An Introduction to Being a Player
An RPG, or Role Playing Game, is a cooperative story borne of the fruitful talents of players who cooperate and experience a fictional story through semi-organized discussion. What it looks like is a few people sitting around a table rattling dice and talking amongst themselves although if you walk into a game without knowing what's going on its likely to seem a bit silly...and it is, but its fun too. The story is the game and the role of the player is to "imagine" a character in a fictional drama through a story's finale when the mystery gets solved, heroes win the day and wander off into the sunset.
Game play breaks down like this: each of the players creates a main character for play in a loosely organized plot conceived by the game master. All the little parts of a character and game story are prepared so they may be experienced by the collective imaginations of the troupe throughout game play. A GM (Game Master) begins by setting up a scene and describing all the relevant details to the players and initiates game interaction. This can include background, atmosphere, ambiance, story characters and even some plot narration. Players then ask specific questions during their turn to identify a scene in terms of their character's point of view and what they wish to accomplish within the story. Each player interpretively dramatizes the role of their character, interacting with story characters to fathom the plot challenge and achieve some sort of resolution. Against this, the GM plays the roles of all NPC's (Non-Player Characters, both good and bad) and brings the drama to life. This interaction gives a role playing game experiential depth by enabling players to engage in dialogue, exchange information, and receive the normal kind of assistance that hero's get in the nick of time.
Story details and game mechanics are researched by the GM and combined with information supplied by the players, each contributing key plot elements that will be expressed as a story. Every detail within the mental game environment is accessible by a player via the character and constantly maintained within the mind of the GM who referees all that nonexistent fictional stuff.
The game environment is a setting: manifestation and structure of the character's fictional world. Its a tourist guidebook to never-never land that has wrap sheets for non-player characters PC's might meet along the way and tells all about the flora and fauna of the place because without it, there would be no way to tell the GM wasn't making it up as they went along (which also some times can happen). It also supplements a game system's main rules with specialized ground rules for the story environment at hand. Game settings can either be store bought (as books or "boxed sets") or created by a game master (even moment by moment) and sometimes even an entire troupe may get involved to create a campaign setting to make it more detailed and personal. A campaign setting is a well developed source of information that mentally establishes an imagined realm and serves as a written reference. Political, economic, and social systems are laid out, as well as all the necessary perceptual information a GM needs to bring it to life in the player's imaginations.
Once a GM has established a campaign setting with direction and description, players can step onto a stage that is a role playing game. Player characters are the main characters of the story; an unwritten story that will write itself over the course of the game. Each main character role is "acted" out by the players in accordance with the character they have created for the role. The forum for this interaction may either be a round table discussion or live acting (LARP: Live Action Role Playing) for more enthusiastic troupes.
Players will use their characters to react in story situations devised by the GM hoping to be clever enough to overcome the story challenge. The fate of a character is in the player’s hands but enjoys the benefit of a little script protection by the GM. A player "runs" his character as he or she thinks it should within the confines of the character's personality, motivations, and physical parameters set forth in its design. As a GM sets up, or "frames" in a scene, the game is in the player's court. Players react to the story similarly to an actor improvising a scene. Once a player is given all the important rule-type information, it's time to act out the character. Moving through game play, player's role play scenes in which the characters solve crafty murders, overthrow evil rulers, and even save a princess or two.
Gaming orients an individual, as a player, both to the reader's view point of a story and then to the author's. By having both viewpoints, a player can enjoy the adventure of making a character's decisions during a story while also enjoying the experience from an external position. A player's interaction is story interpretation and a single, possessive character reaction; the story as told by a game master is experienced and the fictional scenes are governed by the faculties of their character and the game setting.
"Gaming" a story differs from traditional story structure in its succinctness, or lack thereof. Produced stories are focused to take place over the course of a one hour show or meant to be wrapped up by the end of a 350 page (or so) book. An RPG adventure allows players to explore their characters and story environments more thoroughly with lateral character development - - development for the sake of curiosity or mere whim. Game characters tend to be uniquely interesting because they have a personal investment of time and thought by the player with unlimited development potential in all areas.
Civilizations thunder and fall on twilight horizons, dragons ravage and rage throughout undiscovered lands and horrible wonders are waiting to be explored just here, just now...in the realm of imagination. An exclusive venue of mental sensation accessible to everyone through the art of wondering. An art that is skillfully mastered within the reflections of role playing games.
What can I expect?
will be used to increase the game challenge such as mental puzzles, character debate dramas, and endless plot complications. Players support the story by compounding it with their character's perspective in the hope that the very best reaction for a particular situation is available for the most challenging action resulting in a uniquely tailored story. Different for each character and never the same story twice. A story that is created by the collective to express a multitude of ideas and involves each individual's creative spirit.
As players come together to form a troupe with their characters as an adventure party, stories will begin to take on their own, group specific, flavor. An increased socio-fictional interaction will enable the troupe to weave vast epic stories within the confines of the game that are both entertaining and personal. RPG's formulate imagination into manageable parts and label it a "game". While it is a game, it's potential is so much more. Gaming can take your character on a journey to the edge of the unknown or merely save the world from tomorrow's megalomaniacal villain. As you get wrapped up into the next good movie or curl up with a great book, remember that everyone always has an opinion about what they absorb. Take advantage of the moment and when you walk out of a theater or put down that book, capture the essence of how you think and feel and try to recreate it in a role playing game. You always thought you could outsmart the bad guy, now here's your chance...and that's basically what you can expect.
By trying, we can learn to endure adversity.
Another man’s, I mean.
Like typical parlor games, RPG's also have turn and timing. Each scene is founded by the GM and built upon by the players. The game master will make adjustments to a scene and urge the story on by answering player's questions, responding to their character actions then giving players a chance to react to the changes. Each scene builds upon the last and each adventure builds into a campaign; the campfire story runs on into a pilot, the pilot turns into a show, the show turns into a series and so the game world turns. Each player is offered a chance to contribute to the story and add their own bits. As time goes by players will become more skillful, characters will become more developed, and the GM more crafty. Various methods