Joining or starting a new Dungeons & Dragons or table top RPG? Wanna make sure you have a great time? Here are 10 things to seriously consider as a player character (PC) or Dungeon Master before committing to the grand adventure. Some of them you might think are common sense but you’d be surprised how many people overlook these important guidelines. I’ve been playing for years on both sides of the table and have found from my experience in the dungeon that a recipe for a successful RPG adventure isn’t quite as simple to achieve as some might be lead to believe. There are a lot of factors that seriously enhance or hinder the experience from becoming the ultimate form of escapism many of us role playing nerds deeply desire. So let’s get started!!
10. Like Minded Adventurers:
Ok, over the years I’ve learned this is easily one of the most important factors for having a truly amazing experience playing table top RPGs. It’s extremely important to really think about just who it is that you’ll be spending hours of your time with trying to trudge through the dangerous and magical realms of the dungeon. I’m not talking about whether or not someone is going to be a wizard or a paladin. I’m talking about the real people you choose to add to the group or the group you join. Make sure everyone who’s joining wants the same thing from the experience.
It’s totally cool to have a group of people who’re getting together to party, hang out and casually roll some dice BUT if you’ve got a mixture of people, some who’re looking to pay attention to the details and really immerse themselves into the story you’re likely to have some unhappy campers among the group. This can also be extremely frustrating for the DM when preparing specific details & important plot points to have a crew of people partying too damn hard to remember what happened the prior week. Make sure everyone in the group is looking for a similar experience. Whether it’s a lighter party style game or a more serious role playing session. Talk this over before starting and maybe keep the first adventure short with a new crew to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you don’t address this it could make for some awkward moments later down the line and likely some seriously frustrated gamers.
9. A Bad Ass Dungeon Master:
So I arrived at my weekly D&D session this last sunday, ready to play a brand new adventure, stepping down from the throne of being the Dungeonmaster & eager to finally play a game as a PC! As I entered the room I saw the usual suspects getting the table set up for the first night of the new game, however something was different, there were four Ipad/tablet stands set up on the table in from of each seat where there might usually be some folders a stack of papers and some players handbooks, monster manuals etc. At first sight it kinda shocked me but then I quickly realized my group had decided to make the tech savy switch from the middle ages straight into the modern world!
I had sat down with my stack of papers and newly hand drawn pictures of my character, the rest of the group said “Check out this app we are using for d&d now it’s amazing!” they all began to show me their characters, all neatly on their Ipad screens and I’ve gotta say it was quite impressive. No more pencil scribbles, wine stains or candle wax upon a weathered piece of paper. Press the tabs on the screen and it tells you all you need to know, instantly calculates your hit points, heck it even rolls a dice on screen for you when you press a tab! The next question was “are you gonna bring your Ipad and get this App or what?!” I responded that I spend enough time as it is looking at computer screens, smart phones and my Ipad at home that I wasn’t quite ready to integrate it into my world of D&D just yet!
So what’s the damn problem huh?! Should I just drop this old school pen and paper attitude already?! Get with the damn times with my D&D? I mean, does anyone even use pen and paper for table top RPG’s anymore?! Do people even roll real dice? The last game I DM’d I had a giant stack of papers, and a ton of books piled around me! It was a frantic scene of animated movement as I paged through books checking rules while role playing all the NPC’s like a damn madman! So now our new DM is equipped with an Ipad and stated the fact that in this day and age you don’t even need books to play the game anymore. It’s true, but part of that make me a bit sad in a way. There’s something quite charming about the old school pencil and paper game, where you might have to add and subtract on a piece of paper, erase some stuff with a rubbery eraser or write down your new magic item with a page number next to it.
In a way it feels like the only way to play for me, I almost imagine myself transported back to 1970’s when the game had some mystery behind it still and the religious fanatics thought it was causing people to worship Satan. But It clearly ain’t the 70’s and I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I get on the ol’ Ipad bandwagon and bring my trusty hi-tech tablet along to the game of swords & sorcery. Paper books are surely on their way to becoming extinct, all music now is downloaded, comics are headed to digital downloads and let’s face it there a motherfuckin’ “app” for pretty much anything and everything you can imagine these days. For the mean time, I know I’m dying breed of D&D player, a bit like I’m actually living in the dark ages and for the moment i’m going to relish in it, but man I gotta admit those Ipad apps sure do look slick…now if I really wanted to be shocked I guess I could have walked into this: