Good morning everyone.

I hope I can call on the collective wisdom of this group to help out a newcomer to the world of RPGs.

Having never played a RPG, I am somewhat confused as to what is actually required to play the B5 rpg. Having been a wargamer for some 30 years, I am needing a leap of faith to start gaming without figures: I do presume figure are not required!

How complicated are the rules to play and how much of a learning curve is there? Is it enough to have just the Roleplaying Game and Fact Book to get started or are other books/rules required?

Any advice or assistance would be greatley appreciated.

Kind regards,

The biggest thing you need is a imagination. Then some dice (d4,6,10,and 20.)

Mostly my approach is story telling. What does the GM want to tell the players, and have them interact in within his story. That pretty much summs it up. You sit around and describe with words mostly what and how you are doing.

Give a shot at it, it's loads of fun!
Two more things that you will need - paper and an pencil. :wink:

And as a multi-classed roleplayer/wargamer I can say that miniatures are really not required, but fun sometimes! (especially in longer battles setting up one of my old wargame maps and using some minis really spices it up, as well as makes sure my players won't get too confused - it can happen if you have a party of four fight half a dozend baddies all over the place) Besides, it just adds more "weight" to a character if you have spent the effort of painting a mini... but I am rather mini-crazed, so take my comments in this direction with a grain of salt, will'ya? :p

As for supplements... the basic book is all you need to start playing, though the GM of your group will eventually need it all, since the factbooks and seasonal guides give soo much additional info to flesh out his BG... (Just as in wargaming - you can play every wargame with the basic book/box, but soon you'll want more then the handful of units they squeezed into that - more ships/soldiers/tanks/whatever, more races for variety, more rules to make things interesting. Same here...)

The rules are WotC's d20 system, which can be tweaked a bit by just using the most basic rules or allowing tons of optional rules, so it can be as complicated as your GM feels safe to handle (if you're GMing, start with the basics and add the more complicated stuff as you get more secure in your knowledge - again, not unlike most wargames I know)

Babylon 5 Aide said:
Mostly my approach is story telling.
And that's what a RPG is all about. Never let yourself get bogged down in rules questions - go with the flow of the story. If you as GM are unsure, make a guess and go with it, look up the rule after your session, and state how it's going to be in the future at the start of your next session. If rules and story collides, story always wins, remeber that. And if one of your players should complain too enthusiastically, buy Mongoose's "Slayers Guide to Rules Lawyers" and let it tell you how to deal with those pests... :wink: :p :lol: (remember - it's OK to discuss which version of rules you're going to use with your GM, but not in the middle of a game session - there take his word, and run with it).

Always remember, story, story story. Don't let a player get away with things like "I'm using my -insert skill-", ask him what exactly his character is trying to do. Ask him to Roleplay it. That's where the fun comes from, not from making this or that die roll (not that making your die rolls is a bad thing, mind you...).
And always try to think within the character's mind - you'll see it can also add more fun to wargaming, when you don't just play your side to win, but play it to win Their way, spicing up the battle with truly "characteristic" comments (I fondly remember the verbal exchange I once had with my Narn player while taking on his fleet while playing Centauri, he speaking like G'Kar and I trying to imitate Londo's accent and making arrogant centauri speeches... it was a blast!).
Actually there are a couple of books out there that can help you out, a couple of books created to give people hints on how to run a good game. One of them is D20 themed and the other is a general book to help anyone for any system. Between those books, a full set of dice (usually a D4, D6, D8, 2D10, D12, and D20), and an idea of what type of campaign you should be good. The one bit that helps greatly but is generally optional is having seen the show all the way through (of course it sounds like you've got that part covered already).