I bought Arkham Horror about 2 months ago and have played 2 practice rounds by myself. I'm confident I know all the rules and understand the game well enough to be able to explain them. However, I love the atmosphere in Arkham, and I really want to give my first time players the best possible experience and make the it more than just a game to them, but a role-playing experience.
I've figured out that I'm going to run the game as a sort of dungeon-master. I'm still going to play, but I will take charge of reading the mythos and encounter cards, and will frequently sprinkle in some actual description of what is happening. For example:
As you walk into Ma's Boarding House, the terrible sinking feeling of evil you've been feeling fades away as you see the good friends of yours that have stuck it out thus far. However, you can't help feeling a terrible regret that you will eventually have to leave the shelter of this kind place and go back into the cruel world beyond it's doors.
You tried to evade the fire vampire as it passed by sneaking into an alleyway and lying down next to a dumpster, but it was able to feel the fear beating in your heart and quickly turned to look at you with a gaze that penetrated far deeper than just your eyes and unleashes a blinding ball of fire at you.
I feel like its these bits of flavor text that really make the game 'come alive'. However, I've been considering taking things a bit further and giving the players some choices that they wouldn't have if we were just playing strait Arkham Horror:
(I draw an encounter card to see what would happen if the player decides to have an encounter). As you as you walk up to the door of the Silver Twilight Lodge, you start to feel incredibly insignificant as you stare at the arched doorway and the tall spires atop the roof. Do you go in, or try to gather more information?
(player) I'll try to get some more information.
(Me) Okay, what does your investigator do?
(player) uh...Put my ear to the door and listen?
(Me, narrating) You can discern one voice in the distance, possible conducting a ceremony. However, it is far and distant, and you might be able to use the distraction to snoop around a bit.
(player converses with friends) I think I'll open the door carefully.
etc. etc. etc.
Has anyone here ran a game of AH like this, giving players more options than the game normally would (Perhaps they might get a combat bonus if they were able to use water against the fire vampire in the previous description...)? I've played D&D, but I've never really been the DM before. I'm considering playing a scenario like this one to enhance the experience and give me a bit of structure to build off of.
Any other advice about creating a good role-playing experience in AH, or general advice about introducing people to the game? I'll gladly read and up-vote any suggestions or shared experiences. :D