Making magic! The Effects of enhancing PnP RPGs with computing technology

Anders Tychsen, Nicholas Pagden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Technologically enhanced tabletop games have become an increasingly popular research subject, and at the same time pen and paper role playing games have emerged as a focus for research and development because these games are the only example of truly interactive narratives. Despite these interests, there have been no attempts to develop enhanced pen and paper roleplaying games that could utilize technology to overcome some of the inherent weaknesses of the genre. This study presents an analysis of role playing games in relation to the development of an enhanced pen and paper role playing game. It also gives an overview of the work in enhanced gaming, including a classification of current and future games technologies. The study shows how the addition of technology to games affects their core features, e.g. the immersive qualities and the visibility of the rules. However, it also concludes that despite the obvious challenges in developing e.g. a hybrid pen and paper/computer role playing game, while unique, have to some degree been faced in research and development projects focused on enhancing table top games. With the current level of games technology, an understanding of the core operational features of role playing games, and of the effect of adding technologies to these games, it appears that developing enhanced pen and paper role playing game forms could be commercially viable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeminar on Playing Roles
Place of PublicationTempere, Finland
PublisherUniversity of Tempere Hypermedia Laboratory
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventSeminar on Playing Roles - Tempere, Finland
Duration: 30 Mar 200631 Mar 2006


SeminarSeminar on Playing Roles
CityTempere, Finland


  • role playing game
  • enhanced table top gaming
  • computer games
  • graphics
  • multiplayer games

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