What do I Need to Host a Role Playing Game?

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  • Written By: J. S. Petersen
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Any time you want to invite a few friends over for a fun evening, hosting a role playing game is a great idea. As few as three or as many as a dozen people can participate in a single role playing group, and with a little preparation, everyone will have a great time. A good host needs to make sure that there are ample source materials, pencils, paper, dice, a place to play, and of course, food and drinks. If you have all this covered, your game should go off without a hitch.

To play any organized role playing game, your group needs to have all the relevant source material. This might include rule books, print outs, maps, and character sheets, depending on which game system your group uses. It is a good idea to have several of the important books, as well as extra character sheets and scratch paper. An otherwise fun game can be frustrating if several people need to look up important information at the same time and there is only one book between them.


This is even more important in certain circumstances, such as character creation and shopping. Specific role playing game information, such as the skills, abilities, and powers a character has access to, will be located in one or more rule books. If your group includes more than two or three players, you might encourage some of them to purchase an extra copy or two of important books. The more easily your players can find the information they need, the more time you’ll have to actually play the game.

An often overlooked element in a good role playing game session is adequate pencils and paper. A good game master should keep a stock of extra character sheets, scrap paper, and pencils — with good erasers — on hand. The only thing more frustrating than having to wait for another player to finish looking something up in the rule book is having to wait for another player to finish erasing something so you can use the pencil.

The same goes for dice. Encourage the players in your group to invest in any dice they might need for the game. Not only is it fun to pick out your own dice, but it makes the game run much more smoothly.

Of course, no role playing game is complete without food and drinks. A typical session can easily last three hours or more. Depending on when you host your game, this might include lunch or dinner — or both — but should at least include some snacks and beverages. It is a good idea to suggest that your players each supply something to eat or drink, or that everyone chip in for a pizza.

Any time friends get together to play a role playing game, they’re likely to have fun. To make things run smoothly when you are hosting, don’t forget to plan for enough role playing books, pencils, paper, dice, and of course, food. It’s difficult to slay a dragon on an empty stomach, but it’s even worse when you don’t have a pencil to write down all the treasure you find in its lair.


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Post 3

Can anyone recommend some good apps for my smartphone that would replicate some of the materials needed in a role playing game (dice, spell sheets et cetera)?

I love the idea of gaming like this with friends, but it seems like there are a lot of materials to transport and I think it would be awesome to be able to have digital versions of some of the materials needed.

Post 2

For many players having minis and additional images is a great addition to the game. It makes the role playing experience easier to get into, and for new players actually seeing a dragon on the map helps stir their creative juices.

A neat thing you can do to represent an area of effect spell that stays in play is to get different colours of file folders made of translucent plastic and cut various shapes out for your spells. These are easy to lay on your grid maps and can be easily moved. Plus, since you can see through them, you can still see any obstacles on the map.

Post 1

I think beyond material things that everyone needs to bring, a good game master really needs to talk to all the players beforehand and come prepared to tailor the role playing game to everyone's needs and expectations.

A lot of people have very different play styles, and you can avoid a lot of bickering by asking a few simple questions before you sit down around a table with your munchies, paper and pencils.

Some people like a very narrative based story, others want a world where the mechanics are consistent and realistic, while some just want fast-paced action that doesn't require them having to think too much.

To create a truly immersive experience it is a really good idea to touch base with everyone and see what he or she expects.

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