December 29, 2019

What is a Tabletop RPG System?

Today’s #newbieTuesday post is all about the various systems that can be used to play a story.

Think of systems as a set of rules and guidelines you leverage in order to play stories similar to how Monopoly & Gloomhaven have different rules but are both popular board games.
There are far too many RPG systems out there to list directly. From enormously popular ones like Dungeons & Dragons to less well known ones like StoryTogether’s own system, the main factor new players want to keep in mind is the story they would like to play. It’s somewhat analogous to a choice in board games: which one do I want to play?

Some systems are tailored to certain genres and/or styles of play. To continue the example, Dungeons & Dragons typically caters to high fantasy stories. Rob Schwalb’s Shadow of the Demon Lord – the system we use for StoryTogether’s The Couriers – caters more to low fantasy/horror-themed stories. StoryTogether’s system seeks to be genre-less and cater to a broader set of styles without a specific specialization in genre.

So if you’re a new player, just learning the ropes from a systems standpoint, StoryTogether’s advice is not only to take the time to do your research on the systems themselves but first come to a consensus on the type of story you’d like to be playing.