The Essence of Class

Crossed Swords

As computer RPGs blend more and more with Tabletop RPGs the essence of character classes seem to more accurately reflect the computer game zeitgeist. The height of this trend was the release of 4th Edition AD&D, which played more like a strategy game than a true RPG. Let’s take a look at the origins and meanings behind the various common classes in the hope of revealing more indepth Role Play in the term RPG.

While I could mention many other classes, I’ll be sticking mainly with the D&D and AD&D classes as I think the majority of gamers will be familiar with what I’m talking about. I should also add that D&D refers to the Dave Arneson branch of D&D from back in 1974. AD&D is the Gary Gygax branch which evolved into what we now know as 5th Edition D&D.

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Better Gaming through Breaking Preconceptions

Whether we are aware of it or not, our upbringing and life experiences have a dramatic influence on our perceptions. We carry those preconceptions into the fictional gaming worlds and then impose our preconceptions onto the world to make them fit our understanding. Not only are these preconceived ideas at odds with many game worlds, they can wash out the true colour and wonder of the worlds in which we game. Instead, we should seek to make each game world feel like a new vibrant world filled with new experience, rather than a collection of comfortable tropes.

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Every God has its Day

Whether you are Jewish, Wiccan or otherwise, December tends to be a special time for many religions. In fact, a great many of the special events in a year are connected with religions. Not just special events either, but laws, moral values, communication, and countless things are influenced on a daily basis by religions.

However, in many RPG systems religion is chosen based solely on what it might grant a character. What I’m saying is that religions are very poorly represented in most systems, acting as little more than a statistic on a character sheet. While I don’t think there is a place in RPGs for real life dogma, I do think more time needs to be spent to properly highlight the influence and power religions have on daily life.

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Why it’s Bad to be Bad

The ‘Evil’ campaign (where all the player characters are evil) is something many groups try. This is where the party, rather than playing heroic figures, choose to play evil people. The campaigns rarely last long, mainly due to party infighting, yet the trends continue. In this article I want to look at why the Evil campaigns are a poor idea, but also how to make them work if you really want to take this path.

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A Guide for New Role Players

It all seems very intimidating at first. Sitting around the table are a bunch of rabid fans talking in code about things that make no sense in the real world. “Just roll the d20 for initiative” they say, as if it’s some call to action that makes sense. Worst still, apparently it’s your ‘turn’ and all eyes are on you, but you have no idea what that means.

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