campaign idea: everybody makes characters in D&D. After a pretty generic one shot they get hit with a pretty difficult encounter that ends up wiping the party. They wake up in another world.
You have character sheets in a different ttrpg made up for them but you give paper with just the physical description of their new characters. The players figure out the mechanics of the world along with their characters.
Bonus points if you make index cards of the various things they can do and hand them cards when they figure out part of how the world works so they don't have to keep everything in their heads.
obviously discuss this idea with players before hand, don't just spring this on them.
@imani I love the idea of doing this with a rules heavy system and not telling them what the system is. Just have them narrate their character's actions and inform them when they need to roll.
@shoofle the heavier the rules the more you as the DM are going to need to know on the top of your head though. I think it works better if its a relatively narrative focused system like dungeon world. that might even work better with them not knowing the mechanics.
@imani I remember trying some things like this when I was in college - though maybe not quite as well-organised - and so did some of my friends. The main thing is to be sensitive to shifts of genre and take care the players don’t feel they’re losing agency over their characters
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