The PnP Factor in MMOGs

Online gaming was not created in a vacuum. MMOGs owe their existence not only to earlier computer games, but they also owe a tremendous debt to their pen-and-paper ancestors.

Online gaming was not created in a vacuum. MMOGs owe their existence not only to earlier computer games, but they also owe a tremendous debt to their pen-and-paper ancestors. Without role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, there would be no Champions Online or World of Warcraft today. Your pals at Ten Ton Hammer are here to discuss this link between the worlds of online gaming and pen-and-paper gaming.

First, the influence of pnp games upon the creation of MMOGs. With the rise of rpgs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a new form of gaming was created. The most famous, and by far the largest, was Dungeons and Dragons created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson (blessed be their names!). Before D&D, gaming at home primarily consisted of either bad board games (such as Parcheesi) or historical miniatures. With the advent of D&D, players actually took on a role of a brave adventurer, whether they be a sneaky thief, powerful wizard, or a holier-than-thou paladin. The players formed a party with their characters, with defined roles. Clerics would fight and heal, wizards would throw powerful magic from a distance (low hit points), thieves would attempt to flank the enemy, whilst fighters would stand in the first line to dish out and take punishment. HmmmÂ…wonder where IÂ’ve seen that configuration before?

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