How a Videogamer Took the Tabletop Plunge


Getting into tabletop role-playing games can be a daunting experience, even if you’re well versed in videogames.

Even the most ardent and brave adventurer can find themselves in unfamiliar territory when they delve into the world of tabletop gaming and swap their control pad for dice and a character sheet. In Issue 271 of The Escapist, lifelong CRPG player Rowan Kaiser talks about his experiences as he popped his tabletop RPG cherry.

Although I’ve never played an RPG on a tabletop, I’ve done it tens of thousands of times on my computer. Computer roleplaying games are my favorite genre. I like them in all styles. I’ve played every Ultima, every Final Fantasy. I can wax poetic about whetherDisgaea or Wizardry VII is the most complex videogame of all time. I’ve also played many, if not most, of the AD&D videogames released for the PC, and while I enjoyed many of them, I rarely loved them. I came to believe that they were more interested in adapting the D&D rules than being great videogames.

So with the idea of roleplaying and not min-maxing or beating the system in mind, I rolled a halfling barbarian. His name was Min, and he was a barbarian because he believed that his great-grandmother had made love to a dwarf. The rest of Min’s family had forgotten this, but she was trying to reclaim their glorious barbarian past. His great-grandmother had even tried to grow a beard. I created Min because, well, I thought it was funny. Perhaps it would have been equally funny in Icewind Dale II – but I probably would have been the only one laughing.

Kaiser got the chance to experience a variety of play styles as he took his first faltering steps down the path of tabletop roleplaying. You can read more about his experiences, and his thoughts on how tabletop games compare with videogames, in his article “Out of the D&D Closet.”

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