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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

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
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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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