Pen and Paper: What is it?

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Do you still remember how you used to build worlds with Lego, Playmobil or just sticks and stones as a child, inventing figures in those worlds and letting them experience adventures? Pen and Paper is no different. The game master presents a world, and the players create characters who experience adventures in it. At the same time, the players tell each other what they are doing and use their fantasy to imagine the story as vividly as possible.

Not infrequently, the pens and paper that give the game its name are used to write down character sheets and rules. Dices, playing cards, tokens and game pieces are also used to determine the outcome of a game or to fill the game world with life and illustrate things and situations. Basically, Pen and Paper is a mixture of board game and improvisational acting.

How does it work?

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An example

You can imagine it this way:

„Franz has created a thief for, while Klara plays an elf-magician and Tom an impoverished orc mercenary. And Flo has decided to impersonate a rich nobleman's son.“

The game master explains the situation:

„You have successfully defeated the dragon and you're on your way back to the city to report to the king on the successful completion of your quest. You can already see the city walls on the nearby hilltop. Before you reach them, you arrive at a bridge guarded by three city wards. They stop anyone passing by and pinch a toll from them. Some of them pay the demanded price and are allowed to enter through the nearby town gate, while others just turn around and head for the far off ford, which also leads into town, but straight into the poor district. What do you do are you doing?“

Franz:

„I try to sneak past the guards while they are busy with someone else.“

Game master:

„Okay, roll the dice for sneaking.“

Franz:

„I rolled a success!“

Game master:

„Okay, you manage to sneak past the guards unseen, and you arrive safely on the other side.“

Klara:

„I wonder where the thief has gone, but then I turn to the city guards to pay the toll.“

Game master (disguises his voice):

„Stop! One silver coin or no passage!“

Tom:

„Oh, damn it. I've only got 56 copper left.“

Game master (disguises his voice):

„We don't want beggars in town. Pay the toll or you’´re staying outside!“

Flo:

„I have watched the scene from a distance and now I turn to the guards myself“

Game master:

„You see that the guards are uneasy when your family name is mentioned. Please roll the dice on your intimidation talent and see how they react.“

Klara:

„I will quietly cast a manipulation spell to ease Flo's success.“

Tom (while Flo is still rolling the dice):

„As an Orc I am not the smartest, but even I realized that the guards are playing fast and loose with the people here. With a battle cry I pull my battleaxe and attack the guards! Huha!“

As you can see from this example, there are an infinite number of possible solutions for every situation, which the players can explore and play out together with the game master in conversation.

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What you need to play

Ideally you need 2 to 5 friends. If you don't know anybody who would like to play this kind of game, you will definitely find other interested roleplayers or already existing groups online, maybe even in your area. There are also countless groups that play exclusively online. You are also always welcome on our discord server.

All you need is a pen, paper and two dice with at least ten sides. You can buy them in a toy store or order them online. You can learn how these dice work in the article about Filler. In online rounds, as they take place on our discord server, or on many other platforms, which are listed in Links und Hilfen/en, there are dice bots that take over this function. In addition, there are numerous dice apps with which you can get your desired dice directly on your smartphone.

You can find the character sheet for the HTBAH rules here.


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