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Networking through table top RPG games

Updated on November 20, 2015
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In a world where its inhabitants are masked by social media and the real world is neglected, I have managed to find a way to conjure personal inter-personal interaction by way of table top Role Playing Games (RPGs). RPGs to some individuals may sound silly for fully grown and partially matured people to sit down and not only play but actually enjoy games at a randomly designated game table. But I really have found true magic in such communion and I am going to share with you it’s secrets.

The Unsuspecting Participants

Getting your friends to partake in a session with table top RPG games, heretofore referred to as “Nerd Poker” shall prove more challenging for some than others. RPG games are stimulating by nature; just the mere mention of it will automatically entice your analytically inclined friends. For those requiring more convincing or what I like to call “finesse” there are ways to get them on board (pun intended). Perhaps your jock motor-head friend who cares entirely too much about his car would like to play a warrior mounted on magnificent customizable war-horse on which to ride into battle in order to impress protect the locals. Or perhaps that friend, who despite her great voice, sings entirely too much would like to play a traveling musical bard, putting on shows and acquiring fans wherever she goes. Regardless of the personality, there always and forever will be “a role for that!”

Choosing a Suitable Game

There are many different types and styles of table top RPG games so I will list (3) that would cover different interest types and levels for your nerd poker session.

NOTE: These are in no particular order

1. Munchkin

If you are up for venturing into a dungeon, killing everything in sight, backstabbing your friends and stealing their stuff all for the purpose of looting the treasure and run! Then you absolutely must try munchkin. It is a very engaging card game about dungeon adventure . . . And very light on the role-play which makes it ideal for anyone who is new to roleplaying strategy games. In the world of munchkin, you and your friends will compete to kill monsters and grab magic items! Another factor that makes this game fun is the clever and hilarious names and artwork of the cards illustrated by John Kovalic. If you ever fantasized of spending your Saturday nights parading in your “Horny Helmet” while sporting the fashionable “Boots of Butt-Kicking”, Munchkin is probably one of the few places you can still do that without scrutiny from passersby. Munchkin also has an extensive expansion pack list but I prefer the classic as opposed to the superhero or vampire munchkin sets.

Munchkin

2. Pandemic

Pandemic is a cooperative board game designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man Games in 2008. Pandemic is based on the premise that four diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. The diseases aren’t named by the game so I and some friends took the liberty of naming them ourselves, so get creative! Besides the playable roles: dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher or operations expert, when playing with my friends I like to introduce an extra role-play scenario at the beginning of the game. Perhaps we went out for some drinks after a long day of work and our boss then called us in to deal with a “Pandemic!” The game has several interesting mechanics that intensify the game naturally as turns go by. This allows the players to suffer despair together as misery really does love company. What I like most about Pandemic is the cooperative aspect, success of the mission depends on how well the players work together to find the cure to eradicate the four diseases.

Pandemic

3. Zombie Dice

The gameplay of Zombie Dice is simple and although you may not be able to plan an entire strategy game night around it, there is still much fun and excitement to have with this one. The player has to shake a cup containing 13 dice and randomly select 3 of them without looking into the cup and then roll them. The faces of each die represent either, brains, shotgun blasts or "runners" with different colors containing a different distribution of faces (the 6 green dice have 3 brains, 1 shotgun and 2 runners, the 4 yellow dice have 2 of each and the 3 red dice have 1 brain, 3 shotguns and 2 runners). This is where risk management comes in for the probability fans and gamblers and I like to imagine that we are playing to feed our respective zombie families with human brains YUM! The object of the game is to roll 13 brains and if a player rolls 3 shotgun blasts their turn ends and they lose the brains they have accumulated so far that particular turn. It is possible for a player to roll 3 blasts in a single roll, I have seen friends get up to 5 shots on a single turn (2 and while pushing their luck got shot 3 more times!) However, if only one or two blasts have been rolled the player will have to decide whether it is worth it to risk rolling again or "bank" the brains acquired so far and pass play to the next player. A "runner" is represented by feet and rolling a runner means that the player can roll that same dice if they choose to press their luck. A winner is determined if a player rolls 13 brains and all other players have taken at least one more turn without reaching 13 brains.


After you have established your guest list and acquired some games for your table top RPG night, get out the game table and some refreshments and let the nerd poker session roll! You would be surprised how interactive and engaging the session would become. You may have to read about the on a social media site the next day or the same night depending on who is there! But you will end the night feeling that that you are that much closer to your friend and developed new friendships further. These games are all games I have tried and enjoyed with friends. Stay tuned for my next list of table top RPG games that are a bit more role playing intensive for those who like to explore!

Zombie Dice

Time to roll!

After you have established your guest list and acquired some games for your table top RPG night, get out the game table and some refreshments and let the nerd poker session roll! You would be surprised how interactive and engaging the session would become. You may have to read about the on a social media site the next day or the same night depending on who is there! But you will end the night feeling that that you are that much closer to your friend and developed new friendships further. These games are all games I have tried and enjoyed with friends. Stay tuned for my next list of table top RPG games that are a bit more role playing intensive for those who like to explore!

© 2015 Keino Chichester

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    • Keino C profile image
      Author

      Keino Chichester 2 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      I discovered different types a bit over a year ago and I am addicted since. They require a bit more imagination and thinking than traditional board games which is the fun factor for me. I will post a few more of my favorites on my upcoming Hubs. :)

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love to play board games, but I am unfamiliar with these. I'll have to give them a try!

    • Suhaimizs profile image

      Suhaimi Zainal Shah 2 years ago from Singapore

      Have always been a fan of board games but have'nt really tried RPG table top ones. I played chess monopoly and other more conventional board games when I was younger. Zombie Dice looks fun. Id like to try it someday.