Lamentations of the Flame Princess has the following text in its backcover.
Simple enough for a beginner yet meaty enough for the veteran
Hopefully you haven’t been subjected to this garbage (which I sadly backed in KS), so I’ll explain. Its basically old D&D with a few slight adjustments. So, if you’re a fan of old D&D for some peculiar reason, you don’t need this. If you’re not, you definitely don’t need this. If no one has any use for it, its – pretty much by definition – garbage.
My question is, why would anyone think this is appropriate for beginners? Granted, most of us old timers started with D&D. It worked for us, right? Sure, but we possessed the capability to absorb the rules and abuse them. Maybe we even enjoyed the threshold. This was our thing and no-one else could quite figure it out. It set us apart. After all, many of us were or are more or less social outcasts.
Now we should know better. RPGs aren’t about that. If you want games were you can find places where the rules are broken enough to abuse, you can always play MtG at tournament level or any number of miniature games. RPGs are and should be about stories and characters. We have game systems that facilitate this aspects.
In theory, RPGs aren’t restrictive in nature, but in practice, they restrict you to things they emphasize. Most of the old systems are mostly interested in combat and advancement. Is this what we want the new players to focus on?
No. That is not what we want. I was indoctrinated into the school of thought where RPGs were a series combats with some discussions in the middle, which took the place of actual story and character development. It took years to get rid of this mindset. Why would we make new players go through this?
There are obvious benefits to the steep learning curve. Once you learn, you are too proud of your skill to let it go and you will continue the hobby. Maybe you take a step back sometimes and take a break, but you’ll end back. My break from MtG lasted 13 years. Still, us nerds might be willing to do this, but do we really want to limit this hobby to the true nerds?
We need new players. They bring new ideas and viewpoints. They are always willing to go where us ol’ folk don’t think to go because in our day we didn’t do that. We are too deep in our thinking, and we don’t need to bring more people down with us.
So, introduce new players to Fiasco, or MonsterHearts, or HeroQuest. Games were imagination is rewarded above system knowledge.