It’s great being someone else. Everyone is themself all the time, and while it’s good to be assured in your own mind, sometimes you want to put all of your daily struggles, exhausting interactions and menial tasks to the back of your mind. So why not be someone else? There’s a few ways one can do this, but roleplaying games are an ever growing way of finding a way of escaping the trudge of regular life.
Roleplaying games take many different forms, but most people have heard of a few popular ones such as the classic Dungeons and Dragons. However, they come in many different flavors from video games to board games and even to games that just require a paper, a pencil and a creative imagination are enough to get any story going. No matter how you choose to enjoy them they all will have the same goal, to get the player of the game into the mind and role of a character that is typically completely made-up. Your character could be anything depending on the story you find yourself in, from a crafty thief, to a lofty magician, as long as you feel comfortable and have fun playing it out. Not too far from acting, the purpose is to separate yourself and play the game through the mind of a completely different person, acting as they would act rather than letting your own experience make your choices. For example, a lone adventurer may have a tragic backstory that makes them distrusting of your companions, even if you yourself might be best friends with them. Perhaps your strong knight is dumb as a box of rocks and thinks that the angry spirit just needs a nice meal to get it to calm back down. The potential and stories are as boundless as each person’s imagination.
Approaching the idea might seem a bit daunting or even just difficult to find friends to play with, but usually neither of these are as difficult as it might seem. There are many different ways to play out the roleplay, giving people flexibility in how they want to try it. Some prefer to meet up in person and play out all their roles, even playing out the absurdity that their characters may get themselves into. Others prefer to play by text, where you don’t need to be gathered up to do it, instead connecting over the internet and playing through creative writing. No matter your preference, you can easily find groups online that would be more than willing to have more players for their events, stories and games, you simply have to find the right group that you can let loose with. Game shops frequently hold their own nights for roleplaying games as well, usually allowing people to pay a small fee to play for the night, rather than having to buy the full game without knowing if you’d enjoy it.
Once you decide to play, you’ll find there’s several options for you to choose from, which can be daunting without understanding them. Players gravitate towards different genres just like they would for a television show, some major ones being fantasy or sci-fi for example. For the fans of fantasy, the easiest and most prevalent example would be Dungeons and Dragons. When you mention “D&D” as it’s commonly referred to, most people will generally understand what you’re talking about. It’s perhaps the easiest to get into and allows the players a wide diversity of characters and personalities. For newer players, it’s probably best to start here to get the feel of playing someone other than yourself. Once you get comfortable, your options become expansive. For sci-fi, we have Warhammer 40k, for massive, wild space battles and conflicts, or perhaps the more horror-themed Call of Cthulhu for a mind breaking journey of investigation and even the supernatural themed Vampire: The Masquerade for dark intrigue and manipulation. The choice is yours at the end of the day and you can hop between them all based on your mood at the time of playing.
Next time you find yourself numbed by everyday chores and the working grind, it might help to look into roleplaying games as a way to get away from it all. There’s plenty of groups and friends to be made through playing it, and it’s always satisfying to be the hero of a grandiose adventure, or even the villain of a diabolical plot. If you find yourself at the Webster Geneva campus, you can even contact the Board Games Club and join in on their weekly Friday games as well! If you need any more information on how to get involved, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.