Thread for TTRPG discussion and organization.
# What is a TTRPG?
TTRPG, sometimes TRPG, stands for TableTop Role-Playing Game. It includes big names, like D&D, and much less heard of ones, like Song of Swords. The rule systems run from extremely thorough, with rules for things like how many Thai chilli peppers you can eat before getting ill, to so broad as to be nearly nonexistent, with only basic guidelines on how to play. In almost all systems, the key component that sets it apart from video game RPGs is the presence of the Dungeon Master, Game Master, Referee, etc. They help to adjudicate edge cases not covered by rules and create exceptions to the rules in favour of fun, meaning a TRPG has much more freedom of action than a normal RPG.
# Where do I play?
Generally, TTRPGs, especially niche ones without large player bases, are played in-person, but there are also sites and apps that allow you to play over the internet and find groups. The biggest one right now is probably roll20; signing up is free, and as a player, you never need to pay for anything. Other applications include FoundryVTT (paid for by a GM), Maptools (free), AstralVTT (free), and Fantasy Grounds (expensive, but very nice). Some groups even play on Tabletop Simulator, which has the added bonus of letting you play poker or Life before a session starts or if someone flakes.
There's also the potential to show up at a gaming store; if you live in the US, Canada, or Europe, there's plenty of those around too. Gaming stores are in-person, obviously, but they also often boast long-time, highly experienced and confident game masters who are knowledgable at how to best cater to newbies trying to enter the hobby. There are many websites online to help you find game stores near you.
# Where do you get the rulebooks?
You can buy them from places like drivethrurpg, or you can pirate them from https://thetrove.net/
. As a new player, you often don't need very many books; both Shadowrun and Pathfinder have relatively complete wikis online with all the setting-agnostic information you need, and Pathfinder even has a setting wiki so there's no reason to buy the books for their content.