The Point - Tabletop vs. Gaming

Seizing temporary control of The Point, Johnny looks at why rolling a bunch of dice on a table might just be the most fun you've ever had.

Discussion

458 comments
PyreofKoL
PyreofKoL

I'm a huge fan of both styles of gaming. I enjoy RPGs but I've really gotten into complex non-RPG board games. My most recent discovery was Smallworld. Also, I'd would kill to have a group of a friends to play the Call of Cthulhu card/board game with. I absolutely love H.P. Lovecraft and the Mythos and I've been dying to try that game.

nomailx
nomailx

Table top is not dead!


Try this!


www.coresysx.com

Boddicker
Boddicker

I really need to get a gaming group together again.  It's been years.......

Sprock26
Sprock26

Uhh yeah i remember those good times sitting with a couple of friends to the early morning playing Call of Cthulhu, TMNT, Vampire and the danish version of D&D. Even magic the gathering was played to the max. Damn those where good times!

joelrwhite
joelrwhite

Check out the movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.  You can find it on Youtube.  It's about a group of friends playing AD&D.  Funny for those who used to play, or still play, with a group of friends that would try to frustrate the DM with doing crazy crap.

There was a first movie that was simply called The Gamers and was shot for very low budget, but is still good in a B-movie kind of way.  The third movie was The Gamers: Hands of Fate but is about playing a card game similar to Magic.

The Gamers movies are recommended for any of those who are into the dice/tabletop games, or for any who used to play and want to reminisce on memories past.

Salinger
Salinger

Props Johnny.  You convinced me.  I just ordered the Deadlands books and I'm looking forward to stepping into my first pen and paper rpg.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

i really like this Point . I fully agree. games havent got to that level yet, where you truly feel like YOU are the character and creating YOUR story. Also the dice game makes it interesting to. because its not just predetermined from a sword stroke, there's many factors involved in a battle and dice rolling makes the fighting really interesting. Theres games that do make the battles interesting, but theres not many and only the dice rolling system gives that little piece of LUCK ontop of your skills that makes every battle different.

Jaxith
Jaxith

Deadlands!  Neat!  I got started with tabletop games playing Deadlands Classic.  I loved it so much!  I can definitely understand where Johnny is coming from in this.

Dovetailed
Dovetailed

Damn, I'm kind of jealous Johnny. 

I used to play pen and paper RPGs all the time. My dad sort of got me into them by hooking me up with the gateway tabletop drugs of Talisman and then Hero Quest. When I was around 9 or 10 we used to play every other weekend (the ones I spent at his house). Unfortunately for me, real life got in the way and my pops moved away to India for a few years (to ‘find’ himself). Whilst he was gone I sort of became obsessed with D&D, not really having anyone to play with I just read the manuals and devised a world and campaign (in hindsight exactly as terrible as you'd expect a 10 year old to come up with).

When I got to secondary school I finally met my fellow geeks. We were the most unpopular kids in school by a country mile, the very nadir of the social strata. We didn't really care though (aside from all the dead arm and sparky attacks [as an aside I think it’s psychologically/developmentally way easier being bullied in this kind of physical way]), I got them hooked - every lunchtime we'd get together in a classroom and play pen and paper RPGs (we went through a few across the years). It was great - the jokes, the stories, the time a dismembered troll regenerated in a PCs backpack, and most of all the sense of camaraderie. Unfortunately my relationship with these friends suffered the inevitable teenage death of a thousand cuts - puberty, getting girlfriends, growing up, moving to various corners of the country. 

I have on occasion tried to recapture the same experience; that old joy but with new friends. Tried to introduce them to tabletop games and pen and paper. But it's never quite worked. On the other hand, I have had similar experiences twice with MMORPG guilds/clans. In both cases I found a portion of that same sense of shared experience and passion with strangers who became friends. Again, however, my real life has been too demanding or pressing to fully indulge these games – once you’ve reached raiding MMOs basically seem to demand your job, relationship, life, and finally your soul.

Still, I guess my point (which I think tallies with what you are saying in the video) is that I feel it’s about having the right people around you. Many games can be great if you find the right comrades to take to the fray with you. So yeah, savour it. Hopefully one day, when I’m more settled and have a more stable schedule in my life I can find a like-minded group of mates.

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

I couldn't agree more.  As video games have gotten further and further from couch co-op, I've suddenly found myself more interested in tabletop games and less interested in the former.  

ncogneegro
ncogneegro

I don't have friends that want to try this stuff.  So I usually play with myself.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

I need to try some good table top games, can anyone tell me a few good ones worth playing?

loafofgame
loafofgame

I think I had an opposite experience. I used to play a lot of tabletop games (but not pen and paper rpg's, which I consider a completely different thing) as a kid and made tabletop games myself. I started playing videogames at a much later stage in life and I must admit I like the fact that I don't have to play them with other people. I still play tabletop games with my friends, because they don't play video games and because it's easier to have casual conversations while playing. But for me games are mostly solitary experiences, although I do like to share them with other people (one of the reasons I've been spending more time on this website and on twitch lately). But I'm not sure if I would like it if that social aspect became the focus of videogames. But maybe that's just because my friends don't play videogames, so I don't need/want games to be like that.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

I dont really play myself but have a bunch of friends who do. Maybe I should give it a shot....

Lydian_Sel
Lydian_Sel

Glad to see video game sites gradually doing tabletop stuff, especially loving the Pathfinder streams on Giant Bomb. This makes me pine for the days when my partner and I had a semi-regular D&D game with friends.

jknight91
jknight91

There's a place for both Table Top and video games. TT RPGs have an infinite spectrum, rolemaster has more of an underground niche market but the amount of variety in mere character creation is ridiculous. I will always enjoy my table top rpgs over video games. The social element of actually sitting around a table with a group of friends eating dinner and having a few drinks just crushes chatting with them over axon while playing in a battle ground

ck10304
ck10304

Cards against humanity is considered in the same category as D&D? I get they're both tabletop games, but I thought this video seemed more about the fantasy rpgs than things like monopoly. Most of the pluses you stated during the video do not apply  to a game of monopoly, except the actually sitting down with friends part which is obviously true. But there's no wonder or creativity in a game of monopoly

lee1823
lee1823

can anyone recommend a tabletop rpg for a first timer? This vid has really influenced me and I'd like to host a night with friends? something with a great story and easy to get into? any help appreciated

norabbitnofun
norabbitnofun

Somehow I feel people not co-located could benefit from our modern days technology to help immersion together around a virtual table top RPG. But this is the only easy thing I can think of - what would it mean to have a game master in a video game? How would the "video" aspect of video games be useful (other than video chat)?

I am still unsure how the "great merge" could happen. 

But I am all for it! I feel hte same as you, Johny.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

:) Play Mario party or Wii Party this way you will neither miss bordgame(Tabletop gaming or video gaming since it includes fun of both worlds.  I loved Clue it was an awsome table top game i am a fan of sherlock holmes so yeah..

solid_snake1461
solid_snake1461

Whenever someone mention tabletops and video games, I instantaneously think of Warhammer 40k and Starcraft. The tabletop are pretty fun since you can forge your own narrative about the flow of the game and have someone actually there to listen to, instead of simply focusing on how to smite each other in to oblivion. The downside is that, some time the rules aren't completely clear or cover every single tricky situation so you will have to sort it out with your opponent (which can be very intense sometime).

Also, since you and the other player are face-to-face in the tabletops, the frequency of the "noob-bombs" is vastly reduced, unlike many famous online games currently on the market. Those of which I shall not speak their name.

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

I never got into D&D myself. I never met anyone who was into such things, so I never participated myself. Most experience I had with them are the D&D video games that had its popularity spurt in the days of Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Speaking of which, I think Neverwinter Nights tried to mimic what Johnny is talking about. It's the only game I know of that implemented a table top experience into a multiplayer experience by making tools for someone to assume the role of dungeon master. When NwN was still young, I played the hell out of it. meeting up with online friends with one as a dungeon master, and we'd tell our own story through it. About the closest experience I got to table top. Of course, it does not match the face-to-face interactions with friends and the like, but it's certainly something I'd like to see again.

megakick
megakick

Even more fun when you use Microsoft Surface table top.

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

I've tried D&D few times only and it was a great experience... BUT... here where I live nobody play board games... especially not adults... so I'm stuck with video games... :(

GunEye
GunEye

D&D would always have a place in my heart. As a guy who played it for years, and still does on the very rare occasion that life allows 3 friends to meet and play (unfortunately that's rare). Being able to design your own world, story and characters, or on the other hand, taking the role of a unique person and engulfing yourself in an unknown world, where everything is possible, you don't know what to expect, and yet logic, morality and humanity is still there.

Those things make Dungeons&Dragons, and so many other table top RPG - a thing of beauty. Unlike modern RPG - which have pretty much 0% "Role Playing" in them, here it is all about acting, all about being immersed.

Also meeting together over D&D, or over Magic The Gathering card game, is a great load of fun. There is not a single DND session through - without 1 or 2 Monty Python jokes!! haha

Zynn
Zynn

I miss the days of having marathon sessions of AD&D, Shadowrun, Battle Tech, and others.  There's nothing like getting a group of friends together around a huge table, with some snacks and drinks.  You just don't get that face-to-face interaction anymore.  

I think part of it is because we grew up, got jobs, got families, moved for work, etc, so we have less time to pack up a bunch of books and dice, and trek to someone's house, after a long day at work.  It is just easier and quicker to log into a game and play from home.

grove12345
grove12345

wow johhny is more indepth than some jackass who pokes fun of  people commenting opinions. I agree with Johnny here in the sense tabletop games and being with people is a lost experience to gamers. Over the years tabletop games (mostly boardgames) have dramatically transformed. In some sense they manage surpass modern video games, and i think gaming developers need to spend more time with the idea that you can do more with less at times (as found in games made back in the 90s). 

But i think the main reason why the experiences are so different is b/c of how lazy or unimaginative developers have gotten over the years. A common approacih to modern video games is just to have big explosion and scripted events and mindless clicking combat. Things werent and dont have to tbe like that. RPGs in the 90s at times offered more variety, choices, experiences than about 10 of modern games rolled together and only running on a system that was about 1/100 as powerful as they are today. 

One gaming experience Im fond of is Hidden and dangerous 2. WW2 tactials  shooter. You had AI teammates, stats, commands, realistic aiming, tactics map, stealth, espionage, etc etc. That was in 2001. And now in days after that seems AAA 5 million dollar budgets games (COD, BF, KZ, etc) cant really deliver an experience that isnt more complex than playing Pac-Man. 

breakitapart
breakitapart

My family is addicted to Dominion and it's expansions.

sneakthief81
sneakthief81

tabletops were awsum..I missed seeing my cousin freak out in a tantrum, and under-hand slap the Monopoly board, scream at us that we're "lousy dicks!" and stomp out of the room..It now hits me..I remember why we decided to game online, rather than the tabletop games..at least now I can mute the bastard, and not be physically assaulted..

zombiewarrior07
zombiewarrior07

Good for you, board games are awesome! 

Just have a look at the thousands of games on Boardgamegeek.com, to get some idea of just how diverse and complex some of these can be. The number one ranked game at the mo' is Twilight Struggle, which is a two player card-driven political war game about the cold war. How cool is that?

If you want big battles in space, hard to go past Star Wars X-wing, loads of fun!


nomad4ever
nomad4ever

Board games are fun. Video games are more fun.

joplrw10
joplrw10

Thank God someone on a video game site finally made this known. Hopefully it brings more video gamers to open up to the world of tabletop as well. 


zillaman101
zillaman101

I don't think I've done done enough table top gaming. I think table top gaming and video gaming are two different things and shouldn't be chosen between the two. I love video games, always have and have the same respect for table top gaming. Table top gaming is a better way to interact with other people, when video gaming give you a more variety of experiences. They are both great ways of entertainment, and I'll leave it at that.

H0RSE
H0RSE

Tabletop games are really fun, especially when played with knowledable/experienced players, but I can easily see where others may shun them away vs video games. 

For starters, video games have, well, video - visual stimulus, whereas a lot of table top games rely on imagination/mental pictures. I guess it's comparable as to why certain people prefer movies over books.

Tabletop games also have rulesets that need to be followed, that can require some/a lot of memorization, whereas rulesets in video games, are all happening in the backround. Even video games based off tabletop games, have dice rolls and and whatnot, all being done automatically.

Tabletop games require other people. This is something I can actually being a plus or a minus, since a lot of people just wanna play games and not be bothered.

I'd say the biggest strengths tabletop games have, is that they usually played with people you know.like MP gaming has. There is no trolling, hackers, griefers, n00bs, trash talkers, and any other undesirable that comes with  the anonymity of the internet.  

The other strength would be everything is created by the players as you play - the characters, the world, the encounters, the dialogue, etc. nothing is scripted. Even the most open world of games, like TES or GTA, still have a purpose that was pre-designed by developers, and no matter how many times you play, although you may be able to go about it differently, the story stays largely or even exactly the same.

 



NetGod
NetGod

Table top gaming > PS4 and the XB1. But especially the PS4 because I know it will piss more people off if I say that here.  :O  :D

spenceslivn
spenceslivn

I have a group of friends, and we play on Live throughout the week once or twice.  Halo is our main game of choice as we've been playing together since Halo 1.  However when the weekend comes, we get together for board games and it's awesome.  So many games to try, but we love Settlers, Navigador, Eclipse, 7 Wonders, and many more.  Nice video.

blangenakker
blangenakker

Got back into board games because I discovered there were ones more deep and entertaining than... monopoly or scrabble.

Novider
Novider

A friend showed me the cyberpunk 2020
never had so much fun :D !

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

Nothing beats sitting around a table with a bunch of friends.

Graphyte
Graphyte

@GH05T-666 If you have 6 players and 6 hours to kill then the game of thrones boardgame is a good strategy war game but quite heavy.

Smallworld is a good fun conquering board game, light hearted, takes maybe an hour to play, can play with 2-5 people.


King of tokyo is great, chaotic, good fun, mostly luck based, play with 2-6 people, games take anything from 20mins-1 hour.

Then theres the card based games like magic the gathering being my favourite but that might be harder to just dive right into it you would need other friends who are into it as everyone needs their own deck.

arqe
arqe

@GH05T-666 I think you should find a group that plays "Tabletop" games , i mean most of the known titles are someway scripted. Better to find DM that creates own stories with endless possibilities.

I never liked board frp games. Always custom , non-board ones.

kohle36
kohle36

@lee1823 If you're only looking for a single evening though, don't try to get into tabletop rpgs, as they can run months and take many, many hours of play (not to mention a steep learning curve). It's a lot to ask of a group who isn't really into the time commitment. The vid was a bit confusing actually, because it seemed to mix up tabletop rpgs with board and card games that are actually playable in a single evening session. If you want something along those lines, there's a bunch of good ones. 

Talisman is a pretty straightforward rpg-ish classic; Pandemic is a great (also straightforward) co-op strategy game; Battlestar Galactica is a mostly co-op affair with subterfuge and a blast to play if you have the right group (you have to fend off cylon attacks and manage ship resources as a group while some of your team are secret cylons who try to sabotage your efforts without being obvious about it); Order of the Stick is a tongue-in-cheek dungeon crawler parody that can get pretty hilarious over a few beers; and the Starcraft board game is probably the most amazing (though most insanely complex) board game ever invented. Arkham Horror seems popular right now, but to be honest I felt it was a bit of a mess of mechanics without any sense of cohesion.

kohle36
kohle36

@lee1823 Try Pathfinder. It's a modified version of D&D 3.5 that's superior to it in pretty much every way (many argue it's better than D&D 4). I'm pretty sure you can find basic rules and such online too, so you can get a feel for the game before you dive in

jknight91
jknight91

@lee1823 dungeons and dragons is the best way to get into it. There are books and dungeon guides all over the place, and its very simple to pick up. It also means if you really enjoy it, it's easier to move on and pick up more complicated role playing games like rolemaster (which is fantastic!)

GunEye
GunEye

@Zynn quite sadly yes. Also I can't help but feel how back then when we were kids, everything felt as if we have infinite time, we could play for hours 8 - 10 sometimes and feel like the day is still young, while today planning a DND adventure and actually running one, seems long and difficult to perform.

Still, what wouldn't I give to be able to have a DND session per week, full fledged with my buddies.

GunEye
GunEye

@StarsiderSajun lol we always played DND on the floor, no room for a table, but I wonder if table would provide better interaction or not?! it was awesome either way