Role Playing Games



I've refer to *gaming* many times in these pages.    Role Playing games are a way to use your imagination, enjoy the company of others, express your creativity and even your ideas and philosophies.   As a parent I found that getting involved in my sons role playing group was a way to keep the lines of communication open.   I never had to wonder where my son was on weekends, or who he was with, what he was up to.   He was sitting with me and a bunch of his friends trying to figure out how to make his way through the latest adventure.

Let me make a brief editorial comment on role playing games and specifically Dungeons &Dragons.   Many things have been written and said about these games being "evil", "satanic", etc.  I have played D&D for many years; and my main character, Kyia, is a loving, caring, compassionate person who heals all, even enemies, and attempts to protect the environment.    Every adventure I've been a part of has pitted the group I was with against some *evil* force that needed to be vanquished.   Of course not all groups can say that, but the game itself is what you make of it; much more so than other board games.    In Monopoly you can't choose another option to going to jail except what might be within the rules.    In D&D adventures you are limited only by your imagination and the Dungeon Master (the person running the game).   Although it is true that some people that have played D&D did behave in destructive ways, that can be said of so many things.   We can read the newspapers for tales of real governments and real religious cults that cause the death or destruction of their followers or those they fear.   Several music/rap groups have been accused of contributing to the violent nature of others.    To point to a game and accuse it of evil is a great injustice.    The game is just that; a game.   And for anyone that has sat in a room and watched the game as it is usually played, they can understand how funny it seems to have it be called satanic.

A typical exchange :  

The DM says "You find an orc blocking your path to the chest."

Swordsman says " Ok..  I  yell  'For Glory' as I lunge forward with my sword drawn making a slashing motion toward the orc."

The DM (or the swordsman) rolls some dice, adds up the numbers, compares them to other numbers  representing the orc and his abilities and armor.  "Swordsman, you manage to hit the orc with a glancing blow.  He's bleeding but you didn't slow him down much. "

Mage says "Standing behind the group, I began to mumble to myself the spell to cast a fireball in the direction of the orc."

"The DM (or mage) rolls more dice and says "Your spell fries the orc to a crisp but Swordsman was still standing pretty close to the orc when the fireball hit and he takes 8 points of damage too.  The orc's charred remains lies at the Swordsman's feet."

...  and the game continues with the players giving their reactions and actions to the situations presented to them.   When a mage throws a fireball, he doesn't believe that by chanting certain words fire will actually  burst forth from his hands, and most swordsmen have never been in a actual sword fight with another person.    There are some groups that do act out the adventure a bit more than this but most are sitting around their living rooms / kitchens / basements / dens / family rooms with their paper, pencils, dice and friends and enjoying creating an adventure together.   The game in itself is not evil..  it's only a game.

   Dungeons & Dragons     Every discussion of role-playing games should include mention of the Dungeons & Dragons game.    This is 'The" role-playing game; the standard that all others evolved from.   There are dozens of sites (maybe hundreds) on the Internet about this game but I think it's always best to start at the source.   From there you can search for other sites and learn more, read adventures, even join groups.

  Taera    This is an on-line Dungeons & Dragons game that I am currently involved in.    It's a wonderful community of people who wander the world of Taera; a world of magic with touches of ancient technology.   You choose from more than a dozen different races, and about 20 careers to create your character.   There are many many skills you can learn as you gain experience and advance in levels.   This game follows the official Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition rules and is played in chat mode on line. We have people in the two groups from all over the world. A standard time is agreed upon and we all meet in chat to spend several hours roaming the world in search of adventure and very bad jokes! This world was created over a decade ago by a very dedicated gamer. He's spent a lot of energy creating a very detailed and complex world in which we play.

   The Realm     Many years ago I signed up to test this on-line game and ended up buying it as soon as it came on the market.  It started me on my journey of on-line gaming.    For anyone who has played the game King's Quest by Sierra Games, you have a good feel for what The Realm is.    It was created by Sierra Games and has a lot of the same look and feel of that game.    It's since been sold to a new company, Codemasters, who are trying to advance the game at this point.   I found it fun to go into this game and interact with their large, global community.   For a long time, I would find around 2,000 people on-line and in game any time I logged on.   That's 2,000 people from all over the world playing the same game at the same time.    You meet a lot of very interesting people like that.    The game is a bit smaller than that at this point but it's still fun and there are a lot of people from all over the world on it. 

    Dhara     A world setting for an online game and proposed novel featuring classic fantasy elements and a mix of philosophical paradigms. Humanity explores the nature of its own reality amidst an infinity of possibilities, encountering races with completely different outlooks on reality, and many other wonders and terrors separate and part of human life.

   S'ilv'r'sain Campaign     Another game that a group of friends are involved in is S'ilv'r'sain Campaign .   Drop by the site and read up on this one and drop a note to the DM if you wish to adventure here.

   Tii's Serenity     Although this is not a game, this site is written for role players.   Tii and I met in a game where she was one of the helpers in the group I led.   Her site has many tales and all in the roles of the characters they are about.   It's a very pleasant site.   Gamers will enjoy spending a bit of time here.

    More to come :   I know that I will be adding more to this list in time so come back and see what other worlds I might discover.

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