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Posts with tag tabletop-gaming

Taking the roleplay out of WoW

I like messing around with roleplay every now and again, especially during the waning months of an expansion. When there's little else to do, roleplay helps keep me entertained, and has the added side vantage of giving me a space where I can indulge in trying to answer lore questions that invariably make their way into lore columns. But beyond that, there's just something kind of fun about taking an hour or two off every now and again and just letting my brain be creative without the pressure of stress.

But one of the big problems with roleplay in WoW is the actual process of any kind of meaningful roleplay itself. Major, sweeping campaigns that are common with tabletop roleplaying systems just aren't possible in WoW -- trying to get everyone on an entire roleplay server to agree to a set list of rules for combat is an exercise in futility. Because of this, there's always been a limited scope to roleplay, a wall that simply couldn't be broken within the confines of an MMO. NPCs can't be controlled, players can't really influence major events in fear of somehow running into contradictions with canon lore. You can either dance around the limits, or you can ignore them entirely.

Or, as I recently discovered, you can simply leave it all behind. How do you make the limits in WoW work for your roleplay guild? By taking your roleplay out of WoW entirely.

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Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Mists of Pandaria

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

Dice
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

All the World's a Stage: We don't need no narration

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Throughout my career as a roleplaying columnist on WoW.com, I've been talking about roleplaying as a way to tell stories, but last week a comment by Zombie, as well as those made by a few others on the same topic, caused me to think about roleplay stories in a new way. Perhaps what we roleplayers do isn't actually storytelling so much as it is character development through interesting and somewhat disjointed anecdotes.

There's really no beginning, middle, or end to a roleplayed character in WoW. Instead, what you get is a mishmash of events and experiences, which you may then string together into a story in your mind if you like. But even if you don't, you can see that most of us don't really expect for a narrative to develop from a clear beginning, through various plot developments, and finally lead into an exciting climax. There is something else roleplayers want to get out of their experience, even if many of us have trouble articulating exactly what it is.

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

Breakfast Topic: Your first step toward Azeroth

Matthew Rossi wrote this weeks RP column as David Bower takes a short break. I'm not an roleplayer myself, but the first paragraph caught my eye. To establish his RP credentials, Matthew linked to the old Erol Otus art of the original Dungeons and Dragons printed rule books.

Looking at those reminded me of when I was but a wee lad playing the game with my friends. It was my introduction to the world of tabletop roleplaying games. But even before all that, my first true introduction to fantastic world was (big surprise), a copy of 'The Hobbit' my uncle gave me for my 11th birthday. It opened my eyes to fantasy novels which led to my interest in D&D and eventually computer games and World of Warcraft.

What was the first spark in your life that led you to playing WoW today?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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