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D&D Group for Expats in Warsaw needs one more player...

Ktos 16 | 440
26 Apr 2013 #31
Maybe I am a bit simple and for sure very old-fashioned...but this is sooo artificial. We meet up with our friends for a beer, for dinner, for a walk in £azienki.No role playing. For that one I have a good book and a cold beer in the Old Town.But again, maybe I am totally oldfashioned :(

Yes, that's boring! And where is vodka??? Except that walking can increase your GABA levels so if you are anxious or depressed walking is for you. Why do you drink bear? Since when we started drinking bear so much?
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
26 Apr 2013 #32
<etc, etc.,> ... bear? Since when we started drinking bear

Okay. This attack does not represent the kind of people we are on so many levels....

The best part about meeting strangers using this game (and not all expats are love & light, for sure) is that everyone works together on a task inside a shared story. It can be a simple task or a complicated one, and it has to be described in language. So there is allot of listening. And allot of observing. How do the players treat each other? How do the players react to the pressure of the situation? What sort of skill do they bring to problem solving? How do they handle the roll of the dice when risk is involved? Do they take gallant chances or are they conservative? It's a wide open game and with an imagi*native Games Master, the situations described are endless. Players engaged in the depth of my game tend to relax their guard and reflect who they are. The "professional players" - we call (dice) roll players - never relax, never invest themselves and often tend to argue rules so, ultimately, this is not a game for them. New people get along together without allot of personal baggage creating drama. In fact, players tend to let their real life go while they play and I challenge all of them the best I can through the use of language.

We have other interests and hobbies and usually a rich work life. But the game is our way to put our heads together and work as a team despite the diversity of culture at the table. That's why I am always welcoming people and always recruiting, and why our group is a success the last 3 years, despite meeting some "professionals" along the way. It is fun and encourages the development of real life relationships.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
30 Apr 2013 #33
Even being "slain by an owl" is preferable to wasting away in a sterile hospital bed.

Des, your ability to turn mundane matters into Shakespearean prose, whilst at the same time artfully taking the **** without anyone realising it, almost always gives me a good chuckle mate! Did you mean "Owlbear"? - nasty creatures those.

3D6 in a row.

For generation of attributes like strength, dex etc?

We used to roll 4d6 for each attribute and discard the lowest, which usually gave some pretty good stats. Let's face it, who wants to play a character with crap stats?

We did use 1st edition, but mainly for the classes like assassin, monk, cavalier (or was that Unearthed Arcana?) and so on, plus the extra spells offered in the 1st ed. Player's Handbook.

Something that was fun that we used to do was allow each PC one chance during their "life" to pray to their deity and ask for whatever they wanted on a roll of 2 20's on 2 d20's. It happened once!

Do you use miniatures? We used to use them for battle scenarios as it was a lot easier to visualise what everyone was doing, and made it a lot more fun.

OP The Shadow 3 | 86
30 Apr 2013 #34

You're thinking Unearthed Arcana for the Cavalier class.
We use the spells from the Player's Handbook, but I am going to broaden that to include close to everything from 1st edition.

Most characters are Mary Sues, at 3D6 in order. So bad stats are part of the game's challenge to overcome. Obviously, class restrictions are another. There is no choice in where to put stats rolling in order. The challenge is to do with what you have. Recent issues of the game paint this character generation along with resource management (arrows, magic components, encumbrance) like a penalty but it is really a part of the game same as Challenge Ratings (CR) are for video game designers. People who have never played before really get this. They have read books and seen films and have a whole pop culture to reference when they sit down to play this game. A scene can be described in very vivid and scary terms and they get jumpy and they work as a team then because they understand the gravitas of their characters' situation - they are not separate from their characters. Players used to playing with CR tend not to rely as much on their own imagination and tend to Meta-Game their Player Skills down the toilet. Ask anyone on this forum to describe a vampire, for example, and they could do it to different levels of success. Ask a player used to playing with CR to do it, and they grab some dice. [Rather pathetic that, IMHO.] Their rationale is that their character would not know it...

You know, in a world of fantasy and mythology, it is going to be their character that is just plain stupid.... and that sort of Meta Game cries out for CR protection...

Anyways, people on this forum won't understand this conversation unless they have played; and I do not want to attract some Internet Sheldon Cooper to us so we all get into a Geek-Cred-titty-slapping because the troll is reading my opinion on CR. But it's rather obvious and something I repeatedly see from new-to-the-hobby players: they get into story; they listen and are curious about descriptions; they look at all options including retreat; they do not use a battle mat (I do not use a mat or minis); and they interact like normal people rather than like some dysfunctional group of neurotic muppets.

I like your idea of that double 20 on 2D20s. Adds unique value to your game. I run a political and deadly game (I compare it to Game ofThrones) in AD&D 1e. I have critical tables I am working on for natural 1 and 20. I have also created a system that allows a Health Point system (range 1-8) based off the CON stat that gets effected by the crits. It's way more deadly a game when max health is 8 and -1 health is dead. We still use hit points for the abstract. But crits get real.

Anyways, the purpose of our game is for getting to know other people and make friends between expats in Poland. Our game is a tool for meeting people, rather than being the reason itself.

Classic Example of what does not happen in a Player Skill game, courtesy of Reddit/r/rpg:

[this is funny unless you're playing in this type of game - bad language ahead because it is The Internet.]

My friend emailed me this session recap from a mutual friends game. I had a hearty lol.
"so i told you about how killen is stuck in some kind of dungeons and dragons limbo, playing with some of the most tepid human beings to ever grace the diagnosis of aspergers ever, right?

Well, about an hour after you called me and told me about that hook-up, killen calls me to tell me about how his THIRD CHARACTER THIS CAMPAIGN just died last night.

oh boy.
"Well, we killed these monsters, right, and then we got the deck of many things." RED FLAG.
So first things first, Rick, captain career player, the guy who can't go ten minutes without popping open a splat book and looking something up, actually does something interesting. He goes for the power draw and just beefs a handful of cards off the top... and actually does ok.

first card. free 10,000 xp. bossy.

The Shadow, please keep in mind the 100 word limit when posting links.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
1 May 2013 #35
I have critical tables I am working on for natural 1 and 20

We used to do the same thing. If you rolled a 20 for the attack, that was a critical hit. You then rolled a 20 again, and we had a table from 1 to 20 with corresponding multipliers or benefits depending on the further number rolled and the enemy struck. For example, the higher you roled on the second roll, the better the damage or result, such as from double damage, triple and so on, up to an instant kill/severing of limb etc.

If you rolled a 1, that was what we called a fumble, and had a similar table but with bad things happening ranging from dropping or breaking the weapon to seriously hurting yourself. This became interesting when I DM'd and introduced black powder weapons, where a fumble was from between 1-5.

We also used to allow players to get to -10 HP. If a player was down to between 0 to -10, they were unconscious. If it was zero or below, every round you would drop one more HP. If you went below -10, you were dead. You had the chance to be revived by potion or spell whilst unconscious, so if you were on -9 HP, you had 2 rounds to be revived back to positive HP and so on. This created another level in that if the party was close and of good alignment, a lot of effort was placed during an encounter to 'rescue' a downed PC or NPC, often with interesting results and infighting sometimes.

We had one very interesting scenario where one of the players supposedly died right at the end of a gaming session and whose body was taken by the enemy. It turned out this player had a private briefing with the DM after the game and his character was resurrected by the enemy and tasked with a mission. Next session, out pops the 'dead' character whilst we're travelling with a fantastic tale of survival and tracking us down to rejoin. Turns out he (the character) was given the choice of dying or assassinating me and taking a magic item I had that was wanted or that I had peeved of some higher power that wanted me killed. He bungled the assassination attempt, but killed me anyway and took all my stuff, never to be seen again.

Sometimes, I'd just make the players roll a dice when they were doing something or waiting somewhere, for no good reason other than to keep them on their toes, and make them think something was happening, about to happen, or was not to happen, based on their rolls. The looks you get when a PC rolls, tells you the number, and you just smile evilly and nod then do your own rolls behind your own screen are priceless.

With character generation and stats, we found the 4d6 discard the lowest option the best, because if you stuck to the rules, you got crappy stats, and who wants a hopeless character. The characters are meant to be out of the ordinary, and feeble characters have no hope of advancing against high level enemies unless they're significantly bolstered by magic items. Is that how you deal with low stats (giving them magic items)?

Cheers mate.
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
1 May 2013 #36
The dice certainly provide an element of drama to the game but so does the story. AD&D 1e is a campaign-based game (i.e. story-based) and much more so than, for example, the distopian theme of Cyberpunk can allow or later editions of D&D. It was for that reason I choose the game to bring people together and create friendships. It is really hard to bring people together and facilitate deep meaningful relationships when everyone is out for themselves (or "just playing their character"). We have real life for that kind of stuff.

You miss the purpose of the group in the comment about individual characters being out of the ordinary. If I say we do not play a game we make friends, would that shift your paradigm? (I mean we play a game but not to play the game. We do it to meet friends.)

With character generation and stats, we found the 4d6 discard the lowest option the best, because if you stuck to the rules, you got crappy stats, and who wants a hopeless character. The characters are meant to be out of the ordinary, and feeble characters have no hope of advancing against high level enemies unless they're significantly bolstered by magic items. Is that how you deal with low stats (giving them magic items)?

It's kind of like playing golf. No one wants the play-by-play announcer on the greens. They want to enjoy their time outside. But you have to remove the competition from the game when it is in reference to our group. This leaves people, strangers when they start, outside of their daily life and working together.

Take a "feeble character," to use your descriptor. Such a character will rely on the other players. (Note I am focused on players, not the characters.) Having a low score in the statistic Intelligence (on paper) reflects dice probability. It does not straightjacket players to playing feeble-mindedly. That is a later invention not the original intention of role-playing. One player in my group is a wizard who has the highest statistic in strength (the maximum number in fact) and his lowest in wisdom. That's just the way it rolled in order.

He can more easily kick in doors and bend bars by the probabilities of success but that does not mean he is a muscle-bound Conan. He still has low Hit Points and his Health Points are a matter for another statistic to determine. The statistic affects the probability of chance but it does not affect the role-play. It effects success of a certain action being checked.

No one meets people by being a robot. I have been to many, many, many, too many business mixers with women in short cocktail dress and men in ostentatious suits and everyone I have met in such circumstances are automatons. They are playing their roles to either look attractive or look successful and deviate from those roles very infrequently, often when in their little corner with people they know, and even then they're usually playing another role. So this group is about being free and being authentic.

The mask of the game helps bring that out, same as the story informs the mechanics. My group really does not need to know the rules to enjoy the game because the game is not the thing. Making friends is the thing. The game gives players a chance to work together and find themselves as friends together. Often times, this translates back to the real world.

Players advance to high levels (survive) by sticking together – an uncommon sight in our real world today. Players good at surviving will reveal something about the player more than the character they play on paper. And, as a story-based game, this process is ongoing.

What a game today! A new person joined us. Six characters went into an area to explore: the woodsman fighter seeking to slay evil, a magic user searching for someone, a thief seeking easy passage to gold, and a cleric recently arrived to town on a mission for his Community. They were joined by a Half-Elven cleric, whom the woodsman had rescued from the clutches of a racist Elven lynch mob, and an Elven fighter returned from border patrol to his mother after his brothers had been killed, subsequently employed by the woodsman with the promise to care for the mother should this man die.

There was a period of getting to know the new person who had arrived into town before setting off to explore the ruins. Once there they navigated into a trap and were surprised by slings and spears. A pitched battle ensued with the thief hanging back the entire time.

Out of spells the magic user rushed into the fry as the Elven fighter fell to dire weasels and was consumed. The cleric, too, fell to the slings of dogmen as he stood along side the woodsman. Grasping two swords and blind with fury, the woodsman swung at the dogmen that rushed him, at first beheading two that stood before him but then, blinded by rage, missing his mark. He stumbled nearly dropping both swords but recovering them, each in the opposite hand. Spear pierced him repeatedly while he fought valiantly to shrug off the blows and deliver death to his enemies. The new party member also joined in the fray, pelted repeatedly by stones while the magic user directed an unseen force clutching a torch to burn individual dogmen. When the magic user, suffering a grievous bleeding wound, fell beside the Half-Elven cleric, the cleric reached out to him from where he lay near unconsciousness with a weasel breathing down atop him and asked divine favour to heal the magic user before passing out from his own wounds.

Now the new party member and the woodsman faced the onslaught. Dogmen were laying on the ground everywhere and one of the weasels lay in death tremors from the wizard's consecrated blade. Swinging wildly, the woodsman brought both swords down on the head of the dire weasel delivering severe punishment for the life of the Elven fighter.

Bloodied and enrage, the weasel made ready leap at the woodsman. The Human cleric swung at the weasel and missed. Quickly the woodsman recovered his speed and slew the last of the dogmen before falling onto the weasel striking the weasel and sinking his blade deep into the creatures hide forcing it down with his weight.

And the battle was done. The Human cleric worked to bandage the Half-Elven cleric and both he and the woodsman tended to the wounds of the magic user. The thief remained hidden and safe throughout. But one of their number, the Elven fighter, had died the death of a hero at the side of his comrades. The woodsman would have to fulfill his contract.

It was an intense finale to our game today. Players relied on each other assisting as best they knew how, reacting to the fortunes of the dice. Say what you will about imagining things but there is something real that gets shared when others come to your aid even if the experience is just make-believe. The characters, and the players, became a tighter unit.

I found this episode of Freaks and Geeks today. I think the episode represents a balanced view of what we, 4 men and one woman, do; and the type of fun we have getting to know each other through our stated actions and risk taking.

In the meantime, maybe you would care for a film favourite of D&D players everywhere?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
1 Jun 2013 #37
Can I ask you : how much time do you spend preparing for each game?
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
2 Jun 2013 #38
how much time do you spend preparing for each game?

The game is based upon the players' choices. We have an implicit contract to play a political game. That's because I am a fan of Game of Thrones and want to have some political intrigue - maybe even civil war in the game. But the players roam where they choose. So to answer your question it varies.

This scenario, a ruin at an international trading crossroads, was created by me. So more work for me. However, one player has come to the Elven lands (think of it as Westeros for Game of Thrones reference) to buy a technology for his Spiritual "Community" 8 weeks journey back west. Trade has been stopped because large monsters have been plaguing the trade route (no doubt with some political motivation). Another player had been sent to administer to a senior member of her clerical order and got caught up with the other players. The thief followed the trail of her sister - finding bloody entrails and a small personal effect only today. The wizard has been sent by his master in search of this missing thief, meeting her sister and the woodsman. So there are many directions the story can follow and I react to what the players direct in this regard.

And there is the intrigue going on with this ruin. In the last game we played a couple of weeks ago, a person of interest in the east was discovered. This was the person the sister of the thief was searching for. Only he was magicked into the shape of a large rat and, when defeated by the players, was released from the magic and revealed in his true form. They found a purchase order for a large delivery of weapons - something strictly forbidden in the Elven feudal lands. Someone has intentions of arming a mob force it seems and the question is who - no recipient was listed on the P.O. and the one person who could have spoken, the person changed into a voiceless animal, is now dead. Perhaps double crossed..... Maybe the players will look into this?

In any event, their good works have been recognised by the local authority. And the noble is returning from the war in the south with a small but effective force of men to take charge of the situation personally and, potentially, reward the players. So I am prepared for this, and for the person who received the weapons to make some enquiries about what the players know, of course....

Sometimes the players react to the story, viewing it as a mystery I present. Sometimes I react to the players and the spontaneous actions they present to me. It all depends.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
2 Jun 2013 #39
Many thanks for your reply - although not interested in the game as such (being much more of a computer/console RPG player), I was always interested in how it worked and the stories that were told.

So there are many directions the story can follow and I react to what the players direct in this regard.

It does sound like it requires considerable skill to be a DM :)

Do you remember the Robot Chicken video that you posted a while ago? I rather enjoyed that!
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
2 Jun 2013 #40
Do you remember the Robot Chicken video that you posted a while ago? I rather enjoyed that!

I sure do. Glad you enjoyed it. You may like the Freaks and Geeks episode too - with a young James Franco. The Community episode when they play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is also a good depiction of the game. In that episode, there is an underlying humanistic theme as the players deal with an interpersonal issue through their play. Very much how the fiction of our game works for facilitating friendship between people who are/were otherwise strangers.

I am not sure too much skill is involved, although thank you for the compliment. I guess it is more like practice. The new player and I had a short game on Thursday evening. He travelled 2 months in that game and I used parts of Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara in my story: even going so far as to have his travel companion named and described within the Shannara story. He and I played a little bit together before he joined us today so he could get the feel for the dice and I gave him some information about the world the other players did not know (like the movement of the monster army to the south). He also chose to come from a slave owning country of pirates, and we had an open discussion about his attitudes (player? character? I make no distinction in the game) towards slavery. And we decided how he/his religion feels on the matter - a potential conversation between the players at a later date as will be the conversation between he, being a gnostic cleric, and the other cleric who serves a God. Not the kind of talk people rush to discuss at a bar meet up but stuff we regularly get the chance to discuss because the setting is a fantasy world. There is some comfort in that distance.

I imagine it as following the native speaker rule: have the students talking more than the native. And if they talk amongst themselves, more the better. The game outlines can be like lesson plans, but less rigid because there is no final exam.

Really, who wouldn't get their adrenaline up playing a game of imagination that puts you and a table of strangers into the centre of such action?

American Public Broadcasting network, PBS, did a short video on Dungeons and Dragons. Our group emphasizes the social aspects of getting acquainted with others through the situations presented throughout the game.
Moderator, something is wrong with the video posting function (again).

for the time being... the url is ok

A post from Johanna "Joc" Koljonenat the LinkedIn group for business social networking through common ground hobby:

It is worth reposting. It has an important message about the value and flexibility of role-playing games.

Well, educational RPGs is very established in some countries, so you're clearly onto something here! Poland and Italy have already been mentioned, I'll throw in some Scandinavian references!

A fun start is to google Østerskov Efterskole, which is a Danish boarding school for tenth graders where the entirety of the curriculum is taught through rpg and larp modules designed for the purpose. There are a few articles in English in the Knutepunkt anthologies (like the one linked my Michal above) and, I suspect, other places online.

There is a smattering of academic papers out there evaluating educational rpgs too if you're into that but the gist is, if the games are reasonably well designed, they work well on everyone and exceptionally well for some students (typically including kids who aren't normally into reading or research).

When it comes to edu-larp, which is to say (since the term "larp" means different things in different countries) really any kind of systems-light rpg where the players don't tend to talk of their characters in the third person, there is a LOT of solid design knowledge out there. The book everyone says is best is called "Playing the Learning Game" and a lot of the stuff should be applicable to tabletop as well:

I think it's published by Norwegian Fantasiforbundet. They also run an international Larp-Writer Summer School in Lithuania specifically on the skills of designing edu-larps (I teach there, I should say). The European Edu-larp network is here:

In Sweden, rpg is an established part of edu-gaming. The Gothenburg Region which gathers the municipalities of the country's second-largest city has its own design studio which also makes rpgs. Don't know what they're called now, used to be called GRUL. A private company which works with edu-rpgs in schools in many Swedish cities is called LajvVerkstaden, they should have some English material available (and their talent contributed to the above book).

Designwise, I find the greatest tension is not between fun and learning at all: it's that the games must typically be very easy to run, and (if the target audience is schools for instance) that the participants haven't chosen to play, they're being forced to participate. Indirectly, that means the games should be very fun indeed, if by fun we mean engaging. What they don't have to be necessarily is light and entertaining. Edu-rpgs are great for handling darker topics in age-appropriate ways and obviously, if you're teaching civil rights history or something like that there's no reason for it to be conventionally "fun". But it has to be really exciting and awful and allowing for meaningful choices with potentially terrible consequences. If you're teaching math though, it better be about something exhilarating like, uh, space ship navigation or something.

Btw - in Europe, or at least the Nordic countries, educational rpgs of the type you describe are quite often commissioned by museums. I think if you want to develop games of this type a partnership with an institution like that would be a good path to funding! Good luck - as you can tell I pretty much love this stuff. Wish more of it had been around when I was in school :D

Studies of Postpartum Depression indicate high risk factors for expatriates to develop clinical depression: anxiety; low level of social support; lack of family & roots. Factors not often considered when a job is offered abroad.

How 'Dungeons & Dragons' Saved My Life

The headline is not exaggerated. I can attest to it from my own experience. Enjoy this read, and consider what you're missing in your expat's arsenal to make new friends.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
8 Feb 2014 #41
If you have to make friends this way....very. very poor.
Lonman 4 | 111
9 Feb 2014 #42
Glad you are still rolling the die and doing the game.

I am in Asia for a few more weeks but should grab a tea again in the spring.
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
17 Feb 2014 #43
Glad you are still rolling the die and doing the game.

I am no longer with the group of, shall we say, "dedicated" players, Lon. I have left them and their rules arguments behind. They were spoiling the friendly relaxed atmosphere for making friends and I wasn't having any fun with them (or becoming friends with them to be honest). The new-to-the-hobby people are a different matter and they're fun people.They do not have the bad habits or system gaols that keep new people away from the game. I try to keep the two types separate. This is key to the enjoyment of the interaction and the friendly companionship of the people who play. Everyone is better off that way.

make friends this way....

Thank you for your constructive comment and the opportunity to clarify what might not be apparent to some people. Tabletop role-playing games are a very good way to make friends. Consider it like a bi-weekly personality quiz game of: What would you do if...? Certainly some people can mask themselves for a short time at a bar or when they have other extenuating circumstances constantly around them, like over The Internet for example; but no one can keep such fascades up forever. During the role-playing, when the whole focus is on what will you do, it is almost impossible. There is too much player interaction and cross-interaction for it.

So the tall and the short of it is that you get to know strangers -- people 1) you have never met before, 2) who come from different backgrounds, and 3) a variety of cultural upbringings -- and through their expression of thoughts and attitudes you do get to know them in a relatively short time. And from this start you can develop friendships with persons you choose.

I always thought it was very, very poor to go to a bar hoping to pick up someone, but I am sure that is done. This is not the style of meeting people that my role-playing games promote. Plus it is fun. People tend to lose their fascades when they lose themselves having fun.

You might enjoy this article, isthatu:

The Rhetorical Gamer wrote: While I find some value in that approach, I find that overall I'm uncomfortable framing the world with the idea that everything is an argument. I mention this mainly because I think one of the things I find myself disappointed with in most of the conversations I read about gaming these days is the idea that the players and the gamemaster are in an argument-space when they are playing. Even if not specifically adversarial I get the sense that the belief is that the players and GM are in some form of opposing alignment. And I think that is a fair characterization of many games but I would propose a different perspective.

Scroll down to the post on Dr. Joyce Brothers, to find more goodness about the benefits of RPGs.

You can listen to her interview here:

It might be of interest to people who condescend on role-playing games and douchebags who dismiss films like Star Wars. (Check out how Roger Ebert handles that - scroll further down.) Enjoy!
sobieski 107 | 2,128
17 Mar 2014 #44
It might be of interest to people who condescend on role-playing games

Do you have a real everyday life besides of this weird one? I mean...going to the movies, walking in £azienki, to the pub with your mates (real ones, not robotic), shopping with your wife, washing your The world as it is....
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
10 Apr 2014 #45
I am not sure what you consider to be weird....

A couple of weeks ago we (my mates and I) had a terrific send off to Dan (a four year member of our role-playing group). He was promoted to his employer's head office in Berlin. He moved at the beginning of March and will be followed by his Dutch wife in a couple of weeks. They will celebrate their 1st anniversary in May. We attended their wedding in Rotterdam.

Our send off was not at a pub. Our get together - mostly couples and young families - and do things economically. We cooked dishes and brought them together for dinner. Not only did we control our environment, we had some dancing and loud music, but we also kept more money in our pockets. It was a raucous good time, which the neighbours were good sports about.

We live throughout Warsaw so we get to see different sights when we visit each other.

A few weeks ago we had a Game of Thrones party. The DVDs were released and, since most of us are into it, we had a viewing party of The Red Wedding episode. We discussed the books and the show and had light discussion like that.

We have also engaged in topics as diverse as philosophy and world politics. In fact, since we bring our experience into the games we play, we have these discussions on a regular basis discussing ideas over things and people.

We had two baby showers this year and one wedding. One of our group met an Estonian woman and we attended their civil ceremony. Two years ago this summer, we had another member of our group wed and we got to celebrate with them.

Everyone has a birthday so parties happen often.

We do the Museum Night as a group and other outings - usually stuff not involving the exchange of money. We're a pretty creative bunch, of course, so we're not bored with each other.

We're also a close-knit group. As you can well imagine, we have gotten to know each other fairly well through the choices we make in the role-playing and by the fact that we have fun together; and always welcome new people into our circle. Role-playing allows social information to pass along informally like other games of trust do, such as:

So considering we're all strangers in a foreign land, our relationship together as a group is pretty special and a unique thing we enjoy together, brought together and shaped through our role-playing activity. We're not trapped in our marriages, clinging to one person or hanging off a barstool. I credit our activity of role-playing for binding this group together.

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I would include a little high brow humour related to what we get up to in some of our game discussions.

Dungeons & Dragons: An Educational RPG

"Yet, there are still those among the general population that consider the game a waste of time, a form of devil worship, or even a game that entices the players into insanity, leaving them unable to distinguish reality from imagination. Those who have never played sometimes stereotype the players as pale-skinned fiends in the basement of their parents' home constantly snacking on chips and drinking soda. But there are many positive aspects to the game that many choose to reject and never evaluate Dungeons & Dragons for what it really is - an educational experience."

While I skip the game's benefits of reading and writing because no one wants/needs to read volumes of rules they do not need to know to have fun - just play yourself and it will work itself out - Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Teamwork bring strangers closer together through in-game collaboration. It's how people directly get to know each other, indirectly.

  • Dungeons & Discourse
Wulkan - | 3,243
20 Jun 2014 #46
stereotype the players as pale-skinned fiends in the basement of their parents' home constantly snacking on chips and drinking soda.

Those stereotypes are actually well earned. I have met a few players of such a game and they all fit into that very well.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
20 Jun 2014 #47
Exactly. These are not people as we know it. They think normal life is playing games. I mean he can fill countless pages with descriptions of how this weird stuff is sooo much better than let's say a trip with your wife to the vegetable market in Wolumen, a beer with your mates at U Pana Michała, joining a neighbor (non-expat, not highlife) at a grill in his city garden. Now in all these activities there are real people involved. That is the difference. They do not have to make up some artificial round table. They have a regular job, kids, a life, shopping on Saturdays, movies and dinner on Sat evening.
Hungry Fat Cat
21 Jun 2014 #48
youre quite right sobieski, bunch of weirdo freaks!

i know some people who like to go and play football at the weekend. some of the even play during the week!

they hang out with all these other people who like to play football too. weirdos!

why cant they just be like normal people and go vegetable shopping with their mrs or talk to their neighbours about the weather?


during the world cup is the worst!

shut up!

no one else gives a sh!t about it!

why cant these people just be normal and enjoy vegetable shopping and paying their bills on time? weirdos
Roger5 1 | 1,455
21 Jun 2014 #49
These are not people as we know it. They think normal life is playing games.

To be fair, don't we all like playing games? Having said that, the guys in the videos do look like dorks. I can see the attraction of wizards, etc. for twelve-year-olds, but for grown-ups poker, overflowing ashtrays and the babes bringin' in the beer is more my line. (provocative joke)
Wulkan - | 3,243
21 Jun 2014 #50
shut up!

no one else gives a sh!t about it!

Someone can't take the criticism and uses guest account to show his frustration... sad :-/
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
21 Jun 2014 #51
I have too, and I will not defend against the reality that underlies that very colourful and salient stereotype - except to note how it stands apart from all the players I have ever known who play role-playing games, like noticing a black spot on a white T-shirt. I know other people who do not forget there exists an interactive and social dynamic between collaborative-minded players in this activity unlike any board game. These are such persons who are emotionally available and mindful with whom to make friends.

That being the purpose of the gathering, the Sheldon Cooper stereotypes that do exist are unwelcome. No recruitment happens on "gamer" websites/events for this reason. Normative, socialized people enjoy playing this game together and make better friends to be honest.

Now in all these activities there are real people involved. That is the difference. They do not have to make up some artificial round table. They have a regular job, kids, a life, shopping on Saturdays, movies and dinner on Sat evening.

There are real people playing this game around a modest table, and not all of them the "highlifers" that you evidence a very pernicious attitude towards in your assumption, which normal expats are wary and weary of; and with whom we do not want to be associated quite frankly. IMHO, your comment represents the local opportunist who is drawn to the rich foreigner; fails to find a fool to part with his money; and is forever bitter for the experience. I feel a little sorry for you dream-less muggles who muddle through life trying to take advantage of whatever scrap you can find.

The pretext of the game invites players to discuss ideas and develop mutual, respectful regard for one another without falling into whining, gossip or name-calling. How many of your 2,600 anonymous postings to others here, sobieski, display this very attitude we avoid when face-to-face around a table with a neutral team task to conceive and verbally perform.
Better you stick to your sausage grills with your salt of the earth types hanging out at Wolumen flea markets, in Pruszków with the family and friends, and enjoying your libatious and licentious gossip.

Someone can't take the criticism and uses guest account to show his frustration... sad :-/

I do not know any good reason why anyone should feel intimidated by either you or sobieski. The two of you appear to live and troll on Polish Forums as your copious postings and their content demonstrate. Likewise, I see no good argument why anyone should feel flattered by your random presence on topics you have no interest in where you both choose to incite argument and negativity as your contribution against your own boredom.

Read a book rather than be bored:
Wulkan - | 3,243
21 Jun 2014 #52
The Shadow, we appreciate your effort and tries of convincing us how amazing bunch of people you and your gamers are but for us this type of people will just be childish grownups and you can't change it anyhow. Your personal insults of people who have different point of view only prove that you are not that far away from the stereotype as you claim to be, anyhow we hope you have fun playing your dragon game with your mates and wish you all the best. Peace
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
2 Jul 2014 #53's co-founder remarks upon his social experience and role-playing.
Barney 15 | 1,520
2 Jul 2014 #54
What's the problem?.....he likes doing his stuff........seriously what is it?
2 Jul 2014 #55
For once I completely agree with Barney, what's the problem with this blokes and his fellow D&D fans enjoying their hobby?
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
3 Jul 2014 #56
I thought this was funny:
7 Fun Ways to Make Your Desk Job More Like a Role-Playing Game by Dorkly (courtesy of laughingsquid - what is dead may never die)

The dreams we realize in movies, virtual realities, and videogames are the dreams we have always dreamed; the monsters we find there are the monsters we cherish, for it is their presence that reminds us of what matters. Or, better, it's their presence that reminds us that we must make the world matter.

- Robert M Geraci is Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. He is the author of Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality (Oxford 2010)


Yes, these meetings continue to bring together strangers making friends between people a long way from home.

The shared fantasy of the game we use to meet people is not based on the real world because it is more enjoyable and places us more at a distance from our daily concerns of living and working in a foreign country. It puts us all on the same level.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
3 Oct 2014 #57
The shared fantasy of the game we use to meet people is not based on the real world because it is more enjoyable and places us more at a distance from our daily concerns of living and working in a foreign country. It puts us all on the same level.

Translated into everyday language: Having a real life is something you don't know anything about.
OP The Shadow 3 | 86
4 Oct 2014 #58
Or grousing about the quaint, everyday intrusions into our lives by Poland's foreignness with the rest of Europe as evidenced in its people, particularly at work but also in shops; its culture of parochial medieval superstition; its Byzantine bureaucracy and cottage consulting industry of bureaucratic tourism and backhanding; the litigious nature of a nation suffering chronic low self-esteem in its people who wish to one-up their neighbour to appear better than they are without a talent for ambition yet look upon foreigners with suspicion.... This is hardly an exhaustive list of the well-known everyday travails in Poland for foreigners we, expats, like to avoid continuously focusing on. While we empathize with others in our social group, we wish to avoid these topics that go nowhere positive and contribute nothing to our self-betterment.

We do not feel the need to update everyone, Facebook style small chatter, with how well or how poor we are doing. We accept people as they are and start a relationship from there: very unlike the typical Polish line of questions we routinely receive..

Thus the whole concept of such a group is foreign to you, I am sure.

Take you for example:
Do you ever have anything positive to share on this topic?

exhibit A - only because it is funny on Youtube, but not on the street.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
4 Oct 2014 #59
Or grousing about the quaint, everyday intrusions into our lives by Poland's foreignness with the rest of Europe as evidenced in its people

You talk as a true expat....Are you somehow connected to real everyday life here in Poland? The way you write about life here...could be very similar to a district supervisor in the British empire analyzing the not-so-civilized natives in letters home. Peculiar, but then in the expat crowd not that surprising.
Wulkan - | 3,243
4 Oct 2014 #60
This is hardly an exhaustive list of the well-known everyday travails in Poland

We are very sorry that you and your fellow gamers have to suffer so badly your existence in Poland. But that situation happens in any country for someone who has no real life and only lives in his own imaginary world of RPG game. However there is still hope for you and your friends, there is no addiction that can't be cured. See the stories that might help you:

And here are 5 steps of overcoming RPG addiction. It's about online RPG actually but might be helpful in that case too.


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