I’ve always liked tabletop roleplaying, but also always ran into the geographical problem. There’s simply not enough people I can find in physical proximity to get a game going, especially living somewhere in freakin’ Asia, a continent or two away from where more people have heard of the concept.
Now there’s digital tabletop roleplaying – assuming you have a webcam, a microphone and a tabletop roleplaying program – but eh, I already find trying to keep to regular MMO raid times a headache, to say nothing of trying to schedule the SAME 4-5 busy working adults across weeks and months for long enough to have a decent story going.
Then there’s the effort of GMing – isn’t it always funny how the one with the most interest ends up taking on most of the work – and I end up concluding that trying to run a game in reality fits under the ‘very low priority desire’ category.
Instead, just like one realizes that one doesn’t have the time to play all the MOBAs in the world and just idly watches professional streams now and then, I’ve taken to watching someone else roleplay for me.
Or a whole bunch of someone elses.
JP McDaniel aka “itmeJP” on Youtube, runs a roleplaying games channel where his friends and him play through a broad range of game systems. He’s also had some very special guest stars joining in – Totalbiscuit on Dark Heresy, Jesse Cox on Numenera, and so on.
One of the more recent and fascinating game series that I would recommend is their current play through with the “Stars Without Number” RPG system (a free edition available through DriveThruRPG here.)
If you like science fiction, and/or are a fan of Firefly, where a gang of ruffians and ne’er-do-wells fly around on a spaceship visiting different planets and getting into interesting scrapes, you might like Swan Song.
This is Part 2 of the first episode, which gets right into the introduction of the characters, then the story portion.
(Part 1 is the character creation and involves lots of dice rolling and numbers and system talk, which may only interest a smaller subset of you.)
One notable player to look out for is Steven Lumpkin, who also happens to be the lead level designer for the Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade MMO. He’s more often in the GM role, but as it turns out, he’s also a very entertaining and artfully imaginative player.
As these “Rollplay” episodes are almost essentially audio plays, unless you really want to track every last nuance of their faces and dice rolls, I’ve found that they make good watching alongside a relaxing farming session in an MMO, where one can indulge in repetitive meditative motions while keeping the rest of the brain occupied elsewhere.
Now level 63 in Path of Exile, thanks to lots of Fellshrine Ruins farming and Swan Song!
(The item drops on Merciless do seem to be a lot more attractive, I’m accruing currency and skill gems at a decent enough rate.)