Roll for Initiative: A Month of Tabletop RPGs

In tabletop roleplaying games, players act out the events of a story in character, occasionally rolling dice to determine how well they do something. One of the players, called the game master or dungeon master, describes the setting and how the world reacts to the players’ actions. Games range in genre and tone, from dramatic mysteries set in the real world to silly planet-hopping sci-fi romps, and the stories can sometimes be played for months or even years. On top of being a valuable way to build writing, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, TTRPGs are just plain fun!

However, trying to play a TTRPG for the first time can be daunting. What different game systems are out there? Where can I find a group? How do we create our characters? Do I have to talk in a funny voice? Why are there so many dice?!

Roll for Initiative aims to introduce TTRPGs to an all ages general audience in an accessible, welcoming way. For one month at Schlow Library, seasoned gamers will come together to showcase the creative fun of TTRPGs with a series of workshops, an art exhibit, and a community game night.

Each weekend throughout the month at Schlow, we will host free, educational workshops on a TTRPG-related topic, such as "What Parents Need to Know About TTRPGs" and "The Game is a Conversation: Improvisational Storytelling".

A month-long art exhibit in the Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery offers a glimpse into the creative worlds of tabletop roleplaying games. Visitors to the gallery can explore a variety of artistic depictions of the fantastical worlds that have been lovingly crafted by local gamers.

At the end of the month, we will host an open event featuring short, ready-to-play games that anyone can try with a friendly, experienced game facilitator. Called “one-shots”, these are self-contained stories meant to be played in one sitting. Attendees can mingle with players, learn about different games, and maybe even make enough friends to start their own campaign.

Funded by State College, PA (November 2022)