Though, boy, have I been tempted.
I mean this:
Tabletop role-playing's influence on PC/TV/Mobile RPG gaming simply cannot be denied. It is the bedrock most games have been built on.
But for decades, and in specific crowds, games such as Dungeons and Dragons has had a very bad reputation. I'm not going to go into it here. I think when you look everything that caused such panic, it's often because of idiots or serious concern that became something destructive. With that being said, I'm glad that D&D moved away from the noted occult imagery and shaped the stories and the world into the more fantastical. Some of the D&D controversies are noted here. It does bear mentioning that imagination can be an incredibly powerful thing. Having a place where you can do whatever you want without consequence can brew something sinister - especially when one is still trying to get into one's hormonal, numb skull brain the concept of ethics. Having a group of numb skulls that share in that imagination gives it far more energy. But that can be said of any social group where numb skulls are involved. And considering the state of our world population...
But back to tabletop rpg. Most people I interact with don't know what it is, so let me give a somewhat brief (but not) explanation: Role-playing games allow you, the player, to step into the role of someone else in a setting of the game's choosing. Most often it is a medieval fantasy realm, but it can really be anything from western, to aliens, to naval ships, to whatever the mind can conceive. To go on this journey, the player usually needs a pen, paper, and dice. And people who are willing to play the game with them. In my life, the latter was the prime reason for not being able to do any tabletop gaming, so don't think that it can't be a challenge. There are ways to get around that though, but I'm going to skip that particular ramble here.
To help add some structure to the story you play, a dice system is used - be it the 20-sided D&D system or something that requires only 6-sided dice (the normal kind of dice you think of) such as used in the Fantasy AGE system. This 'restricts' things a bit in requiring that a person check whether their character would be able to perform whatever feat imagined. These systems also help shape character abilities, how they grow as they gain experience, and so on. One also requires a Game Master (GM or DM - Dungeon Master) who leads the group in their story.
|Critical Role - RPG group|
For those of you who are curious about role-playing or just would like to 'sit in' on a session, or for those who currently don't have access to a bunch of people to play games with, or someone who's just bored, I would recommend two Youtube shows hosted by Geek & Sundry.
- Critical Role where a group of friends - all voice actors - sit together every Thursday to play D&D. What's really nice about this one is that these friends were running this game for around three years before G&S approached them about recording it. And you can see those years of connection there. Delightful.
|The characters Critical Role's players embody|
- Titansgrave where Wil Wheaton runs a Fantasy AGE game with four actors/celebrities. This show has shorter episodes and has a very different tone to it, but enjoyable and an intriguing story. The first season was shot in only three days. Fans are eagerly awaiting the second season.
Note though that both recommended shows are actually done by people who have no issue with acting and such. I would love to share some other shows with you, but I've yet to discover other sessions on youtube that really struck my fancy. But there are many more sessions out there recorded by people great and small who merely want to share the games they're playing.
Tabletop role-playing has pretty much turned into my fandom, though I'm still actively playing games on my PC. I'll babble about some others in future, but I do need to confess that this particular concept of group collaboration is very appealing.
Which is maybe why I've begun dabbling with this:
My usual stance on multiplayer is:
1. Far too many assholes trolling about.
2. My internet connection is generally shite.
3. Not a lot of friends playing games I'm interested in playing.
How have these feelings been countered?
1. Friends-only games
2. Moving to a place with better reception.
3. Don't Starve Together and Left 4 Dead 2.
Figured I'd own up on taking part in things I usually am vehement in bashing. Can't have me be a hypocrite, now can we?