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Discussion > Tabletop RPGApr 18, 2024 8:00 am CT

How can I convince you to try tabletop roleplaying games?

I’m mostly asking this question of people who don’t play TTRPGs at all, but even if you do play Dungeons and Dragons, there are other games you may not have tried (or even heard of). So how do I get you to try them? A lot of people are playing video games based on tabletop games, and that’s great, but video games are always more of an on-rails experience. (After all, a video game couldn’t handle it if the party just won’t go to the nearby magical city and instead put them on a haunted flying pirate ship.)

I never really had to be sold on the concept of tabletop roleplaying — I was eight the first time I heard of one, and I immediately wanted to play it even though I had no idea how to go about it. My mom tried her best to hook me up, but she didn’t actually know what these games were — I remember us going to the local Ann & Hope looking for that weird dragon book and coming up empty, and eventually finding the famous purple Erol Otus cover Basic Set in a store that sold model trains and Napoleonic Era wargames.

Because I was never a hard sell, I have no idea why people aren’t playing these games. This makes it hard for me to know how to approach the idea of convincing folks to give it a shot.

The thing is, it’s fun as heck. Especially with a group of people willing to ride with the changes and try things out. I’m currently running a Blizzard Watch Pathfinder 2e game, and in one session Nick attempted to beat up a squirrel and lost handily. It was ridiculous, completely unplanned, and hilarious for the entire table. And so I’m trying to figure out how to spread the good word because I want everyone to laugh as hard as I did listening to Nick as he fully commits to the idea of his gunslinger being totally defeated by a squirrel. [Ed’s note: Nick would say it was a tie.]

Did that do it? Are you interested now? If not, what would convince you to check out Pathfinder or other TTRPGs?

How about this? In TTRPGs you really get into improvising, acting in ways that aren’t your day to day — and in so doing feel a touch of new perspective. Playing a robot angel in our Daggerheart one shot [Ed’s note: you’ll be able to listen to this soon] really let me experience a side of myself I hadn’t. And towards the end of the game, <spoiler happened>, which was something I did not expect to happen in a million years.

Roleplaying games let you play pretend with actual rules to keep from ending up in the old I shot you/no you didn’t I have a bullet proof tank top arguments. It’s sitting down with friends and doing your level best to confuse and bewilder the Game Master and in the process tell a story no single person would ever have come up with. And it’s fun, which to me is always the biggest part.

So, does any of that work, or should I start talking about loot? What do you think would get you to play a tabletop RPG if you haven’t?

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