Role-Playing Games (RPGs) are a genre of gaming in which the player assumes the role of a character in a fictional setting, which can range from the Roman Empire to the far-flung future or even another world.
Medieval role-playing games come in a variety of types outlined in this guide which will enable you, the buyer to make an informed choice about which particular type is ideal for them. All role-playing games discussed in this guide are available for purchase of the eBay platform.
Which Medieval Role-Playing Games Are There
All types of role-playing games have different histories, advantages and requirements, and which is best for the buyer will depend on budget, time and which way they prefer to game. The main types of role-playing game are:
Playing in a group with a game board, miniature avatars, written scripts and a GM (Game Master) directing play.
- Advantages: Not costly, and perfect for those who like to customise their characters and the script.
- Disadvantages: Requires a group to play, not ideal for those who prefer electronic media gaming.
Playing in a group with a game board and using miniature armies to battle:
- Advantages: Perfect for those who enjoy strategical play.
- Disadvantages: Again requires a group to play, and this type of game is not as focused of role-playing. Can be costly to build army.
Playing via a console or computer, the player takes the role of the lead character or one of many characters in an online environment.
- Advantages: Highly immersive and visual, these role-playing games have the greatest range. Can be played alone, with a friend or against others.
- Disadvantages: Can be costly, and games frequently are not plain medieval, but have some fantasy mixed in.
With these three main types for the buyer to choose from, they must decide what playing style suits them. Many role-playing games contain some fantasy mixed in, and for those wishing to just play medieval-period games then wargame RPGs, with their wide range of period-accurate models and rulebooks, might be best to focus on. For buyers who do not mind not having fantasy in their historical role-playing games, then both tabletop and video have a huge collection of games to choose from.
Things to Know About Role-Playing Games
Choosing the game correct for the buyer will depend on a whole host of choices – personal preference being chief amongst these, but there are other things to consider, such as:
- Expense – Some games are more expensive than others, particularly if starting off with video games when the start-up price of the console must be considered. With tabletop role-playing games the most affordable, and video and wargames more expensive, the player should take cost into consideration when looking at the style they might prefer.
- Players – With both tabletop and wargames requiring more than one player, how the buyer likes to game is also important. Video games can be single or multi-player, as well as playing online against others, and the buyer should reflect on whether they would prefer to game alone or in a group.
- Space – Finding room for some aspects of gaming can be difficult – wargames can take up a large amount of space if not confined to a small area, whereas tabletop and video games can both be confined to a small space.
- Time – Unlike the immediacy of a video game, both tabletop and wargames can take some time to set up, including laying out the figurines and for tabletops writing out a script. The buyer should consider if set-up time is an issue for them.
Tabletop RPG Brands & Requirements
Tabletop role-playing is the oldest kind of RPG, with roots in the 1970s. This is a widely known kind of gaming due to Dungeons & Dragons, which itself grew from situation-based wargaming.
For most tabletop role-playing games, the game itself may be scripted and most conflicts are resolved verbally, however even the most basic of these RPGs has some requirements. For example:
- Rulebook – The heart of the game, this decides what certain characters can and cannot do, and lays down a template for how battles should be conducted.
- Sourcebook – Though mostly optional, sourcebooks provide background and situational conflict that can be used to script the game.
- Figurines – These are optional, but some players and games prefer to use miniature character avatars as a visual reference.
- Dice – Some well-established RPGs have a particular dice used for the game, for example 8 or 10 sided. Dice are used to decide character movements.
Medieval tabletop games are not quite as prolific as fantasy-based games, and most have some aspect of fantasy in them. On eBay the most readily available of these are White Wolf Publishing’s various Dark Age settings. These are fantasy games set in the late medieval period, with vampire and mage rulebooks and sourcebooks readily available on eBay.
Wargame RPG Brands and Requirements
Wargames are not traditionally associated with role-playing but more with strategy playing. However many gamers use wargames to role-play, re-enacting famous battles or using figurines to role-play. The requirements are similar to tabletop gaming, though with different levels of importance.
- Rulebook – Again necessary to decide what characters can or can’t do, and to guide how battles should be played.
- Sourcebook – These give histories and backgrounds, as well as new scenarios for a game.
- Figurines – Used to represent armies in the field, these are necessary to play. A mix of infantry, long-distance troops and cavalry is generally provided in sets.
- Dice – Used to decide character movements and turns. Some brands will have their own dice.
There is a far greater range of medieval-period wargames than there are tabletop games, with gamers using them to re-enact famous battles or create new scenarios of their own. This is reflected in the greater range of brands:
- Manufactured by Gripping Beast, Saga has a huge range of various medieval army figurines, scenery rulebooks and expansion (source) books. This includes Dark Age Norman, Saxon and Middle Eastern armies, as well as a popular Viking range.
- Perry Miniatures creates highly detailed figurines and buildings from the medieval period, which can be used along or in conjunction with Saga miniatures.
- Wargames Foundry also creates medieval period miniatures.
- Conquest Games has a range of Dark Age-era Norman figurines, including transfers for shields and large metal or plastic miniature sets.
Video RPG Brands and Requirements
The most popular form of role-playing game is video on consoles or on computers, and as the biggest entertainment industry in the world, the range of games available is huge.
The requirements are fewer than with tabletop or wargames, as all the buyer will need is:
- Game – The Video RPG will come with a game disc, to be put in a console or loaded onto a computer.
- Console – What console is needed will vary from game to game, and it will be best for the buyer to buy a game for a console they already have.
As with tabletop and wargames, most video role-playing games are not plain historical medieval tales, but often contain fantasy mixed in. Two examples of video role-playing games will illustrate the variety available to the buyer:
- Dark Age of Camelot – A medieval fantasy MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), which allows the buyer to interact and battle other players whilst controlling and developing their online character avatar.
- The Witcher – An action role-playing game set in a dark age-era fantasy world, this is single player and requires the player to battle through a set story.
Choosing which style of role-playing game the buyer would prefer hones the choice available to them. Online gaming allows for person-to-person interaction, a wide world and exploration but no set storyline, whereas a console game provides a storyline but rarely interaction.
Buying Role-Playing Games on eBay
eBay has one of the widest range of games available, with competitive prices and an online list that can be tailored to the needs of the buyer. Tabletop game figurines and video games can be expensive in brick and mortar stores, and not offer much in the way of range or niche genres, but on eBay well-known games and brands can be found at an affordable price. Whether wishing to Buy It Now or at Auction, preferences can be narrowed by:
If searching for a particular game, it may be more effective to use both the category options provided as well as the search bar – more advice on searching eBay can be found at Search Tips page. When buying tabletop or wargames, the buyer should keep in mind:
- What condition of figurines they prefer, painted or new and still on sprues, as newer figurines will be more expensive.
- If they need an individual model (e.g. for a tabletop game where only a few are needed), or an army for wargaming. Sets can be found for medieval armies which will enable the buyer to get started quickly.
- If they want plastic or metal figurines – metal will naturally cost a little more.
- When buying video games, it is a good idea for the buyer to:
- Check the condition of the game disc. If it is not stated ask the seller – as discs in poor condition might not work as well as a brand new disc.
- Check the cost of the game – some online games have an initial cost and then the player must pay for extensions.
Role-Playing Games are a great way to relax, entertain or interact with other players. Choosing the right game for the buyer will depend on what they want to achieve from a game, whether it be playing with friends, creating a powerful character or competing against other players across the world.
Finding the right game is easy on eBay, with the range and prices the best for any buyer looking for quality at a great price. When using eBay the buyer should keep in mind the benefits of using PayPal, with added security benefits for both the seller and buyer.