The concept of tabletop RPGs is something that countless people have enjoyed through the decades. It is only lately that the benefits are truly explored. Today, AirPlay will explore the massive benefits!
What is a Tabletop RPG?
A tabletop RPG in the most basic definition is a role playing game that is played over the surface of a table. Normally, there is a storyteller or game master (GM) and several players. The rules and the world wherein the game is played based off core books.
For example in Dungeon and Dragons, there are specific rules regarding the characters and the classes that are available to choose from. It is entirely up to the GM on where the story takes places, what scenarios are faced by the characters, and what sort of monsters or rewards they can see.
It is entirely a unique world and no two campaigns are the same—unless the GM has a specific script that they stick to for every single game. If you are faced with such a thing, it would be best for you and your party members to find a different GM.
Tabletop RPGs have had a long history and have been represented quite well through our multimedia. In more recent years, most readers will remember the kids from Stranger Things who were playing D&D at the start of the series. The main monster of the first season was also an actual monster from the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. This only goes to show that many of those that are presently writers, producers, and directors of films and TV all embraced tabletop RPGs in their youth.
What Benefits Are There?
Like with most gaming systems, there are a lot of things that players can pick up from it. Here are some of the massive benefits:
When you enter into the world of tabletop role playing, you basically shed who you are in your daily life. You get to explore a whole different world and you get to be a whole different person (or race). From a personal standpoint, it was a rather curious experience.
It takes a lot of courage to be able to bring a whole different person to life. It could be a person that is completely different from what you are in real life. For example, a shy person in real life can choose to act out a character that is vivacious or extremely outgoing. The reverse is also true. In essence, each person has to dig deep and unleash any sleeping creative maestros lingering underneath the skin.
In a tabletop RPG, you are completely responsible for who your character is. You decide the race, height, disposition, job, class, and so many other things. Most importantly, you will be entirely responsible for the background of your character. What life have they led so far? Why are they on this journey? What goal do they want to attain?
These and so many more need to be filled out and acted out as the story progresses. As such, there is a LOT of opportunity for the players to get comfortable with getting into character.
A tabletop RPG is not a game of a single individual. It takes a team to make the whole gaming experience come to life. While it is normally advised to play with people that you already know, tabletop games are a great way to expand your social circle.
In our experience, friends often invite their friends to experience the benefits of tabletop gaming. Complete strangers can meet each other and forge bonds that stand the test of time. One of our writers started an RPG group back when he was 17. He’s recently turned 34 and still gets to play tabletop RPGs with the friends that he made over 2 decades ago. He’s even about to marry one of his long-time players next year.
Tabletop RPGs are a great way to practice interacting with people in ways that you normally do not get to. After all, what experiences in life can prepare you for trying to talk down a poison-breath dragon born from killing all the hostages? Playing tabletop RPGs is a fast way to get to know a person without getting bogged down by the trivial social niceties that are usually expected.
Critical Thinking Development
If your GM is a particularly crafty one, you will find yourselves facing rather tricky scenarios. One moment you might think you are just in a regular dungeon only to realize a cult is in residence. You can try to wipe out the cult only to realize that the leader is one of the heads of the strongest political family in the region.
You will end up trying to ascertain if there are diplomatic ways to get out or how to survive through the consequences of the actions of a party member. Your critical thinking skills will be tested time and time again when you play tabletop RPGs.
It’s a Great Escape
Role playing has always been a great form of escape for many. Tabletop RPGs are a great way to disconnect from your daily grind. Instead of thinking about your next pressing deadline, you can immerse yourself in a whole different world with different expectations and aspirations.
Role playing can help you find out who you actually are. The game can help you peel back the layers of your preferences and personality.
There are a lot of benefits that you can reap from tabletop role playing games. The ones we listed above are only some of them. Personally, some of us tried to play several tabletop RPGs only recently. Some of us played Pathfinder while the others played a variation of Dungeons and Dragons.
It was all quite the experience. It is one thing to write about it and another thing to read about it then it’s a whole different world to actually do it yourself. We got to experience some of the benefits listed above and we certainly look forward to reaping more in the months to come!