Why

BIG PEAR?

The Original Big Pear

Frequently Asked Questions

"What is D&D?"


D&D stands for "Dungeons and Dragons." It is one, of many, Role Playing Games (RPGs). "Dungeons and Dragons" is a high fantasy themed RPG that is also the most popular of its kind. There are also other games of different genres we run, including but not limited to:

  • "Shadowrun" (fantasy/ cyberpunk)
  • "Call of Cthulhu" (mystery/ weird horror)
  • "Vampire: The Masquerade" (horror)
  • "Spirit Of The Century" (pulp adventure)
  • "Star Wars" (sci-fi/ fantasy)
If there is a game you'd like to try, our Game Masters are happy to learn (if they don't know it already) and run it for you.




"What is a Role Playing Game (RPG)?"


A role playing game is a story driven game. You, the player, are one of the characters in the story. You decide what your character would do in certain situations, and your character does those things. The character you create, does not need to be anything like you are in real life (IRL)




"How does the game work?"


The game is lead/moderated by a Dungeon Master (DM) also known as the Game Master (GM). This person narrates the story, acts as non-player characters, and as guide and referee.
Example: Your character is traveling and comes to a river. The bridge that served as a crossing has been destroyed. You can decide to take any number of actions:
Investigate: Try to see if you can discover what happened to the bridge. Was it damaged by a flood, or perhaps bandits. Whether or not you decide you investigate, you are still on a journey, and need to get to the other side of the river. What do you do? Decide to try and swim across? (Use your nature skills to assess how deep and fast the river is) Rig up a rope to a tree and swing across? (Do you have a long enough rope? Are you agile/strong enough? How wide is the river?) Cut down a tree and hope you can use it to cross? (Do you have a saw/axe? Are you agile/strong enough? How wide is the river?) Move further up/down river and find a better area to cross? If you have special equipment or abilities perhaps you can fly across. Or anything of your own choosing.

Each character has strengths and weaknesses that make them suited for different tasks or ways of resolving conflict as indicated on your character sheet (a little about that later). You decide how to use your skills and equipment to your best advantage. You will propose your idea. If it is a mundane task that requires no effort or is, all things being equal, impossible to fail, the GM will tell you the effect(s) your action has had on the story. If it is a task that could result in failure, the GM will ask you to roll some dice, consult your character sheet, and do a little math to see if you fail or succeed.




"What if I am not creative and/or not a good storyteller or are new this?"


That’s okay. You will get a lot of help from your party (the other players) and the GM. The main plot of the story is written, the setting, adventure options, etc. are in place. You only need to decide what your character does at certain points in the story. It’s like ordering at a restaurant: You don’t need to design the restaurant, set the table, or cook. Just decide what you would like and order it. Since it is a game, this is an opportunity to try something new or different, so take advantage of that.




"OK, so you mentioned other players, and a party?"


In addition to the GM who runs the game, there will be other people playing with you. There is no set number of players. Typically, there are 3-6 players per game. Each player will have their own character and bring their own skills to the group. RPG's are cooperative games, so the more characters with different skill sets your party has, the greater chance you all have of winning (or, at least, achieveing a favorable outcome for your characters).
It doesn’t matter what your level of experience is. New players can play with experienced players. All characters in our games will be at the same character level, so it evens things out. You can play with people you know or meet new people at games.




"How long are games? How many sessions?"


It depends on what type of experience you would like to have. We have custom games for private and corporate events, as well as ESL. Please ask us about current, or custom, offerings so we can make sure you get the best experience.
Our scheduled games and ESL games run for 2-hours, while our corporate and private games are, on average, 4-hours. We also host an annual 24-hour fundraiser game for BC Children’s Hospital every year. While you don't need to play for the whole 24 hours (the day is split into three 8-hour sessions), some dedicated players choose to go all the way. Our dedicated GM, Kyle, has been running these 24-hour games annually since 2014. As mentioned, we have bi-weekly 2-hour games for which you can register, but drop-ins are encouraged to join us as well. These complete adventures run for 4-sessions. Corporate games are meant to run in a single session. These one-shot games focus on certain themes and skills applicable to the workplace. Private games can run for one session or many. Contact us and we'll help you plan your ideal game session or sessions. If you choose to run a single session but eventually wish to continue the story at a later date we will keep a record of your adventures so you can pick up where you left off.




"What if I miss a scheduled session?"


We understand that things come up. Please try to let us know if you will not be able to attend. Regardless, we will make sure to work things out so you can rejoin easily the following session.




"It sounds like there is a lot to learn, know, and memorize. It sounds really fun, but I’m not sure I can keep up, what can I do?"


We are here to help. We will help you create a character, or you can use one we have built in advance. We will lead you step by step through a tutorial on how to navigate your character sheet as well as the game’s mechanics and rules, so you can get a feel for how things work. We will help you when you are playing. This is a friendly, inclusive, safe space for learning, exploring, and personal growth. Everyone is welcome. We are here to make sure you have a great experience.




"Why a Role Playing Game?"


It’s fun! It is also a way to have a chance to work on your team building and social skills, as well as creativity. You get to think outside the box and be part of a fun adventure, contribute to your team, and discover new strengths.

  • Builds camaraderie among friends and social bonding within families

  • Gives you a chance to meet new people in a relaxed setting

  • Improves logic, critical thinking, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills

  • Stimulates imagination and creativity

  • Provides an alternative to smart phones, computers, and video gaming

  • Encourages taking different perspectives and considering all possibilities

Don’t just take our word for it, have a look at some of the research:

“…consistent with findings from previous case study research, in that role-playing games may have the potential to improve social competence.”

The influence of role-playing games on perceived social competence: A qualitative Analysis

by Matthew Orr from his thesis for Research Master of Arts at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

“On the whole, game-play may contribute to a variety of positive effects that researchers have only recently begun to understand. One specific game genre which may contribute to an assortment of cognitive health benefits is the RPG. RPGs allow players to become a character in a game by taking control of the character’s dialogue and actions.”

"Needs Met Through Role-Playing Games: A Fantasy Theme Analysis of Dungeons & Dragons"

Aubrie S. Adams

University of California, Santa Barbara

As published in Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research


"Games have the potential to fulfill genuine human needs, engage learners, and unite people in unprecedented ways." (McGonigal, 2011)

"Fantasy games have been used to improve comprehension, spelling, and critical thinking for students with learning-disabilities." (Mather, 1986)

(While we do not do this, these are interesting articles.)

Therapy & Dragons: A look into the Possible Applications of Table Top Role Playing Games in Therapy with Adolescents

Raul Gutierrez California State University - San Bernardino

Dungeons and Dragons Now Being Used as Therapy from the BBC