|See also:||Dungeons and Dragons|
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Tabletop RPGs evolved from tabletop miniature wargames; Dungeons and Dragons was the first widely-known tabletop RPG. Games generally include a game master ("GM") who works as both a narrator and referee, and players who take the part of characters ("PCs") with various skills and abilities, who go on adventures together.
There are three common choices for adventure content:
- Canon content: the adventure modules and gameworld details sold with the game itself; examples include Greyhawk in D&D and the Camarilla in World of Darkness.
- Original content: Likely the most common for fantasy games; less common for other genres - the GM, sometimes with input from the players, creates a world-setting and Non-player Characters (NPCs) for the players to explore.
- Crossover content: the GM creates a world based on some other form of canon; examples would be an Game of Thrones D&D game, or a Firefly game in GURPS.
Tabletop RPGs are famous for the multiple types of dice used in D&D.
- D20 - aka twenty-sider; a regular icosohedron. They are available in both "randomized" form, which was standard for many years, and "spin-down" form, which became popular because of games like Magic: the Gathering; spin-down dice are used to measure "life points" and consecutive numbers are next to each other instead of being randomly placed.
- D12 - Twelve-sider, a regular dodecahedron. Used in the fan-made Pokethulhu, but otherwise neglected in most games not directly inspired by D&D.
- D10 - Ten-sider, or percentage dice. Two common forms exist: one numbered 1-0 (with the "0" standing in for "10"), and a "percentage" version numbered 10, 20, 30, etc. with the 0's being much smaller than the other digits. Used in many games; White Wolf's World of Darkness uses large numbers of D10s to measure success or failure.
- D8 - Eight-siders, originally mainly used for hit points of monsters in D&D.
- D6 - The one that non-gamers know about. Gaming d6's are often numbered 1-6 instead of using pips.
- d4 - AKA "gamer caltrops."
- D100 aka "zocchihedron", aka "the curse dice of forever rolling around the table;" early D100s were not internally weighted, and the tiny sides and large mass meant they'd keep rolling for quite a while, and would start rolling again if the table was bumped.
- Others: D14, D16, D18
- D3 - many games require 1-3 rolls; common use is to roll a D6 and define 1-2=1, 3-4=3, 5-6=3, but some companies sell D6's numbered 1-3 twice, and there are some unusual dice that have three "sides."
- Dice lice (invisible creatures that rested in the pips or numbers, and "weighted" the dice so they didn't roll what you wanted)
- Rolling dice to "use up the bad numbers" and stopping when they got to a good roll
- Threatening dice with a trip to the microwave for bad rolls
- Dice Shaming tag on tumblr
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Tabletop Gaming in Fanworks
Tabletop games are sometimes featured in fanworks for non-RPG fandoms. Examples:
- so I’ve got this headcanon that Guardians of the Galaxy is really the Avengers playing a table top roleplaying game, where Bucky’s the DM who suffers through heaps and loads of trolling, Archived version, fancomic by bluandorange on tumblr, 5 November 2014.
- Tabletop gaming AU tag at Archive of Our Own