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Thread: How many of you are roleplayers?

  1. #71
      Niedfaru is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0meguy View Post
    I wonder how exactly role playing works for you guys. I envision roleplaying as writing stories from the perspective of characters in the world that I created, but you guys mostly seem to use systems like DnD and GRUPS, aren't those roleplaying systems that work by controlling characters with dice rolls or something?
    A Roleplaying Game is a bit more than just roleplaying: something to do with the extraordinary polysemy of the word play. First of all, I should note that your notion of what constitutes RP is missing a key element (IMO): it needs to be collaborative. Writing stories setting in your own world is just writing speculative fiction unless you do it in a group and pass the narrative back and forth in a dynamic fashion. The idea of game systems is to facilitate that process. The main way it does so it to create a mechanic for resolving conflicts. When two characters come to blows, you could just narrate what happens, but what if both players want their character to win? That's when the dice (or cards or whatever other conflict resolution mechanic you favour) come in.

    There are varying levels of complexity in RPGs, depending which kind of gaming the system writer prefers. There are three accepted baselines: narrativisim, simulationism and gamism. The names are more or less self-explanatory.

    Narrativist games put the story first and use mechanics that make each characters actions meaningful to a collaborative narrative.

    Simulationist games put the world first. Having a cool story is, according to this school of thought, no good if you compromise the integrity of the world. These kinds of games have endless rules for simulating gravity and hydrology and magic spells and swordfighting and fishing and anything else the writers didn't forget to include. Most traditional RPGs are heavily in this category, even if they have roots in others.

    Gamism says simply "Hey guys, put your stories and your worlds aside already! I'm trying to play a game here!" These games usually focus on ways to make the game more interactive. These games usually function more like computer games or board games.

    There is really no right or wrong way to play, and most games have elements from all three categories. These are really just philosophies that help writers figure out how to write their system, and how they want it to interact with actual gameplay.

    If you want to learn more about this kind of thing, this article is a great read. There is also some reluctance among some gamers to accept this theory (known as GNS theory), as you can see here.

    I'm sure others will have refinements and alterations to what I've said, but I hope this was useful as a starting point.

  2. #72
      heffnerc1 is offline
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    Excellent post Niedfaru. I've been working on my own D&D 3.5-offshoot RPG system for 5+ years, and because of your post and the one that you linked to at The Forge, I now understand why I've been working so long. I didn't understand that my game design problems weren't issues with the game itself, but issues with determining which design philosophy to decide on (without being aware that Narrative and Gamist modes existed. I thought only Simulationism existed since that's how 3.5 was designed, and I didn't want to reinvent that wheel).

  3. #73
      Ezann is offline
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    I've long drifted round the peripheries of the role-playing community. I once (very, very long ago) DM'd a D&D game, and I've got a fair few RPG game manuals for all kinds of systems, but can't easily join a tabletop group. I sometimes look around for a decent play-by-email or play-by-web game, but have never really taken the plunge. I'm looking again at the moment, in fact, which was part of what sparked my registering for this forum -- I've always loved the world (or even universe!) building aspects of RPGs, and map-making is a big part of that.

  4. #74
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    I'd go as far as saying that 90% of the active members of the site are either roleplayers now, or were roleplayers at one time. A small percentage of the members are fantasy fiction authors, some are cartographic professionals, and some RPG publishers which fill up the remaining 10%.

    I am roleplayer, sometimes GM, sometimes player using Pathfinder, sometimes D&D 3.5. I am also a professional fantasy cartographer, that is I create maps on commission for publishers, as well as being a co-publisher myself.
    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!
    http://www.gamer-printshop.com

    Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) Google+ community

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