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<li>A role-playing game takes the form of a narration, with play consisting of a series of logically connected events.</li>
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<li>A role-playing game takes the form of a narration, with play consisting of a [[narrative principle|series of logically connected events]].</li>
<li>Critical game decisions are made collaboratively by using a set of rules.</li>
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<li>Critical game decisions are made collaboratively by using a [[resolution|set of rules]].</li>
<li>At least one player takes on the role of a specific character, making decisions as if that character.</li>
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<li>At least one player takes on the role of a specific character, making decisions [[as if]] that character.</li>
<li>Any possible action that could be taken by a character can be adjudicated within the immersive framework of the game.</li>
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<li>[[Freedom principle|Any possible action]] that could be taken by a character can be adjudicated within the immersive framework of the game.</li>
 
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Revision as of 04:03, April 17, 2010

Roleplaying Game

Rpg-dice

Played since:
1974

RPG Talk is about role-playing games, specific, traditional pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.

A definition of a role-playing game:

  1. A role-playing game takes the form of a narration, with play consisting of a series of logically connected events.
  2. Critical game decisions are made collaboratively by using a set of rules.
  3. At least one player takes on the role of a specific character, making decisions as if that character.
  4. Any possible action that could be taken by a character can be adjudicated within the immersive framework of the game.

Variations:

In an improvisational game, criterion one is not present. An example would be a theatre game in which participants had to act out characters called out by an MC or the audience.

In make-believe, criterion two is not present. Decisions are made using standard social conventions. Cops and robbers and freeform LARP are make-believe games.

In a narrative game, the third criterion is not present. Players are narrating about characters, not as them. Once Upon a Time is a game like this; you can tell a story about just about anything, but you are not truly any one character within the game.

In a traditional game, the fourth criterion is not present. If there is no rule for it, you cannot attempt it. An example would be a board game, or a storytelling game that allowed only certain kinds of actions or decisions. Talisman is a game like this, as is the Baron Munchausen Role-playing Game (despite the name).

Note that since role-playing games include all the elements, they may at time incorporate other modes. But all the role-playing criteria have to be present at least some of the time to be a true role-playing game. At times, players might participate in a narrative mode; this is called meta-gaming. Traditional game elements come into play when the rules specify the kinds of results from specific actions. Some parts of role-playing require few rules; this is often described as immersion, and operates in the make-believe mode. Role-playing games often emphasize decisions or action more than continuity; when narration becomes disconnected or unimportant, the game might be described as beer-and-pretzels, gonzo, hack-and-slash, or surrealism.

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