Here is a summarization of all the various card games and tabletop RPG’s I have played over the years
and some of my experiences.
MTG (Magic The Gathering)
I started when I was still in high school with a Duel Deck of Golgari and Izzet. I just played with my best friend and I lost basically every game. Still, it was a lot of fun to play casually and as the years went on, that’s mostly how it stayed. I rekindled my love for the game when I got into a Magic club in college (I remember the first time being there, I bent the cards to shuffle them like you would playing cards in Poker, which made everyone collectively cringe). I attended some drafts when Fate Reforged and a reprint of Conspiracy was a thing (someone pulled a Ugin and Foil Brainstorm). I stopped playing after Dragons of Tarkir, which was a good set but magic groups reformed and disbanded in that time, so eventually, I stopped playing.
Once that best friend moved to where I was, I started playing again and made better decks to play casually with some friends of his. Currently, most of the decks I run have some variation of green but my best is a cheapass burn deck (both in budget and cards) and a White/Green Bolster deck. I run about 6-7 decks last time I checked, though. Not too long ago I met someone who is now a good friend of mine who wanted to get rid of some bulk, so I took a bunch of cards that weren’t worth terribly much but were still decent (for the most part). I do very much enjoy this game, though it is ridiculously expensive to keep up with standard, legacy is laughably expensive and I don’t have enough friends who still play this to justify Commander.
This was the very first card game I had ever played and do, in fact, still have a binder full of YuGiOh cards from 2004-2004; Some in less than optimal condition. I started when my then best friend and neighbour played it and I enjoyed it, especially after seeing some of the 4Kids anime. Thus, I convinced my parents to shell out money to buy a youngin a bunch of flimsy but cool looking cardboard. Again, I was casual but it was the fun that really mattered in the end. Eventually, when I moved away, I stopped playing all together and really don’t have many cards of value aside from some cards I got from watching the YGO movie way back when (AKA: A cheap marketing ploy in order to convince children to buy more Card Games). My appreciation for this franchise was rekindled when I discovered LittleKuriboh’s brilliant abridged series of YGO. A little while ago, I had played YGO for the first time in over a decade (and lost, of course) with a good friend who loved YuGiOh and always wanted to play the card game. It may be a simplified version of MTG, but it is still rather fun to play, especially causally and isn’t nearly as much of a money sink as MTG is.
I got a bunch of the cards but never had anyone to play them with. That is really where that story ends.
Fourth/Fifth Edition (D&D)
My very first experience in this genre was a silly, short campaign that (more than a little) disregarded the rules and just did some adventuring. I believe the game was 4th Edition (4e), though it might have been third. Anyway, it was fun for a bit and it was a while until I got into another one, though I swear there was another one between the previous one and the next one I am gonna talk about…
My first experience was a year ago, in college. I partook in a D&D adventure (I think the town was called Greenwich?) in which I played a Cleric named Dende (because as Team FourStar says in DBZA: “Nobody fucks with the White Mage”). I was a short little halfling who was fairly brainy in regards to history and religion. We did the typical kind of D&D stuff, killed some Kobolds (A LOT) and Cultists, met an asshole of a Blue Dragon and one of our party members participated in some fairly… interesting activities with a female Cult Leader (all I am gonna say about that…). Some other interesting activities included a belly dancing bard who managed to actually both entertain and send Cultists to a fiery doom via nearby book burning, a ranger who, when approaching a hill in order to scout, got urinated on by a Cultist who clearly couldn’t hold it in and a barbarian who, when attempting to intimidate his enemies with a blowhorn (don’t ask), he choked on his own spit and kinda tripped, falling down in the process (from what I remember). It kinda started dying out, as since we are all in the same Computer Science program, got really busy with stuff and slowly became unable to attend games.
The second game that was started was GM’ed by the same friend who I started playing Magic with a long time ago. We first started with 4e, since the GM had the books and PDF’s for it. Unlike the first couple games, this would be my first online game and I played a Dragonborn Paladin. In fact, it wasn’t long before we just switched to Fifth Edition. We had some cool characters in that one, like my requested NPC named “James Notfield”, which is an obvious parody of a particularly famous hard rock/metal band. I love Fifth Edition, honestly and so far it’s my favourite edition of D&D and probably my favourite Tabletop RPG I ever played. It is far better balanced than 4th and doesn’t take FOREVER when doing combat.
This one was brief, but several months ago, I played in a game called Shadowrun. It is based in the future and more than a bit Pink Mohawk/Cyberpunk. The setting was quite interesting, though the most recent Corebook is incredibly poorly edited. Another downside to the game is that combat takes a lifetime, as you have to roll for each bullet and there are plenty of other actions one can do in their turn. One thing I really liked compared to other Tabletop RPG’s is the legwork you do for a mission. Because there are plenty of augmentations and things around you can use to your advantage, you often spend time planning out raids on Corporations (who rule the world in this setting) and doing various other planning/legwork (and I looove doing that). It was short but still fun.
Currently, I am playing a Warhammer 40K Tabletop game called Rogue Trader. I vaguely was aware of the universe after seeing some of the Codexes from the Warhammer 40K main game (with the incredibly expensive models). We haven’t done terribly much except get Warp Sickness, release some Pilgrims out from the Airlock, having our Navigator make a little mark on a Puppy accidentally from a misfire (Puppy wasn’t harmed, thankfully), kill a bunch of Orcs, destroy an airship or two and find some weird time travelling room to some Treasure maybe? I am playing a Techno Space Viking, hailing from Fenris (death spoopy planet) as an Explorator (main engineer/talks to machine spirits). Ridiculous setting and while the missions so far have been linear, it is generally a fun time.
Overall, I love both Trading Card Games and Tabletop RPG’s, having some experience in both of them.