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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

Comments

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
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.
Perhaps, perhaps. Some days, as I swoon upon my chaise lounge in the depths of a malaise more brought about by lethargy than circumstance, I dread the task of clarification. To muddy my boots so on occasion seems Sisyphean. I will not struggle up that hill today, my friend, but rather leave my boots to warm by the fire.
 

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Eltab

Hero
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.
Did this person offer you a Modest Proposal?
 


Mistwell

Legend
In case anyone might be interested in solo play, Tunnels and Trolls were kind of the trail blazers back in the day for that sort of thing.

They came out with a series of good solo adventures which all take place in the same setting, and are connected to each other like an adventure path.

They tell interesting stories. It's not quite like a choose your own adventure, as you're rolling dice and making skill checks and combat checks throughout. They're pretty fun.

They also have them available as an app for your phone, and can be played essentially for free if you're willing to watch some ads (and the ads tend to be for other games which you play for a minute to test out).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Perhaps, perhaps. Some days, as I swoon upon my chaise lounge in the depths of a malaise more brought about by lethargy than circumstance, I dread the task of clarification. To muddy my boots so on occasion seems Sisyphean. I will not struggle up that hill today, my friend, but rather leave my boots to warm by the fire.
I have learned the satire equation. Satire is not, like mere TTRPGs or pew pew movies or fine china white or bug powder dust, a means to increased enjoyment of life.

Satire is not a kick. It is a way of life.
 


wdk_dave

First Post
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?
Umm, Isn't that "A Modest Proposal" by Swift?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
1. Build a fortress for your cat.
2. Body armor for your house.

3. Anti burgler trap. Put a bookcase of RPG books on top of your door as a trap.

4. Replacement for the phone book so police can beat you without leaving bruises.

5. Trebuchet ammunition.

6. Toys to use in a dungeon of erm nevermind.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Here’s one I haven’t seen mentioned yet: I use RPGs- usually HERO, Classic Traveller or 3.5Ed D&D- to plan characters. Not for games, but for writing stories.

Think of each as a “bible” for each character. By thinking through the character‘s various capabilities and potential for development in a game’s ChaGen phase, I commit a lot of things to paper. I define the personality. I set goals. I consider limits on capabilities.

Then, when I’m writing, I can refer to that character’s sheet(s) and remind myself that he/she/it could or could not, would or would not do a particular action. I have guidance on WHY a character would choose a certain path of action or inaction.

And if I’m in a quandary, I can even ask someone else familiar with the system used what they might expect the character to do in a given situation.
 

Stormonu

Legend
8) Reference work for high school Term Paper
....I used the 1E Unearthed Arcana for a term paper on knights

9) Starting point for research
...The Legends of the Five Rings, 7th Seas and Twilight 2000 spurred my interest in subject matters (Japanese history/language, 15th century Europe and military equipment, respectively) and learning more about various subjects both for fun and "researching" material for use in the game.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
8) Reference work for high school Term Paper
....I used the 1E Unearthed Arcana for a term paper on knights
True story: I was a freshman in college and I was taking a class called “Biblical Themes In Literature” with Dr. Bates Hoffer. We were dissecting a passage from a book in which the author was using descriptive prose hinting that the child being described was devilish/demonic in nature.

As it happens, a lot of the stuff I had read in my love of mythology, horror, Sci-fi and fantasy was on the reading lists mentioned by numerous early RPG designers. And coincidentally, I had JUST reread the Devil and Demon sections of the AD&D Monster Manual the night before class while designing an adventure.

So, when he started picking out passages and asking which particular evil being the author was invoking, I- very uncharacteristically- raised my hand. He called on me, and I answered properly. I turned my head downwards to scribble notes, but he kept asking similar questions about other passages, and my hand would go up, and he’d call on me again. And again. And again.

When he finally called on me by name, I looked up from my note taking...EVERYONE was looking at me.

I answered correctly again, and class ended. I got lots of funny looks from my classmates as we filed out. I asked 2 other students whom I knew from my dorm why I was getting all the stares. They told me I was the only one who raised my hand for any of the questions.
 

Eltab

Hero
10) Fill up a bookshelf before anybody else can buy new books.
(Disguise this as cleaning up the stacks of stuff all over the house.)
 

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