single player. Keeping all of this in mind, how do I cut down on the front-heavy rules explanation for Ghost Stories? It hasn't been a problem in the past as people tend not to forget crucial rules (and the rules are easily refreshed as we go, so it's not too much of a problem if they do). But with a medium long game like Ghost Stories, I want to move things along as quickly as possible so that players don't get burnt out in their first session.

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts, comments and tips.
 
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Dan Massek
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I think there is a big difference between railroading someone's turn, and explaining what their options are and then suggesting why they may or may not want to do some of those options at the given time, so they understand the thought process behind the moves.

I just sat down to a game of Yggdrasil that had already started and I had no clue how to play. They just explained as we went, and I had no problem with them recommending what moves I make initially with the reasoning behind it. Then they kind of explained their moves for a couple turns as well to help me understand why they were doing what they did.

By the end I had a fairly good grasp on the game. I would probably teach Ghost stories in that same manner.
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Fair enough. So far I haven't had any problems just walking people through their options, but I guess I'm just worried it won't be as fun for the people who don't understand the game yet. If that style of teaching the game seems to work from a new-player perspective, than I guess I shouldn't have been worried. I've only taught about six people how to play, though and I don't want to turn new people off from the game by overwhelming or micromanaging them. I can't really think to a different method to teach the game with, though, which means it's just a matter of trying to find the right spot between those extremes for each play group.

Thanks for the input.
 
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Steven
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Yeah, at least for the first round of turns, it's most useful for you to slowly walk everybody through the most relevant steps. The concern about railroading is appropriate, but I think what gamers miss is that a lot of new players (especially nongamers) really want to be railroaded in the beginning, just so they can get a sense of how to play.
 
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