Simplifying Table RPG

With the growth of pop culture and series like The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory and more recently Stranger Things, tabletop RPG has gained visibility and consequently many want to learn how to play, this article will be the introduction of a series about tabletop RPG here on the site and will serve as a basis for the next posts to come. Let's Get Started Simplifying Table RPG for Beginners.

Also check out: Tormenta 20 - The new phase of RPG in Brazil

Big Bang Theory simplifying table rpg
Big Bang Theory
  1. What is table RPG?
  2. Systems
  3. Which system should I choose?
  4. Table structure
  5. Creating your character
  6. How the game works

What is table RPG?

The term RPG means “Role Playing Game”, that is, it is a role-playing game in a fictional story, the role you play in that story depends on you and how you want to create your character, in the way that you interacts with the story is by the actions you decide to take in the master's narrative.

Because of so much creative freedom, the table RPG has a very strong imaginative characteristic, forcing you to imagine the scenarios described by the master, if you have read a book you will have a similar experience, only this time you can choose what your character does in the story.


Table RPG is not just a game, it is actually a type of game, one that many companies became interested in and ended up developing their own rules for playing. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses, its ways of creating characters, its items and often a certain system that is not very interesting right away can be very useful when creating a story with another theme.

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Even with their differences, the table RPG systems follow a main line and are modified according to their needs from there. Sections in common between the systems are Classes, how to create your character, races, combat rules, items and skill checks. Each of these subjects deserves its own text so know that all this can be found in the book of your system of choice.

Which system should I choose?

The perfect system for you should come with experience, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • D&D: Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most famous table RPG systems and in its fifth edition it brings several classes, races, items and stories ready to be used. Being a system originally of medieval fantasy stories, it is very good for beginners. Because it is so complete it is a little more complex, but still very accessible.
  • Storm20: Tormenta is a slightly simpler national system, but very functional, its classes and races do not have the same individual feeling as those of D&D but they are still characteristic and provide a good character structure.
  • Pathfinder: Many people use this system as a tool to introduce RPG, this is incredibly valid because it is a system with a good balance between the complexity that makes the game interesting and the simplicity that makes the game accessible to new players
D&D player's handbook, storm 20, pathfinder basic book

Table structure

“The table” is a term used to refer to the group of friends playing the adventure, it is composed of the players and the master. The master of a table is the member who will create the story to be narrated and tell it, always paying attention to all the rules of the chosen system. The players, on the other hand, have the role of creating a character and living like him in the world created by the master, thus developing the story even more and trying to reach his fictitious goals.

Table master
Simplifying tabletop RPG | Dungeons and dragons, role-playing, tabletop RPG, Wizards of the Coast | simplifying table rpg

Creating your character

Now that you have chosen the system for your adventure, you must create your character to venture into the story created by the master of your table. Each table RPG system has its differences for character creation, but for most you can follow a pattern.

  • Breeds: In the fantasy world there are not only humans like beings who think and live in society, dwarves, elves, orcs, gnomes, hobbits, goblins are few of many races that you can choose for your character, consult your specific system and see which ones are available and what strengths and weaknesses each has
  • Classes: Think of the classes as the professions of the characters, each class in a system will have different skills, the warrior is a great fighter and his balance between strength and speed makes him lethal on the battlefield, as the wizard with his intelligence and study can conjure devastating spells, but if caught by an enemy it may not survive so easily.
  • Attributes: Attributes are the characteristics of your character such as your strength, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, constitution and charisma. Each class focuses on a different attribute that ultimately determines how well the character performs certain actions. To cut a tree, a character with several points in strength is more efficient, however, if he needs to decipher old writings in a ruin the situation will not be the same.
  • Items: Start with simple items that make sense with your class, a warrior can start with a short sword and simple armor, whereas a rogue would make more use of a dagger and leather armor. Do not start with very strong equipment, after all, one of the most fun parts of the game is to acquire stronger equipment as your adventure progresses.
  • Appearance and personality: Now the structure of your character is ready, what remains is for you to determine who he is, maybe he can be a war veteran who was on the losing side and now seeks revenge against the kingdom that destroyed his land, or maybe a wizard that after finding a strange necklace in the basement of his house he wants to study the arcane world and discover what fate has in store for him. Whatever it is, this is the part where you must let your creativity flow, create a story for your character and imagine how he would react to certain events, and then put that knowledge to use in your master's adventures.
Table rpg chips
Simplifying tabletop RPG | Dungeons and dragons, role-playing, tabletop RPG, Wizards of the Coast | simplifying table rpg

Simplifying tabletop RPG and explaining how the game works?

Now that you have your character created and the story is ready to be lived it is necessary to understand how the game works.

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During the narration the master of the table will describe the scenarios, characters and information of the place where the players are and then give them the freedom to choose what to do, think about the goal of your character and your group, decide if they want to look for work mercenary in the city, or perhaps you have heard a rumor in the corner about the king's daughter mysteriously disappearing and want to investigate this case, in any case, you are destined to face challenges on your journey, and it is then that your master can ask you to take skill tests.

Skills are skills in common between all players and how good one is at a given skill depends on the attributes, a strong character is a great athlete, so with the athletics skill he can run much faster than the others without getting tired, or maybe your character is too charismatic, so he can use persuasion to convince some powerful figure. Each system has its own specific skills so consult the book to see which ones are available.

20-sided die
Simplifying tabletop RPG | Dungeons and dragons, role-playing, tabletop RPG, Wizards of the Coast | simplifying table rpg

To make a skill test the player must roll a 20-sided die and add the result with the attribute related to that skill, depending on how difficult the action the player wants to take, the master will determine a class of difficulty, which is the number that the sum result must match for the player to be successful in the activity.

Also check out the main RPG classes and a guide on how to start playing!

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