Wednesday, May 14, 2008

RPGs - the backstory

While there are many different types of role-playing games, the kind I tend to enjoy the most are the pen-and-paper "tabletop" games. Some of you may be familiar with the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. That was probably my first foray into interactive storytelling, and I still have fond memories of the series.

The most well-known tabletop RPG is probably Dungeons and Dragons, and it was my first experience with an actual RPG - though I didn't know it at the time. I was in fifth grade or so, and my BFF Beth said that her older brother had this game he played with some of his friends, and they had these adventures, and it was SO COOL, because you had to imagine everything. (I thought it sounded good so far - like playing Barbies, only you didn't have to shell out allowance money for a bajillion outfits and accessories.)

So we tried it out. "Okay, so, you're walking along... and... you find a potion!" she said. I think I was staring at her blankly at this point. "Do you DRINK it?"

"No!" Duh. "I mean, it might be poison or something."

"Oh." This apparently had her stumped. (I think it WAS poison.) Shortly thereafter, we went back to playing Ninja Barbies, which generally consisted of whirling them around by their hair and then letting them go, with a Miss-Piggy-style "HIEEE-YAH!"

But the seeming unimportance of that moment was misleading...


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