Kieran Bicheno

Why Not Try: A proper role-playing game?

WHY not try charging into a pack of screaming orcs?

Why not try following Professor Lindquist down a maddening spiral into the depths of a homicidal cult?

Why not change course to purge that nearby planet of heretics?

We're working more, covering more responsibilities, and a night at the pub is getting more expensive in a variety of ways. Television is too stupid to contemplate and the internet is full of teens crying about how nobody understands them.

Books could come to the rescue, but why not act out stories with your mates? Here: take some paper, pencils, a rule book of whatever flavour you like. Throw in a carton of beer or a few bottles of wine.

You're winding down, but you and your mates are now the characters in a movie. If the movie sucks, you change it. You have a story, you play a role. It ends in hilarity. Trust me.

Traditionally you'll need a table. You'll need a rule book and someone who's read it. You'll need a narrator (also called a Game Master, Dungeon Master, it doesn't matter). Usually, this person has read the rule book or has the most vivid imagination. Everything else is in the book for whatever rule system you choose.

There are books for role-playing horror, fantasy, science fiction, detectives, hackers, sports, giant robots. If you can think of it, you can find a book for it. Google is your friend.

If you're on your own and want to try playing in a session with others, you'll probably find help at your local comic shop or hobby store.

If you're a group and you've never played before (or it's been a while), these days it's hard to go past 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons as a newbie-friendly ruleset. If you're keen on fantasy, start there.

Whoever you are, someone who wants to get into role-playing can't go past Reddit's beginner's guide.

Have fun, use your imagination, and above all, let go for a few hours.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Why not try role-playing? Share your experience and photos with us. Email or on Instagram: #weekendmagchallenge