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Pen and paper RPG??????

I saw something a while ago.  I thought it was rather peculiar, and looked fun at the same time.  I looked it up, but I couldn't figure out what exactly you needed.  I mean, it said a whole bunch of stuff about game masters, game books, finding stuff in pockets, bashing down doors, and the like. 

     What do I need, and, more importantly, how exactly would one start one?
     The books are also what I am wondering about.

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eulaliaaaa! (author) 6 years ago
I was trying to MAKE an RPG, not play an existing one...
Oh sorry. good resource is Fear the Boot then. They joke about it but they did a pretty go prima on how to make an RPG a few years back.
lucek5 years ago
What you Need. Some friends and a desire to have fun. That's the minimum requirements. Everything else is just extras.

What is helpful is a system. A good place to start there is quick start rules. Quite a few companies publish a short PDF online to get you playing their game. You can also pick them up at local comic book stores during Free RPG day.

Now depending on system you choose will dictate other things you need. Typically dice are involved (but not always) There are some systems like Shadowrun that use good old six sides (D6) but other games use different dice with sides numbering from 4 to 30. There are stranger system too but for now don't worry about special dice or jenga towers.

Battle mats and minis can be useful in combat oriented games but aren't at all necessarily for any game. Even the ones with the mast tactical maneuvering you can get away with some scratch paper. It comes down to personal preference in you're group

Now the last thing I'll bring up is the pen and paper. Noting things that happen to a character or the world whether formally IE a character record sheet or just memos to self will help give the game some verisimilitude.
eulaliaaaa! (author) 7 years ago
Thanks, guys!
Another really important thing to consider is Genre.  Some people don't like fantasy settings.  Luckily, pen and paper is as versitile as your imagination. 

Also, if you are not sure you will like role playing, you can find someone willing to run you through a game(RPGers are usually good at being patient with new players and they should have all the books you need) or try a free ruleset. 

A good place to look for a GM(Game Master) is either your school(if you are in schools), local college, and the same store that alffly was talking about.  As for free game, rules are provided online for many gamesystems(many are homemade).  Dungeons and Dragons SRD provides just about everything you need to play DnD 3.5 edition, though someone with experience should run. 

A couple good sites to check out are:
Homebrew.net(has a lot of free games, some are quite good)
Paranoia(Don't read the Ultraviolet section.  It will make the game less fun if you are a player.  Gives stuff away that you shouldn't know.  This game isn't entirely free anymore though.)
gamesinfo (top 100 list of games. Not all free but they are separated by genre so it makes them easier to choose)

Well, have fun and sorry for the long comment.
alffly7 years ago
 Pen and paper RPGs have existed from a very long time. They generally consist of a Game Master who either works from a game book or writes a quest himself, and a group of players who assume the roles of characters within the fiction of whatever RPG they're playing. The Game Master is essentially there to tell the story of the quest, providing descriptions of locations, playing the part of NPCs (Non Player Characters - basically, anyone the players meet in the world) and ensuring that the players move the quest along in the right direction. Not only that, but he/she also enforces the rules of the world, overseeing the dice rolls that dictate the players interactions with the game.

Being a player is pretty simple. At the beginning of the game you define your character, choosing things like sex, race, and what their role will be, such as a wizard or a fighter. These thing provide base statistics for the character's abilities, and these statistics are then modified with dice rolls. The amount you decide to "role play" your character is up to you - some people just play for fun, essentially inserting themselves into a fantasy world, while others take matters far more seriously, assuming the personality of their character and acting exactly as they would.

The role of the GM is more complex. It requires a decent imagination and good storytelling abilities with the ability to adapt to whatever weird ideas the players come up with. It also requires you to learn the (sometimes quite complicated) rules of whatever RPG you decide to play. However, if you get good at it then controlling the adventures of your friends - and deciding how and when you're going to mess with them - gets pretty addictive.

There are pen and paper RPGs on a wide variety of subjects, so giving you a definitive idea of what you'll need is pretty tricky. For most RPGs you'll need a basic rulebook, and in my experience each of the players will need a copy of that as well. On top of that, depending on the RPG, it's possible to buy game books which give you detailed quests to send the players on, and expansions which add new rules. It can be quite an expensive hobby.

The best thing I can recommend you to do is check your local business directory - or use a search engine - and find a game shop in your area. The staff in these shops tend to be friendly and helpful, and I've always found them more than willing to discuss games with newcomers and point them in the direction of something worthwhile.

My personal experience comes from the Warhammer RPG, but you might also have heard of Dungeons And Dragons. There are RPGs based on Star Warsand the DC and Marvel comicbook universes, and on subjects as varied as standard Tolkein-esque fantasy, vampires, zombies, science fiction, alternative history, and even the FBI. Gather together some friends, see what kind of game you'd like to play, and take it from there.