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A Brief History of Tabletop RPGs

Some people may refer to roleplaying games as a hobby. But to others, the mention of games such as Dungeons and Dragons will ignite an adventurous sparkle in their eye as they regale you with passionate tales of an imaginary world. With a range of enthusiasts of all creed and color, table top RPGs have taken the world by storm over the past few decades. Here is a brief history of tabletop RPGs.

The Birth of Tabletop RPGs

The start of roleplaying and the art of fantastic pretending is not a phenomenon that can be attributed to any one person, place, or time. However most agree that the invent of modern tabletop games came with the release of Dungeons and Dragons in the year 1974.

Brought to life by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, D&D allows players to play as a myriad of characters and create stories involving mysterious creatures, moral decisions, and various dangers. Game play requires character sets to track stats, seven sided die to randomize decisions and consequences, and a rulebook containing the rules and lore of the game.

The Spread of Tabletop RPGs

The popularity of Dungeons and Dragons opened the door for more roleplaying games to be released and enjoyed by the masses. There are hundreds of game options available, including Runequest, Warhammer, and Tunnels and Trolls.

Because there are so many tabletop RPG options, there is a game for every type of player. You can choose the fantastical element that you wish to delve into. There are also options for people who don’t want to get too in depth with their character or the lore of the world they are playing in.

The Evolution of Tabletop RPGs

In the 1980’s, the first card roleplaying game was introduced. Like Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering is a game that is still well known and popular today. These games are a way to create magical stories, profound heroes, and wicked villains. Roleplaying games of both the tabletop and card variety open doors of creativity and storytelling.

Computer based RPGs are also very popular and new options are released regularly. One of the first widely available computer roleplaying games was Ultima, which is an open world roleplaying game. The world of Ultima continues to grow, with the most recent release in 2013. Dragonstomper was one of the first RPGs released for a console system and was released for the Atari in 1982.

Popular online RPGs include The Witcher, Diablo, The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy and so many more. Computer and console based roleplaying games present players with existing characters, worlds, and challenges but allow players to make their own choices and choose the path their character will take throughout the game.

Final Words on Roleplaying Games

Creating stories is a common method of escapism for many people. But people have options in how they want to stoke the fires of artistry and imagination. Tabletop RPGs have laid the foundation for games of various media, length, and difficulty. Should you find yourself wondering what life might be like as a powerful wizard, a shy wood elf, or a troubled knight, a tabletop RPG may give you the glimpse into a fantasy world you’ve been seeking.