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D6 Things to Do with RPGs Besides Play Them

Table roleplaying games provide rules usually for nine or less players and a gamemaster to create characters, describe a world, and go on adventures. However, there are many other ways to experience RPGs besides playing home games. Here are d6 additional ways for you to enjoy tabletop RPGs.

dice.jpg

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

1. Read
RPG books can be mostly collections of rules. Other RPGs include stories. And some RPGs are beautifully laid out and illustrated while others have an engaging writing style. Some RPGs are worth getting just to peruse even if you can’t play the RPG right now. Paleomythic is an RPG I have simply read for enjoyment but haven’t run. I love plucking it off my RPG shelf and reading through the ideas and world and enjoying the art.

2. Collect
Settings like Dark Sun have not just a base setting but many adventures and supplements. Some gamers like to collect all of the released material for certain RPGs. Kickstarters that offer bundles of material often provide a collection of everything released for a new RPG. Alien is an RPG from Free League that I have collected everything for: core rulebook, adventures, cards, dice, map, and GM screen.

3. Research RPG History
RPGs have a history of over forty years. Details on previous publishing and old RPGs as well as interesting stories of RPG history can become a hobby in itself. Combined with collecting RPGs, being a history buff can make you an expert in the history of RPGs including the companies and publishing of the last few decades.

4. Modeling
Early RPGs grew out of wargaming using miniatures and tabletop terrain. Many RPGs still benefit from maps and miniatures. Assembling and painting miniatures and terrain can be a completely separate hobby or combined to help bring your RPG sessions to life on the table. Or you can use miniatures from board games for your RPGs. I have used the painted miniatures from the board game Clue as PCs for Call of Cthulhu for example.

5. Convention Play
If you want to either try new RPGs and/or game with brand new players, this option is for you. As a player you end up with a brand new GM who offered to run a game. The quality can greatly vary. But you will learn patience and every once in a while you will find a brilliant GM whose skills amaze and thrill you, perhaps using martial arts skills to visibly support descriptions of scenes of combat. And never forget these GMs are volunteering their time (although they can sometimes earn a small fee) to run a game for several hours for you.

If you GM a convention RPG you will learn how to think on your feet and really hone your social skills. You will be in the spotlight and providing real entertainment to new players. You may get the chance to introduce your favorite RPG to players who have never played it before. I ran an adventure for Basic Dungeons & Dragons at Gen Con and two players showed up thinking it was the D&D Basic Rules PDF. They tried a different type of game for the first time.

6. Write Reviews
If you really like an RPG, review it and explain why you like it. I use reviews to decide if I want to look further into trying a new RPG. Most reviews are unpaid, but you can sell reviews to some sites and some RPG companies will send you complementary copies to review. Receiving comp copies can expose you to RPGs you might not otherwise have ever tried. In return, you give an honest review and maybe try out a brand new RPG. The company, of course, wants their RPG work to be read and hopefully played and reviews are great advertising.

There are many more options to explore with RPGs: online gaming, forum posting and play by posts, YouTube watching and creation, article writing, game design and editing, and more. If these topics interest you, comment below and share any aspects of the tabletop hobby I might have missed.
 
Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody


univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
Along the lines of collect, I buy some things to support a creator I like, even though I have no plans to use a product. I do the same thing with music and comic books. If no one buys the thing, they can't go on to make other things.
 



DMMike

Guide of Modos
Create

You can write adventures, suplements, settings, or even whole systems.

As a DM I spend more time creating stuff for my game than playing it.
Or the closely related:

8. Modify
Not all games provide a license for reusing and publishing their content with your modifications, but every game must bow to the power of house rules. Don't like it? Tweak it. Bonus modding: if a special occasion or session approaches, you can use one-off rules that just apply to the session.

By the way, Jeff C, if you've done all of the above, I think you've graduated from DM to GM 🤓
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Don't forget ....

7. Kindling

In the Before Time, people were warm and fed and unafraid of the dark due to the light provided by a mysterious force called "electromatricity."

Now, in the Forever Time, we must get our light and heat through the Burnings, so that the darkness and monsters will stay at bay. And you cannot get the light and heat from burning your "cloud" MMORPGs. And the great burning of DVD CRPGs resulted in the deaths of many from the noxious fumes.

Best to use books, so many books, and TTRPGs to secure the light and warmth you need in the Forever Time. But not minis. They do not make good kindling.

The moral, as always, is that the more things change, the more important it is to play Theater of the Mind. Just as in Before Time, so too in Forever Time. Because minis aren't kindling, and won't save you from the monsters of the dark.
 

Tallifer

Hero
1. Flatten out crinkled character sheets.
2. Prop up your monitor while playing on-line.
3. Rip out the fly leaves for scrap paper for notes or doodling.
4. Impromptu dungeon master's screen.
5. Weight down the corners of myriad pieces of paper so you can keep the windows open.
6. Stack them up to make an end table.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Roll a d6...

1. Complain bitterly about changes
2. Argue about definitions
3. Condescending judgement
4. Playful gatekeeping
5. Put on your munchkin pants
6. Point and laugh at other people's munchkin pants
7. E-Rage!!!

Roll +1 one for a newly released game, and a further +1 for every 1000 post count on an internet forum.
[/satire]
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
3. Research RPG History
RPGs have a history of over forty years. Details on previous publishing and old RPGs as well as interesting stories of RPG history can become a hobby in itself. Combined with collecting RPGs, being a history buff can make you an expert in the history of RPGs including the companies and publishing of the last few decades.

I've been saying that now is a good time that RPGs are blowing up. There's a whole generation's worth of history to look into. For those who deeply get into whatever they're doing, our hobby now goes all the way down the rabbit hole with personalities, drama and personal empires.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
[/satire]

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasee, or a ragoust.

(/satire)

If you have to say it, is it really?
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Sometimes one is forced by circumstance to shout at the hoi palloi from the safety of ones balcony lest they break down the gate at the first hint of mispercieved slight.

....but it would seem that good satire will always have that frisson of danger as it treads the line between being both too-obvious and not obvious enough.

To mark satire as such is like supplying sporks as the only cutlery in a fine steakhouse; it may make it more accessible to the easily-addled, but you've lost the cutting edge.
 

aco175

Hero
10 Level a Table- Needed to do this for a few years while we played Magic instead of D&D. It wasn't my PHB, but it did the trick until we went back and the player remembered where he put it.
 


Don't forget ....

7. Kindling

In the Before Time, people were warm and fed and unafraid of the dark due to the light provided by a mysterious force called "electromatricity."

Now, in the Forever Time, we must get our light and heat through the Burnings, so that the darkness and monsters will stay at bay. And you cannot get the light and heat from burning your "cloud" MMORPGs. And the great burning of DVD CRPGs resulted in the deaths of many from the noxious fumes.

Best to use books, so many books, and TTRPGs to secure the light and warmth you need in the Forever Time. But not minis. They do not make good kindling.

The moral, as always, is that the more things change, the more important it is to play Theater of the Mind. Just as in Before Time, so too in Forever Time. Because minis aren't kindling, and won't save you from the monsters of the dark.
Dat some Dark Souls right there!
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
....but it would seem that good satire will always have that frisson of danger as it treads the line between being both too-obvious and not obvious enough.

To mark satire as such is like supplying sporks as the only cutlery in a fine steakhouse; it may make it more accessible to the easily-addled, but you've lost the cutting edge.
Ahh but this is not a fine steakhouse, where one might expect fine diners. This is a stall at market, and the call for sporks is strong some days. The identifier itself serves to cut the uninformed.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Ahh but this is not a fine steakhouse, where one might expect fine diners. This is a stall at market, and the call for sporks is strong some days. The identifier itself serves to cut the uninformed.

I would daresay that the most enjoyable result of truly good satire is watching those who don't understand it.

'Tis better to leave the satire unmarked and be thought serious, than to openly mark it as such and deprive yourself of the indignant rage and ensuing unintentional comedy.
 

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