Role playing games (RPGs) are unlike any other games and you should try them. Pretty much everyone I’ve introduced a RPG to has really enjoyed it and asked when we can play again.
So what is a RPG? A role playing game is a system where each person represents a character and plays through situations as that character. For example me and some friends played a game of Fiasco where we all were inhabitants of the Cloud City of Bespin from the Star Wars universe. We all had different goals and backgrounds and as the story progressed we developed our character and their relationships with other characters.
RPGs are a great tool to work on your creative thinking. What would you do if Darth Vader just landed in your city and you’re afraid for your life? Well let’s see! It’s like improvisational acting on steroids, you build the scene, you decide actions, you even sometimes decide outcomes. Sometimes, well many times, stories don’t go how you expect so you need to react differently. Like when a character you promised to protect decides she wants to go find Lando Calrissian instead of getting on the escape pod!
Another RPG that people are familiar with is Dungeons and Dragons. D&D has been around since the 70’s developed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. D&D has rules built into the system to adjudicate the actions taken by a players character, dictated by a dungeon master. A Dungeon Master or DM is the head story teller. They lead the story but play off of the players as best they can.
So if you have a ranger shoot an arrow at something they get to roll a 20-sided die and add a modifier, the DM tells them what number they need to match and gives an outcome. This can add a lot of suspense to the game and when someone rolls a 20 the whole group cheers them on.
I’ve really fallen in love with RPGs it’s a great way to be creative, laugh, and tell stories.
One time when I was running a game for some friends I let them know they needed to get down the river to the other bridge or they’ll be stopped by guards. They throw ideas around and decide that using the magic boat one of the characters had would be the best route.
The character grabs her boat and casts the spell to make it a galley. A big boat to fit everyone and their giant accompanying them.
They all get on the boat and I ask “Who has navigation or naval vehicle proficiency?” They all look at each other and start laughing as they float down a rapid filled river on a boat that they can’t control.
After several rolls to see who hangs on during the rapids, they are throwing a rope out to Lapsa the ranger played by my wife. I told her “you have two failed checked before you drown.” The rest of them just had to get the rope to her and their check was a little easier. It was suspenseful and amazing and the team work and story telling that came from it will stay with me for a long time.
And that’s how I almost drowned my wife.
So if you’re brave and think you can save the world, or tear it down. RPGs are for you!