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Slides from GLLS 2008 presentation.

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  • 1. Dragons in the Stacks Fantasy Role Playing Games in Libraries Cason Snow 3 NOV 2008 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium
  • 2. What are RPGs?
      • According to the OED, an RPG is:
        • “ a game in which players take on the roles of imaginary characters who engage in adventures, typically in a particular fantasy setting overseen by a referee.”
      • Two main components
        • System
        • Setting
  • 3. Birth of RPGs 1970s
      • Braunstein
      • Blackmoor
      • Chainmail
      • Dungeons and Dragons
  • 4. Good Old Days 1980s
      • Profusion of games and settings
      • Emphasis on simulationism
        • “ Real life”
        • Genre
  • 5. The Dark Times 1990s
      • Emergence of “storytelling” games
        • Vampire: The Masquerade (1991)
      • Emphasis on narrativism
  • 6. Indie Revolution 2000s
      • Emergence of the “indie” game movement
        • Design and publication of games by individuals, not corporations.
      • Codification of GNS theory
      • Games strongly divided between gameism and narrativism.
        • Division spurred by GNS theory.
  • 7. GNS Theory
      • First proposed by Ron Edwards (2001)
        • Developed out of the Threefold Model
      • Main point of GNS is that the game system does matter to the success of the RPG.
  • 8. GNS Theory
      • Gameism
        • Competition among players with victory conditions that influence gameplay
        • Example game: Rune RPG
  • 9. GNS Theory
      • Narrativism
        • Creation of a story with a recognizable theme, players are “co-authors”
        • Example game: HeroQuest
  • 10. GNS Theory
      • Simulationism
        • Exploration the main focus of play, seeks to create an internally consistent world
        • Example game: Riddle of Steel
  • 11. Why play RPGs in libraries?
      • Personal reasons
        • Improve literacy
        • Improve math skills
        • Improve interpersonal communications
        • Improve leadership skills
        • Improve cooperative problem solving skills
        • Face to face social interaction
  • 12. Why play RPGs in libraries?
      • Library reasons
        • Popular program
          • Clovis Regional Library
          • Has 30 regular attendees
        • Increase circulation
          • Highlight certain parts of the collection
  • 13. How to learn an RPG
      • Apprenticeship
        • Join an existing group
          • Can be difficult to find
          • May not be playing the game you want to learn
      • “ Academically”
        • Read rules and become familiar before playing
          • Having experienced players in group can help and hinder
          • If everyone is new then they will all learn together
  • 14. Running a game
      • First pick an RPG the appeals to you (the GM)
        • System
        • Setting
      • Find a location to run the game
        • Local library ;)
  • 15. Running a game
      • Assemble a group
        • Publicity
          • In the library
          • In the community
          • In local gaming stores
          • Social networking websites
            • Nearbygamers.com
            • Corporate websites
            • White Wolf
            • RPGA
            • Facebook
            • MySpace
  • 16. Running a game
      • Create characters
        • Most core rules have templates or even pre-generated characters to speed initial play.
        • Usually will take the first two sessions.
        • Helpful to have multiple copies of the rulebook.
  • 17. Running a game
      • Play!
        • Many games include a short introductory adventure.
      • Get feedback, encourage involvement
        • Use a campaign wiki or blog
        • Important for players to have sense of ownership in world.
  • 18. Running a game
    • Two major campaign styles
      • Linear style
        • Characterized by a group of adventures run consecutively
        • Emphasis on storyline
        • Less time to set up and run
        • Average group size is six
      • Sandbox style
        • Characterized by open setting
        • Emphasis on exploration
        • More time consuming to set up
        • Accommodate more players
  • 19. Suggested Games
      • Standard fantasy
        • Dungeons and Dragons, 4 th edition
          • Has a very strong program to support organized play in libraries
          • RPGA
          • Wizards Play Network
        • Exalted, 2 nd edition
        • Burning Wheel, Revised Edition
  • 20. Suggested Games
    • Other fantasy options
      • World of Darkness
        • Mage: The Awakening
        • Changeling: the Lost
      • Sorcerer
      • Game of Thrones
      • Riddle of Steel
      • Big Eyes, Small Mouth
        • Dreaming Cities
  • 21. Where do you get RPGs?
      • FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store)
      • Directly from companies
      • Online retailers
  • 22. Online resources
      • News
        • Gaming company websites
        • Gamingreport.com
      • Advice, ideas, discussion
      • Rpg.net
      • Enworld.org
      • Roleplayingtips.com
      • Indie- rpgs.com
  • 23. Print Resources
      • Dragons in the Stacks: an introduction to role-plating games and their value to libraries . Collection Building, vol.27, no.2 2008.
  • 24. Contact Information
    • Cason Snow
      • [email_address]
      • Phone: 815-753-1192
  • 25. GO PLAY