Tabletop Tuesday — F.U.N.

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I was lucky enough to join with some of my fellow Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club co-horts (Brent, Doug, & Joe) this past weekend, something that’s beginning to take the form of bi-monthly ritual. These are guys I’ve known for 40 years or so and we all started gaming about the same time. Funny thing is, I’m having as much fun now as I ever did back when we wore much younger clothes.

Prowling around the seedy underbelly of the RPG Messageboards (Pathfinder, RPGnet, Dungeons & Dragons, etc) there are a couple things I’ve noticed in current gamers — 1.) a heavy influence from video games and collectible card games… and 2.) the lack of sheer joy from the act of gaming itself. And I do believe that one feeds the discontent of the other.

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Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but when I shepherd a game session I’m building upon layers. Political intrigue, stirring mystery, adventure, excitement, horror, violence, romance… all are elements I bring into play. Rules and stats and tallies and such are secondary to the story. If you can’t get wrapped up in the thrill of it all, in the bloody adventure, then what’s the damn point?

It’s something my nine year old son understands. We’ve been tackling Pathfinder lately, he and I, with a heavy focus on minis and maps. And you know what — he loves it.

Fantasy Roleplaying is about losing yourself in another world, becoming someone you’re not, and exploring a landscape alien and hostile with grim determination and joy in your heart (or a reasonable facsimile).  It is not about levels and experience and accumulating treasure (though they are a part of it). RPGs are not about winning, they’re about living. They’re about surviving. It’s a bloody medieval soap opera with tavern girls and bugbears, assassins and kobalds, steely-eyed barbarians and foppish cavaliers.

When it’s done right, there’s grim and grit and mud and blood.

And there’s fun, damn it. Lots and lots of fun.

In other related Tabletop News… I really want this:

originald&d

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