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Got Game? Programming with RPGs

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Role playing games (RPGs) like Dungeons & Dragons boast fans of all ages. Learn how these games work, and how you can use them to attract teen, new adult, and other players to your library. Explore how you can reach these potential patrons by supporting RPG play. From providing meeting space, to rule books, formal library programs, 3D printing services, and more, discover what level of engagement is possible at your library. Investments for these ideas in terms of staff, time, and budget will be covered, as well as how to market these programs and services to the public and reach the gaming community.

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Got Game? Programming with RPGs

  1. 1. Got Game? Programming with RPGS Presented by: Nick Tanzi, Assistant Director of Technology Services Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
  2. 2. 1960s
  3. 3. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were huge fans of military simulation games, such as.. Gary Gygax Dave Arneson
  4. 4. Siege of Bodenburg
  5. 5. They were interested in a more granular take • A focus on individuals rather than units. • A more detailed narrative. • Delve deeper into a fantasy setting.
  6. 6. 1974
  7. 7. Dungeons & Dragons becomes the first commercially available Role Playing Game
  8. 8. What are Role Playing Games (RPGs)? • Game where players assume the roles of fictional characters. • Players often “act out” their characters. • A system of rules govern the success or failure of actions.
  9. 9. From humble beginnings • D&D 1st edition had an Initial print run of 1,000 copies • Hand assembled • Sold out of Gygax’s home. • Gave an acquaintance Brian Blume 1/3 partnership for $2,000 in funding.
  10. 10. To creating an industry • TSR publishes multiple RPGs • 1981: 130 employees • 1982: they break $20 million in sales • Toy licensing deals. • D&D is published in 22 countries. • 1990s: Accessory books each average 150,000 copies sold annually • 2004: 20 million players and $1billion in sales
  11. 11. What is the basic structure of a RPG? Player Character (PC) • Individuals (typically between 2-6) that “run” their character • Act out their character • Declare what actions they are taking. Dungeon Master (DM) • Individual that “runs” the overall game & interprets rules • Narrates scenes. • Determines the success or failure of player characters. • Controls Non-player characters (NPCs).
  12. 12. Dice play a central role.
  13. 13. Dice in character creation • Dice are rolled to determine ability scores when creating a character. • Strength • Dexterity • Constitution • Intelligence • Wisdom • Charisma
  14. 14. Character creation, cont. • After rolling dice and totaling/assigning scores players: • Choose a race and class • Name their character • Develop a backstory & personality traits • Draw a portrait • Assign equipment • Assign abilities
  15. 15. How else are dice used? • Dice are used to determine success of various actions. • Success in combat • Successful investigation • Avoidance of danger (saving throw) • Order of action
  16. 16. Role Playing Exercise
  17. 17. Why are RPGs back in the public’s consciousness?
  18. 18. Dungeons and Dragons Appeals to a Wide Audience!
  19. 19. What can libraries do to attract RPG players?
  20. 20. Carry the core rule books • Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition • Dungeon Master’s Guide • Player’s Handbook • Monster Manual • D&D Starter Set • Contains dice • Contains character sheets • These can circulate or be placed in ready-reference.
  21. 21. Carry the core rule books • Pathfinder • Core Rulebook • Also available as a softcover • Can be downloaded as PDF for an additional charge (approx. $10) • Bestiary • There are multiple bestiaries! • Currently 6
  22. 22. Carry supplementary rule books • Supplementary rule books add “flavor” to an adventure. • New lands, dimensions, etc. to explore • New character options. • Add history, context to adventures.
  23. 23. Carry Adventure Books • These are pre-made adventures • Story outlines are already created • NPCs are developed • Encounters planned. • Adventures are generally intended for a certain level of adventurer
  24. 24. Libraries can purchase supplementary materials & consumables, including
  25. 25. Dungeon Master Screens
  26. 26. LOTS of Dice
  27. 27. Graph paper & pencils
  28. 28. Dry erase mat & markers
  29. 29. 28/35 mm miniatures
  30. 30. Feliciano via Deviant Art
  31. 31. Let’s Look at Programming
  32. 32. What are some considerations?
  33. 33. Pros and Cons of Insourcing your RPG Sessions Pros • It can be a money saver. • You can build connections with your patrons. • You can ensure continuity • RPGS take place over many sessions over long periods of time! Cons • Your resident experts may not be *allowed* to do programs. • Outside of game sessions, there’s a lot of time consuming planning to be done! • You may be responsible for storing lots of character sheets for a very long time!
  34. 34. Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your RPG Sessions Pros • It can be a money saver. • It can mitigate staffing concerns. • Can provide their own equipment and supplies. Cons • You may need to lock into a long-term contract to cover the extended nature of RPG campaigns. • Who is holding onto all the character sheets?
  35. 35. Incorporating Miniatures into RPG Programming
  36. 36. Do you have a 3D printer? • 3D printers have the ability to inexpensively render RPG miniatures. • Risk of theft is mitigated by the ability to reprint & replace. • Large numbers of files already exist on open-source platforms. • Patrons can also be taught to design their own miniatures!
  37. 37. Open source files on Thingiverse.com
  38. 38. @makerslabcz
  39. 39. @MattDB
  40. 40. Teach Patrons to Design Their Own Miniatures Using Free Software
  41. 41. Run workshops on painting miniatures! • There are excellent tutorials online: • Formlabs • Ultimaker • Makerbot • Best to prime in advance! • A timesaver • Cuts down on the smell
  42. 42. What If You Don’t Own a 3D Printer?
  43. 43. If You Don’t Own a 3D Printer: • Sites like Printable Heroes provide a free paper option • Printableheroes.tumblr.com • Searchable database • Printable PDFs • Some assembly required.
  44. 44. Passive Approaches to Reaching RPG Players • Create a welcoming environment • Book displays • 3D Printing Display • Bookplates in your RPG collection
  45. 45. Active Approaches to Reaching RPG Players • Social media marketing • Facilitate Facebook events • Targeted ads on interests such as Pathfinder, Dungeons and Dragons • Meetup.com • Great for locating interest groups within a geographic location!
  46. 46. Shameless Plug "Libraries that are not yet offering digital services would be well served by Tanzi's book. Those wishing to enhance patron experiences with digital resources are guaranteed to find inspiration.” Library Journal *Starred Review*
  47. 47. Contact Nick Tanzi ntanzi@communitylibrary.org (631) 399-1511 ext. 398 the-digital-librarian.com