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Tell them what system you're going to run and either they jump aboard or have to find the courage to DM themselves if they want to continue playing.


That’s what I’d do. If the person who’s RUNNING the game wants to play something else, it’s kind of their call. They’re the driver on a long road trip.


Yeah all those games run just fine with 5 players


I have two groups. Group A: Friends I hang out with and if they want to play D&D forever, I don't mind. I am first playing with them. Group B: Randos whom I met online to play different RPGs. (Currently playing Pathfinder 2e and tried Witcher TTRPG) Having those different groups really helped exploring new rpgs and not hating D&D. I get that most people don't have time for two groups but if they don't wanna change system despite you not wanting to run more D&D, you are just going to hate it.


For sure. I'll run whatever the hell my friends want, no matter how lame. But also I'm occasionally way more jazzed about my TSL game with total fucking strangers.


This is what I did. Said "I no longer enjoy d&d, and I will be running a game in this outlet system I like. If you're interested we can talk about why I like this system and you can decide if it's something you'd be interested in. "


This is what I do. I say *"I'm running this system, here's some more info"* If they don't want to play, they can find somewhere else. I can always get butts in seats, and I'm usually turning people away because I cap my tables at 8 players.


I know lately it's considered bad form for the GM to "pull rank." But sometimes it has to be done. If you want to run another system, do it. He'll either come along or he won't. Don't let one obstinate player keep you away from trying something new.


The only people who consider this bad form are people who have never GMed before.


Oh, the GM horror stories I could share about that.


They might like to hear about that over in /r/rpghorrorstories


"Pulling rank" doesn't make for a horror story; being an asshole does. It just so happens, however, that assholes are more inclined to do it than *non*-assholes.


Well, I meant horror stories from a GM's perspective, especially in regards to deciding on a game. For instance, I once had a new player join after quite a few sessions had already been played. He immediately insisted we all play a different game / system. And I hate busting out lines like "because I said so." But everyone at the table had tried talking to this guy diplomatically. We had exhausted every polite avenue we could think of. Eventually I had to just say, "I'm the GM and we're not running that game."


Ah, I misunderstood. Regarding your story, man, that behavior is so far outside the normal social contract, I'd wonder if there there was actually something *wrong with that guy.* And, it was his first session at your table, you say? Yikes. *No thank you!* That person would be immediately blacklisted if I was running the show; ain't nobody got time for that.


I was a young, relatively naive GM at the time. And a few of the players had vouched for him, saying he was a "good roleplayer." It was a recipe for drama.


I am thankful that I've never had to deal with bullshit like that. My worst GM "horror stories" involve people forgetting to bring beer, not chipping in for the pizza delivery, or handling my books with nasty cheeto fingers. And while, yes, those are all candidates for hanging, drawing, and quartering, I'd still rather deal with that than your weirdo, or 99.9% of the other shit I read about.


I’m not the sole GM for my group, but I’m definitely the primary one, and also the one who got the group together to game (we were all friends beforehand). I would never just say ‘this is what we’re playing’. When a campaign ends people float ideas and we see what people jive with, usually trying one shots to test things out. The Avatar game looks great to me, but would be a train wreck for my group, so I don’t pull rank and tell them this is what we’re doing. All of us chip in on things we aren’t enthusiastic about at some point to make sure everyone gets stuff they love


>I would never just say ‘this is what we’re playing’. You're kind of missing the point. GMs are well within their right to say "this is what *I'm* playing." The group may stay together or may not. If they're more interested in keeping the group together than playing a particular system, then they can talk about options. But at the end of the day, it's the GM who chooses what options are on the table. When my DnD game ended, I said: "I'm running Call of Cthulhu, if you want to play." One of my players left, the rest stayed.


I am absolutely not missing the point. In my group it totally is a we. Im not saying all GMs should do this, but pointing out situations where other approaches are just as legitimate


I don't understand why you're assuming this is so antagonistic. I told my group that I was burned out on 5e and that I would not be continuing a game of 5e. That was non-negotiable. I wanted to play Call of Cthulhu, which we'd done a one-shot of, and three of my four players were interested. I thanked the fourth player for joining us and we invited a new player. No hard feelings. When a GM simply cannot keep playing a system, they can try and find a system the whole or most of the group is interested in. If they can't, the group isn't compatible and they should go their separate ways.


I have said several times that’s okay and I’ve never presented that as antagonistic in my comments. My goal was to point that there are people who are GMs who don’t pull rank, which was the comment I had originally responded to. I have never claimed that this is the one true way. Just that it was a way


I guess I just really don't understand this idea of "pulling rank." I don't understand how a GM saying they don't want to play a game anymore is any different from a player doing so. Once I was playing Vampire, and at the end of the scenario I decided I wasn't that into the system, so I left the group. I knew the GM was super enthusiastic about Vampire specifically, so it wasn't a good fit. I don't see how that's any different from when I did the same as a GM. If my group insisted on continuing to play DnD without me, they could have, someone would have just had to step up to be GM.


Your group dynamic sounds ideal, but OP has had a discussion with his group and everyone is on board except for one stick in the mud player. It's a situation where he can't please everyone, and the one player is having too much control over what the group does. If it was me, I'd go ahead with trying my new system, and if that one player leaves, that is their prerogative.


Sure, but I was responding to the idea that the only people who don’t believe in pulling rank haven’t been GMs. I am a GM and I don’t pull rank with my group. I wasn’t making som broad claim about what OP should be doing, just acknowledging there are other legitimate approaches


Split the difference. "I'm tired of D&D at the moment and want to try instead. It's really cool and has that I know you would enjoy. You guys willing to give it a try?"


That’s also a great way to do it. Again, I’ve never said my way is the right way. Just a way


Here's the problem I have with your position : by saying "I don't want to play something else", the player is also pulling rank. You're just favouring status quo, but you're favouring one side.


The number of groups with multiple GMs is a minority by far. Your table's dynamic is irregular, and obviousl, a mutli-GM table needs a but more of a discussion about what to do. Most groups have one person stuck at GM forever. Those people absolutely have the right to dictate their terms for running the game.


I mean, you think it will be, but you can't know unless you try. You'll know one way or the other for sure in what. 2 sessions? And heck, it might be great.


Yup. Those who never DM always seem way more likely to object to new things DMs want to try outside D&D in my exp.


GM for 23 years. It's bad form. There is a decided difference between "I'm running this for the group now and you can join or leave" and "I'm not interested in running as it is". A lot of people talk about it here as an ultimatum and then don't actually do it that way with their friends, which is good -- but there are important and significant differences between drawing a clear boundary and setting an ultimatum. How you couch the decision to walk away from a game matters, especially with your friends. I switch systems or games all the time, but it's always an invitation for my friends to join if they are interested -- no pressure if they are not, no expectation that they will go along if they aren't interested. I make a pitch, that's it.


Here’s a really simple distillation of my thoughts on this; The GM has at least as much say as the rest of the group combined, with ties going in their favor in the cases where compromise cannot be achieved (which is obviously always the ideal). I feel this is more than a reasonable accommodation given the disparity of effort required to be a GM versus a player. If a player wants a bigger say, they need to earn it by putting in effort. Are you hosting games at your house and helping to plan sessions? Cool! Then your input on what we play matters a lot more than someone who just shows up every week expecting a good time. What you’re saying is certainly admirable on the surface. It sounds like you have a very functional group where OPs issue would be unlikely to happen, the same as me. In an ideal world, none of this should ever happen and people should just be respectful of others feelings and be honest with each other. In cases where that is not true, however, the GM has earned the right to “pull rank” and decide they don’t want to spend their free time, money, and energy prepping a game they don’t like because it is their natural prerogative to do so. The game doesn’t happen without the GM doing that work, no one can force you to do it if you’re not feeling it. In any case, good friends don’t implicitly say “We know you hate running D&D, but we refuse to try any other game. Please continue being our entertainment slave”. If my friends treated me like that, I would be upset but I could also find a new group willing to play my game of choice tomorrow.


My group runs really well now, but it didn't always run that way, and a lot of the smoothness was earned; you tumble rocks to polish them. I had my moments where they were expecting too much out of me, but we also had moments where I was expecting too much out of them -- not adequately communicating my frustrations, and feeling like I was being coerced because I felt like I was the only one willing to sacrifice for the group. When I made ultimatums like this, it didn't help things -- I might have gotten my way, but it often frayed friendships. It wasn't healthy for anyone. > In any case, good friends don’t implicitly say “We know you hate running D&D, but we refuse to try any other game. Please continue being our entertainment slave”. My question is: do those friends *really* feel that way? I'm sure there are groups where the players really don't care at all about the GM's well-being. The vast majority of my experience, however, tells me that the friends just want to play D&D -- and they'll accept it if you decide you're done running and that will often be preferable to changing games. I have a very large gaming circle now because it is rare I get more than half my players from any one given prior game and we just learned to expand our networks. Most of us have one system we primarily play and a few systems we flex out to on the side. It was very valuable for me to learn that I could keep my friendships and find other ways to bond with close friends outside of gaming when we didn't want to play the same games, and it's helped us grow ... middle-aged together.


I think this is all very fair. Certainly I would agree that ultimatums usually end with one or both sides harboring some animosity to one another. This also becomes more complicated in your situation where goal number one is to keep a connection with your friends. I want to clarify that I’m not endorsing giving your players an ultimatum, but rather as a part of a bigger conversation propose something like “I’m not having a great time running X game, which is a problem because I have to put a lot of time and effort into prepping our sessions. I’m open to trying Y or Z, or something else if someone wants to be the GM for a bit, but I won’t be running X anymore”. It’s still a conversation where input is considered, but is firm in regards to the need of the GM, who is putting in effort to make the game happen. I think the phrase “pulling rank” gave the wrong idea, and that’s my bad- I was reusing it since the last guy mentioned it. My ideal isn’t to demand anything, but at the same time the GM is typically the “leader” of the group, being that they act as adjudicator in the games and as you pointed out- occasional therapist. I still strongly believe that due to the nature of the GM and the responsibilities it entails, that they are due heavier consideration than a player who just shows up expecting to be entertained solely on their terms.


GMed for many years. Also GMed many systems. I'd never do this. The game we are playing is a shared decision. My primary goal with the game is to have dedicated time to spend with my friends, which is more difficult as I age and my friends spread far and wide. "Hey, I'm excited about these other games, what do you think?" feels very different than "I'm pulling rank - you can join my game of XYZ or get out." I'm glad other things work for other people. But assuming that the only people who think differently are just ignorant is wrong.


What would you do if your friends were only willing to play a game that you absolutely hated? Would you argue that since you have to put in all the time and effort to learn and prep the game, that you should have a bigger say in what that game is? That’s essentially all I am saying. I really don’t think that’s unreasonable.


Does OP *absolutely hate* 5e? Regardless, I'd imagine that most people have the emotional intelligence to tell if their friend *absolutely hates* something. We'd do a different activity that we all enjoyed, decided through consensus within the group.


You’re not engaging with my question honestly. Your suggestion has nothing to do with anything in my reply, or OPs prompt, because it assumes that the players are willing to try new games in the first place, which is the entire issue to begin with. If that were the case, there would be nothing to discuss here because they would have already come to the imaginary consensus you are suggesting is possible. It also doesn’t matter where OP falls on the “dislike” scale, only that they want to play other games, and their players are unwilling to budge. The problem with this is that despite the GM doing all the work to make the game fun, the players are able to use their numbers to force their agenda without doing anything to resolve the issue. My stance is that this is a flaw in the group’s power dynamics, and that the GM should have as much sway, if not more than the rest of the group combined. As an example; Let’s say the situation you proposed happened. What happens next is entirely dependent on who is proposing the change. If one player suggests they want to play a new game and the GM doesn’t want to, it’s not going to happen. You can’t force someone to prep the game *you* want to play. That player then has the option of getting over it, or leaving the group to play the game they want to play. If the GM proposes this however, the group is *forced* to reckon with this one way or another, for the same reason as above. If the GM leaves, there is no more group. The group is also over if all the players leave, but because there are so few GMs, it is a simple thing to get new players who are willing to play what you want to play. This is what the person above means (or at least what i mean) by “pulling rank”; Not necessarily that it’s my way or the highway, but that by virtue of them doing all the work to make the game possible, they have a proportionally large say in how the group is run compared to any single player. Which now brings us full circle again, if you’re willing to engage with my question honestly; If your players wanted you to run a game you didn’t like and were unwilling to compromise, would you think that’s fair? I sure wouldn’t. It’s not complicated.


Nuance, I'd give them forewarning and explanation. 'Notice' if you will. But at the end of the day when you hand an employee notice they don't get to say no, and your table doesn't get to complain when you tell them next session will be the last.


If I want to run a different game, then that's what I'll do. The issue is that it's hard to run a game without players. So if I decide to run Shadowrun but no one in my group wants to play Shadowrun... Then I'm not really able to do it. Unless I find another group. But I just can't understand why anyone would be against learning another system... That's like saying that you don't want to eat but have never actually tried it. How can you know if you'll like it or not. If you try it you might find that you love it. Also learning new systems is not that hard or time consuming... If you learned 5e you're halfway way to learning PF2e or even Shadowrun really. Because while they may not be the same system, there is core things they have in common... Like rolling dice to beat a given TN. It's easier to learn a 2nd system then it was to learn the first one.


I provide materials to my players so what is perhaps the most potentially viable excuse, cost, is eliminated. Unless your group of players have literally no access to cashflow, like children or very young adults, this excuse is weak anyway. Most handbooks are quite affordable. As such, I consider players who adamantly refuse to learn new systems as some combination of stubborn, stupid, selfish, and/or lazy. None of which are character traits I'm exactly excited to have in a player at my table anyway.


> Unless your group of players have literally no access to cashflow, like children or very young adults, this excuse is weak anyway. Most handbooks are quite affordable. Affordable is a very subjective word. Especially after you have children and even more so especially in the last couple of years. And even more so if your GM is the type of system-butterfly that gushes over the "next-great-system" every couple of months. And I am saying this as someone who was such a system-butterfly.


> But I just can't understand why anyone would be against learning another system Because they assume the new system will be as complicated as Dnd.


This can be framed without pulling rank as well. If OP doesn't want to run 5E - even temporarily - then they shouldn't have to.


I mean, if you frame it as pulling rank then it is bad form. It's not some special power the GM has. It's just the basic human right to say "Hey, I don't want to play this game anymore, I'm going to bow out. If you want to play something else with me, I might be down." You don't have to be a GM to say that, anybody at the table can.


The GM is the leader and a good one is in charge. It feels like too many players treat them like meat computers meant to dispense pleasure on a whim.


My go-to method is to pitch one-shots with premade characters and reference sheets. I try to make life as easy for players as possible. Just a one shot. No commitment necessary. See how it plays. For example, I just asked “hey folks, wanna pilot giant mechs and punch aliens in the mouth?”. Now I’m creating Mecha Hack characters (really simple and cool system btw 🤘). Depending on how much fun we have, I may run a 3-4 session arc.


Yes! The best way to get people *not* to want to switch systems is to hand them a 300 page manual and go, "Here, you're going to make your character the *right* way." I'm a firm believer "Use Pre-Gens" should be entry #1 in every GM Guide, under a section called How to Get People to Actually Play This Thing. People want to adventure, excitement, they want to experience new things. But most do not want to pick over 300 unfamiliar spells or abilities, hoping they didn't screw up their character along the way. **Edit**: I'm mostly talking about introducing folks to a new system through a one-shot or short adventure. If they've signed up for a full campaign or would like to to create their own characters, by all means, let them create their own characters!


Mileage may vary. Many systems don't have complex character creations systems, and many players enjoy the character creation process even if it's unfamiliar. But it's definitely good to have this as an option.


I agree. The most fun I have at new systems are making characters, and pre-mades make me sad CX But.. for a oneshot its also not bad and I can usually deal, as for other players it can be a huge help. ..still if I had the choice? Yeah I always do my PC myself, and the others can have the premade once.


If anyone says they want to make their own character, that's when you hand them the 300 page book. :-P (and walk them through the process)


Pre-Gens are my go-to. I usually give them the option of making their character, giving me a concept or class request, or letting my sister go feral with it -- the last option is by far the most popular and it's no extra work for me.


Yeah, run a couple of one-shots trying out different systems. Make sure you build in time to explain the basic mechanics and have either pre-written characters or just make sure they can be created very quickly (PBtA or BitD are good for this). Then talk about it afterward, what did everybody like about the new system? What didn't they like? What should we try next (have suggestions ready)? This is my plan anyway.


I’ve done this for other systems and there’ve been times where players liked it so much they wanted to do a campaign!


Yeah, this happened when I ran Blades. But it was the first session I’d ever ran and I honestly want to try some others first.


This is The Way.


He's only ever gonna convince himself. People who are like this generally treat any attempt at convincing them otherwise as an attack on something they love. If you start a different campaign and they don't feel like being part of it, maybe they eventually want to join in anyways, maybe they don't.


While I agree with the general consensus here, I think a lot of comments must've been made before the edit went in. If you have a player who doesn't think he wants to play in a different game system because he's basically afraid you're going to murder his character because he's not interested in the kind of rules-oriented optimization that he feels would be necessary, then you have two choices: 1. Ditch this player, because they are not a fit for the games you want to run 2. Demonstrate to this player that the game you have selected will not result in them being murdered for not being optimized. This is much, much easier if the game in question ACTUALLY protects them from getting murdered for not being optimized.


I have a feeling the players doesn't like high lethality in his game and OP is one of those who thinks 5e is just not possible to make lethal enough and it's interested in a more lethal game. If that is the case they will never convince the player. OP is not very clear though on this, so it's hard to say.


The third edit makes me suspect OP is more interested into converting the player to their style of play. That's not going to end well.


Have you asked them *why* they really dislike the idea of switching systems? To my mind, there are two options: (1) They have a reason. If they have a reason, you can *probably* find a way to mitigate it. e.g. They might not want to learn something new if they assume every system is at least as complicated and cumbersome as *D&D 5e*. You could mitigate such a reason by picking a game that isn't more complicated, by providing system "cheat-sheets", and generally talking through it. If they have a reason, you can work with them. (2) They don't have a reason. If they don't have a reason and are irrationally, emotionally averse to trying something different... you might not be able to find a way to mitigate it. You could *try* to assuage their fear, if fear/anxiety is their emotional reason to want-not to try something new. But... you are their GM, not their therapist. It might be beyond the scope of rational convincing. They might still be against it and then you've got a decision to make with the group. Do you want to run a game for 1 enthusiastic player, 4 ambivalent players, and 1 player that is dragging their feet, kicking and screaming? Or would you rather run the game for 1 enthusiastic player and 4 ambivalent players? You can always bring the 6th back if/when you return to *D&D 5e*. It is okay to decide to play the game without them if they don't want to play. They have their own life. You don't have to kick them out or stop being friends if you are friends.


It seems the reason is not systems. The problem is that they have a mismatch on how lethal they like their games. OP likes games where characters have a good chance of dying, something very hard to achieve at level 5+ on D&D. The player likes playing characters with development archs, and they fear that more lethal systems will deprive them of this. In that case, I would try to run one-shots so the player can make characters knowing there is no point in getting attached, and see if they learn to have fun in pure combat and grave-robbing.


>It seems the reason is not systems. The problem is that they have a mismatch on how lethal they like their games. OP likes games where characters have a good chance of dying, something very hard to achieve at level 5+ on D&D. The player likes playing characters with development archs, and they fear that more lethal systems will deprive them of this. Ah, that makes sense. If that is the case, there isn't really a fix because they fundamentally want to play different games. The "solution" is to go their separate ways. >In that case, I would try to run one-shots so the player can make characters knowing there is no point in getting attached, and see if they learn to have fun in pure combat and grave-robbing. This doesn't make sense to me. If you realized that a player cared most about "playing characters with development archs", you would try to run games where they literally cannot do the thing they care about doing? That seems pretty counter-fun, don't you think? Time to just cut the cord. Different people like different games. Everyone will have more fun when the whole group wants to play the same thing so let them go and they can find a different group that plays the way they want to play. Seems unwise to try to force them to play the way you want to play.


> This doesn't make sense to me. If you realized that a player cared most about "playing characters with development archs", you would try to run games where they literally cannot do the thing they care about doing? That is only if a long development arch is the ONLY thing they want out of a game. You can have development arches in one-shots. They will just be significantly shorter and will require some extra prep work from the GM. And depending on the player that may actually be a selling point to that kind of player, the ability to experiment with lots of different development arcs. And for me personally that would be. I wouldn't need to think about protecting my character but could take them on arcs that can have bitter personal consequences for them.


My thoughts were similar. Trying to figure out why they're reluctant is a good first step in trying to pitch something new. Follow up with the assumption that you will have to teach the new system and/or provide resources to help them out, and generally it's not too bad. Unless they're excessively stubborn. There's no helping that.


>I think I should explain that this player is a very roleplay-oriented player, whereas I and most of the rest of the party are very mechanically-oriented. I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot of death. He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting him interested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? Sooooo...you can't MAKE him not have this fear. You can however change your DM style to be more forgiving during an adjustment period and, you know, cater to the fact that he enjoys role play, not crunch. Like you've really set up THE thing to entice him right there - he likes RP. Give him RP! You know what he likes! If you want to get what YOU want, you're probably going to have to adjust your own play style a little bit in exchange for him doing the same. That said, I suspect this fear is ALSO his socially acceptable/non-vulnerable way of saying that he's afraid of looking foolish or making mistakes during game play. Learning new things, especially in a public setting (even among friends) is really daunting for some people. Doing some one-shots, as others have suggested, is probably your best antidote to this. (Also honestly if he like role play...run a VtM game. They're famously RP oriented and have a lot of stuff set up to facilitate social interactions in addition to combat. If you want to entice this person, choose a system that caters to what he likes, that you think you and the rest of the crew will also enjoy.)


Also, a bit confused, generally high lethality games =/= lots of character death, just the honest potential for it. The goal of high lethality games is to discourage murder hoboism and 1-ability button click to kill approach of modern/trad games. The OSR is all about roleplaying your character not the mechanics to overcome the lethality by being creative and approach problem solving in an in-game way without, roll stealth, roll back stab, kill, short rest repeat sort of way.


I second VtM, as it's pretty easy to play, super roleplay heavy, has a decent amount of crunch (V20 at least, not sure about V5), and is quite fun. Plus, who doesn't love vampires.


You don't have to convince anyone. Ser a day and time that you are running the game you want to run. Invite him to join. It's his choice if he wants to or not.


>I think I should explain that this player is a very roleplay-orientedplayer, whereas I and most of the rest of the party are verymechanically-oriented. I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot ofdeath. He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he couldsurvive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting himinterested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? This isn't a DnD issue, this is a "the player wants a roleplaying game, you want a meat grinder" issue. Honestly it sounds like he doesn't enjoy himself in 5e that much either, he simply has enough mechanical skill to create a character that is immune to being murdered by your \~brutal\~ campaigns. This problem is solved by having an earnest, mature discussion about game expectations - "guys, are my games too difficult? would you enjoy yourselves better if I make them less mechanically challenging?" And don't go with a majority decision, but reach a common consensus for all players involved, including yourself. And only ONCE that consensus is reached, then maybe play another system. Or just switch to something like PbtA where player characters can't die. Just don't be one of Those PbtA GMs, the ones who fuck things up (diagetically) with every partial success.


PCs can't die in a PbtA game? News to me! I've had many die horrible, amazing, genre defining, character deaths of immense and significant weight (narratively). Not sure why character death would be off the table in a PbtA game by default.


Okay, I'll be more specific. In PbtA, player characters won't die *because of bad dice rolls*. They may die as a consequence of a roll, or because of the fiction, but that's always\* the player's call to make - they have an alternative, another option to take. Because of that, death has narrative weight and doesn't happen in a random encounter with goblins because you had a series of unlucky rolls. \* - or almost always, but I've yet to read a PbtA game that had a failed roll's consequence be "you die" with no alternatives


PCs die in PbtA games all the time, at least many of them. Most of these games are insulated against an unexpected TPK death spiral caused by nothing more than dice going particularly wonky.


> I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot of death. when adapting to a new game, tone this down. You will all get things wrong which can lead to unearned character death. Make this point known that for the beginning your not going to be as brutal. Ttrpgs are cooperative games. Especially when you get away from the dnd sphere. Embrace that idea. Work with your players, not against them.


Instead of a whole campaign, offer to run a one-shot or module that spans just a few sessions. This lets people kick the tires on a new game without feeling like they have to commit time and money. We do this frequently in my long running group and people will rotate the GM’s chair too which is nice break for me as a “forever GM.” If people still don’t want to try new stuff then you might just have to find a different group to scratch your other game itch.


So, firstly, I'm not quite sure how you can really convince someone of getting over their fear of character death when you explicitly state that you run high-lethality games and several of your examples seem to be games with high lethality baked into them. I think you may simply have a compatibility issue with the player. If everyone wants to play Call of Cthulhu and one guy out of seven doesn't, then the one guy is probably not going to stick around for long. However, I still feel that there are some things you can do in order to increase the chances of him sticking around. His fear seems pretty reasonable given the list of games you want to play contains a lot of OSR games, so I would avoid those for now. I would suggest either Pathfinder because there is a large community that could allow the player to find a stable build that won't die easily or Vampire because it's more radically different from D&D and is supposedly more focused on role-playing than straight combat and dungeon-delving. Also, if the other ambivalent players are really focused on mechanics, I don't know how much they would really like more rules light systems, which OSR games apparently are. Learning a new system also gives you reason to avoid going super hard in the beginning, especially when it comes to combat. You could find the balance of how hard you want to go eventually as your group learns the system, but easing up gives the players to time to tweak and recreate their characters, extending the likelihood that characters live longer.


I hate the idea of "pulling rank" as a GM. GMs are players too in the end, and excluding anyone isn't fun. If their concern is surviving in a brutal game, tone it down. If it's learning a new system, find something close to 5e or easy to learn (PbtA for example) so they can feel familiar. If they want more roleplay esc, try a new system with more cinematic style combat so even when your not in a roleplay situation you're still roleplaying. In the end, work with them. It doesn't have to be a long game you guys go and play, but at least you can try to make them as a player feel more comfortable easing in. If they are adamant about not playing another system mention that's fine, everyone else would like to and so would I. We can still play 5e, but we might spread it out more and rotate with different games to try out other things. If they don't wanna play that's their choice but do everything to at least try to work with them. Heck even mention if they don't wanna play, invite them to sit in and watch, or even Co-GM if they're interested. Sometimes just seeing another game can make it more fun and want to play the next time.


Is it "pulling rank" as in "I'm the leader and you are my followers" or is it "I did all the work setting this game up. I bought the material. I do all the prep. I coordinate schedules AND I HOST AT MY HOUSE. I'm going to be running another game. I'll be happy to play 5e at your house, though."


I mean either way isn't good. The first one your just being a dick, the second one sure you make your point to the group, but now you're setting the precedent of if I'm running it, it's my way or the highway. Playing TTRPGs is a group game. Everyone is there to have fun. Just because someone is the storyteller doesn't mean they're voice is more or less important as everyone else. If you brought someone in to play and now you want to play something else it is your job to communicate that. And if you want everyone to feel included it is also your job to make everyone feel included by also talking to them and everyone coming to an agreement. Recently we were playing CP Red, and my wife wasn't having fun with it. The game itself was fine, how I ran it as the GM was fine, she just didn't care for the setting. She wanted something more fantasy. So I talked to her about it, and then talked to all my other players. I told them how I want to continue the Red campaign but I also want my wife to enjoy her time too and let them know her thought process. We all agreed to give Pathfinder 2e a shot. Try it out for a few sessions, and if we like it keep playing and rotate the two games with my wife taking a more backseat approach in Red and setting up missions and other stuff for everyone else. Talking and compromising with your players isn't hard. It's just respecting everyone as a person and why we're all here, to play games and have fun.


It's disrespectful to veto moving to a new system while still asking the burnt out GM to play 5e. The GM should shut that down and not let himself be a doormat just so everyone can feel "included". Not all games are for all people, there's nothing forcing a player to stay in a group that has moved on if they'd rather play 5e forever.


I never said the GM should just stay on 5e or just be a doormat. But invoking the other side of that being the Iron fist take it or leave it, again isn't the right option. Talk with your players, and come to a middle ground. If that middle ground is the other player isn't gonna play, then that's the middle ground. But that conversation is important not only for that player but the health of the table.


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and be explicit: you're the biggest barrier to this player trying other games. You've said that your games are "brutal" and that he doesn't think he can survive them. That's the problem. You want him to try other things? you're going to need to meet him part of the way. if you want to do a hardcore tactical game, this person is clearly not interested; if you want to play something where social mechanics facilitate role-play, the player might be a lot more interested. Either way, this player told you the problem, and if you don't believe him that it's a problem, you've got no business asking anyone else for help.


It sounds like he has a fairly understandable reason. Perhaps you could compromise and tone down the normal 'brutality' in your games for the first adventure to give him some time to adjust to the new mechanics. Choosing a system that isn't specifically thought to be *more* lethal than 5e is probably also important.


So, I don't agree with people who say just basically force it because you're the GM. Long term I'm not sure I want my relationship with friends to be based on each friend trying to exert power over the other to get what they want. But, in this instance, it seems like your party is kind of split on the option. It seems like it's just him that has strong opposition. You can tell him why you and this other player are interested and you want to run some initial sessions to see if the game is a good fit. That's pretty reasonable to ask. If he says no to that, then I'm not sure. There's nothing you can really do if someone doesn't want to be reasonable about their interactions with friends. You'd have to be open though to the possibility these games are not a good fit for your group.


It's not a power play. It's a matter of respect for effort. If my buddy hosts a party at his house, at his expense, and provided all the refreshments and made sure we were all free at the same time and got us all to show up, a good friend doesn't ask them host to change the music, or to serve food more to their liking. A good friend enjoys the party for what it is and hosts their own party if they feel so inclined.


That isn't what being a DM is. It isn't hosting a party.


In what way is D&D with friends different than a game night party?


TTRPGs are a weekly game night. They aren't hosting a party. I've hosted game nights with friends and never have I made a condition of hosting it that everyone can only play the games I want. That'd be pretty poor hospitality.


I guess we have different ideas of what a "party" is, because game night in my friend group is a party. Lots more going on than just playing the game, and it takea effort to put together.


Maybe, but I still don't think the host would tell the guests what games to play as an ultimatum. That's basically what a lot of the posters here and in other threads say. 'You're the DM, they play the game you want'. I think that's not the correct approach. Not saying that's what you think, just that's what the vibe I see very often is.


Well, that is pretty much my thought. Except, I don't think they should play the game you want just because you're the big bad boss and they are your followers. I think they should play the game you want because you put in all the work for their sake. They have no commitment beyond "show up, roll the dice, try not to spend the whole time on your phone". It demonstrates a lack of respect for the work the GM puts in to think the player can veto their choice to pour their time into something else. That's my argument. It's not a power play, it's asking for basic respect from the players. Nothing is forcing the player to stick around at a table for a game he doesn't like. Especially since 5e is so easy to find a group for.


I still don't agree, respectfully. I understand I put in more effort than they do, but my players still put in effort. They are buying into what I am putting out there. They are playing their characters. They are trying to have fun with me and their friends. It's not disrespect to say they want a choice in the game they're playing, particularly when as the DM I basically get the decision about every other thing. It would be disrespectful, however, for me to say that they have no choice because I put in more work. I switched my group from 5e to PF2e, one of my players was hesitant about it because she is a newer player and it seems more daunting. It wasn't disrespect towards me that she felt that way. I helped her through it. But if I took the position of entitlement that because I do more in the game she has to do what I'm suggesting, she probably would have just dropped the game.


Given the reason you're saying he's reluctant to try new systems , he might be more open to trying some via one shots - Where it doesn't particularly *matter* if his characters survive because he's only going to use them once anyway. If you've got any systems you want to get to the table that you don't think would suit a campaign, that would be a strong candidate, but that lacks the "And if we get on with it we can do something more" carrot to learning the system, so either of those approaches might work. For long term play, I think the best way of coaxing someone out of a single system is getting them excited to play a game that obviously couldn't work in the one they're currently playing. Make your VTM pitch \_really\_ strong on the stuff that makes it differ from D&D, while emphasizing the roleplay opportunities he'd have that aren't as present in D&D. Maybe pitch multiple campaigns in multiple systems at once and see if any of them appeal, making it less dictatorial feeling even if "The next game I run isn't going to be D&D" is still the bottom line. The least likely option because some people are terrified to run anything - How often are you meeting up to play? I'm not going to suggest *you* run multiple campaigns, that would be ridiculous, but if one person wants to play D&D, two people want a change, and 4 don't care either way, if your game is currently weekly, or even fortnightly, maybe encourage him to try running D&D on alternate sessions to whatever system you switch to. If he's worried about the commitment of running a campaign, maybe suggest he run a one-shot to see if he enjoys running. If he bites on it, he gets to keep playing D&D, the two people who want to play something else get to do that, you get to play rather than run every other week, and even if he doesn't get over his anxieties about a new system, the group stays together. Hell, if he enjoys running, maybe he'll start branching out into other systems as well so you can play twice as many non-D&D games.


Don't. Bring it up and pitch it, but don't push it on your players. Maybe offer to run a one-shot of the system to see if they want to try it. Don't pressure anyone though. The key is not to get 5e players to try other systems but to find players for the systems you want to play. If your group doesn't want to try the systems you want to play, find a different group who does. Pushing and pressuring players to try a system will only poison them to the great systems you want to play. So if it really comes to it, find a different group of players who will play the systems you want to play.


You're the GM, tell them you're kinda sick of 5E, and want to run something different for the next game / campaign / session. Don't spring it on them, and don't try to force it on them, but just let them know you want to try out another game(s). Some might not care to try. That's OK. Some might not end up liking it. That's also OK. I'm gonna add something I think more people need to keep in mind, as well: the GM is also a player, and they also deserve to have fun.


> I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot of death. He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting him interested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? I mean, most of the games you list can be pretty brutal experiences. 5e is probably the most forgiving of the bunch. Maybe they’re right?


>He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. If this is the issue, you could maybe tell him that you'll tone down the deadliness of the game for a couple of sessions until the players have gotten a grasp of how the system works.


Lots of responses are falling somewhere between "it's not the end of the world if he chooses not to play" and "fuck him", but seems to me those are missing the point that OP either needs or wants the guy at his table. Admittedly that point was not specified but that would seem to be why he asked the question he did, as opposed to, for example, "Should I let this guy go if he's the only one who doesn't want to play the game I want to run?"


All the systems you have listed are basically just the same as D&D as far as I am concerned (though I don't know what 5TD is) - they all have the same expectations from players, and all reward system mastery, so I can understand the player's reluctance. You will likely get more interest by offering to run more "story games" like dogs in the vineyard, trollbabe, agon, and similar, and could try Fate as a halfway compromise. I think your player's reluctance is *even more* reasonable considering this: > I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot of death. He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting him interested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? If you continue playing one of those systems, you can handle this fear very easily, by telling the player you are going to run a less brutal game, and being honest about it. One way would be to give the players a tool that *they* control to avoid death, like a hero point system - they start with X number of hero points and can spend one in any scene to escape that scene on their terms with *no* penalties (healing all injuries suffered in the process), or spend the points to negate anything the GM says (like, if the GM kills a character's parent or dependent, the player can cancel that). Even if players only have 2-3 points and those points never recharge, the players know they start out safely and can experiment with the game. This isn't the only way you could do it, but is a great way to show you are trustworthy. For this to work, you'd need to practice ways of challenging players without death being the only downside. Which is a *good* skill for GMs to have, so it's a benefit for you too.


5TD is Five Torches Deep, which was marketed as inbetween 5e and OSR. So another, DnD-esque, deadly, unforgiving system. Haven't looked into it much but looked denser than Knave on my quick thumb through. Probably more accessible then Old School Essentials for the player, but still not their tastes I'd imagine. Btw how is Agon? The art looks awesome.


Agon's not very well suited to deadly unforgiving play, but if you want a more narration-heavy game it's a good choice.


Awesome. I'll try to sit down and actually read it then soon. Thank you.


Island hopping structured encounter with wide open engagement to said structure. Down time activities in between island hopping for RP. The conflict resolution mechanic looks slick with the setup but I'd imagine gets repetitive by the 3rd to 5th island. I could see it being a great 8-12 session game.


Could tone it down a bit? Starting a new game I tend not to go straight to the harder difficulties. Let him dip his toes in before he decides that no other system is worth learning.


If you have a game you really want to run, run it. If one of your six players doesn't want to play, that's fine. It doesn't need to be forever, and they can come back if you go back to running something they want to play, but if you don't play games _you_ want to play you will eventually burn out, and then none of you will be playing anything. You are not their servant, and you deserve to have fun just as much as they do.


I ended up just starting a second group online. I asked if anyone from my D&D group wanted to try a different system and took those who said yes. I alternate each week which group I’m running.


Instead of a complete campaign, why not run a few one shots? Gives him the chance to try it but not get stuck in something super long in case he doesn't, its just one game. You could even do a vote to see what new system the party is most interested in, or if they are even interested at all. That's what my party did and we ended up voting on Monster of the Week. If everyone else is interested, then he could always just sit out those games and just play when you all play 5e. Maybe alternate between games each week or what ever? Just throwing some ideas out there, but at the end of the day its his choice to participate if the rest of the group wants to try something new.


Tone down the brutality till they get used to the system


Here's the thing. You can't force someone to do anything. They have to want to be able to play. If they are unwilling, then sometimes you have to say look, I'm tired of only playing 5e; there are other systems out there that I want to try out, so when this campaign ends, we will start trying out different systems. I know you only want to play 5e, but we would like you to join us in trying out these other systems. If you don't, we understand.


You set the game. You set the time. Players show up. You run the game. This guy doesn't want to play. "That's fine, you can choose to continue to get notifications if you want. You are welcome rejoin when I run something more your speed or if you have a change of heart." My philosophy: You are the limited resource. You can be selective and you set the pace. Be understanding, kind, and respectful but you can and should leave behind the players that hold you back and generate friction to your goals. Some will come around once they realize the train is leaving without them. This cultivates an open minded group of players that don't whinge at the concept of trying new systems, new ideas, and new worlds.


Players do none of the work and then pretend they have a right to veto the system the GM wants to play. If they want to be in a 5e group, let them be the GM. If they decide they don't want to do that, they're still more than welcome to have fun with the rest of your group.


A lotta people on here are really quick to jump to the ditching your friends option


This sub seems to have a lot of people that don't game with friends. They game with people that are only getting together for the game and nothing else.


So... do you want to play a different system while also keeping the same, lethal game style? Wouldn't it be more of a change of pace to also mix up the focus of the game a bit? Especially, if you are trying to convince a more roleplaying focused player, is luring them with a more roleplaying-oriented or deliberately less lethal game? (this would be the time I recommend one of my usual stand-bys, like Ryuutama for that purpose).


If this player is really more about role play, then I would think something like VTM you would actually be more up their alley. But as a lot of people have said after your edit, it sounds like they might clash with your GM style a bit and you might want to tone down the brutality for everyone's sake, including your own, when switching to a new system. It's a lot harder to know where that line is in a system you're slightly less familiar with.


Stop gm'ing.


why would I stop GMing?


It is easier ton onboard a player on a new system by planning a short 4-5 session adventure.


My advice would be to dip your toes in with a oneshot, then let that player see if they don't hate new stuff as much as they'd have thought. They could potentially warm up to it if given a chance to play it without feeling saddled by having to slog through it for months to potentially years(depending upon how long your groups campaigns usually run for)


1. Show them the similarities: Highlight how the new system may have similarities to 5E such as similar mechanics or themes that they enjoy in 5E. 1. Offer to run a one-shot game: Let them experience the new system without committing to a long-term campaign. 1. Share your own excitement: Explain why you're interested in trying the new system and why you think they might enjoy it too. 1. Find common ground: Look for elements of the new system that overlap with the players' interests outside of D&D. 1. Address their concerns: If players are hesitant, address any concerns they have about the new system and try to provide reassurance.


Do NOT piss on 5e in comparing systems. Thats a great way to make people defensive and not want to play a new game. Just say its like trying a new tv series or movie. Both are cool, but this is a different vibe.


Temp them with one shots based on their favorite movies, TV shows, book series or any other genre besides the eternally boring Sword Coast.


Here’s the sad but true answer: you don’t. Any attempt to change systems is always going to alienate some portion of your table. If you want to play multiple systems, you need to build a table of players who welcome that and are excited by it. Otherwise, it’s always going to be pulling teeth.


Start a short game with whoever wants to play. If some of the four players who are on the fence get into it, they'll probably sell the other one on it, and it'll feel more convincing coming from them. You could keep running D&D half the time so they don't feel excluded or forced. I think that would look less like the silly, detached mindset people here have (which reminds me of the classic Reddit thing of telling people to break up over every minor disagreement lol), and more like a healthy boundary. We'll be doing something different that we find fun sometimes and if you want to be a part of it you can, but if not we'll still be doing the thing you find fun and are invested in and a part of.


Focus on the specifics of what the other system is good at, also if they're roleplay focused what really changes for them?


I've found players adverse to switching systems aren't like that because they like the system, they don't like learning mechanics and systems in general. They tend to be fans of role playing, not of role playing game mechanics. It can be hard for them to switch in a group of those that like learning mechanics. I've found it best to talk to them, figure out what they want, make their character, and just handle the brunt of their rolls for them, or make a cheat sheet and keep it updated. They'll eventually pick up what they need to, but if forced, sitting down and learning the mechanics will usually be a chore.


If the particular player is worried about dying in your games, maybe you could just assure him that you will take it easy at the start? That's a good practice anyways, when trying a new game. If he's not willing to accept that, then it kinda seems like there must be another reason that he's not saying. You could also try a one-shot in one of those other games. So that they can try it out without committing to a longer campaign. Maybe try for a one-shot that could become the opening of a campaign. Also, I do agree with the majority of advice here, you're the one running the game and it's fine to say "I don't want to run D&D again."


One-shot Wednesdays!


Switching to another system for a campaign can be intimidating. Getting up-to-speed on another system for a one-shot can feel like a waste of time. I'm beginning to experiment more with mini-series. Little campaigns designed for 2-4 sessions that have a little more meat than your typical one-shot, but sidestep long-term commitment issues (perceived or otherwise) of a typical campaign.


Ease them in with 5e style games(d20 +mod against dc) I found symbaroum to be a good substitute, atleast rule wise.


Run a few short-ish games 3-5 sessions with other systems. Let the players get some experience in them and then let them chose what the next system will be.


You can't force people to like something. The only thing you can do here, is to get their buy-in to try a different game, and then go a bit easy on them, until they understand the system and setting. If they like it, they like it, and if not it's tough luck.


Dont do full campaigns of the other systems. Do one-off adventures or single-session one shots, as samplers, to see what PCs think. Do this every now and then as a break from 5e. Also, tone down the violence and death in the one shots to make them more survivable, if that's what theyre concerned about. These are meant to be samples, not mega campaigns. If they fall in love with some other system, add on more adventures. Dont go in planning a whole campaign for any particular system. Rather, let the campaign evolve organically from the PCs' desire to simply keep playing in that setting/system and you keep adding new adventures to accommodate.


take Mork Borg off the table, and offer Pathfinder. If it’s 1e, show him it’s just D&D 3.75, with more character customization. A lot of roleplay opportunities. VTM offers Vampires and they are hard to kill in combat ( just be inside and in bed by dawn).


You're GM, gaming us supposed to be fun for everyone at the table. You have done what they wanted, they should at least try what you want. Pick a system, tell them that the next game is in it and they will play or they won't.


I've always found people that play the 5th edition of Ars Magica are you usually willing to try all kinds of systems however 5th edition Mage the ascension players are content to stay with white wolf.


pick a game that is less lethal and explain that he is less likely to die in this new game. He meeting you half way to play a new system, you need to meet him by picking one that more to his tastes. Also pitch it as a one shot, that way if he does not like it you only wasted one evening


"Listen, I'm running this game in this system. That's it. If you want another 5E game, you can run it yourself."


I had this issue come up recently because I’m done with 5e (happened before this OGL nonsense) I sent a list of games I wanted to run to a group of players and let them vote on which one they wanted to play. I’m excited about all of them so everyone wins. I get to run a new game and they get to try out new systems. Can you run a slightly less brutal game until everyone gets their feet under them? That might help them make the transition. I also don’t understand getting *that* attached to a character since in my head you just make a new one. It’s a bummer if you lose one but it is just a game. Again, this might also just be me not being able to understand that perspective because it’s so foreign to me.


1) a one-shot. Call of Cthulhu is great for this. You say "hey, let's do a call of cthulhu horror one shot!?!" It introduces them to other games and genres. 2) use a stepping stone like LevelUp 5e Advanced to ease them out of 5e. It's 5e but with a much better class and race system. But the core is still 5e. That way all you're doing is recommending they try 5e with a little something added to it.


>Addendum: I think I should explain that this player is a very roleplay-oriented player, whereas I and most of the rest of the party are very mechanically-oriented. I tend to run a very brutal game, with a lot of death. He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting him interested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? He might be saying any one of several things, and you may need to ask which it is. Since he may actually not know what his misgiving is until he hears it, here are a few to bring up: He may not understand that a character dying is okay, or he may just very much not like the idea. If it's the latter I don't know if you can fix it and still run a brutal game, but I suppose he could have a character that has a fair amount of damage resistance of some kind. I mean, it doesn't have to be brutal for *him*. Or you could just have his replacement characters ready on hand so he doesn't feel like he's slowing down the game if it happens, and/or doesn't have to sit out the rest of the session. He may be hinting that the group so far hasn't been very helpful when he didn't understand something in the mechanics or his available choices. If this is it, just ask the group to be better about that, or just handle that chore yourself, perhaps by making a quick GM call, or suggest the best option at the table, and then between games go over the options.


Ask him why he's so eager to abide to the monopoly of a billion dollar company instead of supporting smaller creators who focus on making better products. Also ask him why he so adamantly wants to play a game that's outdated in its design than a game that's built for the kind of roleplay he supposedly favors?


Getting someone to commit to an entire campaign of a new system can be hard. I once tried a campaign where every one to two sessions the party goes through a portal and plays a new system. Their characters are the same people, but become something appropriate to the setting so my RPers could buy into it. This worked great until the 3rd system. They loved Misspent Youth so much they wanted to stick with it.


Social proof is how 5e manages to keep in the spotlight, and you can use it to. Show your players reviews, videos, awards, anything that shows other people like this game too.


Here's how I've done it countless times. "I'm going to run a one-shot with X awesome-sounding hook/theme. It's going to use Y system, and you won't need to do any homework; just show up and pick from one of the pregens then play. It'll be as easy as a boardgame night." Then run the adventure like the pilot episode of a binge-watch TV series. End it with a satisfying finish to the session but also in a way that provokes deep wonder about what happens next in a lot of various plot threads. if doing open world, make sure they stumble across losts of fascinating rumors of wondrous locations and quest hooks along the way. Make it your goal to make them CURIOUS about exploring/adventuring more. Then say, "That was fun, I'm thinking of turning this into a small arc of 3 more sesssions to wrap up the loose ends. Does that sound good?" Very quickly, they're comfortably playing a new system.


Instead of starting a new campaign for the new system try a ine shot, let everyone get a taste of the new mechanics and see if theyd want to commit to a full campaign


Learn the other system then run a one shot with your group to see if they like it. If you have an open-minded group of people then they're willing to give it a shot. After the one shot game have a discussion to to talk about how you felt regarding the mechanics and gameplay. At this point if they like it you have a better opportunity of keeping that game going. You're just going to have to do all the leg work learning the system to run the game.


Play a less deadly system, that might help. In those you mentioned, Vampire the Maaquerade could be a good choice. And it’s excellent for people who put roleplay first.


I suppose V:tM is less deadly in that the PCs are already dead? :-)


He’s the roleplay focused player? “Don’t you want the chance to explore other roles?”


If the recent middle finger from Wizards didn't do it, I doubt anything will. This might be a rip-the-band-aid-off suggestion, but if one player REALLY doesn't want to play anything other than 5E, have a conversation with him. Explain that you want to run something in a different system, and that you intend to do so if other folks agree. He doesn't have to play, and it's no knock against your relationship if he decides to sit this one out, but you just cannot do another 5E game. If the player's attitude is that you're singling him out, or trying to push him away by not playing the one game he wants, then it might be time to reconsider playing with him at all. On the other hand, if he understands, and you can have a good discussion, maybe he'll agree to try something different. And if not, tell him you'll let him know if/when you do another 5E game.


Well if the last couple weeks have taught us anything, it’s that you have to threaten to unauthorize the OGL that the game is based on.


1) Run a one-shot. That's easier to commit to, and if they don't want to try it, they don't have to play. 2) See how the other players feel about the game after the one-shot. This is with the expectation that the other player will skip it. 3) You can't force people to play your game, or to appreciate the other games. It sucks, but if they don't want to play, they can then not play with everyone. That's fine. It's unfair to force them to play your game, but it's also unfair of them to force you to run 5E when you don't want to run it.


Try to revoke the ogl?


Social dynamics are complicated, and there is no magic bullet for social interactions. I am going to make an assumption that you're playing in person. Here's my suggestion, however. When it's time to start talking about the next game you're running, pick a game ahead of time. Maybe a handful of them if you're not sure. Bring the rulebook(s) with you to when you meet your friends. If it's digital only, get it printed and put into a binder. Having the rule physically in front of people. If the game is the sort that has multiple books, bring only the game's equivalent of the Player's Handbook. Then saying something to the effect of "I'm going to run this game. Check out the rules." Not in a hostile putting your foot down kind of way, but just that this is what you plan to do. Enthusiasm helps a bunch in this, it's infectious. If you want that extra bit of stuff to help, for the person who's really dug in about playing D&D only, it might help to look at the book and find something you think they'll enjoy - a class, an ability, some kind of mechanic, some type of archetype. Something that might just nudge them a little bit.


The was a [blog post for this](https://www.thearcanelibrary.com/blogs/shadowdark-blog/how-to-get-5e-dnd-players-to-try-a-new-rpg) posted here recently.


Hand them the book(s) you're most interested in running. Give them some time to look it over, then touch on some of rule differences and spoon feed them the campaign concept you're going for, highlighting the likely character types you think they'd be good for. At that point it's either Yay or Nay, no stress required. Something will fall into place so long as open minds stay curious. Best of luck!


Considering Paizo and Chaosium have sold out of their flagship products in the past 2 weeks, 5 months early, I think the chaos has got people trying new things. The numerous 99c PDF sales have helped immensely as well ! :-)


>He knows this, and explained that he doesn't think he could survive my game if we play a new system. So, beyond getting him interested in these other RPGs, how could I handle this fear of his? So, 5e isn't that lethal of a system to begin with. But there are plenty of other systems with a high survival rate. Pathfinder 2e is both SOMEWHAT familiar to 5e on a surface level and not particularly lethal. To help them alone, walk them through 2e character creation as if they were a complete NEWB! To get away from 2e for a bit. Emphasis the Role Play options granted by playing a system besides 5e. 5e isn't exactly a "narrative" system to begin with.


There is a series of YouTube videos by Ben Riggs which is basically pitches by game designers to a lady who has never played anything but 5e.


Designate one day out of the month or whatever your cycle is of gaming as a night for everyone to play something fresh. Different in some way whether it be a completely different system or just a short module set in a familiar one. Point is to switch it up. Can make it a beer and chips night even which means everyone can totally relax and the GM whoever that may be on that night (One of the players could try their hand at GMing something on that night) can have fun just trying something new with their group.


As other people have said, if you want to run another system then you can just do that, but I get that it can feel a bit heartless to do that knowing someone won't want to join in You could try running some one shots for different systems? Takes the pressure of a major commitment out of the way and gives you the opportunity to run a bunch of systems in a short time frame. If the players like it then great, if not there is always a different system to try next week


One thing I am planning with my group, seeing as I don't intend to run 5E again as I don't feel it gives much support for GMs, is to present a range of games to choose from. For example: * **Pathfinder** - A crunchier feel than 5E, with a greater variety of options to choose from. Still very focussed around tactical combat. * **Worlds Without Number** - A more specifically sandbox feel than our prior 5E campaign, and still fairly forgiving when it comes to character survivability. * **Old School Essentials** - Based around old-school DnD, which two of my players actually played on release. Definitely more deadly, and focussed around dungeon-delving. * **Cairn** - A much more minimalistic system, whilst still retaining a feeling that the world you are exploring is scary. This could be something you try, as it gives you a chance to let this player pick from a range of systems. You can avoid "We're not playing 5E" and instead move to "Which of these pique your interest?".


Say, "I am running XYZ game next week at our usual time, would love to see you there!" Play with whoever shows up.


[I made this thread compiling information and practices I've seen and experienced](https://www.reddit.com/r/dndnext/comments/106o0p4/_/)


If he loves RP, why not discuss that aspect of other systems with him? One of the things I love about trying different is how they all allow for different types of RP, and unique RP-mechanics interaction. Maybe you can offer to try a less mechanically complex and more RP focused game. And as someone who often struggles with the crunch of tabletop, something I've found to be true that you can bring up with him: A new system almost always evens the playing field! He likely won't actually fall far behind unless everyone but him has already played the system.


We run a lot of one shots with our group. We run a DND campaign 90% of the time, but when the DM needs a week off or something one of the other players runs a one shot that interests them. We’ve played Tales from the Loop, Aliens, Mothership, DIE, 40k, PF 2e, Last Airbender… and probably a couple others I’ve forgotten. For us it’s a fun break from our campaign and a lot of fun!


Perhaps you should play a short (1–2 month) beginners campaign in the setting everyone agrees on. Give them immunity to death if that's your timid player's main concern. Then, when everyone is comfortable with the system you can start the real campaign and go back to your preferred playstyle.


If the guy has a favorite franchise and there is an official RPG, run it.


I'd literally just put 3-4 books on the table (metaphorically or literally) and say "Choose one." If any of them don't like it, they're free to GM 5e. The reality is that the GM, regardless of system, is the one making the game happen. They put more work into the game than any of the players and are the one person that has to be at every session. While that by no means makes you "better" than your other players, it is entirely within your right to demand that the game be fun for you to run. If 5e isn't fun to run, you should not feel pressured to do so. It is unfair and shitty for players to expect you to run the system THEY want to play. If they aren't interested, they can either GM their own game or not play at all. I'm willing to bet your table will see reason when forced to decide.


If I had someone GMing I'd play whatever they wanted. 😞


Attempt to revoke the OGL I guess.


Running something that you aren't enjoying is just going to lead to burnout and a bad experience for everyone. These people are certainly your friends, or at least, I hope they are. Have a conversation from a personal standpoint, from there, they are more likely to be receptive.


One-shots are the key. The problem with 5E players is that their only experience in TTRPGs is 5E. They think all TTRPGs are as hard to learn and play as 5E. A big part of why they are terrified of new RPGs is they are worried they won't be able to learn the new RPG or they won't like it and they'll be out of the group. The 5E community also spent years spreading FUD about other TTRPGs making the problem even worse. One-shots let them have a 5E safety blanket while opening them up to the idea of other games. A whole new campaign of another game is scary, just one session where you play wizard students using Kids on Brooms is pretty easy to get people to buy into. If it sucks, you are back to 5E next week. You can use pre-mades to jump right to the fund and skip making the players read a big rulebook. Typically once they start playing they realize it was a pretty fun time. So continue going with your current campaign, but every so often have one session be a one-shot for another game. You get maximum effect the game is rather different from 5E. Eventually people start to realize they already know how to play 2-3 RPGs and other RPGs are actually pretty good. The other big perk of one-shots is that they are kind of a special event. This cool side-thing that you miss out on if you skip it. That gives you the best odds of converting your hold out and developing some interest among the ambivalent players. Throwing your weight around as a DM is an option. You shouldn't have to run 5E games if you don't want to. I definitely recommend the softer approach first. There is a definitely a point where if you have just one hold out you have to just say that you aren't running 5E for the next game.


aham "look mate i am running this system cause i want to, period. if you dont want to play it it is fine but i would enjoy you to try it"


"This is what I'm DMing. You in, or you out?"


I recently convinced some players from two campaigns I'm a player in to let me GM other systems as one-shots in 2023! I found that no one was interested in starting a campaign using *any* system but the occasional one-shot had a lot of interest. That one shots feel less intimidating since the commitment if it sucks is pretty minimal was enough to convince everyone to try anything other than 5e. A few of the regular players' SOs even seem interested in trying something with such a low commitment. We settled on the last Sunday of each month for whoever can make it so I'm running our first game tomorrow. Hopefully it goes well enough to get them back again, but I think the heavier lift was getting the group started.


You don't have to get him to play it. Just GM what you're interested in, you have 1-5 other players. If everyone else plays your game and loves it, maybe next time he'll be interested. And until the sixth player sees other people be like "oh yeah game X was fun!" he probably won't be open to it.


Well, you can ease them into things by choosing the right game. Like I'd see Godbound as a good gateway drug. It's basically high-level D&D but streamlined. You start at the power level of like, level 20 character and go up from there. If there is one thing I know a lot of players like is beign ridiculously powerful and that game can deliver on it while still feeling like D&D. Heck, run some modules they know in it like Curse of Stradh and let them have fun steamrolling it. Then you can start transitioning from there to somewhere else, like Stars Without Number for scifi, or maybe Exalted vs World of Darkness for modern stuff and so on and so on. In general, offer to GM them a system you'd like, and if they want to play D&D, they can GM.


"Hey guys/gals! I want to play a different system and since we're all friends here, I would like to play with you all."


Had this issue not DnD but something else.. I ended up just playing with others that wanted to play the system I wanted to play. I still play with the others when I feel like it, it's my hobby my time, it's not worth the grief of trying to sell something that others don't care about. I have day job I want to have fun with my hobby.


The driver controls the radio. You can drive yourself or find another car if you don't like my mix tape.


Don't ask, tell. Step 1) Inform the group you're running another system. Step 2) Thats it. If that singular player doesn't want to play, then they won't play. If they do, then they do, but they do it without whining and bitching.


At gunpoint?


I agree your bigger issue is the players tastes don't mesh with the rest of your group and new system means almost assuredly death when you don't know how to min-max it yet. My suggestions are going to be on selling the system, they still might like it, * Bring up the theme and tone quickly and probably skip fantasy dungeon crawls for the moment. Pathfinder / 5TD / DCC will all probably feel similar to DnD and be a harder sell but VtM offers new world, vampires and cool stuff to try. The new options will make it easier. * Offer assistance building characters, for them especially. Look it's hard. And for stuff like PF 1e complex and easy to get yourself killed cause your narrative brain went retired adventurer who wants to come back for one final show off is cool and then you realize your stats are all fucky due to age. Get their idea, make it something functional. * If this is deadly meat grinder, communicate and prompt to find narrative solutions for the repeated people. Maybe all their characters are from a certain adventures guild so there's a through line to help with making new characters. * Lend the book for reading or find cheat sheets if you can. A player who doesn't have the breath of systems knowledge will struggle with new ones and it might be worth it to give them the extra week. If you've only played DnD it's a little tricky to learn a new system then if you can look and go oh this is X system but with Y. * Probably run a short mini campaign with a plot to sell it as well. Roleplay player may be more interested in that than the systems so I'd not only pitch the system with the tone of the game system but also a plot idea of some kind. Sure it might just be who wants to be insurance hired Ghostbusters in space but, that might spark more interest then solely suggesting playing Starfinder.


Best advice I've seen is just run the new system, and anyone who wants to stick around will. If this person is your friend they will be alright being a little uncomfortable to support this effort. And maybe the new system sucks. Who knows, they could be right. If you absolutely must bend over backwards, offer to help with character creation, have a pregen ready, get them a guide to the game that is easy to digest and covers the basics of their class/character specifically. Explain how much it means to you and why you are looking to move to a new system.


The next time you have scheduling issues, pull out the idea of a one-shot in a rules-light system for some non-canon fun. Dread, Everyone is John, Lazers and Feelings, stuff that can be explained in less than 15 minutes and be up and playing in just as long. The idea is to get people out of their comfort zones by starting small and simple. Even if you're really not the biggest fan of these sorts of systems, I generally find that it's always the second system that's the hardest to get into so making that as easy as possible for your players can help with your pitch for more significant shifts later. This also might help with the apprehension of not only needing to learn an entirely new system but also the fear that they'll have to commit to something of campaign length for a system they might not even like when the one you're using now is "just fine." Not to mention that a lot of rules-lite systems are roleplay focused which might be a great way to help your roleplay-heavy player specifically get out of his comfort zone with DND 5e and show him that one's roleplay is not the system you play in.


Ask him why exactly he refuses to switch. I know he gave the whole combat thing as his reason, but honestly that sounds sketchy. Most people are afraid to switch because they think they'll have to buy another three 350-ish some pages books at $50-ish a pop. Not all games are as costly, or rule-heavy as D&D. Maybe explain this to him.


Do q one shot.


change one rule at a time and in 500 sessions bam new system


I typically just announce to my friends that I’m running a one-shot and see if they want to join


Step 1: Say you don't want to DM 5e. If your players aren't d\*\*\*s they'll understand. Step 2: If a player insists that he absolutely only wants to play the game you don't want, very politely tell him you understand and he's free to join in or look for another group. Step 3: If he still insists that you should DM what he wants, in your free time. Even though DMing takes a lot more time and dedication than a player that just has to show up. Suggest him to find another group and don't invite him anymore. Most normal people would find step 3 acceptable. This isn't rocket science. Just be honest, and mayhaps suggest pathfinder. (which is kind of the same thing)


Every other system you mentioned is still fantasy-centric, but I'm absolutely convinced that, if you try to run another fantasy TTRPG, they're just gonna compare it to *their precious.* **I think you need to invite them to a game in an *entirely different genre*.** Then, after a dalliance or two with other themes, you can invite them to a fantasy-themes game using whatever system you please. *Call of Cthulhu* is my (and many other folks') default recommendation for a game outside of Fantasyland; it's incredibly popular, and has years of published content to draw upon. If you prefer your horror with a more sci-fi bent, [Mothership](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FewzwxZWs0) and [Death in Space](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmTZB9nuvpY) are worth a look. If you'd like something a bit lighter and more...pastoral (?), I'm a big fan of [Ryuutama](/r/ryuutama). The default art style is occidental-flavored anime, and it's pretty japanesey and "cute," but you can easily dial it down if you find it to be a bit much for your tastes. There's also a shitload of *amazing* one-pagers out there, like *Honey Heist*, *Crash Pandas,* and *Nice Marines.* I've never played *The Witch is Dead* myself, but it looks great--and since it *is* Fantasyland-adjacent, it might be a good first step into the deep end for your players. *Lasers and Feelings* uses a trope most of us know well, so it's pretty accessible, and it lends itself well to lighthearted cheesiness. Regardless of what you choose, Imma double down on this advice: **pick a game with a genre that defies comparison to D&D, or that's *exactly* what your players are going to do!**


Easy: Tell him for the new campaign, you won't kill him. He's free to experiment, to role play, and enjoy what he likes and you get to try a new system: And experiment with other consequence apart from death... Like failing to complete quests and character objectives, which, as a serious role player, he might really get engaged with.


I mean, if the concern is surviving then address that. Point out how the system does not do tactical combat so rules knowledge is not needed for survival. Or how the game has easier/faster char creation if things do go bad. Or if it is fate/pbta/fitd how the player has a lot of safe guards to protect against dying built into the system already. Like their concern is not “i like 5e” their concern is with the kind of stories you run they are worried they’ll put a lot of work into a char only to lose it. Depending on the game that problem is addresssd in different ways. So find one that addresses it in a way the player will try.


Keep home brewing 5e until it becomes a different game, 5e players love excessive homebrew. Start off saying that this will be a darker campaign. Tell them it's going to be stealth focused. Tell them you got these homebrew classes. Say that this is going to be less combat focused but it still has it. Say there's this new homebrew rule where they can 'flashback' to an earlier moment. Tell them you lost all of your dice and that you only brought 24 d6's. And then give them all Mechs and BOOM you're playing Beamsaber.


Have you tried at gun point?