Each series of our first season will feature a different Tabletop Roleplaying Game system. As our players explore these adventures we’ll dissect what kinds of storytelling each system favors. In our first season we’ll be examining Dungeons & Dragons, Apocalypse World, and Paranoia.
Dungeons & Dragons
by Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford | 5th Edition | published by Wizards of the Coast, 2014
Dungeons & Dragons, originally created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974, is the first game that comes to mind for many people when people think about tabletop roleplaying games. The game popularized the widespread d20 system for TTRPGs, in which uncertain events are resolved by rolling a 20-sided die (a d20) and adding a modifier to represent a character’s skill or training for the task. Now in its 5th edition, Dungeons & Dragons is the most widely played TTRPG in the world, and thousands of players’ first experience of tabletop roleplaying.
Of Mice and Monsters, written by Matthew Minnicino and GMed by Percy Hornak, was our first adventure in Season 1 of Dungeons + Drama Nerds. The adventure starts in the quiet village of Secomber where our heroes Chadrick Bosely (Christopher Diercksen), Sriracha (Kevin R. Free), Nokuzola (René Goddess), and Gavin the Glorious (Nicholas Orvis) are tasked with investigating the disappearance of a local scientist, Bart, as well as the stunning lack of creatures in the forest. But what they find in Bart's lab baffles the mind!
by D. Vincent Baker and Meguy Baker | 2nd Edition | published by lumpley games, 2016
Apocalypse World is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game set in a world that strongly emphasizes storytelling created by the GM and players. The game was immediately popular - and began winning awards - when its first edition was published in 2010, and is particularly noted for developing the “Powered by the Apocalypse” (PbtA) game engine that has become a staple of roleplaying game structures. PbtA games do not use a d20 to resolve conflict, instead giving each player a distinct set of “moves” based on their character’s class and rolling 2d6 to determine outcomes. Apocalypse World itself centers on themes of survival, scarcity, and relationships.
Irremediably Home, by Master of Ceremonies JonJon Johnson, is our second adventure in Season 1 of Dungeons + Drama Nerds. Beginning long after the apocalypse in the husk of D.C. trouble is afoot as four survivors (Vance Holliday [Percy Hornak], Vector [T.P. Huth], AZ Honey [Ella Mock], and Sydney Thorpe [Dex Phan]) find to get what you need... you've got to crack a few eggs.
by Dan Gelber, Greg Costikyan, and Eric Goldberg| 2nd Edition | published by West End Games, 1984
Paranoia is a darkly humorous game set in a technologized future, in which the players take on the role of “Troubleshooters” working for the mighty Computer that rules a city known as Alpha Complex. The game is unusual among TTRPGs in that it’s competitive; players are encouraged to double-cross and attack each other as the game develops. The game has had a consistent, if cult, appeal among tabletop gamers who enjoy a more cutthroat, humorous experience - while Dungeons + Drama Nerds is featuring the 2nd Edition of the game, there have been numerous new editions in the 30 years since its first release.