Table top role playing games

As it seems it interests 2 or 3 people here :

Basically, the gamers meet around of a table, one of them being the game leader, called the Game master or GM, the others gamers being the players.

Each player create a character and all the characters form a group which live an adventure. The Game Master help them to build the story, playing the characters the group meet, be them an innkeeper, a wizard or a pack of wolves. He is also the rules keeper. In fact, he knows the world and has prepared a scenario.

There are hundreds of universes and rules systems. Characters are created according the rules of the system used and most of the times dices are rolled do determine if the character succeeds or fails when he tries to do something.

What pleases me so much in theses games that i have been playing for 30 years ?

  • first, it is a cooperative game. Even if characters disagree sometimes, they must cooperate to succeed !
  • second, it is a complete change of scenery. a game session can last three hours or more and during this time, one forgets the worries of the daily life. More, it presents you other societies, other times, imaginary or not. It sparkled my interest for many things.
  • third, one creates characters and from game to game, The same characters can be used. The characters evolve, progress, meet people, some become friends, some ennemies. The universe in which they exist increases in richness and complexity. To give you an exemple, i masterminded a series of games in Conan world. We played regularly for two years. The characters visited the whole continent, finishing as nobles after helping to set a woman on the throne of Nemedia, one of the main kingdoms.
  • fourth and last, it is a social activity, cheap, and friendly. Due to my professional life, i have moved from town to town 4 times and in each town some of the people i have played with have become friends.
Which are the draws ?

It can be a drug. I began to play when I was an adult, having almost finished to study, with a job and my own living place. But i have seen younger people play whole nights, drop from studies, and so.

A friend of mine, a psychiatre, told me that she would not advise schizophrenic people to play.

Suicides have been imputed to role playing games, but rumors notwithstanding, as far as I know it has not been proved. Suicides cannot been explained by role playing only.

Religious people have fought against RPG as promoting witchcraft and unbridled sexuality.

Nowadays, with the lock-downs and curfews, i am reduced to play by discord and by forum.

One can play in the multiverse, each gamer choosing his character in the time and setting he prefers.

Usually a sequence begins by this words :

the Game master: " You are arriving in such a place" He describes the place, the audience place of a monarch, a tavern on a desert plane or so, he describes the character presents and what is happening and he asks : " What do you do ? "

Each gamer tells what his character does.

And so …

What is important is that, before the first game, the gamers agree about the universe, the setting and the style of the game. With some games, it is better if they agree about the roles, fighters, thieves, scientist or magic user, priest or medic, and so. With other games, it is without any use. time from time, the game master creates a no player character to help the group and fulfill a needed role.

Texas Hold-Em poker is still one of the greatest multi-player games, as well as Bridge.

For two player competitions Chess and Go are incredible mental games, in that they are mathematical in nature.

Role playing is fun but it is fantasy and there is a danger it may carry over in real world behavior. Our current warped ideas of Truth and Lies in real life are painfully obvious. The Dungeon Master in this case is Trump.

When I delivered Domino’s in college, there was a D&D fanatic who legally had his name changed to his D&D character, like Prince of Darkness or something. It was on his checks. He dressed in black and scowled, but you could see right through it, he was a pudgy teddy bear underneath all that.

I think that’s the fun of it, taking on a different persona. Also, I remember confronting the life lesson that life isn’t fair a few times. In the right hands, it could be good character building. For me, I was usually stoned out of mind while playing, so I might have missed a lot.

A friend of mine, a psychiatre, told me that she would not advise schizophrenic people to play.
Why not? Because we'd kick ass at it? ?

I’m fascinated. How does the dice work?


Schizophrenics tend to mix reality and their imagination, to live imaginary lives, to believe delusions. Role playing games would comfort that.

How does the dices work? I give very basic exemples:

A thief wants to pick lock a lock. The game system (GURPS for the ones who know it) used this day is based on 3 six faced dices, giving a bell curve from 3 to 18, The thief has a skill of 13, roughly 75 % chances of success.

The thief as a set of good tools which gives him a + 2 bonus. But visibility is not good and the game master gives him a -4 malus. Net score is 13 + 2 - 4 = 11, for roughly 55 % chance of success. There could be other bonus or malus depending for instance of the quality of the lock but lets’s keep things simple.

The gamer throws 3 dices:

  • if he gets a 3, he gets a critical success, and the lock is opened fast, may be he will be able to close it again without any one knowing.
  • if he gets from 4 to 11, the lock is open.
  • if he gets from 12 to 17, he failed.
  • if he gets 18, it is a critical failure, may be he broke his tools, may be he made a big noises alerting the nearby guards.
Other exemple :

Ivan strong arm has a strength of 14 (roughly 90 %) and Marcus has a strength of 12( roughly 65%). They do a friendly but competitive test of strength of three rounds.

Ivan gamer throws the dices and get 13, Marcus throws the dices and gets 9. Marcus margin of success is better that Ivan one and he wins first round.

Next round, Ivan player throws dices and get a 10, Marcus one gets 13 and fails, Ivan wins.

Last round, Ivan and Marcus get 11, and succeed but Ivan margin of success is better and he wins.

Schizophrenics tend to mix reality and their imagination, to live imaginary lives, to believe delusions. Role playing games would comfort that.
One could argue that life itself is one huge role playing game, where God rolls the dice... And now you know why I'm interested! ?

Thanks! Once the malls open up here again, I’m going to go look for some RPG dice.

A role playing character, half elf, Ranger/Bard

This tells his life before the game begins.

Celeb Tinwe

Celeb Tinwe (Silver Spark), was born from a human father and an elven mother.

He spent the first part of his childhood in elf country and the second in human country, when his father and mother went their separate ways.

He was born more from of a moment of tenderness than from of real love between his parents.

In fact, the elves’ attitude towards his father was ambivalent. On the one hand, an adventurer in his youth, he had rendered a great service to Tinwe mother, Celeb Airë (Silver Sea), a notable elf by saving her life, on the other hand, he was only human and, even among the elves, oblivion competes with recognition. Moreover, even though his son was not aware of it, he had taken refuge among the elves to hide. Besides, he had a hard time adjusting….

As he grew older, he longed for the steppes and learned that his enemies were neutralized, some dead, his clan having made peace with the clan they came from. He left and Tinwe, struggling to find his place among the elves, chose to follow him.

Moving from the forests to the steppes of north Tian Xia required an adaptation effort. He discovered the steppes, riding, hunting in the plains. Plus, while to the elves he was barely a kid, to humans, considering his age, he was almost an adult. His education in the steppe world enabled his to become an accomplished rider and bowman.

This past made him feel like he was hardly in his place and wanted to move. He apprenticed to a traveling tribal artist who taught his to sing, dance, recite the epic poems of his people, and play various musical instruments.

His life became more complicated the day he returned to his clan, that of the Eagles, he was greeted by a thick cloud of smoke. The clan had been destroyed by unknown enemies, not members of the tribes in view of the traces left. A dying man told him that young people had been taken away and that the symbol of the clan had been stolen, a wooden statuette of a stylized eagle.

Very angry, he invoked the guardian spirits of his clan and, to his surprise, they responded to his. They will help him in his revenge. For 3 years, he has traveled the world, looking for clues, largely to no avail, until now.

If you are interested, i have other ones

Thanks! Once the malls open up here again, I’m going to go look for some RPG dice.
There are a number of different ones - from 4-sided to 20-sided.

I played a few campaigns of D&D in my first year at college. Some campaigns would last 3 or 4 sessions - A group of us got together Sunday evenings.

The Dungeon Master is now a lawyer somewhere on the west coast. ?

There are a number of different ones – from 4-sided to 20-sided.
Which do you recommend?

Dices depend from the game you want to play.

To play ADD you need the full range, to play GURPS, you need only 6 faced dices.

Some game systems use 10 sided dices, usually with a mix of 6 sided dices.

Whichever one’s the most realistic… GURPS I guess? Is the 20-sided die also GURPS?

Well, RPG supposes an implicite contract by which reality is suspended. When you fight orcs and evil wizards reality is other where. Nobody wants to play the life of an average person, living in a suburb,in couple with children, going to work by car or train and shopping Saturday morning in super market, except if he has super heroes power.

Another factor is that the game must be easy to play. For instance, a character shoots on a moving car with a gun. One must adjust his basic score for distance, speed of car, quality of light, trajectory of car and so.

The more you want to be realist, the more you add factors, tables and so. But the more the game is slow.

I use a very simple version of Gurps and I adjust very approximately, on the spot.

To play GURPS, you only need to use 6 sided dices.

And, honestly, I would advise anyone who wants to begin to Role play not to try alone but to find an experimented Game Master.

Sorry, I have what Richard Dawkins refers to as a “reductionist” view on reality. So while yes, there are many physical factors to making something “realistic” … I’ll just go with the 6 sided die. ?