Hey meeplings, get a cup of your favorite beverage1, sit down and relax, as I tell you a tale of how two geeks got into the wonderful and limitless worlds of tabletop roleplaying games.
But first, let us define what is a Tabletop Roleplaying Game (TRPG). According to the internet, it is defined as “a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters’ actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a set formal system of rules and guidelines.”2
Essentially, in a TRPG we have the players, who act out their characters that interact with other characters and with the world, which is usually created by a Game Master (GM)3. The GM, on the other hand, usually has a bigger responsibility: since they act as the main storyteller and arbiter, it is their duty to describe the world and its inhabitants and how it reacts to the players’ actions.
What I like about tabletop roleplaying games is the freedom to do what you want–but obviously in a respectful way especially with the other participants–with only your creativity and imagination as the limit. Also, in a world where social interactions are now done largely thru social media, it is somewhat liberating that TRPG sessions, especially those that are in-person, have become a social gathering which enables the participants to interact face-to-face with others.
With that, let me finally begin with our TRPG origin stories.
I have been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi genres in various mediums, from books, games, movies, etc., but RPG video games are the biggest contributor to my interest in tabletop roleplaying games. Games such as The Elder Scrolls series, World of Warcraft, Runescape, Witcher series, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout series, Star Wars: KOTOR, and many others.
I learned about tabletop roleplaying games thru pop culture osmosis, such as the D&D episode of Community. Eventually, I was able to watch Critical Role4 and this basically gave me the final push to actually look for games to join.
My first game was D&D 5th edition which was played online via Roll20. We were able to play up to two sessions where I played a Gnome Tinker. The campaign ended abruptly and this just whetted my appetite further to play more. Through lurking in various Facebook groups, I was able to join a supposedly one-shot game, but this time, it was in-person and we were playing the organized play variant for D&D 5th edition called Adventurers League.
I played Nefarian Blackclaw5, a Black Dragonborn Paladin. The module/campaign that we played consisted of multiple mini-adventures which caused our group to meet, surprisingly, on a weekly basis, and we kept playing the next modules of the series. Eventually, this group of strangers became really good friends and even became event organizers still running D&D and other RPG games6.
She has been an avid reader since she was little, being exposed to various fantasy series such as Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, October Daye, The Old Kingdom, The Song of the Lioness, The Chronicles of Prydain, and many others.
She learned about TRPGs from the interwebs and due to joining collaborative writing activities online when she was younger. Many years later, she met one of those writing friends in person and after talking about how she missed writing creatively, they recommended she try joining TRPG groups. Angela then initially tried to join a new campaign set in Wheel of Time, but due to various reasons, the campaign did not push through. The next opportunity was during the Singapore Open Gaming convention, where she was able to try a one-shot of The Dark Eye, a German fantasy roleplaying game, which initially did not meet her expectations.
More opportunities were few and far between. Finally, early in 2018, she found out that Critical Role had just started its second season–she had been seeing it around the Geek & Sundry channel from watching Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop and Titansgrave segments, but was hesitant to start watching when there were so many season one episodes to go through to catch up. With season two, however, she ended up binge watching it for a couple weeks–and after hearing from a guy she met a few months back via board games7 that he planned to run a one-shot game set in the World of Warcraft universe8, she jumped at the chance. She played a Draenei9 Priest named Tala, and together with her party, they played through the intro of the Alliance arriving in Northrend.
Today, both of us play TRPGs on a weekly basis in various campaigns/settings, which we will be talking about in a future post. Additionally, we will also be putting up summaries of games that I run under the Our Campaigns category, so stay tuned!
What about you? What was your TRPG origin story? Leave a comment below!
|↑1||Tea, coffee, beer, or whiskey for me, please.|
|↑2||All hail Wikipedia.|
|↑3||Also called Dungeon Master, Storyteller, Referee, etc. depending on the game system.|
|↑4||We both identify as Critters. I started watching since Vox Machina, while she started with the Mighty Nein.|
|↑5||Rest in peace.|
|↑6||We are now known as the Greasy Snitches.|
|↑8||Both of us have spent countless hours playing World of Warcraft.|
|↑9||She plays Alliance, I play Horde. Love finds a way haha.|