#RPGaDay2020: Day 7 — Couple

2020 Info Graphic


I’m short on time today, so let’s keep this simple, which is a challenge, as once again we’ve been leveled with a complex word that can be taken in many different ways, few that relate to RPGs, per se.

The word in question is couple, as in two things joined, said more elegantly in Scots Gaelic as càraid.

I could talk about coupled folk at the gaming table, of which there have been a few, or I could talk about actual player characters who were shackled to NPCs in rocky relationships… but none of that really gets my gizzard.

Instead, I like the idea of coupling games together, as in, say, playing the Star Wars RPG, but using the boardgame Star Warriors for ship combat. I have done things like this many times. I have coupled D&D with various pirate-themed maritime boardgames for resolutions at sea.

RPGs are about storytelling and limiting one’s self to solely the product at hand is counterproductive. Use your imagination. There’s a world of opportunities to marry two (or more) games together to create a narrative experience.

Do not allow yourself to be confined by convention. Look at the things around you and see if you can bring them to the table and make your games all the more exciting.

The best example of this was from a campaign I ran in college. It was 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, but as the story evolved, the player characters ended up commanding a small fleet of pirate ships. As we were finding it difficult to adequately theatre of the mind our way through the maritime battles (we didn’t play with miniatures back then), I decided to bring in Wooden Ships & Iron Men, an Avalon Hill War Game, as a way to play out these battles, allowing for each pc to control a ship, while I ran the rest of the fleet against them.

It really made that campaign come alive.

Something similar just might work for you.

—Bob Freeman
Bordermen Games

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