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 how do i start
Posted: Aug 18 2006, 11:07 AM


hi i am brand new at this and i was kinda wondering how do you start alternacy?
Alpha-Zulu Games
Posted: Aug 23 2006, 08:48 PM


Group: Admin
Posts: 16
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-December 03

Hi Brim,

Welcome! Thanks for your interest in one of my games.

So, it sounds like you're totally new to rpg's. You've probably heard the gist of what they are though, a kind of game where players gather to play out the experiences of imaginary characters. There are really two levels of preparation: one is figuring out how the game works. For Alternacy I'd start by reading through the first few chapters (up to Combat, but stop then) and then making one or more characters using the character generation chapter. Pick characters you know from books, television, stage or film and see if you can make them using the system, or try to make generic stock characters (a ninja, a cab driver, a P.E. teacher, etc). This will start getting you familiar with how characters work.

Once you have one or more characters you can start experimenting with the action resolution rules to see how those work. Take a character and assign him or her a task, maybe climbing a wall or persuading somebody to buy something, running a race, whatever. Doing this will get you the hang of assigning difficulties and using the resolution material. As you get more familiar (ha! I guess that'd be improving your familiarity adjustment) you can come up with more complex and linked tasks. Eventually you can read and incorporate the chapter on combat and play out conflicts amongst multiple characters. You can do all of this on your own while learning or with friends.

Eventually you'll be skilled enough to run a game. You're then in the other area of prep, gathering players, finding someplace to play, and presenting a setting and story. You'll play the roles of characters the players meet and will describe their environment to them. I don't want to go too in depth on the basics in case you're already knowledgeable, let me know if you have questions.

Honestly, at this stage in my development, I'd have to say that Alternacy might be a bit demanding for an absolute novice with nobody to help them at the table. I'd actually recommend the smaller game, Mnemonic. It doesn't have as many details and as much definition as Alternacy, but it's much more flexible and frankly requires less start-up effort. Character generation is fun but time-consuming in Alternacy and if you're reffing you'll have to do it for non-player characters. A non-player character in Mnemonic, on the other hand, can be made as you go. Consequently you can pretty much start with a general idea for a setting/story (often something you know from fiction or film) and just start making stuff up. It can be a bit intimidating having that much freedom but hey, it's only a game: nobody's going to mind if you make some mistakes starting out.

Please do let me know if you have more specific questions, it's a big enough topic that I'm kind of stabbing in the dark to find what would be helpful. At any rate give both Alternacy and Mnemonic a skim and see which sounds like the kind of effort you'd like to put in.

Good Gaming,


Mmm, gamey! Free RPGs
Alternacy and Mnemonic at
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