The Great D&D/Roleplaying Games Introduction Thread

I got into D&D 3.5 a few years ago with some older gentleman, but I left the group because they argued too much. Though we did play some cool games like Dungeon World and Stars Without Number.

These days I play a roll20 5e game ran by a friend of mine and it’s a much nicer group.

I would LOVE to DM a game one day, but I feel like I’m not very good at improvising on the spot. I’m not​ really a good storyteller either. I could start with pre-written campaigns I guess.

On the subject of RPGs in general: since playing tabletop games, I’ve really grown to appreciate video game RPGs. I never liked them before and would be turned off by stats, Now, I love them​! I’m currently 60 hrs into Pillars of Eternity.

Speaking of them video games, I’ve recently been replaying the original Final Fantasies and it’s funny to see how directly they’re lifting from DnD. They use spell slots in FF1, and some of the monsters are actually designs lifted from the monster manual.

I’ve never played a tabletop game. I have a feeling they’d frustrate me, but I still kind of want to try one? I tried Roll20 and only joined duds that never started. I have, however, listened to and watched a lot of Critical Role and The Adventure Zone, both of which got me interested in tabletop RPGs. I totally love looking through source books and hearing about new systems.

I’ve been doing play-by-post RPs for a long, long time though. I don’t know if it’s quite the same thing, since there are rarely numbers in my neck of the woods – it’s basically just collaborative writing?

My favourite roleplay experiences are really about the collaborative narrative creation anyway, rather than it being a game. The dice add structured chaos and unexpected outcomes, but they’re not the main focus for me.

There’s a parabola for how much you need to care about numbers with tabletop games. 3.5/Pathfinder and games of that era (say, late 90s to mid 00s) tend to have the most numbers. 4e and 5e D&D and games like apocalypse world are a (sometimes significant) step down from this. Earlier D&D, especially pre-1e AD&D also tends to skew numbers light, especially for players.

I’ve played and run RPGs since I was twelvish and plan to roll those bones until my dying day. RPGs are my favorite thing and I get antsy if I don’t get enough playtime. I’ve had a regular online group for almost fifteen years, I think; right now, with them, I run a Blades in the Dark hack, and irregularly a 5e D&D game, and two of my players also run their own 5e games with us. IRL I ran a Paranoia possible-one-shot recently, and play in a Monsterhearts game. I’m moving soon and who knows what RPG wonders will await me next.

I got into AD&D 2e in 1998ish through Fallout :arrow_right: Baldur’s Gate :arrow_right: Torment. The first thing I bought was the Planescape Campaign Setting box set, then I bought the 2e Player’s Handbook and Monstrous Manual (it will always be the Monstrous Manual in my heart), and then I became a weird child who carried around a Monster Manual everywhere I went.

It’s been exciting to see the great flowering of interest in RPGs recently, thanks to podcasts/Twitch/etc. I hope anyone who is interested in playing gets a :game_die: in their hand soon.

(First post!; Hi folks!)

I started D&D with 2nd Edition in 97/98,and moved on to World of Darkness stuff because high school. I dabbled in BESM and Shadowrun in college and since then have also enjoyed Fiasco, FATE, and a few other weird ones like Tales from the Floating Vagabond, Strike!, and Tenra Bansho Zero (which is super rad).

I’ve got a 5E game going right now that I’m recording to maybe turn into a podcast. 5E felt like a good starting point since it’s familiar and pretty easy, but I’m thinking about breaking the campaign up into neat 7-10 session “seasons” to take breaks to try other games. Right now I’m sitting on two new games I haven’t played that are super different that I really want to try: Ryuutama and Spellbound Kingdoms. Do any of y’all have experience with either? Also, what games have y’all tried that can lean toward a cosmic horror vibe without specifically being Lovecraft/Cthulhu themed? Asking for a friend.

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My first character was for RIFTS. No one else came prepared and we cancelled the campaign almost instantly.

I’d suggest not going for IRC/PbP for your first tabletop game if you can be sufficiently picky. IRC would be superior, but having audio and possibly video helps to keep everyone’s attention. Part of the fun is just riffing with your friends.

I’d also suggest starting with a game that does the thing you’re interesting in doing. If you like murdering and looting, find a game with a lot of rules around those activities. We’re kind of living in a golden age, there’s a ruleset for every person out there.

For horror, check out Unknown Armies. I’m not an expert, but the new edition is cool, and it’s cosmic without being Lovecraftian at all.

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I need to take another look at Roll20. I started to but I couldn’t get over the learning hump.

I recently began running a game with some friends. We’re all new to it all so we’re figuring stuff out as we go.

I started back in the early aughts with 3.5. After undergrad though I didn’t have many people to play with, and then I moved and learned that a lot of my friends would have played if I had GMd, which is a bummer. I never saw myself as a GM, I never felt that I could be as creative as some of my GMs were. Then this year I decided to take the plunge, after seeing how good and similar 5e was to 3.5 I decided to try GMing a pre-built campaign with my local friends and we’ve been playing every weekend since February! Its been a blast and I’m really happy that I took the leap to GMing because its turned out to be not as scary as I originally thought (shout outs to Matt Colville for his running the game series!!!)

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Sage LaTorra, one of the people behind Dungeon World has a cosmic horror game that’s not specifically lovecraftian. I hear good things (I don’t really like PbtA, so I can’t really judge). It def assumed you know a PbtA derivative already though. Might be called black stars rise, something like that.

I’m working on something like this too, but it’s not anywhere close to ready for playtesting.

Also, I really liked Ryuutama. I’m not sure how well it’d fare over more than three or so sessions (I think it could work, but the only time I’ve engaged with it was to run like two sessions and a wrap up session).

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I started running my first D&D campaign about a month ago. Up until then I’d never played. I was inspired to take this final dip into the only untainted pool of nerddom by listening to the excellent podcast The Adventure Zone. I’m sure a lot of you guys have heard it, but it made me want to lead my friends through the game.

It kinda - and this might sound weird - hits the same itch Mario Maker hit for me. I like creating worlds for people to play in and then I like to see how those players defy my expectations. It’s good fun.

I don’t use their map and token and macro mechanics much (and I haven’t used it for D&D since they got specialized add-ons for it), but as a video chat with a simple “slideshow” and a dice roller, it works very well. Some use it for very specialized things with highly techy macros, I use it as a backdrop and a simple storytelling tool – with dice.

I played DnD and various WoD games all through high school and early college. Through course of college and the decade since I fell away as friends groups changed and I’m the bolt person in my groups now who is experienced enough to GM but I hate GMing.

I’d love to get back into but as with most things in adulthood, finding the time and the people is difficult.

I got interested in tabletop games around my senior year in high school, since I had a Marine Science teacher who was a huge nerd, bless him. He ran us a D&D 4e campaign after school w/ about six of us (my character was a dragonborn ranger with dual warpicks), but we never got to finish it because school ended, I graduated, and he went off to Atlanta to study how fish… kiss??? I don’t remember.

Years and years later, I’m finally in my first actual D&D campaign with 2 friends of mine and another GMing a 5e campaign and I’m having a ton of fun and it’s a major thing I look forward to every Saturday. The character I play can loosely be boiled down to the following image:

I’d absolutely love to run an Apocalypse World-style game, but the only other day I’d have free is Sunday and most of the people I know already have things going on then, or live in the UK, which makes things damn near impossible to organize in favor of us both. I work with kids though, so I’m also getting by introducing them to pre-formatted games like Forbidden Island/Desert, so if anyone has any recommendations on that front (preferably co-op since I hate to see them fight and argue) I’d be super happy to hear them!

I own both Ryuutama and Spellbound Kingdoms, haven’t played either though. I like both of them though. Ryuutama’s system really seems like it would work well to have relaxing games, whereas I love Spellbound Kingdoms’ fighting style sheets.

Also, for cosmic horror, maybe Don’t Rest Your Head? It’s a game about insomniacs exploring a city that only appears during the 25th Hour. Another suggestion would be Itra’s By. It’s not exactly a horror game, mostly a surrealist game, but it definitely has cosmic horror elements in the setting and can be used to run cosmic horror games if you want.


I think a mistake people often make when trying to come up with ‘introduction’ RPGs is to assume that learning rules is the only barrier and thus pick a ‘rules light’ system. A classic example of this is Fiasco. Fiasco is ‘rules light’, but it asks people to do a lot of the other half of RPGs, which is improvised acting. Now if your friends are all theatre kids, Fiasco might be perfect, but most people are gonna be just as intimidated by acting out scenes as they are by doing dice numbers. That’s why I tend to prefer things like Apocalypse World or Inspectres, which are easy to learn but have just enough structure to ease people into playing a character.


100% agreed. To be honest, I play a lot of Pathfinder and teach a lot of new players how to play Pathfinder. It’s pretty heavy on the rules, but what I always struggle with is when I open up with a question like: what do you want to do?

Rules are one thing; learning that you can literally do anything you want (within the limitations of your character) is another big thing!

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I agree. Fiasco is a great game, but I honestly think it’s a great game for less people than, say, D&D is a great game for. Apocalypse World might be better for new players, but I think it’s as a hard game for new GMs. (I haven’t tried Inspectres, but thanks for the recommendation!)