Tabletop RPG – to Hangout or not to Hangout?

Since leaving university many many years ago I’ve rarely found a good source of regular tabletop roleplaying games to participate in.  This usually means that I’ve either ended up running the session and not really getting to play at all or having no tabletop at all.  Bad times either way!  I see lots of systems out there and I buy the odd book with the intention of playing but never really find that regular group to play with.  Then I’ve gotten older, and so have my regular running buddies.   We got old, we got fat, we got lazy and we got kids.  All a barrier to regular gaming.  What to do?

Well in the 80’s and 90’s we saw the rise of the Play By Mail (PBM) game:-

Correspondence chess has been played for a long time between players linked by letter.  Each player maintaining a board showing the latest arrangement of pieces and the last move.  Then came the movement of Play By Post (PBP) Rolepaying, not to be confused with PvP which is an entirely different thing:-

With the advent of technology roleplaying games advanced too and now we are seeing I’ve heard a lot of whispers and talk of people using Play By e-Mail (PBeM) or Google Hangouts for running tabletop RPG sessions.  This could be the answer to all my problems.

One such way to get involved would be a website run by John Large dedicated to the games he plays and GM’s for others.  John runs games via Google Hangouts and uses Google drive to store and distribute gaming materials such as maps, character sheets, background information and even home-brew rulesets.  So what exactly is Red Dice Diaries?  Well John has kindly provided a brief biog to describe what it is he does:-

“What would eventually become the Red Dice Diaries started in February 2013 as a small blog called The House of Black; originally it was simply a blog for me to post write-ups of my Rogue Trader campaign, however as time went on I started to enjoy the writing side of it (and received some very positive feedback).  This lead to the blog being expanded to include other aspects of the hobby. Over the next year I discovered a wealth of tabletop RPG material on YouTube and, inspired by some of the characters and videos there, I decided to create my own channel.

Struggling to think of a name for the channel I stumbled across mention of an old TV program featured David Duchovny called ‘The Red Shoe Diaries’ and thought that, with a bit of alteration, that would make a great name for the channel (especially given that my favourite colour is red). Since starting up the channel I’ve uploaded over 200 videos (as of the time of writing this) and have written even more blog entries.  The support that I have received from various people (including members of the YouTube RPG Brigade) both encouraged me to set-up and persevere with the channel, through it I have met and talked to some great people and have gamed with others whom I would otherwise not have met.  I have also re-discovered my joy of both writing and drawing (long thought lost since my days at university).

Whether you are new to the Red Dice Diaries or have been with us for some time we hope you’ll be as excited about this next stage in our development as much as we are and that you’ll stick with us for all of the exciting content that we have to come.”

As John says he now has a thriving and popular YouTube channel broadcasting his games and other material for his 1400 or so subscribers:-

If you’re thinking of looking for anything RPG related you should definitely visit this YouTube channel as it contains tips of building the perfect RPG setting, character generation, fleshing out realistic and believable NPCs and DPCs and reviews of new systems.  Go take a look!

So I find myself wondering whether to get involved in something existing like John’s stellar efforts at running games for his geographically challenged followers or to attempt to do something myself for others or to try and convince someone else to run something I can play in.  For now I’m not so sure but I do know I need to get a fix of RPG.  I’ve so many systems and no-one to play them with.  Anyone reading this with ideas or suggestions of what to do please feel free to comment below.  The system to be played is open for negotiation but the ones I own include:-

oWoD/nWoD/MCWoD (World of Darkness):-

Vampire, Werewolf (and Dark Ages), Changeling, Wraith, Mage

AD&D 3rd Ed

Slaine d20 (using above systems mechanics but Slaine setting)


Men in Black

Star Trek TNG The RPG

The Babylon Project


I probably have more but at this moment in time I cant recall every book on the shelf.  I’d certainly like to give SLA Industries another go, maybe WHFRP (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game) or the 40K setting.