Each series of our first season featured a different Tabletop Roleplaying Game system. As our players explored these adventures we dissected what kinds of storytelling each system favors. In our first season we examined 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 Meguey 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 [Leo Mock], and Sydney Thorpe [Dex Phan]) find to get what you need... you've got to crack a few eggs.
by James Wallis, Grant Howitt, Paul Dean | Red Clearance Edition| published by Mongoose, 2017
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.
Saving 73 Jpegs I Desperately Need, by GM and Friend Computer Ben Ferber, is our third and final adventure in Season 1 of Dungeons and Drama Nerds. The year is 214 and Friend Computer has a special mission for four newbie troubleshooters (Squick-R-BDE-002 [Todd Brian Backus], A111iiE111Eee-R-V1olence-3 [Kory Flores], QWERTY-R-ABC-3 [Mieko Gavia], and Edward-R-NRV-02 [Romana Isabella]). It should be an easy job, so long as there are no traitors in their midst... and they don't die first. Too many times, that is.