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If you’ve ever considered playing a tabletop role-playing game (TRPG or Pen-and-Paper RPG) but have never had time to research or don’t know what to play, here’s a simple primer for you!


There are many many games to choose from; I’m going to focus on two of the most popular game “systems” here.


The first, and arguably most popular TRPG is of course Dungeons and Dragons, using the d20 rules system (a twenty-sided die is used to resolve most conflicts). D&D has had several iterations over its 30+ year history and all of them are still played by its fans. The most frequently played versions are Revised 3rd edition (D&D 3.5) - and its spiritual successor Pathfinder - and 5th edition. D&D overall is very rules heavy with a lot of character options to decide before you even begin playing and plenty of math involved in game as well. While 5th edition has simplified a lot of the rules that bogged down previous editions, it is also fairly heavy mathematics wise. Dungeons and Dragons provides a balanced atmosphere of storytelling, chance, and reasoning skills that is great for players of any age. And, depending on who your game master is, the game itself can favor any one of those three things or none of them. D&D is also the classic fantasy RPG that takes players to faraway worlds reminiscent of Tolkien, Lewis, and others. While D&D isn’t the only game that utilizes the d20, it is the most famous.


The second TRPG I would like to talk about is the Storytelling System. In 1991, White Wolf Publishing released the World of Darkness game line with Vampire: the Masquerade as its first game setting. World of Darkness (WoD) was heralded as a world similar to our own but with all the nightmares our imaginations could conjure being real and experienced plenty of popularity among players who liked gothic-punk setting, an emphasis on role-playing over dice rolling, and rule considerably more simple than those of the d20 system. These games, and others like them, use ONLY ten-sided dice for rolls. World of Darkness is still being published today as “Chronicles of Darkness” by Onyx Path Publishing, with spiritual successors to all of White Wolf’s games from the Classic World of Darkness line (Werewolf, Vampire, Mage, etc.). Other games to use a d10 system include but are not limited to Legend of the Five Rings, Exalted, and Scion. If you like a heavy emphasis on interactive storytelling or are a fan of gothic or Lovecraftian horror, World of Darkness and its brothers are for you.


[There are other games, especially ones that use d6 (six-sided dice) systems, that exist and enjoy moderate popularity, but are so varied and different from one another that I cannot begin to bring them up here. This is a sample list of other systems you might want to look up: Cypher, Numenara, The Strange, Fate, Mouse Guard, The Dresden Files RPG, Fiasco, Call of Cthulhu, Dragon Age RPG, and many many more.]


Here’s a short list of items you’ll need or can borrow for your first (or continuing) adventures in TRPG:

Pencils (mechanical or otherwise)

Erasers

Dice (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sided)

Scrap paper


And before you say “But, Doomy, the books are so big! I don’t want to read a textbook just to play a game!” DON’T WORRY.

Most TRPG rulebooks contain information for players AND Game Masters. For most players, the only necessary reading is done for character creation (usually a 1-3 chapters in a 14+ chapter book). Other reading, like combat rules, skill usage, and so on, can be referenced as needed or can even be gleaned from other experienced players or GM in a group. In my groups, one or more players own or have access to the rulebooks as well, so if you can’t afford or find a rulebook for a game you want to play, just ask! In addition, most modern TRPGs have books available in print and PDF versions for varying preferences.


I hope this “primer” has been useful to you and helps you pick the right game for you!


  • Reading: Death Masks
  • Watching: Friday Nights by LoadingReadyRun
It has been 50 years to the day since the sentient creature who claimed to be a spirit emissary of Rillifane Rallathil began to instruct you in the ways of nature. In the chaos of the Faelands’ collapse and the loss of your family, you never questioned the creature. After all, it provided you with the means to commune with nature, find shelter, and survive. Under Orthren’s tutelage, you have grown at one with the Forest of Thorns and been protected from the madness that has engulfed the land in the centuries following the silence of the gods. At least, that’s what you remember the elders of your former enclave telling you as a boy.
[Ask what he’s doing this particular morning.]
In the middle of [activity], Orthren announces his presence with a rumbling growl behind you. [Wisdom/Nature check DC 10 Success] The enormous black creature never seemed to eat, and you could never be sure exactly what kind of creature it was, but it always seemed to be healthy. Today, however, you get the feeling that the creature is gaunt, tired, old.
“I have nothing left to teach you, elfling,” it rumbles. “You have learned well everything I can teach you given the state of the world and the ever-pervading silence.”
[Allow for a response]
“The time has come for me to depart this world. A presence I’ve not felt in centuries has come to this land and has borrowed my essence to do so...as the mortals would say, I am dying. Fear not, child. I have enough left within me to grant you one final blessing.
[Orthren’s Will: +1 Wisdom score, advantage to nature checks in wilderness]
[Orthren’s Endurance: +1 Constitution, advantage to saving throws versus poisons]
[Orthren’s Cunning: +1 Intelligence, advantage to stealth checks in wilderness]
“Before I depart, child, I must send you to learn of this presence. Go to the center of the forest. There you will learn what you must.”
With that, Orthren’s shape dissolves into nothingness before your eyes.
[What do you do?]
Travelling to the center of the Forest of Thorns is an arduous journey, taking you several days. You’ve been near here before with Orthren, but never on your own. Many of the Faelands peoples did not even know where one forest ended and another began, but Orthren had taught you well. On the 9th day, you come across what seems to be an impassable wall of trees and thick thorn bushes blocking your path for a long way to either side.
[What do you do?]
[Narrate per decision made]
When you manage to make it past the barrier, you’re greeted by the sight of what appears to be a massive tree covered in roses the size of a bear’s head and thorns the size of your hand. A small sapling sits next to it.
[what do you do?]
As you approach the little tree appears to grow and take shape. You can now tell that it is a young oak tree.
[Will save DC 20]
A voice speaks inside your mind. At least, you think it’s a voice. You cannot make out any words, but it welcomes you as one of its few remaining faithful. It tells you that it has returned once more to aid its people, but is still weak. The presence that cast it out from this planet is stunting its growth. To help it, you must aid others who seek to remove this parasitic growth from the planet. To that end, it offers you its blessing. A small, golden acorn drops from the branches of the enormous rose tree to your feet. The “voice” in your head explains that to receive the blessing, you must eat the acorn. It wishes you good luck.
[What do you do?]
When you eat the acorn, you immediately lose consciousness.
You awaken to the sounds of a dull roar and water splashing against wood and stone. You smell salt. You feel the heat of the sun on your face. You are surrounded by water on a wooden platform constructed on a bit of rock. More wooden structures bob in the water nearby. Behind you, a larger chunk of land sits - several hundred yards away. You don’t know where you are. Other humanoid forms, none of them elves, are waking around you. You feel stronger.

[Heroic Blessing - Add the following to any 5 ability scores to a maximum of 20; 3, 2, 2, 1, 1]
Rengar, Last of the Elves - Character intro 6/6
This is the sixth and final of six character introductions I've done for my homebrew Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign.
I had to do this one slightly more on rails, since this player joined my group /after/ I ran the introductory campaign "Silence at Citadel Breakwater" with my other players 2 week prior.
Rengar is a wood/wild elf commoner with the intention of being a Druid.
Bracketed text is mechanical for D&D or to prompt player response.
Loading...

If you’ve ever considered playing a tabletop role-playing game (TRPG or Pen-and-Paper RPG) but have never had time to research or don’t know what to play, here’s a simple primer for you!


There are many many games to choose from; I’m going to focus on two of the most popular game “systems” here.


The first, and arguably most popular TRPG is of course Dungeons and Dragons, using the d20 rules system (a twenty-sided die is used to resolve most conflicts). D&D has had several iterations over its 30+ year history and all of them are still played by its fans. The most frequently played versions are Revised 3rd edition (D&D 3.5) - and its spiritual successor Pathfinder - and 5th edition. D&D overall is very rules heavy with a lot of character options to decide before you even begin playing and plenty of math involved in game as well. While 5th edition has simplified a lot of the rules that bogged down previous editions, it is also fairly heavy mathematics wise. Dungeons and Dragons provides a balanced atmosphere of storytelling, chance, and reasoning skills that is great for players of any age. And, depending on who your game master is, the game itself can favor any one of those three things or none of them. D&D is also the classic fantasy RPG that takes players to faraway worlds reminiscent of Tolkien, Lewis, and others. While D&D isn’t the only game that utilizes the d20, it is the most famous.


The second TRPG I would like to talk about is the Storytelling System. In 1991, White Wolf Publishing released the World of Darkness game line with Vampire: the Masquerade as its first game setting. World of Darkness (WoD) was heralded as a world similar to our own but with all the nightmares our imaginations could conjure being real and experienced plenty of popularity among players who liked gothic-punk setting, an emphasis on role-playing over dice rolling, and rule considerably more simple than those of the d20 system. These games, and others like them, use ONLY ten-sided dice for rolls. World of Darkness is still being published today as “Chronicles of Darkness” by Onyx Path Publishing, with spiritual successors to all of White Wolf’s games from the Classic World of Darkness line (Werewolf, Vampire, Mage, etc.). Other games to use a d10 system include but are not limited to Legend of the Five Rings, Exalted, and Scion. If you like a heavy emphasis on interactive storytelling or are a fan of gothic or Lovecraftian horror, World of Darkness and its brothers are for you.


[There are other games, especially ones that use d6 (six-sided dice) systems, that exist and enjoy moderate popularity, but are so varied and different from one another that I cannot begin to bring them up here. This is a sample list of other systems you might want to look up: Cypher, Numenara, The Strange, Fate, Mouse Guard, The Dresden Files RPG, Fiasco, Call of Cthulhu, Dragon Age RPG, and many many more.]


Here’s a short list of items you’ll need or can borrow for your first (or continuing) adventures in TRPG:

Pencils (mechanical or otherwise)

Erasers

Dice (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sided)

Scrap paper


And before you say “But, Doomy, the books are so big! I don’t want to read a textbook just to play a game!” DON’T WORRY.

Most TRPG rulebooks contain information for players AND Game Masters. For most players, the only necessary reading is done for character creation (usually a 1-3 chapters in a 14+ chapter book). Other reading, like combat rules, skill usage, and so on, can be referenced as needed or can even be gleaned from other experienced players or GM in a group. In my groups, one or more players own or have access to the rulebooks as well, so if you can’t afford or find a rulebook for a game you want to play, just ask! In addition, most modern TRPGs have books available in print and PDF versions for varying preferences.


I hope this “primer” has been useful to you and helps you pick the right game for you!


  • Reading: Death Masks
  • Watching: Friday Nights by LoadingReadyRun

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Doomsday-Prophyt
Micah
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: North Carolina
Favorite genre of music: just about anything except: rap, R&B, country, and most forms of modern "rock"
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
Favorite cartoon character: Greed
Personal Quote: You can't rush these things you know; osmosis takes time!
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:icontophat-queen:
TopHat-Queen Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015   Digital Artist
Happy birthday old friend u3u
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:icondoomsday-prophyt:
Doomsday-Prophyt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so old, :iconimdeadplz:

but thanks
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:icontophat-queen:
TopHat-Queen Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015   Digital Artist
It's been so long
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:icondoomsday-prophyt:
Doomsday-Prophyt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Aye, it has
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:iconxzombiequeen:
xZombieQueen Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday~
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:icondoomsday-prophyt:
Doomsday-Prophyt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks
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Knight-BIshop Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
happy birthday!
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:icondoomsday-prophyt:
Doomsday-Prophyt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks
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Lady-Rosaline Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That was sweet..No time. get it and go
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Demon-Child-2 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday my love, I hope you had a wonderful day! Love you~
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