The Door is Open
If you’re coming to tabletop roleplaying by way of Critical Role, Maze Arcana, or another streaming web series, welcome!
Many of us got into the hobby by hearing others talk about the games they played – in my case it was a heated discussion about the comparative lethality of certain D&D monsters that got me interested. But it’s really difficult to understand the concept of a roleplaying game until you’ve seen one being played. Streaming series do an excellent job of showing who does what in the game, what sorts of adventures can be had, and how the conversation of a game flows back and forth between gamemaster and players.
For the details of how a particular game is played, you may want to check out an actual play video. They usually show the rules at a more granular level, and can help you delve deeper into a game before you start playing. For example, the How to Play Numenera video at the bottom of the Numenera summary page here on UJ provides clean, clear rules explanations. Many of the UJ game summary pages (start here) include actual play videos.
A Little Secret
Here’s something you may not already know about tabletop RPGs: Most gamers spend more time reading rulebooks, planning game sessions, talking about their characters, and gabbing about games online than actually playing. All of these secondary activities are part of what makes the roleplaying hobby so vibrant and engaging. And now streaming is bringing more people into the hobby. It’s a great time to be involved in tabletop roleplaying, whether you confine your involvement to watching livestreams, spend your evenings planning for a weekly Roll20 game, or play at the library with your friends 15 hours a week.