Roleplaying games: how to live another life in your living room

Have you ever dreamt of being another person? Maybe you would have liked to be an elf, a werewolf, a magician… With role playing games, everything is getting possible. Only the lack of imagination could be a barrier.

Does “Dungeons and Dragons” ring the bell? This medieval-fantastic role playing game was born in the 70’s. And nothing about it is old-fashioned today. In 2009, Pathfinder, embodied in Paizo Publishing, diversified its publications. It launched a modified and extended version of Dungeon and Dragons’ 3.5 rules. Players were, in fact, not convinced by the 4.0 rules that were not compatible with their own games and were looking for a better adaptation. Pathfinder offered them the opportunity to create “user generated rules”. Before this experience, Pathfinder was only publishing scenarios to be played with D&D’s rules. Therefore, now they became a real reference in this strange world and obtained the key of their success.

And to begin…

Roleplaying game’s concept is simple to understand. The game master is an important person. He is the only one knowing Pathfinder’s scenario, also named campaign. He is present to explain what happens when a player opens a door or meets a character. The players, three or four of them, incarnate a character of their choice. They imagined the background – the story of the character before the game -, behaviour and thoughts of their character. Finally, you need some dices of four to twenty faces. These dices are thrown whenever one wants to accomplish an action. Beginning a campaign is even an event : some twittos and members of facebook are proud to share the news of the creation of their characters and, sometimes, ask for some advise.

The hard point in this hobby is that one generally join a group of friends that is used to Pathfinder. The rule book is composed of more than 350 pages, good luck if you want to know it by heart. Fortunaly, only the game master has to work that hard. And Pathfinder found a solution to this problem: the beginner box. Lots of people found interesting to unbox it and publish it on Youtube. Here is an example:

A story game

Campaign games are too complex and long to be exposed on Twitter or Facebook. Players often prefer to create a blog or to publish videos on Youtube. The interesting thing is to discover that a scenario can have different ends. In fact, only the players’ actions do the game. And their background become very important.

Blogers become authors of their own book. And they prove, sometimes, to be very patient because some campaigns, as this one, lasted for three years. And the author did a complete summary of all their meetings. Campaign are, in fact, composed of six books and are very long to complete. It is even possible on some websites to discover good or bad reviews on some campaigns.

Last advise: if you want to launch a game, be careful it is addictive.

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