Why not Tabletop?

Saturday, September 12, 2009
I've been playing tabletop games for a long time. Even now I play Champions with a small group every other weekend. During those off weekends I DM Line's D&D group. I've been plugged in to the world of Tabletop Games since my neighbor introduced me to D&D in 7th grade. I've already covered my D&D history before. What I haven't talked about is why you should play D&D if not some other tabletop game.

Tabletop games offer the player a range of freedom no console or PC can touch. With the right DM, there is no limit to the things you can do (or at least try to do) during a campaign. Take Line's D&D group. They were stuck in a bad place with a ton of baddies to deal with. Line, being the quick-thinking woman she is used Ghost Sound to crate the sound of Kruthiks (nasty little reptile-insect thingies they encountered earlier) tunneling through the walls. This actually scared off the majority of the enemies leaving just a handful of nasties for the party to contend with.

The player needn't rely on scripted events or cutscenes to tell the story, the player IS the story. The events that unfold in the course of a campaign rely heavily on the player's decisions. So much so that no single campaign plays out exactly the same way each time. The way a campaign ends is more a reflection of the players in the game than a glimpse into the mind of the creators.

I don't mind if you'd rather play an MMO but know this, most MMO's in the market right now borrow quite a bit form old tabletop games. The chance to hit, chance for an item drop etc are all worked out via complex algorithms which is a fancy way of saying you roll some dice.

The character you play in any tabletop game is completely your own from the beginning. You should feel free to include as much or as little detail a you like. I've seen players with entire notebooks full of character notes with every little detail from birthplace and food allergies to family history and phobias. It's all about how into the character you prefer to be.

There's plenty of variety in Tabletop games too. Not every one is a D&D clone. There are futuristic Tabletops games for about as long as D&D and many are very good. I remember Cyberpunk very fondly.

I could yammer on about Tabletop games until I'm blue in the face, The short of all this talk is to find someone that plays and sit down with them for a session or two. You may be surprised at how easily you slip into your character's boots. Try it out with friends if at all possible. Tabletop games are made to be played together and who better to share it with than your raid buddies?

I play tabletop games because I love to have complete control over my character's looks, background and personality. There are a myriad other reasons to try tabletop games, all I ask is that you find one.