(Most of this OP stolen from Vanguard's Old Roleplaying Thread
Welcome to the Critical Failure's General Roleplaying Thread. It's where we talk about playing Elves, Wizards, Vampires, Cowboys, and Robots. It's where we come to argue about our favorite games. It's where we try to make a better game, sometimes.
It's a safe place. Except when the Gamemasters here decide it isn't and you forget to check for traps.
It's where we don't talk about Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. They do that over here.
What Is A Roleplaying Game?
A roleplaying game is a more structured version of what you did when you were young. Part improv-theatre, part board game (though usually without the board), it typically involves a group of people taking on the role of one of more characters and acting out their actions in a shared fictional setting. Most games designate one player as the Game Master, who arbitrates the rules, describes the setting, and narrates all of the non-player character's actions. Additionally, most games use a chance-based method to determine the outcome of conflicts and actions, dice being the most common.
Not All Games Are Created Equal
We are truly living in a golden era of roleplaying games. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start and which game is the right fit for your group. Before going to your friendly, local game store (FLGS) and plunking down on the hot new game of the week, it might be useful to start by sitting down with your group and discussing the kind of game you want to play. Is there a particular setting you want to explore? Genre? How rules-heavy do you want the game to be? All of these are important questions and there are no right answers. Each group is different and you will likely have to experiment before finding what works.
Additionally, this thread is full of people with a wide variety of gaming tastes and tons of experience. Use us a resource! It's more than likely someone in this thread has played whatever game you're interested in and can answer any questions you may have.
Below are the definitions for some common and not so common terms you might encounter in this thread.
: Character generation; the act of making a character for a game
: Rules, mechanics; the opposite of Fluff
: Math and/or rules-intensive; the opposite of Fluffy
: Game master; see also Judge, Dungeon Master
: Setting/ambience; the opposite of Crunch
: Relies on fiction for explanation more than numbers; the opposite of Crunchy
: In-Character; typically used in PbP games, this designates that a character is acting
: When a player makes in-game decisions based on information their character does not have
: Non-player character; everyone who is not controlled by one of the players at the table
: Out-of-Character; typically used in PbP games, this designates table chatter and things not said by the character
: Old School Renaissance; refers to games and/or playstyles that emulate the experience of the early editions of Dungeons & Dragons
: Play-by-Post; games played via message boards
: A game that has rules to facilitate storytelling
: Total Party Kill; when every single player character is killed during an encounter
Rather than list out a bunch of games, you can find a comprehensive list here:
An Index of RPGs
(Popular games include, but are not limited to: 13th Age, Apocalypse World & its many variants, Fate & its many variants, Fantasy Flight's Genesys/Star Wars system, Star Wars D6, Burning Wheel, Pathfinder, Iron Kingdoms, Call of Cthulhu, Vampire: The Masquerade, Exalted, the Warhammer 40k/Fantasy RPGs, Delta Green, Mouse Guard... and many more)
If you like to ponder the theory and philosophy behind roleplaying games, perhaps look here:
If you're looking for advice on how
to RPG, perhaps look at these:
Improv for Gamers
, a good book of exercises for learning how to improv in the context of roleplaying games
The Ultimate Character Backstory Guide
, a useful book for when your inspiration is perhaps running low
Dialects Archive of English
, a resource for hearing accented English from all over the globe
Running the Game
, a youtube series by Matt Colville covering various topics in the running of a game (Dungeons & Dragons centric at times, nevertheless useful)
How to Run a Roleplaying Game
and How to Play a Roleplaying Game
by Greg Stolze, designer of Godlike, Delta Green, and other influential RPGs
... and more to come!
with that out of the way: Roles and the people who Play them (sometimes with a game)