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Role-playing game

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Role-playing game

A game where the players take on the roles of imaginary characters. (e)

Tags:RPG, Game

From Wikipedia

A role-playing game (RPG and sometimes roleplaying game[1][2]) 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 or character development.[3] Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.[4]

There are several forms of RPG. The original form, sometimes called the tabletop RPG, is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing games (LARP) players physically perform their characters' actions.[5] In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used and acts as referee, while each of the other players plays the role of a single character.[6]

Several varieties of RPG also exist in electronic media, such as multi-player text-based MUDs and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Role-playing games also include single-player offline role-playing video games in which players control a character or team who undertake quests, and may include capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics. These games often share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling.[7][8]

Despite this variety of forms, some game forms such as trading card games and wargames that are related to role-playing games may not be included. Role-playing activity may sometimes be present in such games, but it is not the primary focus.[9] The term is also sometimes used to describe roleplay simulation games and exercises used in teaching, training, and academic research.

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References

  1. Harrigan, Pat, Noah Wardrip-Fruin (2007). Second Person: Roleplaying and Story in Playable Media. MIT University Press. 
  2. (2004) GURPS (4th Edition). Steve Jackson Games, Chapter 1. “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. 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.” 
  3. Cover, Jennifer Grouling (2010). The Creation of Narrative in Tabletop Role-Playing Games. McFarland & Company, 6. ISBN 978-0-7864-4451-9. “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.” 
  4. (Tychsen 2006:76) "The variety of role playing games makes it inherently challenging to provide a common definition. However, all forms of role playing games – be they PnP RPGs, CRPGs, MMORPGs or LARPS - share a group of characteristics, which makes them identifiable from other types of games: storytelling with rules, control of fictional characters, a fictitious reality, usually the presence of a game master (or game engine), and at least one player."
  5. (Tychsen et al. 2006:255) "LARPs can be viewed as forming a distinct category of RPG because of two unique features: (a) The players physically embody their characters, and (b) the game takes place in a physical frame. Embodiment means that the physical actions of the player are regarded as those of the character. Whereas in a RPG played by a group sitting around a table, players describe the actions of their characters (e.g., “I run to stand beside my friend”)"
  6. Kim, John. "Narrative" or "Tabletop" RPGs. Retrieved on 2008-09-09.
  7. (Tychsen 2006:75) "PnP RPGs are an example of interactive narratives. The rules and fictional worlds that form the basis for these games function as a vessel for collaborative, interactive storytelling. This is possibly the most important feature of PnP RPGs, and one that CRPGs have yet to reproduce."
  8. Crawford, Chris (2003). Chris Crawford on Game Design. New Riders Publishing, 163. ISBN 978-0-13-146099-7. “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.” 
  9. (Heliö 2004) "In the family of role-playing games there are also a whole bunch of other game types and game-like activities that can be included or excluded, like the collectible card games (such as Magic: The Gathering) and board and strategy games (like Warhammer 40.000), or different forms of theatrical and larp-like combinations, such as fate-play. The action of role-playing is usually somehow present in these game forms, but the focus can be more either in the competitive nature of the game (MtG, Warhammer), or in the immersive performance (as in fate-play), than in role-playing itself."




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