This post original ran on Friar Jay’s personal blog, eckSermonator, back in March 2014.
I’ve played tabletop role-playing games for years…probably something like 20 years. In all that time I’ve never got into Dungeons & Dragons (mostly for lack of interest); instead I was predominately exposed to horror role-playing via Call of Cthulhu. A game based on the works of the American author H.P. Lovecraft.
Sitting around with friends, and family, rolling various polyhedrals (aka dice) is a cherished memory. As a child nothing beat eating junk food (Little Debbie Fudge Rounds and Star Crunches) as my mind would paint the picture that was being verbally presented to me by the game master (storyteller, director). Truth be told as an adult I continue to enjoy tabletop role-playing games…the social interaction, the creative thinking, not to mention the thrill of the dice roll are quite stimulating. Personally I feel the benefits reaped from role-playing games is valuable enough that I’ve made it a point to make it a part of my children’s life. With my brother’s assistance, and great patience, they’ve fought against Clone Troopers, super-powered villains, orcs, and even dragons over the years. Additionally during all this time they’ve also been forced to grow in various skills…math, communication, creative thinking, and troubleshooting to name a few. Something which will have long lasting life application.
Some say role-playing games are merely a form of escapism. To that my response would be that it’s no more a form of escapism than reading a book, watching a movie, playing a video game, or even dreaming. If anything engaging in tabletop role-playing games, when played in a healthy group, can be fun, rewarding, and typically, to put it bluntly, result in a damn good time. Because at the end of the game when everyone says goodbye and goes their separate ways it boils down to a great time of social interaction, fellowship, bonding, etc.
Like anything there are those you are obsessive to the point of self-destruction; hence, the importance of playing in a healthy group. Like I said above some of my fondest memories involve various role-playing sessions with friends and family. Memories of games that when we get together we find ourselves still talking about 20 years later.
Tabletop role-playing games much like my faith is a part of my life and I’m blessed to be able to share it with my children. Sitting at the table listening to my kids plot and plan how they will outwit and defeat an enemy always brings a smile to my face. Once the game is done and they go to bed I can’t help but reflect on the fact that 20 years from now they will look back at these moments and smile.
One of the best things is that I don’t have to ask them if they want to play…they typically will bring it up to me. I admit I don’t play games with them as much as I could but we’re about to change that as we embark on a series of fantasy adventures using Chaosium’s BRP Magic World game. Time is slipping by and there are villains to be defeated, monsters to be pushed back, and citizens to be rescued…heroes must arise and now is the time.
At the end of the day it’s my hope that the thrill of the journey, and the thunderous roar of a handful of dice, haunt them for the rest of their days. May they never lose the sense of adventure so that when they have their own kids and they hear the buzz of the comm channel, or the blast of the ram’s horn they will be prepared to rally their own band of heroes.
- KS Highlights: Age of Cthulhu 9 – The Lost Expedition - May 14, 2016
- 1d4Con Debriefing - April 25, 2016
- International TableTop Day - April 19, 2016
- Announcing Chaosium’s First Organized Play Campaign - April 7, 2016
- Board Games Based On What? - March 19, 2016