Friday, 11 September 2015
Pen and Paper
My relationship with pen and paper games started in a weird way. I enjoyed playing video games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights on the PC when I was younger but the idea of sitting around a table with a bunch of people role playing sounded really fucking stupid to me. Unfortunately I was one of those people who would look at this people and think they were a bit sad and pathetic, playing with dice and pretending to be elves.
So, fast forward from my early teens to 2010 when I first came to Japan. I got a text message from another exchange student asking me to come and play Dungeons and Dragons. Well at the time I didn't really have fuck all else to do and if I remember right a lot of students had gone home at that point to visit family for the holiday, so I decided to join. I go down to the room, roll up a character and start playing Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (lol)
My opinion of role playing was IMMEDIATELY changed. There was a degree of seriousness to the role play but everything was tongue in cheek. Combat was also insanely fun and considering that we were using nothing more than bits of paper and coins it was pretty intense. We had a really good group that were willing to mix a bit of humor into a serious plot and eventually we got to a point where we were playing every day because it was so damn fun.
I played a few more DnD sessions after this but it just wasn't as fun, the groups were too serious and there was no room to be even a little bit silly, I yearned for those days with my old group and despite us trying our best to do it online, time difference meant our schedules didn't really match up.
Recently though I started playing Pathfinder with a group of guys here in Japan. FINALLY I've found another group that are willing to strike a balance between a semi serious and interesting plot with a bit of humor. The dynamic we have reminds me of those old days during my first exchange year and I'm at that point again where I'm getting stupidly excited for the next session. What's even funnier is that the DM has set the games story within the Discworld universe and I was introduced to this group just as I started uploading Discworld onto YouTube, it's almost like some weird fate.
So, if you have never tried a pen and paper game and you're the kind of person who thinks its too nerdy even for you, I'd implore you to give it a go. Find a decent group of people who aren't overly stupid but also not "my robe and wizard hat" kind either and you'll have an absolute blast. Get your dice, get some beers and have a grand old time. The freedom that this kind of game allows is INSANE and it's almost impossible not to have a good time.