That being said, it gives me a chance to keep working on preparations for the campaign and the players a chance to relax after building their characters.
A couple of my players have found it harder to build heroes than I expected, once I took away the direct support and asked them to type up a character sheet at home. Talking to them, though, the problem is obvious when I reflect on it.
When I run a new game system we almost never start by asking players to create a new hero from scratch. Instead what we do is run a game using some pre-generated heroes and focus on teaching the game to the players.
Additionally, we never ask the players to read the rulebook and figure it out for themselves: as GM, it's expected that I will teach the basics and we'll build in the details as we go. One or two players might choose to read the rules, but most pick it up through play.
The nature of the Rolemaster playtest has made it harder for me to do this. With an incomplete set of rules, i.e. no Arms Law (= combat rules), I can't run a "quick fight" or short scenario with demo characters. This has made it harder for adoption of the game, despite my reassurances that it's easier to learn than you think.
Player's don't like to be made to read rules, work out systems for themselves, and learn the hard way.
As GM you have to realise that beginners like, nay need, for you to break it down. No matter how simple it seems to you, it's all new to them.
5 Tips On Starting A New System
- Run a short scenario with a set of pre-gen heroes.
- Include a short fight, challenges using all of the key skills, and an opportunity for each hero to show off their key ability / power.
- Make the character sheet super-simple to read by cutting out all of the "working out".
- Don't use the rulebook, just teach them what they need as they need it.
- Make it high-pace and keep smiling!
Bring out the rulebook at the end, and tell them how to get one if they ask. Remind them that they don't need to read all of it... at least, not right away.
Oh, and keep smiling and reassuring them. No matter their age. We all need to feel supported when learning.