Table top role playing games have been around for over 30 years, and keeping track of all the RPGs available is nearly impossible even for a professionally obsessive gamer. Still, some games simply stand out.
Dungeons and Dragons
The original role playing game, D&D is a fantasy system inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Dungeons and Dragons does not have a specific world it is based in, it focuses on giving information on building characters and general mechanics, and leaves the world building to the GM. This type of game is a pure system, explaining how to play, but leaving what to play entirely up to the play group.
D&D originated the d20 system, and has a reputation among some gamers as being to easily turned into hack and bash (RPG equivalent of a video game shoot ’em up)
World of Darkness
Published by White Wolf, and recently taken back to the drawing board for a complete rewrite at Top Online Casino Malaysia website, World of Darkness is an urban fantasy role playing game, set in a supernatural version of the modern world. The core World of Darkness game has a number of supplements focusing on specific kinds of supernatural creature including: Vampire: the Requiem, Mage: the Awakening, Werewolf: the Forsaken, and Changeling. The World of Darkness uses White Wolf’s propriety Storytelling System, a strongly character driven game system that runs light on mechanics.
Short for Big Eyes, Small Mouth, BESM is an effects based role playing game that is based on Japanese animation. Designed to be infinitely flexible and adaptable to any genre, BESM canon includes a multi-dimensional, multi-genre universe in which anything can happen.
The Generic Universal Role Playing System has been around for decades. It is a pure system, similar to Dungeons and Dragons, with little or no world building. Unlike Dungeons and Dragons, the GURP system is built to be, well, universal. Rules cover everything from magic system, to modern jets, and martial arts.
While not the most well known of role playing games, Paranoia makes the list on sheer, insane fun. Cross Monty Python with 1984, and set it all in an underground, self-enclosed world run by a super computer. Now add secret societies, and a Three Stooges take on the purpose of mayhem. Oh, and characters get medically resurrected each time they die.
The challenge is to see who survives the longest, or dies the least.
The Star Wars Role Playing Game is one of a huge number of systems that have bought the right to use D&D’s d20 system, and built their own world around it. Star Wars would rates this list on sheer popularity only, thankfully it doesn’t need to. Thanks to good writing, well thought out mechanics and a design team that stayed true to the Star Wars universe, Star Wars RPG definitely stands out.
Alright, take Dungeons and Dragons, set it in a future universe with space ships, colony worlds, and galactic wars. Replace the races with species. Give it enough supplemental information and world building to make avoiding random hack and bash games easier then D&D ever managed. Now meet Traveller.
One of the first science fiction RPGs, Traveller has gone through several revisions, and is definitely worth the price of admission.
Why People Roleplay
Role players, also known as ‘gamers’ can be pretty obsessive people. While the stereotype of the 13 year-old D&D fanatic does exist, some of the most committed gamers have been buying alcohol legally for years, and have 13 year-olds of their own. Why?
RPGs are a Group Activity
Not everyone like bowling league. Board games get . . . well . . . boring after a while. Role playing games are a great way for a group of friends to have fun together.
Table Tops Have Something for Everyone
While the best known role playing games are sci-fi/fantasy, role playing games exist in pretty much every genre, from Indiana Jones-type adventuring, to film noir mystery and even comedy.
Role Playing Games Are Escapism
A good role playing gaming offers the same thing as a good movie or a good book – a chance to forget your own problems, and get away from it all for a few hours.
The Role Player is in Control of the Story
Role playing games are sort of like those ‘you choose the ending’ adventure books. Tired of watching the dumb blond in horror movies go down the dark alley alone? Decide that this time the not-so dumb blonde is going to pick up a bazooka first, or maybe she skips the alley all together!
Different Kind of Brain Academy
Role playing games make the players think, problem solve, plan, and make split second decisions when the plans fall apart. All while trying to think like a different person entirely.
They go home and for the next 6 months have a Friday night get together for nothing more than the cost of a couple pizzas. How many other ways can five people have 4 hours of entertainment, and food, for about $20 a night?
Kid Friendly Entertainment
Alright, everyone knows parents need a night away from the kids sometimes, but finding a baby sister isn’t always easy.
RPGs can be played while the infant sleeps, the toddlers cuddle on parents laps (over sized dice keep them really happy), and older kids watch movies in the den. Or, they can be a family night. With a little bit of care, role playing games can be played so children as young as 5 years-old can join in.
Entertainment that’s Never the Same Twice
Watching the same movie every week is watching the same movie every week. Playing the same game every week is never really the same. Tired of storming the castle? So go hunt down the wizard instead. Never mind whatever fun surprises the Game Master has in store.
‘Live’ the Fantasy
Alright, so it’s only in the imagination, but for everyone who has every wanted to rescue the princess, save the world or solve a whodunit, role playing games can be the way to do it.
Role Playing Games are Fun!
Who needs a better reason? Role playing games are fun – the side discussions that take over (tangent!) can be almost as fun as the games themselves.
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