Tabletop Thursdays, Week 1: Roll Player

For the first gameplay session of EDL290T, our class played the game Roll Player. It is a character creation game where players design the characters via dice roll and aim to fulfill goals tied to the character’s class and backstory. The player who fulfills the largest number of these goals wins the game.

Within my group’s Zoom breakout room, there were four of us and none had played the game before. We worked together to coordinate the game on Tabletopia and had our Zoom call going in the background so that we could ask questions if we needed clarification. Because groups were randomly assigned, we didn’t know each other beforehand, and I enjoyed getting to talk with the others in my group since I didn’t know anyone else in the class. Since we were all unfamiliar with the game, it took us a while to get comfortable playing it and we only got through a couple of gameplay rounds in the time allocated for play. I ended up having the lowest score within my group, but I had fun even though I lost. 

One of the high points of the play session for me was seeing how different players came up with different strategies for their character creation process. One member of our group focused on weapons acquisition, one was focused on growing their gold pile, and I was focused on making my character all-around balanced. I am a psychology major, so getting that sort of insight into how different people strategize to try and win a game was something I hadn’t considered looking at before but was fun for me once I figured out that pattern.

The biggest frustration within the game was the Tabletopia UI. Though it was pretty user-friendly after I got the hang of it, trying to click around within the game with only a trackpad was frustrating and likely slowed down the gameplay more than was needed. Additionally, not being able to see the other players’ cards and character sheets as easily as I would’ve liked made it hard for me to come up with a strategy beyond just making my character all-around balanced. I am not an aggressively competitive person by any means, but having the easier visual cues may have impacted some of the choices I made as a player so I could have both worked to make my character better while also hindering other players’ character development.

A tieback that Roll Player has to leadership is that different classes of character have different areas that are considered their strengths (for example, a bard may be more charismatic while a barbarian may have more physical strength). In the real world, everyone has different strengths that may make them better at certain tasks. As leaders, our job is to understand the strengths of those around us and help them utilize their strengths to achieve the goals that they want to accomplish. We also have to understand that because everyone has different strengths, it is in our best interests to build a balanced team so that we can be strong in a variety of ways. I’d definitely like to play this game again on my own. Since I know my friend Katie likes strategy games, is big into Dungeons & Dragons, and would like the character-focused aspect of Roll Player, I think this is one she would enjoy playing with me.