Who plays pencil and paper roleplaying games?

AuthorTopic: Who plays pencil and paper roleplaying games?
Warrior
Member # 5986
Profile #0
I was going to post this sooner or later, so here it is. I know a good chunk of Spidwebbers play D&D based on some references to it in a post here and there, but I'm curious as to how large the roleplaying community actually is amongst members of this community. The questions are too broad to warrant a poll, so just answer these questions as fully as you can.

Right, so do you play a pencil and paper roleplaying game? Is it D&D, Whitewolf, Ironclaw, etc...

What campaign setting do you use?

What ruleset do you use?

How often do you play? How many people do you play with?

What is your favorite type of non-six-sided die? Do you have "lucky dice"?

Have you ever been DM or GM? How long did your longest campaign last?

Which company is your favorite publisher of roleplaying material?

Do you subscribe to any roleplaying magazines?

And no, I'm not conducting a survey to put in some magazine, and have no intention of selling this material to anyone, or giving it away, or whatever else someone can think of to flag this post as a CoC violation. This is simply an exercise in appeasing my own curiosity.

--------------------
Wu wei... it's the only way
Posts: 154 | Registered: Monday, June 20 2005 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #1
I stopped a while ago, now that truly is an intensive waste of time. Huge preparation periods. I would rather just play a game than spends eons creating it.

--------------------
Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #2
I used to play too, but circumstances forced me to give it up. Or I couldn't be bothered... anyway, in response to the questions...

I played second edition D&D, with the Forgotten Realms as the setting.

I played about twice a week. Our German teacher was DM, and there were 6 PCs, each controlled by one person.

I love D20's for some reason. I had a lucky "hobbit die", that was really tiny. I hated percentile rolls, due to my being killed whenever that happened.

[ Friday, July 22, 2005 03:04: Message edited by: SupaNik ]

--------------------
"I am a living sign..."

Thus endeth this post.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 4682
Profile #3
Unfortunately, I have been unable to play for a while due to the lack of people to play with, but when I play, I use the Dungeons and Dragons rules that are in the Player's Handbook, as well as whatever house rules the DM has. The DMs I've played with have made up their own campaign settings. I don't have a favorite type of die or a 'lucky' die, though I will add that it is amusing to try and spin all the different types of dice on one point. :D

--------------------
If anyone ever asks you why you did something, say "Because I could".
Posts: 834 | Registered: Thursday, July 8 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #4
I haven't played in ten years, alas. I was always DM, and the few times I tried playing instead, it was too hard to adjust: I'd either get away with murder, or get stomped for things that I would have rewarded. But as Toast says, DMing is horribly time consuming. It used to take me something like four hours -- or was it six? -- to prepare enough stuff for one hour of playing. That's as bad as lecturing at a university.

I worked from a base of AD&D -- the first D&D version to come out in hardcover. Over the years I had incorporated a few modifications that we liked. As time went by, it got more fluid, and I would tend to just make up monsters, items and spells a lot of the time. I would basically decide separately what kind of monster would be cool, and what stats it should have. If player character humans could be tougher than brontosaurs, then an especially tough ogre might have ten hit dice and wear plate armor.

The game also did get harder for the players, because their characters reached high levels -- after about 15 years somebody hit 15th level -- and it actually got to be a major technical challenge to choose optimally from all the tactical options. On the other hand, I assumed that the Pontifex of Ahriman would have to be not just a 17th level evil high priest, but also pretty smart, to have risen that high in a ruthless cult. With my long hours of preparation, my villains were generally pretty cunning, and the players had to be at the tops of their games to survive.
The last game we tried to play, everyone was rusty, and they all died.

It's a young person's game, because you need a lot of time.

--------------------
It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #5
My favorite campaign ever occurred in the Greyhawk setting, which we ended up preferring to the Forgotten Realms because Greyhawk is comparatively low-magic, which added challenge as well as "realism," if that word is at all applicable. I'm certain that my DM put in long hours to come up with our campaigns.

My favorite character in this campaign was a thief who seemed to have an unearthly knack for achieving critical failures while disarming traps. I also almost without fail would roll a 1 or 2 on a d6 for damage from his arrows, leading to the running joke that he was armed with a Nerf bow-and-arrow. Fortunately, he had an 18 charisma, which pulled the party through many of what would otherwise have been very unsavory situations.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
Yeah, one of the greatest things about RPGs is the way chance generates cool stories. My youngest brother's character somehow kept being the one who failed his save whenever some evil force tried to possess party members. (This wasn't a particular focus of the campaign, but we ran for years and it came up from time to time.) It got to the point that whenever some possession started going down, everyone turned on him as a matter of course. Then finally, in the stronghold of the Inquisition, they met an evil-cloud-entity-thing, and everyone was possessed except him. I forget how he got them all out of it, except that it was hair-raising, but after that the curse, or meta-curse, seemed to be broken.

--------------------
It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #7
I'm usuallu a GM, but today I'll be player for a change. Ah, lucky me.

--------------------
Somebody PLEASE turn the heat on.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #8
In a rush of nostalgia I failed to answer the original questions.

I made up my own campaign setting, whole hog. As I said I played modified AD&D. I used the classic mix of platonic dice plus d10s, but I liked d20s best because they rolled well. I didn't buy any commerical products after the first few years, and just did everything from scratch instead. I was always a DM and my longest campaign lasted about 15 years if you count the career of the longest-serving character in the party, or about 5 years if you count the longest continuously connected plot. Initially my parties would play every two or three weeks for about six hours, but as we got older this shifted into playing every four to six months for about 48 hours, with breaks for meals and sleep. I had parties as small as two players and as large as 18, but I found that 4 to 8 was the best range, with six about ideal.

--------------------
It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #9
I apologize for dredging up old stories, but... :P

One of my favorite parts of one campaign was when the wizard in our party got a Ring of Contrariness. It was also a +1 Ring of Protection (we didn't know about the curse), so we gave it to the wizard, and his player did an amazing job roleplaying it. The best (worst) was when his character not only refused to haste our party before a battle with a small community of ogres, but also actually ran into melee and hasted the ogre mage chieftain because he "felt we were having too easy a time of it." The ogre mage then proceeded to bonk the wizard on the head. When we finally decided to take him to be healed (our priest had a habit of getting dropped to 0 hp very early in our sessions) - and the merits of doing so were pretty fiercely debated on this one - we discovered that the ring was cursed. Then it just became a matter of a steady use of reverse psychology until we could find someone with the means to remove it. :)
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4267
Profile Homepage #10
I play AD&D, whitewolf, and the sanguine games [ironclaw, jadeclaw, and albedo] I personally prefer jadeclaw and ironclaw to albedo, albedo is a logistics NIGHTMARE. so many rolls.. *cowers in fear*

for albedo, just think of a slightly dumped down verion of iron or jadeclaw... but with more ranged combat and use of variable explosives... not that bad, I know... but then factor that plays and npcs come in 5 man blocks. [each PC or major NPC "controls" a 5 man squad, including themselves... ] running an evenly matched battle between 5 players and comparable NPCs got out of hand quick...

--------------------
If everyone would just forgive someone else, so much pain would be taken off of all of our shoulders... but as tenderness is a virtue it is also a failing, any who would do such a thing usually fall to those who wouldn't. - Ezrah
Posts: 50 | Registered: Thursday, April 15 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 34
Profile Homepage #11
There are RPGs on pencil and paper? Man, ignorance bites.

I'd probably just do what I did as a lovable youthful infant and recreate the entire game so only I could win.

'Course, my parents used to tell me about kids sneaking into libraries to play D&D on the giant, room-sized punchcard computers back in the day.

--------------------
Fo shizzle, my lord.

Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other, "Do you know how to drive this thing?"
Posts: 702 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5389
Profile #12
I play one called Traveller, which is science fiction, about once a month. One of the others plays D&D, though I haven't joined him - no job, and so no income, so no D&D (one game is all I can afford right now).

--------------------
Reports of my demise are extremely accurate. And I AM the clone
Posts: 102 | Registered: Wednesday, January 12 2005 08:00
Warrior
Member # 5523
Profile #13
I played dnd for a while untill I realized that it wasn't for me. I soon got into games workshop tabletop games, and I've been playing them ever seince.

--------------------
“Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering - These are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But Poetry, Beauty, Romance, Love-These are what we alive stay for.”
Posts: 150 | Registered: Sunday, February 20 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3898
Profile #14
I could regale you all with stories of my D&D roleplaying experiences, but I don't really want to bore you that badly. I'll simply say that despite being born in 1990, I first played good old Red Box 1st edition, then lingered for a few months on 2nd Edition before permenatly switching to 3rd and 3.5th. I've mostly been a DM but I still play occasionally - on a ratio of about 4:1. I've also played several other tabletop versions - most of the GURPSs, one or two of the White Wolf games, MERP, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Warhammer (not sure if that counts as pen-and-paper), but I most enjoy just D&D itself.

--------------------
~Note : The professional newbie's advice should not be taken seriously, or at all.~
LINKAGE
Posts: 364 | Registered: Saturday, January 17 2004 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #15
I tried Traveller once -- it is very old! I didn't like it, because the combat system seemed to make it very difficult to put enemies down to the point where they weren't any threat at all, but very easy for your own character to become seriously handicapped. And the process of generating your character was a drawn-out trade-off between getting a decent basket of starting skills, and becoming decrepit from old age before you even started playing.

I once played Stormbringer, an RPG set in the universe of Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné. Perhaps appropriately, it had a combat system that made it very easy to get your character maimed. It was hard to see how characters could last more than a few games before running out of parts.

In retrospect it's clear to me that the funny old D&D system, with armor class and hit points, is ideally suited to RPG playing, because it ensures (most of the time) that characters get hurt gradually, so that players have time to react before permanent things happen.

The question of what makes a good RPG combat system is an interesting one. It's not always obvious what will work best. For instance, I once tried to improve on the D&D system by ditching combat 'rounds', and advancing through melee second-by-second. If your character was supposed to strike once per 10-second round before, I gave you a 1/10 chance each second of getting an attack. Since this preserved your average number of attacks per round, I thought this would be fine. What actually happened was that all fighters became startlingly irrelevant, going ages without getting any chance to act, while the spellcasters totally pwned. It was a nice little exercise in probability theory to figure out what I had done wrong.

--------------------
It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5785
Profile #16
I play White-Wolf World of Darkness games. The games are great, even if the producers of them kinda suck.

--------------------
"..The seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."
Posts: 522 | Registered: Wednesday, May 4 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5567
Profile Homepage #17
I've never actually played, but I tink that I might like them.

Hey, Contra! You've almost overtaken my post count!

--------------------
How many shapers are there?
Why is Drypeak controlled by Zakary?
Why is Barzahl a Guardian?
How does the Geneforge work?
What's as small as nothing?
Why am I asking stupid questions?
--------------------------------
Shaper teacher : "DON'T TOUCH THAT!"
BOOM!!
apprentice :*little voice* "Sorry..."
---------------------------
Visit CSM !!! And this site is just great! Wow! Did you know what the answer to the gretest question ever is ?
Posts: 576 | Registered: Wednesday, March 2 2005 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5785
Profile #18
Almost and almost, I have by now!

--------------------
"..The seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."
Posts: 522 | Registered: Wednesday, May 4 2005 07:00