The Glorious Multimedia World of RPGs

Today, I’m going to share with you one of my deepest regrets: I’ve always wanted to play tabletop games, especially roleplaying (RPG) games like Dungeons and Dragons, but I’ve never had enough interested friends to learn how. I still hold out hope it could happen for me someday, but in the meantime, I’m happy to report there are lots of other ways to experience the RPG world, including podcasts, video games, and of course, books. Primarily, I want to share with you my favorite podcasts and video games that will give you the RPG experience even if you’re flying solo like me.

The arguably most famous – and wildly enjoyable – podcast about Dungeons and Dragons is The Adventure Zone made by the McElroy family. It’s available on a variety of free podcasting platforms including Podcast Addict. The formula is simple: a father and his sons sit down to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons together, recording it in real time so you can follow along with their campaign. The result is hilarious and addictive, and it gives you a real insight into how typical tabletop roleplaying games work. It’s so popular, in fact, that it now has its own graphic novel series!

The Glass Cannon is another option. This podcast is based on the Pathfinder roleplaying game, and is one of several put out by the Glass Cannon network. Like The Adventure Zone, it strives to give the listener an immersive gameplay experience, enjoyable for players and non-players alike. Unlike the Adventure Zone, it has an ensemble cast of various comedians, voice actors, and gaming nerds to flesh out the story and the characters. This podcast is also available on Podcast Addict, among other platforms.

As far as video games go, I personally strongly recommend trying Cat Quest and Cat Quest II for Nintendo Switch. As a self-declared newbie gamer, I appreciated the clear gameplay and intuitive controls as well as the frankly adorable graphics. In the second game (the one I’ve tried), you play as one or both of a cat and dog pair who are dethroned kings trying to regain their rightful places. Just like in role playing games like D&D, these two go on a series of quests to reach that goal, gaining supplies and abilities along the way. It presents enough challenge to be interesting but still manages to be relaxing.

If cute and cuddly’s not your thing, you might enjoy other RPG games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or the online World of Warcraft. These games lean heavier into the more typical fantasy world of elves, dwarves, dragons, and dangerous, bloody quests. In the case of Elder Scrolls, you play as a prophesied hero with a unique gift, which uniquely places you to deal with dragons returning to the realm.

Fallout 76 Video Game

After the incredibly rocky launch in November of last year, Fallout 76 has received a number of updates and has been getting a lot more praise than it was just a few months ago. A lot of the lag and server side issues have now been patched to a reasonable level, the addition of new modes like Survival and new dungeons and questlines throughout the game world have also served to change a lot of people’s opinions about the state of the game. I think with all of these improvements in mind, it might be time to check the game out if you haven’t already or were turned away by it’s rocky launch back in November.

Fallout 76 is an MMORPG released by Bethesda Games Studio in November of 2018. It is the 6th Fallout game in the series and the 3rd Fallout title made by Bethesda Games Studio. It is the 1st Fallout game to allow multiplayer and that multiplayer is the central focus of the game. As with all Fallout games, you are placed in a post-apocalyptic wasteland tasked with scavenging, questing and looting to survive and thrive in the nuclear wastes. The familiar tongue-in-cheek cold war aesthetics can be seen throughout the game, from the soundtrack to the look and feel of the game world, this what you would expect from a Fallout game.

The gameplay is clunky, which isn’t really anything new for a Fallout game, and that clunkiness is further accentuated by the online nature of the game. That being said, the many server glitches have been remedied in recent months and the game is now in a relatively stable state to play and fight irradiated mutants throughout the wasteland with your friends. This game is at it’s best when playing with others. Even if you don’t have friends that already own the game, fear not, you can run across other players in the wasteland to play with. And if playing with people isn’t your thing, you can run it solo just like any other Fallout game and just ignore other players when you come across them. The game is very versatile and customizable in terms of the experience that you as a player want to get out of it.

You can focus on making settlements that you get to build and customize to your liking, you can focus on questing throughout the wastelands like in any other Fallout RPG, you can focus on getting nuclear launch codes and destroying a section of your server with it, or you can even focus on the photo mode and become a photographer for the West Virginia wasteland. There are tones of options in terms of variable gameplay for you as a player to experience and the game is largely about what you make of it. After the months of updates and fixes, I think Fallout 76 is in a state where players can now start really enjoying the game without having to worry about it crashing every 15 minutes.

If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to swing by the Davenport Public Library where we have Fallout 76 available on both PS4 and Xbox One!