Today's topic for RPGaDay is about the best way to learn a new game. I have a strong opinion on this issue. I believe that the best way to learn a new game is through a well written quick-start version of the rules. Many role-playing games have produced quick-start guides that include a condensed version of the rules that allow new players to learn the bare bones of the system. Players can take these quick-start rules and start playing the game with little effort.
Here is why I think that quick-start rules are the best way to learn new games. Quick-start guides force the designers to boil the game down to the most basic rules. Therefore, players can learn how the game works and can put that knowledge into practice as soon as possible. One of the best ways to learn something is by doing it, so the sooner players can have their characters picking locks and killing orcs the better they will learn the system. I think that beginner box sets are just as useful for the same reason.
I have ranted about my love for quick-starts on this blog in the past. I think that they are a brilliant way to garner interest in your game. I will close with some links to quick-starts that I believe are excellent for learning a new system.
Call of Cthulhu 6th edition quick-start - I know that there is a quick-start for the 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu, but this is the version that I am familiar with. This product gets bonus points for having rules for character creation.
DC Adventures quick-start - Green Ronin created two quick-starts for DC Adventures. This one pits Batman against Bane. I like this one because it explains the character's powers and walks you through combat and skill checks.
Edge of the Empire quick-start - Fantasy Flight created this quick-start adventure for Free RPG Day. I wrote an in depth review in a previous post. This quick-start covers many of the rules of the game and explains how to play out the various encounters. The only downside is that you will need some of those special Star Wars dice or use a conversion chart.
Conan RPG quick-start - I'll be honest, I haven't tried this one yet. I did read it and I am now super excited for the new Conan rpg.