“You know what? I abandon my holy order and defect to the enemy.”
Yep, it’s that time of the month where I talk about tabletop gaming! …Yes, it’s now a thing. I even announced it and everything!
Every game needs a player. And players need a goal. So the campaign is set, the story begins, and the actors in this production gather. Their myriad paths will cross and converge in an entire adventure, but there is a great obstacle in their way.
Don’t give up. Just pick yourselves up, work it out, laugh it off, and move onwards. Change the system, learn from your mistakes, try and try again. Rinse and repeat.
It’s weekly game night. A time when people with different tastes come together for a shared purpose. And you’re the one in charge.
You have to strike a delicate balance, of course. Sure, you pick things which seem good in general, things you’re sure everyone will like, and one or two things YOU love which you’re sure they’ll enjoy if they just tried it. But you have to remember: Some of these guys have specific needs or tastes. Special things that need to be catered to, whether it’s because they’re temperamental or because they have needs. So you adjust your offerings to fit.
Alright, now that we’re done picking the snacks and drinks, let’s talk about the game!
Like the difference between watching a streamer play a game for its campaign mode, and watching a streamer play the Legend Rank multiplayer build.
Even with video. Even with the internet. Even with game streaming. Who would have EVER thought to put Dungeons & Dragons online? I mean, who would want to watch people roll dice, play at acting, and discuss rules instead of playing online card games and gladiatorial shooting grounds?
Turns out, quite a lot of people, if Critical Role’s 115+ episodes of their first season are anything to go by.
The campaign begins. And inevitably, the journey will involve colourful, exotic creatures that may prove to be the greatest challenge of all. Creatures with extremely defined, some would say exaggerated, strengths and weaknesses, cultures and habits. Creatures that represent a threat to the best laid plans, capable of killing off a story before it even takes off with a single roll.
It may seem difficult, or even impossible, but learning to deal with them can often prove to be the most rewarding part of adventuring. And the more DMs learn about them, the better equipped they are.
Consider if there’s a way to make that stupid idea of detonating a barrel of alcohol to rocket jump work. Or if the Bard can, in fact, end the boss encounter because he rolled a 20 to seduce with his songs.
This week, I’ll be branching out into another of my interests: Tabletop roleplaying games, and the guys that run them! Also, an attempt at naming a post series!
True, D&D and its ilk have long endured, and have been getting more and more accessible and popular. We’re no strangers to the concept, and certainly, there are sites and video series which are dedicated to tabletop gaming, but consider this a crash course for newbies, told from the perspective of a fellow relative newbie as opposed to someone with a lifetime of D&D editions and Pathfinder homebrews. I always had an interest, but grew up in a time of electronic gaming and a lack of dedicated groups. Add to that my current state as someone who reluctantly adults the adulting of the adulty adult world, and I can, as always, speak as someone who has to deal with everyday life and its responsibilities.
Maybe you know nothing about it, or you’ve heard about it but don’t get it. Or you might even be a frequent player and want to try running a game yourself, seeing what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat. You might even be a card carrying DM. Either way, let’s roll initiative and get started! …What do you mean you’re the ONLY one around to take a turn? …What do you mean I can’t make you roll against other readers on the internet? …What do you mean I’m asking useless questions for things nobody actually thinks? Silly, that’s how the internet works!