Firstly a definition. RPG stands for role playing game. Tabletop means it’s done the old fashioned way with paper, pencils, and dice. There are also online RPGs and a type of RPG that you get into costume and act out your character, which is called LARP (live action role playing). If you couldn’t tell from the title of this post this is specifically referring to the tabletop RPGs. Several different components go into playing the games.
There is the gaming group: The group of people you are playing the game with.
The Dungeon Master (DM), Game Master (GM), Storyteller (ST), etc: The person in the group that is running the game. They create the story the group works through, any fights or adventures the group has, the rewards or loot/treasures the characters find, etc. What they are actually called depends on the game.
The party: The characters created and run by the gaming group.
NPC: Non player character. These are created and run by the DM/GM/ST. Friendly villager number 6, the shop keeper, Troll Chief number 2, etc.
There are rules for how it works. How much damage did your sword do? What is the blast radius of the bomb? Did the fires it start cause continuing damage to yourself and your party? All these things are determined by the rules of the game and a roll of the dice. Sort of like the physics of the world the game is set in. These games can be very flexible. It all depends on the person running the game and what their run style is. I’ve mostly had Gms/DMs/STs that wanted to accomplish a specific game experience and to do so they had to modify the game for what they were going for, a sort of bending of the rules. There are some that are hard core, stick with how the game was designed, Gms/DMs/Sts and if that’s how you like to play then go for it. Both ways can be incredibly fun.
There are many games to choose from. Dungeons & Dragons, often shortened to D&D, Iron Kingdoms, there’s a Star Wars one out there, etc. Occasionally a game system will put out a different edition. This is where they’ve modified some of the rules, added new, taken out rules that don’t work,etc. Hubby is currently putting together a short trial of the 5th edition of D&D. I’m looking forward to trying it, 5th edition seems to have a short turn length.
Time between turns is my biggest peeve with RPGs. I like it to be wham bam thank you ma’am and then its my turn again. Keeps things interesting for me. If the turn time is too long I get bored. I’m not a strategic person and if the other people in my gaming group sit there and discus strategy for 20 minutes before making a move I’m going to wander off and find something to do. For people that like to do that sort of thing that is the highlight of the playing experience for them. I am often left sitting there screaming in my head “just pick a @&$ @&#^@$ @!&$%@$&@%^@% plan and lets do this!”. I just don’t have the patience for that. Good thing this isn’t real life!
Now, if you try a table top RPG and didn’t like it try a different one. Still didn’t like it? The DM/GM/ST and the people in the group might be dampening your fun. Try a new DM/GM/ST or a different group. It might even be a single member in your group that annoys you. I have one where no mater which character he plays I don’t like it. It’s just his paying style. You can sometimes find groups by asking around your friends. You’d be surprised who plays. Sometimes comic book shops or stores that sell the gaming supplies host games. Be safe while searching for a new group, especially if you don’t know anyone in the new group personally.
My introduction to RPGs was through my hubby when we were still dating, three years ago. If less than zero experience was a thing that’s how much experience I had with it. I was nervous about it. What if I met all his friends and they were all those mouth breather socially awkward creepers that the television and movies I had watched depicted? I’m sure those types of people exist but I’ve yet to meet one. The entire group wasn’t any more or less socially awkward that the average individual.
I play these games mostly because I enjoy the company of the people that are playing with me. I was part of three gaming groups but ended up dropping down to just two. One group just got too large and bulky for me to enjoy it so I stopped going. I still rely heavily on my hubby to help me play. I’m not as into it as he is, but I’m getting better at it slowly. While I still have a preference for games like Sorry and Uno I really enjoy my time playing. It’s fun to blast that evil dragon into the infinite layers of the abyss, get some treasure then come back next week, and have another adventure.