Question Time: RPG or CRPG?

nathanpnp.jpgAre gamers today being denied the social love of good-old pen and paper role-playing games?

Maybe.

I only recently got back into the swing of things (and took some matters into my own hands), and I'm currently running a D&D 3.5 Edition game with a few mates every third Saturday or so.

Okay, that's a lie. We've had one session. But enthusiasm is super high.

There was the temptation, for a moment, to craft the campaign in something like NWN or NWN2, and do the whole thing online. And yes, it's social, but not the sort of social I, and indeed my mates, were looking for. There's something about scrawling hit points and gold piece counts on a slip of paper that no keyboard or mouse can replicate.

Of course, computers can keep track of all that annoying number stuff, like weapon bonuses and esoteric modifiers to saving throws. With the complicated mechanics hidden away, there's the potential to focus more on the story and characters.

Both have their pros and cons. I was once pretty sold on CRPGs, and I think there will be a point in the future where it can truly compete with PnP, but for now, the pen is mightier than the DWORD. I hope someone got that.

Now, I put the question to you: PnP RPG or computer RPG? Which do you think is superior and why?

PS. And yes, that is Firefly's Nathan Fillion with dice in hand, about to engage his warp drive into a nebula of hardcore nerdism.


Comments

    They only people I've met who play PnP RPGs nearby are a bit too close to the stereotype to enjoy being around much... so I stick to the computer type.

    Perhaps a happy medium would be to track all the mundane crap on your laptop or DS (go on, Nintendo), whilst sitting around with your mates eating Cheetos and throwing dice at each other.. More of an aid than a replacement.

    I've always had trouble getting into computer and console RPGs, having been a pretty hardcore pen & paper RPG-er back in the day.

    They always seem more like tactical combat games with dialogue trees - perhaps I'm being romantic, but I don't think technology is yet able to rival an even half-decent GM/DM/Storyteller/whatever when it comes to interpreting actions and making a story.

    But don't get me wrong, I'm not being a snob - I'd love an electronic RPG to deliver on the experience. I just haven't met that game yet.

    @Michael:

    "They always seem more like tactical combat games with dialogue trees - perhaps I'm being romantic, but I don't think technology is yet able to rival an even half-decent GM/DM/Storyteller/whatever when it comes to interpreting actions and making a story."

    That's one of the big ones for me too. I believe DM improvisation can be half the game sometimes.

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