Read to Play the RPG Edition 1: Every Day is a Rainy Day

Jul 5, 2024 | News | 0 comments

Explore the first edition of a new series about a plethora of my tabletop RPG books and the goal to Read to Play the RPG.

Solo board games make up the majority of my collection, although the past few years have seen me pick up an array of RPGs, often in the solo realm or solo journaling sphere. It’s been hard to make time to sit down and play, though, so I decided to do the one thing that would help me: Read! Learn a little more about this new series, Read to Play the RPG.

Edition 1 Overview

The hardest part about actually playing RPGs is getting lost in the overwhelming amount of choices. I have so many, and often don’t know where to start. So… I started!

With the help of a long-lost book from ages ago, an empty notebook, and colorful pens, I dove in to discover.

This is the first edition in what I hope will become a series. It may be sporadic since some RPGs are much longer, yet I hope it provides useful details about what I’m reading.

Sprinkled throughout are some tips that have helped me out. Dive in, learn about these RPGs, and enjoy reading!

A Look at the RPGs and Inspiration for the New Series of Read to Play

Inspired by a Rainy Day

I found it hidden on a shelf of a toy store, forgotten by time. There were endless paper crafts and activities, and my imagination took off as I flipped the scratchy pages.

My own Busy Town was just waiting to be colored and constructed, and I eagerly brought home my new treasure.

Yet I was at that age when childhood was almost over, and I left it for the next rainy day. Then the next. I had to wait for the perfect moment, and it, too, was forgotten by me.

Time marched on. I lost the book, yet was always struck by the memories of those long-forgotten plans of yesteryear.

A Fun Story About Finding an Old Project with Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever

All I had were the memories, and I even forgot the book’s title. I filed it away as a curious part of an age gone by. A lost plan. Something that would never happen. I searched over the years without success and wrote it off, not as a source of regret, but a happy thought of what might have been had I given myself a little time to create everything I wanted to.

On a whim, I went in search of it again earlier this year, fully expecting to never locate it. A strange thing happened as I adjusted what I was looking for. By sheer luck, I stumbled across a couple of old copies of Richard Scarry’s Best Rainy Day Book Ever… Copyright 1974. It was possibly reprinted once, yet is otherwise a relic from 50 years ago. I found it!

The first copy I tried to pick up was unfortunately misplaced or lost, so I had to keep looking. I knew it would be almost impossible to find a copy that hadn’t been partially used or otherwise filled in. I settled on a used copy listed with minimal markings and no damage. The days passed without a shipping notification. Another lost copy, I assumed.

Yet it was on its way on the day of delivery! I eagerly awaited its arrival and tore into the package. The glue had long since dried out, separating the cover from the pages and leaving me with a bit of a cleanup. I hesitated before opening it.

What would I find inside? Would it have minimal damage? Might it not live up to the lofty memories I had? I flipped each scratchy page gingerly. I read each activity’s introduction and little story, reminding me of things like the next Leap Year coming up in 1976. Pretty soon, over an hour passed before I made it through the final page.

Not a single mark is inside this copy. The pages are slightly yellowed. The edges are bent. A crease marches across the cover. And it is mine again. Trying to recapture the magical moments of childhood doesn’t always work out. Yet this was like a walk through a cozy memory, with all the promise of completing this book and actually using it still there.

That was when it struck me: I often have ideas and plans that don’t happen. Here, decades later, I had my second chance to create Busy Town and color in the charming crafts and pictures. Why was I putting off everything else?

So begins Read to Play the RPG. It’s a story that began ages ago. It’s a series about using materials, like notebooks and character sheets, and playing, whatever that looks like for a particular RPG. Every day is a metaphorical rainy day for me, filled with new discoveries and adventures across my solo table, which might be the best Busy Town ever!

The “Note” in Notebook

Not only have I collected RPG books over the years, but also plenty of unused notebooks. Sometimes, I’ll start writing and give up after a few pages. But there are more!

I picked a delightful option with sketches from The Dark Crystal and other creatures. Now, I have pages to fill in!

Perhaps another lesson with materials comes down to the writing utensils, too. Grey pencils and even colored pencils are nice, yet I just don’t get along with dull points.

Enter my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners! Some of the colors are a little too light for writing, but I absolutely love them.

Finding the Desire to Fill in Notebooks with a Dark Crystal Theme and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners

Between Clouds

I began my journey with a delightfully colorful RPG about a crew and their giant, animal-like friend in a new world.

The goal was to get an idea of the system and setting as I took notes. RPGs provide a foundation to create stories from, and not every system or setting will work out.

Ultimately, I found a few things I didn’t particularly enjoy and figured I would always pick The Wildsea over this.

That’s an important part of this journey, though! I would love to play everything, yet time is always limited. Instead, this will now be passed onto someone likely to enjoy it!

Reading Through and Taking Notes on Between Clouds

I, Toaster

The idea of playing appliance-based characters called to me, although I figured this short booklet would merely be a quick read. I didn’t expect to get so excited to play!

Indeed, I’ve already created characters and started an adventure. It’s amazing, and to actually play something is a hurdle I finally overcame. It’s all about simply starting.

I also found that I liked the questions I wrote down to answer before and after I read each RPG book.

Not only am I learning more about these RPGs, but I’m figuring out what I like or don’t like. Always interesting!

The Fun of Imagining Appliance Characters with I, Toaster

Bucket of Bolts

My main reason for taking so long to read this rather quick folding booklet is the contrast in the printed version. Bright orange-pink text on a pink background is tricky.

Yet I found a neat little system that’s centered around meditation, almost pausing in real-time to imagine a spaceship being abandoned between captains.

I’m intrigued enough to give it a whirl! There might be a nice system here for adding personality to a machine, too.

This does run the risk of being a single-use experience… Yet is that honestly a risk or problem? On my list to play!

Into Space with the Idea of Being the Spaceship with Bucket of Bolts

The Secrets of Cats

This was an added RPG to reach a certain threshold for a special contactless delivery at the start of the pandemic, which should indicate how long it’s sat unread!

I was excited, although I should have paid more attention to the cover art to see that this a much darker sort of RPG.

Cats act as magical guardians against all sorts of sinister plots and villains. Although endearing, a few concepts and mechanics convinced me this one wasn’t for me.

Cats are still awesome, though! I think I just prefer them to be a little more cozier and cuter than this RPG presents.

Exploring the Darker Side of Cats Guarding Against Evil with The Secret of Cats

Heckin’ Good Doggos

Maybe it was a little unfair to go from cats to dogs, owing to the fact that I love dogs! Yet I remember perusing this RPG book when it arrived and having some concerns.

After reading through it, it’s definitely on the simpler and light-hearted side, but there is so much to discover!

My favorite element is in the back of the book. After all of the rules are explained, there are several settings, ranging from dogs piloting mechs to medieval fantasy dogs!

The hardest part is figuring out what setting I want to explore, which might be a simple, modern neighborhood.

A Stampede of Dogs and Adventurous Settings to Explore with Heckin' Good Doggos

Asking the Most Meaningful Questions

There is no single secret to getting RPG books read and played. However, I began with a series of simple questions that helped me create short answers to set the stage as I began. I didn’t want anything that couldn’t be answered in a few short words… I wanted to actually get into reading! For each of these books, I pondered these initial aspects:

  • Why?
  • System or Setting Interest?
  • Initial Mood and Feelings?

Then, I shifted over to reading everything and taking short notes along the way without any particular structure. Afterwards, I ended by examining a series of slightly different questions, then wrote up anything I wanted to that seemed like it could be a lesson to take with me. These sections ended with the following:

  • Will I Play?
  • How Close to Initial Mood and Feelings?
  • What Do I Feel About It Now?

I share these to provide ideas, and you’re more than welcome to use them! The biggest hurdle is sometimes finding the words or questions that are the most meaningful and revelant to you, though. If you want to take a similar approach, feel free to create your own questions! After all, this is a creative process that will be different for everyone. Enjoy!

More Read to Play the RPG

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Today's Tip

It’s Never Too Late to Start Something

  • Rainy Day Chance 100% 100%

This Edition’s Rankings

R

Richard Scarry’s Best Rainy Day Book Ever

|

I, Toaster

A

Heckin’ Good Doggos

A

Bucket of Bolts

Q

Between Clouds

Q

The Secrets of Cats

Continue the Conversation

Are you interested in more editions of Read to Play the RPG? What are some of the tabletop RPGs you’ve been reading or playing lately? It’s been nice to get into a pretty steady rhythm of reading again and I have so much to explore already! I’m looking forward to trying out some of these adventures, and continuing to discover more during all the rainy days!

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