Night just fell upon the land like a dark cloak covered in stars. The cold and shy rain was starting to feel uncomfortable. Walking through the deserted streets of the city of Richmorth, you find the tavern you’ve been looking for, The Minstrel. You’ve been told that you could trade your skills for coin here, and given the circumstances, maybe you can find a sit by the fireplace and a warm meal.
The interior is nothing new. Spent furniture is everywhere and from the counter to the various tables, you can see humble looking men drinking cheerfully or searching for answers at the bottom of the bottle.
While walking towards the balcony, a table catches your eye. A group of four individuals, armed with swords, bows and staffs, waits in silence. You start to think that you’re not the only one looking for work. You come closer, and ask if you can join them. An elf with long black hair and with piercing blue eyes smiles and offers you a place. Names are exchanged and little else is shared at the table.
The door opens once again and a sudden wave of cold air is enough to drive chills up your spine. A figure wearing black and covered with a hood approaches your table, joining you. The details of the job are about to be revealed.
Many are the adventures that start like this, through a protagonist of whom we know little of. It’s a good formula, more so when shaped by skillful hands, such is the case of Bethesda, in games like Skyrim and Fallout, and Bioware with Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Both in Skyrim and Fallout (mainly Skyrim), the protagonist has more to share with what was portrayed above. There isn’t much we can say about who he/she is and what’s his/her origin. As with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, we have the option to choose a past for our character and then proceed our adventures with a better idea of how our character should think.
With this in mind, it’s time to get into the action, either through a linear storyline or a convoluted plot that comes from the choices we made along the way. We fight terrible foes, using our weapons and sometimes our words of wisdom. Nevertheless, we become stronger after each encounter. Our character grows and so do we. At the end of the day, it becomes clear that all those ours were more than worth it.
Well then, the story is great, the world is rich when it comes to places to explore and collectibles to find, but sometimes, it doesn’t feel like much, such is the example of Mass Effect 3. Even with all the changes made, we can’t stop to think that our choices in the previous titles could have made a bigger and better impact in the end. It all comes down to this: everything that we can do in a game is subjected to the amount of information that the developers and producers put into it, and the fact that we live in an era of DLCs and Pre-Orders, we cannot stop to think that these stories of epic proportions should receive a better treatment.
But, what if we tell you that it is possible to create these very adventures without spending a fortune in a new platform? What’s necessary? Well, mainly paper, pencil, some polyhedral dice and the most important element of them all: our imagination. Let’s remind ourselves that the greatest games, movies, books, etc., are nothing more than the product of someone else’s imagination. Therefore, if they were able to create something memorable, why can’t we?
We present to you Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop pen and paper RPG where a group of people sits around a table, exploring a world through each of their characters. Each player chooses, like in any other game, a race and a class. They can also decide what their origin is, and that can very well be a paladin warrior that swore to cleanse the world of all kinds of evil, or a simple petty and selfish thief that just wants to make some coin. The same goes for the personality traits, bonds, ideals and flaws. After the character is created, it’s more than ready for a life of adventure in a new and fantastic world. That’s where the Dungeon Master comes in. While each player creates a singular character, the Dungeon Master has to go beyond that. He/she has to create the world where everything will take place. He/she has to create cities, towns, villages, woods and forests, mountains and valleys, and bring them all to life with distinctive characters, driven by their own goals and ambitions, and that can either help the players, ask them for help, or simply hunt them down.
It’s no wonder that imagination is the most important part of the game. In here, it has no limit. In a moment, the players may be in a middle of a battle with slim odds of success against a powerful enemy, and leave victorious through the use of each character’s strengths and the careful observation of the environment (or they could have just solve everything with a more diplomatic approach); and in another moment, they are simply celebrating their victory in a tavern and sharing what happened with a series of NPCs that they came to befriend.
In an era where everything seems to be just hardware, there’s nothing better than gathering a group of friends and roll some dice. So is the case with the portuguese platform that goes by the name Rola Iniciativa, with a Dungeons & Dragons 5e campaign named Tales of Dosluvi. You can also check the stream Professional Dice Rollers. The group is portuguese with english content. More recently, a new group was born, and it’s name is Rock and Role. As part of it we have RFM’s frontman Pedro Fernandes and voice actor Quimbé, just to name a few.
In all this, one thing is certain, there are a lot of stories to tell in this corner by the sea.