Friday, February 24, 2012

A gap I won't close

Having played both MMORPGs and pen & paper RPGs, it would be only obvious if I tried virtual tabletop RPGs. These are games that play with a Dungeon Master and standard D&D (or other systems) rules, but the players are each in their own home at their own computer. They talk via Skype, or Google+ hangout, or Teamspeak, or some similar voice or video chat program. And they use software like MapTools, or Fantasy Grounds, or WotC's Virtual Table to handle the maps and the characters and monsters fighting on it. Tipa from West Karana plays D&D that way, there is an Online Dungeon Master blog, and at first the whole thing looks as if it would offer the best of two very different worlds of role-playing.

But I don't think this is for me. Pen & paper roleplaying for me isn't just about the game. It is also about having a perfect excuse for hanging out with friends, eating junk food, drinking soda, and talking about lots of other things than just the game. Even if it is obviously harder to organize, I'd rather sit with them around a real table than chatting with them over a headset. I can see how a virtual tabletop campaign would be useful if I absolutely wanted to play with people living far away from me. But right now that isn't the case. So I'll rather stick to the two extremes of pen & paper on a real table and MMORPGs than going for the middle ground.

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