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How Role-Playing and Gaming Work Together

Many people enjoy role-playing games (RPGs). One of the most attractive things about these games is the ability for a player to portray (on a continuing basis) a character in the story whose experiences and adventures are very different from the player's day-to-day life.

There are several facets of RPGs that different groups chose to emphasize, minimize or ignore. Some of the published support material focuses on specific aspects or types of play; realistic combat, social climbing, magic, exploration, and so on. This encourages certain play-styles. Realistic combat tends to produce cautions characters, and thereby cautious players.

This article focuses on the differences and interactions of 'Role-Playing' and 'Gaming' and how they affect on-line RPGs.

Role-Playing

Basic Definition: Interacting in character.

Everyone is familiar with the basis of role-playing. The most easily understood example is the difference between how people act at work and how they act at home. At work, most folks have a set of responses and reactions that are specific to their workplace and are quite different from their reactions when they are with family and friends. For example, if you are at home and someone suggests something that you don't think makes sense, you might simply say "That's silly. Why would we want to do that?" If the same situation happened at work, your response might be something like: "That's an interesting suggestion. Perhaps you could investigate some of the ramifications of that course of action and we can discuss them later."

In an RPG, your role

Everything that happens on a MUSH is almost pure RP. Everyone interacts in character, even when they're discussing "Real Life." If your character is is huge bull-centaur lying in a grassy meadow, other characters may sit on you, even when they're discussing the commute home from work.

Gaming

Basic Definition: Structured interaction.

Role-Playing Games


Last Updated: Mon, 31 May 99 22:01:56 PDT







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