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Converting non-gamer spouses
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Thread: Converting non-gamer spouses

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    Converting non-gamer spouses

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    I wanted to pick everyones' collective minds and see if anyone has any experience at this. What would be a good game to use to introduce my wife to rpgs. The challenge is that she has zero interest in them. She will play simple board games with me (Pirateer, backgammon). So I am looking for;

    1. Simple rules.
    2. Something that would work well for two players (GM and 1 player).
    3. A system not focused on violence and combat.

    Any suggestions?

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    Talk to my fiance Thriondel he got me started in RPGS
    Last edited by Farcaster; 09-02-2008 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Full quote of previous post not needed.
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    Mine is an out doorsy type of person so games of any sort are pretty much not going to happen. I can occasionally get her interested in a game of Nuclear War or one of the Z-Man B-Movie card games.

    Perhaps just being around you will eventually get her curious. But if she's not interested, you have a pretty big hurdle to get over. If nothing else, she'll either find something else to do (my wife's hobby is mosaicing) or will be curious enough to ask what to do.

    What I'm doing is hunting for the simpler games (as mentioned above) and then talking about the adventures we have when I head off to the gaming store. Maybe having the group play at your house so she'll be a bit more exposed.

    Carl
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    How about Decent or Arkham Horror? I would go to the more RPG like board games before moving on to an RPG. Does she like method/improv acting? If yes you can hit the other angle with a LARP
    Last edited by Farcaster; 09-02-2008 at 01:05 PM. Reason: Full quote of original post not needed.
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    The system might depend on the genre your spouse would most likely enjoy. Assuming you know what genre to tempt with... then I'd say pick a game system you know well. If there is a rules lite version, then go with that.

    I got my boyfriend involved by running through a simple roleplaying scenario at lunch. No paper. Just a single die.
    "This is how you play a roleplaying game. First, we'll create a character for you. I have something in mind. You are in a throne room. You have been captured and put on display in a large birdcage. Everyone has retired for the evening and left you alone. If you were a human in this situation, what would you do?"

    I don't know.

    "Would you try to open the cage door?"

    Yes.

    "Ok. You notice that the lock on the cage door was not secured. You easily pop it off, and the cage door swings wide open. However, you are 20 feet off the floor, and your movement has caused the cage to creak loudly as it rocks back and forth a bit. Do you attempt to get out of the cage by jumping down the 20 feet and risk injury?"

    No.

    "What do you do?"

    I dangle from edge and drop feet first.

    "Ok. Lets use the dice to see if you dropped without hurting yourself. Roll this d10. If you roll a 6 or lower, you get to the floor without hurting yourself."

    I rolled a 5.

    "Excellent. You make a thud sound as your fit hit the floor. You're just about to make your escape when you hear someone say, 'Hey! Get me out of here too.' That is when you notice that you're not alone. There is another cage with someone inside. What do you do?"
    That's where we ended it. I explained there were more rules and things can get dramatic, but those were the basics for roleplaying. He was hooked.

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    My wife played an RPG with us one time and one time only. It just wasn't her thing. Now, one thing she did kind of like was Magic: The Gathering. She is also big into board games, so it was a good "gateway drug," for her if you will.
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    As Freejack mentioned, exposure is good but interest is crucial. You have to find something that she has some degree of interest in for it to really work.

    What kinds of movies/books/hobbies does she enjoy?

    I'm another who has a wife who doesn't play RPGs. We do share other interests though, one of which is a fondness for the TV show, Firefly (and the movie, Serenity). After buying the Serenity RPG, I've caught her browsing through it a few times and there was even a time or two where she asked me to explain a little more about what an RPG was and how it worked. Now, I've not gotten her to actually play an RPG yet because I've not wanted to press the issue and instead let her decide if she wants to explore it, but I know if we did, Serenity would probably be the perfect place to start both because she is interested in it and it is familiar and comfortable to her.

    Now, I wouldn't get deeply "rulesy" with the game if I ran one for her at first, I would focus more on story and character development and getting her to understand the role playing interaction between player and game master. I'd introduce a few light dice tosses here and there to give her a sense of what happens when a character attempts something challenging.

    It's a tricky thing, but it really comes down to the desire to explore RPGs as a passtime. If she knows you're interested in it and see you having fun, then she is likely to be curious and the best thing you can do is share your enthusiasm (without spending 3 hours describing your 18th level dwarven fighter to death). Tell her what role playing is like and that there are RPGs for just about any type of game you can imagine. If you know of a particular genre weakspot that she has, explore that and test the waters to see if it is something that she would be interested in doing, even just as a one-time, test-drive kind of thing. If she's convinced and ends up having a good time, it's very likely that she'll want to come back for more.
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    My gaming group has a fair amount of wives that don't do the RPG thing but they love to play card games. Gloom, Chez Geek and the various Munchkins.
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    Game where she can watch from the peanut gallery. My wife is definitely a non-RPG'er but even she can't resist the occasional "Why don't you guys try X?" when the people in the party are working on a tough problem.

    You can't force someone to convert, but if the game is happening where they can incidentally participate, you might be able to lure that spouse in. Also, make sure you show her the full range of options RPG's have. My wife isn't a D&D'er by any stretch, but I could lure her into a Vampire game if it was something I'd actually run. ;P

    Look to the books she reads for insight as to the genre's you might try.

    Final advice: Don't hold your breath. It just might not be something that is going to happen. My wife games, obsessively -- but she does not RPG. I'm good with that and enjoy many a session of Catan, or any number of games with her and friends. It's still a good thing!
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    In my experiance if she is not interested then there is no RPG that she can play. You could probly talk her into it but it wont be fun for either of you.

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    Best advice would be to not force it on them. Nothing causes more tension in a relationship than forcing the other to do something that they don't want to. If they say they're not interested after you have shown them, just wait and see if maybe in the future they might ask about something.

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    No help here. I caught gamer girls, or they caught me, depends on how you look at it.

    I will agree, without interest you are spinning your wheels, or worse assuring that she/he will never game. Go with the suggestions from those with some success in the matter.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Munchkin! It introduces all the principles of D&D in a totally nonthreatening manner. And it's a hell of alot of fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by purestrainhuman View Post
    Munchkin! It introduces all the principles of D&D in a totally nonthreatening manner. And it's a hell of alot of fun!
    Munchkin? I cast a slightly jaundiced eye as an RPG introduction. It';s a great card game, it has warehouse full of RPG in-jokes, best understood by role-players. An introduction to role-playing? I don't see it.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Thanks for the advice. I think that I'll keep trying to get my wife to play other non-rpg games, since she has done this in the past. She likes fantasy in the likes of Ursula K. Leguin and Anne McCaffrey. Maybe I'll find a board game that emulates the feel of that genre.
    Fear is the mind killer.

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