When I started researching this, which is supposed to be a Top Ten article, I expected to find all kinds of records set by you crazy gamers over the several decades of our hobby’s existence. Instead, I found barely any. The Guinness World Records site, the de-facto place to be for all record-based factoids, has only one record directly related to tabletop role-playing games. And even that’s a bit of a damp squib. (Most expensive role-playing game product, 16 years out of date and quite cheap by today’s standards.)
I did find some unofficial records, and some related ones, like the largest number of dice, but not much else. Sure, if you want video game records, they’re all over the interwebs, same with board games. But tabletop role-playing game records are as rare as rocking horse poo.
I find myself wondering why this is the case. Are we gamers naturally modest? Do we not like to make a fuss over our achievements? I can’t believe people aren’t setting records all the time, but why are we not celebrating them?
So, I’m throwing down the gauntlet, f-shung-k! (That’s the sound a thrown gauntlet makes in my world.) There are plenty of upcoming conventions all over the world, great opportunities to gather like-minded gamers in large numbers to set records of all kinds. I want to see the biggest, the longest, the fastest. I want dice as big as houses, I want life-sized miniatures. I want dungeon maps written on the backs of postage stamps and campaigns that would take fifty years to run. I want to see a genuine million-sided die, I want a dice rolling tower as high as the statue of liberty, and I want to see a thousand characters in the same party and naked role-playing on an epic scale!
We could organize a huge event where records of all kinds are set all at the same time, which in itself could be a world record. We could create whole new categories of records, from painting a goblin horde in under a minute to role-playing a whole campaign in real-time. We could create a whole new role-playing game from scratch, and I mean from mining the tin for the miniatures to inventing a new world and new rules. Then we write some adventures, create some characters and play a whole campaign and see how long it takes to get from the tin mine to the dead end boss.
I’m sure there are plenty of records we could come up with if we all put our heads together. We could create so many new ones the Guinness World Records people would have to create a separate book just for role-playing records. Or, more appropriately, a book for game masters and a book for players. And several supplements and expansions, of course.
Things could get chaotic, so some advance planning might be in order, but we’re a smart bunch, and I’m sure we could do it. I’m sure some of the major publishers and manufacturers would get involved and provide sponsorship and materials, like paint and miniatures. Then all we need is a large open space, a load of trestle tables and a shed-load of character sheets, pencils, dice, pizza and fizzy pop. Given the chance for an epic gaming session, I think the world’s gamers would come in their droves once word got around.
If you think you’re already a record-holder, and the chances are good you could be, let me know, let Guinness know, let the world know. After all, some of these records are presently non-existent. If you’ve got 100 painted goblin miniatures or over fifty rules books or once played Dungeons & Dragons all weekend, that might be enough to set a new world record and get you a nice framed certificate. So, let’s correct this anomaly for the good of role-players everywhere! Huzzah!