|Part of a series on|
A role-playing game (sometimes spelled roleplaying game;abbreviated RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
There are several forms of role-playing games. The original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game (TRPG), is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing (LARP), players physically perform their characters' actions.In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee; each of the other players takes on the role of a single character.
Several varieties of RPG also exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Role-playing games also include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake(s) quests, and may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics. These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling.
This type of game is well-established, so some RPG-related game forms, such as trading/collectible card games (CCGs) and wargames, may not be included under the definition. Some amount of role-playing activity may be present in such games, but it is not the primary focus.The term role-playing game is also sometimes used to describe games involving roleplay simulation and exercises used in teaching, training, and academic research.
Both authors and major publishers of tabletop role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling.Events, characters, and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience, and the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline. Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player in a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story. Such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games of make believe, role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with additions such as game facilitators and rules of interaction. Participants in a role-playing game will generate specific characters and an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief. The level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes.
Tabletop role-playing games may also be used in therapy settings to help individuals develop behavioral, social, and even language skills.Beneficiaries commonly include young people with learning difficulties such as autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia.
Role-playing games are played in a wide variety of formats, ranging from discussing character interaction in tabletop form, physically acting out characters in LARP to playing characters virtually in digital media.There is also a great variety of systems of rules and game settings. Games that emphasize plot and character interaction over game mechanics and combat sometimes prefer the name storytelling game. These types of games tend to reduce or eliminate the use of dice and other randomizing elements. Some games are played with characters created before the game by the GM, rather than those created by the players. This type of game is typically played at gaming conventions, or in standalone games that do not form part of a campaign.
Tabletop and pen-and-paper (PnP) RPGs are conducted through discussion in a small social gathering. The GM describes the game world and its inhabitants. The other players describe the intended actions of their characters, and the GM describes the outcomes.Some outcomes are determined by the game system, and some are chosen by the GM.
This is the format in which role-playing games were first popularized. The first commercially available RPG, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), was inspired by fantasy literature and the wargaming hobby and was published in 1974.The popularity of D&D led to the birth of the tabletop role-playing game industry, which publishes games with many different themes, rules, and styles of play. The popularity of tabletop games has decreased since the modern releases of online MMO RPGs.
This format is often referred to simply as a role-playing game. To distinguish this form of RPG from other formats, the retronyms tabletop role-playing game or pen and paper role-playing game are sometimes used, though neither a table nor pen and paper are strictly necessary.
A LARP is played more like improvisational theatre.Participants act out their characters' actions instead of describing them, and the real environment is used to represent the imaginary setting of the game world. Players are often costumed as their characters and use appropriate props, and the venue may be decorated to resemble the fictional setting. Some live action role-playing games use rock paper scissors or comparison of attributes to resolve conflicts symbolically, while other LARPs use physical combat with simulated arms such as airsoft guns or foam weapons.
LARPs vary in size from a handful of players to several thousand, and in duration from a couple of hours to several days.Because the number of players in a LARP is usually larger than in a tabletop role-playing game, and the players may be interacting in separate physical spaces, there is typically less of an emphasis on tightly maintaining a narrative or directly entertaining the players, and game sessions are often managed in a more distributed manner.
Tabletop role-playing games have been translated into a variety of electronic formats.As early as 1974, the same year as the release of Dungeons & Dragons, unlicensed versions of it were developed on mainframe university systems under titles such as dnd and Dungeon. These early computer RPGs influenced all of electronic gaming, as well as spawning the role-playing video game genre. Some authors divide digital role-playing games into two intertwined groups: single player games using RPG-style mechanics, and multiplayer games incorporating social interaction.
Single player role-playing video games form a loosely defined genre of computer and console games with origins in role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, on which they base much of their terminology, settings, and game mechanics.This translation changes the experience of the game, providing a visual representation of the world but emphasizing statistical character development over collaborative, interactive storytelling.
Online text-based role-playing games involve many players using some type of text-based interface and an Internet connection to play an RPG. Games played in a real-time way include MUDs, MUSHes, and other varieties of MU*. Games played in a turn-based fashion include play-by-mail games and play-by-post games.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) combine the large-scale social interaction and persistent world of MUDs with graphic interfaces. Most MMORPGs do not actively promote in-character role-playing, however players can use the games' communication functions to role-play so long as other players cooperate.The majority of players in MMORPGs do not engage in role-play in this sense.
Computer-assisted gaming can be used to add elements of computer gaming to in-person tabletop role-playing, where computers are used for record-keeping and sometimes to resolve combat, while the participants generally make decisions concerning character interaction.
One common feature of many RPGs is the role of gamemaster, a participant who has special duties to present the fictional setting, arbitrate the results of character actions, and maintain the narrative flow.In tabletop and live action RPGs the GM performs these duties in person. In video RPGs many of the functions of a GM are fulfilled by the game engine. However some multi-player video RPGs also allow for a participant to take on a GM role through a visual interface called a GM toolkit, albeit with abilities limited by the available technology.
Another standard concept in RPGs is the player character, a character in the fictional world of the game whose actions the player controls. Typically each player controls a separate player character, sometimes more, each of whom acts as a protagonist in the story.
In contrast to player characters, non-player characters (NPCs) are controlled by the gamemaster or game engine, or by people assisting the gamemaster. Non-player characters fill out the population of the fictional setting and can act as antagonists, bystanders or allies of the player characters.
But roleplaying is not purely educational. It's also one of the most creative possible entertainments. Most entertainment is passive: the audience just sits and watches, without taking part in the creative process. In roleplaying, the "audience" joins in the creation, may introduce huge impact to the project. The GM is the chief storyteller, but the players are responsible for portraying their characters. If they want something to happen in the story, they make it happen, because they're in the story.
As suggested by the name, TRPGs are played face-to-face (around a table, most likely), and involve players 'acting out' a role. This acting is not always literal. Players do not arrive in costume or speak exclusively in-character — something that differentiates TRPGs from live-action role-playing games (LARPs). Instead, players develop characters based on certain rules and are responsible for deciding what those characters do over the course of the game.
In some ways, the emphasis on character development has impeded progress in storytelling with RPGs. The central premise of these [computer RPGs] is that the player steadily builds his abilities by acquiring wealth, tools, weapons, and experience. This emphasis on character development tends to work against the needs of dramatic development – dramatic twists and turns clash with the prevailing tone of steady development. Fortunately, this impediment is not fundamental to the RPG genre; it is a cultural expectation rather than an architectural necessity.
Although Werewolf is a game, it is more concerned with storytelling than it is with winning. Werewolf is a tool enabling you to become involved in tales of passion and glory, and to help tell those stories yourself.
A roleplaying game is a storytelling game that has elements of the games of make-believe that many of us played as children.
The Role-Playing Game (RPG) is one of the major genres of games, and has proven an extremely portable concept – from the physically embodied live action and tabletop formats to the various digital, mobile and even enhanced and augmented reality formats.
A live action roleplaying game is a cross between a traditional 'tabletop' roleplaying game and improvisational theatre.
The LRP player, like a stage actor, is a person who under-goes a transformation into a character. The character’s costume and accessories, or kit, aids this transformation ... Physical structures may be used as game locations, and sometimes even purposely constructed to enhance the game world ... Players frequently use physical artifacts as props and tools in their role-play, primarily to back up their character roles.
"Live combat... requires the players' abilities to perform an action. You want to hit someone with a sword? You have to actually hit the player with a prop representing a sword, usually a padded weapon. ... Simulated combat is more abstract. It uses an external method that does not rely on player ability. For example, if you want to hit the other person with a sword, you may have to make a rock-paper-scissors challenge.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
...the participants sustain these temporary worlds for a few hours or several days
However, the majority of players in MMORPGs do not role-play at all, but self-play, that is, play as being themselves without adopting a fictional role.Unknown parameter
|book-title=ignored (help); Cite journal requires
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). It has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. The game was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.
Everway is a fantasy role-playing game first published by Wizards of the Coast under their Alter Ego brand in 1995. Its lead designer was Jonathan Tweet. Marketed as a "Visionary Roleplaying Game", it has often been characterized as an innovative piece with a limited commercial success. Wizards later abandoned the line, and Rubicon Games purchased it, and published several supplements. The line was sold again to Gaslight Press in February 2001. The line is currently with The Everway Company, which is working on both a Silver Anniversary Edition and 2nd Edition.
A gamemaster is a person who acts as an organizer, officiant for regarding rules, arbitrator, and moderator for a multiplayer role-playing game. They are more common in co-operative games in which players work together than in competitive games in which players oppose each other. The act performed by a gamemaster is sometimes referred to as "Gamemastering" or simply "GM-ing".
A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by real world environments while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world, usually involving some form of character development by way of recording statistics. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replay value and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
A campaign setting is usually a fictional world which serves as a setting for a role-playing game or wargame campaign. A campaign is a series of individual adventures, and a campaign setting is the world in which such adventures and campaigns take place. Usually a campaign setting is designed for a specific game or a specific genre of game. There are numerous campaign settings available both in print and online. In addition to published campaign settings available for purchase, many game masters create their own settings, often referred to as "homebrew" settings or worlds.
Gold Box is a series of role-playing video games produced by SSI from 1988 to 1992. The company acquired a license to produce games based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game from TSR, Inc. These games shared a common engine that came to be known as the "Gold Box Engine" after the gold-colored boxes in which most games of the series were sold.
Freeform role-playing games, also called freeforms, are a type of role-playing game which employ informal or simplified rule sets, emphasise costume and theatricality, and typically involve large numbers of players in a common setting. Actions are typically adjudicated on the spot by a referee, though variants exist whereby players jointly mediate their own actions.
The RPGA, was initially part of the organized play arm of TSR, Inc and then Wizards of the Coast. From 1980 to 2014, it organized and sanctioned role-playing games worldwide. In 2014, it was replaced with the D&D Adventurers League.
The history of role-playing games begins with an earlier tradition of role-playing, which combined with the rulesets of fantasy wargames in the 1970s to give rise to the modern role-playing game. A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization and the actions succeed or fail according to a system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.
In the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) role-playing game, the Dungeon Master (DM) is the game organizer and participant in charge of creating the details and challenges of a given adventure, while maintaining a realistic continuity of events. In effect, the Dungeon Master controls all aspects of the game, except for the actions of the player characters (PCs), and describes to the players what their characters see and hear.
Role-playing games (RPGs) have developed specialized terminology. This includes both terminology used within RPGs to describe in-game concepts and terminology used to describe RPGs. Role-playing games also have specialized slang and jargon associated with them.
A role-playing game system is a set of game mechanics used in a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) to determine the outcome of a character's in-game actions.
Live action role-playing games, known as LARPs, are a form of role-playing game in which live players/actors assume roles as specific characters and play out a scenario in-character. Technically, many childhood games may be thought of as simple LARPs, as they often involve the assumption of character roles. However, the scope of this article concerns itself mainly with LARPing in a technical sense: the organized live-action role-playing games whose origins are closely related to the invention of tabletop role-playing games in America in the 1970s.
A tabletop role-playing game, also known as a pen-and-paper role-playing game, is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a set formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.
A non-player character (NPC) is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. The term originated in traditional tabletop role-playing games where it applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee rather than another player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer that has a predetermined set of behaviors that potentially will impact gameplay, but will not necessarily be true artificial intelligence.
Western role-playing video games are role-playing video games developed in the Western world, including The Americas and Europe. They originated on mainframe university computer systems in the 1970s, were later popularized by titles such as Ultima and Wizardry in the early- to mid-1980s, and continue to be produced for modern home computer and video game console systems. The genre's "Golden Age" occurred in the mid- to late-1980s, and its popularity suffered a downturn in the mid-1990s as developers struggled to keep up with changing fashion, hardware evolution and increasing development costs. A later series of isometric role-playing games, published by Interplay Productions and Blizzard Entertainment, was developed over a longer time period and set new standards of production quality.
Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) is a tabletop role playing game design framework developed by Meguey Baker and Vincent Baker for the 2010 game Apocalypse World and later used for Dungeon World, Monsterhearts and numerous other RPGs.
The Cortex System is a collection of related roleplaying games. Its most recent iteration, Cortex Prime, was designed by Cam Banks and published by Fandom Tabletop. Prior versions appeared in the licensed roleplaying games published by Margaret Weis Productions, where it was used as the house system. Cortex is an adaptable game system focusing on characterization and story development.
Media related to Role-playing games at Wikimedia Commons