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RP Session for Bankers 
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Post RP Session for Bankers
Let's say, hypothetically, that you have a number of people that you have to run a session for. These people have no previous experience of roleplaying. They furthermore are not into the genres that are common to roleplaying - they don't read sci-fi, watch fantasy movies, or find the supernatural compelling in any way. They are basically stereotypical bankers, very grounded in the real world and very practical.

I'm curious to know - if you had to run a one-shot for these people, what kind of scenario would you run? I'm more interested in the set-up/setting for the scenario than the rules you would use. You can't use typical fantasy (tolkien, conan, harry potter, etc.), supernatural (no Cthulhu, vampires, or werewolves, etc.) or spacey sci-fi (no star wars, star trek, culture, vinge, or even Aliens) and probably no pulp either (no rocket packs, superheroes, or things from comic books). And yet, you also need it to be thought-provoking and excting.

The first thing that springs to my mind is to run a 'day after' scenario, of which there are many examples. It would make it easy for the players to play real people they could relate to in extraordinary circumstances. They could discover the setting as it unfolds. They don't have to stretch their imagination beyond the point of disbelief because there is nothing implausible about the setting.

What else would you run?

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Tue May 01, 2012 9:32 am
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
Police or doctor TV show/movie type games. Everyone watches one or the other, if not both.

Primetime adventures.

Military adventures. Non-roleplayers don't have the built in irrational prejudice against this.

None of these require anything more than normal cultural awareness.

-clash

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Tue May 01, 2012 9:48 am
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
I like the "real people angle". Give them choice between a bunch of pre-gen everyday characters. Then you announce "You're all in line at a bank store, waiting for a teller to take care of you when suddenly somebody yells: THIS IS A ROBBERY, NOBODY MOVES!"


Tue May 01, 2012 11:45 am
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
boulet wrote:
I like the "real people angle". Give them choice between a bunch of pre-gen everyday characters. Then you announce "You're all in line at a bank store, waiting for a teller to take care of you when suddenly somebody yells: THIS IS A ROBBERY, NOBODY MOVE!"
I like this a lot. Might try and run something based on this idea at my club.

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Tue May 01, 2012 12:49 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
catty_big wrote:
boulet wrote:
I like the "real people angle". Give them choice between a bunch of pre-gen everyday characters. Then you announce "You're all in line at a bank store, waiting for a teller to take care of you when suddenly somebody yells: THIS IS A ROBBERY, NOBODY MOVE!"
I like this a lot. Might try and run something based on this idea at my club.


Yeah! - great idea, boulet!

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Tue May 01, 2012 2:18 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
boulet wrote:
I like the "real people angle". Give them choice between a bunch of pre-gen everyday characters. Then you announce "You're all in line at a bank store, waiting for a teller to take care of you when suddenly somebody yells: THIS IS A ROBBERY, NOBODY MOVES!"


I had to think about this a lot before responding. My first reaction was 'ooh, yeah!', but giving it more thought I don't think it would work without some modification. My experience with new people (and this extends to experienced gamers joining a new group) is that people need to be enabled to act. If everybody plays an ordinary person during a bank robbery, then chances are everybody will do exactly as the bank robber says - they won't move, they'll lie on the floor, and shut up. At which time, all you've got is the GM acting out a scene to a bunch of newbs.

No, I think the players would need to be forced into action. This could be done in one of a few ways - imagine these same ordinary people on a hijacked plane, or better yet, a cruise ship. Now there are no cops to come and rescue them, and they'll be propelled into action to not only save their own lives, but prevent whatever disaster will befall the plane/ship. This has a lot of potential, in my view.

Alternatively, the bank robbery plan might work if the PCs were not ordinary people - but maybe cops and plain-clothes security who just happen to be there doing their banking. An interesting spin would be that they themselves are bank robbers about to rob the same bank when another gang suddenly holds it up first!

Another scenario I think would work well would be a historical one - near enough in the past that everyone could relate to it and get emotionally invested in it, and diverse enough to allow them all to play a character that appealed to them. WW2 would probably be an ideal setting, and the scenario could be about Dutch resistance fighters (as in the film Black Book) or the fall of Warsaw to the Russians (The Pianist/Grey Ranks) - but probably less dark.

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Wed May 02, 2012 12:27 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
What if, in the process of the robbery, the perps take something from each of the characters that is important....


...so the guy with the garbage bag collecting wallets sees a woman wearing a necklace and snatches it...with the only picture of her dead daughter in the locket. Or like Jules, a guy is is asked to give up his briefcase that has his bosses priceless, non replaceable Macguffin in that he was here to put in the vault....

Post heist, each tries to go through the "proper" channels only to be stymied...so they end up having to wok together to find out who did what and how to get their stuff back.

Just a thought...

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Wed May 02, 2012 2:16 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
I think sticking with the "ordinary people" thing is a bad idea. Instead you should have a clear goal.

I'm confused by why you think none of the fantasy/sf/superhero/horror things will work. This isn't 1985. People are fine with superheroes and fantasy and stuff these days. A shitload of boring practical people went and saw Batman Begins and Dark Knight.


Thu May 03, 2012 4:53 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
JDCorley wrote:
I think sticking with the "ordinary people" thing is a bad idea. Instead you should have a clear goal.

I'm confused by why you think none of the fantasy/sf/superhero/horror things will work. This isn't 1985. People are fine with superheroes and fantasy and stuff these days. A shitload of boring practical people went and saw Batman Begins and Dark Knight.


I have to agree here. Both Iron Man movies tore up the box office and Avengers is doing the same overseas right now and probably will dominate this weekend. Supers may be an easier in than you think. I would go with premades and have them already be a little super team or something. That way you can toss them straight into the action.

Fantasy as well. I mean Lord of the Rings blew the doors off that one followed by Harry Potter.

Personally my main suggestion for beginner all new players would be to use a standard RPG to introduce them. It's easier to explain and lets them break into it at their own pace where as a lot of the 'storygames' force more interaction which may scare away new folks just getting their feet wet.

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Thu May 03, 2012 9:03 pm
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Post Re: RP Session for Bankers
JDCorley wrote:
I think sticking with the "ordinary people" thing is a bad idea. Instead you should have a clear goal.

I'm confused by why you think none of the fantasy/sf/superhero/horror things will work. This isn't 1985. People are fine with superheroes and fantasy and stuff these days. A shitload of boring practical people went and saw Batman Begins and Dark Knight.


I definitely agree on the 'clear goal', but I think ordinary people with a clear goal would be just fine.

When I framed the hypothetical situation, I was thinking of a particular group of people that I happen to know. But even beyond that group, I know a lot of people who are turned off by these things. I don't think I would ever try to run a game for any of them, but I often find myself wondering what I would run if someday someone got curious enough about my hobby to ask.

peteramthor wrote:
Personally my main suggestion for beginner all new players would be to use a standard RPG to introduce them. It's easier to explain and lets them break into it at their own pace where as a lot of the 'storygames' force more interaction which may scare away new folks just getting their feet wet.


I definitely agree with this, too. If you're going to introduce someone to RPing, I think it's best to give them a classic example. That said, I wonder if something like Fiasco might be a good option.

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Thu May 03, 2012 9:54 pm
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