Almost every major video game, and sometimes even a movie franchise, started with one tabletop RPG, and the whole concept of a TTRPG started with the impressive lore of literature. The basic framework of party roles, talents, stats, and other characteristics of tabletop games are all present in these ancient tales, and some games have an equally complicated lore that accompanies them.
There are plenty of games with lots of stories to choose from that don’t require the time, investment, or reading that some players prefer. For those who want an immersive experience with plenty of backstory and character building there is plenty to choose from, not only innovative new titles but also classic brand names that have been years in the making. These are the best tabletop games with complicated story.
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7 Twilight empire
This is one of the few lore-heavy TTRPGs in existence that isn’t part of a franchise that also spans video games, comics, novels, or movies. Before a player even starts with it Twilight empirelearn about the 17 different factions competing for control of the universe, a first step into a vast galaxy.
Players choose which of these factions they want to play as, the equivalent of choosing a species and class in other RPGs, and set out on a quest for galactic dominance. Each faction has its strengths, weaknesses, and unique abilities, and each of them offers a different experience. Players can use trading to defeat their enemies, or choose a species with advanced technology that can use warp speed or wormholes.
Gary Gygax loved Lord of the Rings So much so, that he invented a game that would bring any Tolkien fan’s wildest dreams that little bit closer to reality, and the rest is history. The earliest incarnations of D&D consisted of simple basic rules and only three basic classes, but it was enough to start a whole new kind of entertainment media.
Since its inception in the late 1970s D&D has not only refined its own rules and classes, but also added an impressive library of stories and lore to virtually every corner of the Wizards of the Coast universe. That doesn’t include the wide range of non-canon but equally interesting homebrew and spin-off material, and these days the genre goes well beyond fantasy to also include steampunk sci-fi and horror.
5 Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
Any TTRPG from the war of stars Universum is a good choice here, though edge of the empire includes some familiar characters and locations so almost anyone who can sit down can play it already knows some of the very detailed background stories. The game integrates the popular lore of the films with the history and lore of other planets and people, and the player can experience both.
Each player in this game starts out as a neutral character who lacks loyalty, but their choices will determine which side they take and their ultimate destiny. Tasks and adventures in this series of war of stars TTRPGs include working for gangsters, transporting illegal goods for revolutionaries, or even helping escaped convicts start a colony.
4 Pathfinder 2e
Scout, The 2e version in particular bills itself as the ultimate RPG when it comes to class selection and character customization, and in both cases places it in direct competition with other medieval fantasy games. There are almost 40 classes that a player can choose from in this game, not including subclasses or prestige classes.
Most gamers know it scout through its popular video game series, which includes: kingmaker And wrath of the just, and the campaigns that serve as intricate storylines are also available in TTRPG form as adventure modules. There is an equally vast world called Golarion that a party of adventurers can explore for months or even years.
A crowdfunding project running since 2014, the story of quantum begins with the assumption that in the future humans would use their cutting-edge technology to disrupt an anomaly in space. This changes the nature of reality and allows for the various adventures in the game, which in turn makes this game so complex and story-rich.
The real power of this game lies in the rigorous mathematical system used to create the core rules. It’s called “Infinite Roleplaying System” and can be applied to a variety of RPGs. Although some players use dice, they are not required and the absence of them does not affect gameplay.
2 Warhammer 40,000
This is the game that contains the infamously expensive miniatures, which is where the joke about the price-related title begins. The fact is that the miniatures are not mandatory and there are numerous versions of this game for every budget and the story doesn’t change no matter what price tier a player uses.
Warhammer 40,000 is even more famous for its intricate, detailed, and often dark and sordid stories that blend science fiction with fantasy, horror, and apocalyptic elements into an eons-spanning tale. Set in the 41st millennium, humanity’s undead emperor sits on earth’s golden throne and thousands of living people are sacrificed every day to keep him trapped in a horrific state between life and death.
1 shadow run
The cyberpunk genre has finally been around long enough to produce a TTRPG with an intricate and detailed story. There’s also magic in this universe, making it officially a science fantasy game, and the creators have taken advantage of the opportunities that come with lots of complicated lore.
shadow run takes place in the not too distant future, in the year 2080, but life has changed. When the Mesoamerican long-term calendar ended, the Sixth Age began, and creatures and forces previously locked in another dimension manifested in reality. The result is a blend of modern technology, ancient legends and magical adventure.
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