All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
Tabletop role playing has been part of my life and a core part of my identity for decades. It fills many roles for me personally including as a creative outlet, a method to meet people, and simply as a fun hobby. Role playing will always be these things for me, but I also see a higher goal for role playing games.
But let me step back for a minute.
I’m in four role playing groups and each group scratches a slightly different itch. One of my weeknight games is a great way to decompress after the work day. We eat snacks, sling some dice, and have a great time killing monsters and saving the world. On alternating Sundays I’m in a campaign that has run for more than five years with primarily the same group. I’m deeply invested in the story and have notebooks full of session notes and intricate machinations. I love each of my groups for different reasons. I also love the diverse game systems and settings wherein I live my other lives.
Real world growth can come from imaginary situations. As much as I need role playing for the fun and creative outlet, for me the higher calling of role playing is as a method to examine the human condition and build empathy. The game table is one of the places I go to understand different perspectives. I use role playing to challenge my preconceptions, including on fundamental topics such as law and justice. This is a low risk, high reward opportunity that I am very thankful for.
In May 2016 my mother suffered and died after several years of battling cancer. Logically, I know this isn’t my fault. That doesn’t change that I have struggled with guilt for things I could have done or should have said in the preceding months, years, and decades. Since her death each of my RPG characters has taken a role in exploring the themes of redemption, atonement, and ultimately forgiveness. Role playing is the forum I’ve used to prod and process my sense of failure from a safe distance. I have gone through this exploration with relative privacy thanks to the overt storyline.
The other night, I played in a game where exploring the human condition and building empathy was the core experience.
There are no super powers and there is no fixing the past. The characters succeed by mentoring the child about how to move forward. One Child’s Heart is a role playing experience centered on love, trust, and empathy. “One Child’s Heart” from Camdon Wright is an exercise is vulnerability. It is an emotionally intense experience about processing the small but consequential traumas from childhood. The characters are the helpers: a social worker, a therapist, a psychologist, and a police officer working to give the child (played by the GM) the tools needed to deal with past trauma. There are no super powers and there is no fixing the past. The characters succeed by mentoring the child about how to move forward. One Child’s Heart is a role playing experience centered on love, trust, and empathy.
It is not every day that a game makes me -as a player- feel real emotion. After the game, as I lay awake, I finally decided to forgive myself for my shortcomings related to mom’s death. I realized it was up to me to absolve myself of the sense of guilt and to accept my powerlessness over the situation. I have been working towards this for a year and a half and it is thanks to role playing that I came out the other side.
Real world growth can come from imaginary situations. Mountain Dew, dice, and a side of empathy. For me, that is the true power of role playing, and something I hope everyone experiences at least once.
&quot;Who Killed My Uncle?&quot; Postmortem - The Importance of Historical Research - by Devon Wiersma
What's more, the Office is now seeking public comments on a new set of proposed exemptions to the DMCA, including an expansion to the abandoned game clause. ...