Library Notes: Join in monthly tabletop roleplaying games at Rowan Public Library
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2022
By Amanda Brill
Rowan Public Library
The popularity of Tabletop Role Playing Games (TTRPG) is well deserved. These narrative-based games combine role playing, improvisation and strategic planning to complete tasks or quests. They are a fun way for players to engage with stories and to build their literacy skills.
My favorite TTRPG is the classic Dungeons & Dragons, which has been a compelling way to tell a story with a group of people since 1974 and is now in its fifth edition. Like other TTRPGs, D&D boosts problem solving, creative thinking and listening skills in a safe and judgment-free environment. Depending on the storyline, players can also learn to become more empathetic and cooperative in their day-to-day lives, thus learning useful social skills that can be used with their peers and colleagues.
It is also, simply, a fun game. The one thing that has always stood out to me each time I’ve played is how incredibly funny it can be. In just one game, for example, when the players were deciding how to best save a character who didn’t survive, the players’ request for a “tar pit” was misheard as “tarp” — this resulted in that character’s untimely, yet amusing, death. D&D inspires creativity, humor and camaraderie in its players.
Did you know one of the major inspirations for the creation of D&D was The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series? The game drew such close comparisons at its beginnings that the game designers originally had “hobbits” as a character type, eventually changing it to “halfling” after pushback. Elves, dwarves, humans and more are still used in the game today!
Despite the vast history and deep lore of the game itself, there are many ways to learn about D&D and how the game works. Three of the official rulebooks, “The Dungeons Master’s Guide,” “The Player’s Handbook” and “The Monster Manual” are available in Rowan Public Library’s circulation collection. There are also plenty of podcasts and webseries available to help players brush up on the rules by listening or watching others play, including the incredibly popular “Critical Role” and, my personal favorite, “Dimension 20.” Finally, the website D&D Beyond (dndbeyond.com) is a fantastic resource for building a character digitally; it even comes with digital dice to “roll.” Users are able to create up to six characters for free and download the characters sheet to save for future games.
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 22, teens ages 11-17 (sixth-12th grades) are invited to join a new Monthly Tabletop Role Playing Game. The group will meet at RPL Headquarters in Salisbury from 6-8 p.m. monthly from February through April. Registration is required. Experience is not necessary and all materials can be provided. Players will learn the rules of the game, build a character from scratch, and then run a short game that includes fun role playing and exciting combat!
Whether you come to one monthly session or stay for a whole campaign, I’d love to have you slay dragons and go on fantastical quests with your peers in a fun and friendly environment — all while building your literacy skills! To register or for more information, contact RPL Young Adult Librarian Amanda Brill at 704-216-8268 or at Amanda.Brill@rowancountync.gov.
Amanda Brill is young adult librarian at the Rowan Public Library.