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Posts with tag pen-and-paper

Breakfast Topic: Have WoW and your tabletop gaming influenced each other?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

A lot of us come from a pen-and-paper background when it comes to roleplaying games. Many of us have even tried our hands at running a game back in the day when gaming meant crowding around a table with books, dice, pencils and paper. We pretended to be someone else from another world, swinging swords and flinging fireballs using the world's most powerful graphics chip, the imagination.

Not everyone is a great storyteller, and many of us that took up that role may have ended up with less than spectacular results. Then, after having played computer roleplaying games like Final Fantasy, EverQuest, or even World of Warcraft, you may have been introduced to a style of storytelling that may or may not have been completely different from anything you've experienced in the past.

After partaking of this new experience, has your own personal storytelling in your pen-and-paper games changed much? Are there game mechanics that you've altered in your game because you think it works better the way World of Warcraft does it? What elements from World of Warcraft (or other games) have inspired your creative bug to tell your epic and not-so-epic stories? Do you find yourself more inspired by the storytelling in single-player or massively multiplayer types of roleplaying games?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Pen and paper roleplaying pioneer Gary Gygax is dead

Gary Gygax, who has long been attributed as the father of Pen and Paper roleplay gaming via the co-creation of the classic Dungeons and Dragons system alongside David Arneson, died this morning at his home in Wisconsin of an apparent heart attack.

We here at WoW Insider would like to pay tribute to him, and recognize his contributions to our gaming lives. Even if the World of Warcraft is not a pen and paper game, pen and paper games were where many of us first gathered with friends to slay dragons, orcs, and all kinds of creatures, and a good number of us who now play games like World of Warcraft first cut our teeth on gaming with a six sided die. The same can be said for many game designers, I'm sure, and it is probably fair to say that we might not even have MMORPGs to play without PnP for the genre to spring from. I myself will have my weekly pen and paper game this Thursday, and even if the system we use isn't Dungeons and Dragons, I'll be rolling in his memory.

Among some of the most memorable quotes from the impromptu message board eulogies I've heard was from someone who said, "He's in chaotic good heaven now." Another said, "As long as people gather around a table to roll dice and slay dragons, Gary Gygax won't be truly dead."

I couldn't say it better myself. Godspeed, Mr. Gygax. May your memory live on.

Filed under: Virtual selves, News items

All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

As with many other people, my first experience of roleplaying was with a "tabletop" roleplaying game in high school. The older kids introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade, and although I wasn't enthralled by the whole "bloodsucking" thing, I quickly realized that the basic activity was lots of fun, and I ended up starting my own roleplaying group with Earthdawn, a more traditional (yet surprisingly original) fantasy setting. Those games were my some of my happiest memories from high school.

In college I couldn't find many people who were interested in playing with me, and when I came to live and work in China after graduating in 2000, I thought that my roleplaying days were over for sure. You may imagine my surprise when in late 2007, I came across another foreigner here in Nanjing, discussing Dungeons and Dragons with his Chinese wife in one of my favorite restaurants. It turns out he needed another player for the group he has going here, and although his wife wasn't interested, I happened to appear, ready and eager to join up.

Originally I had thought that WoW would be the only way I could continue roleplaying while living in the far East, but starting to get back into my old hobby has given me a chance to see more clearly what the differences are between tabletop roleplaying and roleplaying in a game like WoW. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different people have their preferences. Both have a special value which is mainly derived from connecting creatively with other people.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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