For those librarians who are interested in learning more about RPGs, or who have questions about our program, please don’t hesitate to contact Elizabeth or myself. Below we are including links to the presentation file as well as an abbreviated guide to available roleplaying games. We are also including links to online resources that may be of help.
While the Librarian’s Guide to Roleplaying Games should be a great resource to get you started with any number of different games, it is far from comprehensive. Here are a number of great resources for librarians who are interested in introducing Roleplaying to their teen services.
Lady Blackbird: Tales from the Wild Blue Yonder (One.Seven Design): A self contained RPG and adventure, designed for the novice. No 300 page encyclopedic rulebooks stuffed with dense text. Just download, read, and play.
Labyrinth Lord (Goblinoid Games): If you remember the old Red and Blue Dungeons & Dragons box sets from the 1980’s, this is as close a facsimile as you are bound to find. Everything you remember is there: clerics, fighters, elves, thieves, hit points, saving throws, you name it. All the rules are free to download, and softcover and hardcover versions with art are available for your collection as well.
Savage Worlds (Pinnacle Entertainment Group): We have used Savage Worlds as our game system of choice for years. It is a self contained game in one small book for a very reasonable price and has over a decade of support behind it. Best of all, Pinnacle and their licensees regularly produce “Plot Point Campaigns,” entirely self-contained adventure sagas composed of dozens of short episodic adventures. These are great for the working librarian who doesn’t have the time (or experience) to create their own adventures. I personally recommend Rippers: Resurrected, Rifts, and Deadlands as fantastic world settings for adventure that will be well-received by teen (and adult) audiences.
Professional Books and References
The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game: a detailed guide to designing any structured learning experience as a game. Written for professional educators or those learning to be educators, here are the tools to engage and excite students by using principles learned in the development of popular video games (and tabletop RPGs!).
Dragons in the Stacks: A Teen Librarian’s Guide to Tabletop Role-Playing: I’m not sure you can get more direct than this.
Giants in the Stacks: Tabletop Roleplaying in the Library (our PowerPoint presentation from TLA 2011)
Links of Interest
Here are a collection of online resources and communities that may help direct you to the best game for your community and collection.
The Escapist: a web page devoted to the betterment of role-playing games and the education of the public and media of their benefits to society.
The Young Person’s Adventure League: an online resource for roleplaying with kids and teens.
CAR-PGa: the Committee for the Advancement of Roleplaying Games.
RPGnet: an online community devoted to all manner of roleplaying games and pop-culture.
E.N. World: the world’s largest online community dedicated to Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder roleplaying games.
Accessorize Your Game
Battle mats, miniatures, playing cards, you name it; we recommend using accessories to give your game a more tactile, visual quality. The players love having something they can hold in their hand, or move around a grid. Accessories are entirely optional, so only get what you think will add the most to your game. You can always add more later. Look for things that give you the most bang for your buck. While many RPG accessories are available at better game stores, you can shop online for the best variety. Most game and comic book stores will special order for you if you prefer to shop locally.
Chessex: manufacturer of dice and vinyl gaming mats (battle mats).
Paizo Publishing: their Gamemastery product line up is full of fun additions, from maps to specialized card decks. Most of it can be used with any roleplaying game, though they do favor the fantasy genre.
Disposable Heroes: a line of paper miniatures; lots of variety to be had here for nearly every genre. We use their Fantasy 4E Statix Core Classes and Fantasy Statix 1 collections for the Rhül: Conquest of the New World game. These are a wonderful (and inexpensive) alternative to metal and pre-painted plastic miniatures.
Arion Games: another creator of paper miniatures for roleplaying games. We’ve been using their Roman sets for our Warlords of Aros game for years now.
Reaper Miniatures: For fans of metal miniatures, you just can’t go wrong with our friends at Denton’s own Reaper Miniatures. They offer a HUGE selection of fantasy miniatures, as well as many different figures for all genres of play.
Foundry Miniatures: If you are looking for something more historically based, Foundry Miniatures is a great source. They offer many different time periods, from ancient civilizations to the World War II-era. For individuals, look for their “character” packs.