Other Games Cribsheets and learning games

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#1
I've just finished reading the Spire RPG, which is full of potential. However, I was finding the rules an issue, as the structure and layout left a little to be desired. I noodled around with a scratch pad and then Affinity Publisher...

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As I suspected, they could be restated on two pages (the only real things missing are the weapon tags).

Anyone else do this kind of thing when they're learning a new system? Which games have you found hard to get your head around? And why?
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I think it's very helpful for a game that you want to GM to have such a workflow.
In theory the best way to learn is to write your own, but the fans who write and distribute them are so helpful
 
#4
Absolutely. While my immediate response has been to generate a rather busy sheet, I wouldn't have necessarily thought it needed until Dom mentioned it. And now I've used it while running a session and didn't need to open the Core at all (notably for a quick reference on a random Antagonist, which should be easy but is easier still with a table right in front of me!).

Also, damn it Dom - I've got Affinity Publisher on the computer but I'm finding no time to fiddle with it. And now you taunt me.
 
#5
I've done this with PDFs. Where the PDF is hackable, I've extracted pages and put them into a single reference PDF. Where it isn't hackable, I've taken screenshots and edited them in Paint.NET and put them into a document.

Sometimes it's good to get the tables that are spread out in a set of rules and put them on a single page. Sometimes, rules affecting a particular thing are spread out throughout the book, so bringing them together helps understand those rules.
 

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#7
I've done this with PDFs. Where the PDF is hackable, I've extracted pages and put them into a single reference PDF. Where it isn't hackable, I've taken screenshots and edited them in Paint.NET and put them into a document.
Affinity Publisher is rather splendid at opening PDFs so the elements are editable. The only issue is font substitution if you don’t have it.
 

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#8
It really isn't any effort for the writer/publisher to copy every table in the book and reprint them in an appendix at the back.
I think sometimes you need a little linking text or reorganisation. For example, the Spire details consequences (Fallout) in three levels in a flow over multiple columns and pages with all six of the resistances mixed together. I restated that on a single page as a matrix of level vs resistance. Much easier to reference.
 
#10
I'm with Dr Mitch. Me typing a summary of a bunch of rules helps me to remember them. Also, I can quite frequently get all the bits I need to run a game reduced from a 300 page rulebook to 4 or 5 pages of A4. Admittedly sometimes in a really small font!

It is not necessarily the charts and tables I'm after. It is correlating the stuff I don't want to have to flick through lots of sections of the book to find. For instance I want how damage is dealt out, how you work out if someone is unconscious/dead, how to do first aid and how injured werewolves regenerate all in one place, not scattered over 3 chapters. Because in the actual play session what happens is that dealing damage and healing damage are usually snuggling up close to each other, not things that happen in separate scenes.

Also in Times of Yore some players in my group had memories like sieves, so I got into the habit of writing out "How to construct your dice pool", "What stat you use when using firearms" and "How much xp you need to increase x, y or z".
 
#12
My way of learning new games is to try and create a character sheet spreadsheet for them, as most of my playing is online these days. it's surprising how much doing so reveals about a game's design strengths and flaws.

To put my money where my mouth is, here's my spreadsheet for The Spire game I played as part of the Roll to Play podcast.
 
#13
I have just had a reference sheet experience with the old world, as Game Workshop's Judge Dredd system came before both the mass access to the Internet and PDFs - so, there's nothing for it but to create something yourself. I mean, the game doesn't even have Files on RPG Geek - total pain in the butt. I had read and re-read the core rules and just went through the book and pulled out what felt like it would warrant reference and use. There's a second sheet - and if I run the game again, I would probably move some of the elements around so that I didn't have to flick between the back and the front. All good as a learning experience - reading the rules yet again as I type them - and then an essential reminder, that I can also share further afield with other interested gamers.

judge-dredd-reference.jpg
 
#14
I haven’t done this for me, as a GM, but I do make reference sheets to hand out to the players to make it easier for them.
With Firefly I make a reference sheet for making up dice pools, what plot points were and how to get them.
With Tales from the Loop I made the Principles of the Loop, the six core tenants of the game, available as a stand up stand so that they were always visible during play.
 
#15
I mean, the game doesn't even have Files on RPG Geek - total pain in the butt.
My understanding is that GW had real issues with copyright and all their game files posted anywhere on the Geek were pulled some years ago. Given that many early games were licenced properties, and rights have now reverted, this may be understandable, but it effectively leaves stub entries only. I only found this out when I was looking for a manifest list for the Dr Who board game - I seem to have a missing counter (one of the duplicates) but can’t tell which one.[/QUOTE]
 
#16
I've just finished reading the Spire RPG, which is full of potential. However, I was finding the rules an issue, as the structure and layout left a little to be desired. I noodled around with a scratch pad and then Affinity Publisher...

View attachment 507

As I suspected, they could be restated on two pages (the only real things missing are the weapon tags).

Anyone else do this kind of thing when they're learning a new system? Which games have you found hard to get your head around? And why?
Hi Dom, I'm looking to run Spire in the near future. Your cribsheet looks really useful, would you mind sharing out please?
 
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