Saturday, January 16, 2010


OK, well, as promised I'm going to do a post about roleplaying. If you're not interested in learning about what roleplaying is, feel free to skip this post. If, however, you are interested... Read on! I don't mind either way, so it's your call! :)


Roleplaying is a game requiring the use of imagination. In fact, if you don't have at least a basic ability to "pretend" then you're wasting your time even considering the idea of joining in with a roleplaying session, because you wont get very far without imagination.

The basic idea is that you create a character and pretend to be said character. There are various different types of roleplaying, and various different ways of roleplaying, but the basic concept is the same... You creat a character, you pretend to be that character, a DM (Dungeon Master) or GM (Games Master) creates situations for your characters to be in, you decide how to react in those situations - usually based upon your character's abilities - and dice rolls, combined with your skill level and certain decisions by the DM/GM, decide how successful - or not, as the case may be - you are in doing it. Anyway, the DM/GM has a basic plot to follow for an adventure for us. It involves us travelling to a spacific town, village, etc, in order to help out someone who needs our help. While doing so we encounter creatures that need to be killed, people that need to be persuaded to give us information, and other people who are eager to pay us to do their dirty work for them. Sometimes the adventures are simple, other times they are more complicated. Sometimes they can be completed in just a couple of hours, other times it can take several weeks - possibly even months - to complete just one adventure.

Sometimes we have NPCs (non-player characters) involved in our party (group). NPCs are extra characters played by the DM/GM to make up party numbers if it's a small group who are roleplaying, or if the DM/GM wants to have a character. There aren't always NPCs in the party (group) since some DM/GMs will prefer not to have to deal with a character as well as the adventure itself. Especially since the DM/GM is in charge of the monsters and all people we encounter. There also isn't usually any NPCs in the party if there is a large group of people playing already. Unless - as I already mentioned - the DM/GM wants a character too, which sometimes happens when the person who is DM/GM wants to play, but needs to be DM/GM because they are the person willing - or able - to run the campaigne (usually due to being the person who knows the rules best, or has more time for preporation, but sometimes just because they offer to be DM/GMs).

Most roleplaying games are based on fantasy and sci-fi type settings, and they tend to involve different races and classes you can choose from for your character preferences. Some have slightly different themes and no choice of race though. Some have just a couple of choices of classes (classes being things like "Wizard" "Scoundrel" or "thief") and others have several choices to pick from. And, of course, still others have no choices. Some - like one of the campaignes Kelly runs - allow you to simply have a spacific race and class (human mage, for example) and your choice of character is only based on abilities and the way they are used. But nobody will play even the same character in the same way, because it will depend on how they view that character. It will also depend on which abilities they choose to concentrate on, and which they feel are not benificial to them or their party.

My characters, for example, consist of:

Halfling Wizard
Human Mage
Halfling Thief
Human Soldier
Wookie Scoundrel

And a human who is a gypsy type character, but is in the middle of being created for an upcoming campaigne.

So, what is roleplaying?

It's a game where you use your imagination to become someone else, and use dice rolls and spacific stats on a character sheet you have created (with the help of character generating guidelines from the rulebook for the form of roleplaying you are doing) to determine what kind of person you are playing, and how successful you are with your chosen skills. So, basically, it's a sort of acting session with dice.

Any questions?



Celticspirit said...

Ok I have a question. When you say you are traveling to a specific town how do you do this? Do you just sit at a table and talk about it, or do you get up and walk around pretending to encounter things?
Glad to see you wrote about this. I was going to ask you to explain this roleplaying and how you do it.

Toriz said...

As a general rule we sit around the table and talk about it - with descriptions of places worth mentioning in the place we're at, and often maps, as references for our discussions. But sometimes people do add actions in with the roleplaying. I expect we would do that more if we had the space to do so. I know my Dad has done a few roleplaying sessions involving actually dressing up as the characters and doing full on acting along with the rest of it. But we usually play around the kitchen table, and the room isn't really big enough for a couple of adults to be walking around, striking poses, etc, at once. Like I said though, we do throw in some actual acting from time to time. Most of it is discussions, references to maps and writen details, and a whole lot of imagination though.

Deanna said...

What a great explanation, Tori!
I had a chat friend who would talk about role playing every Saturday night, but he couldn't seem to explain it to me in a way that understod.
You are awesome. It sounds like such fun. I think I'd like to be the thief or the wizard!

Toriz said...

Glad I was able to explain it well for you. :)

Thieves and wizards are my favourite characters too, so I do quite often go for those options. With thieves I like the idea of being able to sneak about and pick locks and such. With the wizard... Well, I have a bit of a fireball obsession. ;)

My 4th edition Dungeons And Dragons character is a halfling wizard, and halflings automatically get bonuses to thievery and sneaking skills. That means she's a sneak thief with fireballs... Oh yeah! She is definately my kind of character! A sneaky little hobbit with fireballs... Gotta love that!